How to deal with daily life, life goals, planning and content

Brian K, modified 10 Years ago at 7/22/13 6:13 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/22/13 6:13 PM

How to deal with daily life, life goals, planning and content

Posts: 142 Join Date: 4/18/12 Recent Posts
Sometimes its difficult to see where spirituality, and the rest of life that is centered around accomplishing seemingly non-subjective goals, meet. Whats important, how they are compatible, finding a place for yourself in the world when no answer seems clear. How to process things like wanting to be successful, wanting money, wanting to contribute to the world, wanting to help people, wanting to be happy, wanting to find enlightenment, and how these interact and which parts need to subordinate others for what we might consider our well being, at certain times. This is a very complex question, and i don't have the time or the patience to articulate it much more clearly in the present moment, but you get the idea. So what are some experiences with this and how have you dealt with them? What are some mistakes you have made, and how do you feel those mistakes (and successes, actually) effected your life as a whole, after the fact?

PS.. please dont just tell me just to stay in the moment, I would like to hear more concrete answers in balancing content with nature of said content, not a meditation instruction. Thanks!!!
Simon T, modified 10 Years ago at 7/22/13 10:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/22/13 10:07 PM

RE: How to deal with daily life, life goals, planning and content

Posts: 383 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
I wrote a post in answer to someone else but that person deleted it before I clicked send. I think some of the point are relevant to your question so I will copy it here. Some clearly aren't but I will leave them anyway:

There is absolutely no distinction between living our life and the path. If it wasn't of this fundamental confusion, which lead me to act in a less than ideal way, there would be no point bothering will all this.

Still, the average modern human probably has to deal with much more mental content than anyone that walked on earth 2500 years ago. We have been programmed to believe a gazillon things, hold in us decades of stress, are being pulled in every direction by the primal desires amplified by the tools of modernity, we have been told that we are hopeless sinners and that we should be afraid. Really afraid of everything.

So yeah, there is a bit of clean up to do. Daniel take much care in his book to warn about the side effects of the path but the truth is, unless someone can really sanitize itself before beginning the journey, there is not much well documented alternative to deal with the side effects than the 3 training. I'm sure many of us take medication or drugs to deal with issues, some of them related to the path side effects, some of them not. This kind of information circulate much less, I feel.

For this website (or another one) to be a knowledge base to assist people when they encounter a specific problem, not only a sea of comments, it would have to adopt a different format. A tag system and a format similar to stackoverflow would be more appropriate for that combined with an easy way to contact the person for more information if needed (to private messaging here is broken).

So yes this is all about life and life is infinitely complex. Therefore, we must integrate all our perspectives, all the things that we do and consider them do be relevant to the discussion.

Then there is all we adapt the training of morality to the stages of insight. Advice like (just example, those could be wrong): You are in the A&P and feel like you are on a mission? Go ahead, ride that mission in your life with laser-like mindfulness into it, but don't commit too much and be ready to give it up the next day. You are in the early DN and it feel like walking with a torn in your foot. Bite the bullet and just keep walking with soft mindfulness. There is still a direction. Re-oberservation is having the better of you and you are no longer sure you want to be Jesus, find the edge and give up at that moment. Then, learn the little game of push and release of equanimity, etc. etc.

To come back to the original point, we also have a cultural problem when we talk about the training in morality and living the good life. Our approach to this will end up being different than the vast majority of the people we live with and and for a long part of our life had a strong influence on us. Probably not that different in the action itself but different in motivation. In french, a word often used for entertainment is "distraction" or diversion. When my mother tell me "you also need to have some distraction" it has a totally different meaning that what I can make of entertainment. Engaging in the act of forgetting can at some key moments have benefits but can also be devastating. So entertainment itself is also part of the training in morality. So form are better than other (internet being the worse, sadly).

Indeed, when we talk about the general stuff of life, as people committed to this path, we should expect that some way of talking about it are better and avoid the trap of inculcating guilt, unhealthy self-concern, obnoxiousness, etc. In other words, there is some kind of neutrality that is desirable in at least the delivery and to some extend, the content, but that doesn't mean there is nothing to say. The more we can surround ourselves with such culture and the positive values of selflessness, the easier it is to reprogram ourselves and counteract a mainstream culture that was, let be honest, sending us in the opposite direction.

As a side note, I don't want to see the pragmatic community becoming a circle-jerk of self-righteous people with a sense of superiority like it somewhat emerged with the recent atheism movement around Richard Dawkins. Some of us started on this path with a pretty strong ego, narcissistic issues and so forth. I just hope we don't let growth those personal tentencies into communal ones.

[skype: simontanguay]