Cannot get rid of this doubt

Alex, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:05 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:05 AM

Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/28/20 Recent Posts
Hi,

I have this really strange doubt in my head that keeps coming up:

Every book I read on Meditation/Buddhism seems to agree, that craving/desire is bad and that meditation can reduce craving temporarily or even root it out forever.

However, there is this very prominent meditation teacher that is highly overweight. I dont mean to fat shame or anything. Its just at a level, where it is obvious, that it is unhealty and probably a medical problem.

This person has decades of meditation experience and should have reapt most of the benefits one can get out of meditation. 

So this thought keeps producing doubt in my mind about meditation and comes up often. 

I know some people will find this insulting/childish/whatever. But I just want to make piece with this voice in my that keeps bringing this doubt up. Doubt is a main hinderance, please help!

Kind regards,

Alex

(I started meditation with TMI and was also very doubtful when I found out about Culadasa. However, I was able to put this doubt aside more easily (more of a moral failing; i didnt really know the story; but yes, lack of self control is similar).)
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Jim Smith, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:44 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:44 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 1135 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Those books on meditation are very misleading. You are right to doubt what they say.

It is hard to understand what awakening really is.

I think maybe one way to look at the question is not whether he is immune to feelings of hunger or the pleasure of enjoying food.

The question is whether he suffers mentally, whether he experiences mental anguish because he is obese. 
shargrol, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:30 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:30 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 1761 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Excellent doubt!

Now you won't be bamboozled by buddhist marketting schemes!

And now you will need to consider whether meditation truly fixes everything.

And now you will need to consider whether there is a sneaky psychological reason for doubting others, like finding reasons to avoiding doing your own work on your own psychology.

And now you will need to be very objective about whether your practice is working for the problems you are specifically trying to fix.


It's good to doubt! Don't ignore doubts. Don't totally believe them, but don't ignore them either.
Alex, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:42 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:42 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/28/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Jim!

I find your answer interesting and will think about it longer. 

Maybe I indeed misunderstand sentences like "the end of craving"
Alex, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:56 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:56 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/28/20 Recent Posts
Thank you shargol!

I do not have a very immediate real life goal in my meditation. My interest is based on the reports of very experienced practicioners regarding life changing experiences and insights (e.g. Jhana, A&P, Enlightenment, "end of craving" ;) )

To explore these phenomena, it seems that you need to train rigorously for years or decades. Im willing to put this effort in, if there is really a "there there".

In an overexplored world with youtube videos of every last place and experience there is to have, exploring meditation seems one of the last great adventures without shortcuts. 

Doubting that there might be nothing of interest after years of that journey kills the motivation to put the effort in (and slows you down I feel).

So thanks again for your input!
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Jim Smith, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 6:27 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 6:27 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 1135 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Alex
Thank you Jim!

I find your answer interesting and will think about it longer. 

Maybe I indeed misunderstand sentences like "the end of craving"


I didn't have time to finish my answer earlier but I'm back now.

I also wanted to point out that obesity is most often a metabolic disorder not a psychological disorder. Unless you know the cause of the obesity you can't judge the person.

And in most cases to lose weight by reducing calories you have to put the body into starvation mode and there are a lot of evolutionary forces acting on the organism that make doing that difficult. You wouldn't expect awakening to change someone's genetic programming and for similar reasons it's doubtful that awakening would cure obesity.

And also consider that the logic that directs behavior can change from moment to moment (impermanence). At one moment it might seem logical to lose weight for health benefits. At another moment there might be some other logic that makes eating seem more rational. You only need to change your mind for a few minutes a day blow your diet. And the logic to eat or not comes from unconscious processes, Right? where do thoughts come from? That's part of the reasoning behind the doctrine of no-self. Awakened people often say they are just observing an organism there isn't anyone to exercise free will.
shargrol, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 11:02 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 11:02 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 1761 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
That's why you need a short term, personally meaningful goal. If the value of something is determined only by what happens at the very end and the very end is years or a decade or decades away... no one is going to work toward it. 

But if you have a personal, short term goal that you are working on, then you'll work towards and will see incremental improvements and it will be worth doing. You'll get benefits along the way.
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Chris Marti, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 11:10 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 11:10 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
If the value of something is determined only by what happens at the very end and the very end is years or a decade or decades away... no one is going to work toward it. 

This would describe my expectations of practice for quite a few years. But I kept going anyway.

emoticon​​​​​​​
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 11:25 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 11:25 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 2449 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"short term goal that you are working on"

The one thing that always seemed to be motivating my practice was the sense of Dukkha. The more it "rains down on me" the more motivated I get to sit and stare at This-ness unfolding. 

Dukkha is the great redeemer emoticon emoticon emoticon

​​​​​​​Best wishes to you Alex! emoticon 
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Ni Nurta, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:21 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 4:21 PM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
 
It is hard to understand what awakening really is.

Not really
See the universe, it is quite big. Awakened person doesn't give all attention to small things when big things demand it as much as small things. Awakened person keeps attention on everything at once.

Those who are not awakened do not do it. They could, easily, but they are confused about where and what their attention is because they are confused about what they want. Nothing anyone wants is not already there ready to be part of experience and knowing that is essence of awakening.

Notion of extinguishing cravings is nonsense. It is nonsense not because getting what you desire doesn't extinguish craving for it but because it is not what most will assume extinguishing cravings can possibly mean. People usually won't get the kind of extinguishement of cravings they think it should be right because they think the way to accomplish it which they deep down feel is right and could use is actually wrong because it could just as well be used to end craving not though extinguishement of craving but getting on the action so they seek different way but there is no different way. There is no different way to experience anything. While awakened person doesn't care and experiences whatever including everyone else in their awakened versions.

In other words you know you are awakened if you experience everything just as much as you do not experience anything. If you are not awakened you do not experience wall of your room because you do not even get to realize you actually crave having such experience as much as you crave experience of anything and anyone else and nothing and no one.

tl;dr
Not hard at all. It is only hard to understand awakening from books. What do books can possibly tell you about reality the reality itself is hiding from you? 
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Dream Walker, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:24 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 5:24 PM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 1430 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Can you doubt your doubt?
What would that be like?
turning the sensations of doubt back on itself, funny yes, but seriously try it out.
~D
shargrol, modified 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 7:17 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/5/21 7:17 PM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 1761 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
+1 
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Ni Nurta, modified 6 Months ago at 12/6/21 3:32 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/6/21 3:32 AM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Can you doubt your doubt?
What would that be like?

If you doubt any doubt, also the doubt in your doubt then you might get in to infinite doubt loop/recusion and get somewhere... like stack overflow and get crazy emoticon

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Alex, modified 6 Months ago at 12/8/21 11:13 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 12/8/21 11:13 PM

RE: Cannot get rid of this doubt

Posts: 10 Join Date: 8/28/20 Recent Posts
While I am motivated mostly by the long term adventure, I do see immediate benefits along the way.

Funny enough, meditation does seem to noticeably lower my personal cravings (for excessive food, alcohol, etc.)

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