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How to best use the time in walking the spiritual path?

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran
edited October 21 in General Banter

Hi All,
How to best use the time in walking the spiritual path? Considering that days are just passing by, without much spiritual practice. Also considering that except my family members which includes my father, my mother, my wife and my daughter, there is not a single external person who I am helping, I am not even finding any beggar to whom I can give some coins in change on the street (where I catch a local transport to commute between house and hospital) . What to do to advance the spiritual practice? Any suggestions. Thanks.

Comments

  • What are you hoping to have as a result of the spiritual path? Knowledge? Then read? Good feeling then become mindful of feelings. but maybe start and see what you are hoping from the spiritual life.

    person
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    Interesting that you appear to want to help others for your own advancement, that is perhaps worth reflecting on.

    lobsterKundoPrimMary
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    What are you hoping to have as a result of the spiritual path?

    Want the final goal of spiritual path.

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited October 21

    @Lee82 said:
    Interesting that you appear to want to help others for your own advancement, that is perhaps worth reflecting on.

    Well, my motive behind trying to help others is also selfish because the idea is to create good karma for me.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Want the final goal of spiritual path.

    Different people look for different things. Some want ultimate truth, others want bliss. If you just want good karma, then why not look for a job where you will be caring for others?

    JeffreykandoKundoPrimMary
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @misecmisc1 said:

    @Lee82 said:
    Interesting that you appear to want to help others for your own advancement, that is perhaps worth reflecting on.

    Well, my motive behind trying to help others is also selfish because the idea is to create good karma for me.

    This selfishness seems to be a continuous theme in your threads, and I have remarked on it more than once.
    It's not 'also' selfish. It is PRIMARILY selfish.

    How to best use the time in walking the spiritual path? Considering that days are just passing by, without much spiritual practice.

    Good grief. You have missed the point entirely.
    It has been said many times before - to you - but you seem to have forgotten: Every day IS spiritual practice. Every day is an opportunity to walk the path. LIFE itself, is Spiritual practice.
    The identity of the people you help, those within your vicinity is irrelevant.
    It's what you do for them, and how you do it - in what frame of mind.

    Your intention to create Good Karma for yourself is completely and utterly negated by that very motive.
    The Action towards others should be selfless, and uniquely for them.
    And any action (be it verbal of physical) for the sole benefit of others creates ripples, and generates Metta and Karuna.

    STOP THINKING ABOUT YOUR ADVANTAGE.

    lobsterkandoKundoPrimMary
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    Absolutely @federica, it is the intention behind any act, good or bad, that counts more than the act itself.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 21

    @federica said:
    STOP THINKING ABOUT YOUR ADVANTAGE.

    OK you have shouted at him, can I kick him now ... in a kindly way? o:)

    Some people are totally unsuited to the spiritual path. Just so you know ...
    Who are they? The heedless? The infantile? Non sentient life forms?

    federicaperson
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    (Great Link, @lobster!)

    image

    Lee82
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Want the final goal of spiritual path.

    Different people look for different things. Some want ultimate truth, others want bliss. If you just want good karma, then why not look for a job where you will be caring for others?

    I want to experience the ultimate truth.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @misecmisc1 said:

    @Kerome said:

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Want the final goal of spiritual path.

    Different people look for different things. Some want ultimate truth, others want bliss. If you just want good karma, then why not look for a job where you will be caring for others?

    I want to experience the ultimate truth.

    ...Which you will most definitely not do, if you carry on as you are doing.
    One way to attain 'Ultimate Truth' is to wholeheartedly practise the Brahma Viharas: Selflessly, unconditionally and spontaneously.

    That would be a step forward.

    Oh look - Practice, entails Compassion, Unconditional Love, Equanimity and Sympathetic Joy.
    All of which concern... what?

    That's right.

    CARING for OTHERS.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited October 21

    @misecmisc1 said:
    except my family members [...] there is not a single external person who I am helping

    Help a monk? Help a nun? Donate to a local monastery? Offer food? Volunteer?

    Those are just a few things that come to mind.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    Start small, you don't need to be an ascetic yogi to have a spiritual practice and be on a path to truth or love. Start with the 5 precepts and a simple, short meditation practice that you commit to daily. It doesn't have to be long, just a minute to 10 minutes if you want to start, the important part is developing the habit, then as it feels natural you can extend the time, but you don't have to.

    Developing concern for others also doesn't have to be a sudden leap into selflessness. Start with the understanding that you, yourself are more self interested and realize that giving of yourself to others is the better way to find happiness for yourself. As you start to do things for others you will come to think of others too.

    Think of the spiritual path as exercising a muscle, it's not something you just get all at once. It comes about as a result of regular small efforts over time, but you do need to make the effort. It may be hard at first, so start small like I said, but as it develops into habit the results snowball.

    lobstermisecmisc1PrimMary
  • I want to experience the ultimate truth.

    Ultimately in my experience, we don't always get what we want ...
    https://www.treeleaf.org

    We can try ...

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Do your practices. And meditation. And remind yourself as often throughout your day as you can, to try to remain mindful.
    Make the 5 Precepts Vow and follow it, as best you can. You won't always be able to, but the purpose of keeping them is that it makes us be self-aware, and gives us the opportunity to practice relaxing when we have an urge, and also to observe how our desires/aversions push us around.

    As for helping others, practice whatever is in front of you. If all you have is your immediate family, try to put them first and practice both patience and compassion when they are difficult. And when they trigger your annoyance, regard them as your kind teachers because they are giving you the opportunity to learn about yourself and to practice mindfulness.

    As for ultimate truth, I'm not sure Buddhism provides that. It may .. I'm not enlightened, so I cannot speak to that. We only know what we know from firsthand experience, and Buddhism will change you. You will become better able to live richly and vibrantly in THIS moment, and to accept and relax into whatever is happened, even if you don't like it. Peace. A quiet joy. Not every moment, but that comes with practice, they say.

    personmisecmisc1PrimMary
  • Happiness can not be found
    through great effort and willpower,
    but is already present,
    in open relaxation and letting go.
    Don’t strain yourself,
    there is nothing to do or undo.
    Whatever momentarily arises
    in the body-mind
    has no real importance at all,
    has little reality whatsoever.
    Why identify with,
    and become attached to it,
    passing judgment upon it and ourselves?
    Far better to simply
    let the entire game happen on its own,
    springing up and falling back like waves
    without changing or manipulating anything
    and notice how everything vanishes and reappears, magically,
    again and again, time without end.
    Only our searching for happiness
    prevents us from seeing it.
    It’s like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
    without ever catching,
    or a dog chasing its own tail.
    Although peace and happiness
    do not exist as an actual thing or place,
    it is always available
    and accompanies you every instant.
    Don’t believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
    they are like today’s ephemeral weather,
    like rainbows in the sky.
    Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
    you exhaust yourself in vain.
    As soon as you open and relax
    this tight fist of grasping,
    infinite space is there –
    open, inviting and comfortable.
    Make use of this spaciousness,
    this freedom and natural ease.
    Don’t search any further
    looking for the great awakened elephant,
    who is already resting quietly at home
    in front of your own hearth.
    Nothing to do or undo,
    nothing to force,
    nothing to want,
    and nothing missing –
    Emaho! Marvelous!
    Everything happens by itself.

    This is a beautiful and profound ‘vajra poem’. It was given spontaneously by Gendun Rinpoche, a late Tibetan Buddhist rinpoche (teacher), during a talk to his disciples. A book of his teachings called Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master is highly recommended and teaches all the essentials of Tibetan Buddhism from someone who has a genuine experience of the truth that lies behind the words.

    lobsterkandomisecmisc1PrimMary
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Pay attention and take responsibility.

    Stop imagining any such thing as "good karma." That will just provoke bad karma. Remember, just because you are indispensable to the universe does not mean the universe needs your help.

    As a Zen teacher of mine once encouraged, "There is birth and there is death. In between there is enlightenment." When you set aside the notion of "in between," life will become easier.

    Buddha-Dudemisecmisc1
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran

    Oh man, life zooming faster than an F1 car. Simplify things. You need to focus on meditation and generating the altruistic attitude. If someone were to say "insight into selflessness" is this a relate-able experience?

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited October 25

    @Jeffrey: Thanks for the above insightful poem. When I read poems like these, somehow something inside me feels nice. Some of such poems include Hsin Hsin Ming and there is a poem by Nio Tau Fajung (hope I am spelling the name correctly) namely Song of Mind. The poem Song of Mind by Niutao Fajung is at URL https://terebess.hu/zen/xinming.html. I love Song of Mind by Niutao Fajung more than Hsin Hsin Ming. Then there is a poem by Layman Pang and a poem by Bankei.

    Layman Pang's verses https://terebess.hu/zen/pang.html are below:

    My daily activity is not unusual;
    I just remain in spontaneous harmony.
    Not grasping or rejecting,
    nothing left to assert or oppose.
    What use are fancy titles
    and expensive clothes of vermilion and purple?
    This entire mountain is free
    of even a speck of dust.
    Supernatural powers and miraculous activity:
    fetching water and carrying firewood

    Not willing to let go of grasping and rejecting,
    In vain you labor studying the spiritual path.
    You read the prescription but you don't take the medicine-
    How can you be free from your sickness?
    Grasp “emptiness” and it turns out to be form;
    Grasping form it soon proves impermanent.
    Form and emptiness – neither are my possessions;
    Sitting erect, I see my native home.

    The past is already past-
    Don't try to regain it.
    The present doesn't stay-
    Don't try to grasp it over and over.
    The future isn't here yet-
    Don't ponder it beforehand.
    When the three times are revealed as non-existent,
    mind is the same as awakened nature.
    To quietly function relying on emptiness-
    This is manifesting profound action.
    Not even the least phenomena really exists-
    Whatever comes to the eye, leave it be.
    No rules to be kept, no filth to be cleaned;
    With empty mind truly revealed,
    All things no longer have birth or death.
    When you are like this
    The ultimate achievement is finished.

    No-greed surpasses charity.
    No-delusion surpasses concentration.
    No-ill will surpasses morality.
    No-self-centered thinking surpasses cultivating connections.
    I follow an ordinary person's affairs,
    and at night sleep at ease.
    In winter I use the fireplace
    with the fire that's free of smoke.
    I neither fear the dark spirit of misfortune,
    nor seek after her sister good luck.
    Trusting in the flow, what's needed comes.
    We all ride together in the boat of wisdom -
    if you have this understanding,
    your merit has no bounds.

    When the mind's left as is,
    the spirit is naturally empty.
    Without a need for medicine,
    ills disperse of themselves.
    When ills disperse,
    the jewel in the lotus appears.
    Don't worry over affairs,
    don't rush around!
    The wise, seeing wealth and craving,
    know them to be empty illusions.
    Food and clothes sustain body and life,
    but only for awhile.-
    I advise you to learn being as is.
    When it's time I move my hermitage and go,
    and there's nothing left behind.

    Bankei's poem https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/bankei.html is below:

    Bankei "Song of Original Mind"
    (trans. Peter Haskel, Bankei Zen, pp. 125-132.)

    Unborn and imperishable
    Is the original mind
    Earth, water, fire and wind
    A temporary lodging for the night

    Attached to this
    Ephemeral burning house
    You yourselves light the fire, kindle the flames
    In which you're consumed
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Keep your mind as it was
    When you came into the world
    And instantly this very self
    Is a living "thus-come" one

    Ideas of
    What's good , what's bad
    All due to
    This self of yours

    In winter, a bonfire
    Spells delight
    But when summertime arrives
    What a nuisance it becomes!

    And the breezes
    You loved in summer
    Even before the autumn's gone
    Already have become a bother
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Throwing your whole life away
    Sacrificed to the thirst for gold
    But when you saw your life was through
    All your money was no use

    Clinging, craving and the like
    I don't have them on my mind
    That's why nowadays I can say
    The whole world is truly mine!
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Since, after all this floating world
    Is unreal
    Instead of holding onto things in
    Your mind, go and sing!

    Only original mind exists
    In the past and in the future too
    Instead of holding onto things in
    Your mind, let them go!
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Having created
    the demon mind yourself
    When it torments you mercilessly
    You're to blame and no one else

    When you do wrong
    our mind's the demon
    There's no hell
    To be found outside

    Abominating hell
    Longing for heaven
    You make yourself suffer
    In a joyful world

    You think that good
    Means hating what is bad
    What's bad is
    The hating mind itself
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Fame, wealth, eating and
    drinking, sleep and sensual delight --
    Once you've leaned the Five Desires
    They become
    Your guide in life

    Notions of what one should do
    Never existed from the start
    Fighting about what's right, what's wrong
    That's the doing of the "I"

    When your study
    Of Buddhism is through
    You find
    You haven't anything new
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    If you think the mind
    That attains enlightenment
    Is "mine"
    Your thoughts will wrestle, one with the other

    These days I'm not bothering about
    Getting enlightenment all the time
    And the result is
    I wake up in the morning feeling fine!

    Praying for salvation in the world to come
    Praying for your own selfish ends
    Is only piling on more and more
    Self-centeredness and arrogance
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Die -- then live
    Day and night within the world
    Once you've done this, then you can
    Hold the world right in your hand!
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    If you search for the Pure Land
    Bent upon your own reward
    You'll only find yourself
    despised
    By the Buddha after all!

    People have no enemies
    None at all right from the start
    You create them all yourself
    Fighting over right and wrong

    Clear are the workings of cause
    and effect
    You become deluded, but
    don't know
    It's something that you've done yourself
    That's what's called self- centeredness
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Though the years may creep ahead
    Mind itself can never age
    This mind that's
    Always just the same

    Wonderful! Marvelous!
    When you've searched
    and found at last
    The one who never will grow old
    -- "I alone!"

    The Pure Land
    Where one communes at peace
    Is here and now, it's not remote
    Millions and millions of leagues away

    When someone tosses you a tea bowl
    -- Catch it!
    Catch it nimbly with soft cotton
    With the cotton of your skillful mind!

    JeffreyKeromeperson
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited October 25

    But what I feel is poems like above ^^ or instructions like above ^^ do not lead anywhere - saying things like there is nothing to do - so then should effort be put at spiritual practice like meditation or not? If we put effort in meditation, then the above instructions are not getting followed, but if we do not put effort in meditation, then how can we experience the ultimate truth?

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited October 25

    @misecmisc1 said:

    But what I feel is poems like above ^^ or instructions like above ^^ do not lead anywhere - saying things like there is nothing to do - so then should effort be put at spiritual practice like meditation or not? If we put effort in meditation, then the above instructions are not getting followed, but if we do not put effort in meditation, then how can we experience the ultimate truth?

    That's the kind of points you need someone who can take the role of teacher for you. It's not necessary to live in same city as them these days because you could phone them or write them. And through that they could clear up those points. Like there is such a thing as 'right effort' but you would have to ask someone who takes the role of teacher with you what that means in Mahamudra in case of my quoted passage or Zen or whatever in the case of another passage.

    Just myself thinking about right effort if you had no effort you would never read a vajra song from a buddhist teacher. Or you would not have a daily reading. You would not put any effort. So obvouisly that contrasts reading Buddhist teachings that help you let go of effort as a harmful thing.

    My second point would be that these poems and things aren't just peaceful sounding words rather they are actually teachings. They are part of the context of people giving and receiving teachings in the dharma. So if some teaching in particular appeals to you then you could pursue it further and try to find a teacher teaching that teaching that appeals to you.

    Another idea is to really try to practice one of those songs poems. Try out not grasping any particular way. As Gangaji says her teacher told her "just stop".

    misecmisc1
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    'alive or dead
    I'm in it for
    The poetry'

    One of Cid Corman's 'famous blue aerogrammes.' :)

    Kundo
  • 'alive or dead
    I'm in it for
    The poetry'

    #me2
    

    Me and me so
    Miso so so so ... Up

    No me
    Know soup
    😋

    and now back to walking around an empty bowel

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    But what I feel is poems like above ^^ or instructions like above ^^ do not lead anywhere - saying things like there is nothing to do - so then should effort be put at spiritual practice like meditation or not? If we put effort in meditation, then the above instructions are not getting followed, but if we do not put effort in meditation, then how can we experience the ultimate truth?

    These kinds of poetry are as @Jeffrey teachings. The Buddha said “nothing whatsoever should be clung to”, and these poems just make it specific, the things we usually cling to and where we ought not to be clinging.

    Throwing your whole life away
    Sacrificed to the thirst for gold
    But when you saw your life was through
    All your money was no use

    Clinging, craving and the like
    I don't have them on my mind
    That's why nowadays I can say
    The whole world is truly mine!

    If you don’t cling there is nothing to do. But you stack the odds in your favour with continuing to meditate as well, perhaps you will reach a breakthrough and learn something of ultimate truth.

    misecmisc1
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    But what I feel is poems like above ^^ or instructions like above ^^ do not lead anywhere - saying things like there is nothing to do - so then should effort be put at spiritual practice like meditation or not? If we put effort in meditation, then the above instructions are not getting followed, but if we do not put effort in meditation, then how can we experience the ultimate truth?

    Those poems seem to be describing more the enlightened view or what it is like to be enlightened rather than giving instructions on how to get there. They are useful as guideposts and signs to show us if we are on the right track or not, but actual practice requires an effort.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @misecmisc1 : You could read every Buddhist text in the world; every sutta, every koan, every haiku poem, every chapter of every worthy, credible, authentic, authoritative and reputable book that has ever existed.
    If you don't stop reading, and start doing, you will forever be questioning the theory, and completely missing the practice. And the point.

    "He who deliberates fully before taking each step, will spend his entire life on one leg."

    Simplify.

    Stop wondering.
    Start walking.

    lobsterKundo
This discussion has been closed.