Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - MarasAndBuddhas

Pages: [1]
1
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 22, 2020, 09:25:44 PM »
But there is little point in empty talk about this or that.

hmmm, not sure what you mean here, if all of my thoughts about buddhism are just empty talk then so be it, but my understanding about buddhism is that all things are empty anyways, definitely not something i disagree with. You seem to be pretty sure and purposeful about what buddhism is, and I honestly applaud you for that, but for me it all still seems kinda odd, I really wanted to become a zen priest so that I could go all the way with it but it became very clear I would be unable to do it. Monastic regulation overall just seems something that would never work for me no matter the sect, so I choose to be a layperson buddhist/non-buddhist instead, but if I feel differently in time then that's that, clearly in no matter what situation I'm going to be selfishly serving my well being or acting foolishly and hurting myself, maybe both at once.

2
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 22, 2020, 04:47:17 PM »
Well Chaz, I suppose we all have different experiences, but to me a religion is anything "bounds" you to it, as is the etymological meaning behind it. If you create a space that praises stillness and keeping your mouth shut, seems like it's going to be pretty limited in terms of what people can learn there. In my understanding buddhism always has these very stringent controls, time you wake up, what you can and can't eat, regulation of conduct, there's a never ending list of rules, which is why i choose the name "MarasAndBuddhas", because I'll probably always be more like a mara than a buddha in the mythological buddha's eyes.

And yes there was a chant in the zen center that praised the lotus position as a "perfect posture" or something similar.

3
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 21, 2020, 09:10:01 PM »
The only problem I overall have with meditation is it seems to promote a religious belief in stillness. The way you all are talking about it (and it reflects my experiences as well) is that there needs to be a lot of experimentation and guidance in terms of developing a stable meditation practice. Given the heavily structured and quiet nature of sanghas, proper guidance rarely happens. For example, in one zen sangha i attended one of the monks met with me in private a couple of times to talk about how to better my meditation, through that I tried the burmese posture, i experimented with it at home on several occasions, and found that my legs got severely numbed by the practice. This is why i went and met with her a second time: she explained that the numbness wasn't good and that she actually had to get surgery because she had done the lotus position a lot in her youth. I was a little mad later (yet of course i didn't express it cuz it's a "sacred space") that the chants actually advocate the lotus position...

so in other words, maybe the Buddhist religion actually interferes with its noble goals of ending suffering and ignorance?

4
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 17, 2020, 11:12:33 PM »
You did well keeping up 30 minutes of zazen every day for two weeks, M&B.  But there are other styles.  In the Tibetan tradition, probably following up on the Indian practices, sitting is relaxed.  The more you sit, the stiller you eventually become.   But no one will hit you with a stick if you move a little.  It is good to practice mindfulness of, for example, breathing in this way.

Metta meditation and general setting the motivation can be done even while lying in bed, first thing in the morning.  It charges up the mind for the day ahead.

I have read of a woman in Asia who perfected mindfulness practice.  She did it although her father-in-law did not let her leave home.  When asked how she managed it, she said: "I stirred the rice very mindfully".

i guess we are getting into some of the darker aspects of buddhism!

most of the zen centers in the U.S. don't have the stick whacking practices since our culture is very sensitive to touch and physical violence, yet i have heard that normally when it is used it's done pretty moderately or softly, it's a way to get you to stay present in a your meditation...which overall is what real zen buddhism is all about. It's about taking your existence way too seriously, yet also thinking that nothing is that important (non-attachment), i don't really like it. It's definitely appealing for people who are kinda hard on themselves, or who can transcend a religious discipline to help them out in their daily lives (think a lot of christianity, opus dei, islam, etc...)

I had to stop aspiring to make progress up the zen ladder when i tried mimicking a monastic practice of waking up at 5:30am in the morning, which seems to be normal in a lot of buddhist temples. I was able to do it for like a week, but it just made me tired and unhappy, yet it did unlock a stronger part of myself where i'm capable of not getting too emotionally screwed up even in tense circumstances, kind of like what people do in the military.

 :-\

5
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 16, 2020, 03:22:28 AM »
i find it very interesting that in other meditation traditions the "total stillness" you find in zen is not the norm, because i thought the sitting still is was meditation is, that's typically why during the sessions, they do a 1/2 hour of sitting, then 5 minutes of walking meditation (kinhin), then another half hour of zazen. I've done a half hour of zazen each day for a couple weeks, but usually i start to find it a little masochistic...the nuts and bolts of meditation practice are very interesting to me...especially what people typically look to get out of it.

6
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 12, 2020, 08:14:20 PM »
The eight verses of Mind Training are not the eight worldly concerns, they can probably serve as an antidote to them:

gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and disgrace, pleasure and pain.

There are many mind training/lojong systems and a lot of literature on them -- I will see if I can post more texts later on.

If meditation is difficult, did you try metta meditation beginning with generating metta for yourself?

No i haven't, what i've been doing mostly is just integrating mindfulness into my days, reflect on how satisfaction of my whims doesn't mean i'm going to feel any better as i've learned through experience so many times, structured meditation has always been difficult for me so at the moment i'm just putting it on the back burner until im ready for it again. I try to integrate the loving kindness stuff just into my general social interactions, cooing at animals too and petting them...

7
Meditation / Re: Thoughts about a practice group
« on: October 12, 2020, 05:10:15 PM »
i see all of your discussions, it makes me want to do a personal exploration of vajrayana buddhism, where is the best to start in terms of a book? I'm very familiar with the zen tradition, and a little familiar with theravada as these are centers that I practiced in back when people used to, ya know, gather...

Reggie Ray's Books, "Secrets of the Vajra World" and "Indestrucible Truth" are the 2 best books I know of.

The best way to explore Vajrayana is to get involved on a practice level.  Become involved with a vajra lineage and be introduced that way.  Study and practice with an aim towards vajra practice from the ground up. 

For example I don't know a great deal about Vajrayana practice, because my practice hasn't reached that point, and may never.  That's fine.  Vajrayana is a practice and whatI know has been learned in the context of practice, which is the way, I think, it should be.  There are a lot of things in Vajrayana you won't find in books, because of the esoteric nature of the practice.  So, you have to practice and be guided.

I come from a Zen practice lineage more or less because that's my experience, i learned how to meditate without hurting my legs through zen temples, an unforgettable experience. I don't really have a choice but to take that wherever i go, but now is a good time for me to branch out in methodology a little bit...which includes thinking about a buddhist practice through a different set of eyes.

8
Tea Room / What do you use the internet for?
« on: October 11, 2020, 11:58:43 PM »
I mostly just ask this out of curiosity...using the internet I've always had to be really careful about it to make it a pleasant  experience.

The biggest problem that i've had is using it to compensate for talking to people in real life...it often feels more like an addictive drug in this way, sometimes it bites me in the ass. Yet I enjoy the internet overall for research and entertainment...there are big discussions being had about how social media is an issue, for me i'm personally just happier without that type of thing.

9
Meditation / Re: Thoughts about a practice group
« on: October 11, 2020, 10:05:13 PM »
i see all of your discussions, it makes me want to do a personal exploration of vajrayana buddhism, where is the best to start in terms of a book? I'm very familiar with the zen tradition, and a little familiar with theravada as these are centers that I practiced in back when people used to, ya know, gather...

10
Danger Zone / Re: Do buddhists talk to much about politics now?
« on: October 11, 2020, 09:56:00 PM »
M&Bs!!!!

Good to see you again!

Welcome back!

Where are the places a serious buddhist should and shoudn't go when they talk about the affairs of the world? Is there even anything unique about the current situation, or is it just an event in the wheel of samsara.

That's  a good question.

Maybe it's  best to follow the old addage about religiona and politics in polite conversation.

On the other hand, it's hard for people of conscience to not speak out.  The problem comes from the fact that our sociopolitical landscape is hopelessly fractured.  It hopeless in that it's impossible top penetrate the entrenched views many people have.  They can't be swayed no matter how well-reasoned the point is.  An example is socialism.  Many people hate socialism, but have no real idea what socialism is or what makes it bad.  Much of the time, you can't budge that.

So where can you go?  Perhaps nowhere.  I like to think my home is a safe place for reasoned discussion of current events, but out side that, who knows?

Another place is the Sangha.  My old sangha in CO  was safe, but only because everyone was on the same page sociopoliticaly.

Free sangha may not be the best place.  While I value free speech, as moderator, I want discussions to be reasoned, productive and respectful.  Because current events talk seldom stays that way I would discourage those topic unless they are specifically, and remain about Buddhism.

it's good to be back...at one point on the old free sangha, my username and password stopped working, who knows why that is...i was pretty sure i typed it all in correctly but whatever.

That's a good point, that it's a lot easier to have political discussions when there are some core ethics and ideas people agree with. For example, i tend to veer off the political spectrum entirely, i don't believe that the use of force is very justifiable especially when it's being done to get another group of people to work for you. There are exceptions to the "forcing" thing, for example i don't have problems with animals eating each other, and i think in rare circumstances someone could be forced to do something for the well-being of themselves or another without a whole lot of resentment and backlash, but i know that two people often do not agree about this...the "right and wrong" factor.

11
Danger Zone / Re: Forgiving the Views of others.
« on: October 11, 2020, 01:01:11 AM »
I've argued stressfully with so many people in my life, i generally have to notice the argument taking a turn to emotional hostility right as it happens in order to prevent it, because if i'm not careful, i just react, explode the conversation, make it much more stressful than it needed to be.


12
Danger Zone / Do buddhists talk to much about politics now?
« on: October 11, 2020, 12:47:58 AM »
Just a question, i've seen articles in tricycle where i feel the writer carelessly uses these really broad politicized terms in a sloppy manner, this isn't so much about that specific author as a creeping feeling i've had that this has been a trend as of the past decade...but of course i need a little comparison to she light on the issue.

 ???

Where are the places a serious buddhist should and shoudn't go when they talk about the affairs of the world? Is there even anything unique about the current situation, or is it just an event in the wheel of samsara.

13
Open Discussion / Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 11, 2020, 12:40:10 AM »
Sorry, I don't even know what othering is.  As to my main practice, it is mind training/lojong.  I use the Eight Verses for Training the Mind which begin

By thinking of all sentient beings
As more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
For accomplishing the highest aim,
I will always hold them dear.

The complete text is at

https://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/geshe-langri-thangpa/eight-verses-training-mind

Getting up in the morning, I read them and then try to apply them throughout the day.  In the evening, I review the job I have done -- usually not very good!  Especially considering that my life does not bring me in close contact with crazy minds such as criminals, even when dealing with ordinary people all kinds of thoughts and attitudes arise.  Guess more work is needed :)

the eight worldly concerns is a very helpful contemplation, your link brought a lot of much needed peace of mind to my day, thanks...

My contemplations? Mostly just concerning what i really want out of this world we live in, ugly ressentiment and how to keep myself from spewing it on other people, questions about what people are going to be like in the future. Stuff that isn't terribly important. Meditation has been super difficult over the past couple of months, luckily i've found other coping mechanisms...

Pages: [1]