When I first started with Buddhism, I was obsessed. I made a Buddha shrine right away and told my monk I was interested in being a monk. I immediately jumped to eating only once a day and meditating an hour a day. I also was extremely compassionate, volunteering at a soup kitchen once a week and doing my job motivated by compassion. I kept the five precepts, trying not to take what wasn't given to me and not telling the slightest lie. My meditations were strong then and I felt like I could love almost anybody. I was happy.
Now, I have a meditation room where I try to meditate for only 30 minutes a day but I fail to make it a daily practice out of apathy and disinterest. I'll have days where I'm obsessed and I mold my life around the dhamma and am at much peace. But those are only on days where my mind is numb to the idea of how I view Buddhism most of the time, as a cult that believes that you either burn for eons or deprive yourself of a human life so you can fade into nothingness. On the days that my mind forgets about it, I am happy and peaceful, but most of the time, I think about how scary the whole concept is and get disenchanted by meditation and cut off my daily practice. It's a constant fluctuation between 'love and peace' and uncontrollable fear and wishful doubt. That's what happens when my mind starts running on Buddhism intellectually is it looks for any excuse to not believe in Buddhism so I can live my apathetic, pointless life without burden by strict morals and fear of existence. I've spent countless hours with my phone in my face trying to convince myself that Buddhism is not real and I can peacefully float on a pointless adventure.
I really don't know which one I prefer but I know I want clarity, commitment, and acceptance. If I choose to meditate, I want to be motivated to meditate every day through a lack of doubt. If I choose to live pointlessly, I'll probably pick up drinking and find ways to maintain an adrenaline-junky lifestyle. Either option I'm okay with, I just want my experience with it to be doubtless.
I've been practice for almost three years and I am of the Theravadin tradition and my teacher is Sri Lankan.
Thank you for the help, guys.
I get pilloried on other forums, for pointing out sexist comments. I bridle, instinctively, at the blatant, mindless and thoughtless rudeness so prevalent in society, which - say what you like - is dominantly patriarchal. I get told I'm overblowing things. I get told I'm seeing things, where things ain't. I get told I'm too sensitive, anal, and I exaggerate the situation.
Ok then. These are the songs our young children are listening to.
Now tell me what the hell you want, but don't tell me they're not being fed crap.
For the greater part, they're using the immensely popular mediums of music and image to convey the fact that women are there for one thing, and one thing only.
Pema Chödrön talks about giving up hope in her book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. Here are some excerpts:
"One of the most powerful teachings of the Buddhist tradition is that as long as you are wishing for things to change, they never will. As long as you’re wanting yourself to get better, you won’t. As long as you have an orientation toward the future, you can never just relax into what you already have or already are."
"There isn’t going to be some precious future time when all the loose ends will be tied up."
"There are a lot of support groups and different therapies. Many people feel wounded and are looking for something to heal them. To me it seems that at the root of healing, at the root of feeling like a fully adult person, is the premise that you’re not going to try to make anything go away, that what you have is worth appreciating. But this is hard to swallow if what you have is pain."
"As long as you’re wanting to be thinner, smarter, more enlightened, less uptight, or whatever it might be, somehow you’re always going to be approaching your problem with the very same logic that created it to begin with: you’re not good enough. That’s why the habitual pattern never unwinds itself when you’re trying to improve, because you go about it in exactly the same habitual style that caused all the pain to start."
"Right now today, could you make an unconditional relationship with yourself? Just at the height you are, the weight you are, the amount of intelligence that you have, the burden of pain that you have? Could you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?"
How do you feel about giving up hope?