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shadowleaver Veteran

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shadowleaver
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  • I am a programmer working for for-profit companies. I have struggled a great deal trying to reconcile spirituality and work. That at times brought intense psychological suffering. My view of this has evolved quite a bit. At first I really felt g…
  • I feel the frustration, @Hozan . Listened to DJT's address in real time and felt hopelessness. And yet, we gotta step back and realize that we do not get to live in a world that aligns with our ideals. In fact, the powers that be have never been …
    in Trump Comment by shadowleaver June 2
  • Rebirth is definitely in the classical Zen texts. In my school there is some reading during every retreat and the stuff is regularly mentioned. However, we take it more as a metaphora for what our mind does during this very life-- that is, its pr…
  • Appreciate your insights as usual, @karasti . Nevertheless, rural Americans alone do not account for all or even most Republican support. After all, rural population of the US is something like 20%. The bulk of Republican support comes from suburbu…
  • And yet, @karasti , we did not have as much tension 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Yes, there are objective divisions like you said but we are managing them poorly, compared to recent past. We will never be all the same but we must create an environment wh…
  • Much appreciated, @Shak . This guy Brad sees things very similarly to the way I do. Very relieved to hear that there are teachers in the Sangha with a more grounded view of humanity. I think now that polarization and division in this country h…
  • @person said: @shadowleaver I have felt much the same way, my politics being more center left than far left. I also resonate with Sam Harris' opinions around the topic. I'd highly recommend Jonathan Haidt, he's a (by his own admission) for…
  • @Dakini , here is the resource I meant: https://www.lionsroar.com/buddhist-teachers-respond-to-news-of-trumps-presidential-win/ PS. Regarding deportations of legal immigrants, I think I have some insight since all of my loved ones have walked the…
  • @Dakini : just to be clear, the alarmism I was talking about was shared by the minority of members, even though that minority was vocal and has senior members. Some folks in my Sangha seemed to also not be thrilled by the dynamics. Also, a couple o…
  • Thanks so much, @genkaku : that totally made my day!
  • Looking at Europe now turning away from Right-wing ideology, I am tempted to say that we, Americans, are taking one for the West. A part of me thinks it's all for the better in the long term. Now there is a real cause for people to care and to ac…
    in Trump Comment by shadowleaver May 13
  • While this will sound like magic, I really believe it, based on personal experience: At times there is someone in my life that I perceive as being negative to me in some way. At first my reaction is: they are over there, I am over here and they a…
  • I used to go insane over American politics. Paralyzed, unable to go through life. Then I realized that there is a medicine against Trump anxiety-- and that medicine is doing something personally to stir my country in a better direction. So I have…
    in Trump Comment by shadowleaver March 27
  • I have the same struggle. News overwhelms me too easily and makes me a nervous wreck. The most success managing this I have achieved is choosing one high quality news source and sticking with it (as an American, I can rely on NPR radio). It is re…
  • @karasti : Not looking for a political discussion but will touch on what you said about Muslims. I actually have come across a few and have found most to be terrific people. One of my favorite bosses was actually a devout Muslim. So I know beyon…
  • I have mixed feelings about this. Even though I did vote for Clinton, I did so mostly based on Trump's character, not because I thought she had a great vision. He does act like a bully and seems to appeal to our lower passions, while Clinton would j…
  • I periodically struggle with getting stuck in political anxieties of the day as well. It is such an attractive pit to fall into with such easy availability of online news and discussions.The most important tool to deal with this I think is finding o…
  • Welcome! Your sincerity and determination are quite admirable. One point to keep in mind is that there are quite a few people who do not call themselves "Buddhist" but who nevertheless embody many of the Buddhist principles. They let go more easi…
  • There are plenty of Buddhist countries out there and most of them do not seem to have anything for us, Americans, to be envious about. That is as good an answer I can think of.
  • I find that walking can be quite meditative in its own right. Maybe consider practicing while you walk your dogs? Some type of mantra or koan practice might work. On the same note, there are other daily activities into which meditation may be inc…
  • If you are conflicted about money, receive it and then give it away. A lot of good use for it in our unequal society.
  • I do not see any problem with artificially decreasing sensory input, as long as that does not prevent you from being sufficiently aware of your environment. I work in an "open office" and most people use noise cancelling headphones. That is how I…
  • I have found humor to be a tremendous aide. I think in some ways it is very Buddhist as both Dharma and Humor seem to point to the same thing: nothing is really solid and nothing is what it seems (to our conditioned minds). Of course, laughing…
  • I really think that a law abiding person going about their daily business has nothing to fear from the police. In the unlikely case they are stopped by the police, being respectful and following instructions will almost certainly guarantee a quick a…
  • I know a guy who was directionless and completely confused about his direction in life. He then traveled to Asia, lived as a Buddhist Monk for a while and almost committed to a Monastery because wordly life just made no sense to him. But then he cam…
  • @Dakini said: @shadowleaver said: In the Zen school I'm part of, we are encouraged to investigate difficult emotions and question their nature. We are taught to first let our breathing slow down and move from the chest do…
  • In the Zen school I'm part of, we are encouraged to investigate difficult emotions and question their nature. We are taught to first let our breathing slow down and move from the chest down to the belly. That is very important- if we breathe heav…
  • I find it very helpful to have a flesh and blood individual who guides my practice and with whom I can openly talk about my thoughts, feelings and experiences, without holding anything back. I am blessed to have that at this point in my life and am…
  • Because I'm reading this
  • My sense is that like just about anything else, spiritual practice is cyclical, with ups and downs. In fact, it is designed to bring one face to face with the most difficult parts of oneself and reality. My feeling is that the greatest opportunity f…
  • Here in America we regularly have shootings done by home grown deranged individuals. Just like in Paris yesterday, the victims are usually more or less random and, just over the last decade, number in the hundreds. These mass slaughters occur every …
  • @SpinyNorman said: So how do you do that, practically speaking? It sounds like developing an acceptance of the way things are, but do you have a specific practice to develop that attitude? I think Buddhist meditative practices are design…
  • In our Zen school we say right view is no view. "View" means I take a situation, filter it through my mind and produce a certain spin on it. In other words, make stuff up. Then I no longer see what is actually around me-- only my limited interpre…
  • There is no way of possibly knowing the answer. Whatever we know about him was written down several generations after he died. Also it was written down by those who had great respect for him and an interest in growing his teaching, not by a neutral …
  • I am a first generation American. Last couple of summers visited Northern Europe and got envious of what they have: no visible poverty, great public transportation, clean and generally just more humane all around. Thinking about this latest situatio…
  • Are you in a committed relationship with a woman? Somehow I didn't see that critical piece of info in your post. If yes, try to work on the romantic side of the relationship. If no, try to get to know the said beautiful women. Maybe give them …
  • Just a few items in no sensible order that come to the mind of this particular movie snob: Red Beard Stories we tell When Marnie was There Mother (Korean) 3-Iron Gods must be crazy Monk with a camera Happy People (documentary) Spring Summ…
  • Didn't mean to put you on the spot, @mmo . To explain where I'm coming from: when I was younger, I would spend a lot of time debating controversial issues. For me it was a way to not deal with what actually was as well as to feel heard and releva…
  • I've never found threads dealing with such "hot button" issues beneficial in any way...If God forbid, one has a personal experience with, say, assisted suicide, all the speculation and philosophizing done by the "uninitiated" is unlikely to carry an…
  • No but emptiness invented Mahayana
  • Here is how I approach such fears. Remembering my mortality and those around me is often the strongest antidote. Through meditative approach, questioning this "fear" experience. Who is it that is afraid? Where is that fellow exactly? What is f…
  • @nakazcid : I am very sorry that my post missed the mark. I certainly did not mean to imply that your life is useless (that would be a harsh thing to say to anyone). Please forgive me for rubbing you the wrong way. Be well!