tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

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tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:20 am

Kind of as opposed to the "what's wrong with masterbation" discussion, perhaps it would be helpful to share methods and insights related to the cessation of clinging and desire- liberation from pleasures that attract us, breaking free....

What strategies and teachings have been most helpful, in your experience? How best to apply the Buddha's advice, in the modern world? What cravings and temptations have been most difficult for you to keep a distance from or untangle?

How does our practice help us to break free? In my own experience i've noticed that the calmer and more relaxed my mind is, the easier it is to simply watch desires arise and pass away. If I'm thinking too much, feeling anxious or excited, even a little bit, desires will rise up, my mind starts looking around for a bite of this, some "good" music or other "pleasurable" distractions.

What have you noticed, in your own experience?

:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:24 am

Just an aside.

"what's wrong with masterbation"


You need to use your spelling checker.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:26 am

Greetings Chris:::,

Sense restraint, built upon a sound practice of sila.

See:

Right Restraint - Ajahn Chah
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Right_Restraint.php

SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.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)


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: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:Just an aside.

"what's wrong with masterbation"


You need to use your spelling checker.


Thanks, Tilt. It's one of those words i kinda try to get out and then away from quickly...

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Chris:::,

Sense restraint, built upon a sound practice of sila.

See:

Right Restraint - Ajahn Chah
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Right_Restraint.php

SN 35.127: Bharadvaja Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thank you Retro. The second link was excellent! I'll get back to you concerning the first.

:group:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:50 am

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Just an aside.

"what's wrong with masterbation"


You need to use your spelling checker.


Thanks, Tilt. It's one of those words i kinda try to get out and then away from quickly...[quote]

Sure; otherwise something might stick to you.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Sure; otherwise something might stick to you.


Yessssssssss........

BTW, concerning your sig line:

"This being is bound to samsara, karma is his means for going beyond."
SN I, 38.


How do you view the importance of karma, in relation to the topic here?

It seems to me right effort, right restraint are most essential. What is the role of karma?

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:06 am

christopher::: wrote:What is the role of karma?


So that we are on the same page: what is kamma?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:07 am

at the moment I am trying to practice restraint in speach, only saying what I think is necessary or of some value (even if it seams silly :tongue: ), and trying to not engage in agressive discussions, which can be a problem particularly on the net.

I am also trying to be honest with myself more, reflecting on what personal narative I am building and how true it is to me as a person conventually, and what my goal is.

for me it has been a trying few weeks and one I am sure will shape the future in a way I may not like when I get there, there has been anger, depression, drink, lack of heedfulness and mindfulness and other unworthy actions in the last few weeks which have not been useful to my circumstances.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby pink_trike » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:21 am

Hi Christopher:::

liberation from pleasures


Imo, "liberation from pleasures" isn't a goal of Dharma practice...rather, we aspire to liberation from the reactive workings of the mind in relationship to pleasures.

The practices of restraint and good conduct, as Retro recommends, are enormously valuable in order to manage and de-energize reactive impulse and behavior that arises from attachment, which we do in order to aid in calming and quieting the mind/senses so that we create the conditions of mind that enable us to recognize the true nature of phenomenal appearances and experiences, including pleasure.

It's a matter of emphasis...we don't want to get stuck in behavior management. For example: in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) behavior management is a critically important step, but once the behavior is restrained then the rest of the work has to take place to avoid becoming what is known as a "dry drunk". There's a lot of of "dry pleasurist" practitioners in Buddhism. Restraining behavior by itself isn't enough and it isn't the goal...it is a practice that forwards the ultimate goal of Dharma practice, and the ultimate liberation.

Pleasure happens, we can't control that. We're biologically programmed to experience pleasure for good reasons. It's how we perceive and relate to pleasure that's the goal of the Dharma. Once we see pleasure for what it is (aided by restraint, good conduct, and concentrative observation) then we use it skillfully, beneficially. Ultimately, pleasure should be regarded as medicine - not to be avoided and not used as a crutch. The same goes for restraint....it should be regarded and used as if medicine, not as a crutch.

[readers: since this is a Theravada room, I draw your attention to the disclaimer in my signature]
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Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:27 am

Greetings,

pink_trike wrote:[readers: since this is a Theravada room, I draw your attention to the disclaimer in my signature]


FWIW, none of that seemed particularly controversial to me.

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: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby pink_trike » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:30 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

pink_trike wrote:[readers: since this is a Theravada room, I draw your attention to the disclaimer in my signature]


FWIW, none of that seemed particularly controversial to me.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Not controversial, but perhaps not entirely consistent with traditional Theravada.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:44 am

Relax Geoff!
You're welcome here.
I actually felt that what you said was fairly consistent with Theravada.
In fact, on your point of 'freedom from pleasure' not being part of the goal, I think you are right.
The Buddha defined vedana by its salient characteristic of either pleasurable, painful or neutral (neither pleasurable nor painful).
Kind regards

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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:04 am

Very useful observations, pink trike (Jeff).

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:What is the role of karma?


So that we are on the same page: what is kamma?


LOL, i don't know the context of the quote in your sig, Tilt, so to be on the same page i'd have to wait and hear how you think of it, and how its meant in that quotation...

Manapa wrote:at the moment I am trying to practice restraint in speach, only saying what I think is necessary or of some value (even if it seams silly :tongue: ), and trying to not engage in agressive discussions, which can be a problem particularly on the net.

I am also trying to be honest with myself more, reflecting on what personal narative I am building and how true it is to me as a person conventually, and what my goal is.

for me it has been a trying few weeks and one I am sure will shape the future in a way I may not like when I get there, there has been anger, depression, drink, lack of heedfulness and mindfulness and other unworthy actions in the last few weeks which have not been useful to my circumstances.


Sounds like its been a tough few weeks for you, Manapa. Sorry to hear that. Do you feel there is a relationship between your efforts to restrain your speech, your self reflection, and then the anger, depression and lack of heedfulness you are experiencing?

This is something i've heard from others and have also experienced. You start to make efforts at changing your behavior, at self-restraint, and feel like crap.

Do you find any of pink trike's ideas helpful?
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:21 am

christopher::: wrote:Very useful observations, pink trike (Jeff).

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:What is the role of karma?


So that we are on the same page: what is kamma?


LOL, i don't know the context of the quote in your sig, Tilt, so to be on the same page i'd have to wait and hear how you think of it, and how its meant in that quotation...


Then you'll have to wait. You have a tendency put the heavy lifting answering questions on others here. The question is straightforward. It does not require a thesis be written. How do you understand what kamma is? It is the start of a dialogue if, you want such. If not, then not.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby Fede » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:39 am

I read a quotation which, although it could be possibly torn about a bit, made enormous sense, and its impact was huge to me:

"karma means that basically, you don't get away with anything. And it all counts".

Since then, I have learnt, understood and accepted for myself, that kamma is a result of a volitional, and deliberate action (be it mental, verbal or physical).

All conditions are Mind-Wrought.
Watch the thinking.
I mean, really watch it.
the rest will follow accordingly.....

What am I rambling on for?

Ok, I'm done.
Back to you guys.....

:popcorn:

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:46 am

I think you're on target, Fede.

There is karma/kamma of our deepest intentions, moment to moment. Kamma of past intentions and actions, which play a causal role in generating our present conditions. There may be other meanings that i am unaware of.

I'm asking Tilt because i don't know the answer, in this context.

As beings we are bound in samsara. Kamma can be our means for going beyond. But (as i understand the term) it's also what keeps us bound....

:toilet:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:52 am

Owners of their kamma are beings, heirs of their kamma, kamma is their womb from which they are born, their kamma is their friend, their refuge. Whatever kamma they perform, good or bad, there of they will be the heirs. M 135 iii 206.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:00 am

Thanks, yes, that is clearer...

Wikipedia also provides a pretty good overview.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma_in_Buddhism

Karma in Buddhism

In the (Anguttara Nikaya Nibbedhika Sutta) the Buddha said :

"Intention (cetana), monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind".


Every time a person acts there is some quality of intention at the base of the mind and it is that quality rather than the outward appearance of the action that determines the effect. If a person professes piety and virtue but nonetheless acts with greed, anger or hatred (veiled behind an outward display of well-meaning intent) then the fruit of those actions will bear testimony to the fundamental intention that lay behind them and will be a cause for future unhappiness. The Buddha spoke of wholesome actions (kusala-kamma)— that result in happiness, and unwholesome actions (akusala-kamma)— that result in unhappiness...



In other words...

:juggling: :buddha1: :toilet: :buddha1: :spy: :buddha1: :hug:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby Guy » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:43 am

Hi Christopher,

I find the most useful way of dealing with sensual desire is to reflect on the drawbacks of indulging in those desires. If I am looking at the drawbacks, it is impossible for me to simultaneously be looking at the attractive aspects of the object of desire. I still face desire every day and sometimes I do indulge, but I think I am heading gradually towards a more and more pure way of life. Mindfulness helps me somewhat to note "desire arising" and "desire passing away", but in my personal experience the best method has been to think about "well, what are going to be the negative consequences of engaging in this? IS the short-term pleasure really worth the long-term cost?" and in some cases Mara wins but I find that over time I am listening to him less and less and learning his tricks.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

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Re: tangled up in dukkha, breaking free

Postby pink_trike » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:12 pm

Ben wrote:Relax Geoff!
You're welcome here.
I actually felt that what you said was fairly consistent with Theravada.
In fact, on your point of 'freedom from pleasure' not being part of the goal, I think you are right.
The Buddha defined vedana by its salient characteristic of either pleasurable, painful or neutral (neither pleasurable nor painful).
Kind regards

Ben

Thanks, Ben. I'm relaxed.

The purpose of my signature is to let people know who may be early on the Theravada path (and those who are very much in the thick of it) that anything I say may or may not be consistent with Theravada because of my mixed training/practice. Less confusion, and less reaction. I think it's important for newbies to Theravada to know what is and isn't Theravada - so the signature says "don't look for authentic Theravada here". My thinking is that we should always assume that there are newbies in the room, now and for the cyber life of whatever we post.

In the above post I was pointing at something that isn't emphasized in the early stages of Theravada training for good reasons - hence the alert.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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