Author Topic: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?  (Read 8155 times)

Skanzi

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Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2014, 06:33:46 PM »
Alright.

I just want to... Find the right path as soon as possible to be honest. I'm quite impatient. I for instance want to travel to the far east to do volunteer work there, and prior to that i'll attend a 10-day vipassana course like i was recommended. It's just that... I want to be there asap (as soon as possible). My reasoning is that the earlier i get there, the earlier i will have these great experiences, the earlier I will learn a lot about myself, and the earlier i will find true happiness.

My friends and family keep telling to me: "Take it easy, don't go there too fast, make sure you prepare yourself correctly". But i'm like: "Why? I already feel prepared. I will be guided both in the Vipassana course and everything is completely organized and covered in the volunteer program. So why not asap?"

But maybe that's misguided and false reasoning, though it doesn't appear to me like that.
Do you have a conflict? A doubt which you don't know the answer for? Try this:

- Advise yourself like you would advise a friend.  If you can easily advise your friend, why not take the same advice to yourself?

If you're still not sure, just admit you're not sure and just make a choice.

Peace

Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2014, 05:27:24 AM »
Usually when we get a rush like this it is because of the immense attachment to the topic creating great pleasurable sensations. Usually when we start getting involved in the topic, the curiosity starts reducing slowly. Alienation of the topic goes away. Then there is no more special or mystical about it and ultimately these pleasurable sensations reduce slowly and die away. That is the point where we change our opinion and give reasons and move away from the topic.

Its 'usually' , it might be different in you. But if i have to judge from your few posts this is what is happening in you. And be very careful of your decision. It usually takes 3 to 4 years of proper practice to be able to abandon everything and be ready to be a monk. (my case  :) )

Quote
My reasoning is that the earlier i get there, the earlier i will have these great experiences
There are no great experiences. Its just looking at normal experiences differently.

Quote
My friends and family keep telling to me: "Take it easy, don't go there too fast, make sure you prepare yourself correctly".
U have good family and friends.   8)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 05:34:29 AM by siddharthgode »

Vivek

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Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2014, 03:50:08 PM »
Quote
It's just that... I want to be there asap (as soon as possible). My reasoning is that the earlier i get there, the earlier i will have these great experiences, the earlier I will learn a lot about myself, and the earlier i will find true happiness.
This rushing, this hurrying to "reach somewhere", will eventually prove to be the greatest impediment to your spiritual journey.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Skanzi

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    • Doing Vipassana, Anapana and Ashtanga yoga
Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2014, 09:42:54 PM »
Yeah, i guess you're right. I am way too perfectionistic. I want it way too fast.

My main problem remains still that i sometimes seem to be unable to seem those perfectionistic thoughts. Sometimes they can really wear me down. Like today.

Today's problem occured in the zoo. For the fun i made a challenge on facebook titled: "What should my next profile picture be like?" Top answer: "Take a picture with a flamingo". So i was like: "Alright, let's do this". So i did, and i liked doing it, but then i started to think about what i was doing. I wanted to get a really good shot with the flamingo's. And i finally did get one, and i was quite happy. But then i started to think about it. "Why does this make me happy?". I noticed that i was perfectionistic and that i wanted to get a good result in order to be satisfied. But i realized that that is opposed to what i've learned. What i learned was that you need to enjoy the process, not the result.

This was an true headache for me. I did notice that i enjoyed it. I did enjoy the process a bit, but i liked that picture a lot more. Thus being a bit dependent on a result. But if it wasn't important to me, i also wouldn't have enjoyed going all the way too the zoo and making the picture. Or, at least not be motivated enough to go there.

So what does motivation actually mean? it seems very paradoxical. On one end, motivation seems to thrive you to do things in life that you enjoy, it gives you a direction in your life and gives you something to work towards and doesn't make your life flat-out boring. On the other hand, when you're really motivated for something you also get sad when you don't get the thing you really wanted to get. You really work hard to start up a good business, but your business doesn't work out. But because you put all that effort in it, the more disappointed you get when you don't actually get it.

So... That's a little bit of a braintwister for me. The question in my brain remains... How should i have handled that situation with the picture of the flamingo mentally? Should i just embrace the positive feelings i have with that picture?

Or should i just try, at that moment, to cultivate some kind of general sense of appreciation about the picture without it being too important? But does that mean i also shouldn't have tried to make such a perfect photo? The thing is, i do like going for the best photo as possible. Also, is dependency really bad here in this situation? I mean, the chances that you'll get hurt by losing the photo digitally is very small

It's just something that i can't get my head around, and that causes me to have a bad headache when i try to figure out: "What should i do in that situation and what should i think?"

Ugh... My brain turns to jelly when i try to figure something like that out in my head. I'd like to stop all this theoretical thinking and just live on 'auto-pilot' like everybody else (while still improving my lifestyle, so i don't live in lower-conciousness by default), so i don't have to worry anymore about stupid sh*t like this. The worst thing is that knowing the theory behind it actually (partially)  stops the  worrying because at that point i know. So automatically i feel a strong urge to find an answer to the questions in my head when they pop up. The case is different though when i try to re-remember something i already knew, just to make me feel satisfied. At that point the concious problem-solving in my head causes me to feel worse usually by default. But these are also mental reactions that are very hard to control.
Do you have a conflict? A doubt which you don't know the answer for? Try this:

- Advise yourself like you would advise a friend.  If you can easily advise your friend, why not take the same advice to yourself?

If you're still not sure, just admit you're not sure and just make a choice.

Peace

Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2014, 04:39:27 AM »
Even if you know what is right and wrong you cannot change the habit pattern of the mind without practice. This is very frustrating.

Start practice, attend few retreats.

Renze

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Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2014, 09:59:57 AM »
Hi Skanzi,

I'd avoid retreats for now, because I don't think they're going to help you forward right now. I've unfortunately witnessed that people with no experience can come out of such a retreat quite deluded. I think it's better to just start with a practice group, or even on your own. But besides meditation, what's more important for you IMO is to read up on Buddhist history and philosophy. You have a very analytical mind, but you seem to lack knowledge of Buddhist thought and practice. I don't recommend learning from 'dhamma teachers', because they tend to be unreliable. I'd start reading academic works and stuff from Buddhist scholars. A good starting point is The Foundations of Buddhism by Rupert Gethin.

Pacific Flow

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Re: Desires; Eliminate all desires, or just keep a balance?
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2014, 03:19:09 PM »

There's good reason to be cautious, Skanzi. Too many people just follow a teacher without questioning and without even reading up on what the hell it is they're doing. There's growing criticism of Buddhism in the West. When I first heard about this, I was full of anger and disbelief. But reading into it, being open-minded of the reasoning of other people, a lot of it started making sense to me. I'm trying to bring some of that criticism here on this forum, because I genuinely think it's the most important thing to discuss right now.

I agree there is good reason to be cautious. There are a lot of creepy teachings and questionable
teachers out there. And the buddhist approach may not be the right one for everyone.

The best way is still to come to a conclusion about what one is actually precisely looking for either through an outstanding experience or through goal oriented pragmatic rational. Then seek practical advice in a teaching that suits your needs and meets yor criteria. If there isn't any teaching matching your criteria or you are not sure about the criteria themselves, better don't follow any spiritual teaching at all!

It would definitly be good advise to get a very precise idea of what one is getting into if one is still looking for the right way, and especially for personalities that are still a bit unstable due to young age or a difficult past.
This can be done by talking to people, reading a lot or listening to discussions or talks. Eventually though, after carefully weighing the different possible paths intellectually, and if one should come to the conclusion that a spiritual path would be suitable, one should start practising.

 

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