Author Topic: Tell us about your current contemplations!  (Read 1610 times)

Anemephistus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Tell us about your current contemplations!
« on: October 01, 2020, 01:44:39 AM »
There are sooo many different facets of wisdom, so many different experiences and considerations which relate to Buddhism and Buddhist teaching. Each of us has been contemplating a specific thing or set of things I would estimate. Perhaps even more than one.

What have you all been working on?

Chaz

  • High-Functioning, Friendly, Neighborhood Reprobate and Worst Buddhist Ever
  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2020, 09:56:18 PM »
There are sooo many different facets of wisdom, so many different experiences and considerations which relate to Buddhism and Buddhist teaching. Each of us has been contemplating a specific thing or set of things I would estimate. Perhaps even more than one.

What have you all been working on?

Othering

Anemephistus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2020, 12:32:34 AM »
There are sooo many different facets of wisdom, so many different experiences and considerations which relate to Buddhism and Buddhist teaching. Each of us has been contemplating a specific thing or set of things I would estimate. Perhaps even more than one.

What have you all been working on?

Othering

If I follow you correctly...That's a real middle ground doozy. All subjective communication requires a certain amount of conventional othering for reference even when we maintain awareness it's not the truth. Never-mind the underlying implications....I will just leave that there...a few ways to see it I think. 

Gibbon

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • May all beings be happy and well.
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2020, 06:33:27 PM »
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 :)

Chaz

  • High-Functioning, Friendly, Neighborhood Reprobate and Worst Buddhist Ever
  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2020, 01:49:29 AM »
Sorry, I don't even know what othering is. 

Othering is term I use to describe the use of other as a means to bolster our sense of self.

We can't  help but live with a perception of self and other.  One cannot exist without the other. 

I'm not talking bout simply recognizing other when it arises.  Rather I see that there are times when we make a comparison of ourself to other to make us feel better.  We look for a fault in other and we don't  see that fault in ourself so we feel better.  We are superior.

This is like thought.  It arises and dissolves.  It's  interesting to contemplate how othering enters into our perception and the role it plays.  It's  like thought entering our awareness in meditation.

MarasAndBuddhas

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • a naughty and ambivalent buddhist
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #5 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...
When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish.

Gibbon

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • May all beings be happy and well.
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2020, 06:35:21 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?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 07:07:49 PM by Gibbon »

MarasAndBuddhas

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • a naughty and ambivalent buddhist
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #7 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...
When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish.

Gibbon

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • May all beings be happy and well.
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 05:20:52 PM »
All this sounds like a good start.  I wonder why you have a problem with structured meditation -- is it because you were introduced to meditation via Zen?  I tried it once and found it very rigid, which is probably because of its connection with Japanese culture.

Chaz

  • High-Functioning, Friendly, Neighborhood Reprobate and Worst Buddhist Ever
  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2020, 08:57:55 PM »
All this sounds like a good start.  I wonder why you have a problem with structured meditation -- is it because you were introduced to meditation via Zen?  I tried it once and found it very rigid, which is probably because of its connection with Japanese culture.

I found the same as you, Gib.  As much as I respect the tradition, I just can't to zazen.  I simply cann't sit stock-still for more than 20 minutes, if that.  Tibetan practices work a lot better for me.  Just the same, Tibetan practices have their structure as well.  I've also got to where I have to use a chair for sitting meditation - I need at least 15" between my butt and the floor. 

Chaz

  • High-Functioning, Friendly, Neighborhood Reprobate and Worst Buddhist Ever
  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2020, 09:04:59 PM »
Here's something else that might be of value.

My guru teaches something called "Analytical Meditation".  It's a good contemplative practice. 

I can't find anything my guru but I did find a good intro by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche on youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYYuFnJXLPU

Gibbon

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • May all beings be happy and well.
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2020, 10:59:37 PM »
Thank you for sharing this video, Chaz.  That's a really good introduction to meditation, full of sensible advice from a seasoned meditation master.  Too many people jump in, overexert themselves, and then just drop it.  It does not have to be this way.  Meditation does not have to be perfect -- as YM Rinpoche says, just a little bit at a time, but methodically, works well and adds up. 

The Tibetan-style practice allows for relaxed sitting and nobody will be shocked if you wriggle a bit.  I, too, sit on a chair sometimes.  Also, the zafu does not work for many Westerners and maybe a rectangular cushion might be better.

Chaz

  • High-Functioning, Friendly, Neighborhood Reprobate and Worst Buddhist Ever
  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2020, 10:57:57 PM »
Thank you for sharing this video, Chaz.  That's a really good introduction to meditation, full of sensible advice from a seasoned meditation master.  Too many people jump in, overexert themselves, and then just drop it.  It does not have to be this way.  Meditation does not have to be perfect -- as YM Rinpoche says, just a little bit at a time, but methodically, works well and adds up. 

I think it's quite common for people to develop a sort-of "merit badge mentality" and pile on every empowerment and practice they can.  In the Shambhala lineage they actually have pins for having undertaken certain levels of practice.  That's not to say that being able to do a bunch of different practices is necessarily a bad thing.  It's not, but starting to do practices for the sake of doing more practices or before sufficient strength in practice has been achieved isn't wise.

And as you suggested, exhausting.

Quote
The Tibetan-style practice allows for relaxed sitting and nobody will be shocked if you wriggle a bit.  I, too, sit on a chair sometimes.  Also, the zafu does not work for many Westerners and maybe a rectangular cushion might be better.

Zafus are too low for me and I find a Gomden uncomfortable.  I'm also a big fan to the easy-going nature of Tibetan practices.

MarasAndBuddhas

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • a naughty and ambivalent buddhist
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #13 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.
When thoughts arise, then do all things arise. When thoughts vanish, then do all things vanish.

Chaz

  • High-Functioning, Friendly, Neighborhood Reprobate and Worst Buddhist Ever
  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Tell us about your current contemplations!
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2020, 07:01:08 PM »
the nuts and bolts of meditation practice are very interesting to me...especially what people typically look to get out of it.

Different strokes, seems.  Some folks want some things and other people others.

I'll echo Trungpa in that for me "the path is the goal".  It's not where it ends, or where it began.  For me, it's what lies between - where it is, now.