This Jaded Flesh
This Jaded Flesh

One soul is as good as another...
Location: England, Durham
Member Since: 30th Oct 2009
Total posts: 323
Posted:It's been a long time since I picked up a book to study, and earlier today I was checking out my itunes shopping cart and of all things I came across 'Stages of Meditation: The Dalai Lama' (can't remember ever putting it in there). It's been haunting me all day. I go through long stretches where I'll throw myself into reading up on 'esoteric' subjects fueled by this inexplicable need to 'find something'. This will go on for months and some days I won't even sleep because of said obsession, until one day it will just stop and I'll have no interest to even humor discussions on such topics with my partner. Anyway, everyone of these periods in my study is sparked by something and this time it's that book but more specifically Buddhism. I know there are several knowledgeable people that post on here on the subject so was hoping you could give me direction, books that have been most profound to you, challenges you have faced if you practice Buddhism yourself. Concepts you still don't grasp and why.

I also have one thing that is puzzling me at the moment and which is the nature of selflessness. I've always believed that all our actions are selfish at core or at least you could trace an action to a selfish root. So is it that not being 'actively' selfish, that makes a person selfless? Is it ok to taunt ourselves with selfish thoughts as long as we don't act them out? or does the fact we had that thought make any action following it impure? It sounds and feels like a great demon a Buddhist would tackle each day or am I just making it out to be bigger than what it actually is?


"I may lack virtue, but I'm penitent"

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:feels like it's not the adequate forum, however...

Stone is the local authority when it comes to Buddhist literature, can't be of too much help here, other than pointing out that there already are numerous threads in SD touching the subject.

To me, Buddhism comes closest to my general philosophy - but only because "there's no god outside of us" and "everybody carries the divine spark of enlightenment". All "-isms" (for me) carry the potential of dogmatism and - though disputed - all of them usually claim to be the one and only path to paradise.

Selflessness is more to be understood as in "smart (or skilled) egoism"... meaning that when everybody else feels good, subsequently I feel good with - or about - myself. When the awareness kicks in that indeed all (and everybody) is (deriving from) one, ultimately your service for others is becoming the service for yourself.

It seems to be okay whatever you think, what counts are your actions... maybe not even that but the results.

Many evil deeds have been committed in best faith...

Possibly it's all a bit overrated, as in the eyes of some everybody is already "there" and it's all part of the grand scheme... "no right or wrong, just consequences" - meaning that it's neither right nor wrong to drop nuclear bombs, it will only result in deaths of millions, heightened radiation and result in a nation celebrating that particular day for some time.

One Wheel Dave has put it once quite beautifully - can't quote it but it went like that: Buddhism is a guidance to lead a skilled life, it can't be explained but will explain itself when practiced.

To me, one would not have to subscribe to any -ism in order to lead a skilled life, or to practice any of its ideals.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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This Jaded Flesh
This Jaded Flesh

One soul is as good as another...
Location: England, Durham
Member Since: 30th Oct 2009
Total posts: 323
Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomfeels like it's not the adequate forum, however...

:S my bad.

Originally Posted By: FireTomStone is the local authority when it comes to Buddhist literature, can't be of too much help here, other than pointing out that there already are numerous threads in SD touching the subject.

I'll have to trawl through sometime. Didn't find much using the search feature sadly.

Originally Posted By: FireTomSelflessness is more to be understood as in "smart (or skilled) egoism"... meaning that when everybody else feels good, subsequently I feel good with - or about - myself. When the awareness kicks in that indeed all (and everybody) is (deriving from) one, ultimately your service for others is becoming the service for yourself.

Thank you ^^b I have something to go on now. I was checking out the library catalog and books on the subject overall and it is intimidating.

When the 'awareness kinks in', doesn't that make it more difficult? I thought it would have made all actions even more selfish because of that viewpoint. I think I'm looking at selfishness too negatively and not as a natural state of being with it's subtleties. Funny, I've tried to not look at things as inherently bad for along time but I've neglected selfishness. That and poor etiquette.

Originally Posted By: FireTomPossibly it's all a bit overrated, as in the eyes of some everybody is already "there" and it's all part of the grand scheme... "no right or wrong, just consequences" - meaning that it's neither right nor wrong to drop nuclear bombs, it will only result in deaths of millions, heightened radiation and result in a nation celebrating that particular day for some time.

So is it 'proper' for a Buddhist to mourn? I had so many other questions there lol they fall into practicing Buddhism so I'll wait until the books come instead of burdening you with them lol.

Originally Posted By: FireTom Wheel Dave has put it once quite beautifully - can't quote it but it went like that: Buddhism is a guidance to lead a skilled life, it can't be explained but will explain itself when practiced.

So in Buddhism you can literally 'Suck at life' lol I find it strange that you can apparently be apart of the world, change it, and all this while understand that in it's nature all is one but still have it all behind glass. What do the monks do? what is their purpose in the grand scheme? Is it all just a waiting game for oblivion? The thought of eternity horrifies me so I strangely find comfort in that thinking lol So many questions and what feels like such little time haha ^^


"I may lack virtue, but I'm penitent"

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:no problem...

I'm really no expert in Buddhism, so my answers/ suggestions might be hurtful to the trained ear/ eye... I dunno what is "proper"... if you mourn, mourn - you can try to observe, where that mourning comes from, how you feel with it and what purpose it serves. It can appear as suffering, it can also appear as a practice to let go of attachment... I guess it boils down to "awareness"...

what exactly is "selfishness"? if you're acting from the viewpoint of "expecting a reward", then it is "egoism" - it's natural... but it might boil down to "what kind of reward" you're actually "expecting"... if you can actually live happy with the mere reward to feel good 'bout yourself having dun "something", then it's "skilled"... if you fall unhappy and bitter, because the reward not what you expected, then it's "unskilled" (so to speak)... detachment is the key here. Sometimes one does something (foolish even) and feels unhappy about it - still it might have been the exact necessary thing in that very moment...

It's a lot along the lines of "observing the mechanisms and strategies of the mind to make its bearer feel this or that way in order to gain or maintain control"....

thoughts to kick in is a natural sign of an active mind... itself nothing bad and as you can observe, it might even be a very good teacher...

quite right.... using "Buddhism" as a search term doesn't bring the results... not sure what's wrong with it...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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EpitomeOfNovice
EpitomeOfNovice

Putting the "FUN" in fundamental since 1981
Location: Dover, Delaware USA
Member Since: 15th Sep 2009
Total posts: 787
Posted:TJF

I think you've gotten way ahead of yourself here for exploring Buddhism. Take a look at the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, find yourself a temple/Sangha/Lama, and figure out which tradition and lineage is compatible with you. It seems you're neglecting many of the basics you would need to understand the answers of these questions that cannot be answered in a comprehensive manner to begin with.

You'll figure it all out but you have to crawl before walking or runningyes


~Rock on!~

"As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, being swept along is no longer enough"-Waking Life

(All you RLers this is epitome_of_lame *waves hello*)

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This Jaded Flesh
This Jaded Flesh

One soul is as good as another...
Location: England, Durham
Member Since: 30th Oct 2009
Total posts: 323
Posted:Thank you ^^ That was the point of this thread. To find a platform from which to jump so to speak. I have no intention at this point to practice Buddhism, eastern philosophy has never grabbed my attention until now so I'm just asking questions that spring to mind so to find a thread that may lead me somewhere. Such is the nature of being a fool. To be honest I'm not even sure if any path of Buddhism would suit me. Though texts that I've read have given examples of how they overlap on the eastern front it's always felt as though it was the west grafting their own methods and practices onto east.

All in good time.


"I may lack virtue, but I'm penitent"

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