Author Topic: College or not  (Read 9398 times)


Re: College or not
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2011, 11:45:24 AM »

To search for an ideal condition to develop paramis does not seems like a nice idea to me. The way of Dhamma is to start from wherever you are, to utilize whatever situation you find yourself in to develop wholesome states of mind. If one waits for the right work or education, one may even wait indefinitely.

I agree. One really cannot plan or hope external situations will simply fall into place for our one's own convenience. Thank you very much for reminding me.


You are allowing your mind to run in unending circles due to a fallacy in your thinking: that there is a "right" answer to your questions. Also that you are actually asking yourself the right questions, and even that you are asking the questions you think you are !

I guess "right" really means to me the decision that gives me the most "output", which is "wrong" thinking. My definition of output also is probably incorrect.

Whereas if you forget the "should", drop that part of the cultural conditioning, all the rest starts to drop away too - and you start simplifying the problem immensely, as you are then only dealing with your needs.

How does one simply drop the "should" part? It's gonna stay there unless... But thanks for pointing it out. It solved my problem to a great extent.

I think it really doesn't matter then whether I go to college or not, as long as I keep doing what I'm supposed to do.

Perhaps after the four-month project that I'm planning to undertake soon, I'll have much more clarity. Which brings me to my next question.

I am planning to spend the next four moths alone in a small house that my parents own on the outskirts of the city in which I live. Will it be safe for me to undertake a rigorous meditative retreat?


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Re: College or not
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2011, 07:47:10 PM »

Right View is high on the eightfold path for a good reason :)

Dropping the should is not so hard. It's hard for others around you and so demands compassionate action to implement because it will change you dramatically. Dropping "should" means seeing it for what it is. "I think you should ...." or "You should ...", really means, "What I want you to do is ....". Thus "should" is all about the other person and nothing to do with you. It is about cultural binding to imaginary obligations and conditioning. Once this is understood it is not hard to use insight and intellect to start cutting it from your life.

Spot "should" in action, dissect it, see it for what it really is - and it's power is gone. The example of your parents is a tough one to start with for the conditioning is deep and your love (craving for approval?) is also strong.

You say your parents raised you etc and you kind of "owe it" to them to be a good boy and go to college.

Fact: Your parents chose to have you - you were not consulted in the matter. They have raised you well as was their obligation, having chosen to be parents. Yet you are an adult. What you do with your life is up to you. If you follow their "should's" you will: end up going to college, do a degree you do not like, work in a job you hate, regret all of it, and worst of all, end up possibly having a strong dislike for your parents (whether consciously aware or not). If you follow your heart, head and needs: You will do what you love, become a strong and reliable person, someone in whom the Dhamma is well established, you will make a difference in the lives of potentially many people, your parents will probably be looked after in old age by people who venerate your Dhamma work, and you will certainly not resent them.
That is not to say you "should" follow what I say. Your head and heart are your best guide to your actions.

Retreat: Yes it will be fine. Every day walk out in the street, buy your vegetables and other needs, talk with the people mindfully and compassionately but keep it simple. This will keep you grounded in the reality that we all wear the same shoes, and keep your meditative path focussed and balanced. Solo retreats need to be carefully crafted and for a first one flying solo 24/7 is probably not the best thing, so as you are doing this in a private house take part in the world for an hour a day to keep yourself sane.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

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


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Re: College or not
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2011, 08:00:16 PM »

I am planning to spend the next four moths alone in a small house that my parents own on the outskirts of the city in which I live. Will it be safe for me to undertake a rigorous meditative retreat?

When you say rigorous you mean ... what? If you push it too hard it won't be safe.
But if you do it as Matthew described, it will be fine. When you talk to people don't mention that you are on retreat. Don't talk about insights with the grocer.  ;)  If there's a garden, do some gardening every day.

Metta, Stefan


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