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genkaku Veteran


Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
Last Active
Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
  • Re: The people on the spiritual path

    I forget who said it, but I always liked it: "Do not be too virtuous. Too much virtue makes a person crazy."

  • Re: The people on the spiritual path

    attracts a certain kind of person, someone with a kind of gentleness, sensitivity and purity. Sometimes they surprise you...

    Stick around. The glow dims or waxes, but whose business is that? Everyone suffers or has unsatisfactory corners in their lives. How they address their suffering varies. Gentleness and sensitivity are nice, but in my experience not everyone is gentle and nice and frankly I prefer the ones who are a little less serene and a lot less pure.,,, they're more likely to find some honest usefulness and truth.

    Just my two cents.

  • eric hoffer

    Just a little mind-jogger I ran across, appreciated and thought to share today:

  • Re: Depression as a result of meditation

    But if what's happening to me is more like a diving well, where there is no light at the end of the tunnel and it just keeps getting darker, they'll be a point where I've gone too deep and there isn't a chance to make it back.

    I think one of the surest companions of those who interest themselves in spiritual practice/life is the realization that 1. it's not a bed of roses and 2. the fear that if I follow this path, I may evaporate, get deeply and irretrievably lost and become a first-class candidate for the nut-house. Point number two is a very large EEK because lurking below the surface is the desire to be who I am AND to tack on a little of that serene stuff called enlightenment. The question arises, "What if I go and never come back?"

    [A woman friend once summed up the meditator's quandary perfectly when, as a group of us sat around and admitted our Buddhist goals for the future, she said, "When I grow up, I want to be a rich ... sexy ... SAINT!"]

    Leaving aside the question of adequately defining who I am in the first place (not intellectual defining but real I-know-it defining)...

    There is some common sense that needs to be applied.

    There is nothing wrong with seeing a psychological counselor.

    It may be that loneliness is a problem ... go outside!

    Is meditation going to cure all ills or simply send me to the rubber room?

    If all of this and more like it becomes too pressing or depressing, then stop doing it. See how that works. And don't worry about if you "never come back:" As a friend of mine used to say, "wherever you go, there you are." Nothing fancy ... it's just the truth, isn't it? Never come back???? Where would anyone come back from? And where would they start from in the process of getting to a "there" they now cannot come back from?

    It all gets pretty complicated and swirly.

    Might use the time better in meditation.

    Or, seriously, not.

    Remember, without you, Buddhism would drop dead.

    No kidding.

    There was once said to have been a time when Gautama was asked to sum up his teachings short-and-sweet. According to the tale, he grew quiet and then, "summoning all of his powers," he replied, "It's not intellectual."

  • Re: Depression as a result of meditation

    I'm assuming this isn't normal.

    @specialkayme -- The fact that you assume it isn't normal is the only abnormal thing going on, from where I sit. If you assume that meditation is going to strew flower petals in your path and everything is going to be terrific all the time ... well, it isn't true.

    Too much expectation is part of the problem. Lots of people run around talking about one bliss or another, one smile or another, one cozy place or another, but when you step back, what does this imply? It implies, among other things, that you are happy when things are happy, but you lose your footing where sadness arises. Meditation isn't meant to create a bunch of drooling optimists. It's meant to create people who are honest. "Buddha" means "awake" -- nothing fancy, just awake.

    If people run around praising and applauding and raising up their expectations, you know they're cruisin' for a bruisin' -- and your situation is par for the course. Nothing special. You're on the right track when you say you miss the clear space of meditation ... it draws you back ... and then life kicks you in the teeth again. Well shit!

    Exercise your good patience. Practice when you can. Abstain when you must. Keep on keepin' on. Eventually you will get tired of your own games in much the same way thousands of others have grown tired of theirs. Things fall into place. Those things aren't necessarily wearing wings and a halo, but neither are they wearing horns and brandishing a pitch fork.

    Patience. Courage. Doubt. .... and if you must, scream into a pillow. :)