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Aside from complacence, what happens to our practice when we feel life is just too easy? Are we simply putting off the ripening of bad karma to another day, another lifetime? Do we need to be able to practice in difficult situations in order for our practice to progress? What does it really mean to be seemingly continuously happy, especially when we know our practice is not so good?

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What does it really mean to be seemingly continuously happy, especially when we know our practice is not so good?

What is there to be so happy about if you know your practice is not so good?

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seriously Michael, I also used to live a happy life, but :laugh: now I am a Buddhist

 

I tried to do a retreat once (really just once:), to meditate, I was so happy I was going to that retreat, but as soon as I would sit down on the cushion, I would get this unberable pain in my legs, I could think of nothing else but this pain and how to move and when to move my legs to get rid of that pain and in such a way that others wouldn't notice it (to cover up my embarassment and not to disturb others), and when I'd gather courage to move, I would be relieved for maybe a minute or so before the pain was back, and when the "gong" went off to mark the end of meditation session...I was so happy, so relieved becasue I could stand up and the pain was gone...on day 3 the teacher who led the retreat came up to me and said he noticed I keep on moving, I should try harder, becasue by the end of the day it is only 45 minues, it will pass...he promised me the pain will pass if only I put some more effort to it...he lied! It never passed, though after a while I could bear the pain a little bit longer, chainging legs just 3 or 4 times per session, but also I slowly got less enthousiastic about the gong, becasue I knew it is only a matter of some minutes before I had to sit back again...and my walking meditation focused on the fact that I should enjoy walking while it lasts, since after walking we had to sit again...(needless to say it was not what we were instructed to do)...

Anyhow, retreat was over, I was relieved it was over, but I was unhappy, I let myself down, becasue I came to meditate and all I did was putting up with my legs, and I had a bit of a question mark in my head why is everyone prasing Antonio.la so much...he was wrong, the pain didn't go away, I never got a chance to meditate...

 

I don't think I've ever experienced happines or suffering in the same way after that distasterous retreat...there is something about the impermanence that just kills the joy or suffering of it...

 

And when life seems just ok...knowing this life too will pass...puts things in a different perspective, for me at least...

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Thank you for your comments. But to renounce happiness in order to be a Buddhist appears to be defeating the purpose. I think it is right to be ready to give up our merits in order to help others and certainly it is essential our practice is good enough to prevent us from doing harm to others otherwise we shall surely suffer the consequences, if not immediately then later. I think however we have to bear in mind our religion is a Middle Way, and as such we should avoid extremes. Indeed retreats that include so much suffering appear to me to be a little on the extreme side. Of course I realise we as Buddhists have to look not just at suffering and happiness but also their causes. Perhaps I should be prepared sacrifice a little of my present happiness in order to discover the causes of happiness.

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Dear Michael, what you say about dedicating merits and not harming others I fully agree with.

 

My question to you is what is real happiness? What are you so happy about?

I don't remember ever renouncing happiness...I want to be happy! (even that retreat, of which I seem to have convinced you I did some extreme cave-like yogi thing, while in reality it was barely 10 days spent in a cosy old castle...not much of an extreme, just my mind...I taught it will make me happy)

 

If tomorrow they told you you have one week to live, would you still be happy?...there is something extreeme about death, even thinking about it seems quite extremist ...as if it weren't supposed to be part of our Middle Way...

 

I haven't found any lasting happiness, but I am looking for...that is why I said I am now a Buddhist...(though a lazy one :// ).

Is real hapiness something we can sacrifice? Becasue if you can sacrifice it for something, then you would no longer be happy, for you have sacrificed your happiness? Wouldn't then what you call happiness actually be the source of your unhappiness, since you would sacrifice happiness?...I am not sure your last sentence makes much sense to me?

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Aside from complacence, what happens to our practice when we feel life is just too easy? Are we simply putting off the ripening of bad karma to another day, another lifetime? Do we need to be able to practice in difficult situations in order for our practice to progress? What does it really mean to be seemingly continuously happy, especially when we know our practice is not so good?

If one feels too easy, may be it is because not practising enough, not applying enough effort, meditation, humanitarian activities, etc... Actually, we can observe that when we engage in purification practices, we tend to encounter some difficulties... which in this case is good because it means negative karmas are going away, and the further practices will be with less obstacles.

Of course we shall not abandon happiness... as long as what we interpret as happiness is not just attachment to doing nothing, or grasping to pleasurable situations! What true happiness comes from? From helping others, from getting rid of our ego, projections, expectations, disturbed emotions, etc... As long as our mind is not at peace, true peace, there is very little true happiness.

How can we truely be happy, fully, if we know we are not doing all we can to progress toward Enlightenment and helping the others?

 

We can be happy, even if we have lot of difficulties, if we know we are practicing good, if we know we are dedicating our life for the others. Good practice brings inner happiness. The Path is happiness!

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Today I am experiencing the extreme pain of the whole universe. It is very personal. I am happy I am still alive and hereby renew my vows. Buddhism is so wonderful, as it allows one to continuosly revalue the situation and start again. My karma, my accumuated merit, drives me on to redouble my efforts to attain enlightenment for the sake of all beings. I am heartened by your replies to this discussion. May all your wishes come true.

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