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... more compassionate, more positive, stronger, wiser, more optimistic.

lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

From another thread:

Buddhism, at least as I practice it, continually enables me to become more compassionate, more positive, stronger, wiser, more optimistic. Yes, sometimes I cry, sometimes I scream in anger at perceived stupidities and in humanities in the world and in my own life. Sometime I "Bang my head against the wall" in momentary frustration or rage. But then, I quickly return to the Lion Warrior of Peace and Humanity that I want to make better, stronger, bolder freeer. I laugh at my momentary detours and celebrate life as it is. I take the next step.

We is human and better for being on The Path?
You bet! [ No gambling in the ranks ;) ]

Who can confirm that their practice improves their life? Me for one.

VastmindpersonBunks

Comments

  • 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

    Me 4 2

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    It is of course a subjective experience.

    I augment my formal sit with yoga. Now that my ability to sit in full lotus is returning, may not even need a cushion. Don't think the Buddha used one.

    For me softness or 'The Great Yin that overcomes Great Yang', comes from relaxing my hardened encrustations ...

    The detours are the winding and widening path, or is it narrow and straight? ... it changes ...

  • paulysopaulyso Veteran usa Veteran

    yes buddhism has improved my life.

    the struggle, the striving ,the mistakes, the learning, was worth it.

    i thank theravada, and daozen. the natural state is wonderful with the sprinkle of wu wei--the nonforce of action-has help align the flow.the buddha verified the ease when spiritual and natural work in tandum.

    imo,practice becomes habit.thank you tharavada for the foundation.glad to have stuck with it though the years of trial and turbulation.peace of mind is the resultant.

    now daozen has open the door of the extraodinary of the ordinary what the scripture called the supermundain and the mundain which is not mutually exclusive.

    to sum it up from pain to greater peace.i bow at my ineffible, and at buddha.

    Keromeadamcrossleylobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Hmm Dharma practice has improved life (in general)...The more the improvement... the less "I am" involved..and the less "I am" involved the more smoothly life seems to flow,,,

    Shit still seems to happen, and the more "I am" involved, the shitter it can become..I guess that's Dependent Origination for ya... ;) :)

    So......

    Who can confirm that their practice improves their life?

    Me not two :) :)

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Interesting what @Shoshin says:
    I AM and YAM KNOT or rather undivided being and the more Bodhi NON-Being.

    In early practice we move towards, attentive awareness, attentive being, formal attention. This equates to theistic mysticism/I AM and is currently popular as 'mindfullness'.

    Higher states/understanding are not egoic (recognizable being or spiritual persona) but more akin to transparency/emptying/non being.

    So initially we recognise improvement. Not recognising or operating from self interest or personal being can be recognised in the Bhumis or Zen ox herding ...
    https://bhadrasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/ten-bhumis-stages-of-bodhisattva.html

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran

    Yes, my practice improves my life. That’s not difficult to see. I experience much more peace of mind than I used to; I think (hope) I’m more attentive to others; and my life derives considerable meaning from it. Like you say, @lobster, I am human and better for being on The Path.

    I’m also interested in what you say here:

    In early practice we move towards, attentive awareness, attentive being, formal attention. This equates to theistic mysticism/I AM and is currently popular as 'mindfullness'.

    What do you think mindfulness has in common with mysticism and theism? One of my closest friends on the spiritual path is Muslim, and I love to think that despite the huge differences in presentation and symbolism in our traditions, we’re both climbing to the same summit.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I have a lot to be grateful for, to Buddhism in particular. I think it has a lot to teach to modern man, of which I am one, about compassion, surrender, suffering, happiness, mindfulness, insight. But I’m pretty stubborn, and the lessons take time to sink in. Which is what meditation is for B)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    One of my closest friends on the spiritual path is Muslim, and I love to think that despite the huge differences in presentation and symbolism in our traditions, we’re both climbing to the same summit.

    Allah Akbar
    https://sufism.org/ninety-nine-names/the-most-beautiful-names-of-allah-2

    meanwhile another mountain climber ...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @adamcrossley said:
    One of my closest friends on the spiritual path is Muslim, and I love to think that despite the huge differences in presentation and symbolism in our traditions, we’re both climbing to the same summit.

    Allah Akbar
    https://sufism.org/ninety-nine-names/the-most-beautiful-names-of-allah-2

    But Sufism isn’t quite the same as the standard Islamic teaching... there are a lot of Muslim religious preachers who are not Sufi’s. As I understand it, Sufism is a kind of mystical tradition within Islam, similar to how Kabbalah exists within the Judaic religion. Perhaps @lobster can explain in more detail.

    As to whether you’re climbing to the same summit, I would like to think so, but I feel that any religion where you’re trying to learn from a holy book and there isn’t a strong focus on practice imposes certain barriers. Sufism is beautiful and has some wonderful sides to it, though.

  • LionduckLionduck Veteran Veteran

    Buddhism is the reason I am alive today. Not because of any mumbi-jumbo. The practice has enabled me to grow, see a deeper and better relationship with my lif as well as with the other people and my environment. It has enabled me to gain and maintain a deep appreciation for life and all it entailes. it has enabled me to truely embrace the world with hope, joy and compassion - warts and all.

    Peace to all

    adamcrossleylobsterKeromeShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Indeed @Kerome, Sufism and Judaic Mysticism belong to the Abrahamic Path

    Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshicha (1765-1827) used to say that everyone should keep a piece of paper with “for my sake the world was created” in one pocket, and a piece of paper with “I am but dust and ashes” in another. The Rabbi was expressing an existential truth: each individual being is important, but not self-important.
    http://www.existentialbuddhist.com/tag/humility/

    In the Buddhist dharma path, gods and God are dead ashes, mumbo jumbo for some or aides to practice for others ...

    Here is part of a Buddhist humility training methodology:
    http://www.dalailama.com/teachings/training-the-mind/verse-2

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Indeed @Kerome, Sufism and Judaic Mysticism belong to the Abrahamic Path

    I remember in my graphic design days long ago doing work on a trilogy of books, Illustrated Christian Mysticism, Illustrated Jewish Mysticism and one more, which unfortunately wasn’t Sufism. It was interesting because it was about different mystics, their writings and diagrams. There always seemed to be a few diagrams :)

    But there was always this tendency to treat mysticism as esoteric, a secret, some hidden mystery. While in fact it is closer to the core of the real religion than the exoteric. The true seeker will not be satisfied with the external form, he will want to know the deeper wellsprings of faith.

    Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshicha (1765-1827) used to say that everyone should keep a piece of paper with “for my sake the world was created” in one pocket, and a piece of paper with “I am but dust and ashes” in another. The Rabbi was expressing an existential truth: each individual being is important, but not self-important.
    http://www.existentialbuddhist.com/tag/humility/

    Self-importance but stands in the way of progress, it is an obstacle. Humility is a quality to be admired, and something that leads to truth. Self-importance is actually a delusion, it creates a distortion in how you see the world.

    The importance of the individual comes from interdependence: without you, the world would not be as it is, your being is reflected in many things in the world. So the whole truth is a middle way, realising that you have a place, and not being so humble as to negate your own contribution.

    In the Buddhist dharma path, gods and God are dead ashes, mumbo jumbo for some or aides to practice for others ...

    Indeed, it is so, even though some scriptures make mention of their realms, those tales are to be treated with some care and distance, like the folk tales told to children. They populate the imagination and the land of dreams, but they do not lead to truth.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Indeed @Kerome

    Buddhism, tantra, even the samsara world in a sense, are a story. We too are a revelation and not a befuddled imaginary realm.

    What is the story we tell ourselves? Does it have an opposing script, an alternative interpretation? If it does then we can perhaps release it as fantasy ...

    Truth has no opposition. It is silent, ineffable, non-being ... [you know the rest] ...

    A horse suddenly came galloping quickly down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go.
    Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, "Where are you going?" and the man on the horse replied,
    "I don't know! Ask the horse!"

    https://buddhaimonia.com/blog/zen-stories-important-life-lessons

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I found it interesting to see that there are so many truths to be found in Buddhism. There are stories, and the stories also tell you something, but there are also things such as impermanence and interdependence, which are some of the major truths of our world. It is a question of searching through the many scriptures for those things which mean something to you.

    There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ journey through Buddhism, I think. People’s starting points are very diverse, as are the teachers they connect with and the books they read. All you can ask for is that you connect to the peaks of the lore, those parts of Buddhism which have much to teach.

    adamcrossleypersonlobsterVastmind
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome, this was very well said, thank you.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I am an eternally deluded person. No one is as deluded as I am. How clear this is to me when I do zazen!
    — Sawaki Roshi Roshi

    :) We iz deluded? No need to add befuddlement from:

    • intoxicants and psycho delosies,
    • rogue tweachers
    • crazy extremities
    • Cod gods and imaginary friends and fiends

    Clear? I think so ... B)

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran Veteran

    Fitter, happier
    More productive
    Comfortable
    Not drinking too much
    Regular exercise at the gym, three days a week
    Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries
    At ease
    Eating well, no more microwave dinners and saturated fats
    A patient, better driver
    A safer car, baby smiling in back seat
    Sleeping well, no bad dreams
    No paranoia
    Careful to all animals, never washing spiders down the plughole
    Keep in contact with old friends, enjoy a drink now and then
    Will frequently check credit at moral bank, hole in wall
    Favours for favours, fond but not in love
    Charity standing orders on sundays, ring-road supermarket
    No killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants
    Car wash, also on sundays
    No longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows, nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate
    Nothing so childish
    At a better pace, slower and more calculated
    No chance of escape
    Now self-employed
    Concerned, but powerless
    An empowered and informed member of societ, pragmatism not idealism
    Will not cry in public
    Less chance of illness
    Tires that grip in the wet, shot of baby strapped in backseat
    A good memory
    Still cries at a good film
    Still kisses with saliva
    No longer empty and frantic
    Like a cat
    Tied to a stick
    That's driven into
    Frozen winter shit, the ability to laugh at weakness
    Calm, fitter, healthier and more productive
    A pig in a cage on antibiotics

    lobsterpersonShoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Who can confirm that their practice improves their life?

    ...I'll give it a go....

    I seem faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. (lucid dreaming)
    Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane....... I'm Buddhawoman!

    Yes, I'm Buddhawoman, strange visitor from another plane who came to Newbuddhist with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Buddhawoman, who can change the course of mind streams, bend samsara in her bare hands. And who, disguised as Shoshin, mild-mannered poster on a great Buddhist website, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the compassionate way. And now another exciting episode in the adventures of Buddhawoman.

    Well that's the plagiarism plan :)

    lobsterperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Thanks @Shoshin and @Lee82

    One is the elevation into the realm of superhero, one is the extraordinary ordinary.

    Both are honest. If you are looking for The Buddha, look within. Our experience is awakening ...

    We can listen to other as Buddha (other includes selves) and observe and experience dharma in our everyday.

    Where is the sangha in all this? In the inspiration from our sharing ...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I seem faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. (lucid dreaming)
    Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane....... I'm Buddhawoman!

    Tee Hee :D
    Tips for overachievers:
    https://tinybuddha.com/blog/stop-pushing-hard-8-tips-destress-mind-body/

    I pay attention to everything I can-can/dance to B)
    I have been using twitter and it is a vexation of the spirit
    We live amidst noise, need and Conceptual proliferation

    It is why we can:

    • live life made simply
    • be kind, compassionate and friendly
    • slow down our need to be

    Yours in the Buddha Hood

    Vastmind
  • VastmindVastmind Veteran Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited October 3

    @lobster ..... can you further break down/explain/simplify conceptual proliferation? The example of the apple tree in the wiki article didn’t do it for me... 🤔. Or anyone else can.....???

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Don't overthunk it.
    https://www.lionsroar.com/what-is-papanca/

    The unfocussed, monkey mind always wanders off ...
    Give it an apple tree and it wanders off for pie, Newton, a whole orchard and this leads to worldly meanderings ...

    Single minded concentration is a skill. Hence:

    • mantra
    • breath focus
    • sitting emptied

    It is this 'mind mess' that people refer to as 'me'.
    The Buddha exposed it for what it really is. Head and being full of monkey juggling thoughts ...

    KeromeVastmindShoshin
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran Veteran

    Great article, @lobster, thank you 🙏

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    The economically minded say to follow the money, but even this causes a lot of proliferation, it’s not just one thought that follows the next in linear progression but a thought triggers two more, creating branching firework trees that erupt in the mind.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I really like @Lee82 contribution.

    A free form poem of ordinary being.
    An enactment of potential presence.
    She who dares you wins ...

    https://tinybuddha.com/blog/31-ways-to-appreciate-the-present-moment-and-feel-happier-right-now/

    My Mother Tara taught baby krill to be good.
    Still learning. Learning still.
    ... moving on ...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    To avoid sudden proliferation, think on the parable of the lute strings. Too tight, and your thinking becomes rigid and un creative. Too lose, and you end up with proliferation or chaos. You want to be in that middle way where you can still think creatively, but you are following one or two threads.

    Of course papanca can also happen over time. Living simply means you are less prone to it, but the mind can find all kinds of ways to overthink things.

    lobsterDhammika
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    The lute string and other core teachings we return to are the stable base/confidence/refuge/adoption of the Buddha Way.

    "Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit to others, no matter how small, then we should do it."
    — Tai Situ Rinpoche

    ... I knew there was plan ... ;)

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran Veteran
    edited October 14

    @lobster said:
    I really like @Lee82 contribution.

    A free form poem of ordinary being.
    An enactment of potential presence.
    She who dares you wins ...

    The title of the thread instantly reminded me of it. The words are in fact from a song by Radiohead titled Fitter Happier.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I don't listen to much music, usually only to relieve city noise ... @Lee82

    Thought they were your words 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Words, lyrics, poetry, the Enlightened Right Speech. We are always speaking/communicating ... <3

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:

    Great article, @lobster, thank you 🙏

    Great thread. 30 comments so far.
    Keep them coming :)

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran

    No. 31 :D

    The ending of papanca—nippapanca—reveals the true, undivided nature of the reality we inhabit. When the proliferating tendency of the mind ceases, even for a moment, the everpeaceful radiant heart is recognized. Papanca means “to spread out,” and the word conveys the dynamic web of thoughts and concepts that create our sense of reality. Rather than illuminating reality, papanca actually eclipses the direct seeing of what is really true. Papanca endlessly separates, and nippapanca means the cessation of that. It is a profound practice, to see through thinking and its activity of concretizing the self and the world. This is done not by hating thought, but by mindfully noticing a thought, particularly its beginning and ending.

    https://tricycle.org/magazine/tangled-thought/

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    This is done not by hating thought, but by mindfully noticing a thought, particularly its beginning and ending.

    Exactly right. Some of us have translated 'right concentration' as 'right constipation'. Do not hate your meditation stools. Not to loose, not too tight . . . take it away Tara ...

  • 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

    Tara sings:

    “Oh, sometimes I sit and think, and then again I just sit.”

    (NOT A. A. Milne.)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:

    This is done not by hating thought, but by mindfully noticing a thought, particularly its beginning and ending.

    Exactly right. Some of us have translated 'right concentration' as 'right constipation'. Do not hate your meditation stools. Not to loose, not too tight . . . take it away Tara ...

    Too much sitting on cold surfaces leads to haemorrhoids, which is also not conducive to regular stools. It can be a problem for meditators B)

  • 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

    @Kerome said: Too much sitting on cold surfaces leads to haemorrhoids, which is also not conducive to regular stools. It can be a problem for meditators

    And that's a fallacy, by the way.... total myth. So, feel free to occupy that marble seat, you'll be fine.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Kerome said: Too much sitting on cold surfaces leads to haemorrhoids, which is also not conducive to regular stools. It can be a problem for meditators

    And that's a fallacy, by the way.... total myth. So, feel free to occupy that marble seat, you'll be fine.

    Really, I’ll have to tell my stepfather, he suffered terribly from haemorrhoids and he always said it was due to the cold marble floors he used to sit on in the ashram in India...

  • 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

    Maybe he sat for too long....? ;)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    That could be... they used to listen to discourses of an hour and a half every day in that lecture hall, and listening to his stories piles were a common problem, so much so that there were special cushions for sufferers.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    meanwhile ...

    Buddhism, at least as I practice it, continually enables me to become more compassionate, more positive, stronger, wiser, more optimistic. Yes, sometimes I cry, sometimes I scream in anger at perceived stupidities and in humanities in the world and in my own life. Sometime I "Bang my head against the wall" in momentary frustration or rage. But then, I quickly return to the Lion Warrior of Peace and Humanity that I want to make better, stronger, bolder freeer. I laugh at my momentary detours and celebrate life as it is. I take the next step.

    There is always the return to the next step.
    This we can allude to if not expressing directly. For example:

    Wear and worn our gate
    Out of step in March or 8 limbed Octopusber
    Onward to lotus Buddha foot
    A play, an act collapsed, a shed
    Won out our gait, our step steeped in petals ...

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    It is interesting finding the right interior and exterior supportive environment
    http://www.trudygoodman.com/go-to-the-places-that-love-you/

    Personally I find the best place is how we are wherever we are. Improving our being is in this sense a constant conscious awareness or an attempt towards it.

    adamcrossley
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