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The work that needs to be done

Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum! I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives. Do you have temples nearby? What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves? I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better. Your help is much appreciated.

Comments

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    I'd think if you don't attend a sangha, at least you must try to teach yourself, @Scalingsnake .
    Continuing to learn is key to spiritual development.

    Meditation, plenty of Dharma reading, yoga, mindful and aware living are my practice.
    Becoming a better version of myself and coming to terms with dukkha are both my constant work in progress and achievements.

    TravellerupekkaShoshinScalingsnake
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Practice doesn't make demands. We all just do what we can when we can and how etc. Temples aren't a requirement. The Buddha doesn't demand anything from any of us in any day and age. That's the real beauty. For me - in hindsight, I've come to realize that reading certain specific books have been a large part of my 'practice' - Master TNH's biography of Buddha - it's called Old Path White Clouds and I highly recommend it to put a deeper human story behind all this. And books by Stephen Batchelor drew me in more to the thirst for knowing more about Buddha and Buddhism.

    I hope you'll set to reading some of the threads on here --- they'll start to give you some of the info you're asking for. I'd like to ask you what is it that you feel you're 'constantly distracted' from? (you personally)

    Welcome, btw.

    lobsterShoshinDhammaDragonScalingsnake
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Even though centers and temples might be a ways away, you might find a teacher willing to work with you with the distance. My teacher is 250 miles away and I only see him 1-2 times per year but with email and phone and his senior students that are close to him, it works quite well. He also puts his talks on youtube so I never miss anything. It's not quite the same as being there, but it's leagues better than just being alone. I don't do well on my own, either.

    Another idea is to find some teachers you like and just keep up with their youtube channels. Lots of teachers do this now. Thubten Chodron is a wonderful online teacher.

    You might contact yoga teachers in your area and ask them if there are meditation classes or groups where you are. That is helpful, too, even if they aren't Buddhist most of them will have similar views and be a good, open support for you.

    KeromeScalingsnake
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @Scalingsnake said:
    Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum!

    Hello, welcome @Scalingsnake :)

    I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives.

    Choice. Baby steps. Inspired company.

    Do you have temples nearby?

    Sure. Rarely go to them. I have my own shrines. I have spiritual diaries, blogs etc
    http://cundi.weebly.com

    What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves?

    Do something regular, come here, install https://www.insighttimer.com app and do the occasional led meditation, go on retreat etc

    I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better. Your help is much appreciated.

    You know better? You better tell us ... I get distracted by a gibbering crazy ape (me) :3
    It's war! Buddha help me!

    You'll be fine. Where did you expect to start?

    TravellerDhammaDragon
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Scalingsnake said:
    Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum!

    Mornin'....

    I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives.

    Daily life IS practice. There is no separation or difference between 'Daily Life' and 'Practice'. The two are one and the same, heads, tails....

    Do you have temples nearby?

    Nope...

    What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves?

    You don't need a temple for Discipline.
    To begin with, you need to set yourself a schedule, then you need to use a good dose of will-power.
    A couple of good books will also help you to focus and be led by the example of those with experience, who have chosen to impart their wisdom and experience, via the pages of a good book.

    See this thread. Some books are repeatedly recommended. That's worth noting....

    I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better.

    Distracted by what? Do you mean undisciplined? Oh, we all know about THAT!!
    They don't call it 'Practice' for nothing!

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Don't mention it. ;)

    DhammaDragonScalingsnake
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @Scalingsnake said:
    Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum! I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives. Do you have temples nearby?

    There are some Buddhist centres between half an hour and an hour away from me, but I only visit them occasionally. Mostly I am still learning from books, the internet, mindfulness, and a modest meditation practice.

    What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves? I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better. Your help is much appreciated.

    Read the books and learn the lore, it will teach you much about how your spirit functions. Apply the insights to your daily life and to how you interact with people. Learn to look deeply into people and the world. Investigate the nature of the world we live in and how it interacts with the mind.

    And meditate, practice your insight and see what arises. If you can't meditate just stick with mindfulness. It should be possible to find some courses or things nearby to help you, and help find similar minded people. Try to slowly extend the time you spend in peace away from the 'monkey mind'.

    DhammaDragonlobstersilverScalingsnake
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Whatever practice you choose to undertake, @Scalingsnake, think Appamada -heedfulness- and Sati -mindfulness.
    You will need from both to make your practice work.
    Heedfulness helps us find the discipline to restrain our conduct, to keep up our practice, not to let down our guard at the onslaught of defilements:

    "O Bhikkhus, you should apply appamada in four areas:
    Abandon unwholesome action. Cultivate good actions. Neglect neither.
    Abandon unwholesome speech. Cultivate good speech. Neglect neither.
    Abandon unwholesome thoughts. Cultivate good thoughts. Neglect neither.
    Abandon wrong views. Cultivate Right View. Neglect neither.
    When a bhikkhu has abandoned unwholesome actions, cultivated good actions ... abandoned wrong views and cultivated Right View, he will feel no apprehension or fear regarding his coming death." [A.II.119-120]

    Mindulness, "sati," in Phra Payutto's words, "point to the positive qualities of care, circumspection, alertness to one's duties and the condition of being constantly present in the awareness of the various things which come into contact with one and responding to them appropriately."

    "O Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu should look after his mind with sati by being heedful of four matters, namely by determining that:
    'My mind will not attach to those dhammas which encourage attachment;
    'My mind will not be averse to those dhammas which encourage aversion;
    'My mind will not be deluded by those dhammas which encourage delusion;
    'My mind will not be intoxicated by those dhammas which encourage intoxication.'
    When a bhikkhu's mind, through absence of lust, does not attach to those dhammas which encourage attachment, is not averse ... is not deluded ... is not intoxicated, he will be without dread or perturbation, fear or horror, and will feel no need to believe in anything, even the words of a sage." [A.II.120]

    Scalingsnake
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    Many decades ago I learned about Buddhism in a college class. Since then I have read much, done much, and now with the internet access to information is essentially unlimited. But looking back, I see that most of that is fluff. It was that initial exposure, and contemplation/self-inspection that mattered. Pondering the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and meditation are the core.

    Consider phrase "Inquire Within." This says it all. Love, peace, enlightenment, happiness, heaven, hell, all are to be found in only one place. And you have access to that place any time you choose. Temples and books and the internet are nice, but not at all necessary.

    lobstersilverScalingsnake
  • ScalingsnakeScalingsnake Georgia New
    edited December 2016

    What wonderful and dare I say, Enlightening replies! I think I have come to the right place. I will explore this forum in depth and only reply when confused.

    Thank you all! We have much to do!

  • @silver said:
    Practice doesn't make demands. We all just do what we can when we can and how etc. Temples aren't a requirement. The Buddha doesn't demand anything from any of us in any day and age. That's the real beauty. For me - in hindsight, I've come to realize that reading certain specific books have been a large part of my 'practice' - Master TNH's biography of Buddha - it's called Old Path White Clouds and I highly recommend it to put a deeper human story behind all this. And books by Stephen Batchelor drew me in more to the thirst for knowing more about Buddha and Buddhism.

    I hope you'll set to reading some of the threads on here --- they'll start to give you some of the info you're asking for. I'd like to ask you what is it that you feel you're 'constantly distracted' from? (you personally)

    Welcome, btw.

    I feel a need to turn off the monkey mind and meditate for a spell but then an interruption or demand comes almost immediately after the thought. (I live with 4 people who do not practice; 3 pets, and work 2 jobs. I know, excuses excuses...)

    So I feel distracted from the path, for example I started eating meat again even though I "know" (have followed the logical strands of thought to their conclusion) what I am sowing Karmic-ally. Just because of laziness and because it is easier than asking my GF to change her buying behaviors. There are many similar examples that I attribute to allowing because of exhaustion or laziness.

  • @federica said:

    @Scalingsnake said:
    Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum!

    Mornin'....

    I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives.

    Daily life IS practice. There is no separation or difference between 'Daily Life' and 'Practice'. The two are one and the same, heads, tails....

    Do you have temples nearby?

    Nope...

    What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves?

    You don't need a temple for Discipline.
    To begin with, you need to set yourself a schedule, then you need to use a good dose of will-power.
    A couple of good books will also help you to focus and be led by the example of those with experience, who have chosen to impart their wisdom and experience, via the pages of a good book.

    See this thread. Some books are repeatedly recommended. That's worth noting....

    I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better.

    Distracted by what? Do you mean undisciplined? Oh, we all know about THAT!!
    They don't call it 'Practice' for nothing!

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Don't mention it. ;)

    I must mention it :). Thank you! I will heed your advice!

  • @lobster said:

    @Scalingsnake said:
    Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum!

    Hello, welcome @Scalingsnake :)

    I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives.

    Choice. Baby steps. Inspired company.

    Do you have temples nearby?

    Sure. Rarely go to them. I have my own shrines. I have spiritual diaries, blogs etc
    http://cundi.weebly.com

    What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves?

    Do something regular, come here, install https://www.insighttimer.com app and do the occasional led meditation, go on retreat etc

    I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better. Your help is much appreciated.

    You know better? You better tell us ... I get distracted by a gibbering crazy ape (me) :3
    It's war! Buddha help me!

    You'll be fine. Where did you expect to start?

    Bookmarked your page and installed the App! Thank you!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    every time you stray from what you prefer to do, you learn something. It is hard to make major changes. Baby steps. One little thing at a time. Perhaps a drastic change in diet is too much and it's better to take steps along the way, and discussing with your girlfriend as you go. Karma is a vague concept to base life decisions on, even if we understand and take steps to mitigate it. It might be more helpful to come up with more concrete reasons than just Karma. You could consider the animals' lives or the health aspects or envinromental concerns, perhaps watching Food Inc, or Forks over Knives and other such documentaries will help. Make it exciting by using pinterest or other things for new recipes. Thug Kitchen is great entertainment as well as good and simple recipes (it has a lot of cursing so beware, that's part of the charm if you don't mind that sort of thing). I am not a vegetarian, but I have increased my vegetarian meals for many reasons. I use those resources often. I make it something I want to do, and am happy and excited to do rather than something to be suffered all the time. And on the days it doesn't happen, I look at why and what I can do different and I move on.

    Scalingsnake
  • @Scalingsnake said:
    Hello everyone, this will be my first post on this forum! I am curious as to how you all maintain your practice in your daily lives. Do you have temples nearby? What are your recommendations for persons like myself who are many hours from any temples and don't have the self discipline to teach themselves? I find myself constantly distracted and I certainly know better. Your help is much appreciated.

    'Maintaining' assumes a separation between daily life and practice which in my view isn't helpful.
    Better to think that one is always practicing - by being alive.
    What is being practiced by daily life is the interesting bit - taking responsibility for that is a step in the right direction.
    Self-discipline is a tough one if one is separated from the decision maker.
    But what if the decision maker and the one bound by the decision are one and the same - then one must take responsibility.
    Stay with your distractions - allow them to unfold, see where they go - you won't go anywhere so it's ok - let them play out as they do.

    Scalingsnake
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Scalingsnake said:
    So I feel distracted from the path, for example I started eating meat again even though I "know" (have followed the logical strands of thought to their conclusion) what I am sowing Karmic-ally. Just because of laziness and because it is easier than asking my GF to change her buying behaviors. There are many similar examples that I attribute to allowing because of exhaustion or laziness.

    Eating meat is NOT the automatic equivalent to being a "bad" Buddhist and I get really disappointed that this is perpetuated by many teachers, books etc. So let's nip that one in the bud straight away.

    karastiDhammaDragon
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