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Practicing alone

KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSUAch-To Veteran

I think a lot of us here, myself included, are practitioners without any other source of knowledge or answers besides ourselves. Many of us do not have access to temples or teachers. While this is challenging, I also find it liberating. I can create a dialogue with myself. And I have so many questions, but I am forced to ask them knowing I will not find answers, so the discovery of "truth" is a perpetual exploration of my own thoughts and ideas.

I think it would be nice to have a thread for those of us to post our own experiences and techniques in practicing alone.

It can be very isolating, but then again all we have is our selves. We are forever alone in our own minds.

TiggerlobsterSteve_B

Comments

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    I work from home and meditate 2 to 4 times a day.

    It's gotten to the point where I need meditation in order to be happy.

    Like today... Things aren't going great with my business, so I'm feeling restless.

    I'm finding it tough to get my mind concentrated today, but I would be super duper bent out of shape if I weren't meditating today.

    Tigger
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Dr. Maxwell Maltz was an amazing man.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    There is a Sangha close by I used to attend but since I got sick a few years ago I haven't been back to. It's frustrating but I've adapted. Maybe I'll go back soon shrugs

    Bunkslobster
  • I don't exist? We don't exist? Aye caramba, I heard a whisper to that effect! O.o

    You are not alone. We really are here ... in a sense ...

    However in the sense you mean, I practice without a physical Sangha or group. The last time, quite recently, I went to a Buddhist temple, they very kindly invited me to join them for tea but I declined and told them I appreciated the offer. I am in the fortunate position of having the choice ...

    I blame the rhinoceros. ;)
    http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/rhinoceros.html

    JaySon
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Hi @eggsavior - it sounds like you may not want to but in this digital age it is quite easy to connect remotely with a particular Sangha.

    For example, my main teacher lives about 10,000 miles from me but we converse quite regularly and I met her last month in Singapore.

    Just a thought......

    lobsterJaySondhammachickShoshin
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @lobster that sutra is awesome and I connect with it a lot. Thanks for showing it to me :)

    @Bunks perhaps later I might join one. Are they free or do you have to pay? Some wellness sites I've seen have subscriptions etc

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @eggsavior said:
    @lobster that sutra is awesome and I connect with it a lot. Thanks for showing it to me :)

    @Bunks perhaps later I might join one. Are they free or do you have to pay? Some wellness sites I've seen have subscriptions etc

    I think it would depend.

    The teacher and Abbey I follow (sravastiabbey.org) provide all their teachings and online courses free however I choose to make a monthly donation as I know they rely on donations for everything at the Abbey. No obligation though.

    I do know some online courses and teachings come at a cost.

    I guess it comes down to asking yourself what the Dharma is worth to you?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 18

    @Bunks said:
    I guess it comes down to asking yourself what the Dharma is worth to you?

    As it is priceless, I try not to pay anything. :3

    It depends where you are, where you go. There is a lot of benefit in meeting our companion Buddhists and Sangha on retreats, courses etc. I have done so and consider it very precious. It is a concentration of virtue, teaching, exposure to dharma and practice AND most importantly can help ground those being self-taught by an idiot (which in my case is me). :glasses:

    Yes you can find online Zen Teachers on the 'ask a Teacher' section here
    http://www.zenforuminternational.org
    or at Treeleaf but sometimes we need direct exposure ...

    Similar goes for other traditions ...

    KannonBunks
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @lobster thanks for the links!

  • @JaySon said:
    I work from home and meditate 2 to 4 times a day.

    It's gotten to the point where I need meditation in order to be happy.

    Jhana junky! :p

    One of the remarkable things about Dharma is it is not designed to make us happy. It is designed to enable us to transcend mind, emotions and endless karma recycling. Which funnily enough can make us happier. We knew right ...

    ... and now back to the dharma hermit advocates ...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    There is nothing Buddha knew or did that we cannot also know or do. He wasn't magic. He just figured out how it worked for him and told others that maybe his way would work for them, too. There's no reason we can't figure it out for ourselves, we just all have different needs as far as learning and support. Despite knowing the benefits I cannot stay on track (with anything) without some accountability. So i do have a teacher. But I most certainly don't think it's a requirement. Truth is truth. We can discover it ourselves.

    lobsterTigger
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @karasti practicing alone is definitely an exercise in self discipline, something I am weak in lol. But as everyone says when the student is ready the teacher will come, so I am fine waiting until I come across one

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @eggsavior, I don't think the point is to wait until one crosses your path but wait until your mind is ready...then he/she will come

    lobsterupekka
  • While having a teacher is not a requirement as many have said, I have found that hearing a teacher talk about various topics often brings points to mind that I myself may not have thought of.

    It is those little sparks of insight that I find really help my own discovery.

    I also know many teachers post videos online via YouTube. So while you may not be able to talk 1v1 I find they still hold great value.

    lobsterTigger
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited January 18

    listen to a good Dhamma talk per week, if not possible per day, would help to bring up Right Thoughts

    that way 'we' are conditioning 'our selves' for the NEP

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