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How do you get back "on the wagon"?

zenguitarzenguitar Bad BuddhistNew England Veteran

Good morning, Sangha. Let's say that in the past you have expressed a strong intention to follow the Buddhist path, but recently you ended up doing something that is strongly contrary to Buddhism. Let's say you said harsh words to someone, or you overindulged in something, or you deliberately and gleefully killed a spider, or you did something else that is clearly anti-Dharma. Now you feel discouraged. Maybe you even feel a little hypocritical. You feel like you are never going to be a "good Buddhist." How do you deal with this sense of discouragement and futility in order to get back on the path again?

Jayjay

Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    If once you don't succeed, try, try again.

    I think it's that simple...with a heavy dose of reflection mixed in.

    ZenshinCinorjerRowan1980zenguitar
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    Only thing to do is move forward. The past is dead; this living moment is where change happens and intention matters!

    CinorjerRowan1980
  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Asheville, NC Veteran

    Welcome to being a human being. Thankfully, Buddhism is well-suited and well-disposed towards humans. :)

    CinorjerJayjayBuddhadragon
  • zenguitarzenguitar Bad Buddhist New England Veteran

    Thanks everyone. This Buddhism "wagon" is hard for me to stay on, for some reason. :)

    CinorjerJayjay
  • @zenguitar said:
    Thanks everyone. This Buddhism "wagon" is hard for me to stay on, for some reason. :)

    I forgives you. Now forgive yourself.

    You wanted to be the perfect little Boddhisatva? Yet you are the same old Dukkha laden person ON THE PATH . . .

    We practice and as people have amply said we fail. In dharma failure is the only option and incentive to get back on the wagon.

    @genkaku said:
    In short, keep practicing and welcome to the club.

    Exactly so. We practice the ideals. Above all we practice. :) .

    CinorjerRowan1980
  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @zenguitar said:

    How do you deal with this sense of discouragement and futility in order to get back on the path again?

    Disappointment results from unmet expectation.
    One should consider expectations - the causes and effects they command.
    Inevitably, an expectation is met or not and one's reaction to that, the ability to reconcile an outcome and adapt, defines whether the experience is encouraging or discouraging - futility manifests upon repetition and reinforcement of a discouragement.
    In this, it seems "expectation" and "reconciliation of outcomes" present fertile grounds for practice.
    Your life, your choice, go for it.

    lobsterRowan1980Cinorjer
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @zenguitar said:
    Thanks everyone. This Buddhism "wagon" is hard for me to stay on, for some reason. :)

    You can't really fall off, so the whole idea of 'off the wagon' is illusory. That is supposed to be good news :) . You are much smaller than the Buddha's teachings, everywhere you fall is into the teachings.

    It could be that what you regarded as 'being a good Buddhist' was just your ego congratulating itself :) . That is supposed to be good news too! Drunk and in bed with your fifth conquest of the week (after having stolen someone's purse) and killing uncountable spiders for the sheer joy of it, you can't escape THIS wagon.

    Rowan1980Cinorjerlobster
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    So I'm not the only one who punched the one-way ticket.

    Jayjay
  • I agree with everything that's been said. It took me a while to actually get it but sometime last year someone told me "Ignorance is bliss" and I realized what that meant. And its the truth. The person most at peace is the person who is completely blind to the way things are. The Buddha, the bodhisattva, those are whom are most at peace and completely capable of sight. That is essentially what every practitioner is, Buddha and Bodhisattva, sometimes it is just harder to be that. We get bogged down. Our natural state is that of the Buddha. But then we call someone a "b*tch" (believe me, we do lol). Or we take something we shouldn't have. And we feel bad. But it is that FEELING BAD that arises learning. Without the feeling bad, there is no reason for our deeds. Doing something wrong only becomes wrong when you recognize it as wrong. Your inner Buddha is talking to you and telling you the path, reminding you. So I would say the more frivolous a practitioner, the more you feel you are falling off the wagon, so to speak, because you are more in tune to noticing wrong perception, and wrong action.

    Embrace your mistakes, strive to live better, and align yourself with the path. You will find more and more things you have been doing wrong(;

    Cinorjer
  • 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

    @zenguitar said:
    Thanks everyone. This Buddhism "wagon" is hard for me to stay on, for some reason. :)

    >

    Yeah yeah... you're unique, just like everyone else.... ;)

    Cinorjer
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    lol - I'm glad I'm not your poor pooch @genkaku!

    It's not a wagon
    it's just a raft
    and if you believe its the goal
    you're daft!

    There is a reason for leaving the raft behind!

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @zenguitar said:
    How do you deal with this sense of discouragement and futility in order to get back on the path again?

    How do you get back on the wagon?
    As a preventative measure, don't put yourself on a wagon in the first place, because the path is full of bumps and you'll be falling off many times.

    Simply acknowledge that despite the best of intentions, you're a human being.
    You'll be more mindful next time.
    The solution lies somewhere between not berating yourself too hard, but not letting yourself off the hook, either.
    The Middle Way, that is.

    zenguitar
  • Maybe you even feel a little hypocritical.

    Every day.

    Difficulties. Conflictive emotions. Things and experiences to grab hold of. In some ways the path becomes more apparent . . . and the need for it.

    Dharma can be very subtle. The important thing is to engage mind, body and spirit (if available) and then some.

    I fully appreciate this song is outdated and politically incorrect on so many levels . . . but I am gonna sing anyways . . .

    :p

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @zenguitar‌
    Welcome to the Hotel California (The Dharma)

    "Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back
    To the place I was before

    'relax,' said the night man,
    We are programmed to receive.
    You can checkout any time you like,
    But you can never leave!
    "

  • 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

    That song is my absolute total #1 hated song/tune. The moment it comes on the radio, I switch it off and run a mile.
    I absolutely detest it, can't bear it, stand it or tolerate it for anything more than the first chord.....

    Why?

    Well....

    I have absolutely no idea.

    (Jennifer Rush's 'the power of love' has pretty much the same effect, but it's more her poncing in the video that makes me heave, more than the song itself....)

  • Shoshinthegoldeneternity
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @federica said:
    That song is my absolute total #1 hated song/tune. The moment it comes on the radio, I switch it off and run a mile.
    I absolutely detest it, can't bear it, stand it or tolerate it for anything more than the first chord.....

    Why?

    Well....

    I have absolutely no idea.

    (Jennifer Rush's 'the power of love' has pretty much the same effect, but it's more her poncing in the video that makes me heave, more than the song itself....)

    Ahhhhh, what a LOVELY opportunity to get a bead on aversion!! I challenge you to replace your daily devotion with listening to Hotel California, on your cushion or however you 'sit'. After you calm down, you'll have some powerful insights to share with us all :) . I can hardly wait.

    ShoshinlobsterDairyLama
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