Buddhist approach to closure.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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No_Mind
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Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by No_Mind »

In Connections to Other Path Sarath posted a video about letting go.
I believe we all want to let go. Dispassion sets in even if one is not a Buddhist.
But the reason for rumination is not lack of dispassion or understanding that a particular thought or attachment is not skillful.
In my life, most often, I keep going back to my past because of lack of closure.
I like explanations. That is the downside of being rational. I like everything to be explainable or at least have few hypothesis about why event X happened the way it did.
It is easier for the devout. They can shrug it off as God's will, Book of Job, Gita's message - surrender yourself and your actions to Me and become a instrument in hands of the Divine - and similar.
How as a Buddhist do we get closure?
Letting go is not always enough if I don't know what I am letting go, both internally and externally.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
SarathW
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by SarathW »

In my opinion, letting go means not attaching to the past, present, or future.
It does not mean forgetting the past, not actiioning in the present, and not forward-looking for the future.
Buddha planed for the future of human kind by creating the Sangha linage. But he has done it without the self interest.
It is important to remember the past, plan for the future and living the present.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
SteRo
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:03 am In Connections to Other Path Sarath posted a video about letting go.
I believe we all want to let go. Dispassion sets in even if one is not a Buddhist.
But the reason for rumination is not lack of dispassion ...
According to Theravada doctrine dispassion follows after nibbida which follows after insight:
"Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of disenchantment? What is its reward?"

"Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward."
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an ... .than.html
So according to Theravada doctrine it would seem to be unlikely that one not practicing insight along these lines would attain dispassion. And it would seem to be unlikely that rumination is not a manifestation of lack of dispassion.
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:03 am But the reason for rumination is not lack of ... understanding that a particular thought or attachment is not skillful.
There is understanding and full understanding and full understanding is of three types/depths according to Theravada doctrine:
B. Bodhi wrote:Spk: One “fully understands what can be expressed” by way of the three kinds of full understanding: (i) by full understanding of the known (ñātapariññā) ...; (ii) by full understanding by scrutinization (tīraṇapariññā)...; (iii) by full understanding as abandonment (pahānapariññā) ...
So the understanding that entails cessation of rumination is full understanding as abandonment.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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No_Mind
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:25 am
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:03 am In Connections to Other Path Sarath posted a video about letting go.
I believe we all want to let go. Dispassion sets in even if one is not a Buddhist.
But the reason for rumination is not lack of dispassion ...
According to Theravada doctrine dispassion follows after nibbida which follows after insight:
"Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of disenchantment? What is its reward?"

"Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward."
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an ... .than.html
So according to Theravada doctrine it would seem to be unlikely that one not practicing insight along these lines would attain dispassion. And it would seem to be unlikely that rumination is not a manifestation of lack of dispassion.
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:03 am But the reason for rumination is not lack of ... understanding that a particular thought or attachment is not skillful.
There is understanding and full understanding and full understanding is of three types/depths according to Theravada doctrine:
B. Bodhi wrote:Spk: One “fully understands what can be expressed” by way of the three kinds of full understanding: (i) by full understanding of the known (ñātapariññā) ...; (ii) by full understanding by scrutinization (tīraṇapariññā)...; (iii) by full understanding as abandonment (pahānapariññā) ...
So the understanding that entails cessation of rumination is full understanding as abandonment.
An excellent reply but do you see the problem. There is too much jargon -

"According to Theravada doctrine dispassion follows after nibbida which follows after insight"
"There is understanding and full understanding and full understanding is of three types/depths according to Theravada doctrine"

How does someone who is suffering manage to gain an insight into the suffering? There needs to be some distance between the observer who gains insight and suffering. You cannot gain insight except through a rear-view mirror.

With paltry suffering - loss of home to wildfire - that may hold true. You gain an insight into the fact that you were stupid enough to build a house within few yards of the forest because the land was cheap. You build again. An unforced error (to borrow a term from tennis).

With grave suffering that does not hold true. Usually childhood abuse, being discriminated against due to weight, gender, caste, a flood or earthquake that dispossessed you of belongings .. where the suffering is due to a forced error

How do you gain an insight into childhood abuse? Can you .. expand?

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
SteRo
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:02 am
SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:25 am
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:03 am In Connections to Other Path Sarath posted a video about letting go.
I believe we all want to let go. Dispassion sets in even if one is not a Buddhist.
But the reason for rumination is not lack of dispassion ...
According to Theravada doctrine dispassion follows after nibbida which follows after insight:
"Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward."

"And what is the purpose of disenchantment? What is its reward?"

"Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward."
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an ... .than.html
So according to Theravada doctrine it would seem to be unlikely that one not practicing insight along these lines would attain dispassion. And it would seem to be unlikely that rumination is not a manifestation of lack of dispassion.
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:03 am But the reason for rumination is not lack of ... understanding that a particular thought or attachment is not skillful.
There is understanding and full understanding and full understanding is of three types/depths according to Theravada doctrine:
B. Bodhi wrote:Spk: One “fully understands what can be expressed” by way of the three kinds of full understanding: (i) by full understanding of the known (ñātapariññā) ...; (ii) by full understanding by scrutinization (tīraṇapariññā)...; (iii) by full understanding as abandonment (pahānapariññā) ...
So the understanding that entails cessation of rumination is full understanding as abandonment.
An excellent reply but do you see the problem. There is too much jargon -

"According to Theravada doctrine dispassion follows after nibbida which follows after insight"
"There is understanding and full understanding and full understanding is of three types/depths according to Theravada doctrine"

How does someone who is suffering manage to gain an insight into the suffering? There needs to be some distance between the observer who gains insight and suffering. You cannot gain insight except through a rear-view mirror.

With paltry suffering - loss of home to wildfire - that may hold true. You gain an insight into the fact that you were stupid enough to build a house within few yards of the forest because the land was cheap. You build again. An unforced error (to borrow a term from tennis).

With grave suffering that does not hold true. Usually childhood abuse, being discriminated against due to weight, gender, caste, a flood or earthquake that dispossessed you of belongings .. where the suffering is due to a forced error

How do you gain an insight into childhood abuse? Can you .. expand?

:namaste:
Posts are intended to be in line with the overall theme of this forum section which is "... all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism". It seems your question refers to seeking personal advice in the context of personal experience and that doesn't appear to be within the scope of this forum section.
Now one might object that seeking such personal advice also is an aspect of Theravada Buddhism in the context of individual followers of Theravāda Buddhism. That would be accepted but that then would be assigned to the aspect of how such personal issues are handled within the community of followers of Theravāda Buddhism and that might have to do with teacher-student relationships within that community and on what grounds members of that community empower themselves to give advice to other members. Since a non-member of the community cannot have knowledge about such community-internal aspects a non-member should refer to Theravada doctrine in this forum section exclusively which has been done. And it should be understood that referring to the doctrine in the way it has been done in no way is meant to be personal advice.

Having said that the suggestion that a distance between the observer and his/her experience would be a prerequisite for insight can be taken as a hypothesis because being overwhelmed with experiences certainly isn't a good basis for gaining insight into the nature of these experiences. It seems that attaining the ability to meditate and to be mindful actually is an aspect of attaining distance to experiences and so your question might amount to the question of how to learn to meditate and/or be mindful when one is permanently overwhelmed by experiences caused by trauma. From an outside perspective the Theravada doctrine only seems to offer methods to cope with experiences that are caused by the senses and are known as greed and aversion but doesn't have methods to cope with experiences causes by trauma you mention. So maybe in the case of childhood abuse help should be sought elsewhere and one should not get involved with Theravada Buddhism unless attenuation of corresponding experiences has been attained by means of such non-Theravada help.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:30 pm
Posts are intended to be in line with the overall theme of this forum section which is "... all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism". It seems your question refers to seeking personal advice in the context of personal experience and that doesn't appear to be within the scope of this forum section.
Now one might object that seeking such personal advice also is an aspect of Theravada Buddhism in the context of individual followers of Theravāda Buddhism. That would be accepted but that then would be assigned to the aspect of how such personal issues are handled within the community of followers of Theravāda Buddhism and that might have to do with teacher-student relationships within that community and on what grounds members of that community empower themselves to give advice to other members. Since a non-member of the community cannot have knowledge about such community-internal aspects a non-member should refer to Theravada doctrine in this forum section exclusively which has been done. And it should be understood that referring to the doctrine in the way it has been done in no way is meant to be personal advice.

Having said that the suggestion that a distance between the observer and his/her experience would be a prerequisite for insight can be taken as a hypothesis because being overwhelmed with experiences certainly isn't a good basis for gaining insight into the nature of these experiences. It seems that attaining the ability to meditate and to be mindful actually is an aspect of attaining distance to experiences and so your question might amount to the question of how to learn to meditate and/or be mindful when one is permanently overwhelmed by experiences caused by trauma. From an outside perspective the Theravada doctrine only seems to offer methods to cope with experiences that are caused by the senses and are known as greed and aversion but doesn't have methods to cope with experiences causes by trauma you mention. So maybe in the case of childhood abuse help should be sought elsewhere and one should not get involved with Theravada Buddhism unless attenuation of corresponding experiences has been attained by means of such non-Theravada help.
Oh no. Wrong turn of events. I am not suggesting that I am the victim of child abuse. Quite the opposite.

What I am asking is how does Buddhism deal with closure.

No. It is not acceptable (at least to my semi-colonial subcontinental mindset) that a religious system that prides itself as a comprehensive system of belief should ask one to turn to a psychiatrist.

Of course if needed one should. But the system of beliefs must have some clarification about everything that happens.

BTW, SteRo I have not interacted with you much because I am mostly absent and rather tame the past couple of years. Santa100 and Binocular (among at least a dozen others) can attest to my rather confrontational nature previously.

Sutta-throwing is not an answer. I posited a broad question that definitely belongs in this sub-forum.

You did sutta-throwing (I invented the phrase along with California School of Buddhism) and told me how many types of something was there.

To misquote MN 64 without insulting it -

I asked how can I be free from a crocodile that is chomping my leg. You brought forth a book on zoology and told me that an adult crocodile is a polyphyodont with 80 teeth!

Nothing personal. Just brought back No_Mind version 2016 for a day. This came up because I find that though I am a staunch Buddhist I have to more and more draw solace from Stoicism and Camus. That should not be the case. For all its faults The Bible does have at least one verse for everything.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by santa100 »

No_Mind wrote:It is easier for the devout. They can shrug it off as God's will, Book of Job, Gita's message - surrender yourself and your actions to Me and become a instrument in hands of the Divine - and similar.
How as a Buddhist do we get closure?
Buddhists have 2 weapons of choice in their arsenal: with unpleasant experience regarding a person, deploy the Brahmaviharas; with unpleasant experience regarding an event, deploy the 3 marks of existence/Anicca/Dukkha/Anatta. Normally it's much harder to get closure when it involves another individual. In this case, cultivating Metta is very helpful. Afterall, no worldling in this world is 100% good nor 100% evil. For example, Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most evil persons of the 20th century was a great sportsman, a loyal husband, and a loving father to his family. It'll help focusing on the positive attributes of the person while cultivating Metta. Do it long and hard enough and one won't have to find closure. It'll automatically come.
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm
SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:30 pm
Posts are intended to be in line with the overall theme of this forum section which is "... all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism". It seems your question refers to seeking personal advice in the context of personal experience and that doesn't appear to be within the scope of this forum section.
Now one might object that seeking such personal advice also is an aspect of Theravada Buddhism in the context of individual followers of Theravāda Buddhism. That would be accepted but that then would be assigned to the aspect of how such personal issues are handled within the community of followers of Theravāda Buddhism and that might have to do with teacher-student relationships within that community and on what grounds members of that community empower themselves to give advice to other members. Since a non-member of the community cannot have knowledge about such community-internal aspects a non-member should refer to Theravada doctrine in this forum section exclusively which has been done. And it should be understood that referring to the doctrine in the way it has been done in no way is meant to be personal advice.

Having said that the suggestion that a distance between the observer and his/her experience would be a prerequisite for insight can be taken as a hypothesis because being overwhelmed with experiences certainly isn't a good basis for gaining insight into the nature of these experiences. It seems that attaining the ability to meditate and to be mindful actually is an aspect of attaining distance to experiences and so your question might amount to the question of how to learn to meditate and/or be mindful when one is permanently overwhelmed by experiences caused by trauma. From an outside perspective the Theravada doctrine only seems to offer methods to cope with experiences that are caused by the senses and are known as greed and aversion but doesn't have methods to cope with experiences causes by trauma you mention. So maybe in the case of childhood abuse help should be sought elsewhere and one should not get involved with Theravada Buddhism unless attenuation of corresponding experiences has been attained by means of such non-Theravada help.
Oh no. Wrong turn of events. I am not suggesting that I am the victim of child abuse. Quite the opposite.
What has been said referred to your question in general. It hasn't been understood as being your personal issue. Even if the expression 'personal advice' has been used that can be understood as 'personal advice' for someone else.
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm What I am asking is how does Buddhism deal with closure.
"closure" is a strange term. Can you define the intended meaning or give a synonym? Above "rumination" has been elaborated on in the context of insight and dispassion according to Theravada doctrine.

No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm I posited a broad question that definitely belongs in this sub-forum.
That has been acccepted:
SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:30 pmNow one might object that seeking such personal advice also is an aspect of Theravada Buddhism in the context of individual followers of Theravāda Buddhism. That would be accepted but that then would be assigned to the aspect of how such personal issues are handled within the community of followers of Theravāda Buddhism and that might have to do with teacher-student relationships within that community and on what grounds members of that community empower themselves to give advice to other members.
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm Sutta-throwing is not an answer. You did sutta-throwing
That has been justified:
SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:30 pmSince a non-member of the community cannot have knowledge about such community-internal aspects a non-member should refer to Theravada doctrine in this forum section exclusively which has been done. And it should be understood that referring to the doctrine in the way it has been done in no way is meant to be personal advice.
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm Nothing personal. ... I find that though I am a staunch Buddhist I have to more and more draw solace from Stoicism and Camus. That should not be the case. For all its faults The Bible does have at least one verse for everything.
As said it's about Theravada Buddhism and its doctrine. For members of the Theravada community community-internal rules as to personal advice may be involved but It's not the 'personal experience' section.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
Zachary
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by Zachary »

With grave suffering that does not hold true. Usually childhood abuse, being discriminated against due to weight, gender, caste, a flood or earthquake that dispossessed you of belongings .. where the suffering is due to a forced error

How do you gain an insight into childhood abuse? Can you .. expand?

:namaste:
[/quote]

Hi,

When you get true insight, you let go of anger and greed. Then there is no more wanting for any experience to be in a certain way. There is no longer a problem when you have a moment of thinking back to your childhood trauma. There is no longer fear or anger.

How to find closure? Realise deeply that all conditioned things are impermanent. That is difficult to realise. It takes years or a lifetime of meditation practice to understand that deeply.

Greetings Zachary
dharmacorps
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by dharmacorps »

Impermanence.
2600htz
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by 2600htz »

Hi:

Not being able to have closure is just a HINDRANCE.

You deal with every hindrance allowing, relaxing, letting go of the unwholesome state and going to a wholesome state.
Or you deal with some hindrances having right view (example: this was not something personal, directed to me).
Or you apply right effort (like: "ok im going to go to that person, and forgive him").
Or in the case of lets say childhood abuse you are able to stand on your ground and succeed in life to such a degree that harm done in the past
is not the cause of a bad present.
Or you forget mistakes of the past by having a right livelihood.
Or you let go of remorse by staying with the object of meditation.

Whole buddhism is a tool to have proper closure.

Regards.
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No_Mind
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:44 pm
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm What I am asking is how does Buddhism deal with closure.
"closure" is a strange term. Can you define the intended meaning or give a synonym? Above "rumination" has been elaborated on in the context of insight and dispassion according to Theravada doctrine.
One of my dogs ran away when I was 20. I did not know for 48 hours what happened to him. Was he alive, was he scared, was he cold/wet, had someone adopted him, was he run over by a car ...

Not knowing is lack of closure. If you do not know/understand the meaning of closure there is no satisfactory way to describe it to you.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
SteRo
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by SteRo »

No_Mind wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:14 am
SteRo wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:44 pm
No_Mind wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:17 pm What I am asking is how does Buddhism deal with closure.
"closure" is a strange term. Can you define the intended meaning or give a synonym? Above "rumination" has been elaborated on in the context of insight and dispassion according to Theravada doctrine.
One of my dogs ran away when I was 20. I did not know for 48 hours what happened to him. Was he alive, was he scared, was he cold/wet, had someone adopted him, was he run over by a car ...

Not knowing is lack of closure. If you are are an adult (above 25) and do not know/understand the meaning of closure there is no satisfactory way to describe it to you.

:namaste:
The usual dictionary has 21 possible meanings but none of them made sense.

Now that you've given the example with your dog and "not knowing is lack of closure" maybe one of seven different definitions of merriam-webster dictionary applies:
an often comforting or satisfying sense of finality
If that's what you mean then that might correspond with what Theravada doctrine understands as "abandonment of doubt" or "attainment of certainty" which is one of the attainments of sotapanna.
So your question
How as a Buddhist do we get closure?
might be answered with "By means of entering the path of sotapanna"
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by binocular »

SteRo wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:40 amSo your question
How as a Buddhist do we get closure?
might be answered with "By means of entering the path of sotapanna"
Seems obvious.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Re: Buddhist approach to closure.

Post by No_Mind »

SteRo wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:40 am
How as a Buddhist do we get closure?
might be answered with "By means of entering the path of sotapanna"
Will keep my usual apoplectic reply shelved.

So, you have confirmed what I was worried about. For 99.999999999999999999% Buddhists there is no closure.

Simple because -

1. Most do not have the time to meditate for an hour in morning and evening.
2. We find experienced Buddhist teachers bickering openly on the internet about right way to meditate.

And there is no way to become a sotapanna without a long, arduous and accurate meditation practice.

Thank you for agreeing with me.

BTW, please do not argue that there are many sotapannas. Last time someone on this forum (an esteemed member) said X was probably a Noble One, X ended up as an accused at a genocide trial.

:namaste:

No_Mind
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus
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