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.

Dealing with habit energies - goals

KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest?Europe Veteran

Recently I have been noticing that my mind feels different, lighter. After mindfully examining my sources of stress, and finding there was nothing to get stressed about, I've started mindfully examining my habit energies relating to goals.

The ideas of work immediately bring to mind goals - why do you do the work. I now have a job interview tomorrow, what shall I say? Do I want a lot of money, safety, authority, status, challenges? With thinking about goals there are associated thoughts of ambitions and fears. Most of the fears are empty shells based on habits, they seem to have been hollowed out by examining their roots. But there are a few thoughts of ambitions which I notice I have not yet laid to rest.

  • Money? Money is freedom but ultimately what do you need it for? I've been unemployed for six years and in that time the most useful thing I've found to do is study the dharma ... nothing else has even come close. And I think a job might actually be useful in studying further because contact with the real world presents us with different problems. I only need a limited amount.
  • Safety? I think all of life is impermanent, and to over-focus on security is to excessively attach to it. That applies to job safety as well as other aspects of safety, including the roof over our head and the safety of our physical bodies. There is a middle way to be achieved here, in care for our body
  • Authority? I used to be a manager of a team of thirty or so software developers, but thinking back carefully it was a burden more than anything. Perhaps following the watercourse way in a simple engineering role might be better.
  • Status? Examining this I actually found respect to be more valuable than status, it tends to be earned rather than conferred. Status is a marker, something of largely hollow value, although it can be useful. The people who are excited by it tend to look at the surface of things, and I've gotten in the habit of looking more deeply. Still this is one I tend to come back to.
  • Challenges? I used to love a good problem to solve. But I think I have largely moved past that when I started studying the dharma, it tends to change your focus.

When I look at my CV through a recruiter's eyes, I'm kind of looking for an upwards trend. Why not look for a tech director's job, I have the background. Or a really interesting job in AI development, I know quite a lot in this area. But when I look at it through Buddhist eyes, I know these kinds of upwards trends are fool's gold, that there are other things that are more valuable that lie within.

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    How does retirement saving work where you live? Do you have government programs that help or do you have to save privately? Here, that is one of the most major stressors and thus goals that people have to deal with. My 20 year old son is already worried about it, and he's not even in the working world yet. That, and college. But if most people would simplify their lives instead of buying into the idea that they deserve all this crap they buy because they work hard...they'd be paying themselves much better into the future. I'm always curious how that works in other countries.

    I always enjoy reading what you are up to in your practice :) It always gives me things to think about in my own life. Gratitude for your sharing.

    DreamCatcher
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    And I think a job might actually be useful in studying further because contact with the real world presents us with different problems.

    I actually feel like I am a "better Buddhist" when I am at work. It's easier. There's less distractions, I am stuck in the same place with the same people all day. I can look at what I have to do and worry about that, only. And it's pretty easy. Outside of work I have so many things I try to do and people I want to see, I forget about my practice. But when I'm at work and I can either do everything in a bad mood or good mood, I strive to create a good mood as much as possible. Outside of work, I don't really have as much determination

  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited July 25

    @Kerome said:I've been unemployed for six years and in that time the most useful thing I've found to do is study the dharma ... nothing else has even come close.

    Can I ask how have you been supported in the way of food, clothing and shelter for six years?

    Maybe you're over-thinking this and just need to get a job?

    Apologies, my A.A. head kicked in there.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @karasti said:
    How does retirement saving work where you live? Do you have government programs that help or do you have to save privately? Here, that is one of the most major stressors and thus goals that people have to deal with.

    Here we have a state pension that you accumulate during your working life, it's pretty low so you have to supplement it with a private pension. Most places where you work will pay about 10% of your salary into private pensions. I really don't know much about the state of my pension, I just tend to assume it will be ok if I keep working.

    I always enjoy reading what you are up to in your practice :) It always gives me things to think about in my own life. Gratitude for your sharing.

    Thank you for the compliment! I always enjoy your contributions to the forum too :)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Tosh said:

    @Kerome said:I've been unemployed for six years and in that time the most useful thing I've found to do is study the dharma ... nothing else has even come close.

    Can I ask how have you been supported in the way of food, clothing and shelter for six years?

    I've been using savings. I had quite a lot of cash coming out of my last job, so it's been ok.

    Maybe you're over-thinking this and just need to get a job?
    Apologies, my A.A. head kicked in there.

    Lol yeah maybe... but I think everything in life is an opportunity to practice, if you have developed enough mindfulness and are looking at your own reactions.

    The other day I was walking down the street in a nearby town, and suddenly a woman on a bicycle comes to a crashing stop next to me. I look at her questioningly, and she says, "I'm looking for a compassionate human being." I answer "That shouldn't be so hard", and she explains that a friend let her down and she is ten euro's short of making her rent money for the month. At that point a whole cascade of things happens in my brain: are we being compassionate, it could be a scam, she could be a beggar, it's a good opportunity to get rid of some greed, ten euros is not so much, we might need that money someday, perhaps one day we will be in her position... I gave her the money and wished her luck and happiness. Such an interaction is practice too.

    ToshDreamCatcher
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    Apologies, Kerome, I assumed you'd been living off someone else going to work!

    I'm good at leaping to conclusions!

    O.o

  • MarjiMarji England New

    @Tosh said:
    Apologies, Kerome, I assumed you'd been living off someone else going to work!

    Just like a true buddhist

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Dealing with habit energies - goals

    @Kerome at times one's mental life (the monkey chatter that goes on) has a habit of moving the "goal" posts... Thinking has got a lot to answer for...(especially when one is in the habit of over-thinking things...)

    Which reminds me.....

    "After thought had learnt to think, it hatched a devious plot
    “Um now that I have access to the aggregates, I can control the bloody lot”

    Well once thinking took control, it became almost impossible to stop
    The mind once clear and pure, was now ...more like a gossip shop

    Meditation did help save the day, by stopping monkey chatter that's unkind
    The thoughts now pass on through, leaving peace of mind

    Kannon
Sign In or Register to comment.