Meaning of life breaking down?

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Adamantus
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Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby Adamantus » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:28 pm

In the last few years my life has broken down enormously. I can't seem to get a job, have no energy, all the time it's like my brain is destroying and seeking out anything to do with my personality and having any kind of friends, identity of hapiness. So my life is breaking down, and I've heard others say that this has a spiritual meaning even though it feels terrible. What is the meaning of this and does it ever stop?

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andre9999
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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby andre9999 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:38 pm

I've always said regarding my own employment, "If I ever lose my job, Subway is always looking for another Sandwich Artist." I made the mistake once of turning down a $40k a year job because I felt I could do better, then found myself out of work for the next year. I decided since that any work is better than no work.

So can you really not find a job, or not a job that you want?

As far as the rest, your life isn't breaking down. You're just overwhelmed. Figure out the first step towards getting things back on track, and put all your effort into that first step. Don't try to deal with everything at once. Just one step at a time.

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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:36 pm

So my life is breaking down, and I've heard others say that this has a spiritual meaning even though it feels terrible. What is the meaning of this...


It is called Dukkha, suffering and stress. It is the unsatisfactory nature underlying all of life.

The definition

"Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of dukkha: Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha."

— SN 56.11


Sariputta's elaboration

[Ven. Sariputta:] "Now what, friends, is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful; separation from the loved is stressful; not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] spheres of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

"And what is aging? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging.

"And what is death? Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

"And what is sorrow? Whatever sorrow, sorrowing, sadness, inward sorrow, inward sadness of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called sorrow.

"And what is lamentation? Whatever crying, grieving, lamenting, weeping, wailing, lamentation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called lamentation.

"And what is pain? Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain.

"And what is distress? Whatever is experienced as mental pain, mental discomfort, pain or discomfort born of mental contact, that is called distress.

"And what is despair? Whatever despair, despondency, desperation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called despair.

"And what is the stress of association with the unbeloved? There is the case where undesirable, unpleasing, unattractive sights, sounds, aromas, flavors, or tactile sensations occur to one; or one has connection, contact, relationship, interaction with those who wish one ill, who wish for one's harm, who wish for one's discomfort, who wish one no security from the yoke. This is called the stress of association with the unbeloved.

"And what is the stress of separation from the loved? There is the case where desirable, pleasing, attractive sights, sounds, aromas, flavors, or tactile sensations do not occur to one; or one has no connection, no contact, no relationship, no interaction with those who wish one well, who wish for one's benefit, who wish for one's comfort, who wish one security from the yoke, nor with one's mother, father, brother, sister, friends, companions, or relatives. This is called the stress of separation from the loved.

"And what is the stress of not getting what is wanted? In beings subject to birth, the wish arises, 'O, may we not be subject to birth, and may birth not come to us.' But this is not to be achieved by wanting. This is the stress of not getting what is wanted. In beings subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair, the wish arises, 'O, may we not be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair, and may aging... illness... death... sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair not come to us.' But this is not to be achieved by wanting. This is the stress of not getting what is wanted.

"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful? The clinging-aggregate of form, the clinging-aggregate of feeling, the clinging-aggregate of perception, the clinging-aggregate of fabrications, the clinging-aggregate of consciousness: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful.

"This, friends, is called the noble truth of stress.

— MN 141


Adamantus wrote:....does it ever stop?


So say the Arahants...

There is no fire like lust, no evil like hatred.
There are no disasters equal to the Khandhas.
There is no happiness greater than the peace of Nibbæna.
Hunger is the most severe bodily disease.
Conditioned things are the worst calamity.
When we see this clearly,
we achieve Nibbæna, the ultimate bliss.
Health is the highest prize.
Contentment is the greatest wealth.
A loyal friend is the best relative.
Nibbæna is the supreme bliss.
Dhp 202-4 (Balangoda Ænanda Maitreya trans.)


And what, bhikkhus, is happiness more spiritual than the
spiritual? When a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed reviews his
mind liberated from lust, liberated from hatred, liberated from
delusion, there arises happiness. This is called happiness more
spiritual than the spiritual.
~ S 36.31 (Bhikkhu Bodhi trans.)


Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying at
Anupiyæ in the Mango Orchard. At that time the Venerable
Bhaddiya, Kæligodhæ’s son, on going into the forest to the foot of
a tree or to an empty place, constantly uttered, “Ah, what bliss!

Ah, what bliss!”

A number of bhikkhus heard the Venerable Bhaddiya...
constantly uttering, “Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!” and the
thought came to them: “No doubt, friend, the Venerable
Bhaddiya, Kæligodhæ’s son, is dissatisfied with leading the holy
life, since formerly when he was a householder he enjoyed the
bliss of royalty. And when recollecting that, on going into the
forest... he utters, ‘Ah, what bliss! Ah, what bliss!’”
Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Lord, prostrated
themselves, sat down to one side, and reported this to the Lord.
Then the Lord addressed a certain bhikkhu: “Come, bhikkhu, in
my name tell the bhikkhu Bhaddiya, ‘The Teacher calls you,
friend Bhaddiya.’”

“Very well, revered sir,” the bhikkhu replied and approaching
the Venerable Bhaddiya, Kæligodhæ’s son, he said, “The Teacher
calls you, friend Bhaddiya.”

“Very well, friend,” the Venerable Bhaddiya replied, and
approaching the Lord he prostrated himself and sat down to one
side. The Lord then said to him: “Is it true, Bhaddiya, that on
going into the forest... you utter, ‘Ah, what bliss! Ah, what
bliss!’?”

“Yes, revered sir. ”

“But, Bhaddiya, what do you see that prompts you to do so?”
“Formerly, revered sir, when I was a householder and enjoyed
the bliss of royalty, inside and outside my inner apartments
guards were appointed; inside and outside the city guards were
appointed; inside and outside the district guards were appointed.
But, revered sir, although I was thus guarded and protected, I
lived fearful, agitated, distrustful, and afraid. But now, revered
sir, on going alone into the forest, to the foot of a tree or to an
empty place, I am fearless, unagitated, confident, and unafraid. I
live unconcerned, unruffled, my needs satisfied, with a mind
become like a deer’s. Seeing this, revered sir, prompts me, on
going to the forest... to utter constantly, ‘Ah, what bliss! Ah, what
bliss!’”
Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion
this inspired utterance:
“In whom exist no inner stirrings,
Having passed beyond being this or that,
Free from fear, blissful and sorrowless,
The devas are not capable of seeing him.”
~ Ud 2.10 (John D. Ireland trans.)


Just as the bourn is not known
Of the gradual fading glow
Given off by the furnace-heated iron
As it is struck with the smith’s hammer,
So there is no pointing to the bourn
Of those perfectly released,
Who have crossed the flood
Of bondage to sense desires
And attained unshakeable bliss.
~ Ud 8.10 (John D. Ireland trans.)


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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tiltbillings
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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:02 pm

Adamantus wrote:In the last few years my life has broken down enormously. I can't seem to get a job, have no energy, all the time it's like my brain is destroying and seeking out anything to do with my personality and having any kind of friends, identity of hapiness. So my life is breaking down, and I've heard others say that this has a spiritual meaning even though it feels terrible. What is the meaning of this and does it ever stop?
It may also mean that you are suffering from chronic depression.
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: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby Annapurna » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:28 pm

Yes, and you may be depressed because you are unemployed.

Many people feel "worthless" without work.

Try to enjoy the time you have and make the best use of it:

Learn something new. Develop new skills.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:43 am

Hello Adamantus,

I recommend a little exercise if you are not already doing that. It should be fun and hopefully free of self pressuring. I say this because its what has helped me in the past. As far as deriving meaning, I think its best to cultivate a state of relative happiness before you put a lot of energy into that.

Take care and may kindness be with you.


Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby Calahand » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:54 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNiS2OI-bSk

http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/component/ ... ssion.html

Try to listen to the above talks, and see if it helps.
Meaning of life simply means having calmness and peace in mind, do not beat yourself up unnecessarily, be happy , if you need help , then go get professional help. be happy my friend, you deserve it. :namaste:

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Pebble
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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby Pebble » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:02 am

Adamantus wrote:In the last few years my life has broken down enormously. I can't seem to get a job, have no energy, all the time it's like my brain is destroying and seeking out anything to do with my personality and having any kind of friends, identity of hapiness. So my life is breaking down, and I've heard others say that this has a spiritual meaning even though it feels terrible. What is the meaning of this and does it ever stop?


I can understand where you are coming from, I have been in the same play almost a year ago...not being able to find a job, relationship and health problems, having no energy etc..I highly recommend getting this book, will answer many of your questions: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... links05-20
We are like pebbles on the beach, constantly being hit by waves of Samsara...yet pebbles don't struggle

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Annapurna
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Re: Meaning of life breaking down?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:39 am

If you don't have 2 left hands, you could start working with your hands.

There are platforms where artisans and artists can sell their handmade products.

Some 'shops' skyrocket, because the owners are good at what they are doing and there is a demand for it.

I have seen men offering woodwork, metal and leather art, and women doing handmade soap and jewelry . A friend of mine now has her own manufacture of soap and can't satisfy the huge demand.

I am doing jewelry since a few years, and it is bringing me a nice extra income, plus a considerable happiness while I am working on it, and when I am done. Then comes the thrill of photographing it... :D

It takes the mind off anything negative that may be going through the mind, -as you know:

" an idle mind is the devil's workshop"

Here is the link to worldwide etsy:

http://www.etsy.com/

In Europe, it is "Dawanda" (products with love)

You'll be astonished if you see what people are offering.

Some are only offering vintage things. They are cheap to obtain and some people are crazy about it.

People love things with the charm of past decades.

The only obstacle to make money here is sloth.

PS: In my signature is a link to my blog with the things I handcraft and sell via the internet. Just to give you an example.


Edit:

from a Discovering Theravada angle, I think that while you are using the time at hand to study the Dhamma- a great opportunity, perhaps try to seek contact to your nearest teacher or temple.
The break down of worldy attachments can sometimes come in abrupt waves, which are best leveled by people with some experience in this, and some of those are of course also here.

(Not me) ;)
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/


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