Author Topic: Adhitthana discussion and information  (Read 6059 times)

nelcalb

  • Member
Adhitthana discussion and information
« on: February 02, 2011, 05:02:22 PM »
Hi sangha

I've searched info on the web about Adhitthana Parami development and information, with poor results.

As I understand, Addhitthana (strong determination, resolution) develops when one does what one plans or decide to do (overcoming difficulties) and it gets weaker if one gets discouraged, lazy or leave the work unfinished.

I have the goal to strenght Adhitthana, not only because of "spiritual" or dhamma development, but because I consider it very important to succeed in personal projects.

So I post this thread to :
1. Open an space where development and importance of adhitthana can be discussed.
2. If anyone have additional info like techniques, exercises, meditations, links, books, suttas, etc, on adhitthana development topic, can be posted here.

Metta!
Nelson

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 08:10:10 PM »
Just get on and do it. Whatever it is. Look up "Stefan Molyneax Procrastination" on youtube if you can't do it. It may help.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 03:09:07 AM »
A good friend of mine has been discussing this subject for years. We are both full of great ideas, low on great achievements (relative to our ideas mind you, we both have plenty of success in various things. As musician Charles Wright said in the song 'Express Yourself'; "everything don't mean a thing if it ain't the thing you want"!, we just keep wanting other stuff!) It's easy to keep skipping ahead and planning wonderful things and forgetting what is right in front of us.

Our 'conclusions' go something like this. Whenever too much thought goes into an idea without any actions to back it up, all that is effectively happening is a sort of 'energy debt', borrowing the future excitement/pleasure of the idea, enjoying that feeling now, and like a vampire, going on to drain the excitement out of another idea when it looks like it requires the debt to be repaid, i.e. that energy was the to get the task done, if it is already spent on other things, i.e. just getting through whatever else is draining you, nothing happens further on the task!

I think your quote of Buddhist philosophy is basically saying, you must put into practice whatever determination you have in proportion to the energy you feel for the task NOW, like Matthew said, just do it. Feel a little, achieve a little, achieve a little more, feel a little bit more, each time mixing extra effort, without running too far ahead in either feeling or achievement.

Becoming despondent is what happens when task demands energy we have already spent on something else. I don't think it, determination, can be thought of separately to a specific task. If anything it could be said to be a skill, knowing how to invest small amount of effort consistently while enjoying the energy provided by excitement. Done this way, there is no excessive build up of latent 'achievement lust' and excitement is used constructively.

A bit of an aside for you;
As a builder, I have always noticed how the planning stage is very important, but many skip it thinking it is not 'real work'. I know that the 'real work' they refer to , bricks and mortar, happens quite quickly, so I don't worry about it. It is a trap to get worried when it looks like something isn't getting done, it could be that the task is being misunderstood through inexperience. Just look at the mess alot of DIY building jobs end up in...

This is what I deal with everyday, like we all do in various jobs. I remember buddha said there where three types of pleasure, 1) sensual 2) achievement 3) letting go. I would add a forth 4) daydreaming...

love

Andy
getting it done

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 07:12:24 AM »
Did I say I like your writing style Andy my friend  :D and to add to that I also like your wisdom too  ;D

Very nice post indeed.

I totally agree with what you say just to add something I have noticed in my experience;
Even when we get a great advice, or read a great inspiring book like e.g. Krishnamurti's Freedom From The Known to actually see the "truth" in those words one is to not intellectualise about it much but sit and let it settle in practice. Once you ACTUALY "see" the "truth" for yourself it becomes as real as it gets. When you actually see it via insight which arises on its own accord out of calmness, stillness, relaxation, awareness of the body which stores all the conditioned stuck energy in form of random thoughts and emotions ... that is the actual frontier where the "truth" is lurking, yet try chase it and in a split second in disappears. It all comes when one lets go of it.

When I call back my dog, sometimes he ignores me and keeps running away. If I go after him he will run away thinking that I am playing with him and I will never get him (he is faster). Yet, if I start running away from him he starts realising that the pack leader is leaving and he must keep up, so he comes to me at once  ;D  It is not about chasing what the Ego wants but in actualy undersatnding the nature of things.

It is great to have you aboard Andy

Friendly Che

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 12:38:51 PM »
Thankyou Che,

I like writing, though how wise i actually am will, like you say, be revealed in  the the calmness of true insight. I suspect these things are just nice to talk about, but I'm not a nihilista; life has to be lived, even though it ends, talking about it is a pleasant passtime along the way.!

But not to highjack the thread, I think it is mainly through small actions we can develop greater skill at applying " determination". I anticipate it will be many months before I have reformed the habit of meditation, and unlearned the poor techniques (or better said, lack of technique). So a part of determination is also knowing things like 'what is a realistic timeframe for this task?'

'Failure to plan is a plan to fail' is the applicable cliche!!!


love

Andy
getting it done

kidnovice

  • Member
    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 12:06:58 AM »
Man, this thread just makes me want to "cheer" you guys on.

Our 'conclusions' go something like this. Whenever too much thought goes into an idea without any actions to back it up, all that is effectively happening is a sort of 'energy debt', borrowing the future excitement/pleasure of the idea, enjoying that feeling now, and like a vampire, going on to drain the excitement out of another idea when it looks like it requires the debt to be repaid, i.e. that energy was the to get the task done, if it is already spent on other things, i.e. just getting through whatever else is draining you, nothing happens further on the task!

That's a profound and insightful way of putting it! And then Che wrote this:

When I call back my dog, sometimes he ignores me and keeps running away. If I go after him he will run away thinking that I am playing with him and I will never get him (he is faster). Yet, if I start running away from him he starts realising that the pack leader is leaving and he must keep up, so he comes to me at once  ;D  It is not about chasing what the Ego wants but in actualy undersatnding the nature of things.

What an awesome metaphor.  :D

Thanks for sharing. With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 12:36:02 AM »
I was thinking this morning about the power of Che's metaphor as well. The more wanting and chasing, the faster you have to run. It is helping me to think about it in regards to a relationship I struggle with. Nice insight , Che!

I had good success meditating last night. I searched 'Frits Koster' that Quardamon's profile mentions, and came across his instructions for 'naming' thoughts / sensations during relaxation. I had of course read something similar before, but that way he explained it was great. Basically he said, name it in your mind, whatever comes to you, like ' conversation' 'dreaming', 'remembering', 'itchy','gas(!)', 'bus passing','bird', 'preaching' etc. I found within 5-10seconds I was feeling that it was taking too much time to name things, I'll just watch. then maybe 5 seconds later I might follow a thought, so I would name it 'arguing', or 'remembering', then immediately i would feel, too much work, just watch/ relax. IT WAS GREAT!! Within 30 seconds I was very relaxed, and for 5 mins enjoyed 'zoning out'. It really wasn't that hard at all!

I think it was the fact that naming the distraction/ thought was relatively more work/ effort that just watching it that I found myself drawn to the relaxation / mental stillness of just watching, i didn't want to keep naming things, it was like I felt "yeah, yeah, OK, I'll relax!!", Like a parent trying to wake a sleeping child for school, the more that they say 'get up' the better staying in bed feels...

To bring this back to the OP's discussion point, I have often found, if you want to get something done, have 2 or three tasks that need doing. You will invariably pick the easiest one!!!  Or to put it another way, if you have to wash the car (not that I do mind you, thats what rain is for!), think to yourself, I really should start painting the house and renovating the bathroom, then see how appealing the car wash starts looking!

love

Andy 
getting it done

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 08:29:07 AM »
Quote
and for 5 mins enjoyed 'zoning out'.

Hi Andy. What do you mean by zoning out? Is it like dozing off or more like loosing concentration and being in the "clouds"?

Quote
if you have to wash the car (not that I do mind you, thats what rain is for!),

ha ha ha LoL This is the way I do it. Let the rain clean it  ;D The inside is actually disastrous I think I might try and force me self to go down and throw out all the garbage sitting on the car floor.

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 08:55:22 AM »
Reflecting onto me self now. Excuse my gibberish  ;D

Procrastination is mainly connected to motivation or lack of it.
I am in that state now and for the last two years. Not in all aspects of my life but in making a decision to clean the house, wash the dishes, clean my aquariums, bring down the garbage, vacuum, shave, cut my hair, going out jogging etc ...
Somehow I do succeed to make me self sit daily for even half an hour.

I realised I need others to keep me motivated. My conditioned mind needs others to keep it motivated. There is this feeling of loneliness which NEEDS people who care to keep me motivated and boy I would do anything to keep them satisfied. I will do it for them ... not for myself...

I see this now and there is even more dispassion pouring into My life (the life of the Self of the Me, I), invoked by meditation or rather awareness. This dispassion is creating less motivation to do things, more procrastinating.

The self might blame the sitting practice for this dispassion but where does this lead... more strain. All I can do is keep sitting and keep watching without wanting or rejecting. The self is refusing to change, refusing to give up the desire and aversion.

No matter what it is that the self finds hard to do to be motivated about, the only way to counteract this state is by understanding the self by actually watching it burn on the fires of awareness, watching it how it wildly jumps to save it self, watching it without sorrow, happiness or hatred and returning back and back again to relaxing the body with each in and out breath sensitive to the whole body.

Change can not be forced or intellectually implanted (for a while maybe). Let the change rise into the actual life out of the sitting practice. Let it come on its own accord and let it be as it is, just remain aware, mindful and relaxed.

Do not fight the dispassion, the procrastination, rather observe it without feeding it with the emotion it really needs ... the guilt. I procrastinate and then I feel guilty because of it. Be mindful of this feeling of this interaction and let it be.

Friendly Che

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 09:35:15 AM »
Hi Che,

Your post is a very open one, which I appreciate greatly. I'm still getting used to the idea of sharing like this over the internet, but i suppose I need to realize the benefits and limitations of the medium.

for what it is worth, I am not a Nihilist. Or a Buddhist for that matter, so my views on the self (whatever that is) or it extinction aren't something well formed or dogmatic. I think that loneliness is not something to be interpreted as 'the ego this or the ego that' but rather something to be remedied the old fashion way; i.e. get some friends and have some fun! Play some video games, watch a movie, dream a little.

whatever process we perceive ourselves to be on, it is not a human thing to do it alone. WE NEED PEOPLE. Monks of all persuasions still congregate in monasteries.

i would be careful to watch putting normal ever day feelings like 'depression' into the nomenclature of religion, i.e. 'dispassion'.  My understanding of Buddhism, though limited, seems to recall that dispassion is a joyous thing, when there is no aversion or attraction to chores and the mundane, that the normal life just is what it is and doesn't excite or depress the person, i.e. lacks passion or 'driving feelings',  that one becomes free from all driving feelings, worries, concerns, guilt and so on and so on. I.e some sort of miracle!

My advice, taken with salt, is if you feel you need people around you, then chances are you do. Isolation is not a natural human condition and not something anyone should tolerate except for short periods of time for specific purposes. If you feel over attached to people, and you have plenty of them around, then yes I agree, some seperation to connect with your own feelings is good. If that isn't the case, and there isn't anyone around who really cares, then CHANGE that. No one ever got anywhere feeling depressed.

I'm I completely missing the mark here? If so set me straight, I want to help as far as this medium allows.

love

Andy

 
getting it done

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2011, 01:38:15 PM »
Quote
I think that loneliness is not something to be interpreted as 'the ego this or the ego that' but rather something to be remedied the old fashion way; i.e. get some friends and have some fun! Play some video games, watch a movie, dream a little.


Yeah. I like this  :D What about smoking pot and drinking stout, to live a little, to get this feeling of adventure, to dream a little  :D

Don't worry Andy my friend, my reflections can sometimes sound like the end of the world but they are nothing serious, just the self (the culturally conditioned habitual separatist phenomenon we call self, mine, I, me) trying to take over the practice and be clever or just in need for some understanding, etc...

At the moment I am in some very unclear waters something between the sand storm and a sunny day, stuck in the middle kind of.

As I said, don't worry about me nor is there an actual need for it  ;D instead focus on strengthening your own practice, developing your awareness of all that is.

You missed my question above though  :)  ;
Quote
Hi Andy. What do you mean by zoning out? Is it like dozing off or more like loosing concentration and being in the "clouds"?


Friendly Che  :)

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2011, 04:18:34 AM »
Hi Che,

We may be hi-jacking the OP's question here, but to answer the 'zoning out' question; My meditation has never been well developed, so the most I could describe it as is 'a lazy kind of vagueness and slowing of thoughts'. Zoning out is just an expression, though it describes probably the opposite of good meditation!! For me, I need to re-learn relaxing, so I'm not to concerned about where I end up, just that I take the time morning and night to 'sit, breath, relax'. It is important to me not to start setting any other goal than that, I tend to over-think (so I've been told anyway) so I'm happy just to find the habit reforming.

I guess I could say, to tie this back to the topic of determination, I find it is best not to see the task in it's entirety, but do just see the first thing that needs to be done. For me and meditation, that is simply remembering to sit and learning to relax. Anything more is just chasing the wind at the moment. I have let go of most expectations, or I could say, life has already pried them from my hands!!

love

Andy
getting it done

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2011, 08:03:08 AM »
Quote
For me and meditation, that is simply remembering to sit and learning to relax. Anything more is just chasing the wind at the moment.

Agreed  :)  it is important to start and keep it alive, like planting a flower really; seed it than water it prune it feed it take care of it, day by day, every day  :)

Don't worry about the thread, it will go back on track if there is need for it. At the moment there was need for you an me to reflect on our own personal practice and we both came out with some good forward moving solutions. This forum community is exactly about that, supporting each others practice which leads to the actual wisdom, compassion, joy and bliss which enters the actual off the cushion life.


Daily calm-abiding Shamatha is very good start for a beginner in my experience.

Friendly Che

lente

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 09:36:31 AM »
Procrastination is awful. I suffer from it as well. You know you should be doing something and it is for your own good, but you just can't seem to get moving. This usually leads to stress later on. (as in; now your pile of dishes reaches the ceiling and it is going to take days to clean them ;) )

My personal theory is this:

We are addicted to pleasure and this has created a intolerance for anything that isn't pleasurable. Doing the dishes (for example) certainly isn't painful, but it's not (as) pleasurable as watching TV. Procrastination goes like this. I get an idea/thought; "I need to do the dishes". This idea creates an unpleasant feeling. I don't want to feel this feeling (intolerance) and I stop thinking about doing the dishes and keep watches TV.

Or when I do the dishes I keep thinking about doing something more pleasurable like watching TV and this creates a pleasant feeling, I cling to that feeling, I want more of it. This creates the desire to go watch TV and I might stop doing the dishes (with the excuse that I'll finish later) and actually go watch TV.

The way I have tried to deal with this is by being aware of this system and to think of the consequences. Do I really want to be at the mercy of my feelings and desires even If I know that suffering lies that way? No, I want to do the smart thing which will lead to happiness. (if not immediately, then in the future)

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 05:16:33 PM »
Hi lente,

I do sound much worse when I write than I am in the real life. The truth is I am seeing changes (thanks to meditation) in my procrastination when compared with only one year back. I see it now much clearer and am aware of it wihtout judging it much (but still).
I procrastinate less.
I see now that meditation practice means a lot. It is all in the mind.

I guess practice more and read less is the way to go  ;)  (your status)

Friendly Che  :)

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Adhitthana discussion and information
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 03:24:09 AM »
I have never kept it going for very long, but there has been times that I treated tasks as if they were 'walking meditation' i.e. doing the dishes with mindfulness, sweeping the patio. It was mostly when I was 'full on' first coming out of church and had massive expectations of what that practice might bring.

I still procrastinate alot, but I also acheive alot as well, so in some ways I think it is more a perception that I'm under acheiving rather than an actual problem. Lucky me ::)

love Andy
getting it done

 

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