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A life of worthwhile pursuit?

My understanding of Buddhism is that the goal of enlightenment is a personal ambition, achieved via introspection, dedicating time to personal development, mindfulness, meditation and quiet reflection.

What if you come across something that you consider is worthy of your time and devotion and you feel is better use of your time than your own personal situation? There are examples throughout history of individuals devoting themselves to others, often at the expense of their own personal condition. Does the betterment of life for some, or all, people make it worthwhile sacrificing your own path to enlightenment, and does it make any difference if you are knowingly doing this, not causing yourself suffering through doing so, or have an overwhelming calling? Time in this lifetime is limited, there are only so many hours in the day.

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Sounds similar to the Bodhisattva Vow where a person vows to save all beings before achieving enlightenment themselves.

    I say go for it! If it makes you a better and happier person then how can it be wrong.

    Lee82Shoshin
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Enlightenment is only a personal ambition if you are not making the Boddhisattva Vow (which is found in both Zen and Vajrayana Buddhism).

    Time in THIS lifetime is limited, but according to Buddhism you will be reborn endlessly until achieving enlightenment. And unless one is working on self-growth, we are supposedly not even guaranteed of a human rebirth.

    According to Buddhism, NOTHING is worth more than attaining enlightenment, and then continuing to be reborn so you can help all other sentient beings attain enlightenment. This is the ultimate sacrifice for others. You can feed the poor, but as Jesus said, "The poor we will have always with us".

    Lee82
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Time in this lifetime is limited, there are only so many hours in the day.

    So practice at night or early morning.
    https://mindfulnessmeditations.org/meditation-vs-sleep-can-meditation-really-replace-sleep/

    Lee82Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Lee82 said:
    What if you come across something that you consider is worthy of your time and devotion and you feel is better use of your time than your own personal situation?

    If you truly feel that you have found such a cause, surely you can pursue it alongside Buddhism? It doesn’t take much to follow the path, reading the odd book or meditating for half an hour in the morning.

    If it is so demanding that you can’t have the two side by side, then I think it would be a fair decision to leave Buddhist practice alone for a while and pursue the other goals.

    lobsterLee82
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    I say go for it! If it makes you a better and happier person then how can it be wrong.

    Better, happier and ...

    Practice moderation in meditation, in both intensity and duration. You may benefit from taking a break from meditation for some period of time—even years—as you metabolize psychologically charged challenges and your karmic history in the context of therapy. Don’t imagine that intensive retreats or monastic-style meditation is the only way to live a dharma life or to actualize the bodhisattva’s vow to save all beings. And practice patience: this path ultimately unfolds beyond space and time for all of us.

    https://www.lionsroar.com/dark-night-of-the-meditator

    Better than Deep fried Dharma Batter :p

    Bunks
  • 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

    'Deep-fried Dharma Batter" describes how I feel most of the time, @lobster ...

    lobster
  • A life of worthwhile pursuit?

    Life batters and betters us. Dharma fries our oat-bran-tao and makes us delicious yum.

    However yab-yum, feeble fan-gal dharma is not as concentrated as essence of zen, dharma dogMa and other fanatical devoted practice.

    If away from dharma we may waste our precious life force/farce, find the goddess of our tantric dreams or ... drive ourself sane ...

    We Iz Buddha (is plan)

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