help please

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jmeff
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help please

Postby jmeff » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:49 am

I was wondering if someone could help me with my situation, I have no Buddhist temples near by, and I don't know anyone who is Buddhist. I found zen when I was 16 years old, I never had a teacher but I loved the teachings I got from books, I learned later that is a good idea to have a teacher. I practiced contently like they suggested in the books, eventually I got bored and went back to my regular life and started smoking pot. When I quit the marijuana a few years later I wanted to go back to practicing zen. I ended going to....deep? I don't know, but I lost my mind and any sense of self (in a bad way), I felt odd and out of place, like I had no identity at all, and became very depressed. I turned to alcohol, I became an alcoholic, I quit now for 2 years. Anyways right now I'm coming off benzodiazapens, I'm very anti social, extremely depressed and suicidal, and asking myself all sorts of deep questions again which are driving me crazy. My questions (finally, sry for such a long post) are:

How does Buddhism treat mental illness?

After a bad association with meditation which left me 'depersonalized' for years, how can I practice buddism? (I want to be able)

why do the concepts of Buddhism and deep philosophical questions burden me instead of inspire?


Thank you so much for your time

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Re: help please

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:59 am

jmeff wrote:I was wondering if someone could help me with my situation, I have no Buddhist temples near by, and I don't know anyone who is Buddhist. I found zen when I was 16 years old, I never had a teacher but I loved the teachings I got from books, I learned later that is a good idea to have a teacher. I practiced contently like they suggested in the books, eventually I got bored and went back to my regular life and started smoking pot. When I quit the marijuana a few years later I wanted to go back to practicing zen. I ended going to....deep? I don't know, but I lost my mind and any sense of self (in a bad way), I felt odd and out of place, like I had no identity at all, and became very depressed. I turned to alcohol, I became an alcoholic, I quit now for 2 years. Anyways right now I'm coming off benzodiazapens, I'm very anti social, extremely depressed and suicidal, and asking myself all sorts of deep questions again which are driving me crazy. My questions (finally, sry for such a long post) are:

How does Buddhism treat mental illness?

After a bad association with meditation which left me 'depersonalized' for years, how can I practice buddism? (I want to be able)

why do the concepts of Buddhism and deep philosophical questions burden me instead of inspire?


Thank you so much for your time

You are going to get a lot of advice, but I would recommend reading Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life . Take your time; don't push yourself and find a good supportive therapist.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: help please

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:41 am

After a bad association with meditation which left me 'depersonalized' for years, how can I practice buddism?


Gently.

Don't put pressure on obtaining any goals.

I have read a few "Buddhistichish" books that invite people to empty their minds, and present that as a path to somewhere. I don't know if that was what happened to you, but it is an example of what it can happen when things are not placed in a good and solid framework of concepts.

I don not have a teacher to guide my practice, and that has had some bad consequences as well. So it is very important to be extremely careful when putting something in practice, because it is very likely that I've got something wrong.

One alternative is to travel to where you can find a good teacher, and stay there for a few days.
With Metta

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Re: help please

Postby Goedert » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:42 am

jmeff wrote:I was wondering if someone could help me with my situation, I have no Buddhist temples near by, and I don't know anyone who is Buddhist. I found zen when I was 16 years old, I never had a teacher but I loved the teachings I got from books, I learned later that is a good idea to have a teacher. I practiced contently like they suggested in the books, eventually I got bored and went back to my regular life and started smoking pot. When I quit the marijuana a few years later I wanted to go back to practicing zen. I ended going to....deep? I don't know, but I lost my mind and any sense of self (in a bad way), I felt odd and out of place, like I had no identity at all, and became very depressed. I turned to alcohol, I became an alcoholic, I quit now for 2 years. Anyways right now I'm coming off benzodiazapens, I'm very anti social, extremely depressed and suicidal, and asking myself all sorts of deep questions again which are driving me crazy. My questions (finally, sry for such a long post) are:

How does Buddhism treat mental illness?

After a bad association with meditation which left me 'depersonalized' for years, how can I practice buddism? (I want to be able)

why do the concepts of Buddhism and deep philosophical questions burden me instead of inspire?


Thank you so much for your time


This is a very complicated situation for our social system in the west.

This burden question happen to me also. When we are young, we start to make our hood and dreams of the society system. But when we go to deepness of buddhism we see that the goals and dreams of social system is empty and can not true help us gain wise, true knowledge, be good hearted, open hands, achive nibbana.

Our human condition is also deporable, we are a bunch of blood, pus, meat and bones.

This is the fisrt noble truth... The dukkha

A good way to catch up with this things is to accept them, do not create avertion to them. When we create craving or avertion to something the suffering is certain.

The Lord once give simile to the Monk Sona:
Then, as Ven. Sona was meditating in seclusion [after doing walking meditation until the skin of his soles was split & bleeding], this train of thought arose in his awareness: "Of the Blessed One's disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance. Now, my family has enough wealth that it would be possible to enjoy wealth & make merit. What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?"

Then the Blessed One, as soon as he perceived with his awareness the train of thought in Ven. Sona's awareness — as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bend his outstretched arm — disappeared from Vulture Peak Mountain, appeared in the Cool Wood right in front of Ven. Sona, and sat down on a prepared seat. Ven. Sona, after bowing down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Just now, as you were meditating in seclusion, didn't this train of thought appear to your awareness: 'Of the Blessed One's disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the fermentations... What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?'"

"Yes, lord."

"Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?"

"Yes, lord."

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"No, lord."

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"No, lord."

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned[1] to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune[2]the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme."

"Yes, lord," Ven. Sona answered the Blessed One. Then, having given this exhortation to Ven. Sona, the Blessed One — as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bend his outstretched arm — disappeared from the Cool Wood and appeared on Vulture Peak Mountain.

So after that, Ven. Sona determined the right pitch for his persistence, attuned the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there picked up his theme. Dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Sona became another one of the arahants.

Then, on the attainment of arahantship, this thought occurred to Ven. Sona: "What if I were to go to the Blessed One and, on arrival, to declare gnosis in his presence?" So he then went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "When a monk is an arahant, his fermentations ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis, he is dedicated to six things: renunciation, seclusion, non-afflictiveness, the ending of craving, the ending of clinging/sustenance, & non-deludedness.

"Now it may occur to a certain venerable one to think, 'Perhaps it is entirely dependent on conviction that this venerable one is dedicated to renunciation,' but it should not be seen in that way. The monk whose fermentations are ended, having fulfilled [the holy life], does not see in himself anything further to do, or anything further to add to what he has done. It is because of the ending of passion, because of his being free of passion, that he is dedicated to renunciation. It is because of the ending of aversion, because of his being free of aversion, that he is dedicated to renunciation. It is because of the ending of delusion, because of his being free of delusion, that he is dedicated to renunciation.

"Now it may occur to a certain venerable one to think, 'Perhaps it is because he desires gain, honor, & fame that this venerable one is dedicated to seclusion' ... 'Perhaps it is because he falls back on attachment to precepts & practices as being essential that he is dedicated to non-afflictiveness,' but it should not be seen in that way. The monk whose fermentations are ended, having fulfilled [the holy life], does not see in himself anything further to do, or anything further to add to what he has done. It is because of the ending of passion, because of his being free of passion, that he is dedicated to non-afflictiveness. It is because of the ending of aversion, because of his being free of aversion, that he is dedicated to non-afflictiveness. It is because of the ending of delusion, because of his being free of delusion, that he is dedicated to non-afflictiveness.

"It is because of the ending of passion, because of his being free of passion... because of the ending of aversion, because of his being free of aversion... because of the ending of delusion, because of his being free of delusion, that he is dedicated to the ending of craving... the ending of clinging/sustenance... non-deludedness.

"Even if powerful forms cognizable by the eye come into the visual range of a monk whose mind is thus rightly released, his mind is neither overpowered nor even engaged. Being still, having reached imperturbability, he focuses on their passing away. And even if powerful sounds... aromas... flavors... tactile sensations... Even if powerful ideas cognizable by the intellect come into the mental range of a monk whose mind is thus rightly released, his mind is neither overpowered nor even engaged. Being still, having reached imperturbability, he focuses on their passing away.

"Just as if there were a mountain of rock — without cracks, without fissures, one solid mass — and then from the east there were to come a powerful storm of wind & rain: the mountain would neither shiver nor quiver nor shake. And then from the west... the north... the south there were to come a powerful storm of wind & rain: the mountain would neither shiver nor quiver nor shake. In the same way, even if powerful forms cognizable by the eye come into the visual range of a monk whose mind is thus rightly released, his mind is neither overpowered nor even engaged. Being still, having reached imperturbability, he focuses on their passing away. And even if powerful sounds... aromas... flavors... tactile sensations... Even if powerful ideas cognizable by the intellect come into the mental range of a monk whose mind is thus rightly released, his mind is neither overpowered nor even engaged. Being still, having reached imperturbability, he focuses on their passing away."
When one's awareness is dedicated to renunciation, seclusion, non-afflictiveness, the ending of clinging, the ending of craving, & non-deludedness, seeing the arising of the sense media, the mind is rightly released. For that monk, rightly released, his heart at peace, there's nothing to be done, nothing to add to what's done. As a single mass of rock isn't moved by the wind, even so all forms, flavors, sounds, aromas, contacts, ideas desirable & not, have no effect on one who is Such. The mind — still, totally released — focuses on their passing away.
AN 6.55

Vina is a music instrument. The same is our mind condition.

I advice you to practice metta meditation, it is very important, because sometimes our mind tend to inaction and it get rid of our sense of self and the benefit is almost instant, you find a new way to do with life.

It is also good to go in a retreat in Theravada tradition, find a good dhamma center, it is good to interect with the sangha.

Why don't you try to ordain for some time, maybe it will be good for help you understand the things and find what is necessary.


A good readings:
Bhante Gunaratana
Ajahn Chah

EDIT: In the sutta, the five faculties is:
* 1. Faith
* 2. Vigor
* 3. Mindfulness
* 4. Concentration
* 5. Wisdom

May you find true peace.
Last edited by Goedert on Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: help please

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:43 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:You are going to get a lot of advice, but I would recommend reading Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life . Take your time; don't push yourself

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: help please

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:25 pm

jmeff wrote:After a bad association with meditation which left me 'depersonalized' for years, how can I practice buddism? (I want to be able)

You have been given very good advice (IMO) about taking meditation very gently and with as much support from teacher/s as possible, but your question can be answered another way: Meditation is an important tool for Buddhists but it is not actually the heart of the teachings.
The core teachings - the Four Noble Truths and (most of) the Eightfold Path - can be followed without meditation and can help you stabilise your life and clarify your mind. You can receive most of the benefits of the Path without ever sitting on a cushion, and if you later decide to begin meditating, you will progress more quickly with it because of your development of morality and wisdom.
:namaste:
Kim

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Re: help please

Postby OcTavO » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:32 pm

Hi Jmeff,

I've also had experiences with depression, and I've also come close to depersonalization through incorrect interpretation of Buddhist philosophy. I came to realize that while Buddhism is specifically created to treat the chronic mental illness that we all suffer from, I don't think it's that spectacular at dealing with acute bouts of depression - especially if those bouts have a psycho-chemical cause. Acute episodes benefit most quickly from the help of western medicinal and psychotherapeutical treatments. I think of western therapy as bandages that can stop the "bleeding" while Buddhism is more like working out to improve the immune system on a long term basis.

For the Buddhist practice I found benefit in taking a step back from the heavier intellectual concepts like Dependent Origination and Emptiness and Not self. These are end results of the path - comprehensions to be reached in time... There are two other concepts in Buddhism that are much more important in the earlier stages - training the mind to stay in the moment, present and aware - and cultivating compassion. Focus on these two elements for a while and see how they make you feel.

For reading I'd recommend "When things fall apart" by Pema Chodron, and "Wherever you go, there you are" by John Kabat Zinn. The latter is not strictly Buddhist but is a nice, simple, applicable version of Mindfullness meditation.

I hope you feel better soon.

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Re: help please

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:39 pm

jmeff,

I once asked a very learned and respected teacher how I should start on the Path and he said "keep the five precepts". I was surprised he didn't say "meditate" since that was my impression of what Buddhism was all about. His advice after "five precepts" was to start observing the eight uposatha precepts once a month. So maby try that.

Moreso than meditation, I think what identifies one as a Buddhist is their adherence to the precepts. I think one can learn a lot about oneself and the Path through the practice of keeping precepts. In addition, I think taming the mind is easier for one who has already made progress taming the body - not stealing, lying, killing, etc. one minute and trying to sit in silence the next.

I hope this is helpful.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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Re: help please

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:39 pm

Many of the above posters have given good advice. I might suggest that you get help using a talking therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therappy (CBT). It has very good effect on depression and is one of the recommened treatments for depression in UK. It is as good as taking antidepressants. (unless you want to take antidepressants that is)- they work best in combination. I recommend CBT because some of it's methods are very close to buddhist practices and is likely to relieve your symptoms the quicker than meditation. I am saying this as a psychologist and a meditation teacher. Overcoming your depression should be the main focus at this moment because that will hinder your motivation to do any other buddhist practice. The buddha has said that we should use whatever method available to use to reduce craving, aversion and delusion. CBT fits that description nicely.

This is your life's work. It's time to dig in. Dedicate yourself to the cultivation of your mind because this will determine whether you will live happily or miserably. Don't do it on your own- don't isolate. Having spiritual friends (including teachers) is an essential part of the path. They will help you and guide you and hopefully have your best interests at heart.

Hope you start feeling better soon.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: help please

Postby jmeff » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:00 am

I never expected such support. Thanks to every, I appreciate it very much. There is a lot things about Buddhism, I was unaware of. I didn't know you could do it in a much simpler way for me to understand, like just focuses on the 4 noble truths. I'm currently in therapy, and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. So I do have some support. I take antidepressants but they wanted to take me of benzodiazapese, because its contributing to the depression, but the problem is the withdraw, you can look up benzo withdraw, its absolutely insane. Also is it wrong to believe in God? I began a spiritual practice in A.A, the main the principals are trust in your own conception of God, take personal inventory to get 'less self more god', make amends, prayer, and help others. But my whole belief structure has been shattered by reading things by atheist saying believing in God is like believing Santa claws just because you believe doesn't make it real. My conception of God wasn't detailed, I considered something beyond my conception. But authors like Dawkins and other atheist completely destroyed my belief because God is just something i mad up in my mind, an evolutionary tool to give comfort to a a life that means nothing. So I'm so confused, is it God just a delusion? I don't know anymore, it does hurt though. I want to believe in something. And the deeper concepts of Buddhism 'trip me out'.

Again, I appreciate your responses very much, they were all extremely helpful

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Re: help please

Postby Nibbida » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:35 am

There are other posts in this forum if you search indicating that mindfulness actually is inversely related to depersonalization (more mindfulness, less depersonalization). So that's good news. Correct interpretation is very important since misunderstanding can become nihilistic.

My suggestion would be to focus somewhat on metta practice. Loving-kindness (compassion, etc.) and emptiness/anatta are two sides of the same coin, so working on either (or both) leads to the same goal. However, metta practice is very conducive to feelings of warmth and connection, which would seem to be very good for depression, depersonalization, etc.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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Re: help please

Postby Goedert » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:53 pm

jmeff wrote:I never expected such support. Thanks to every, I appreciate it very much. There is a lot things about Buddhism, I was unaware of. I didn't know you could do it in a much simpler way for me to understand, like just focuses on the 4 noble truths. I'm currently in therapy, and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. So I do have some support. I take antidepressants but they wanted to take me of benzodiazapese, because its contributing to the depression, but the problem is the withdraw, you can look up benzo withdraw, its absolutely insane. Also is it wrong to believe in God? I began a spiritual practice in A.A, the main the principals are trust in your own conception of God, take personal inventory to get 'less self more god', make amends, prayer, and help others. But my whole belief structure has been shattered by reading things by atheist saying believing in God is like believing Santa claws just because you believe doesn't make it real. My conception of God wasn't detailed, I considered something beyond my conception. But authors like Dawkins and other atheist completely destroyed my belief because God is just something i mad up in my mind, an evolutionary tool to give comfort to a a life that means nothing. So I'm so confused, is it God just a delusion? I don't know anymore, it does hurt though. I want to believe in something. And the deeper concepts of Buddhism 'trip me out'.

Again, I appreciate your responses very much, they were all extremely helpful




Friend,

I'll try to help your questions:

Is it wrong to believe in God?
A: No, it is not wrong. The buddhist also belive that many gods exist, even the mighty one, the creator, the all-seen, the conqueror, the ancient of days. But buddhist don't believe that gods can save us from our negative thoughts, from our greed, hatred, delusion.

Is it god just a delusion?
A: Of course not, he exist. The blessed Buddha only teached the Dhamma to the welfare of beings, because a god asked him to do so.

What is good to belive?
1 - In the Four Noble Truths
2 - In the Dhamma (The natural law teached by the Buddha)
3 - In the Sangha
4 - In the skillfull Eight Noble Path.

The planes of existence <- click to see

Buddhist Concept of Heaven

Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta

Buddha Explaning that Brahma is dominated by Mara

Mettam Sutta: The Brahma-viharas
...

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart's release by loving-kindness?[1] What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this case, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness accompanied by loving-kindness and similarly the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, energy, rapture, tranquillity, concentration, equanimity, accompanied by loving-kindness which is based on detachment, dispassion, leading to maturity of surrender. If he wishes to dwell perceiving the repulsive in what is not repulsive, he dwells thus perceiving the repulsive. If he wishes to dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in what is repulsive, he dwells thus perceiving the unrepulsive. If he wishes to dwell perceiving the repulsive both in what is repulsive and what is not repulsive, if he wishes to dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in both..., he dwells thus. If he wishes, avoiding both the repulsive and unrepulsive, to dwell equanimous,[2] mindful and clearly aware,[3] he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful and clearly aware, or, attaining the heart's release called 'beautiful'[4] he abides there. I declare that the heart's release by loving-kindness has the beautiful for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.[5]

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate release by compassion? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness... equanimity accompanied by compassion... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful, clearly aware or, by passing utterly beyond all perception of objects, by the going-down of perceptions of sensory reactions,[6] by disregarding perceptions of diversity, thinking 'space is infinite,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of infinite space.[7] I declare that the heart's release by compassion has the sphere of infinite space for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart's release by sympathetic joy? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness... equanimity accompanied by sympathetic joy... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful, clearly aware or, by passing utterly beyond the sphere of infinite space, thinking 'consciousness is infinite,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of infinite consciousness.[8] I declare that the heart's release by sympathetic joy has the sphere of infinite consciousness for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release.

"And how, monks, does a monk cultivate the heart's release by equanimity? What is its goal, its excellence, its fruit and its outcome?

"In this case, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment-factors of mindfulness, investigation-of-states, energy, rapture, tranquillity, concentration, equanimity accompanied by equanimity[9] which is based on detachment, dispassion, leading to maturity of surrender. If he wishes to dwell... [as above]... he dwells thus, equanimous, mindful and clearly aware. Or by passing utterly beyond the sphere of infinite consciousness, thinking 'there is nothing,' he attains and dwells in the sphere of nothingness.[10] I declare that the heart's release by equanimity had the sphere of nothingness for its excellence. This is the attainment of a wise monk who penetrates to no higher release."

...
Notes

1.
The four Brahma-vihaaras ("divine abidings"), also called the four "boundless (appamañña) states," are: 1. Loving-kindness (mettaa), 2. Compassion (karu.naa), 3. Sympathetic Joy (muditaa), 4. Equanimity (upekkhaa).
2.
Upekha, the adjective from upekkhaa. "Equanimous" is a rare word in modern English, but is less misleading than "indifferent." It is used by the Ven. Ñanamoli in The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga) (Colombo 1956).
3.
Sato sampajaano. The old rendering (introduced by T. W. Rhys Davids) "mindful and self-possessed" dies hard, but is far too vague, if not positively misleading. The real meaning of sampajaana is "clearly aware": see BD [Buddhist Dictionary (2nd ed.), by Ven. Nyaa.natiloka, Ven. Nyaa.naponika (ed.) (Colombo 1972)] s v. sampajañña.
4.
Subha. This is explained in MN 77 as being associated with the fourth (lower) jhaana (SN 40.9, n. 2).
5.
Cf. VM IX, 76: "If unable to reach higher than the attainment of loving-kindness and attain Arahantship, then when he falls from this life, he reappears in the Brahma world as one who wakes up from sleep."
6.
Pa.tigha (here) "resistance" (as of solid objects). Another meaning of this word is "resentment."
7.
The first of the higher (formless) jhaanas (SN 40.9, n. 2).
8.
The second of the higher (formless) jhaanas.
9.
Equanimity (upekkhaa) as an enlightenment-factor (SN 46.53, n. 1) is here distinguished from equanimity as a Brahma-vihaara (n. 1). The difference lies in the mode of attainment.
10.
The third of the higher (formless) jhaanas.


Ayacana Sutta: The Request
I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Self-awakened, he was staying at Uruvela on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the Goatherd's Banyan Tree. Then, while he was alone and in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in his awareness: "This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and if others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me."

Just then these verses, unspoken in the past, unheard before, occurred to the Blessed One:
Enough now with teaching what only with difficulty I reached. This Dhamma is not easily realized by those overcome with aversion & passion. What is abstruse, subtle, deep, hard to see, going against the flow — those delighting in passion, cloaked in the mass of darkness, won't see.

As the Blessed One reflected thus, his mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma.

Then Brahma Sahampati, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in the Blessed One's awareness, thought: "The world is lost! The world is destroyed! The mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One inclines to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma!" Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he knelt down with his right knee on the ground, saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart, and said to him: "Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the One-Well-Gone teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma."

That is what Brahma Sahampati said. Having said that, he further said this:
In the past there appeared among the Magadhans an impure Dhamma devised by the stained. Throw open the door to the Deathless! Let them hear the Dhamma realized by the Stainless One! Just as one standing on a rocky crag might see people all around below, So, O wise one, with all-around vision, ascend the palace fashioned of the Dhamma. Free from sorrow, behold the people submerged in sorrow, oppressed by birth & aging.
Rise up, hero, victor in battle! O Teacher, wander without debt in the world. Teach the Dhamma, O Blessed One: There will be those who will understand.

Then the Blessed One, having understood Brahma's invitation, out of compassion for beings, surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world. Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses — born and growing in the water — might flourish while immersed in the water, without rising up from the water; some might stand at an even level with the water; while some might rise up from the water and stand without being smeared by the water — so too, surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One, the Blessed One saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world.

Having seen this, he answered Brahma Sahampati in verse:
Open are the doors to the Deathless to those with ears. Let them show their conviction. Perceiving trouble, O Brahma, I did not tell people the refined, sublime Dhamma.

Then Brahma Sahampati, thinking, "The Blessed One has given his consent to teach the Dhamma," bowed down to the Blessed One and, circling him on the right, disappeared right there.


Friend,

Best wishes for you.


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