One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

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One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby Dugu » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:17 am

I would like be frank and speak about a fear of mine. This fear has held me back from progressing at the pace I would like in my Buddhist path. The fear is wasting my life pursuing something that is not there. What if Nirvana or Enlightenment was just a concept, not real, just an object of motivation to lead men to live a holy life. Even though I'm having faith and believe it to be true, there is that lingering doubt that haunts me in the back of my mind. It's saying "You could live a life pursuing great things, experience great pleasure, and leaving behind a great legacy if you don't waste it away pursuing imaginary goal." So that is my fear that I might waste my life away in pursuing a road less travel as compare to the people around me. I have given up indulging in alcohol with friends for meditation, gambling in casinos for study of suttas, pursuing sexual gratifications for detachments, pursuit of wealth for contentment, and fame for peace. I very much want to live a holy life, this human condition is definitely unsatisfactory, and I want something greater than what this life can offer, but the fear that what I seek does not exist is holding me back like walking in heavy mud.

I thought I share that just to get it off my chest so it will have less hold on me. :namaste:
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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:23 am

Greetings Dugu,

Yes, I understand this fear.

My experience has been that if you "give it a go", you find that it enriches your life. And over time, the more you put into it, the more it continues to enrich the quality of your life.

Even if perfection is not attained... and even if perfection, in the form of arahantship and nibbana is not possible at all... you will have a mind that is far happier and healthier than the alternative.

Just my take.

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: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby Guy » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:49 am

Hi Dugu,

The following link might be helpful, thanks to Bhikkhu Pesala:- http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pandita/html/mara.html#Doubt

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

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:58 am

Hi Dugu
You might like to read Apannaka Sutta: the Incontrovertible Teaching.
You'll find that there are some insights relevent to your predicament, as per the advice that Retro has given you.
metta

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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby vinasp » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:19 pm

Hi dugu,

How can it not be real ? It is just the elimination of mental constructions. You have made them, why can you not unmake them?

Best wishes, Vincent.
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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:29 am

Dugu,

I spent the better part of 50 years in the mindless pursuit of pleasure and, at the culmination of my biggest achievement...it not only didn't make me happy, I was in fact significantly depressed. Also, there is nothing that says you can't achieve great things while diligently maintaining a solid practice. I recently got the best job of my career and part of the reason I got it is due to the benefits of my practice.

I don't think much about Nibbana and what may happen. I practice for the peace and happiness it brings me right now. I really understand your concern, but let me tell you what I would fear if I did not practice. The fear I would have is returning to mindfulness as an old man in a hospital room with just a few hours left...only then realizing I had spent all my years in the mindless pursuit of empty pleasures devoid of real happiness. That is what almost happened.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:56 am

I've heard more than a couple teachers advise "forget about enlightenment"...just practice. There's a tendency among Westerners to unconsciously view the entire world through the window of the economic system that they were steeped in...a market mentality "bottom line" approach to the Dharma path..."show me the goods before I decide to pay or not". That's like asking to taste vegetables before we prepare the soil, soak the seeds, plant them, pluck weeds, provide water, and harvest. It can't be done. It all depends on conditions.

I know of one practitioner years ago who constantly bugged his teacher with this same concern...teacher would just smile and say "Relax, practice".
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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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby Dugu » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:58 am

Thanks guys for the words of encouragement and wisdom. I am trying my best to untie the knot that binds me to this boulder of doubt. The good thing is as I progress with my path, I do find my mind is happier as retro alluded to and more free and at peace. I also see reality as it is and the truth of Buddha's teaching becomes more apparent. The increasing insights gives me more strength to carry on the journey. Hopefully one day I'll be unbound.
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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:41 am

:thumbsup:
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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: One of my fear - the obstacle in my path

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:30 am

Dugu wrote:I would like be frank and speak about a fear of mine. This fear has held me back from progressing at the pace I would like in my Buddhist path. The fear is wasting my life pursuing something that is not there. What if Nirvana or Enlightenment was just a concept, not real, just an object of motivation to lead men to live a holy life. Even though I'm having faith and believe it to be true, there is that lingering doubt that haunts me in the back of my mind. It's saying "You could live a life pursuing great things, experience great pleasure, and leaving behind a great legacy if you don't waste it away pursuing imaginary goal." So that is my fear that I might waste my life away in pursuing a road less travel as compare to the people around me. I have given up indulging in alcohol with friends for meditation, gambling in casinos for study of suttas, pursuing sexual gratifications for detachments, pursuit of wealth for contentment, and fame for peace. I very much want to live a holy life, this human condition is definitely unsatisfactory, and I want something greater than what this life can offer, but the fear that what I seek does not exist is holding me back like walking in heavy mud.

I thought I share that just to get it off my chest so it will have less hold on me. :namaste:

You bring up a pretty valid point. So, why worry about such concepts, if they can't be readily proven or demonstrated? You want something greater than life can offer, but you're afraid you can't get it. Isn't that craving? You crave Nirvana or Enlightenment, but are worried it might not be real?

What if there is nothing better to "offer" than the way life is? You have to make the best of the situation and not feel anxious or upset about the impossible and the unreal.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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