Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Finding harmony between thinking, feeling and action

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

So I have been considering for a while the difficulties of finding a harmony between thinking, feeling and action while learning the dharma. It is easy to read dharma books, slightly harder to discern their meaning, but things really become interesting when you put the teachings into practice.

So let's say you decide for the sake of your Buddhism to give up alcohol (and other intoxicants). That's a single change you make to your life in order to adhere to Buddhist precepts. Then you find you want to take up a practice of seeing impermanence for a while, by reminding yourself mentally for a day that everything you see is impermanent. That's a day where you are implementing a Buddhist view, in order to get used to a certain idea that you've absorbed from the teachings.

So have you never wondered why your life has not been changed in a more manifest way by the dharma? Should you change your work so that you work for a foundation or a charity? Should you find an expression for your compassion, like helping out at a soup kitchen once in a while? In a way the dharma and mindful living have set your feet on this path, so should you not choose to actually live it?

Or is that just the mind? Perhaps what one should do is what you feel, considering the dharma. You feel generous today, express it by giving. You feel compassionate, make a connection with a friend and express it. Just wait for things to arise, and live your life as you see fit, following your emotional self which has been transformed by the dharma.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you arrange your lives?

FosdickShoshinupekka

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited December 2016

    I find I don't have to arrange my life. My practice arranges it for me. I'm not exactly sure how to explain the difference to you though, lol. I have absolutely noticed changes in my life, and none of them have had to be forced. I think it is harder to see when we look at ourselves unless we have a way to look back to how we used to be, used to think, the actions we used to do, the reactions we used to have. Our memories are poor and changes can take time, when they happen over years, it's easy to not even notice. Having kids, I can see the differences more easily because it is easy to remember how I acted/reacted with my oldest, who is now 20, compared to how I react to my youngest, who is 8. My level of calm and patience is much, much better and that was one big reason I started on this path. To bring my peace to my mind. Not to change the world. Just to change my world. And when I look at my FB timeline from 7 or 8 years ago, it's amazing the difference. I don't even recognize who I was then. I also journal, so i can look back at those and see what my thoughts were, what was going on and how I managed it. The differences are vast.

    Edit to add: I think that trying to separate those things is what makes it difficult. Our lives shouldn't be separated into thought, feeling and action. One can perform/experience all of those things from one place and that is what Buddhism has done for me.

    DhammaDragonperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2016

    So have you never wondered why your life has not been changed in a more manifest way by the dharma? Should you change your work so that you work for a foundation or a charity? Should you find an expression for your compassion, like helping out at a soup kitchen once in a while? In a way the dharma and mindful living have set your feet on this path, so should you not choose to actually live it?

    We are 'conditioned/habitual behaviour pattern' creatures, and it is this 'conditioning' that one needs to address...For the most part, change is normally a gradual process, however certain dramatic events can give rise to a rapid change in one's behaviour...

    I find my self in a fortunate position where my work give me plenty of opportunities to practice, ie, helping those less fortunate...However Dharma practice is Dharma practice and one does not need a 'special' kind of job to be able to practice 'loving kindness' "Metta"

    Life... the Dharma is a flow and with 'awareness' has one's guide, one just needs to go with the flow ... Everything else (thoughts feelings words deeds) will fall into place....

    upekkawojciechDhammaDragon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    From the cushion to daily life, I find that volitional decisions in the volunteering/helping/charity department come second-nature, as a natural result of loving-kindness, empathy seeds sprouting from an intellectual/intuitive comprehension to a practical implementation.

    I find it harder to live up to my Dharma in more ambivalent daily situations, such as holding back afflictive emotions when I come into contact with what my ego labels as obnoxious individuals or when I find myself face to face with petty frustrating dramas.
    Minute-to-minute mindfulness and metta awareness are vital in such situations, not to fall into outmoded habitual patterns.

    As HH the Dalai Lama says:
    "Identify and cultivate positive mental states; identify and eliminate negative mental states."

    lobsterNirvanawojciech
  • I do the best I can to the best of my limited abilities. Simple really. :)

    wojciechDhammaDragonKeromeDavid
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @DhammaDragon said: I find it harder to live up to my Dharma in more ambivalent daily situations, such as holding back afflictive emotions when I come into contact with what my ego labels as obnoxious individuals or when I find myself face to face with petty frustrating dramas.

    This is where I struggle as well. Living in Toronto, Ontario there are many inconsiderate people that I come into contact with almost on the hour. I still find myself getting angry at them which only affects my day and mind negatively. I havn't started meditating yet as I am pretty new to Buddhism but I imagine that will be an valuable tool to supress these feelings.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Question - I notice that when others comment on a quote the quote appears in a yellow box and the members comment below it. How do I do that. My comment above did not do that when I quoted @DhammaDragon

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited December 2016

    You need to use the quote facility or use chevrons.
    I have corrected for you....
    (incidentally, my box is pink.....!)

    ( I explained in the other thread where you asked the same question...? ;)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    From the cushion to daily life, I find that volitional decisions in the volunteering/helping/charity department come second-nature, as a natural result of loving-kindness, empathy seeds sprouting from an intellectual/intuitive comprehension to a practical implementation.

    My life the last few years has been very peaceful, and i don't often encounter situations where my empathy is triggered (or my dislike either). So I actively have to plan for and engage in those situations where I want to express myself.

    So for me the difficulty is more related to sloth/torpor and drowsiness, they are things I may encounter. So what I am exploring is where to draw the line, where to say "enough is enough, it is time to put the engine in gear and do something!"

    I find it harder to live up to my Dharma in more ambivalent daily situations, such as holding back afflictive emotions when I come into contact with what my ego labels as obnoxious individuals or when I find myself face to face with petty frustrating dramas.
    Minute-to-minute mindfulness and metta awareness are vital in such situations, not to fall into outmoded habitual patterns.

    It's true. I'm generally more observant and not so reactive, always inclined to give people kindness even if they are reacting in slightly obnoxious ways.

    As HH the Dalai Lama says:
    "Identify and cultivate positive mental states; identify and eliminate negative mental states."

    Yes, the only thing is, what I am finding is that ultimately one must also "do". These mental states must come to a point of expression, and you can give them the chance to shape your life in small ways or large ones, or both. But if you find you have not changed your ways, then you have in effect given in to your habits, and your transformation by the dharma has only been skin deep.

  • How do you arrange your lives?

    Very busy.

    Baby Jesus is having a birthday. Buddha Maitriya is due any century now. Politicians, bankers, media and popular culture are as clueless as ever. Not enough enlightened beings to go around or sit by and enjoy the ride ... B)

    Life arranges, we merely accomodate.

    dhammachickkarasti
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    I havn't started meditating yet as I am pretty new to Buddhism but I imagine that will be an valuable tool to supress these feelings.

    Rather than supressing afflictive emotions, you will learn to acknowledge their presence, stay a bit with them, accept them, and hopefully extend the refractory period between experiencing the arousal of the emotion and choosing to act out -or not- on it, @Tigger .

    lobsterLonely_Travellerdhammachick
  • Here is a useful tip that I will ignore [mostly] but some will be inspired by as it is very true ...

    The Art of Not Being Offended by Shemsi Prinzivalli

    “There is an ancient and well-kept secret to happiness which the Great Ones have known for centuries. They rarely talk about it, but they use it all the time, and it is fundamental to good mental health. This secret is called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended.

    In order to truly be a master of this art, one must be able to see that every statement, action and reaction of another human being is the sum result of their total life experience to date.

    In other words, the majority of people in our world say and do what they do from their own set of fears, defenses, conclusions, and attempts to survive.

    Most of it, even when aimed directly at us, has nothing to do with us. Usually, it has more to do with all the other times, and in particular the first few times, that this person experienced a similar situation, usually when they were young.

    Almost nothing is personal. Even with our closest loved ones, our beloved partners, our children and our friends. We are all swimming in the projections and filters of each other’s life experiences and often we are just the stand-ins, the chess pieces of life to which our loved ones have their own built-in reactions.

    When we know that we are just the one who happens to be standing in the right place at the right psychodynamic time for someone to say or do what they are doing—we don’t have to take it personally. If it weren’t us, it would likely be someone else.

    This frees us to be a little more detached from the reactions of people around us. How often do we react to a statement of another by being offended rather than seeing that the other might actually be hurting?

    In fact, every time we get offended, it is actually an opportunity to extend kindness to one who may be suffering—even if they themselves do not appear that way on the surface.

    All anger, all acting out, all harshness, all criticism, is in truth a form of suffering. When we provide no Velcro for it to stick, something changes in the world. We do not even have to say a thing. In fact, it is usually better not to say a thing.

    People who are suffering on the inside, but not showing it on the outside, are usually not keen on someone pointing out to them that they are suffering. We do not have to be our loved one’s therapist. We need only understand the situation and move on. In the least, we ourselves experience less suffering and at best, we have a chance to make the world a better place. This is also not to be confused with allowing ourselves to be hurt, taken advantage of or neglected.

    True compassion does not allow harm to ourselves either. When we know that nothing is personal, a magical thing happens. Many of the seeming abusers of the world start to leave our lives. Once we are conscious, so-called abuse can only happen if we believe what the other is saying.

    When we know nothing is personal, we also do not end up feeling abused. We can say, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on. We are not hooked by what another does or says, since we know it is not about us.

    When we know that our inherent worth is not determined by what another says, does or believes, we can take the world a little less seriously. And if necessary, we can just walk away without creating more misery for ourselves or having to convince the other person that we are good and worthy people.

    The great challenge of our world is to live a life of contentment regardless of what other people do, say, think or believe.

    The Fine Art of Not Being Offended is one of the many skills for being a practical mystic. Though it may take a lifetime of practice, it is truly one of the best kept secrets for living a happy life.”

    karastiShoshinDhammaDragon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The Art of Not Being Offended...

    "DON"T TAKE (YOUR) LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY" ...It works for me....

    DhammaDragon
Sign In or Register to comment.