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Supernatural energy/something bigger than what you have alone

I am in a leadership course right now as the last part of an MBA. I have enjoyed this class immensely as it challenges us to think about our journey so far through life and challenges us to think about how those events have shaped us to the leaders we are and will be. Reviewing the crucibles in your life and taking the lesson from it and applying it going forward is I think, at the heart of mindfulness.

During the lecture, we covered the concepts of servant leadership. You lead others by influence. You build influence by trust, trust through service, and service through love (I.e. A deep commitment to others). The love portion is difficult, as it is filled with a passion for others to succeed, to forgive when wronged, sacrificing for the betterment of others. all of this would be difficult on anyone's best day, never mind going into work everyday and making this your focus!! He shared his personal story that he wasn't able to successfully integrate everything until he developed a personal relationship with God. Because when he ran out of personal strength chose to rely on a supernatural force in order to help him through. For me, it was a very honest and authentic way that he has been able to take a skeptical mind and at least form away that he can see why God makes sense and how he could develop that relationship.

In Buddhism, where is the source of the strength when you run out of it? We are all finite. There is a limit to how much strength we can harness and possess. What is the "other" part that gives us strength when we are seeming out?

Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Frosty said:
    I am in a leadership course right now as the last part of an MBA. I have enjoyed this class immensely as it challenges us to think about our journey so far through life and challenges us to think about how those events have shaped us to the leaders we are and will be. Reviewing the crucibles in your life and taking the lesson from it and applying it going forward is I think, at the heart of mindfulness.

    During the lecture, we covered the concepts of servant leadership. You lead others by influence. You build influence by trust, trust through service, and service through love (I.e. A deep commitment to others). The love portion is difficult, as it is filled with a passion for others to succeed, to forgive when wronged, sacrificing for the betterment of others. all of this would be difficult on anyone's best day, never mind going into work everyday and making this your focus!! He shared his personal story that he wasn't able to successfully integrate everything until he developed a personal relationship with God. Because when he ran out of personal strength chose to rely on a supernatural force in order to help him through. For me, it was a very honest and authentic way that he has been able to take a skeptical mind and at least form away that he can see why God makes sense and how he could develop that relationship.

    In Buddhism, where is the source of the strength when you run out of it? We are all finite. There is a limit to how much strength we can harness and possess. What is the "other" part that gives us strength when we are seeming out?

    When it comes down to it, the distinction between self and other is just an illusion. A tool we use to distinguish between events, moments or beings.

    When we get trapped by ego and thinking that is what we are then I can see the limits but when ego is seen as a tool that helps us learn then love is found in everything.

    Shoshin
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    There is mind that we know and mind we are coming to know. So why speak of limits? When we are still unfolding. Now if the supernatural is your quest the Bodhisattvas are all around you. Guided by their compassionate vow to help us. Don't confuse love with loving kindness. Agape and metta are not the same.

    personVastmindShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    The fact that everyone has suffering or dukkha. I find it a source of great compassion and loving kindness, that no matter who or what you look at, if you look deeply into their being you will find their unhappiness. Most people avoid their unhappiness, presenting a happy face to the world, but it comes out when you talk to them about the things that really matter to them, that one thing they wish they had to do over again.

    Also the interrelatedness of all things is also a source of strength. This is the concept that within a table there is the tree that made the wood, the sun and the earth and the clouds that fed the tree, the woodcutter that cut it, his parents and so on. If you look deeply into the nature of things you realise they couldn't exist without a myriad of other things.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited July 14

    @Frosty said:.... he wasn't able to successfully integrate everything until he developed a personal relationship with God. Because when he ran out of personal strength chose to rely on a supernatural force in order to help him through. For me, it was a very honest and authentic way that he has been able to take a skeptical mind and at least form away that he can see why God makes sense and how he could develop that relationship.

    In Buddhism, where is the source of the strength when you run out of it? We are all finite. There is a limit to how much strength we can harness and possess. What is the "other" part that gives us strength when we are seeming out?

    I am repeating myself but the Christian concept is to put everything 'out there' and surrender to this, as you put it, 'Supernatural Force'. This creates a reliance upon a 'something' outside of one's self, and in my experience, sets the Good Christian up for either jubilant euphoria or crestfallen disappointment, depending on the result of 'Giving up to God'.

    In Buddhism? Bluntly - the Buck Stops Here. You look to the teachings, to the oft-repeated and time-honoured, indisputably-Proven 4 Noble Truths. In there, in the folds of what appears to many, to be depressing and sombre instruction, deep within the seemingly morose outer cloak of deceptively simple fact, you find the liberation, elation and exultation of every nuance of Being.

    Life is Stressful.
    It is stressful, because we cling desperately to our desires, be they what they may.
    There is a way beyond, above and transcending of Stress.
    That way is the Eightfold Path.

    And there it is, in all its stony, smooth, winding, straight, climbing, descending glory.

    All you need are sandals, a good stick and a backpack full of slap-up-de-heads.

    Sorted.

    personupekkayagr
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @Frosty said:
    In Buddhism, where is the source of the strength when you run out of it? We are all finite. There is a limit to how much strength we can harness and possess. What is the "other" part that gives us strength when we are seeming out?

    Compassion, I guess.

    I'm crap at doing things for myself, but a lot better at doing them for someone else.

    Even if I'm making dinner, if it's just for myself, I'll not really bother and put little or no effort into it.

    If I'm making dinner for others, it's a lot better.

    I think us humans are like that with most things.

    In the British army there only two soldiers have ever won the Victoria Cross twice. One of them was a medical officer who, during WW1, kept on venturing into no-man's-land, amid bombs and bullets, to drag injured soldiers back to safety.

    To get a VC, you have had to have risked yourself in a position where there was a 90% chance of dying, which is why these awards are normally given post-posthumously (when you're dead).

    In Korea they say a woman isn't very strong, but a mother is very powerful.

    Compassion is very powerful.

    Vastmindupekka
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @karasti said:
    Our strength comes from ourselves, all the time. Even those who pray to God do not magically get strength from God. It still comes from within them. We all have limits, but we can reset ourselves infinitely so we can repeatedly get to our limit without going over or harming ourselves.

    Rather like Dumbo and his feather. He was utterly convinced that the only thing enabling him to fly was clutching that feather.

    silverVastmindkarastiyagr
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What is the "other" part that gives us strength when we are seeming out?

    Groundlessness

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Frosty said:
    In Buddhism, where is the source of the strength when you run out of it? We are all finite. There is a limit to how much strength we can harness and possess. What is the "other" part that gives us strength when we are seeming out?

    B)
    Whilst some pray to Wodin, Tinkerbell or Amitabha, some recognise:

    • Strength is finite
    • There is a limit to harnesses, possessions and yokes
    • When seeming out, we go within

    So we don't run out, we rely on our inner part, no other required ...

    yagr
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited July 15

    How did the man know that the other strength game from God? I mean for certain. A Buddhist could say their strength came from the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas (if they believe that).

    The Avatamsaka sutra is a very long sutra and I had at one time recited the ending part sometimes and it talks about how on the tip of a hair there are an infinite number of Buddhas all surrounded by their attendant Bodhisattvas.

    So that sutra is something to take us outside of our 'ordinary consciousness' that might not have as much strength and energy. So I would say I don't know literally God exists and I cannot get a microscope and take pictures of the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas on the hairs of my body. But that sutra can take me out of my ordinary consciousness even a bit in any case.

    https://selfdefinition.org/zen/Garland-Sutra-Avatamsaka-Sutra.pdf

    (excerpt from link above which is an excerpt of Avatamsaka Sutra. Bodhi mind means "awake" mind)

    "Why is this? If a Bodhisattva accords with living beings, then he accords with and makes offerings to all Buddha’s. If he can honor and serve living beings then he honors and serves the Buddha’s. If he makes living beings happy, he is making all Buddha’s happy. Why is this? It is because all Buddha’s take the mind of great compassion as their substance. Because of living beings, they develop great compassion. From great compassion the bodhi mind is born; and because of the bodhi mind, they accomplish supreme, perfect enlightenment (Buddhahood).

    karasti
  • CedarTreeCedarTree Private Island Explorer

    I get the feeling of "otherness" or the "outside" of my self perception commonly when practicing. I think in silencing oneself and slowly calming down the whirl wind you begin to realize the sheer gravity and awe inspiring nature of what is "outside" the small and constricted self you have constructed.

    upekka
  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    once one sees the outside and the inside is the same one sees what freedom is
    until then it is a guessing game
    that is why we need to have a bit of faith in Buddha's Teaching and test it to see whether the Teaching is correct
    without testing and see for ourselves but talking about what we guess makes it more and more complicated

    personlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited July 15

    "Super" natural & "Natural" are both grown in the mind.... (Home Grown )

    ~BodhiDharma~

    "The most essential method which includes all other methods is to behold the Mind-The Mind is the root from which all things grow-If one can understand the Mind ...Everything else is included! "

    Gods, Devils, & the kitchen sink can be found there :) ...

    where is the source of the strength when you run out of it?

    The Mind...I never leave home without it....and it never runs out....

    lobsteryagr
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 16

    @upekka said:
    once one sees the outside and the inside is the same one sees what freedom is
    until then it is a guessing game
    that is why we need to have a bit of faith in Buddha's Teaching and test it to see whether the Teaching is correct
    without testing and see for ourselves but talking about what we guess makes it more and more complicated

    Theravadin simplicity is uncomplicating. Eventually the 'bit of faith' becomes knowing.
    Kenosis in Christianity ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenosis

    Experience or knowledge in Buddhism, requires no Sun-Cods, Sons/aunties of deity or anti-Allahs.

    Super natural is super-natural ... really very natural and ordinary in Buddhist dharma ...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited July 16

    Hoping @Frosty makes a return soon, to digest the responses to his post....

    @Frosty, please PM me to re-open the thread for your comments and replies.

    Many thanks to all. Some great responses here.

This discussion has been closed.