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.

Excitement?

We all know buddhism tries to eradicate all feelings of anger, fear, greed, etc. What about the emotion of excitement though? It seems like excitement is false happiness that stems from the ego and is a form of attachment, thus making it no different from fear, anger, etc. When excitement arises, is it best to become excited with the emotion, or is it best to maintain a balanced state of mind, knowing that the excitement is a form of attachment that will only cause suffering. Thoughts?

Comments

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran
    edited August 2010
    [quote=clearview;121606]We all know buddhism tries to eradicate all feelings of anger, fear, greed, etc. What about the emotion of excitement though? It seems like excitement is false happiness that stems from the ego and is a form of attachment, thus making it no different from fear, anger, etc. When excitement arises, is it best to become excited with the emotion, or is it best to maintain a balanced state of mind, knowing that the excitement is a form of attachment that will only cause suffering. Thoughts?[/quote]

    You know, I just posted this quote to another question on this site, and I will again let the writer answer:

    "The essence of thoughts that suddenly arise is without any nature. Do not inhibit their appearance in any way, and without thinking of any essence, let them arise clearly, nakedly, and vividly. Likewise, if one thought arises, observe its nature, and if two arise, observe their nature. Thus, whatever thoughts arise, let them go without holding onto them. Let them remain as fragments. Release them unimpededly. Be naked without an object. Release them without grasping. This is close to becoming a Buddha. This is the self-extinction of samsara, samsara is overwhelmed, samsara is disempowered, and samsara is exhausted.

    "Knowledge of the path of method and wisdom, appearances and emptiness, the gradual stages, the common and special paths, and the 84,000 entrances to the Dharma is made perfectly complete and fulfilled in an instant. This is self-arisen, for it is present like that in the very nature [of awareness]. Natural liberation is the essence of all the stainless paths, and it bears the essence of emptiness and compassion.

    --from "A Spacious Path to Freedom: Practical Instructions on the Union of Mahamudra and Atiyoga" by Karma Chagme, commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche, translated by B. Alan Wallace, published by Snow Lion Publications
  • edited August 2010
    The timing of this post couldn't be more appropriate for me! Recently, I've been in the process of making certain dreams of mine become reality. I'm making some steady progress, and I definitely feel very excited about it! I've even lost sleep occasionally because the feelings
    get so intense. It's all quite pleasant, and I don't mind it a bit.

    Part of me is very aware that none of it will last. But at the moment I just can't get myself to feel very concerned about it. It may or may not be ideal Buddhist thinking, but for now that is simply the way it is.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited August 2010
    [QUOTE=clearview;121606]We all know buddhism tries to eradicate all feelings of anger, fear, greed, etc. What about the emotion of excitement though? It seems like excitement is false happiness that stems from the ego and is a form of attachment, thus making it no different from fear, anger, etc. When excitement arises, is it best to become excited with the emotion, or is it best to maintain a balanced state of mind, knowing that the excitement is a form of attachment that will only cause suffering. Thoughts?[/QUOTE]


    The idea is not to eradicate feelings but rather to understand where they come from ie. desire/aversion. By maintaining constant awareness of our thoughts and feelings, one becomes more detached and less likely to be "hooked" to the bait. The force of greed and aversion gradually weakens.

    Hopefully one day a state of perfect calm and contentment is reached when one's happiness is no longer dependent on worldly concerns.

    [QUOTE]One who wants nothing of either this world
    or the next, who is desire-free and emancipated--
    such a one do I call a holy person.

    Dhammapada 26[/QUOTE]
  • edited August 2010
    [quote=pegembara;121670]The idea is not to eradicate feelings but rather to understand where they come from ie. desire/aversion. By maintaining constant awareness of our thoughts and feelings, one becomes more detached and less likely to be "hooked" to the bait. The force of greed and aversion gradually weakens.

    Hopefully one day a state of perfect calm and contentment is reached when one's happiness is no longer dependent on worldly concerns.[/quote]

    thanks
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited August 2010
    I must disagree and state that buddhism does teach to eventually get rid of anger, it is the one thing buddha spoke of killing, anger. It is an ugly ugly emotion that leads to very bad things, it is the one human emotion that should be eradicated
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited August 2010
    Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

    Hatred does not cease through hatred but through love alone they cease.



    A woman wanted to know how to deal with anger. I asked when anger arose whose anger it was. She said it was hers. Well, if it really was her anger, then she should be able to tell it to go away, shouldn’t she? But it really isn't hers to command. Holding on to anger as a personal possession will cause suffering. If anger really belonged to us, it would have to obey us. If it doesn't obey us, that means it's only a deception. Don't fall for it. Whenever the mind is happy or sad, don't fall for it. Its all a deception.
    Ajahn Chah

    To be angry is to let others' mistakes punish yourself.
    To forgive others is to be good to yourself.
    Master ChengYen
  • edited August 2010
    [quote=clearview;121606]When excitement arises, is it best to become excited with the emotion, or is it best to maintain a balanced state of mind, knowing that the excitement is a form of attachment that will only cause suffering. Thoughts?[/quote]
    As I see it, there's excitement ... and there's excitement. ;-)

    Excitement that derives from (anticipated) strengthening of the ego is probably not very fruitful ... in terms of awakening.

    Excitement that derives from connection to _____________ (pure awareness, consciousness, emptiness, etc.) is a wonderful thing.
  • GlowGlow Veteran
    edited August 2010
    I agree with pegembara. The Buddhist attitude to anger, greed, etc. is that one should give up attachment/clinging to such states -- not that you willfully stomp them out of your life. That latter attitude is a type of repression and eventually becomes unstable and backfires. Buddhism seeks instead to establish a radically different attitude toward emotions, thoughts and feelings themselves. The Buddha did this in two ways: (1) breaking down such states into their constituent parts and recognizing them as not-self, and (2) realizing that all such conditioned states are unsatisfactory.

    The Buddha says to "let go of anger" or (in other translations) "give it up" when it comes up -- not, "kill it" or "eradicate it." "Killing" anger only creates an enemy of your own emotions. Setting up an adversarial relationship with your own emotions -- even those as seemingly powerful and threatening as anger -- is not Buddhism.

    As for excitement, here is a bit from Daniel Ingram's book [I]Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha[/I]:

    [quote]Some people unfortunately seem to think that the primary message of training in morality is that they should continuously cultivate the feeling that they have taken up a heavy yoke of responsibility and self-oppression. In fact, some people seem to revel in that unfortunate feeling. Those more fortunate will think, “It is so much fun to try to live a good, healthy and useful life! What a joy it is to find creative ways to do this!” There are few things more helpful on the spiritual path and life in general than a positive attitude.

    Thus, the related and all too common pitfall is that people stop having fun and trying to be successful in worldly terms. There is absolutely no reason for this. If you can have fun in healthy ways, have fun! It’s not just for breakfast anymore. Also, success is highly recommended for obvious reasons. Pick a flexible vision of success in the ordinary sense for yourself and go for it! Play to win. This is your life, so make it a great one. There is no reason not to try, so long as you can do so in a kind and compassionate way.

    One more great thing about the first training is that it really helps with the next training: concentration. So, here's a tip: if you are finding it hard to concentrate because your mind is filled with guilt, judgment, envy or some other hard and difficult thought pattern, also work on the first training, kindness. It will be time well spent.[/quote] [URL="http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB%20Morality,%20The%20First%20and%20Last%20Training;jsessionid=0F5453CBB763723C1BB94FB2CEDF8FD3?p_r_p_185834411_title=MCTB%20Morality,%20The%20First%20and%20Last%20Training"]Source[/URL]
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited August 2010
    In my understanding it is such a hard but possible thing to achieve, being able to let og out anger and emotions such as excitement. To be able to not become attached or effected by such emotions is hard because we are so conditioned in our lives.

    I wonder if you walked up to a monk with $1 million cash and said you can have this if you derobe and vow to never practice buddhism ever again. Would they become excited, would they take it and derobe lol.. the monk test, it should be done to every monk :p

    I heard something about anger once. A woman asked a monk how to stop being angry all the time because she was quite a tense and stressed woman. The monk noticed how vain this woman was, how she cared so much of her appearance and what people thought of her. HE said to her, 'carry with you a mirror where ever you go, just a small one in your bag or purse, and when you next become angry hold the mirror up to your face.' So she did this and when she next blew up at her husband she took out the mirror and was shocked at her face. It was truly horrifying and ugly!! this is the nature of anger :)
  • edited August 2010
    I've been thinking for a while now that excitement is just another form of anxiety. Both arise from thinking things are way more important than they really are. At least, that's my experience.
  • edited August 2010
    [quote=Cristina;121750]I've been thinking for a while now that excitement is just another form of anxiety. Both arise from thinking things are way more important than they really are. At least, that's my experience.[/quote]
    very true
Sign In or Register to comment.