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Dharma Overload

JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

Do you ever feel like you know too much Dharma, that you're overloaded by it?

I feel that, and I also feel like I know little compared to others on this forum.

But...

At some point does your practice seem to become too complex for your own good?

I sometimes wish I had just read one book and practiced mastering everything in that one book.

I wonder if I would've been better off for it.

eggsaviorKerome

Comments

  • LOL

    slow down you move too fast

    JaySonBunks
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    lobsterperson
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It's common to be overwhelmed sometimes. Step back, read an easy-read fiction book, watch a non-documentary movie, play a game, etc. Serious study of Buddhism isn't for people who aren't monks. You have to have a life otherwise, too. Eventually Buddhism works its way into all of it, but it doesn't work so well if you force it. There are 84,000 some teachings in Buddhism. It's not possible to know them all in a life time, even for the masters. Perhaps it's more important to note the things they place the greatest importance on. Generally (from what I have seen) that seems to be simply compassion for everyone. If all you focus on your whole live is doing that, then you've come farther than most. Buddhism isn't something to conquer or cross off a list. The more you try, the more things will be added to that list. It's like one of those self relighting trick birthday candles. The more you think you've learned the more you realize what you really don't know.

    JaySonlobsterTiggereggsavior
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    It reminds me a bit of the cherry picking threads we have here from time to time.

    People talk about taking bits of the dharma from this tradition and that tradition etc.

    And that's totally cool.

    Whatever works.

    But for me I have found I have made more progress (I think?) from starting to focus on one tradition then starting to narrow down to one or two teachers and focusing solely on them.

    JaySonlobsterTiggerdeemoid
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Good points, all.

    I suddenly realize... I think I'm actually addicted to stimulating my mind with philosophy like that in Buddhism. It's an attachment to wanting to be entertained by the fascination of the subject.

    Well, time to let that go.

    Tiggereggsavior
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I wanted to add, I don't think I finished my thought on serious study of Buddhism. Laymen of course can study seriously! I just meant that that type of in-depth, 24/7 study you see from monks is more for them for a reason. Unless you are looking to go down that road, it's ok just to have a life, too, that isn't always laser-focused on a sutra or a precept etc. If that makes sense.

    JaySonTigger
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @karasti said:
    I wanted to add, I don't think I finished my thought on serious study of Buddhism. Laymen of course can study seriously! I just meant that that type of in-depth, 24/7 study you see from monks is more for them for a reason. Unless you are looking to go down that road, it's ok just to have a life, too, that isn't always laser-focused on a sutra or a precept etc. If that makes sense.

    Problem is ... The more I understand emptiness and impermanence, the less I identify with things I used to like.

    I used to love Game of Thrones, for example, but now when I watch it I'm like, "I really wish the Hound Dog and the Mountain could settle their differences. They're brothers for crying out loud."

    Tigger
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 24

    @JaySon
    If the truth be told (Truth in this sense being the Dharma)....

    "Everything evolves; Will come to mean nothing is true!"

    ~Nietzsche~

    It would seem @JaySon that you are having a Dukkha moment... :)

    JaySonTigger
  • @JaySon said:
    I sometimes wish I had just read one book and practiced mastering everything in that one book.

    I wonder if I would've been better off for it.

    It is a question of chewing and digestion, rather than indigestion. Everyone travels at the pace they feel able to manage BUT most people need to slow down, focus, ground themselves in dharma etc.

    It is important to get on the right wavelength, hence Sangha. It is important to understand basics, hence Dharma. Becoming a Buddha requires the most important step of all, becoming the ease and rest ...

    Here is the fast teaching, however are we at ease enough to find it so easy ...

    Shoshinperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 24

    Neat video @lobster :) it reminds me of this.....
    "There was a young man who said 'though
    It seems that I know that I know,
    What I would like to see
    Is the I that sees me
    When I know that I know that I know.' !"

    ~Alan Watts~

    JaySonThembi
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 24

    @JaySon said:
    At some point does your practice seem to become too complex for your own good?

    I've had periods like that, not sure what to concentrate on, not having a clear focus, too many questions. What works for me is simplifying, finding what works, sticking with one approach for a while.

    And not thinking so much!

    dhammachicklobsterJaySon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @JaySon you might find the things you enjoy change, but you shouldn't cease to enjoy all things. What's wrong with wishing Hound and Mountain would patch things up? lol I have those thoughts too, I end up in my own "this is what I would do" imagination. I don't think that's always a bad thing, short term. It's just a small way of practicing the choice to see things differently.

    The things I spend my time on have changed a lot since I started practicing several years ago. But I still have many non-Buddhist things I enjoy. Buddhism usually comes with me, but they aren't Buddhist focused. I enjoy going to more community gatherings, for example. I spend more time writing letters to friends than just sending them FB messages. I make a point to connect with people more often. But I also know when I am reading a Buddhist book and I'm struggling to read 2 pages, then I need to set it aside and pick up Outlander for a while. It's not supposed to be like taking bad medicine or doing taxes, where you pinch your nose and do it anyways. I don't think anyhow.

    JaySondhammachick
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Tara1978 said:
    I was totally overwhelmed after receiving many high level tantric practices from an inexperienced teacher, this and other issues resulted in leaving the group. So for me back to basics, loving kindness, the 8, and letting what will be just be.

    Lamrim practice as taught in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's New Meditation Handbook is as far as I will go. No tantra for this guy.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Do you ever feel like you know too much Dharma, that you're overloaded by it?

    I sure do sometimes, especially when I get into the really deep philosophical teachings and sometimes this is because I over think certain things and start to get frustrated if I don't get it right away. Not that they don't need to be contemplated deeply but because I think I over focus on the wrong part making it harder to understand and then I get this sense of overload.

    I enjoy everything a lot more when I keep it simple and the simple teachings of the Buddha are nothing but beautiful

    JaySonlobsterTara1978
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    I figure I'm on a need to know basis with life.

    Love it!

    Yeah me too. At first everyone on here was so wise and knowledgeable (and still are LOL) and it made me think I was out of my league. I know now we are all on different paths leading to the same place. Some will get there faster, some will get there wiser but we are all on different paths to the same place - enlightenment.

    JaySon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Wisdom comes in your actions, not in what you know of sutras and not in your ability to properly spin words. Just because someone can write well doesn't make them more wise. Often it's the opposite.

    TiggerlobsterTara1978
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Long ago, in a Philosophy class far far away, I was taught that wisdom is knowing what is good.

    TiggerDhammikalobster
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Funny part? The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. So I feel less wise by the day.

    Socrates, is that you?

    Seriously, isn't that a good thing? In zen i believe there is this empty cup analogy. To free your mind of all preconceptions, so-called knowledge, ideas, ideals, so that you may have insight.

    JaySonTiggerlobster
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    I think Buddhadharma is not actually that complicated when we study and somehow find the way to channel all the theory into our practice.
    When we keep an open mind and empty ourselves, rather than falling in love with the discursive logic and the semantics and the written word and the concepts.

    It's the overthinking, the will to argue, ego wording up boundaries, knowledge solidifying rather than flexing up into wisdom.
    I love to read and mix traditions in my free time.
    What works for me is studying sutras and books on Buddhism after meditating.
    Rather than overwhelmed, I have a feeling of expansion, of notions making a click and concepts helping my reality add up, things falling into place without striving, by themselves.

    TiggerJaySonlobsterShoshin
  • @Tara1978 said:
    I was totally overwhelmed after receiving many high level tantric practices from an inexperienced teacher, this and other issues resulted in leaving the group. So for me back to basics, loving kindness, the 8, and letting what will be just be.

    <3
    Basics are grounding. High level practices are ... (don't press spoiler alert unless a high level initiate)

    for beginners

    JaySon
  • deemoiddeemoid bristol New

    finding a teacher is crucial, and not shopping around once you've found one. Otherwise the dharma will never find a place in our hearts.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 5

    @deemoid said:
    finding a teacher is crucial, and not shopping around once you've found one.

    Hi, Welcome. B)
    Perhaps ... who did you have in mind/find?

    Yesterday in a local supermarket shopping around, when who should I find at the checkout? Hotei (sometimes known as the laughing Buddha) and Lakshmi (Vasudhara in Buddhism). They may 'only' have been statues. Well it was a 'World Store'. ;)

    I feel next time I might find some Buddhas in the Japanese sushi section - if there is one. We only popped in for Jamaican Chilli sauce and Korean buckwheat noodles, which I am reliably informed have Buddha Nature in some traditions.

    Did I go wrong again?

    Bunks
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I think shopping around is quite sensible, and a trial period before you commit to the purchase is very useful. :p

    lobster
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    As a reality check, I always liked the question, "If I'm so smart, how come I'm not happy?"

    Tiggerlobster
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