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Have you all reached a point where you had to commit to a school or even a specific teacher and say, "this is where I get my stuff?" And learn mostly from books and teaching sessions thereafter?
It's challenging as I'm not so sure that information is an object as such, capable of being obtained from another source as with a physical object - for it to have any meaning, it has to be processed and recreated by the mind within whatever construct is already being perpetuated - to that extent, I wonder where I get my stuff... what's in, what's out and even so, is whatever is in, the same as when it was out...?
I think in terms of commitment, it's a commitment to myself... to the experience that is happening now.
Well I'd rather not care what people think. Feels needy.
You don't sound so sure - keep exploring.
It may not be so straightforward or rather you may find that you're pulling a thread that has a surprise in store...
Somewhat akin to stepping out in a snow blizzard in a t-shirt and thinking one would rather not feel cold.
It may be an inevitability and dealing with it will have a price and that said, the price may not be worth it and there's no saying once paid that it will be any more satisfactory.
Go through the process of questioning each of your motivations and considering each potential outcome and see where you stand with a) What it is exactly that you find unsatisfactory b) what the results are c) what alternatives there may be + their results and then when all of this is in, one may better consider what something is and whether and how to change it into something else.
As much as Buddhism has helped me there is something I've noticed that bugs me. The contexts surrounding his love and compassion are always universal. While this is great sentiment I sometimes wish for something more personal. I am attracted to how Jesus is depicted in a personal fashion. I feel like people can communicate to him and feel his love one-on-one so to speak. But the Buddha feels more distant. Maybe this is because I am a Westerner. And I have barely scraped the surface with my own learning and practice.
For me, practice translates into the process of uncovering the personal illusion rather than to communicate with an imaginary person or to attribute a sensation to an imaginary source... in a sense perhaps, learning to communicate honestly with myself.
When one reaches Nirvana, what happens to that impersonal consciousness that will NOT arise again because it has been pulled free of samsara??
So if one reaches Nirvana in this lifetime, and then dies...what happens to their consciousness? does it arise elsewhere through rebirth?
Would you say that the football throwing analogy of karmic effects is wide of the mark?
This assumes that consciousness is something that exists in a packet or a base unit - which then leads to the questions, where did it come from and where will it go?
Thoughts come and go as passing waves - one rises and falls with them - observe this trend and maintain concentration - first stop swimming and allow yourself to relax into the rise and fall - then the analogy is to distance yourself from the results of the process as if diving below the waves - don't be fooled though, one may no longer perceive the undulations but the body of water is still the medium and still moving - this change in perception is achieved through practice and concentration as obviously there is no physical water to swim through / under - it takes time... keep at it.