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A little advice on cultivating loving kindness from a newbie to newbies

April 24, 2015 - 5:10am


I'm sorry if I'm out of place because although I have been reading about Buddhism for quite some time I don't consider myself even remotely familiar with the whole philosophy.

I just wanted to share what helped me cultivate more loving kindness towards myself - thinking about a person I love when I was thinking about myself.

For example I am very ambitious in my studies and I always blame myself when I don't do anything everything on my list for the day and even if I had done 99 percent of the tasks I have set to do that day I feel bad for the one percent I haven't done. Then I started thinking aboiy my boyfriend in this situation. I thought about how I would react if he was in my place- I will not blame him for being lazy, because he was just human and we sometimes get tired and can't work as much as we want to. I will tell him that health is what's most important and he should look after himself and not put so much strain on him.

So I have started to do mental checks when I think about myself and check if I would think the same things if this was happening to somebody I love . Because I have discovered that I don't treat myself as somebody I love. We treat our bodies a second hand cars we are given just after we learn to drive we push them to the limit and we are not afraid to get in a car accident as much because its not a special car is just any old car. I am sorry if my thoughts are confusing thank you for reading and I would be very happy to read about what helps you show more loving kindness towards yourself I feel a lot of the teachings are great but they are for a bit more advanced Buddhists.

submitted by elena_nedyalkova
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Facing difficulty in compassionately dealing with a hurting friend

April 24, 2015 - 4:36am

Hi /r/buddhism. I'm having a bit of trouble with a member of my friend group at university.

Full disclosure - I don't identify as a buddhist. I started meditating a few years ago after reading Mindfulness in Plain English, and I found the ideas in it on compassion and understanding your environment and other people inspirational and I genuinely believed it was one of the best ways to positively impact the world. As such I have tried to live my life according to these principles since, though I haven't always succeeded.

He has always (since I've known him, about 2 years ago) had some anger management issues, paranoia, a tendency to bully others for no justifiable reason other than they are introverted, 'weak' targets. I assumed all this stemmed from depression, as this is how it often manifests in young men (anger, irritability), and as such always tried to be understanding of him, try and calm him down when he was being violent (in words or physically).

But I'm really struggling to keep it up now. He has, on multiple occasions, directed his very belittling, hurtful words at me in the recent past, and although I realise mentally he has been indiscriminate with regard to whom he gives abuse to, and I shouldn't take it personally, I find it extremely hurtful in light of the fact I've tried to offer him as much understanding and support as I can when he's been obviously hurting/down/angry.

I've talked with him through what his goals are in life, what makes him feel good, given multiple options for how to pursue these things he listed, offered to accompany him to them (sports clubs, music clubs etc), volunteered to set up and accompany him to any psychiatric/counselling services/appointments he'd like to make, in an effort to give him something asides from work/university life to put his energy into or get medical help if necessary, as I found having such pursuits myself and the security of knowing I can call up my psychiatrist if anything was going wrong helped a huge amount with my own mental health.

And yet after this discussion, I got insulting and unwarranted comments the very next day from him.

I want to help him. I think he would enjoy his life so much more than he does now if he took any steps towards doing something to help himself, not necessarily any of the things we discussed (though I found all of them personally helpful, I know different things can work for different people), but any active step. I also believe that him becoming more content with his life would improve the life of the countless thousands of people he may have had violent/abusive interactions with in future, and on a selfish note, would make me feel a lot more comfortable remaining in my friend group.

I'm not quite sure what I'm seeking here, advice on how to best approach him in future? I'm sorry to say it, but often I'm afraid of calling him out on his abusive words because I have a hang up in my mind that he'll just respond with a defensive torrent of even more hurtful words (as is his pattern) and not change his behaviour in future, and additionally this will end very badly socially for me as he is very ingrained in my friend group currently.

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but I think the kind of person who visits this subreddit is someone who would share a lot of the personal values I hold, and hopefully have more experience and wisdom to help me better deal with this.

Thank you.

submitted by seekingadviceandhelp
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Tibetan Buddhism - What would you want to know about the Tulku system?

April 24, 2015 - 4:07am

Hi all,

I am an undergrad currently in Dharamsala. I am here doing research on the Tulku system. I have a good grasp of the system, but I cannot write a paper just giving an overview on it. I need an angle. A specific facet of the system to focus on.

Tomorrow I am interviewing two high lamas. What are pertinent questions I could ask with regards to the system? Are there any glaring areas of focus that I might focus on? What questions would you all be interested in asking (or have asked)?

Throw out anything, it will probably help!

Thank you!

submitted by tashi_deleg
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What is Compassion in the context of reconciliation?

April 24, 2015 - 3:41am

An apology is offered but honestly not required:

  • is it compassionate for the recipient to refuse and suggest something that could remediate whatever caused it to be required?

  • or is it compassionate for the recipient to accept and let go of the original cause, even if it may resurface?

submitted by GlamAdmin
[link] [5 comments]

What is this coin?

April 24, 2015 - 3:40am

Hello, I'm in a beginner Asian philosophy course, I'm having a little trouble distinguishing the difference from feeling apathy to the understanding that there is an?tman. Should I care about the answer/understanding?

April 23, 2015 - 9:37pm

It's my understanding that even wondering about this, let alone anything else, is what makes us suffer and hence the exact opposite of what Buddhism is generally about.

I am trying to write and use grammar correctly to increase my chances of getting an appropriate response, this in itself, I suppose, is suffering. Even now, I'm debating whether or not I should apologize for my naivety and any things that are potentially incorrect.

I have a desire to understand this question, but is it really necessary? I feel like if I were an actual student of Zen inquiring about this would be just be further proof that I'm suffering. Hence moving away from any type of enlightenment.

I, myself, generally identify somewhere along the lines of atheism and humanism.

submitted by hinko13
[link] [8 comments]

What would this subreddit think about weekly sutra study?

April 23, 2015 - 7:42pm

I know there's a subreddit dedicated to suttra study, but I think this could be another way we - as people of r/buddhism - help each other further ourselves in our practice. Currently, there is a daily meditation group via Google Hangouts, and i think that's important to have. Sutra study is equally as important, I find, and many of us are teacher-less.

How 'bout it? :) Any specific days that are good? How about making it all day, and we post the sutras that we are currently interested in talking about and help each other dissect them?

submitted by The_Dukkhanator
[link] [20 comments]

The Egg by Andy Weir [A Reincarnation Story]

April 23, 2015 - 4:35pm

The Egg By: Andy Weir

"You were on your way home when you died. It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me. And that’s when you met me. “What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?” “You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words. “There was a… a truck and it was skidding…” “Yup,” I said. “I… I died?” “Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said. You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?” “More or less,” I said. “Are you god?” You asked. “Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.” “My kids… my wife,” you said. “What about them?” “Will they be all right?” “That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.” You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty. “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.” “Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?” “Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.” “Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,” “All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.” You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?” “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.” “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.” “Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.” I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had. “You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.” “How many times have I been reincarnated, then?” “Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.” “Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?” “Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.” “Where you come from?” You said. “Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.” “Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.” “Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.” “So what’s the point of it all?” “Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?” “Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted. I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.” “You mean mankind? You want us to mature?” “No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.” “Just me? What about everyone else?” “There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.” You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…” “All you. Different incarnations of you.” “Wait. I’m everyone!?” “Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back. “I’m every human being who ever lived?” “Or who will ever live, yes.” “I’m Abraham Lincoln?” “And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added. “I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled. “And you’re the millions he killed.” “I’m Jesus?” “And you’re everyone who followed him.” You fell silent. “Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.” You thought for a long time. “Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?” “Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.” “Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?” “No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.” “So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…” “An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.” And I sent you on your way."

submitted by Shangri-Lager
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