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Beginners Question

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited April 8 in Buddhism Basics

Back to basics … again.

As a perpetual beginner, I am always trying to refine a few basic questions and answers. What are your basic questions and work in progress answers?

Does Buddhism work?

The Buddhist model is based primarily upon overcoming dissatisfaction and ignorance and developing skills to improve our life experience.

How does Buddhism work?

By encouraging skilful and virtuous behaviour, awareness of ones activity and responses to stimuli and constantly changing for improved potential.

Examples?

Adopted precepts/disciplines refine our understanding and future direction.

Avoiding distracting, destructive and unskilful traits, empowers and increases a helpful basis.

Meditation helps us become aware of interior patterns, focus and chaos and develop resolve to find beneficial processes.

Chanting improves our attention, focus, breathing and health.

Prostrations

https://buddhaweekly.com/the-psychology-of-buddhist-prostrations-the-humble-bow-a-meaningful-method-to-connect-with-buddha-nature/

FleaMarketJeroenShoshin1personrocala

Comments

  • KotishkaKotishka Veteran
    edited April 8

    I find that some destructive tasks are layered with constructions like "pleasurable" "cool" "socially engaging" which in the long run I recognise as unproductive and "require to be ceased for the sake of being genuine to the path".

    Adopted? Precepts, discipline.

    Avoiding? Over-intellectualisation.... bad habits (smoking, lying, measuring benefits).

    Meditation? Shikantaza facing the wall every morning. No excuses.

    Chanting? I still find it so foreign... I'm trying to find something, but maybe I should just cease to find. I always found the Heart Sutra the only "chanting" I would feel comfortable with. Maybe the Metta Sutta too...

    Edit:

    lobster
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    A very good set of questions @lobster — my answers are a little different from yours, but I will try to formulate something that makes sense.

    @lobster said:
    Does Buddhism work?

    Buddhism is about seeking the end of dhukkha — dissatisfaction, stress and suffering. The Four Noble Truths state the core of this problem, and they give us a pointer: dhukkha is caused by clinging.

    How does Buddhism work?

    The main difficulty lies in identifying where we cling, and then letting go. We don’t let go of everything we hold, but only of those areas where clinging causes dhukkha. So the first step is to be aware of dhukkha, and this is helped by the development of mindfulness. Once we feel our dhukkha and can localise it, we can find our clinging.

    It is a process of continual internal development, of being aware of when dhukkha arises, of tracing the places where we cling, of letting go of things that we may once have seen as important. Of supporting this with virtue and meditation. Of developing the spirit that lets go easily.

    Examples?

    Focusing mindfulness on the emotions and the thoughts that lead to emotions.
    Noticing that formulating a correct insight often brings release.
    Shikantaza for meditation irregularly (i still forget this too often).
    Precepts I keep for as long as they feel natural and not too forced.

    lobsterJeffrey
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Meditation? Shikantaza facing the wall every morning. No excuses.

    You have a wall? In my day we were lucky to have a floor … Cue the 4 Yorkshiremen

    shikantaza is hardcore … <3

    Chanting? I still find it so foreign... I'm trying to find something, but maybe I should just cease to find. I always found the Heart Sutra the only "chanting" I would feel comfortable with. Maybe the Metta Sutta too...

    No need to do it. It may be just a way of beginning and ending, such as bowing. Which is a great health practice in its own right …

    Kotishka
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Wonderful, bravo @FleaMarket !

    FleaMarket
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    I have potentially hurtful and personal questions to ask but I'm scared to ask them here as I don't want to upset anyone. The difficult questions, you know? What is the right way to ask such questions here? I have no one else who can answer them as some of you here do. I may direct message individuals I feel have insights into certain questions. Is this a skillful way?

    David
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @FleaMarket
    It's pretty common to direct message folks here with questions that might be too personal or revealing for a semi-public forum.

    FleaMarketlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @how said:
    It's pretty common to direct message folks here with questions that might be too personal or revealing for a semi-public forum.

    Indeed.
    Don't send me any, I may be upset and probably don't know anyway …

    @FleaMarket said:
    I have potentially hurtful and personal questions to ask but I'm scared to ask them here as I don't want to upset anyone. The difficult questions, you know? What is the right way to ask such questions here? I have no one else who can answer them as some of you here do. I may direct message individuals I feel have insights into certain questions. Is this a skillful way?

    It is skilful B)
    Phew! Hope I got away reasonably skilfully … in a Hinayana (disused term apparently) sort of way … :sweat:

    FleaMarket
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Indeed.
    Don't send me any, I may be upset and probably don't know anyway …

    It is possible you need not worry. I am only seeking insights which I find helpful. B)

    Shoshin1lobsterJeroen
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    helpful insights?

    • Never trust yourself. Unless you are always right.
    • Buddhism is on course, of course.
    • Be kind. Be good. Job done.
    FleaMarket
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