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How 'spiritual' are you?

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited September 2013 in Buddhism Basics
Still intending to eat your way to enlightenment? Sit until nothing more happens? Hope your teacher comes up with the right practice - finally?

What does 'spiritual' mean to you? For me it is not based on restrictions of behaviour, diet or mind arisings. It is the freedom to be perfectly no different to the ordinary, whilst simultaneously working towards greater enlightenment for all concerned.

Oh look . . . they said something wised up from a book . . . how parrot like . . . or how spiritual?

Is the spiritual person able to provide what is required and move us towards our own insight and enlightenment as quickly as possible?

I would suggest the kind person, which most teachers are, exemplifies more of the attributes of genuine spirituality than the [insert other 'spiritual' behaviour] we have convinced ourselves is required . . .

Is Buddhism spiritual? :wave:
Invincible_summer

Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited September 2013
    "Definition of spiritual (adj)

    Bing Dictionary
    spir·i·tu·al

    [ spírrichoo əl ]


    1.of soul: relating to the soul or spirit, usually in contrast to material things
    2.of religion: relating to religious or sacred things rather than worldly things
    3.temperamentally or intellectually akin: connected by an affinity of the mind, spirit, or temperament"

    I think number 3 would apply in my view.

    The spirit of Buddhism lives on.
    Come in the spirit of good heartedness.

    There are even spiritual Atheists who have glimpses of the absolute and have a feeling of being one with the universe.

    Our spiritual condition is to reach beyond.

    This is how science and religion are two sides of the same coin.
    lobster
  • Spirituality to me, and what I am at my core, is deism. I'm becoming less inclined, though I haven't totally abandoned it (yet) to anthropomorphize the forces and laws of the universe as deities. It's nice and it's helpful to put a face to an idea, but it's not absolutely necessary, imo. Spirituality to me is that we are energy and part of the fabric of the universe, and that there is a Cosmic Consciousness.
    Invincible_summer
  • lobster said: How 'spiritual' are you?
    I think to ponder such a question is a temptation and a distraction therefore it is undesirable. How long is a piece of rope for that matter?

    What I do know with certainty is that I'm an individual rather than a person and passionate instead of dispassionate.

    KundoInvincible_summer
  • I think to ponder such a question is a temptation
    Is it?
    Perhaps . . .

    You mean to think of oneself as spiritual is a form of association with spiritual virtues and lacks humility?
    Maybe so . . .

    Perhaps you are tempted by humility ;) (ain't I wikid)
    and a distraction therefore it is undesirable
    . . . distraction from what?
    Something real? What might that be? Something spiritual maybe?

    Do tell . . .
  • Obviously it's whomever has the most supernatural powers. :rarr:
    lobsterInvincible_summer
  • Not very.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Being spiritual to me has something to do with the degree at which I person contemplates topics such as where and how did we come from/about, what is the meaning of life, what happens to us upon death, and things in a similar vein.

    When I think of myself, I find myself somewhere in...well, let's say the upper range of normal in terms of being spiritual. There are some who dwell on spirituality...not saying that's good or bad. There are also some who pretty much don't consider it at all.

    Of course, the issue of spirituality is that no matter how spiritual we are regarding our own path, we may someday find that we have been totally wrong about our perceptions of spirituality. However, since for many people spirituality improves traits like kindness and compassion, all is not lost even when we are wrong.
    MaryAnneDandelionoceancaldera207
  • Wondering and pondering such nonsense as how spiritual you are or even what that even means is just going to put more blinders up in your mind.
    Just drop your opinions.
  • Being spiritual, seeking, is necessary but tiring.
    When you have a path, you know it. No need to be anything special, just deal with what is in front of you.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Dropping opinions and not thinking about things doesn't lead to a realistic view of what is, either.
  • There is no such thing as a realistic view. All views come from the mind. In that regard, they are the same.
  • Gui said:

    There is no such thing as a realistic view. All views come from the mind. In that regard, they are the same.

    Maybe so, but there is such a thing as wrong view, which can lead to suffering.
  • As far as views go, yes I will agree there are views that can cause suffering. But my point is actually that reality is before mind. So all views are the same in that they do not reflect reality but create reality which is not pure.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Gui said:

    There is no such thing as a realistic view. All views come from the mind. In that regard, they are the same.

    Nonsense. There is some reality. And, as Robot says, there is some wrong view which can lead to suffering.
  • Gui said:

    As far as views go, yes I will agree there are views that can cause suffering. But my point is actually that reality is before mind. So all views are the same in that they do not reflect reality but create reality which is not pure.

    Are you saying that reality precedes mind?
    I agree that view affects reality.
    Which makes views good or bad or neutral in a conventional sense, which is all that we can discuss anyway.
  • Have you ever noticed that you've forgotten to think? Or, you're sitting in your easy chair when your little son runs into the room and throws a tennis ball at you. And you catch it without knowing you did. That's kinda what I'm talking about.
    You are just there. On a bus one rainy morning. Just there.
    I could sit on a beach during a sun rise. And I could wonder at the beauty of it all and what it all means. But I can do that in my office between doing some actual work and tap tapping away on the newbuddhist forum.
    My point is exactly that reality precedes mind. And, in so many words, that to be a part of reality is to drop opinions. Drop views.
    Jeffreyriverflow
  • Gui said:

    Have you ever noticed that you've forgotten to think? Or, you're sitting in your easy chair when your little son runs into the room and throws a tennis ball at you. And you catch it without knowing you did. That's kinda what I'm talking about.
    You are just there. On a bus one rainy morning. Just there.
    I could sit on a beach during a sun rise. And I could wonder at the beauty of it all and what it all means. But I can do that in my office between doing some actual work and tap tapping away on the newbuddhist forum.
    My point is exactly that reality precedes mind. And, in so many words, that to be a part of reality is to drop opinions. Drop views.

    I'm with you except to say that mind and reality arise in dependence on one another, they are one, and empty, in my understanding or view, which could be wrong of course.
    Maybe it could be said that reality precedes thinking.
    riverflowKundoInvincible_summer
  • @robot, I understand what you say.
    Thank you.
    Jeffreyriverflow
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    lobster said:

    What does 'spiritual' mean to you?

    That depends on how I'm feeling at any given time.

    I usually don't feel so "spiritual" when I'm all distracted by the violent wretching I experience after reading one of your posts so "spiritual" has no meaning.

    In fact, I don't feels very "spiritual", much of the time.

    Sometimes I feel spiritual when I listen to Carlos Nakai or Kitaro, but it usually doesn't last very long.

    I also feel kinda spiritual during and after vigorous sex with my wife. That doesn't last very long either - I fall asleep or wind up in the kitchen raiding the fridge.

    I used to feel spiritual listening to Frank Zappa. Zombie Woof used to send me to an entirely different plane of existence. Didn't last.

    Or did it?

    maybe it never really happened - maybe it was merely some acid flashback nightmare.

    Maybe it was just the toy surprise inside a box of Cracker Jack.

    I guess that after hearing Zombie Woof 1000 times it got kinda old - like the song "We Built This City" which got old two hours after the first time I heard it.

    I bet you LOVE that song .....

  • Zombie Woof does contain one of Frank's best all-time guitar solos IMHO however.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    Zombie Woof does contain one of Frank's best all-time guitar solos IMHO however.

    Yes, truly transcendant!!

    Right up there is "Nanook Rubs It".


  • Chaz said:

    lobster said:

    What does 'spiritual' mean to you?

    That depends on how I'm feeling at any given time.

    I usually don't feel so "spiritual" when I'm all distracted by the violent wretching I experience after reading one of your posts so "spiritual" has no meaning.

    In fact, I don't feels very "spiritual", much of the time.

    Sometimes I feel spiritual when I listen to Carlos Nakai or Kitaro, but it usually doesn't last very long.

    I also feel kinda spiritual during and after vigorous sex with my wife. That doesn't last very long either - I fall asleep or wind up in the kitchen raiding the fridge.

    I used to feel spiritual listening to Frank Zappa. Zombie Woof used to send me to an entirely different plane of existence. Didn't last.

    Or did it?

    maybe it never really happened - maybe it was merely some acid flashback nightmare.

    Maybe it was just the toy surprise inside a box of Cracker Jack.

    I guess that after hearing Zombie Woof 1000 times it got kinda old - like the song "We Built This City" which got old two hours after the first time I heard it.

    I bet you LOVE that song .....


    Saying something shitty in the name of honesty again?
    Your talking about having sex with your wife is making me a feel a little sick, to be honest.
    MaryAnneJeffrey
  • Gui said:

    Wondering and pondering such nonsense as how spiritul you are or even what that even means is just going more blinders up in your mind.
    Just drop your opinions.

    Fools gold. If anything, this method of dropping opinions and views are meant to clear things up enough that a person can seriously address those very questions of life, death, meaning.
    If you think that this thing we call buddhism has nothing to say about life, death, meaning, you are gravely mistaken.
    Also, lesser teachers tend to falsely promote a method of no-views that is fractional at best. This profound, all pervasive principle is often mis-used and applied in selective ways. This type of common misunderstanding was addressed often in early Zen literature...especially it's main effect which was meditative apathy and stagnation.
    Gui said:

    Have you ever noticed that you've forgotten to think? Or, you're sitting in your easy chair when your little son runs into the room and throws a tennis ball at you. And you catch it without knowing you did. That's kinda what I'm talking about.
    You are just there. On a bus one rainy morning. Just there.
    My point is exactly that reality precedes mind. And, in so many words, that to be a part of reality is to drop opinions. Drop views.

    Again, this is a thicket due to selective application, and ingrained conceptualization of terms 'reality' and state 'just there'. I am assured of this because for one, the writer is addressing thought as something to be negated.
    Let me ask you this to test your understanding: what is the state in which someone is not 'just there', has not 'dropped views'. Perhaps if our understanding of the nature of these 'inferior' states were complete, it wouldn't be so difficult to address this little 'problem' we are speaking of. Explain to us why this state of not 'just there' and not 'dropped views' comes about.. why it is so apparently prevalent, why it is good to exit these states for better ones.


    lobster
  • "Spirituality" is a word I use, but rarely, and probably with footnotes haha In terms of self-examination, I'm OK with it, but not in any supernatural sense (which the word often gets associated with).

    I don't think I need to transcend the world so much as drop my expectations and attachments which come between "myself" and the world, as if I were a separate entity. I'm soaking in it-- but I don't always recognize it.

    It's all so very ordinary, nothing "special." Why would I look elsewhere in the super-natural?

    To put it in my own peculiar lingo, ontological fragmentation is another way of saying dukkha-- we become separated from where we are and from those around us. The realization of ontological wholeness is salvation (salvus = healing), which is awakening and at the same time is also compassion.

    Expressed in theistic terms, this is to say that loving God and loving one's neighbor is identical. God = love, love = God (and so God is less an entity and more like a "process").

    What determines a miracle is not natural laws being defied by the supernatural, but the way in which we embrace life rather than struggle (dukkha!) with it.
    JeffreylobsterKundo
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited September 2013
    @riverflow, I think the struggle is also profound. A part of us knows that the suffering is unnecessary, but we lash out in all of the ways that only make it worse.
    riverflow
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited September 2013
    robot said:

    Saying something shitty in the name of honesty again?

    Of course not, silly... I'm making light of Lobster "trying" to be serious.

    He can make light of some of the most serious threads in some of the most insensitive way, and nobody calls him on it. What are you all up in my face for?

    If he can make light of sacred words found in mantra, I think it's ok to poke fun at him by saying his posts make me puke.
    Your talking about having sex with your wife is making me a feel a little sick, to be honest.
    I guess now I have to explain myself because you're too wrapped up in not liking me to actually see what I'm writing about.

    Yes, my wife and I have regular, vigorous sex. There are times when it becomes nearly a religious experience. Transcendent. Spiritual. But it never lasts. The feeling of spirituality is impermanent, empty of any label I may try to affix to it.

    The same applies to music. Music moves all of us, and in some cases music can take on a mystical, almost spiritual quality. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, is a good example. People used to assign all sorts of New Age silliness to The Who's rock opera, "Tommy". Grateful Dead anyone? But what happens after the music stops or gets old? Impermanence again. Emptiness.

    So the whole question of "spirituality" is, in it's inevitable emptiness, more absurd than Lobster's usual, intentional absurdities.

    There. How's that, 'bot? How dooyah like me now?

    And BTW, rather than be sick, you should be jealous. After 20 years of marriage and 10 years of friendship before that, we still, regularly, rock each other's world. You should be so lucky, but you can be sick if you want to.
  • I liked the musical Tommy. I also like the dark side of the moon.

    See that everything in samsara and nirvana is merely dependently arisen.


  • Perhaps some understanding is emerging?

    Is Buddhist spiritually a process of becoming aware of and doing something about dukkha? In other words being attentive and aware of the conditions of existence and the ways to improve the situation?

    Is other spirituality based on a relationship to unnatural (no idea what super natural is) alleged foci?

    Do people through life experience become embittered, kinder, more mature etc and a whole range of circumstantial outcomes? People attempting improvement are more likely to find favourable outcomes, I would have thought?

    What about the Buddhist paths that are not aiming for any form of 'improvement', yet still have a 'practice'? Are we innately 'spiritual'? Is that 'spiritual' an unhelpful term?

    :)
  • Gui said:

    Wondering and pondering such nonsense as how spiritul you are or even what that even means is just going more blinders up in your mind.
    Just drop your opinions.

    Fools gold. If anything, this method of dropping opinions and views are meant to clear things up enough that a person can seriously address those very questions of life, death, meaning.
    If you think that this thing we call buddhism has nothing to say about life, death, meaning, you are gravely mistaken.
    Also, lesser teachers tend to falsely promote a method of no-views that is fractional at best. This profound, all pervasive principle is often mis-used and applied in selective ways. This type of common misunderstanding was addressed often in early Zen literature...especially it's main effect which was meditative apathy and stagnation.
    Gui said:

    Have you ever noticed that you've forgotten to think? Or, you're sitting in your easy chair when your little son runs into the room and throws a tennis ball at you. And you catch it without knowing you did. That's kinda what I'm talking about.
    You are just there. On a bus one rainy morning. Just there.
    My point is exactly that reality precedes mind. And, in so many words, that to be a part of reality is to drop opinions. Drop views.

    Again, this is a thicket due to selective application, and ingrained conceptualization of terms 'reality' and state 'just there'. I am assured of this because for one, the writer is addressing thought as something to be negated.
    Let me ask you this to test your understanding: what is the state in which someone is not 'just there', has not 'dropped views'. Perhaps if our understanding of the nature of these 'inferior' states were complete, it wouldn't be so difficult to address this little 'problem' we are speaking of. Explain to us why this state of not 'just there' and not 'dropped views' comes about.. why it is so apparently prevalent, why it is good to exit these states for better ones.


    I'm not sure what it is you mention that needs to be cleared up. If it is life, death, and meaning, I can only say I don't know. I spent many years being this and being that and adopting this religion or that philosophy but none of them could answer these questions to my satisfaction. The more views I considered, the further from truth I seemed to find myself. I feel more alive and free when I forget to think but that comes and goes without effort.It's not a state of being. I have tried to forget to think and, of course, found it impossible to do. Sorry but I can't explain it any better. I like the Heart Sutra and the Diamond sutra. Those and the 4 noble truths, particularly the third one is what it's all about to me. I think understanding and knowledge is important. But it's not the point. It's a vehicle. Regarding the OP, I really shouldn't have replied because I really don't know what being spiritual means. It has a hint of comparison and judgement to me somehow. Not with other people but to myself. I didn't study Buddhism to become "spiritual" or enlightened or anything else. I just like it because it seems so true. I know I didn't answer your questions. I can only say that I don't think there are states of just there or not just there. And I don't think any of it is good or bad. I was just trying to say, and incorrectly at first, which robot pointed out to me, that reality precedes thinking. And that what we think about or of reality is not reality.
    Whew. Goodnight y'all. Sweet dreams. :)
  • Chaz said:

    robot said:

    Saying something shitty in the name of honesty again?

    Of course not, silly... I'm making light of Lobster "trying" to be serious.

    He can make light of some of the most serious threads in some of the most insensitive way, and nobody calls him on it. What are you all up in my face for?

    If he can make light of sacred words found in mantra, I think it's ok to poke fun at him by saying his posts make me puke.
    Your talking about having sex with your wife is making me a feel a little sick, to be honest.
    I guess now I have to explain myself because you're too wrapped up in not liking me to actually see what I'm writing about.

    Yes, my wife and I have regular, vigorous sex. There are times when it becomes nearly a religious experience. Transcendent. Spiritual. But it never lasts. The feeling of spirituality is impermanent, empty of any label I may try to affix to it.

    The same applies to music. Music moves all of us, and in some cases music can take on a mystical, almost spiritual quality. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, is a good example. People used to assign all sorts of New Age silliness to The Who's rock opera, "Tommy". Grateful Dead anyone? But what happens after the music stops or gets old? Impermanence again. Emptiness.

    So the whole question of "spirituality" is, in it's inevitable emptiness, more absurd than Lobster's usual, intentional absurdities.

    There. How's that, 'bot? How dooyah like me now?

    And BTW, rather than be sick, you should be jealous. After 20 years of marriage and 10 years of friendship before that, we still, regularly, rock each other's world. You should be so lucky, but you can be sick if you want to.


    Rock around the clock. I'm not so much into granny porn to find your repeated exclamations of pleasure about your sex life titilating.
    Also, I'd need to see a nude photo of your wife before I could say whether I'm jealous or not.
    I also don't share Lobster's sense of humour, and have said so.
    Actually, I kind of like you though, even if you do drive a girls car.
  • @lobster
    Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I initially thought you were asking us to assess how spiritual we are, as the title of your post was "How 'spiritual' are you?" I think it would have been clearer for me if the title had been "What does 'spiritual' mean to you?"

    Anyway, it means to me the enlarging of the infinite heart and the transfiguring of an isolated individual to that of a person.
    riverflow
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    robot said:


    Actually, I kind of like you though,....

    Gee. Thanks.
    even if you do drive a girls car
    Sexist much?

    I suppose that's an attempt at humor.

    Nice try.

    You obviously never driven one like you have pair ;-)
    robot
  • Silouan said:

    @lobster
    Sorry, I misunderstood the question. I initially thought you were asking us to assess how spiritual we are, as the title of your post was "How 'spiritual' are you?" I think it would have been clearer for me if the title had been "What does 'spiritual' mean to you?"

    Anyway, it means to me the enlarging of the infinite heart and the transfiguring of an isolated individual to that of a person.

    In many posts, you mention you're Orthodox Christian. How so? How do you fit God into your thoughts? Just curious.
  • Not very spiritual at all. Don't take spirits and don't believe in spirits!
    lobster
  • SilouanSilouan Veteran
    edited September 2013
    betaboy said:
    In many posts, you mention you're Orthodox Christian. How so? How do you fit God into your thoughts? Just curious
    @betaboy I have been away and apologize for the delay.

    Basically, an Orthodox Christian is one who has been received through Holy Baptism into the Church, participates in a Eucharistic centered life within the Church, and professes the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as a symbol of faith.

    In discussions where Christianity is mentioned we often see differing theological interpretations and ideas and that's fine, but that doesn't mean they are representative of what all Christians believe, so there are times I make the reference. However, I think I actually reference traditional sources and a particular point of view more so now than stating I'm an Orthodox Christian.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "How do you fit God into your thoughts?”, since God in essence is beyond thought, imagination, and even name. Please elaborate a bit more on the question.
  • lobster said:

    Still intending to eat your way to enlightenment? Sit until nothing more happens? Hope your teacher comes up with the right practice - finally?

    What does 'spiritual' mean to you? For me it is not based on restrictions of behaviour, diet or mind arisings. It is the freedom to be perfectly no different to the ordinary, whilst simultaneously working towards greater enlightenment for all concerned.

    Oh look . . . they said something wised up from a book . . . how parrot like . . . or how spiritual?

    Is the spiritual person able to provide what is required and move us towards our own insight and enlightenment as quickly as possible?

    I would suggest the kind person, which most teachers are, exemplifies more of the attributes of genuine spirituality than the [insert other 'spiritual' behaviour] we have convinced ourselves is required . . .

    Is Buddhism spiritual? :wave:

    Okay, you're trying for a Lobsterian, sui generis definition of "spiritual", right? :rolleyes:
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