One issue that I have been struggling with is maintaining cravings for sensual pleasures, specifically sex. I am 21 years old M and my girlfriend (26) and I have sex as much as she is in the mood for which is a normal amount, but my libido exceeds this most of the time and can lead to frustration. I realize that partaking in easing myself sexually more than needed is detrimental, this is just one aspect of myself I find very hard to control, I feel almost hard wired this way and while it is a natural human tendency to feel these things I need help with how I can channel this restless energy elsewhere to a point where it doesn't interfere with decision making and clear thought. Any advice is appreciated! And any Buddhist techniques to keeping lust at bay to focus on more fulfilling pursuits.submitted by RapMastaRJ
[link] [4 comments]
I've found a vihara in my state that I wish to start visiting regularly, if possible. Problem is, my parents are unaware that I am a Buddhist, and still think I am a Christian.
I do not wish to lie to my parents as to where I'm going (the temple's an hour away and starts sessions at 7pm), but I don't wish for them to become saddened that I am not following their beliefs. I don't want to make them feel like I rejected their upbringing.
I do not believe whatsoever that they will overreact too much, they definitely wouldn't throw me out or anything. I've already been caught attending a Buddhist club in the past without telling them, and I lied and told them it was just to attend out of a curiosity for the club.
Any recommendations for a situation like this?submitted by 17jododd
[link] [5 comments]
My job has called me many times in the past to ask me to cover for another person that couldn't come, or to come because someone made a mistake creating the week's schedule.
I have recently started school and have been made twice as busy because of this, and so I thoroughly enjoy the days I do not have to work. However, if I was to ignore a phone call that I am pretty sure would end up in me being requested to work on a day I originally had off, would that be dishonesty, and a violation of the precepts?submitted by 17jododd
[link] [8 comments]
She says she has no religion and doesn't believe in god, like most Chinese. That all makes sense to me so far.
She goes to the temple sometimes, for exams or for her parents health. No idea what she does there. We are in a LDR right now and only see eachother for 3 months a year.
In 2016 I will be with her permanently so would like to know what exactly it is she does.
She claims she doesn't like to meat often, but I think she's lying as I've seen her eat it a lot whenever I am with her. I think she's trying to be a good buddhist in this regard at least.
I don't hold many beliefs in anything at all to be frank, but I'd like to know if anyone has any experience with Chinese buddhists and exactly what they believe.
She can't speak English very well and my Chinese level relating to such deep religious topics isn't really enough to discuss it with her, so I thought I'd ask here.submitted by xinshenghuo
[link] [11 comments]
Hi there. I'm currently grappling with a very challenging desire (/set of desires) here, and would very much appreciate some input.
Through meditation, I've recently come to accept/loosely understand that I'm in love with my best friend. I also know for a fact (let's say, 99% sure) that this love of mine, despite all of my wishful thinking and hopeful interpreting, will not be reciprocated. (It's a matter of conflicting sexual orientations.)
This love-feeling has existed for quite a while, but only lately have I allowed it to come to the fore (intellectually, emotionally). I've long suppressed it -- mostly because I knew that it would be unrequited, and could possibly lead to the destruction of this friendship. My friend has always been very physically affectionate with me, and in the past I've done all sorts of mental gymnastics to convince myself of latent/hidden desires on my friend's part. (Like picking petals off a flower: "X loves me", "X doesn't love me", "X loves me", "X doesn't love me"...) But these are all just stories I've concocted in my head, positive or negative... Just stories.
As a result of this past suppression, I've experienced all sorts of depressive states, inner rages, even surges of hatred... all directed toward my friend and also toward myself, for having "allowed" myself to arrive at this very vulnerable place. It's gotten to the point where I can't "just be myself" around my friend anymore; these negative reactions have twisted and warped me, and at this point I can already envision the spiral of ego, fear, and negativity that will keep feeding upon itself... keep eating me from the inside-out.
I've found meditation (samatha, vipassana) to be very helpful for me in all aspects of life, along with certain theories of Buddhist philosophy. But, when it comes to this particular unrequited love, I don't know how to proceed. I've tried to understand this unrequited love as "just another feeling/mind-state" composite and thus tried to merely sit with it and let it go, but it seems to me that this technique has been ultimately unskillful. It runs too closely to the great desire to suppress/hide, and I'm concerned that trying to be "quiet" and merely observant is a subtle excuse of my ego to remain passive, unengaged, "protected."
On the other hand, I've entertained the idea that I ought to just be honest with my friend about my feelings, regardless of the outcome (which I'm almost certain will be rejection). But this also seems egoistic and contrived to me: I'm really hoping that honesty will eventually rid me of these feelings, which I fully acknowledge that I'm hoping to escape. If this love itself is impermanent, something that merely arises and then passes away, then should I really act upon it as if it actually controlled me, and thus "solidify" it? (Even the sentence "I'm in love" seems problematic to me.)
My apologies for this long, rambling post. I feel as though I'm spinning in circles, and I don't know what's "real" and what's "illusory", what ought to be acted upon and what ought to be let go... Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time.submitted by thepalehorse90
[link] [4 comments]
“In fact, our ideas of love are much more tainted than we care to admit with concepts and feelings of involvement, specialness, ownership, exclusion, need, caring, guilt. We think of caring as something important, something of the heart.
But caring is only involvement, anxiety, attachment to outcome. It is the misperception that we need to care about this illusory existence, this dream, or that things need to matter. It does no good to the person we ‘care’ for, only perpetuates their own involvement in the dream. This is not love. Our claim to love only limits ourselves and those we try to love.
Love is not the basis for involvement. Love is neutrality; it is the true absence of judgments, censorship, desires, and worry. It is our True Nature, All That Is, Presence. It is the reminder that nothing matters. When there is awareness of being always the Presence of this Perfect, uninvolved, neutral Love, there is This Peace that passes all understanding.”
This is from the book Perfect Brilliant Stillness by David Carse
Posted in r/Buddhism because the removal of attachment and ideassubmitted by littlemonky
[link] [1 comment]
Mainly in this article.
Does anyone have a cheat sheet for reference notation? I was wondering if there are any tables showing what teachings are being referenced. (DA i. 57?, DhA.iii.204?, Dvy. (143-66)?, etc.) What is DA, Dha, Dvy and any other. A Google search is not helping.
Thanks for any responses.submitted by clock_work_elf
[link] [9 comments]
I could use some advice from experienced zen students out there, but I'm curious about the perspectives from other traditions as well, as it's gotten to the point that I'm questioning whether the zen path is right for me. I sat zazen daily for about four years, then quit when back problems made sitting extremely painful for even brief periods of time. My life was undergoing a lot of other transitions so that was not the sole reason, it was more the case that the motivation required to persist through this particular difficulty was simply lacking at the time.
Over the last few years I have played with meditation on and off until I finally realized that, essentially, there was simply no other way to deal with the problems I kept facing in my life. So I got serious about meditating lying down, sitting in a recliner, walking - basically any way I could find that was manageable. I've re-established a daily practice for the last ~6 months now, stronger than my previous regular practice ever was, and I've come to something of a quandary.
I practice breath awareness. Sometimes I start with silent intonation of mu, or breath counting, especially if I'm having trouble focusing, but eventually these cease on their own and I am just one with the breath. Sort of. Herein lies the question. My teacher, and pretty much everything I've read on the subject within the zen canon, instruct to focus on the object of meditation (in this case the breath) exclusively. Stray thoughts are considered distractions and we should let go of them (see quote at bottom for example). In koan practice you are even encouraged to cut them off as if with a sharp sword! Yet, over the last six months, I've come to believe that this approach was the major part of my lack of interest, previously. It got to be that any peaceful moments in zen were quickly overshadowed by a need to doggedly return any and all attention to the breathing. Over the last few months, I've had a number of experiences that seem to complement and surpass any insights from previous years of sitting meditation. They have come under a fairly common set of circumstances:
- I am very physically relaxed. This is helped by a prone posture. It's funny but there have been times where after just 20 minutes I'm in deeper meditation than I used to reach five days into a retreat.
- I may be relaxed enough that I drift off and experience some form of makyo. I do try to avoid this and bolster my focus when it happens, and if I'm actually falling asleep I usually get up and do walking meditation.
- I am loosely but pretty consistently focused on the breath
- My mind is wandering aimlessly. Ideas come and go, sometimes I catch an attachment to one and drift off, coming back to the breath calmly and peacefully. But I am in no way making any special effort to reduce or enhance any one thought, or the thinking process generally.
Now, it may take some small amount of effort to get to this state of relaxed (in-)attention in the first place, but generally it comes and goes as it will and if I just sit and keep coming back to the breath it comes about by itself, if it's going to. It is accompanied by a feeling of gratitude and warmth in the chest. I'm not trying to "become one with the breathing", "cut off all discursive thought", or anything of the sort. If I met a Buddha I would not cut him down but we may share a laugh or a smile. I have tried exerting effort at this point and it just seems dumb and futile. Exerting extra effort in the rest of my practice is similarly beginning to seem dumb and futile. I mean, I'm spending a lot of time (for me) sitting each day, and I take it seriously in that I don't want to waste my time thinking about stuff in daily life, and I do make a dedicated effort to let go of attachments/rejections of any thoughts or experiences that may arise. But most of my attempts to really push during practice have a feeling of wrongness about them.
I don't feel like I have passed some special barrier or anything. Am I headed down the wrong path to simply practice like this and abandon the pretense of special effort and exertion? As in, when I'm doing meditation and trying to achieve the meditative state of mind, is this an acceptable state to reach, or should I continue pushing at this point to have an exclusive focus on the breath and attempt to break down the subject/object barrier more forcefully? Aitken seems to describe exactly this state in Taking the Path of Zen, pp.43-44:
You drift and dream...you may not be putting energy into these fragments of mental activity and they may have no particular coherence. Often you may find that you are counting your breaths or working on your koan while these thoughts chatter idly in the background. This is dull zazen, and you need consciously to bring yourself to a sharper focus.
Edit: in re-reading this quote, the only difference I would note is that there is a strong sense of lucidity or clarity that accompanies the state. I have experienced similar without this sense, and then I would agree that you need to sharpen up a bit. I guess my concern is that the feeling of clarity is illusory and I'm fooling myself by staying put in a pleasant state when I should not be.
Gassho~submitted by SoundOfOneHand
[link] [8 comments]
"If you're seeking a dependable basis for long-term happiness and ease, anything inconstant is obviously a stressful place to pin your hopes — like trying to relax in an unstable chair whose legs are liable to break at any time." - Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"If we translate anicca as impermanent, the connection among these Three Characteristics might seem debatable. But if we translate it as inconstant, and consider the Three Characteristics in light of the Buddha's original question, the connection is clear. If you're seeking a dependable basis for long-term happiness and ease, anything inconstant is obviously a stressful place to pin your hopes — like trying to relax in an unstable chair whose legs are liable to break at any time. If you understand that your sense of self is something willed and fabricated — that you choose to create it — there's no compelling reason to keep creating a "me" or "mine" around any experience that's inconstant and stressful. You want something better. You don't want to make that experience the goal of your practice."
"So what do you do with experiences that are inconstant and stressful? You could treat them as worthless and throw them away, but that would be wasteful. After all, you went to the trouble to fabricate them in the first place; and, as it turns out, the only way you can reach the goal is by utilizing experiences of just this sort. So you can learn how to use them as means to the goal; and the role they can play in serving that purpose is determined by the type of activity that went into producing them: the type that produces a pleasure conducive to the goal, or the type that doesn't. Those that do, the Buddha labeled the "path." These activities include acts of generosity, acts of virtue, and the practice of mental absorption, or concentration. Even though they fall under the Three Characteristics, these activities produce a sense of pleasure relatively stable and secure, more deeply gratifying and nourishing than the act of producing and consuming ordinary sensual pleasures. So if you're aiming at happiness within the cycles of change, you should look to generosity, virtue, and mental absorption to produce that happiness. But if you'd rather aim for a happiness going beyond change, these same activities can still help you by fostering the clarity of mind needed for Awakening. Either way, they're worth mastering as skills. They're your basic set of tools, so you want to keep them in good shape and ready to hand." Thanissaro Bhikkhu: All About Changesubmitted by jaxytee
[link] [17 comments]
I've recently started reading works from modern philosophers/authors such as Alan Watts and Eckhart Tolle.
I'm now interested in furthering my reading with Tao Te Ching, a book I've heard a lot about.
I just have a question for the subreddit. What is your preferred translation of the text and what is it about that translation you like? I'm undecided between the Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo version:
and the Stephen Mitchell illustrated version:
Thanks.submitted by helloimrory
[link] [7 comments]
Wondering if anyone else has fallen into this also.
I listen to dharma talks regularly and try to practice mindfulness as much as I can. I read and intake as much information as possible and much of it rings true. The big problem is, when it comes down to sitting for meditation, I just simply don't do it. Even after hearing over and over the importance of a sitting practice, it simply doesn't happen. Once in a blue moon I'll do it but it is by no means a regular thing. Anyone else deal with this?submitted by appxsci
[link] [17 comments]