Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Whoami on October 26, 2020, 02:13:05 PM

Title: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Whoami on October 26, 2020, 02:13:05 PM
Hi all beautiful rays of sunshine ;D

I have a question, what is the process of becoming free of desire?
Im not talking about ALL desires but just ONE, for example the desire to own material things. Or the desire to have a partner.
Is there a specific process or does it just naturally dissapear if you dont feed them?(for the exemples; not buying any things/engage in a lonely life), and then embrace the pain when the desire is not met until you give it up?

I have sort of successfully somehow in my journey lost a great deal of my physical desires for intimacy and sex, but that just happend out of the blue.

Peace be upon you
WhoAmI
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Goofaholix on October 26, 2020, 05:36:51 PM
Desire is often a neutral word and can be applied to wholesome things, for example "I desire wisdom", or "harmony is desirable".  I prefer to use the word craving for the sorts of desires you are talking about here, another common word used is greed.

Basically you just slowing erode it's hold over you over time by again and again when you notice craving arise, notice how it arose, how it feels, what happens when you indulge, what happens when you don't, how it passes away.

When you give up something you used to crave it's a good idea to replace it with something else, something wholesome that diverts your attention from what you craved.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: running on October 26, 2020, 08:30:51 PM
i put my desire on my spiritual practice and for whatever reasons it worked. i think desire and curiosity have similarity's. i suspect its the curiosity of the journey than overtook some previous desire on other things.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on October 27, 2020, 01:31:46 AM
I have sort of successfully somehow in my journey lost a great deal of my physical desires for intimacy and sex, but that just happend out of the blue.

Peace be upon you
WhoAmI

Yes, because you are seeing sensual pleasures for what they really are. You want to be ruled by chemicals, or the reactive mind?

Good for you! I am glad you are seeing more clearly.

Peace and enlightenment. :)
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Whoami on October 27, 2020, 07:07:06 AM
I have sort of successfully somehow in my journey lost a great deal of my physical desires for intimacy and sex, but that just happend out of the blue.

Peace be upon you
WhoAmI

Yes, because you are seeing sensual pleasures for what they really are. You want to be ruled by chemicals, or the reactive mind?

Good for you! I am glad you are seeing more clearly.

Peace and enlightenment. :)

Haha thanks or something.. i thing is that it did not happen when i meditated or anything, it just sortof happend out of the blue. Thats why i wonder how to let go of other desires :)
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Nicky on November 13, 2020, 10:11:51 AM
Or the desire to have a partner.

Celibacy is the core essence of the traditional monastic or spiritual life. Once interest in sex & intimacy is dropped, generally, desires for other worldly things wane.

Generally, the way to give up such desires is to see their disadvantage. For example, proper moral sustainable relationships require much work & obligations. They are not merely just fun but generally require much sacrifice. For example, having a family requires much work to make money and dealing with family dramas & difficulties.

Traditionally, individuals interested in the spiritual life do not have interest in taking on the above challenges & obligations of family life.

 :)


Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: milco on November 13, 2020, 10:33:01 AM
Or the desire to have a partner.

Celibacy is the core essence of the traditional monastic or spiritual life. Once interest in sex & intimacy is dropped, generally, desires for other worldly things wane.

Generally, the way to give up such desires is to see their disadvantage. For example, proper moral sustainable relationships require much work & obligations. They are not merely just fun but generally require much sacrifice. For example, having a family requires much work to make money and dealing with family dramas & difficulties.

Traditionally, individuals interested in the spiritual life do not have interest in taking on the above challenges & obligations of family life.

 :)

The 'challenges and obligations of family life' are amongst the most rewarding, satisfying and nourishing aspects of the human experience. The 'sacrifice' you refer to is so, so worth it. Plus the fact is that it 'makes the world go round'. No family, no little monks for future generations!

To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 14, 2020, 02:45:23 AM
The 'challenges and obligations of family life' are amongst the most rewarding, satisfying and nourishing aspects of the human experience. The 'sacrifice' you refer to is so, so worth it. Plus the fact is that it 'makes the world go round'. No family, no little monks for future generations!

To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.

Well, technically Buddhists at their core don't see having children as a great joy, as we are only bringing more suffering into the world.

In the end, all clinging and desire must be let go of, including the desire to cling to our beloved families. So hard to see clearly on this one.

It must be said that Buddhism is not a family spiritual path, as you see in other major world religions.

That said, no good Buddhist would ever advise a parent to forsake their children to go live in the forest to become a monk - never! You'd be breaking the precepts and will do yourself major harm and to your child.

Married people with children are not inferior, nor does it mean that they cannot become more enlightened - they can indeed. It is best that you focus on your state in life now, whatever that may be.  Do not consider the idea that monks are superior, or that you somehow need to become one at some point in your life to become enlightened. Be the best at what you're doing now as a Buddhist (following Dharma, loving your family, becoming slowly less attached, etc.).

Celibacy is about seeing the emptiness of all phenomena, the inability for any sensual or worldly pleasure to being any kind of real and complete satisfaction. I know it sounds nihilistic and sad and, as you say, "ridiculous", but it's not at all when you see ultimate reality for what it is. It's our clinging minds that make us think so (our great delusions). You have plenty of lifetimes to get it right, as we all do.

We're all at different stages in our Paths. Lay people should not be comparing themselves to monks, or to lay celibates on the Buddhist path like myself.

A more enlightened person is not really giving up anything when they renunciate - they are actually liberating themselves from the bondage of desire.

Please enjoy your state in life that you are in now.  Live the Dharma (the moral part) and do proper meditations. Don't worry about renunciation of sensual pleasures. It's all fine and good as you are right now, friend.  Seriously.



Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 14, 2020, 02:52:49 AM
Celibacy is the core essence of the traditional monastic or spiritual life. Once interest in sex & intimacy is dropped, generally, desires for other worldly things wane.

Generally, the way to give up such desires is to see their disadvantage. For example, proper moral sustainable relationships require much work & obligations. They are not merely just fun but generally require much sacrifice. For example, having a family requires much work to make money and dealing with family dramas & difficulties.

Traditionally, individuals interested in the spiritual life do not have interest in taking on the above challenges & obligations of family life.

Yes, you are correct in what you say.  ;)

In the end, we're all an island. We must embrace the void of emptiness and face it head on. But we need to learn to face it with love. That is real peace when we accept ultimate reality. That is real happiness.

Folks, you need to love your families. But real love is not clinging to the people you love in the end.

I just don't want some members to give up on the Buddhist path, seeing it falsely as nihilistic. It is anything but. Sometimes the words are not there to describe the pure essence of Buddhism, and its most liberating path.

I love my parents to death. But I know in the end that they will at some point cease to be with me. It's reality. I need to love them without clinging to them. So hard for me, as I still have great delusions.

Love to all!

Peace and enlightenment.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 14, 2020, 10:32:39 AM
Emptiness in Buddhism is tricky, but the idea is that eventually you see that emptiness is also empty as a 'thing'. Once you get that you get everything back again, but better. Although I don't like the religious use of the term 'faith', the understanding of a 'leap of faith' when you go abseiling, or parachuting or something for the first time is useful here. You take this leap of faith in seeing everything as empty, even emptiness, and then you get there.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 14, 2020, 03:46:58 PM
Emptiness in Buddhism is tricky, but the idea is that eventually you see that emptiness is also empty as a 'thing'. Once you get that you get everything back again, but better. Although I don't like the religious use of the term 'faith', the understanding of a 'leap of faith' when you go abseiling, or parachuting or something for the first time is useful here. You take this leap of faith in seeing everything as empty, even emptiness, and then you get there.

Yes, even emptiness is empty.

Emptiness is often misunderstood, which is very concerning.

Emptiness has nothing to do with nihilism, meaninglessness, etc. It's simply the idea that nothing exists inherently on its side, frozen in time. Impossible for it to be otherwise.


Peace and enlightenment.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: raushan on November 14, 2020, 10:54:45 PM
Or the desire to have a partner.

Celibacy is the core essence of the traditional monastic or spiritual life. Once interest in sex & intimacy is dropped, generally, desires for other worldly things wane.

Generally, the way to give up such desires is to see their disadvantage. For example, proper moral sustainable relationships require much work & obligations. They are not merely just fun but generally require much sacrifice. For example, having a family requires much work to make money and dealing with family dramas & difficulties.

Traditionally, individuals interested in the spiritual life do not have interest in taking on the above challenges & obligations of family life.

 :)

The 'challenges and obligations of family life' are amongst the most rewarding, satisfying and nourishing aspects of the human experience. The 'sacrifice' you refer to is so, so worth it. Plus the fact is that it 'makes the world go round'. No family, no little monks for future generations!

To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.

Hi milco,

absurd, ridiculous these words imply that you are absolutely certain that what you think is right. What you find absurd or ridiculous many people in today's world find it ridiculous. That's why there are 10 days of meditation retreats. These are for lay people for those who can't or don't want to become a monk. Also, there are family obligations for many. Even if they want to they can't become a monk. Many people in the developing nations have to take care of their parents when they grow up.  2 hours of practice daily is a gradual process that anyone can do. One shouldn't be concerned with celibacy or monkhood until they are really certain. But outright rejecting that ideas is also not good that's what you seems to be doing.

Also, monkhood isn't limited to the spiritual path. Many great artists, scientists never married in their life or didn't have children simply because they didn't have time. Newton, Nikola Tesla, Beethoven are some of the examples. It doesn't mean they were right and others were wrong. It simply means they gave priority to different things in life. They chose different paths.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: raushan on November 15, 2020, 01:27:00 AM
Hi Dhamma,

You often use or describe Buddhist lingo with absolute certainty. I think assuming something that you know based on pure theoretical understanding isn't a good idea. I find myself also fascinated by new words or terms or sutta. But these shouldn't be used lightly. I feel the true meaning of words like Emptiness is beyond comprehensible until one experiences it.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 15, 2020, 02:17:35 AM
Hi Dhamma,

You often use or describe Buddhist lingo with absolute certainty. I think assuming something that you know based on pure theoretical understanding isn't a good idea. I find myself also fascinated by new words or terms or sutta. But these shouldn't be used lightly. I feel the true meaning of words like Emptiness is beyond comprehensible until one experiences it.

Hi there!

What is theoretical about "emptiness"?  You cannot be a Buddhist if you don't believe in the emptiness of all phenomena, even if you are far from understanding it deep in your bones.  I've been studying and contemplating emptiness for quite a while. And, yes, it's a complicated term that can never be described in words - impossible.  A famous Tibetan monk teacher once said that emptiness cannot be ultimately explained but only experienced. How true! But emptiness must be discussed and taught in all schools of Buddhism. Listen, if I don't believe in emptiness, I may as well stop being a Buddhist. It's one of the foundations of this Path. It's not theoretical.

Appearance is empty; all pleasures are empty; all objects are empty; we are empty.  Emptiness doesn't mean nihilism or non-existence; it simply means  "empty of inherent existence". If we don't believe or try to understand emptiness, there is no reason to be a Buddhist.

Emptiness is a technique used to better deal with people you don't like (we are just bits and pieces), or understand that there is no inherently-existing enemy or bad person out there. We are all products of causes and conditions. Emptiness helps us deal with life, even if you don't fully grasp it, or know it deeply in our bones. Again, if it weren't for emptiness, I would never be a Buddhist.

How can you progress on the Buddhist path without delving into emptiness? Impossible.

It is true that in the Mahayana schools, emptiness is discussed and "preached" repeatedly (Zen/Chan/Seon, Tibetan, etc.). This is much less so in Theravada, where it is introduced slowly over time.  In Mahayana schools, one meditates or ponders emptiness from day one.

I may have misread what you are saying. I'm very sorry if I did.

I'm not technically a Theravada Buddhist. In other traditions, emptiness is all over the place. Many contemplate it every day. I am not sure that this is the case with lay people in the Theravada tradition. It's like non-duality. That word might get me into a little trouble here, too, because non-duality is not embraced in Theravada Buddhism as in the Mahayana schools.

But, I heed your suggestion actually. Instead of throwing out the term "emptiness" all the time, it might be better for me to describe emptiness in the current situation (social relations, etc.) without using the term. Describe how something is empty without mentioning emptiness. That would be much more helpful to lay persons not well-versed in the concept. Emptiness, after all, is often very misunderstood by lay Buddhists. I see your point, in that it can be dangerous to throw the term out when many people might not really understand it.

No, friend, I do not know emptiness deep in my bones, nor do I know non-duality deep in my bones (not sure Theravadan Buddhists really accept non-duality).

I am another Buddhist forum where Pali terms and Buddhist lingo are galore. LOL. And I do see where you are coming from: many of them throw hardcore Buddhist lingo without really understanding the concepts that well intellectually.

Yes, you can easily understand something quite well intellectually? But do you know it deep in your bones? That is the greater questions. But, with emptiness, you have to start somewhere.

Like Dharma Bum, I am mostly ignorant, but I know that emptiness is supreme in understanding Buddhism.

Peace and enlightenment, dear friend.  I offer you much love in the Dhamma.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Nicky on November 15, 2020, 04:24:02 AM
To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.

Thank you for your reply however I was answering the question for the other person. Therefore, to repeat, to give up desires it is best to discern the disadvantage or drawback of the thing. It is not easy to "renounce" something if the thing renounced is viewed positively.

For example, if you are married and have adulterous sexual desires for another person other than your partner, you should reflect upon the disadvantage or drawback of those adulterous sexual desires, such as: (i) family break up; (ii) harm to children; (iii) legal costs; (iv) division of assets; (v) loss of wealth; (vi) here & now rebirth as a hungry ghost, etc.

Kind regards  :)
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: milco on November 15, 2020, 11:48:10 AM
To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.

Thank you for your reply however I was answering the question for the other person. Therefore, to repeat, to give up desires it is best to discern the disadvantage or drawback of the thing. It is not easy to "renounce" something if the thing renounced is viewed positively.

For example, if you are married and have adulterous sexual desires for another person other than your partner, you should reflect upon the disadvantage or drawback of those adulterous sexual desires, such as: (i) family break up; (ii) harm to children; (iii) legal costs; (iv) division of assets; (v) loss of wealth; (vi) here & now rebirth as a hungry ghost, etc.

Kind regards  :)

I don't particularly disagree with your point about adultery. However, you were clearly referencing normal family relationships in your post.

For instance, you stated:

"Proper moral, sustainable relationships require much work & obligations. They are not merely just fun but generally require much sacrifice. For example, having a family requires much work to make money and dealing with family dramas & difficulties. Traditionally, individuals interested in the spiritual life do not have interest in taking on the above challenges & obligations of family life."

This statement, which was the bulk of your post, refers not to adulterous relationships, but issues associated with he traditional family. To me, it seemed to promote the idea that the 'dramas' of family life were somehow at odds with leading a spiritual life.

Again, I come back to the same point I have been making on numerous other posts: Are we here on this forum to discuss the route to some sort of monastic lifestyle, in which case fine, and I take your point; or are we just a group of people who work hard for a living and deal with the travails of life to the best of our ability, who are looking for some sort of balance...a means of finding peace and clarity and coping with normal stress and anxiety...through the practice of meditation?

Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: milco on November 15, 2020, 11:58:23 AM
The 'challenges and obligations of family life' are amongst the most rewarding, satisfying and nourishing aspects of the human experience. The 'sacrifice' you refer to is so, so worth it. Plus the fact is that it 'makes the world go round'. No family, no little monks for future generations!

To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.

Well, technically Buddhists at their core don't see having children as a great joy, as we are only bringing more suffering into the world.

In the end, all clinging and desire must be let go of, including the desire to cling to our beloved families. So hard to see clearly on this one.


I keep coming across this word, 'clinging' in certain posts and can't help but feel it is being over-used, or at least stretched beyond any meaningful significance.

For instance, 'clinging' could be used to describe the behaviour of a stalker, i.e. someone who exhibits obsessive traits to the point that their behaviour becomes obsessive and abusive. They 'cling' to the a perceived notion of mutual attraction which is both damaging and delusional.

However, 'clinging' in the context in which you use it could equally refer to a mother's feeling of attachment towards her baby, a couple falling in love, a father's love for his son, and so on...

I find this 'one-size-fits-all' approach of describing attachments to worldly connections and relationships slightly baffling and unhelpful. I would actually go as far as to say that in conflating so many different things it promotes absolutes and dogmas.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: milco on November 15, 2020, 12:11:18 PM
Or the desire to have a partner.

Celibacy is the core essence of the traditional monastic or spiritual life. Once interest in sex & intimacy is dropped, generally, desires for other worldly things wane.

Generally, the way to give up such desires is to see their disadvantage. For example, proper moral sustainable relationships require much work & obligations. They are not merely just fun but generally require much sacrifice. For example, having a family requires much work to make money and dealing with family dramas & difficulties.

Traditionally, individuals interested in the spiritual life do not have interest in taking on the above challenges & obligations of family life.

 :)

The 'challenges and obligations of family life' are amongst the most rewarding, satisfying and nourishing aspects of the human experience. The 'sacrifice' you refer to is so, so worth it. Plus the fact is that it 'makes the world go round'. No family, no little monks for future generations!

To equate family life with 'desires' and 'disadvantages' seems absurd to me. I understand that a monk or someone who has renounced worldly things may decide to go in that direction -- that is their choice -- but to imply that to be spiritual is incompatible with bringing up a family is ridiculous.

Hi milco,

absurd, ridiculous these words imply that you are absolutely certain that what you think is right. What you find absurd or ridiculous many people in today's world find it ridiculous. That's why there are 10 days of meditation retreats. These are for lay people for those who can't or don't want to become a monk. Also, there are family obligations for many. Even if they want to they can't become a monk. Many people in the developing nations have to take care of their parents when they grow up.  2 hours of practice daily is a gradual process that anyone can do. One shouldn't be concerned with celibacy or monkhood until they are really certain. But outright rejecting that ideas is also not good that's what you seems to be doing.

Also, monkhood isn't limited to the spiritual path. Many great artists, scientists never married in their life or didn't have children simply because they didn't have time. Newton, Nikola Tesla, Beethoven are some of the examples. It doesn't mean they were right and others were wrong. It simply means they gave priority to different things in life. They chose different paths.

All I am saying is that family life and spirituality can co-exist. There seems to be a real tension on this forum between the two -- as if they are polar opposites.

On the more narrow point about great artists choosing not to have children, I couldn't agree more with you. I don't have children. This was partly circumstantial and partly through choice. My favourite recording artist of the 1980s was Morrissey of that great, incomparable, Mancunian pop group, the Smiths. He was both childless and devoutly celibate, bless him!

In trying to advocate that the family and spirituality are compatible I am certainly not knocking celibates, the childless, artists, mavericks and misfits and all who fall into the 'non-family' category. I am one of them.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: raushan on November 15, 2020, 12:32:03 PM

All I am saying is that family life and spirituality can co-exist. There seems to be a real tension on this forum between the two -- as if they are polar opposites.

On the more narrow point about great artists choosing not to have children, I couldn't agree more with you. I don't have children. This was partly circumstantial and partly through choice. My favorite recording artist of the 1980s was Morrissey of that great, incomparable, Mancunian pop group, The Smiths. He was both childless and devoutly celibate, bless him!

In trying to advocate that the family and spirituality are compatible I am certainly not knocking celibates, the childless, artists, mavericks and misfits and all who fall into the 'non-family' category. I am one of them.

I don't see any great tension here. I think this forum exists for like past 20 years. And all kinds of people come here and discuss Dhamma. Married, celibate, noncelibate. Meditation's original intention was never to reduce anxiety or cure depression. These are modern world problems. And Some researchers found that meditation can be helpful in dealing with these issues. So yeah some may use meditation just for the purpose to cure their stress or anxiety and leave it to that. If you want just that then you should just practice for a few minutes daily and not involve with the kind of discussion on this forum that opposes your point of view.

Originally, Meditation in India always had one intention i.e. liberation. If you aren't Indian or not familiar with the Indian religion then many of these things will seem odd to you. Family life does prohibit a person from doing a lot of stuff it's not a mystery. That's why many people say if you want to take any major risk in life do it before the marriage.

As Dhamma explained in his previous posts Buddhism at its core sees taking birth in this world is basically suffering. If you have a problem with these ideas I would suggest you just take the meditation part and leave the rest of the Buddhist literature. These are called secular Buddhists. Many people already do that. And it's fine too.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 15, 2020, 06:34:42 PM
As Dhamma explained in his previous posts Buddhism at its core sees taking birth in this world is basically suffering. If you have a problem with these ideas I would suggest you just take the meditation part and leave the rest of the Buddhist literature. These are called secular Buddhists. Many people already do that. And it's fine too.

Thank you so much! I so wanted to say this, but couldn't find the words at the time of responding.

Yes -- Milco needs to focus on "Secular Buddhism", which is perfectly fine. I do not - I am a Religious Buddhist, which is also perfectly fine.

That is where the conflict lies. While Secular Buddhism and Religious Buddhism have much in common, there are fundamental differences that arise.

I want Milco to be happy.  He seems to be following the Dhamma to some degree, I beg him to continue.  I also want him to continue to meditate as well and participate on the forum.

I am not a secular Buddhist. Therein lies the rub. But there is no problem. We are on similar but different paths.

It's all fine. Love to you Milco, and to you all.

May we fulfill our deepest wish for happiness.

Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 15, 2020, 06:53:01 PM
Yes -- Milco needs to focus on "Secular Buddhism", which is perfectly fine. I do not - I am a Religious Buddhist, which is also perfectly fine.

I don't think anyone can say what the other needs to focus on. We all find our own path.

I would disagree that any such thing as a Religious Buddhist truly exists, for example. This seems contradictory to the teachings of the Buddha which are based in empiricism and experience - and not blind faith: blind faith being the thing that is distinctive about religion, whereas empiricism and experience are more tied to philosophy and being.

Having said that, I am not hung up about the idea. If you want to define yourself as a "Religious Buddhist" at this point on your path that is your business - though you must realise you will, at some point, have to drop all this labelling.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 15, 2020, 07:53:46 PM
Yes -- Milco needs to focus on "Secular Buddhism", which is perfectly fine. I do not - I am a Religious Buddhist, which is also perfectly fine.

I don't think anyone can say what the other needs to focus on. We all find our own path.

I would disagree that any such thing as a Religious Buddhist truly exists, for example. This seems contradictory to the teachings of the Buddha which are based in empiricism and experience - and not blind faith: blind faith being the thing that is distinctive about religion, whereas empiricism and experience are more tied to philosophy and being.

Having said that, I am not hung up about the idea. If you want to define yourself as a "Religious Buddhist" at this point on your path that is your business - though you must realise you will, at some point, have to drop all this labelling.

Hi Matthew!

I already knew you were going to respond to my using the word "religious" in this regard. But, let it be known: I am well aware of the  the implications of blind faith, etc. in association with the word "religion".  It wasn't the best term to use, but it's what I choose to use. It's used in the Buddhist world by many Buddhist teachers.

I'm not defining anyone's path, but we know that there are Secular Buddhists and Non-Secular Buddhists. I don't like to pit one against the other, as it I see it as highly unproductive. That said, we are forced to label when living in a Non-Buddhist world. And, yes, there are differences between the two, and that merits discussions at times, provided they are civil and substantive.

You are right: labels are empty of all inherent existence, and ultimately, they serve no good purpose. Anyone with enough Buddhist training and meditation comes to this realization, sooner or later.

It is simply that Milco is on a different path than I am, which is fine. Only he knows the correct path for him in the end, whatever that may be.  I wasn't judging anyone - simply pointing out that his ideas of clinging, etc. are not as sharply refined as mine. No one is better than anyone else, for that matter. People have different points of awakening, and it's not always linear. No one is judging anyone. Again, we are all at different points on our Paths, depending upon our culture, family responsibilities, interest, financial status, karma, etc.


Much love in the Dhamma to Matthew, and to everyone else.


Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: milco on November 15, 2020, 08:29:10 PM
I think am going to leave you all to your own various paths. I am on the wrong board here and my participation in these discussions doesn't serve anyone's interests.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 15, 2020, 09:09:45 PM
It is simply that Milco is on a different path than I am, which is fine. Only he knows the correct path for him in the end, whatever that may be.  I wasn't judging anyone - simply pointing out that his ideas of clinging, etc. are not as sharply refined as mine. ..... No one is judging anyone.

Keep on fooling yourself. You are judging, measuring yourself against others: "not as sharply refined as mine".

It doesn't matter how many times you repeat you are not doing it ... when you clearly are.

This is clinging to view, unwholesome, and it is an obstacle on the path.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 15, 2020, 09:10:12 PM
I think am going to leave you all to your own various paths. I am on the wrong board here and my participation in these discussions doesn't serve anyone's interests.

I am sorry to see you go.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 16, 2020, 12:10:59 AM
It is simply that Milco is on a different path than I am, which is fine. Only he knows the correct path for him in the end, whatever that may be.  I wasn't judging anyone - simply pointing out that his ideas of clinging, etc. are not as sharply refined as mine. ..... No one is judging anyone.

Keep on fooling yourself. You are judging, measuring yourself against others: "not as sharply refined as mine".

It doesn't matter how many times you repeat you are not doing it ... when you clearly are.

This is clinging to view, unwholesome, and it is an obstacle on the path.

In the end, all clinging must cease. I am saying that I know this very well intellectually, even if I don't know it deep in my bones. Some people don't accept that reality. I surely didn't a few years back.

Buddhism is Buddhism - end of story. If I say on here, "It is wrong to cheat on your spouse", does that automatically make me egotistical? If I call out bad behavior because it needs pointing out, am I egotistical? If everything someone is going say is going to be labeled as ego-based, there really is no point in talking. Why? Because we cannot really discuss and debate without our egos showing up. We need to minimize it; but we are not going to rid ourselves of it. I heard this very clearly from a good Buddhist teacher. Impossible.

This is why Yuttadhammo Bikkhu encourages Buddhists not to talk too much.  It just lands us into trouble. We hurt ourselves in the process.

It's very easy to be a slave to your emotions in the middle of a debate, etc. I never knew there was really a serious debate going on. LOL.

Peace and enlightenment.




Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 16, 2020, 12:18:43 AM
I think am going to leave you all to your own various paths. I am on the wrong board here and my participation in these discussions doesn't serve anyone's interests.

We don't all have to see things the exact same way. I am just saying what any Buddha teaching book is going to say about clinging. We suffer because we cling. It's that simple. It's like a Christian saying that there is Christianity without Jesus.

I think your posts are quite interesting. I enjoy them a lot.

I wish you much happiness.

Peace and enlightenment.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 16, 2020, 12:50:09 AM
...
I am just saying what any Buddha teaching book is going to say about clinging. We suffer because we cling. It's that simple.
...

It's not that simple. You cling to a lot and don't seem to know it. You have aversion to a lot, and don't seem to know it. You are ignorant of a lot, and don't seem to know it.

Clinging, aversion and ignorance are the three marks of existence, and causes of suffering. I don't know what books you've been reading but they either missed 2/3rds of the formula or speed reading isn't your thing.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 16, 2020, 12:53:14 AM
...
I never knew there was really a serious debate going on. LOL.


I have noticed whenever you put "LOL" at the end of a sentence you are talking out of your arse, fooling yourself, and coming from a strong place of ego.

You might want to reflect on this.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 16, 2020, 12:55:22 AM
....
Buddhism is Buddhism - end of story.
...

 So not the end of any story :D
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 16, 2020, 01:15:07 AM
I will be joining, Milco, in leaving the forum. I enjoyed my time here. But I am not going to be called names like a "fool" on a Buddhist forum of all places. If I want to be abused emotionally, I am not going to be so on a Buddhist forum. I didn't do anything wrong. The  "LOL" was not meant sarcastically, by the way.

I enjoyed you all very much. Best of luck to you all on your Paths, including you, Matthew. But I won't be abused on a Buddhist forum.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 16, 2020, 08:05:48 AM
I wrote you are fooling yourself, not that you're a fool.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: raushan on November 16, 2020, 03:59:34 PM
Yeah, I wanted to point out the same thing to Dhamma. He has inherent belief(which he doesn't seem to be aware of) that he has understood what clinging means, what emptiness means and he uses these terms very loosely to the point it conveys the wrong message to the readers of the forum. 

Suttas, Abhidhamma reading these things is really cool.  But there is a difference between understanding it and knowing it. If you will really know what clinging is you will stop clinging.

Now if your reaction to this post is that "I know I haven't understood deep into the bones" then you are failing to understand what Matthew or me trying to tell you.

Metta
Raushan
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: dharma bum on November 17, 2020, 02:29:21 AM
I agree with Milco when he/she says that family life is quite compatible with the spiritual life. In fact, having children and a spouse will test the limits of your patience and compassion like nothing a monastic life can. You have to be quite resourceful and creative to juggle various responsibilities and maintain an inner sense of serenity.

Children especially provide a lot of opportunity to cultivate selfless love. Not a lot of our love is quite selfless as a matter of fact, but when you have children, you might notice that the state of mind of love and affection for your kids can be extended to everyone around you. Mothers perhaps more than fathers are more capable of it.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 17, 2020, 11:03:58 PM
If I want to be abused emotionally, I am not going to be so on a Buddhist forum.

You weren't abused emotionally. You were shown a mirror, both here and in my private message to you about your behaviour, your egoistic understanding, and how it manifests. Don't be such a drama queen.

And what is this "if I want to be abused emotionally"? - are you really perceiving yourself as that much of a victim? That's some projection going on.

I didn't do anything wrong.

I am not here to run down others, or compare negatively .... I need to start following Right Speech better.

Make your mind up. Did you do nothing wrong, or do you need to start following right speech better?

The  "LOL" was not meant sarcastically, by the way.

I didn't say it was. I said I had noticed a pattern in your behaviour you might wish to pay attention to - you could learn from doing so. Here, I found another example of you doing this:

I think I am speaking with great ignorance all the time, too. LOL.

First you speak the truth, then you LOL - ask yourself why you do this?

I will be joining, Milco, in leaving the forum. I enjoyed my time here.

That is your choice. Nobody has said you are unwelcome here. Only that you need to cut the bullcrap and start owning your own stuff. Or as Raushan put it more eloquently:

Yeah, I wanted to point out the same thing to Dhamma. He has inherent belief(which he doesn't seem to be aware of) that he has understood what clinging means, what emptiness means and he uses these terms very loosely to the point it conveys the wrong message to the readers of the forum. 

Kindly,

Matthew
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on November 17, 2020, 11:05:51 PM
I agree with Milco when he/she says that family life is quite compatible with the spiritual life ..

Very much so dharma bum. In the Buddha's Sangha there were many enlightened householders. In life we apply the lessons we learn on the cushion.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Siddharth on November 18, 2020, 12:36:48 AM
I agree with Milco when he/she says that family life is quite compatible with the spiritual life. In fact, having children and a spouse will test the limits of your patience and compassion like nothing a monastic life can. You have to be quite resourceful and creative to juggle various responsibilities and maintain an inner sense of serenity.

Children especially provide a lot of opportunity to cultivate selfless love. Not a lot of our love is quite selfless as a matter of fact, but when you have children, you might notice that the state of mind of love and affection for your kids can be extended to everyone around you. Mothers perhaps more than fathers are more capable of it.

Hello, Dharma bum :)
I have recently been dealing with a few setbacks, and in general become easily irritable and childlike for a couple of weeks now. It has to do with cognitive dissonance, or in simpler (more experiential terms) what I thought was real in some sense turned out to be  an illusion, and I am mad at myself about that thesedays.

Anyways, during these times, my family has been so supportive even when I rant irrationally around them, and have tiny tantrums.
I was wondering yesterday about the capacity it would take to be loving and nurturing towards me, even when I am doing absolutely nothing these days to be "deserving" of the affection. I was admiring their capacity for remaining calm and loving and introspecting about my "transactional" nature even when it comes to personal relationships in subtle ways a lot of times.

Who I am currently would not be able to be so loving around someone acting the way I am acting these days. While I have been generally staying away from participating in the forum due to lack of equanimity to contribute in wholesome way here, your post resonated about how having a family, children whom you are kind of "programmed to love" from an evolutionary standpoint can help you develop on the spiritual side as well.

I was wondering if I am not cut out at all for family life in general, can I be a "good" father to a son acting like me in future etc? and I realised that being a "good" parent or a "good" spouse is spiritually demanding as well.

Something somehow connected here and due to my experiences condensed through your post, I have a little different view of what it means to be a part of family, and how meditation/ spiritual growth can affect it.

Thanks and regards,
Siddharth
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Nicky on November 18, 2020, 12:50:42 AM
"this statement, which was the bulk of your post, refers not to adulterous relationships, but issues associated with he traditional family.

I posted about adultery for you, as an example, and not for myself.

To me, it seemed to promote the idea that the 'dramas' of family life were somehow at odds with leading a spiritual life.

Well, if my children got brainwashed by the Cultural Marxist mass-media and wanted to take drugs, watch porn or have sex before marriage or get injected with compulsory Covid vaccines for all their lives or get conscripted into the next army for the next big war, yes, that would trouble me as a parent.

Again, I come back to the same point I have been making on numerous other posts: Are we here on this forum to discuss the route to some sort of monastic lifestyle, in which case fine, and I take your point; or are we just a group of people who work hard for a living and deal with the travails of life to the best of our ability, who are looking for some sort of balance...a means of finding peace and clarity and coping with normal stress and anxiety...through the practice of meditation?

Your comments remain unrelated to my answer for the other person. Your comment pertain to yourself and not to myself.

Take care. May your family be well & keep safe.  :)
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: dharma bum on November 18, 2020, 04:55:28 PM
Quote
I was wondering if I am not cut out at all for family life in general, can I be a "good" father to a son acting like me in future etc? and I realised that being a "good" parent or a "good" spouse is spiritually demanding as well.

It is a hard question to answer. It is impossible to know if you would be good or not in a particular situation without first being in that situation. I know that being a parent isn't easy and yet millions of people around the world do a pretty good job of it even in very poor conditions.

In some ways it is good to have someone else to worry about. That doesn't give you enough time to worry about yourself.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Siddharth on November 19, 2020, 01:58:33 AM
In some ways it is good to have someone else to worry about. That doesn't give you enough time to worry about yourself.

A lot of people see it as a con. Specially women in traditional households. over time, not being able to worry about yourself can turn people bitter and resentful and less capable of taking care of others as well.

But in the sense that you are saying, perhaps it means that people become less "ambitious" when they have family to take care of, and are majorly concerned with the needs, rather than the wants, as that is all they realistically have time for given family responsibilities. That inadvertantly leads them to spirituality and the path of contentment within, rather than seeking external achievements...
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: dharma bum on November 19, 2020, 03:11:03 AM
Yes Siddharth, you might be right. I'm not very sure about what I said about worrying about others being better than worrying about yourself. It's all worry - what difference does it make if it's about yourself or others.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: raushan on November 20, 2020, 02:21:45 AM

It has to do with cognitive dissonance, or in simpler (more experiential terms) what I thought was real in some sense turned out to be  an illusion, and I am mad at myself about that thesedays.



I have been in that state of "cognitive dissonance". It's not a pleasant state and can cause a lot of misunderstanding.  But It's a good learning experience once we come out of it.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 24, 2020, 03:11:44 AM
While I don't agree with the way I was talked to on a Buddhist forum, I let it go now.  There was some serious misunderstandings, but that is okay. The past is no longer real. Though my intentions were clean, there was too much zealous "These are the Buddha's teachings", which doesn't work well on this forum as it does on others. There are secular Buddhists on here, and I have to respect that, even though I disagree very much with some of their ideas. We must find common ground, no matter what kind of Buddhism we are practicing. This forum is not a hardcore Mahayana or Theravada forum, and so I respect that. Before, I wasn't so much, to be honest. It wasn't so much my ego that was the problem, but rather a lack of respect for the overall ethos of this forum. I apologize for that.

I will resort more to posting what prominent Buddhist teachers say on certain subjects without interjecting my "I" towards anyone, as if I am preaching. So I don't see myself posting too much as talk is cheap, but when I do, I will relay messages from those who know the teachings well, or so it seems.  I don't think they will be secular Buddhist teachers, of course, but something that can bring clarity for everyone, even those who only practice secular mindfulness.

With much love and peace,

Dhamma :)
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Middleway on November 24, 2020, 03:15:43 AM
Welcome back Dhamma.
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Dhamma on November 24, 2020, 03:41:05 AM
Welcome back Dhamma.

My deepest wish for happiness for you.

Love,
Dhamma
Title: Re: The process of letting go of desires? How to
Post by: Matthew on December 04, 2020, 11:44:54 PM
Welcome back Dhamma.

Ditto.