Jump to content
Dharmaling Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Sasha

Now or in Future?

Recommended Posts

Tashi Delek,

 

What is better - to go to meditate or instead to give someone your attention, energy (to talk to someone, say some warm and kind words, etc.)?

In both cases the motivation is to help others: in the first case (meditation) - the motivation is to reach Enlightment or at least some realisation of Wisdom and Bodhichitta as soon as possible without any delay; but in the second case - the motivation is to help other person now, with our limited understanding of the situation - just to give another smile, may be free him/her from depression or such...

So, what is better - to help others NOW - as we can, with all our limitations, or to say to ourselves: "I can't help now, better I use this time for the meditation, because soon I'll be able help much more better"?

 

thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depends on whether or not you have the wisdom to know what to do now to help them for the future, perhaps. If it will not lead them to freedom from suffering, to enlightenment, is it helping? Makes them feel better, makes you feel better, but is it help? Is it really compassion? I am talking to myself as much as anyone else here, as i struggle with this. I am torn between really wanting to do a long retreat and feeling that i should get out and be actively among folks who suffer. I also await the reply. Perhaps the answer is in the middle...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, of course, it depends on the Wisdom acquiered, which is the only way to be sure that what we are doing is the right thing :?

I understand Sasha's question... sometime, it appears much more beneficial to "act" in the daily life, to help concretely, give a hand directly; rather then to meditate or recite mantras.

 

I guess, there is a need to find a balance between both. To help directly is surely beneficial. We can practice also patience, generosity, detachment, etc... and accumulate merits. And merits are very important to reach spiritual Realisations!

 

But the "action" shouldn't be a way to escape what the ego doesn't like: to remain sitting on a meditation cushion, to meditate, recite mantras, practice! :wink:

 

All the best, Gelong Shenphen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't there also a possibility we could be escaping the responsibilities by sitting on a cuschion.......I think I have met such .... phenomena (:-) ), too?

Pamo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only a possibility but a real danger!

"Oh, I am headed for the Big Nirvana - can't everybody see how marvellously peaceful and serene I am?!?" A minute later: "Why make breakfast, this will only take my precious time to practice!" Two hours later: "Why go to the store, this is so absolutely time-consuming??! I will meditate now and for the rest of the day!" Next morning (head-ache, stomach-ache, a crippling depression on your face): "The Big Nirvana is absolutely and completely unreachable!! Useless meditation, useless, useless, useless!" ...

 

Best regards,

Khyenrab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mi-dle-way! :)

We shall always avoid the extrems, and seek for Wisdom. We are living in a conventional world, and we have to think in this respect. While of course practicing to reach the ultimate Wisdom.

 

Indeed, I met lot of people who thought that signs of a really great and detached practitioner was neglecting the conventional reality. This is a mistake. Untill we are in the conventionallity, we shall think carefully about it, with Wisdom and Bodhicitta.

Buddhism doesn't promote ascetism and body mortification. We have a precious human rebirth, and it helps us greatly to walk on the Path, and help others. We have to take care of it... without attachement of course! :wink:

 

All the best, Gelong Shenphen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tashi Delek!

Can we take rebirth as a metaphor?

What would be the relevance of this fact for the practice?

Thank you, Micu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can we take rebirth as a metaphor?

8O I do not understand the question... Metaphor is for me an example, an image, a story to explain a concept... So, i can't see how we could take rebirth in words! ://

 

All the best, Gelong Shenphen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tashi Delek!

 

Rebirth and similar concepts are not a part of most westerners' cultures, so many western Buddhists take rebirth as a metaphor, rather than literally. Buddhism has never been a particularly literalist religion, so this is not at all taboo, i think. As a westerner i don't see another way. In fact Buddha often avoids disscusing the reality of one metaphysical idea or another as irrelevant to the practice of Dharma. But there has to be a start...How can West and East meet?

 

Is a concept a metaphor...?

 

micu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Tashi Delek!

 

I often came across to this need for the bridge as well. I found out that it probably depends on a person, and of course my abilities to present things in suitable different ways. And on general knowledge about genuine unaltered Buddhism. But if somebody calls himself/herself a Buddhist, I see the situation different - in such case...

 

many western Buddhists, as well as some eastern Buddhists, take rebirth as a metaphor, rather than literally

... I don't understand it either. If there is no rebirth, to what extent can such 'Buddhists' understand the law of cause and effect and Emptiness? :roll: And, of course, without taking rebrith seriously there can be no Bodhicitta.

 

I don't want to be rude but I don't see Buddhism as a self-service philosophy. :? I believe that there are many different starting points and various concrete possibilities for continuation, therefore different priorities in actual phases we are in, but in general i wouldn't change Buddhism according to my liking, cultural habits or anything else.

 

Best regards,

Khandro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reincarnation has always been present, even in th West. Though, under the Judeo-Christian influence, it has been suppressed and desapeared from the surface and common education.

 

So many people do remember their past life, that it seems obvious that rebirth/reincarnantion is not a 'metaphore', but a reality. Shakyamuni Buddha has always been very clear about. The Texts are clear about this. Concept which have not been explained clearly are those which we couldn't understand with our limited mind. Such as: the beginning of consciouness. The "easy way" is to say: "this is God". But it doesn't explain anything, and the "God therory" contradict itself on so many points...

 

There are already "free adaptation" of Buddhism, from people who dare to do not agree with this or that (because they might not see deeply their meaning). Yet, if the Buddha has edicted this or that rules, He could foresee their implication.

 

I do agree that seveal points have to be "adapted", but not "distorded". And this is not easy. It requires a clear Wisdom to avoid mistakes.

 

All the best, Gelong Shenphen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tashi Delek,

 

If Buddha strenghtened the practical aspects of the religious life, avoiding the speculations and philosophycal theories, as well as fantesistic and groundless beliefs in the supernatural phenomenons, this doesn't mean that he lived in a spiritual emptiness where nothing behind the facts of our empirical world doesn't exist, isn't it? Does Buddhism consider life without sense?We can reach to this conclusion only denying the metaphysical fundament of Buddhism...If only the simple belief on the nonexistence of ego or an immortal soul would be sufficient to get over egoism I think all materialists would be ideal buddhists... :wink:

 

The westerner evolves through thinking, inductioning, deducing, differentiating, integrating, the easterner goes from a condition to another condition. The first one rises higher and higher in the abstract domain, from particular concepts to general concepts, and then to ideas and so on. The last one is continuously modifying the form of his consciousness. Of course he objectivated the experiences he lived at diffrent stages, and he did it in a conceptual form. And this concepts are frequently identical with ours, as long as words can afford it. It was the special merit of Buddha to find a way and an expression of the thruth so universal that people from diffrent races and cultures can accept and realize. :wink:

 

We begin through analysing; the analyse ends in negation: the annihilation of our desires, the dissolution of all existent objects. We have to go further and synthesize. Through the synthetic method everything we destroyed will be reborn. Is not enough to say that there is no ego we have to go further and say that it exists but not at a relative level but at an absolute one. I think the problem is not the fact that we are finit or infinit, but the fact that we identify us with the finit or the infinit. :wink:

 

Winky, Micu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying that all of the past life experiences related by realized beings are allegorical? I may not be following you. Sorry if i make bad assumptions.

I don't know any western Buddhists who take it as a metaphor or allegory. Perhaps it is more common where you are. I am a westerner and was raised by a Christian family. The Eastern approach is different, as you say. It also makes much more sense to me (or i suppose i would not be posting here :wink: ). It is like those laws of physics i was taught many years ago; conservation of mass and energy and cause-and-effect. They are very basic rules, at least they were when i went to university. Reincarnation and karma seem to agree with these. It is not a foreign notion to me. I reached this conclusion by reasoning. I don't see the two as conflicting.

As to relating this to the topic, we are all here for a long, long time. We get conditioned to think that this life is "it." That puts a lot of pressure on us to "do everything now!" and to think that the long way around is "wasting time." In the long run, to do things correctly based on real wisdom and compassion takes a longer period of time than one lifetime, according to what i have read. Based on my experience, jumping in and trying to help without enough information and training tends to do more harm than good and takes a long time to fix. Middle way. It's all about baby steps. Do what you can, but don't neglect the "real" work. As Lama.la said.

The same with the teachings. Accept what you can for now, test the rest. Don't dismiss them, just let it sit for a while and stick with what makes sense to you at this time. Ask questions and observe. And look for why you fight that point of teaching maybe. I have done and will continue to do that.

And, no a concept is not a metaphor. Very different things. Metaphors are comparisons of concepts, i suppose. A concept is just an idea or thought, without the arguments of why or how. Metaphors are attempts to explain by comparison. The use of one concept to explain another. As i understand it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Micu said :

"We begin through analysing; the analyse ends in negation: the annihilation of our desires, the dissolution of all existent objects."
what a hard conception it is.

We have not to destroy an object or an idea to be independent of it. I think you're a bit extremist when you say this ! Because we need some objects, (not all, but some) to drink, to eat, to write. If I continue your point of view in "dissolution of all existent objects", the earth is an object .. it's existing and you physicaly need it... what would you make if we dissolve it ? your soul will reincarne another body (intelligent or not) and this in an other planet somewhere in the infinite space, so the cycle of enlightment will not be ending, we can say that the destruction isn't the way of "Nirvana". then the dissolution or annihilation will be like to make a propaganda for ignorance, we destroy by ignorance (in the most of cases), and it's the way of fear, anger, hate, pain, damnation ... but not enlightment.

 

Well, we have to learn to live with existential objects without to give them any attachment. use them but not cry or be in anger if some-one still it ! :?

 

Keep smiling !

 

Anjelika or Angy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...