Bringing upon the change

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Bringing upon the change

Postby Tranquility Base » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:15 am

This is going to be a strange post I think. I really don't know where to start, but you are the right persons to bring this thought to.
As a young teenager, and young adult, i was very very much in control of my emotions. A very logical person, very much like the things I see Buddhists striving for. It came to me through trying (mental) times as a young teenager. I 'learned' how to control my thoughts and emotions out of sheer neccessity, survival if you will; in a household that was in not any way understanding my thoughts. I am not talking about teenage uproar. I was always a deep minded child, and at an age most kids were throwing dirt at one another, I was sitting in the libraries reading factual type books. not a normal child in the least. i have always questioned the universe and it's beings. for this, i was singled out. I did not really mind, as i always had a spine of my own and did not follow the crowd. Really.
Now to my question. As an adult, now 50, i have seemed to lose my way. Everyday needs and stresses have seemed to cloud my path. I have an elder parent who demands constant attention, and an husband who needs help in all of his business. I get up around 5:00 am every morning just to have an hour or two to myself for my studies. But i can't seem to 'clear my mind' the way I did as a child. My inner core has not changed. I still feel the same precepts I did as a child, I've just 'forgotten' how to access them. Meditation is impossible at this point, at least in full fledged physical aspect, so that won't help. Too much going on here (rebuilding a house, building materials everywhere, controlled chaos if you will) Am I asking too much too soon? I am not looking for a shortcut, just a peep into the light of the closed doorway, to give me hope and purpose to perhaps regain what I so clearly understood as a child. any suggestions from the community would be appreciated.
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby phil » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:17 pm

Tranquility Base wrote:This is going to be a strange post I think. I really don't know where to start, but you are the right persons to bring this thought to.
As a young teenager, and young adult, i was very very much in control of my emotions. A very logical person, very much like the things I see Buddhists striving for. It came to me through trying (mental) times as a young teenager. I 'learned' how to control my thoughts and emotions out of sheer neccessity, survival if you will; in a household that was in not any way understanding my thoughts. I am not talking about teenage uproar. I was always a deep minded child, and at an age most kids were throwing dirt at one another, I was sitting in the libraries reading factual type books. not a normal child in the least. i have always questioned the universe and it's beings. for this, i was singled out. I did not really mind, as i always had a spine of my own and did not follow the crowd. Really.
Now to my question. As an adult, now 50, i have seemed to lose my way. Everyday needs and stresses have seemed to cloud my path. I have an elder parent who demands constant attention, and an husband who needs help in all of his business. I get up around 5:00 am every morning just to have an hour or two to myself for my studies. But i can't seem to 'clear my mind' the way I did as a child. My inner core has not changed. I still feel the same precepts I did as a child, I've just 'forgotten' how to access them. Meditation is impossible at this point, at least in full fledged physical aspect, so that won't help. Too much going on here (rebuilding a house, building materials everywhere, controlled chaos if you will) Am I asking too much too soon? I am not looking for a shortcut, just a peep into the light of the closed doorway, to give me hope and purpose to perhaps regain what I so clearly understood as a child. any suggestions from the community would be appreciated.


Hi Tranquility Best, greetings from another 50 year older. I think everyone has different hindrances to the practice and different accumulated tendencies, so its hard to know what to say. I'm a big believer in exercise, that it does wonders for clearing out cobwebs so we can suddenly see things clearly. Of course that's what meditation does, eventually, but to get things going, how about using 30 or 40 minutes of that wonderful quiet morning time to go out for a fast walk, get the blood going, note where the mind goes, keep bringing it back to the walking feet as meditation object, sense how there is a building challenge to and gentle reigning in of the minds tendency to churn and burn on this and that. (I heard a great Dhamma talk once about how we rest our bodies, but never rest our minds, and they become like tea bags with all the tea used up.) As you walk, you can also practice wishing well to all the people you come across, all of them, no sweet loving feelings, just a brief recognition that everyone we come across is here because of having good kamma in the past, we're all worthy beings going through a hard time to fulfill our precious human birth. It kind of opens up the mind's pores and lets it breathe in a warm way... You can also do a meditation on the elements as you walk, the earth element of your feet and the solid ground, the wind element of your breath, the fire element of the different aspects of temperature you feel as you warm up or get cold, the water element, well, that's not as easy to perceive for me, but reflection on the elements gives us a nice little foretaste of letting go of self, de-identification.

Anyways, I think walking - fast - is great.

That's my 50 cents... :smile:
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby kirk5a » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:04 pm

Well you have an hour or two each day to yourself and a place to sit. So how can meditation be "impossible" when that's all that's required? Maybe you are actually looking for a shortcut.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby phil » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:33 am

kirk5a wrote:Well you have an hour or two each day to yourself and a place to sit. So how can meditation be "impossible" when that's all that's required? Maybe you are actually looking for a shortcut.


Hi Kirk5a and Tranquility Base and all

Tranquility Base hasn't answered, so I'll just jump in and say that it should be recognized that sometimes the hindrances are so strong sitting meditation will not be possible or effective. In some cases. In my case the hindrance of sloth and torpor (sleepiness) is extraordarily strong, drowsiness, I've determined after 10 years and after trying all the suggested remedies will always be a hindrance for me and will therefore obstruct my progress in meditation this lifetime. The hindrances may be even stronger for other people. So for some people walking meditation, or just a kind of medition while going for walks at a natural speed, can be the way to get started. Or maybe no meditation at all. Using morning time for studying suttas and reflecting them, writing in a Dhamma diary, whatever, can be a useful way to practice the Buddha's teaching as well. I think there is an assumption in the West that Buddhism=meditation, and I think the emphasis put on meditation in the West is wise, but I think in Buddhist countries most lay followers don't meditate on a daily basis, that is perhaps just my image. They are probably not very seriously devout followers (or maybe they are), but just observing the precepts can be a good way to start out on the path I think.

So if there is anyone out there who is not able to meditate, please don't think that this means you can't follow the Buddha's teaching, you certainly can! Don't give up on meditation, mind you...but don't assume it is absolutely necessary for your Buddhist practice.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby khlawng » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:26 am

Dear TB,

I am fourty and was wondering if you have considered including chanting into your daily routine? I try to chant on a daily basis and it works for me as it puts me in the correct state of mind and renews my practice and meditation efforts.

Good Luck.
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby Tranquility Base » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:34 am

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful replies. Phil, I wanted to wait a day or so before replying to allow those who might help me find the post first.
To kirk5a whom had mentioned 'procrastinatiom....' (ie 'shortcut') Absolutely not,' I am known for starting fires under all's butt's (including my own) so fast they can't even get coffee down before day's projects get started. I also don't mind taking my time while learning a faith, and am one of those who have 3 or 4 reference books out while trying to interpret one main book, I love to study. But since already feeling the right way as a child, I think it frustrates me, that's for sure. TY for the thought though. I know that you do not know me and were only trying to help me think of what could help me to get to that special place. :)
Why I mentioned my childhood, I am trying to get back to that place, mentally. It was so Buddhist-like, it's as though I've lost my way in the sea of life and stress.
Phil, I walk with my father each morning for about 45 minutes to keep him limber and exercised. But i'm not alone.
I like your suggestion, walking never hurts and I actually love it. Perhaps i could do it on my own. Our property is quite large, i could even do it right here. great idea, TY.
khlawng, I also love your ideal. Could you please list me a good chant and it's interpretation to start with? I am only dwelving deeper into Buddhism the last month and have not gotten to that part of my studies yet. Am still learning of Buddha's life and basic teachings. I really think this might help as well.
Thanks again to all, and any other suggestions from the kind and generous people here. it is appreciated. :)
Nichole
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby phil » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:58 am

Hi again Nichole,and all

I'm about to book off for a bit of a break over the New Year, but just in case you haven't heard about this hugely important topic, please check out this link:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el105.html

As we know, even in the simplest conventional meaning nutrition is hugely important but when it is taken to the Buddhist perspective, WOW!!! "You are what you eat" takes on an even deeper meaning, because in the Buddhist sense,
nutritments are mental as well as physical. Dependent Origination is such a difficult topic for me, over my head I always feel, but this teaching on nutriments is enough to work with, gets at the gist of what we need to know.

A wise teacher (Thich Nhat Hahn, I think) once said that if you are depressed (not that you are, but who isn't a lot of the time?) it is likely because of something you consumed. Mental junk food is just as toxic or maybe more toxic than physical junk food...

Anyways, hope this is helpful to anyone who reads it.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby kirk5a » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:43 pm

Tranquility Base wrote:To kirk5a whom had mentioned 'procrastinatiom....' (ie 'shortcut') Absolutely not,' I am known for starting fires under all's butt's (including my own) so fast they can't even get coffee down before day's projects get started. I also don't mind taking my time while learning a faith, and am one of those who have 3 or 4 reference books out while trying to interpret one main book, I love to study. But since already feeling the right way as a child, I think it frustrates me, that's for sure. TY for the thought though. I know that you do not know me and were only trying to help me think of what could help me to get to that special place. :)

Ok, you said you wanted to "clear your mind." So then you can take up a meditation practice if you want that. You said that was "impossible" but I didn't see anything "impossible" there. Other than meditation, there is no magic bullet for peace and clarity of mind, so... :shrug:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby unspoken » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 pm

Hi, you can read what I want to tell you if you don't mind of posting late and told by a teenager

I am experiencing the same thing as you when you are a kid. Eventually I worked it out when I was a kid around 12, which is I had developed a "twin personality" that controlled by a same mind. I will be joking and laughing with my immature friends around me, since all of them are teenagers, and will be posting something about meditation and sharing some ideas with those matured ones.

As far as I think, you are now in your 50s, the things that happened in the world affected your views and thoughts in a way. I assume you did not meditate much because of doing things for living and managing family needs. You're alright, as long you understand you need to have a rest, need help, then it's fine. Because if you understand you're sick, you will find a doctor. You wanted to be the young you again, then refresh your mind once.

with Metta
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby khlawng » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:23 am

Hi TB,

You may want to start here:

http://www.theravadapgco.org/Liturgy.htm

Good luck
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby Tranquility Base » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:53 am

Thank you sweet little unspoken, for a fresh perspective. My doctor is the Budhha, if you will. What a wonderful post you wrote.
Ideals from young adults are just as important as all of the others. Your youth may grant you clarity.
And thanks to all who followed up with the post and second replies. Phil and khlawng, I will be studying your links this morning along with my usual readings of Dr. Snyder's wonderful book. Your'e right kirk5a, I know I desperately need a space to meditate in. My home is currently filled with tools of all sorts, piles of lumber, the only rooms in home totally cleared are bathrooms, kitchen and my father's bedroom. Will definitely have to work on that. I'll let you know how your inspirational readings went.
Nichole
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby unspoken » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:40 am

We are not alone. Sometimes do, we need help from others doesn't matter of age, ss long its helpful.

Glad to help, and I'm expecting you adults, especially you TranquilityBase, would answer most of my questions and help resolve some problems as you all are experienced. :tongue:

With Metta
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby Tranquility Base » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:39 am

Phil, I really love the link you sent, just wanted you to know. Anyone with same question I posted should read it too, it's really helpful. Here it is again: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el105.html
I'm not finished reading it, I read several Buddhist books/sites each morning, but promise that i will. Haven't started onother link left me yet, but will do also. TY again, for the kindness and consideration you have shown in my quest.
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Re: Bringing upon the change

Postby Marcus Epicurus » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:30 am

NIchole,

I have some advice that I would like to share with you.

# 1 be patient, things will come to you when you least expect them.
# 2 continue to read, and study, and contemplate, and meditate.
#3 if you don't have time for a "formal" meditation, then meditate whenever you can.....for example, you can meditate when you are doing things that you can do automatically without thinking, such as washing clothes or dishes, or walking, or working.

But just don't give up.

I am older than you and it was only 4 years ago that I found Buddhism, yet just today, I had a breakthrough while I was packing and shipping out some ebay items I had sold. You never know when things will come to you, so just continue to read, and study, and contemplate, and meditate, whenever you can, as much as you can. Then all of a sudden one day things will come to you and your will feel new and refreshed and happy. Dont try too hard to force it either, as that wont help. ( I already tried that - didnt work)

I hope that helps.
I wish you health, happiness, peace, and enlightenment.

:namaste:

PS: as others have recommended..... Access to Insight is a great web site http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
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