Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

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Ryan95227
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Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by Ryan95227 »

Everyday, I work at a job that I feel neutral about, easily spending 10+ hours a day in front of the comp. I come back home and I feel too tired to practice 1+ hour or study the dhamma. I've been feeling this hopelessness for about 3 years now, worrying that my own decision to end employment and join ordination would harm the peaceful livelihood of my family. However, I selfishly think about how I'm wasting this immensely precious opportunity and then not practicing would, once again, trap me in the eons of meaningless cycle of suffering. It's always a question I ask myself : is it the wellbeing of my family or the destruction of my ignorance and thereby stopping future suffering. I'm now at a breaking point where I see that there may not be much time to practice or practice could be ended rather sooner. The reason for this is that my father was recently diagnosed with a possible stage 4 colon cancer. He's withering away and losing weight very fast. I see death coming to him and I realize how important it is to practice to the fullest extent everyday because no one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. The future of the world is very uncertain and it seems that it's pointing to a very dark future with mass poverty and societal collapse due to climate change in the next 30 years. I ask myself is it even worth it to keep working and trying for a promotion to receive raises. I always thought about solidifying my career in order to save enough that I can live without working until I die. It seems that's a pipe dream unless you're very lucky to be without a debt, have a solid backup (parents/inheritance), and great luck/talent. It seemed to me that I may be trapped in this society forever, earning just enough to live and take care of my parents. It's matter of time I become old and riddled with diseases that would further hamper my practice. How then do I strive for stream entry at least? Is it enough for one to practice 2 hours a day and attend retreat once a year? Is that even possible? I've read some books where a practitioner needs to devote at least 5+ hrs a day to gain enough momentum to see the 3 characteristics and thereby attain stream entry. It made perfect sense to me. When someone wants to become a master at something such as playing a piano or a distinguished coder he/she needs to devote most of his/her life to that craft. Unless someone's a prodigy, He/she needs to practice many hours, actively be part of a similar minded community, and almost completely restructure one's life for the betterment or the master of that craft. My own lifestyle, currently, cannot afford to do that. This is why I'm feeling very hopeless. It seems as I'm realizing that my karma might not be good enough for me to afford a lifestyle dedicated to enlightenment.

Well, that was a long rant.... If anyone can offer up some advice that would be awesome.
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cappuccino
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by cappuccino »

just understand…

"if this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist"

Pratītyasamutpāda
Last edited by cappuccino on Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Laurens
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by Laurens »

Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm Everyday, I work at a job that I feel neutral about, easily spending 10+ hours a day in front of the comp. I come back home and I feel too tired to practice 1+ hour or study the dhamma. I've been feeling this hopelessness for about 3 years now, worrying that my own decision to end employment and join ordination would harm the peaceful livelihood of my family. However, I selfishly think about how I'm wasting this immensely precious opportunity and then not practicing would, once again, trap me in the eons of meaningless cycle of suffering. It's always a question I ask myself : is it the wellbeing of my family or the destruction of my ignorance and thereby stopping future suffering. I'm now at a breaking point where I see that there may not be much time to practice or practice could be ended rather sooner. The reason for this is that my father was recently diagnosed with a possible stage 4 colon cancer. He's withering away and losing weight very fast. I see death coming to him and I realize how important it is to practice to the fullest extent everyday because no one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. The future of the world is very uncertain and it seems that it's pointing to a very dark future with mass poverty and societal collapse due to climate change in the next 30 years. I ask myself is it even worth it to keep working and trying for a promotion to receive raises. I always thought about solidifying my career in order to save enough that I can live without working until I die. It seems that's a pipe dream unless you're very lucky to be without a debt, have a solid backup (parents/inheritance), and great luck/talent. It seemed to me that I may be trapped in this society forever, earning just enough to live and take care of my parents. It's matter of time I become old and riddled with diseases that would further hamper my practice. How then do I strive for stream entry at least? Is it enough for one to practice 2 hours a day and attend retreat once a year? Is that even possible? I've read some books where a practitioner needs to devote at least 5+ hrs a day to gain enough momentum to see the 3 characteristics and thereby attain stream entry. It made perfect sense to me. When someone wants to become a master at something such as playing a piano or a distinguished coder he/she needs to devote most of his/her life to that craft. Unless someone's a prodigy, He/she needs to practice many hours, actively be part of a similar minded community, and almost completely restructure one's life for the betterment or the master of that craft. My own lifestyle, currently, cannot afford to do that. This is why I'm feeling very hopeless. It seems as I'm realizing that my karma might not be good enough for me to afford a lifestyle dedicated to enlightenment.

Well, that was a long rant.... If anyone can offer up some advice that would be awesome.
Firstly, I am sorry to hear that you are struggling. I hope that you find the happiness that you seek in life. I am also sorry to hear about your father. I wish you both the strength and courage to face the situation.

In terms of time to practise, one thing that really helped me was to wake up early and practise in the morning before work. It was very hard to begin with but I soon managed to fit in 45 mins of meditation every morning before work. Sometimes I would do extra in the evening, but getting a consistent sit in the morning really helped me. Would this be a feasible solution for you? Setting your alarm earlier and sitting first thing?

I wouldn't worry too much about these ideas of having to devote 5+ hours to practise in order to attain this or that. Who's to say that even if you abandoned this life and became a monk you'd attain enlightenment? I find it best to forget about this potential future self that we imagine we are conjuring into existence, or dissolving out of existence by virtue of our present behaviour or limitations. It's a fiction. Whatever you can do right now is enough. You can always look at places in which you can create more time for formal practise, but also remember that the opportunity for informal practise occurs 24/7. Washing the dishes can be meditation etc.

If it is the case that you are currently unable to lead a life that is maximally conducive to practise what good does it do to wish for it? All you can do is practise as much as you are able to right now. Who knows what doors might open for you in the future! This situation you are in is impermanent. It's also important to remember that regardless of your situation, you are still in the midst of a human birth, and that is of immense value. If you can't devote much time to formal practise, devote yourself to practising wherever you can. Practise compassion and generosity to your work colleagues, treat small menial tasks as meditation and so on. Do the best you can do right now. Perhaps in time a life more conducive to practise will unfold, or if not at least you will have developed the best practise possible within your current limitations.

:hug:
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by Ceisiwr »

Greetings Ryan95227
Everyday, I work at a job that I feel neutral about, easily spending 10+ hours a day in front of the comp. I come back home and I feel too tired to practice 1+ hour or study the dhamma. I've been feeling this hopelessness for about 3 years now, worrying that my own decision to end employment and join ordination would harm the peaceful livelihood of my family. However, I selfishly think about how I'm wasting this immensely precious opportunity and then not practicing would, once again, trap me in the eons of meaningless cycle of suffering. It's always a question I ask myself : is it the wellbeing of my family or the destruction of my ignorance and thereby stopping future suffering. I'm now at a breaking point where I see that there may not be much time to practice or practice could be ended rather sooner. The reason for this is that my father was recently diagnosed with a possible stage 4 colon cancer. He's withering away and losing weight very fast. I see death coming to him and I realize how important it is to practice to the fullest extent everyday because no one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. The future of the world is very uncertain and it seems that it's pointing to a very dark future with mass poverty and societal collapse due to climate change in the next 30 years. I ask myself is it even worth it to keep working and trying for a promotion to receive raises. I always thought about solidifying my career in order to save enough that I can live without working until I die. It seems that's a pipe dream unless you're very lucky to be without a debt, have a solid backup (parents/inheritance), and great luck/talent. It seemed to me that I may be trapped in this society forever, earning just enough to live and take care of my parents. It's matter of time I become old and riddled with diseases that would further hamper my practice. How then do I strive for stream entry at least? Is it enough for one to practice 2 hours a day and attend retreat once a year? Is that even possible? I've read some books where a practitioner needs to devote at least 5+ hrs a day to gain enough momentum to see the 3 characteristics and thereby attain stream entry. It made perfect sense to me. When someone wants to become a master at something such as playing a piano or a distinguished coder he/she needs to devote most of his/her life to that craft. Unless someone's a prodigy, He/she needs to practice many hours, actively be part of a similar minded community, and almost completely restructure one's life for the betterment or the master of that craft. My own lifestyle, currently, cannot afford to do that. This is why I'm feeling very hopeless. It seems as I'm realizing that my karma might not be good enough for me to afford a lifestyle dedicated to enlightenment.

Well, that was a long rant.... If anyone can offer up some advice that would be awesome.
I would say that if you are not ordaining because you feel you have a duty to look after your parents then that is a very noble thing. In terms of your career, if you really feel that disatisfied could you look into retraining and doing something else?

It is good that you have gained a greater appreciation, or mindfulness shall we say, of death. It can be just around the corner. Hopefully this has given you some urgency when it comes to practice. I can appreciate that after 10 hours you can be too exhausted to get much study and meditation in. Still, the amount you are getting in is good. What about your days off? Could you not spend all day meditating and engaging in Dhamma study then? Retreats are also a good idea, as would be staying at a monastery as a guest for a time. If you can get the time off work perhaps look to stay somewhere for a few weeks or a month each year. In terms of awakening, that is only possible for a monastic. For Once-Returner and Non-Returner you need at least the 1st Jhana. For Stream-Entry there is an argument that you do not need Jhana, just "dry insight". You might be interested in this:

https://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha267.htm

In the mean time I would say still work hard at work and get your promotions. The Buddha advised workers to work hard for their employer. If you don't decide to ordain you will have a better pension when older. If you do, then you can simply donate the money or give it to your parents as a gift. Both would be meritorious acts.
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


Nāmarūpapariccheda
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confusedlayman
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by confusedlayman »

Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm Everyday, I work at a job that I feel neutral about, easily spending 10+ hours a day in front of the comp. I come back home and I feel too tired to practice 1+ hour or study the dhamma. I've been feeling this hopelessness for about 3 years now, worrying that my own decision to end employment and join ordination would harm the peaceful livelihood of my family. However, I selfishly think about how I'm wasting this immensely precious opportunity and then not practicing would, once again, trap me in the eons of meaningless cycle of suffering. It's always a question I ask myself : is it the wellbeing of my family or the destruction of my ignorance and thereby stopping future suffering. I'm now at a breaking point where I see that there may not be much time to practice or practice could be ended rather sooner. The reason for this is that my father was recently diagnosed with a possible stage 4 colon cancer. He's withering away and losing weight very fast. I see death coming to him and I realize how important it is to practice to the fullest extent everyday because no one knows what's going to happen tomorrow. The future of the world is very uncertain and it seems that it's pointing to a very dark future with mass poverty and societal collapse due to climate change in the next 30 years. I ask myself is it even worth it to keep working and trying for a promotion to receive raises. I always thought about solidifying my career in order to save enough that I can live without working until I die. It seems that's a pipe dream unless you're very lucky to be without a debt, have a solid backup (parents/inheritance), and great luck/talent. It seemed to me that I may be trapped in this society forever, earning just enough to live and take care of my parents. It's matter of time I become old and riddled with diseases that would further hamper my practice. How then do I strive for stream entry at least? Is it enough for one to practice 2 hours a day and attend retreat once a year? Is that even possible? I've read some books where a practitioner needs to devote at least 5+ hrs a day to gain enough momentum to see the 3 characteristics and thereby attain stream entry. It made perfect sense to me. When someone wants to become a master at something such as playing a piano or a distinguished coder he/she needs to devote most of his/her life to that craft. Unless someone's a prodigy, He/she needs to practice many hours, actively be part of a similar minded community, and almost completely restructure one's life for the betterment or the master of that craft. My own lifestyle, currently, cannot afford to do that. This is why I'm feeling very hopeless. It seems as I'm realizing that my karma might not be good enough for me to afford a lifestyle dedicated to enlightenment.

Well, that was a long rant.... If anyone can offer up some advice that would be awesome.
if u know life is stress and no genuine happiness in sensual world, then u are in first step towards entering way of enlightment. u already realized that. second step is read about buddhism and practice basic meditation (metta and karuna must and mandatory after wake and before sleep atleast)

after that take family care and increase ur precept. then if possible become a monk depending on ur situtation. as of now u need to take care of ur parents so stay in lay life. earn money and use less for urself (little bit) and save more and spend for your parents comfort lifestyle. I assume u are young and can sacrifice as much as possible. whatever happens in terms of job stress, keep it mind promotion in job wont get u to brahma world or nibbana exp, its only 8NP... so buddhism first pirority and job take it easy.. as long as salary is there u can live and help. For stream entry, u dont need 5 hours etc...u might be needing less than that or more than but timing is not the issue.
dont think
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DooDoot
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by DooDoot »

Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm worrying that my own decision to end employment and join ordination would harm the peaceful livelihood of my family. ... The reason for this is that my father was recently diagnosed with a possible stage 4 colon cancer. He's withering away and losing weight very fast
Hi Ry. Who exactly are your "family"? Only your parents? Only your father? Thanks
Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm. The future of the world is very uncertain and it seems that it's pointing to a very dark future with mass poverty and societal collapse due to climate change in the next 30 years.
I was a big believer in climate change 30 years ago but I have not noticed much change in the climate in the last 30 years. Personally, I doubt fearing climate change extinction is a strong reason to practise Dhamma.
Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm This is why I'm feeling very hopeless. It seems as I'm realizing that my karma might not be good enough for me to afford a lifestyle dedicated to enlightenment. Well, that was a long rant.... If anyone can offer up some advice that would be awesome.
Monasticism is a way of life. Below is two videos of a monk (who is based in Australia) with a dying father. If your father is the only worldly tie you have, you should consider trying out monastic life after he passes away.

Best wishes



There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
2600htz
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by 2600htz »

Hello:

Sorry about your father.

Probably press hold with the whole ordination thing until his health issues are not longer an impediment.

Next, ordaining takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to follow the precepts, having one meal a day, waking up always early, etc.
If you think you have that energy, and can´t ordain for the moment, maybe use that energy in becoming succesful with the lay life. This can be making money, but its also about realization, about knowing that if you ordain in 3 more years you will not be running away from debt, family, or society.

About stream entry: Well it depends on your ideas of what stream entry is, and to what teachers you are paying attention. But in general terms i believe its about a break through with your practice and a level of commitment. For example: I believe a person going to intensive retreat for 2 months with a teacher has a lot more chances that some casual meditator that has been meditating 30 minutes every day for the last 15 years without adding anything else.

Regards.
Ryan95227
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by Ryan95227 »

DooDoot wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:28 pm
Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm worrying that my own decision to end employment and join ordination would harm the peaceful livelihood of my family. ... The reason for this is that my father was recently diagnosed with a possible stage 4 colon cancer. He's withering away and losing weight very fast
Hi Ry. Who exactly are your "family"? Only your parents? Only your father? Thanks
Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm. The future of the world is very uncertain and it seems that it's pointing to a very dark future with mass poverty and societal collapse due to climate change in the next 30 years.
I was a big believer in climate change 30 years ago but I have not noticed much change in the climate in the last 30 years. Personally, I doubt fearing climate change extinction is a strong reason to practise Dhamma.
Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pm This is why I'm feeling very hopeless. It seems as I'm realizing that my karma might not be good enough for me to afford a lifestyle dedicated to enlightenment. Well, that was a long rant.... If anyone can offer up some advice that would be awesome.
Monasticism is a way of life. Below is two videos of a monk (who is based in Australia) with a dying father. If your father is the only worldly tie you have, you should consider trying out monastic life after he passes away.

Best wishes



Hi:

By "parents", I mean my mother and father. I still have mother to take care of. Not sure if I'm okay with leaving my sister to take care of her. It would be selfish of me. I too want to take up ordination in the future, but the truth of the matter is that I don't think I have the strength, discipline, and energy to carry out the duties of a hardcore monk as of right now due to the situation. Right now, If I truly wanted stream entry wouldn't I have meditated during all my free time? It's really hard to do that in lay life it seems.
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DooDoot
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by DooDoot »

Ryan95227 wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:02 am I still have mother to take care of. Not sure if I'm okay with leaving my sister to take care of her. It would be selfish of me.
I personally don't regard it as selfish if your sister can take care of her. What country do you live in? You can always live in a monastery in your home country. You don't necessarily have to ordain. I empathize with the topic title: "Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life". Kind regards
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by Pondera »

Cultivate Samatha as you work. Dissociate your job as a coder from your ability to achieve faith; joy; rapture; and tranquility.

Cultivate those qualities during the day and practice vipasanna at night.

How to go about Samatha Bhavana? Ok. I will teach everyone a secret. Here it is.

Start at your solar plexus - your breathing diaphragm. Release tension there.

Notice that tension is released in you sciatic nerve.

This causes tension to be released in your neck.

This causes tension to be released from the bottom of your heart.

Let f(faith) = relaxed bottom of the heart

Let f (joy) = effect in mind brought about by f (faith)

Continue this cultivation leading to rapture; tranquility; and bliss.

When the body finds calm in bliss the mind becomes unified in concentration.

You can even use this to enhance your work productivity. More importantly; you can take it home and continue with vipasanna - discernment release.

It’s easier than you think. You simply need a starting point. Let the bottom of your heart be your starting point.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you well.
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cappuccino
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by cappuccino »

Ryan95227 wrote: Right now, If I truly wanted stream-entry wouldn't I have meditated during all my free time? It's really hard to do that in lay life it seems.
just understand one thing


dependent origination


then you're fine
Last edited by cappuccino on Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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cappuccino
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by cappuccino »

meditation isn't for stream-entry


rather after
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by robertk »

While writing that post how many moments went by unaware..
While reading this post now is there any awareness - that there are merely elements arising and performing their functions.

If we can learn what awareness really is, and see how it can arise anytime then 'situations' don't cause problems.

Learn what is concept and what is reality - and see them happening now is my advice.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=37016
santa100
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by santa100 »

Ryan95227 wrote:Unless someone's a prodigy, He/she needs to practice many hours, actively be part of a similar minded community, and almost completely restructure one's life for the betterment or the master of that craft.
That's true, but it's not impossible to do. Sure, a master of his craft might already had very high innate potential, but a much bigger factor contributing to his success is that he's able to turn the craft into his way of life, and this is something that only you yourself can dictate and control, not your environment. Dhamma cultivation should not be only sitting meditation, it's anywhere, any place, any time you act, talk, and think. Check out the inspirational video about 10th-dan Goju-ryu master Higaonna below:
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Re: Tired of the meaningless cycle in modern life (RANT)

Post by binocular »

Ryan95227 wrote: Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:59 pmIt's always a question I ask myself : is it the wellbeing of my family or the destruction of my ignorance and thereby stopping future suffering.
On the grounds of what are you sure that this is a valid dichotomy in your case?

On the grounds of what are you so sure that you know the way to the end of suffering?
If you can't build with them, don't chill with them.
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