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Test yourself

vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

I was away from this site for well over a year, and coming back I find some posters (and perhaps myself) not sounding much different. It's really challenging me to think deeply about a lack of progress, and I am trying to make some more drastic changes in my way of connecting with Buddhism.

It's kinda scary to go back and look at your own posts from a year or two ago and see what, if anything has changed.

Comments

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    edited June 15

    I think change is not always linear, or as @silver says, it does not necessarily imply improvement.

    As to the ilusion of progress, or change for the better, this is a notion that we should apply to ourselves and is pretty unfair to apply on others.

    We may strive to become a better version of ourselves, but never judge how others fare.
    (Unless they are a pain in the neck to endure, lol...)
    We never really know what is going on in other people's lives or what dukkha they are juggling with at the moment.

    HozanShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I think getting perspective is always a good thing, as humans we notice the immediate revolutions but we lack the historical viewpoint over multiple years of our lives. So getting some additional information about yourself by looking at old posts is a good thing, but there is a question about how much you can tell.

    But I think learning the dharma causes an internal change, it takes some time to sink in but it does change you, it changes how you react to things and how much you understand of why you do certain things also. It brings about a qualitative change in how you experience your life.

    Is something like that going to be visible from just your writing and the questions you ask? I think perhaps not. So progress and the ripening of your experience may not be visible...

    lobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I do this with other areas of my online life, including a BBS I have been a part of since 1994! In some ways I have changed drastically. In others, not as much. It's hard to discern but unless you recall what you were dealing with and/or feeling each day, you don't know what your response was based in. Also, when looking only at writing samples, our style of writing tends to stay the same throughout our life, and that alone can tend to imply that nothing has changed. I've learned some wonderful things from this page alone, and have gotten better (though not perfect) and just stopping myself from going to a thread I know is going to go badly, or stopping myself from continuing to drone on in circles. I also learned and consider one of my best lessons from this place, from a particular ex-principal, to consider how much I really need to blather on about things versus look at what is important enough to take action on instead of just talk about.

    Buddhism has changed my outlook quite a lot. I look at things differently and thus my reactions here and elsewhere have changed. But it also seems to me that in my experience, my Buddhism often plateaus. It doesn't go away, but just stays steady, and then something happens and it jumps to another level (if that makes sense). Dealing with health concerns, dealing with death of loved ones, major kicks from life that require delving deeper into Buddhism in another way that "level up" ones experience and use of Buddhism in daily life. There are lulls and surges, I guess. At least for me.

    Kannon
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    A couple of you seem to take my OP as a criticism. That was not the intent at all. It's more a challenge to question yourselves -- if you wish -- and myself to see if we are where we want to be. I don't know any of you personally, but I know with myself and with others I do know personally, there is a tendency in life to coast. That's very human. And, sometimes in life we sort of are where we want/need to be.

    This winter I had a bout with pneumonia. It wasn't quite to the point where I had to be hospitalized (although it was debated), but I think it was the first time I came up against the I could die soon situation. And it led me to see, in several aspects of my life, how I was not where I wanted to be, including in terms of Buddhism.

    You know, when you challenge someone to take a look at where they are, and if it's where they want to be, the ultimate answer to the challenge can be -- yes, I'm in a good place right now. It doesn't mean we shouldn't take a look.

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

    Oftentimes, if an opening post uses too much of an economy of words, it can leave people not quite sure about what's going on. I wasn't sure what to make of it in this instance, so then I usually ask a relatively simple question to grease the works. Doesn't always - work.

    After reading your latest post above, I understand much better.
    Glad you pulled through. B)

    DhammaDragonHozanShoshin
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