Strive4Karuna wrote:Samsara is so difficult to deal with because everything is so pointless I just feel despair when I let go of indulging in sensual pleasures even though I understand they are completely meaningless.
Can people share their experience with the Jhana's and your experience with it in helping to deal with the difficulty of samsara? Can people share with me their experience with their realization of the pointlessness of life, the suffering of life and how they dealt with the following despair that followed this realization that we are bound to such a useless existence of suffering while the goal of nirvana seems so far away.
It sounds like you are having a difficult day, which is something I can relate to. Try to have more patience: with yourself, with the Path, and with life in general.
The liberating insight that will free us from the shackles of sense desires, might be a long way off. So in the meantime we need to just do the best we can. So long as you keep to the five precepts, indulging in sense pleasures as a layman isn't anything to be ashamed of. Just remain mindful, and reduce the indulgence gradually over time. Or you can have special days when you voluntarily abstain from them more decisively, such as an eight-precept day. But that's optional, the essential thing is to keep five precepts really well.
A good meditation can temporarily give some relief from sensual desire, too. I've had a few where, for a few hours after the meditation, I did not feel like indulging in certain 'allowable' lay activities (use your intuition here). The effect wears off of course (at least so far it always has), but it is interesting to examine oneself at that time, to look within and notice how sense desire is temporarily assuaged. So yes although I've not had jhana as such, I can vouch that even in the process of it's cultivation, there can be these occasional moments where one notices, after rising from the sitting "wow, right now I actually don't desire ..."
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One last thing: I might not be able to discover a meaning to life, but I can live a meaningful life.
"Meaning' is a fabrication anyway. It is what we make it. So "pointless" is also just an idea in the mind. It comes and goes. It's not permanent. But the fact that we can actually observe
this arising and passing away, and gain some insight: that is wonderful, and there is a point
to that, yes?