How long?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: How long?

Postby shjohnk » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:13 am

Flyingox: have you considered seeking professional help? I can sense a lot of anger in you. Seriously, you may need to consider seeing a psychologist. I am not saying this to aggravate or insult you. It's out of concern for you. Metta.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:19 am

Peter wrote:
flyingOx wrote:But if I do ... what is considered the right thing to do according to Buddhism, which would be to give up the last ditch effort of self-concern...

Buddhism does not teach this.

So one who practices Buddhism SHOULD have self concern? Then what is all of this talk about accomplishing no self? If there is no self, then there also would not be any self-concern.

I understand that the less there is of myself, the more peace that I notice, but what if that is just a distraction for what is actually developing: a completely terrifying state of complete abandonment where one has no defenses because one no longer has a sense of self and therefore no longer has the desire to protect oneself if true bodily or mental harm were to ever actually come one’s way?

If that is what you are trying to accomplish then you should stop practice right now. Because, again, this is not what Buddhism teaches. For example, Devadatta sent a drunk elephant charging at the Buddha with the aim of killing him and the Buddha stopped it. For another example, Angulimala ran towards the Buddha with the intent to kill him and the Buddha stopped him.

Perhaps Buddhism like all other religions that I have studied is self-condradictory. Again, I thought that someone who has reached Buddhahood is someone who has gone beyond the concept of having a self?

Just where is this Buddhism stuff taking me?

To the ending of suffering.

So is this the only goal? If so, then like I have said previously, I think that I already have that, as far as what I would consider suffering, anyway. I have a sense of unshakable peace all the time, whether it seems like I am angry, sad, or in any other emotional state or not.

And why are we discouraged from talking about it?

Because there isn't much that can be said about it.


If this is truly the only reason for not talking about it, then why do so many people throw god aweful fits whenever someone talks about it?
Last edited by flyingOx on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:21 am

shjohnk wrote:Flyingox: have you considered seeking professional help? I can sense a lot of anger in you. Seriously, you may need to consider seeing a psychologist. I am not saying this to aggravate or insult you. It's out of concern for you. Metta.


In other words, you can't explain your own religion enough to me, so you will just get rid of me by sending me to a shrink, right? Do you think that every time someone seems angry or frustrated that they should seek professional help?
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Re: How long?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:23 am

Greetings Flyingox,

Regarding what you say above about "no self", I would strongly recommend you read the following sutta...

SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Flyingox,

Regarding what you say above about "no self", I would strongly recommend you read the following sutta...

SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta,
Retro. :)


OK, now explain it to me. It says that existence and non-existence are the extremes, but Buddha is one who walks the middle way. Does this mean that what the Buddha experiences is neither existence nor non-existence? If so, then I thought that that is what Buddha said was not enough when he said that the deathless is even beyond perception nor non-perception.

But please explain this sutta to me, if you can or if you are permitted to doing so without committing a faux pas.
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Re: How long?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:01 am

Greetings FlyingOx,

flyingOx wrote:It says that existence and non-existence are the extremes, but Buddha is one who walks the middle way. Does this mean that what the Buddha experiences is neither existence nor non-existence?


That's what everyone experiences, they're just generally not aware that it is so and thus interpret their experiences in terms of existence and non-existence.

flyingOx wrote:If so, then I thought that that is what Buddha said was not enough when he said that the deathless is even beyond perception nor non-perception.


Non-perception would be nothingness or "no experience" which is incorrect. Thus, beyond "non-perception".

Perception would involve sensory input and classification and categorisation of that input (e.g. book, tree, sun) but the Buddha does not cling to or place any credence in the classification. He is aware that it is an abstraction, a cognitive conceptualisation of that original sensory input. Thus, concept and reality are never actually aligned, and hence the deathless is "beyond perception".

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: How long?

Postby shjohnk » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:02 am

Hi Flyingox,

I can explain Buddhism to you, it's very simple: All existence is suffering, the cause of suffering is craving, so the way to end suffering is to extinguish craving. The way toi extinguish craving is to not harm yourself or any other living being by any action, thought or word. If you put that in to practice, you will derive the benefits: How much benefit you obtain depends on your efforts. Couldn't be simpler.

I can see my post angered you and I regret posting: I should have realised it would upset you, so I apologise. It's just I have had anger issues as well and I know from my own experience (which is the only experience the Buddha said was wortn anything) how destructive such emotions are. To yourself. And no, I don't really think 'shrinks' can help people much: But it seems to me that you are not about to start practicing what the Buddha taught any time soon (I hope I'm wrong as that's better than all the shrinks in the world), so you need to deal with your anger: maybe a shrink could help you enough to calm you down enough so you can be ready to seriously practice what the Buddha taught.

Anyway, sorry for antagonizing you - It was not appropriate action by me.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:56 am

shjohnk wrote:Hi Flyingox,

I can explain Buddhism to you, it's very simple: All existence is suffering, the cause of suffering is craving, so the way to end suffering is to extinguish craving. The way toi extinguish craving is to not harm yourself or any other living being by any action, thought or word. If you put that in to practice, you will derive the benefits: How much benefit you obtain depends on your efforts. Couldn't be simpler.

I can see my post angered you and I regret posting: I should have realised it would upset you, so I apologise. It's just I have had anger issues as well and I know from my own experience (which is the only experience the Buddha said was wortn anything) how destructive such emotions are. To yourself. And no, I don't really think 'shrinks' can help people much: But it seems to me that you are not about to start practicing what the Buddha taught any time soon (I hope I'm wrong as that's better than all the shrinks in the world), so you need to deal with your anger: maybe a shrink could help you enough to calm you down enough so you can be ready to seriously practice what the Buddha taught.

Anyway, sorry for antagonizing you - It was not appropriate action by me.


That's alright. I don't REALLY hold anything against anyone. And please don't say that I won't be practicing what Buddha taught any time soon. You never know. I might put my anger mode down in the next second or two. I have gained much peace from Buddha's teachings, and it was this very concept of anger that made me realize that Gautama Buddha was onto something. I used to be a very angry and hateful individual. When I got tired of being stressed out over ever little thing, I decided to give Buddha's teachings a try. As soon as I put it into practice, I realized the benefits. I had a sense of peace that I had never had before, and it hasn't left me since. I still pick up my emotional modes from time to time to examine them to see where they might be getting their original motivation for development.
Peace to you.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings FlyingOx,

flyingOx wrote:It says that existence and non-existence are the extremes, but Buddha is one who walks the middle way. Does this mean that what the Buddha experiences is neither existence nor non-existence?


That's what everyone experiences, they're just generally not aware that it is so and thus interpret their experiences in terms of existence and non-existence.

flyingOx wrote:If so, then I thought that that is what Buddha said was not enough when he said that the deathless is even beyond perception nor non-perception.


Non-perception would be nothingness or "no experience" which is incorrect. Thus, beyond "non-perception".

Perception would involve sensory input and classification and categorisation of that input (e.g. book, tree, sun) but the Buddha does not cling to or place any credence in the classification. He is aware that it is an abstraction, a cognitive conceptualisation of that original sensory input. Thus, concept and reality are never actually aligned, and hence the deathless is "beyond perception".

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thank you for that good explanation. So, is there really a self, or is there not a self? According to what you have said above, then there really is no self. It is just a label that we have given our collection of parts and energies.
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Re: How long?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:09 am

Greetings,

It is just a label that we have given our collection of parts and energies.


Yes. Yet we identify with it and cling to and try to reinforce and protect this identity. That is the ignorance on which suffering is grounded.

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: How long?

Postby shjohnk » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:11 am

Hi Flyingox,

I am glad my perception of your intentions was wrong :smile: After reading your last post, i think you and i have a lot in common :toast: I too have benefitted enormously since starting to study Buddhism (About a year now). And I constantly fall down, and have to refocus. So good on you, and i hope we can encourage each other on this forum. One thing taht might be relevant here Is the Buddha's teachings about speculating about things - We should try to work out what will be beneficial to our practice and focus on those things, and some of the more abstract concepts we can leave alone. Metta.
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Re: How long?

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:11 am

Hi FlyingOx

The Buddha said Sabbe dhamma anatta meaning no self can be found in any phenomena. It includes Nibbana because nibbana is also a dhamma, a phenomena. He also referred to Nibbana as asankhata meaning unconditioned.
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Re: How long?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:57 am

flyingOx wrote:But if I do as you say, “take the high road,” in other words do what is considered the right thing to do according to Buddhism, which would be to give up the last ditch effort of self-concern...
That's not what I meant by the high road. What I meant was for you to take care of yourself in a very compassionate way. Be kind to yourself. Everytime you focus on what someone else did to you, every time you focus on that sense of righteous indignation, you're just beating up on yourself. Don't give other people the power to spur you to do this to yourself. That's all I'm saying. You don't have to feel this way. So take a break if you have to. Give it some space.

As for your own personal questions and path, whatever that may be, you may wish to find a non-Internet friend to talk to about this. Someone you trust. Please know that regardless of whatever has transpired, you do indeed have the best wishes of many of us here on this particular board.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

It is just a label that we have given our collection of parts and energies.


Yes. Yet we identify with it and cling to and try to reinforce and protect this identity. That is the ignorance on which suffering is grounded.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes, it is quite clear to me that my anger mode was developed for the purpose of self-protection. Before reading the words of Gautama Buddha, I spent my whole life solidifying my ego. I know…how evil of me…right? Oh well. Along with this development came quite a bit of anger, rage, and hate not to mention a lot of greed, envy, jealousy, lust, and a great deal of conceitedness too. Perhaps it was because of such a deep, vast paradigm shift that came with the sense of peace when I realized that this anger was useless in its protective role of something that didn’t even exist that I thought that my anger had been completely uprooted. However, I still find times when this programming gets triggered. I went through a long period of time where I was completely free from it. I figured that since it was over a year that I did not experience any anger that it must have been uprooted. Boy was I wrong. I think the trigger that makes it sneak up on me before I can meditationally deal with it is when it seems like people are ganging up on me or when it seems like they are trying to hide something from me that I desperately need to know. Perhaps the root of hatred will be completely eradicated sooner than later. I don’t know. Conceit is also very difficult for me to completely get rid of, because it hides in such sneaky ways.

People say that when all of the hindrances and their roots are completely done away with that one will just know and that there will be no doubt. If that is true, then unfortunately, it is not also true the other way around when one thinks that they are all gone but merely silenced. No one seems to be able to explain to me what I should do or how I should handle this besides silence, and I suppose that is one way of handling it. If one is silent about everything, then one will not have to worry about claiming something falsely, but then one also runs into the problem of not being able to deal with anything, because one has to remain silent. I just wish that there was a different way of handling it than that.
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Re: How long?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:43 am

Greetings FlyingOx,

Whether or not it's just because I'm enthused about it at the moment, I think it would be worth checking out Bhikkhu Nanananda's excellent "Magic Of The Mind". See the topic about him in the Theravada For The Modern World forum to a link to where it can be purchased cheaply.

The book ought to bring clarity to many of the issues and questions you raise in your post above. In the meantime, I think you'll find this of interest - http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy ... arise5.htm

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: How long?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:57 pm

flyingOx wrote:So one who practices Buddhism SHOULD have self concern? Then what is all of this talk about accomplishing no self? If there is no self, then there also would not be any self-concern.
...
Perhaps Buddhism like all other religions that I have studied is self-condradictory. Again, I thought that someone who has reached Buddhahood is someone who has gone beyond the concept of having a self?

Good questions. Buddhism, like all other religions, is subtle and complex and requires time and study and practice to understand. If you are truly interesting in learning about it, there are people here willing to try to help you. :group:

So is this the only goal? If so, then like I have said previously, I think that I already have that, as far as what I would consider suffering, anyway. I have a sense of unshakable peace all the time, whether it seems like I am angry, sad, or in any other emotional state or not.

You're kidding right? It seems to me you've expressed nothing but suffering in this thread. :cry:

If this is truly the only reason for not talking about it, then why do so many people throw god aweful fits whenever someone talks about it?

I cannot speak for what other people may or may not have done, but in this thread it seems to me the only one throwing fits is you. :tantrum:
- Peter

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Re: How long?

Postby chicka-Dee » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:32 pm

genkaku wrote:Sounds to me as if "someone" would be well advised to forgive and accept and penetrate his or her own actions and not worry too much about what any revered religious society might think.

Even at the most superficial level, think it through: Let's suppose someone is a murderer. S/he was a murderer at the time of the action. From various standpoints, murder is not an activity to indulge ... and yet everyone must face the murders large and small s/he has committed. No one else can face or condone the act of murder on behalf of the murderer. It simply cannot be done, no matter how much consoling or profound or sweet talk there is. Likewise the act cannot, with accuracy, be condemned by another.

Any damnation or redemption that occurs must occur within the one who has or will commit the act. And it is within that one that the investigation must begin and continue until the matter is clearly resolved. It may take a lifetime or longer ... but I see no other sensible or realistic choice.

Just my two cents.


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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:47 pm

Peter wrote:
flyingOx wrote:So one who practices Buddhism SHOULD have self concern? Then what is all of this talk about accomplishing no self? If there is no self, then there also would not be any self-concern.
...
Perhaps Buddhism like all other religions that I have studied is self-condradictory. Again, I thought that someone who has reached Buddhahood is someone who has gone beyond the concept of having a self?

Good questions. Buddhism, like all other religions, is subtle and complex and requires time and study and practice to understand. If you are truly interesting in learning about it, there are people here willing to try to help you. :group:

So is this the only goal? If so, then like I have said previously, I think that I already have that, as far as what I would consider suffering, anyway. I have a sense of unshakable peace all the time, whether it seems like I am angry, sad, or in any other emotional state or not.

You're kidding right? It seems to me you've expressed nothing but suffering in this thread. :cry:

If this is truly the only reason for not talking about it, then why do so many people throw god aweful fits whenever someone talks about it?

I cannot speak for what other people may or may not have done, but in this thread it seems to me the only one throwing fits is you. :tantrum:


Peter,

No, I’m not kidding. I don’t take my emotional modes and patterns personally. Why would I? They are not self, correct? I allow them to be rather than battling against them so that I can examine them. Sometimes I get caught in them unaware at times and I say and do things that would appear contradictory to other times when they are not present. If other people don’t understand this about me and think that people are static, unchanging personalities, then I can understand their confusion. I have gone the way of making my emotions something to get rid of, and that only leads to silencing them which leads to incorrect assessments of my very real masked condition. I am a neural networking computer engineer, and that is just how I see things. I do not take anything that happens in my mind or brain personally. Why would I? I do allow them for research, though. Does this approach bother you? Think of me as Data on Star Trek. Someone who is usually in control of himself but has temporary fits out of the ordinary, or perhaps when I am examining the programming of my own brain, it can seem quite ordinary.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:51 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:
genkaku wrote:Sounds to me as if "someone" would be well advised to forgive and accept and penetrate his or her own actions and not worry too much about what any revered religious society might think.

Even at the most superficial level, think it through: Let's suppose someone is a murderer. S/he was a murderer at the time of the action. From various standpoints, murder is not an activity to indulge ... and yet everyone must face the murders large and small s/he has committed. No one else can face or condone the act of murder on behalf of the murderer. It simply cannot be done, no matter how much consoling or profound or sweet talk there is. Likewise the act cannot, with accuracy, be condemned by another.

Any damnation or redemption that occurs must occur within the one who has or will commit the act. And it is within that one that the investigation must begin and continue until the matter is clearly resolved. It may take a lifetime or longer ... but I see no other sensible or realistic choice.

Just my two cents.


:namaste:


Perhaps you two should go rent a meditation retreat together. I hear that they can be quite relaxing.
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Re: How long?

Postby flyingOx » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:55 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings FlyingOx,

Whether or not it's just because I'm enthused about it at the moment, I think it would be worth checking out Bhikkhu Nanananda's excellent "Magic Of The Mind". See the topic about him in the Theravada For The Modern World forum to a link to where it can be purchased cheaply.

The book ought to bring clarity to many of the issues and questions you raise in your post above. In the meantime, I think you'll find this of interest - http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy ... arise5.htm

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thank you very much retrofuturist, I will be checking this material out. I have another semester coming up, so it may take a while before I can report back to you on what I might discover while reading this material, if what I discover at all interests you, that is.
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