I read up on these creatures recently, and I was thinking about them. They are metaphorically described as beings with giant bellies and tiny mouths, signifying their inability to satiate their desires.
It seems to me that this describes such creatures as leeches, ticks, and mosquitoes. I was wondering if these, and possibly other 'lower' beings in Buddhist mythology could possibly be actual breathing animals on Earth? What is it like to be born as a paramecium? A carpenter ant in a colony of billions? A tube worm or a clam? Such things must have happened, and these creature's perceptions of the world would be drastically different from ours.
I suppose my question is whether anyone had any materials about the hungry ghosts or similar entities, and their place in the world.submitted by spinfip
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Love and light to all beings I was just wondering if you all may have had some advice for me.
Lately I've been having trouble concentrating because I've been worried about the future. I am, obviously, very mindful of my thoughts and actions but I still can't help but feel as if it's ego that's really bogging me down.
Has anyone else experienced this? What should I do?
Thank you all in advance.submitted by lordelabyrinth
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I've seen some really good and thought provoking advice given here and decided it was my time to seek some as well.
Background: 26 year old male who spent 7 years in the Army and spent a year in Afghanistan. I began my conversion to Buddhism fairly recently after having lost my faith in Christianity a few years ago, no hard feelings, I just lost my faith is all. I haven't found any local groups or anything, just doing a LOT of reading and meditating. I've come a long way from the person I was before to the person I am now in a relatively short amount of time. One thing I've struggled with since the beginning though is anger and angry thoughts. I'm not talking about like rage anger, nothing even close to that scale, but little things like road rage and other negative, angry thoughts. Frankly, it's embarrassing to myself and I feel ashamed. If someone cuts me off on the highway, they didn't do it intentionally, they didn't do it to hurt me or offend me, so why do I immediately get angry? I understand that a lot of it is a foundation laid by the military that I'm trying to crumble, but these thoughts seem so sudden and immediate that all I feel like I can do is counter them with a positive thought when I'd rather just not think that way in the first place. This has been an issue with me for awhile but I just got back from driving and had a road rage incident where I got really mad, figured I'd reach out about it.
TL;DR- Can't seem to shake angry and intrusive thoughts, feel shame and embarrassment by them.
Does anyone have any advice? Maybe an anecdote or something? I've found that the stories of/by Buddha help me see more clearly as well.
Edit: Thank you all for the replies, you made me feel a lot better and more accepting of my emotions!submitted by l_Am_Providence
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I am sitting, but where am I sitting exactly?
I have been sitting in the exact same place since I was born,
it is the five Skandhas that are changing.
I am standing, but where am I standing exactly?
I have been standing in the exact same place since I was born,
it is the five Skandhas that are changing.
I am walking, but where am I walking exactly?
I have been walking in the exact same place since I was born,
it is the five Skandhas that are changing.
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I'm going to be going to college next spring semester, and I'm employed part-time at a grocery store. After I finish either a couple of semesters or school in general, I want to find a monastery to stay and practice at for a couple of months.
How would one go about this and still keep a job if you were employed while you wanted to join? What if you have bills to pay and aren't getting income while you're staying?
Aside from that, I've got a couple of quick questions about staying at a monastery in general:
Do newcomers or "temporary" residents (don't know if there's a title for this or not) wear robes?
Are visits allowed? My friends asked if they'd be allowed to visit me, and while I told them it probably wouldn't be allowed, I don't know for sure.
Thanks.submitted by 17jododd
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I like buddhism because it makes life more enjoyable. I often find it confusing when I see statements like "life is suffering" and that the goal of buddhism is to escape samsara or the cycle of rebirth.
The Tibetans have a great Tulku tradition, where they can keep track of multiple reincarnations of the same soul. It seems to me that buddhism is great for life and samsara. I don't think that leaving samsara is either a worthy or worthwhile goal at all. Personally I think wishing to help people leave samsara can lead to extremist thinking, since some of the possible "solutions" could be simply not having host bodies for people to incarnate into (i.e. nuclear holocaust), then ya, end of samsara, which I think would be horrible.
I think life is a lot of fun. I know that some people seem to get stressed and such for no reason even they can fathom, and buddhist meditation is something that can help with making life better.
Anyways my point is, the Buddha asked that we ask questions of the teachings, and not accept what doesn't stick. I think this whole leaving samsara stuff is such a thing, and that it should be left behind or burried, but certainly not preached as the "ultimate goal".
Instead I think perhaps inner peace, enjoyment of life, and furthering of life are more worthwhile goals. For instance I rather have a larger diversity of host bodies and societies to incarnate into, so there is more fun stuff to do and learn :-).submitted by elspru
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I don't feel fear of becoming a mendicant because I know it is an inevitable part of my path. I am applying my attention to it, and considering the consequences of what I am choosing. How interesting to think about the filigreed social framework that allows mendicants to exist within our societies! The bowl and the saffron robe are all that is needed to communicate with those in the societies who first observed the tradition that the person marked with these items is a seeker of wisdom and truth.
In western society, Christian monks once had this social place, and could go about with their robes of a different color and their bowls and seek alms in exchange for service or wisdom.
I cannot honestly put on either of these garments and have them be true. So, I will soon go out into the world, in the proper time, and trust that something inside of me will act as the beacon, even to people who are so accustomed to the glamour of surfaces. I will not shave my head because not having hair in my culture is more of an affectation than having hair. Nor will I don a saffron robe, because I have not formed an association with a tradition that would make it true. I will go as I am, observing mindfully my place in the world until I reach my end.
I hope to meet you all upon the road.submitted by foodnetwerk
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For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's either already cold or going to be cold in a matter of weeks. It's common practice for people to say "It's so cold out here!" or "I'm so cold!"
I think that this is the perfect opportunity for us as Buddhists to embrace those sensations instead of being averse to them. No one wants to be in the cold; our bodies are obviously trying to communicate to us that we shouldn't be in the cold, by why be averse?
I walk to class every morning and it's getting around the teens here in North Carolina. I don't need to run away from the sensation of cold. The cold is simply the cold. My body is telling me that it is cold. My body also wants me to get out of the cold, and I will do so. The mental activities going on here aren't being averse to the sensation of cold, but acknowledging the sensation, understanding the purpose of the sensation, and acting wholesomely on the sensation.
It's the little things that people often overlook because we are so used to doing them. The more you delve into your practice, the more you must pay attention to how your mind reacts. And that means everything, from the aversion to the cold or the craving for something pleasurable. Best wishes! :)submitted by kazoodles
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This might be an awkward post, but I'm trying my best.
For a lot of my life, I blamed my mother for a lot of things. I come from what we say "broken background" and struggled in life, to capsulate a long story. I am having this insight recently that her life is short, and that her mother died only 2 years past her age, and her sister died at her age, I find myself swinging from one extreme of anger, and now toward remorse and regret that I'm having a hard time knowing what to do.
All the petty fights, the anger I held on to, the things I misperceived, it floods back to me. These days I want to give her all of my savings, take care of things for her, basically I'm not clear on how to draw the line between taking care of my own life, and hers. I feel very sorry and because we have a language barrier, I don't know how to communicate these things to her.
It's probably something very common as one gets older, but I would appreciate some words of advice from someone who's been there.submitted by ee1
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Remove thoughts of ill-will, sensuality, and harmfulness by tuning into how unsatisfying and harmful the thinking feels. Attraction to these thoughts reduces as the mind becomes confident that there is no satisfaction or peace in ill-will, sensuality, or
...[T]he thought occurred to me: 'Why don't I keep dividing my thinking into two sorts?' So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness one sort, and thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness another sort.
"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality... with ill-will... with harmfulness...arose in me..."
"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality... with ill-will... with harmfulness... had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence...
"I foresaw in unskillful qualities drawbacks, degradation, & defilement, and I foresaw in skillful qualities rewards related to renunciation & promoting cleansing.
"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation...with non-ill will...with harmlessness... arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation...with non-ill will...with harmlessness... has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it...
"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness...submitted by Vimutti