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How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?

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How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? D. 2/28/17 5:00 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Noah D 2/28/17 6:55 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Banned For waht? 3/4/17 8:27 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/12/18 9:48 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Bruno Loff 3/1/17 3:21 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Marty G 3/1/17 5:49 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? D. 3/1/17 11:29 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Marty G 3/1/17 1:47 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Marty G 3/2/17 3:51 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Marty G 3/3/17 6:29 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Daniel M. Ingram 3/4/17 5:52 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Richard Zen 3/1/17 11:08 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? ivory 3/2/17 12:10 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Richard Zen 3/2/17 1:24 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Marty G 3/2/17 2:48 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Marty G 3/2/17 2:51 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Todo 10/13/18 6:28 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? supaluqi 3/2/17 7:31 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Andrew K 3/5/17 5:25 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Banned For waht? 3/5/17 1:36 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Jose Moral 3/7/17 12:04 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? J C 10/16/18 4:35 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/16/18 1:06 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Hibiscus Kid 10/16/18 8:20 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Nick O 10/16/18 9:20 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/16/18 11:29 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? ivory 10/17/18 12:04 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/17/18 12:24 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Nick O 10/17/18 10:02 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? Tashi Tharpa 10/18/18 5:14 AM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? J C 10/18/18 4:58 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/19/18 9:34 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/19/18 10:17 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/17/18 2:04 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/17/18 3:03 PM
RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life? terry 10/17/18 4:09 PM
Especially if you also have no desire to be a monk, which therefore means most of your days are spent doing useless shit that is just done to maintain status quo and survive when your interests lie elsewhere.

There's no real intrinsic difference between mundane and non-mundane, of course, but there is definitely a split between the same old drudgery and things you do because they're better than going round and round in the same cycles.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
2/28/17 6:55 PM as a reply to D..
The point of mundane life is increasing sensory pleasure through meditation and decreasing sensory pain.  By gaining relative benefits such as psychoemotional healing, energetic groundedness, etc.  and ultimate benefits of permanent shifts.

The job, the bank account, the diet, friendships.., it should be heavenly with a well trained mind.  I'm slowly cranking my way there as we speak emoticon

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/1/17 3:21 AM as a reply to D..
I do meditation.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/1/17 5:49 AM as a reply to D..
It's a position many are in, how to make ordinary, pedestrian life into a spiritual practice? If that's the root of your question, or otherwise it may be : how to make mundane life more interesting when you feel it is pointless? I think the second question is more what you seem to be getting at. The first one is a far better question, but you can't ask it if it isn't true of you. 
"doing useless shit that is just done to maintain status quo and survive when your interests lie elsewhere."
That quote is echoed by millions, by the way (and you have my heartfelt sympathy) including myself often at least in feeling. The usual answer  is do whatever you do, no matter how menial, trivial, banal, vulgar, boring, unispiring and dispiriting  'mindfully'. For example, you can pull weeds out for hours on end mindfully, consciously with intent and feeling. To become a formal renunciate for most people is not an option, it's a 'luxury' and even then you still have to deal with washing the dishes etc ( mostly, unless you climb the monkish ladder somewhat).

Another answer, is more an attitude that makes a difference : whatever cards you are dealt in life, embrace them as if you consciously and deliberatly chose them. Hideous as this may be to contemplate (at times) it is a useful empowering act (or mental trick) when shitty circumstance seems thrust on you.Further, bring life, energy and feeling into whatever you are doing.

If any of this this is useful and your underlying question is :  how to make ordinary, pedestrian life into a spiritual practice? Let me know and I will write more on it. All the best.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/1/17 11:29 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Yes, I suppose that is my underlying question ; if 'mundane' life can be used at all to bolster 'non-mundane' life.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/1/17 1:47 PM as a reply to D..
"Yes, I suppose that is my underlying question ; if 'mundane' life can be used at all to bolster 'non-mundane' life."

People generally undertake some meditative practice to achieve this. You probally already know this if you come to this particular forum. The meditation you are looking for is one that you can do anywhere at anytime. Vipassana is the most common means promoted in Buddhist circles for this specific purpose. There are countless threads and media sources you can study to learn the basics if you do not already know them. This is one way to deal with the difficulties of ordinary life and many espouse it's effectiveness. It is passive often secular approach, not requesting or requiring anything other than what arises in mind and body. A teacher may add a little more to the dimension ( as well as being helpful). Now, depending on your 'motive' this may be sufficient at this point. Explore the depth of your motive here (very, very important), it may be superficial ( just want to get through the day so I can party at night) or profound ( I really want to change this whole suffering event).

Another way (wich can be incorporated with any  meditation) is to 'spiritualize'  your life. This is not the standard Buddhist approach so you may have to look further afield to study this . What you are doing here is open to what you call the 'non-mundane' as a conscious act of 'faith' (not meaning belief but more a whole body presumption of life is more than mere matter). In a sense you are both assuming and calling on the non-mundane or spirit to enter and move into your life. This is the classic spiritual seekers stance. It requires real need and sincerity of motive. 'I'm suffering and need help' is sufficient. There is a natural humility from the knowledge of the difficulty of our situation ( the born condition).

This second approach may bring about many opportunities, meetings and changes. Books and/or sources of insight and direction may unexpectedly appear. It's a tranfomative approach rather than merely passive, generally not supported in secular or remedial groups.



RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/1/17 11:08 PM as a reply to D..
Books to read:

Flow by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi
Why we do what we do by Edward Deci
The Charge by Brendon Burchard
Peak by Anders Ericsson

The rest is up to you and the goals you choose, but they have to be YOUR goals to be intrinsic motivation.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/2/17 12:10 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Books to read:

Flow by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi...


Looks like me and Richard are on the same page once again.

Think of life as a series of skills. Life is more fun and exciting when you are skilled at everything you do. This includes cooking, working, hitting on cute girls, playing sports, making art, etc.

As for the mundane use that as an opportunity for meditation. You really don't need to sit as long as you deliberately make meditation out of falling asleep, showering, going to the bathroom, cleaning, driving, waiting in line, shopping, etc.

When you use the mundane as an opportunity for meditation, it makes the rest of life more exciting. And once you free yourself from addictions and distractions, the mundane is no longer boring. The mundane is only boring because you spend time seeking instant gratification.

Richard Zen:
The rest is up to you and the goals you choose, but they have to be YOUR goals to be intrinsic motivation.


Yup.

Here's a clue. Think of all the things you want to do that are too hard or too scary.

There's no shortage of things to learn or things to accomplish.

Does life still seem pointless?

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/2/17 7:31 AM as a reply to D..
inbetween meditating and, listening and implementing the good advice above, try hurting in a different way (solar plexus cramps):

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/category/3033555

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/2/17 1:24 PM as a reply to ivory.
Even further. What is too difficult for you maybe easy for someone else. Easy is still enjoyable but it goes into boredom pretty quickly. People don't talk about when desire ends and fail to realize that obstacles/mystery is what makes something interesting. When it's figured out it can plop into boredom. Then the person is hungry for new experiences, but we have to be cognizant of what is desire through a mediator/cool person versus substantive interests based on our actual skill level which will point out what is interesting intrinsically for us. We can chase cool people and find emptiness, because everyone is empty of permanent savouring (unless you found God emoticon), but if we have interesting hobbies and develop substantive skills then our self-esteem is not tied to other people and is tied more to our actions. When people point out our mistakes we can learn from them instead of feel like it reflects who we are. We can ask questions like "who am I imitating?" to step out of the illusion again and again. Then we can look at unmet needs in society and develop skills towards those areas instead of bottle-necks of people trying to imitate the cool in a futile efforts.

There is a lie we are all taught about status and "cool" people, and it is often hard to see through because desire is rarely talked about in terms of it ending. Cool people are Others who appear to us as a "...relentless guardian of a closed garden where only the elect may enjoy eternal beatitude" (Girard, 1965). It's like wanting what we don't have, and having no gratitude for what we do have. That's because desire always ends and requires new challenges and "whenever the snob moves forward, the enchanted garden recedes. In a world of insiders, everyone imagines himself an outsider. But since no one admits the truth, everyone becomes necessarily both deceiver and dupe, victim, and torturer, excluding every other on the grounds that he himself feels excluded. There is an element of imitative magic in this behaviour and also a panic fear that one's own state of deprivation is going to be perceived, and the narrator undergoes it no less than the other characters in the novel; he learns to hide his true feelings; he learns to wear a mask of self-satisfaction and contempt" (Girard, 1962).

Girard then goes into affective memory to remind people of gratitude for the enchanted garden we did experience, which is a form of savouring our past highlights in life. That's really what people can do. They are trying to create memories to savour.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/2/17 2:48 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
At the risk of being controversial : I think a good question is being asked, I'm hopeful he is asking more than this. Maybe he's not in which case, your points are well made  (in your earlier post). If a more profound question is being asked, then and (only then) this criticism is worth considering. 

To put "
lipstick on a pig" is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/2/17 2:51 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Just to be clear no disrespect intended, just trying to make a point that may or may not be valid in this case.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/2/17 3:51 PM as a reply to Marty G.
A third movement is also possible, in the midst of ordinary life (however dull and mundane) be 'wakeful'. Be simply aware that you are awake. George Gurjieff ( worth checking out to some extent, though he was a serial bullshitter and rogue) for instance saw men and women mostly as being asleep, who can really doubt this, if you try this experiment for a while? Go to a mall in intended 'conscious wakefulness' it's quite disturbing : everyone who few exceptions is sleep walking : dude was right ! Also plenty in Buddhism along these lines.

Your wakeful state has a clarity to it, that secondarily makes life a hell of a lot more interesting.

A concrete example of how people use this method. Bill Murray (actor) in this link, it gives the feeling for it; the spontaneity possible in (even) becoming a wakeful force to others under ordinary conditons : 


http://www.signature-reads.com/2015/08/bill-murray-the-fourth-way-and-life-as-a-very-sly-man/

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/3/17 6:29 PM as a reply to Marty G.
You're reading too much into it. People (everyone) tends to be unconsciousness. It's easy to see that in self and others. It may be useful for some to notice this. It does not require great meditation skills, quite obvious. Not a put-down of others, just a realistic observation. Not worth debating if it is not clear, since it will be always seen as some sort of insult against humanity or one-upmanship. Just 'part' of of a more conscious life.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/4/17 5:52 AM as a reply to Marty G.
How to enjoy your life?

Two steps:

1) Get out of the friggin' Dark Night. Anyone posting on how life is meaningless on a deep dharma forum is likely Dark Nighting hard. Use any meditative means necessary.

2) Do meaningful things that bring social connection and help people: getting out of your own head and making a difference in other peoples' lives is a key source of meaning and satisfaction.

Deep jhana helps also, as very few, having tasted it, don't like it. There are Dark Nighting exceptions.

Be well!

Daniel

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/4/17 8:27 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
The point of mundane life is increasing sensory pleasure through meditation and decreasing sensory pain.  By gaining relative benefits such as psychoemotional healing, energetic groundedness, etc.  and ultimate benefits of permanent shifts.

The job, the bank account, the diet, friendships.., it should be heavenly with a well trained mind.  I'm slowly cranking my way there as we speak emoticon
there is a blindspot. The moment you die, ok it could sound a bit too early but we can die anytime. So unless you don't know how to transfer to another dimension or existence willingly, it remains a revelant issue what will surface if all coverings like mundane life primacies are gone.

If you have conquered the world you will start having these immortality questions..so we will start reaching streamentry qualities like SE is better than ruling a world,.. streamentry is a way to immortality.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/5/17 5:25 AM as a reply to D..
life isn't mundane though, and life isn't pointless - as a human you have the opportunity to become fully awakened and experience extraordinary happiness and abilities
also there is a world of suffering so there's always good stuff you can do to help people, like making a sandwich for someone or teaching them something you learnt or being kind/having fun etc or reading a great book or looking at nature

since you are in control of your own life if you think of yourself as doing "useless shit" you can decide to instead do useful good things

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/5/17 1:36 PM as a reply to Andrew K.
jajajajajajajajajaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

edit. possibility is you have lost enough that you have given up trying. Or you succeeded in something. two variants.
As these are after the fact. So how you deal when you are middle of the proccess. Its not like i could turn new page every time i eff up something. Unless i have some loose screws, but apparently i have highened conscience.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
3/7/17 12:04 PM as a reply to D..
Good advice!

I would like to recommend some other books:

- All the approach and books of the great DOUGLAS HARDING are incredibly meaningful and a permanent way to live in the Source, in the huge mystery of life. And it is completely practical and really simple... but very profound and needt to mature in time...but available at any moment.

Why to live in the Source? Because actually all in life (even all the pointlessness) is a great mystery... So I recommend as well the books of ALAN WATTS. After many years of spiritual quest recently I read "THE WAY OF ZEN"... and is breathtaking! I had a lot of insights and many moments of no-mind. He linked Taoism and Mahayana approach to the Zen, and how Taoism and Zen are non-dual ways... It is beautiful to understand the real importance, magic and charm of any present moment.

- And of course SHINZEN´s book...amazing! The touched our nerves by the way the explained how the deconstruction process of vipassa can be applied at any moment.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/12/18 9:48 PM as a reply to Noah D.
aloha hibiscus kid,

   Hibiscus grows in my yard. Lovely flower, emblematic of hawaii. Aloha nui loa from hawaii nei.

   As for formal meditation - if you mean zazen or "just sitting" - if liberation is your goal, you have a shot. If it is "mental health/happiness," then you are engaging in goal-oriented, egoistic behavior. You may feel convinced at some point that you are happy and mentally healthy, but the true aim of human development will be missed. And your time meditating will be in vain. You will continue to feel sceptical, and soon or late give it up. Without the spiration to be free of ego, and transcend selfhood, all spiritual practices are wasted. Giving the ego magic and siddhis only makes things worse. No less than sainthood is the goal; with no expectation of reaching it, only of being on the Way.

   Meditation is not an "activity." Neither is it passivity: it is an active engagement with Mind, an opening up and letting happen. A giving up of resistance. Desire is a (temporary and passing) condition of doubt and fear. Let go your desires for spiritual advancement and just sit for its own sake, accepting whatever comes or doesn't without expectation. If you can do this your practice will soon bear fruit, often in unexpected ways.

   Zen points directly at Mind. Find inspiration sitting simply in silence and there is no end to this treasure. Let go all aspiration and thought, and just breathe. Happiness and peace are the least of it. Consistent practice leads to the jhanas. Just sit. 

   Don't expect to blank your mind, even if you practice thinking non-thought. The true result of effective meditation is wisdom and insight, which arises naturally, effortlessly, and unforced. Wisdom and insight transform our "off-the cushion activity". Emptiness is fullness. 

   Noduality cannot be understood, only realized. Whether you meditate or not really doesn't matter if you have realization. If you do not, it is the direct method, and the invariable practice of the buddhas.

terry


excerpt from mcrae's platform sutra of hui-neng:

“What is ‘mahā’? Mahā means ‘great.’ The ratiocination of the mind is vast, like space, which is boundless, is also without square and round, large and small. It is also neither blue, yellow, red, nor white. It is also without above and below, long and short. It is also without anger and without joy, without affirmation and without negation, without good and without evil, without beginning and end. The fields of the Buddha are all identical to space. The wondrous natures of people of this world are empty, without a single dharma that can be perceived. The emptiness of the self-natures is also like this.

“Good friends, don’t listen to me explain emptiness and then become attached to emptiness. The most important thing is not to become attached to emptiness. If you empty your minds and sit in quietude, this is to become attached to the emptiness of blankness.

“Good friends, the space of this world embraces within itself the myriad things and the images of form. The sun, moon, and stars; and the mountains, rivers, and earth; the springs and streams that enrich the plants and forests; bad people and good people, bad dharmas and good dharmas; the heavens and hells; all the great oceans and the mountains, including Sumeru: all of these exist within space. The emptiness of the natures of the people of this world is also like this. Good friends, that the self-natures can embody the myriad dharmas is ‘great.’ The myriad dharmas are within people’s natures. If one perceives the goodness and badness of people without ever grasping or rejecting [their goodness and badness], one will not become tainted or attached. For the mind to be like space is called ‘great.’ Therefore, it is said [to be] ‘mahā.’

“Good friends, the deluded speak with their mouths, but the wise practice with their minds. Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claiming that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!

“Good friends, the ratiocination of the mind is vast and great, permeating the dharmadhātu (i.e., the cosmos). Functioning, it comprehensively and distinctly responds [to things]. Functioning, it knows everything. Everything is the one, the one is everything. [With mind and dharmas] going and coming of themselves, the essence of the mind is without stagnation. This is ‘prajñā.’

“Good friends, all prajñā wisdom is generated from the self-natures. It does not enter us from outside. To not err in its functioning is called the spontaneous functioning of the true nature. When the one is true, all are true. When your minds are considering the great affair, you will not practice the small path. Do not be always speaking of emptiness with your mouth without cultivating the practice in your minds! That would be like an ordinary person claiming to be a king! You will never attain anything [this way. Such persons] are not my disciples.

“Good friends, what is prajñā? In Chinese, it is called wisdom. To always practice wisdom in all places, at all times, and in all moments of thought, without stupidity—this is the practice of prajñā. A single moment’s stupidity and prajñā is eradicated, a single moment’s wisdom and prajñā is generated. The people of this world are stupid and deluded and do not see prajñā. They speak of prajñā in their mouths but are always stupid in their minds. They always say to themselves, ‘I am cultivating prajñā.’ In every moment of thought they speak of emptiness, without recognizing true emptiness. Prajñā is without shape or characteristics, it is the mind of wisdom. To have such an understanding is called the wisdom of prajñā.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/13/18 6:28 AM as a reply to ivory.
Ivory says: Think of life as a series of skills. Life is more fun and exciting when you are skilled at everything you do. This includes cooking, working, hitting on cute girls, playing sports, making art, etc.

Make that your life system & you'll never look back!

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/16/18 4:35 AM as a reply to D..
This thread seems full of spiritual bypassing to me. If your days are spent doing useless shit just to survive while your interests lie elsewhere, CHANGE YOUR LIFE so that this is no longer true. That's no way to live, regardless of meditation or enlightenment. Instead, live a life you actually want to wake up to. Find a way to change things so that your life is meaningful to you.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/16/18 1:06 PM as a reply to J C.
J C:
This thread seems full of spiritual bypassing to me. If your days are spent doing useless shit just to survive while your interests lie elsewhere, CHANGE YOUR LIFE so that this is no longer true. That's no way to live, regardless of meditation or enlightenment. Instead, live a life you actually want to wake up to. Find a way to change things so that your life is meaningful to you.


you tell em, bra...

t

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/16/18 8:20 PM as a reply to J C.
There's an argument to made in the other direction however: you can have a somewhat interesting job, good social life, do community service, make enough money for food/clothing/shelter/medicine (and money to go on vacations, invest in hobbies, buy a car, invest in retirement, etc.), but people can still feel that their life is mundane. The fact is, most people with full time jobs find themselves in a routine and most routines tend to become mundane after a while (even if these jobs/routines are interesting or meaningful).

If we continue to realize again and again that our lives aren't completely satisfying (regardless of how good the content/material stuff is), do we need to change our perception or change the material aspects of our life?   

A really large part of why I personally got into meditation so heavily is because I noticed that I am extremely privileged to have had the upbringing that I've had as well as the life I'm currently living (I'm not saying I was rich or had perfect parents or anything either, just better than what most people in the world have to deal with). However, the sense that this life isn't perfect/satisfying has followed me around for a long time and I don't think that any more 'good' content will fill that void. It seems like I, personally, need the mental (spiritual) development to truly be satisfied with all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Another data point: I do community service on top of this as well, and, as nice as it is, that also hasn't quite brought meaning that can satisfy.  

I have 'enough' content/material wealth to be happy in this life (compared to over 99% of the world, especially in developing countries) but I never feel that I have 'enough'. I realized that, even if I won millions in the lottery tomorrow, no amount of spending would result in a sense of well being. 

There are probably quite a few practitioners (even some advanced ones) on here with great lives, but many might be stuck in the dark night/knowledges of suffering. The OP might have posted this thread while experiencing such a stage. 

Maybe this entire pursuit is all, in fact, spiritual bypassing, but it's good to raise the question since it is a shadow side of training in insight/wisdom. Many practitioners may actually be avoiding real life issues by meditating (I've definitely done some of that). Practitioners need to explore that question for themselves however.   

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/16/18 9:20 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:


It seems like I, personally, need the mental (spiritual) development to truly be satisfied with all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. 
   

In deep resonance with this. Beautifully said. 

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/16/18 11:29 PM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
Hibiscus Kid:


It seems like I, personally, need the mental (spiritual) development to truly be satisfied with all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. 
   

In deep resonance with this. Beautifully said. 

aloha,

   Perhaps "all the blessings that have been bestowed on you" are inherently unsatisfactory.

terry



Old man Vimalakirti once said:
“Give and receive food as you would give and receive dharma.”
I take his point.
Practicing solidly, who will not reach the year of the donkey?
 
ryokan

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/17/18 12:04 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Perhaps "all the blessings that have been bestowed on you" are inherently unsatisfactory.


Spoken like a true nihilist!

For real though, life may be unsatisfactory but that doesn't mean that we don't need those unsatisfactory things.

There is a human element to all of this.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/17/18 12:24 AM as a reply to ivory.
ivory:
terry:
Perhaps "all the blessings that have been bestowed on you" are inherently unsatisfactory.


Spoken like a true nihilist!

For real though, life may be unsatisfactory but that doesn't mean that we don't need those unsatisfactory things.

There is a human element to all of this.

 aloha ivory,

   Is there? Is anatta - that is, non-self - nihilism? Is there a difference between "need" and "desire"? Desirelessness is liberation (third NT). 

   All a person really needs is a handful of grains per day.

terry


In the dream world
there is dozing.
Further within,
speaking and dreaming
of the dream as it is.
 
ryokan

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/17/18 2:04 PM as a reply to J C.
J C:
This thread seems full of spiritual bypassing to me. If your days are spent doing useless shit just to survive while your interests lie elsewhere, CHANGE YOUR LIFE so that this is no longer true. That's no way to live, regardless of meditation or enlightenment. Instead, live a life you actually want to wake up to. Find a way to change things so that your life is meaningful to you.
aloha,

   I am still "resonating" with jc's cri de couer.  

   Changing your life is clear enough, but what is a "meaningful life"? What is "no way to live" is "doing useless shit just to survive while your interests lie elsewhere." (bravissimo!)

   Complacent acceptance of one's "good fortune" tin being able to enjoy excessive amounts of material goods while at the same time accepting the attendant grovelling and conformity to values that we know are detrimental to planetary life is the social disease of our times. Imagine, for example, this current generation joining the peace corps. Imagine them asking, "what can I do for my country?" Imagine them protesting social evils. What we actually have is wisdom traditions turned (on their heads) to increasing self esteem; prajna as "content."

   To adduce the dhamma as an aid to suppressing one's natural will to do good, as opposed to self-aggrandizement and survival at all costs, slanders the dhamma.

   The dhamma involves not nihilism but transcendence. Even the dhamma is only a pointer, a finger, a "raft" to carry you across the sea of samsara (ignorance - aka your life), to be abandoned when all thought disappears in samadhi (wordless wisdom, the source).

   Again, what is "a meaningful life?" Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." The prototypical teacher, socrates called himself a "midwife," bringing the spiritual human being to birth out of carnal man, then letting the newly minted being to grow as it will. ("Character is destiny" - said heraclitus, being one of socrates' antecedents.) Similarly, sufi teachers call themselves wet nurses, endeavoring to bring up the spiritual infant to where it can survive on its own, then setting it free. We can examine our lives in the light of the dhamma, the Truth. Socrates taught nothing; indeed, he had nothing to teach. His insight was that each of us knows the truth down deep, and can reveal it when stimulated to do so.

   So, we can "examine" our lives to see if they are "worth living." Socrates implies that the examination itself is what makes our life worthwhile.

   The tendency of people is not to look too closely at their comfortable lives. Lets not rock the boat, others depend on us, we are just a little cog in an impersonal machine that can't be reckoned with or altered in any significant way. We think this way and justify ourselves and stay asleep. 

   We awaken to realize that it is our obligation to society to make our true feelings felt and cry "humbug" (as we say in hawaii). Lewis carroll wrote, (from memory): 


"First the sentence," said the Queen, "and then the evidence."

"Nonsense" cried Alice so loudly that everyone jumped.
"The idea of having the sentence first!"


The truthful outbursts of children, such as in 'the emperor's new clothes,' are a model for us. Sometimes you have to stand up for what you know is true and right, in the manner of a spontaneous outburst. The roots of chan in taoism spring from a love of spontaneity, innocence and sincerity. These qualities are not compatible with a job in marketing.

   If we take the buddhadhamma seriously, and we abandon selfishness as a means of achieving human happiness, how do we work and live as a shramana amidst "the pointlessness of 'mundane life'"? It can only be said that this is something each of us must work out for themselves. How much "humbug" can you tolerate, and still feel human? Real freedom is the ability to get up and walk out; your life is a statement (of intentionality). Are you a self-aware member of a cultural elite which demands recognition for higher values than the norms? If not, why not? What are you here for, if not to be you?

   In the end, the real you wants to have an occupation wherein you can be sincere, spontaneous and innocent. Some jobs allow for this more than others. Jobs reeking of capitalism make the dhamma difficult to practice. Socialist jobs such as teacher or health care worker can make the dhamma easy to practice. One's remuneration is of far less consequnce to our happiness than having healthy and helpful interactions with people all day, as opposed to shooting people dead at the water cooler or cafeteria. The needier people are, the more satisfaction we receive from helping them. The more our attention is engaged with helping others, the less we care about our personal comforts. And vice versa.

   The dhamma is not to be used to make us more content with our disgust for "mundane life." It is used to make us even more disgusted, more willing to abandon the wheel of birth and death for the transcendant truth of nibbana. Material comforts and "blessings" which are more like curses, status symbols and the like which we polish and stroke, are attachments; our true happiness is involved with giving up any personal concern with such affairs. Why care what the neighbors think when you know they are unhappy and deluded? Help them by being free.


terry


one of my favorite all time books is r h blythe's "zen in english literature and oriental classics," wonderfully written and original; an excerpt:


(quote)

   Zen is the love of truth, a very different thing from the liking of or a preference for truth. Truth, the whole truth is there, no doubt, but our life is love of truth. How can we get into this state of love, this life? The greatest paradox in the history of the world tells us:

   'Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal.'

If we try to explain this, and talk of physical life and spiritual life, the real meaning totally disappears. If you wish to live, die! Without thinking, abandon yourself, all your wants and wishes, not only for happiness, but for truth, for life, for goodness, for God. Then you have eternal life, the peace that passes understanding.

(unquote)



and classic dylan also applies:


It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proves to warn that he not busy being born
Is busy dying

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you'd just be
One more person crying

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all
Except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy
Insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not fergit
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Do what they do just to be nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he's in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only

Songwriters: Bob Dylan

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/17/18 3:03 PM as a reply to terry.
another excerpt from r h blythe's "zen in english literature and oriental classics" - reginald horace blythe was a professor at a japanese university, and spoke better japanese than the japanese, and examplified zen more than japan's zen professionals  - his relationship with christianity was entirely buddhist, at least in the zen sense...

(quote)

Let us consider, 

   And whosoever would be first among you, shall be as your servant.

   How will orthodox Christians explain this in regard to God? Remember, what Christ says here is a universal law, that is, it applies to every existing thing in the universe. Who is, after all, first? God is first. Then he is my servant, will uncomplainingly, unwearyingly do my bidding, fulfill all my unspoken wishes, minister to my every want, unknown though it be to myself. And is it not so? How all things support me, praise me, punish me, work together for my good! Careless of my appraisal or condemnation, they cherish and reprove me, admonish and uplift, in ceaseless change they are my Heaven or Hell according to my own sweet will. The keenness of the knife, the softness of the butter, the cat after the mouse, the moving shadows on the wall, - all for me, all my servants.

(unquote)

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/17/18 4:09 PM as a reply to terry.
(I'm on a roll...)



Hsin Hsin Ming
by Seng-T'san

The Great Way is not difficult 
for those who have no preferences. 
When love and hate are both absent 
everything becomes clear and undisguised. 
Make the smallest distinction, however, 
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. 

If you wish to see the truth 
then hold no opinions for or against anything. 
To set up what you like against what you dislike 
is the disease of the mind. 
When the deep meaning of things is not understood, 
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail. 

The Way is perfect like vast space 
where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess. 
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject 
that we do not see the true nature of things. 

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, 
nor in inner feelings of emptiness. 
Be serene in the oneness of things and such 
erroneous views will disappear by themselves. 

When you try to stop activity by passivity 
your very effort fills you with activity. 
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other 
you will never know Oneness. 

Those who do not live in the single Way 
fail in both activity and passivity, 
assertion and denial. 
To deny the reality of things 
is to miss their reality; 
To assert the emptiness of things 
is to miss their reality. 

The more you talk and think about it, 
the further astray you wander from the truth. 
Stop talking and thinking, 
and there is nothing you will not be able to know. 

To return to the root is to find meaning, 
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. 
At the moment of inner enlightenment 
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness. 
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world 
we call real only because of our ignorance. 

Do not search for the truth; 
only cease to cherish opinions. 
Do not remain in the dualistic state. 
Avoid such pursuits carefully. 
If there is even a trace of this and that, 
of right and wrong, 
the mind-essence ewill be lost in confusion. 

Although all dualities come from the One, 
do not be attached even to this One. 
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, 
nothing in the world can offend. 
And when a thing can no longer offend, 
it ceases to exist in the old way. 

When no discriminating thoughts arise, 
the old mind ceases to exist. 
When thought objects vanish, 
the thinking-subject vanishes: 
As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish. 

Things are objects because of the subject (mind): 
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object). 
Understand the relativity of these two 
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. 
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable 
and each contains in itself the whole world. 
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine 
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion. 

To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult. 
But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: 
the faster they hurry, the slower they go. 
And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited: 
Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment 
is to go astray. 

Just let things be in their own way 
and there will be neither coming not going. 
Obey the nature of things (your own nature) 
and you will walk freely and undisturbed. 

When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden 
for everything is murky and unclear. 
And the burdensome practice of judging 
brings annoyance and weariness. 
What benefit can be derived 
from distinctions and separations? 

If you wish to move in the One Way 
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. 
Indeed, to accept them fully 
is identical with enlightenment. 

The wise man strives to no goals 
but the foolish man fetters himself. 

There is one Dharma, not many. 
Distinctions arise 
from the clinging needs of the ignorant. 
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind 
is the greatest of all mistakes. 

Rest and unrest derive from illusion; 
with enlightenment 
there is no liking and disliking. 
All dualities come from ignorant inference. 
They are like dreams or flowers in air - 
foolish to try to grasp them. 
Gain and loss, right and wrong, 
such thoughts must 
finally be abolished at once. 

If the eye never sleeps, 
all dreams will naturally cease. 
If the mind makes no discriminations, 
the ten thousand things are as they are, 
of single essence. 

To understand the mystery of this One-essence 
is to be released from all entanglements. 
When all things are seen equally 
the timeless Self-essence is reached, 
No comparisons or analogies are possible 
in this causeless, relationless state. 
Consider movement stationary 
and the stationary in motion, 
both movement and rest disappear. 
When such dualities cease to exist 
Oneness itself cannot exist. 
To this ultimate finality 
no law or description applies. 

For the unified mind in accord with the way 
all self-centered striving ceases. 
Doubts and irresolutions vanish 
and life in true faith is possible. 
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage: 
Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing. 

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, 
with no exertion of the mind's power. 
Here thought, feeling, 
knowledge and imagination are of no value. 

In this world of suchness 
there is neither self nor other-than-self. 
To come directly into harmony with this reality 
just say when doubt rises "not two". 
In this "not two" nothing is separate, 
nothing is excluded. 

No matter when or where, 
enlightenment means entering this truth. 
And this truth is beyond extension 
or diminution in time and space: 
In it a single thought is ten thousand years. 

Emptiness here, emptiness there, 
but the infinite universe 
stands always before your eyes. 
Infinitely large and infinitely small; 
no difference, for definitions have vanished 
and no boundaries are seen. 

So too with Being and non-Being. 
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments 
That have nothing to do with this. 

One thing, all things, 
move among and intermingle without distinction. 
To live in this realization 
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. 
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, 
because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind. 

Words! 
The Way is beyond language, 
for in it there is 
no yesterday 
no tomorrow 
no today. 


Translated from the Chinese by Richard B. Clarke
Featured in Jack Kornfield, Teachings of the Buddha




and a bit of zen from los lobos:


(it loses a bit in translation, I recommend listening to it in espanol)


La Bamba

In order to dance La Bamba
In order to dance La Bamba a little bit of grace is needed
A little bit of grace and something else
Ah! Up and up
And up and up and up I'll go
 
I'm not a sailor
I'm not a sailor but I'll become one for you
I'll become one for you, I'll become one for you
 
Bamba, bamba, bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba
 
In order to dance La Bamba
In order to dance La Bamba one needs a little bit of grace
A little bit of grace and something else
Ah! Up and up
And up and up and up I'll go
 
I'm not a sailor
I'm not a sailor, I'm a captain
I'm a captain, I'm a captain
 
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
 
I'm not a sailor
I'm not a sailor
I'm a captain, I'm a captain, I'm a captain
 
Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba
 
In order to go up and reach the sky
In order to go up and reach the sky
A long ladder is needed
A long ladder and a short ladder
 
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
 
I'm not a sailor
I'm not a sailor
I'm a captain, I'm a captain, I'm a captain
 
Bamba, bamba,
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/17/18 10:02 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Nick O:
Hibiscus Kid:


It seems like I, personally, need the mental (spiritual) development to truly be satisfied with all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. 
   

In deep resonance with this. Beautifully said. 

aloha,

   Perhaps "all the blessings that have been bestowed on you" are inherently unsatisfactory.

terry



Old man Vimalakirti once said:
“Give and receive food as you would give and receive dharma.”
I take his point.
Practicing solidly, who will not reach the year of the donkey?
 
ryokan

This "inherent unsatisfaction" outlook in Buddhism, I believe deserves an astrisk.

"All things and experiences are inherently unsatisfactory.....IF one does not accept and understand impermance."

This autumn, there has been satisfaction when experiencing the changing leaves, appearance of glorious cloud formations and panoramic views from tall mountain tops. There has been satisfaction with people I work with and my place in this world. I know that the leaves will fall and the sky will grey. I know that people in my life will sometimes dissapoint and that sometimes I will dream of being somewhere else, doing something else but those feelings are accepted as part of the process, part of being human. 

But there are tiny moments of deep satisfaction in every day and perhaps this is because my definition of satisfaction has become more synonymous with "gratitude". And that is what I read in Hibiscus Kid's quote above..

"...to truly be gracious for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me". 

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/18/18 5:14 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Yes to making any prudent, prosocial changes in the area of sila. But also...

Instinctually and somewhat unconsciously, the person will want to protect themselves from surprises and will instinctually create an ongoing, low-level sense of misery to fill up the space. It’s a coping mechanism. But if the person sees misery as misery, then they get the insight into the nature of misery.

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/18/18 4:58 PM as a reply to Tashi Tharpa.
I agree - both making your life better (sila) and developing insight (panna) are important.

"most of your days are spent doing useless shit that is just done to maintain status quo and survive" (OP) means you urgently need to work on sila - making your life better.

"the sense that this life isn't perfect/satisfying has followed me around for a long time and I don't think that any more 'good' content will fill that void... I never feel that I have 'enough'... I realized that, even if I won millions in the lottery tomorrow, no amount of spending would result in a sense of well being" (Hibiscus Kid) means you urgently need to closely examine suffering and work on panna (wisdom/insight).

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/19/18 9:34 PM as a reply to Tashi Tharpa.
Tashi Tharpa:
Yes to making any prudent, prosocial changes in the area of sila. But also...

Instinctually and somewhat unconsciously, the person will want to protect themselves from surprises and will instinctually create an ongoing, low-level sense of misery to fill up the space. It’s a coping mechanism. But if the person sees misery as misery, then they get the insight into the nature of misery.


aloha tashi tharpa,

   I don't agree that a so-called "person" (self, ego, personality, liver-of-life) is naturally self-protective. Children are not so, not until they have been hurt so often they learn to fear anything new. And that is situational, not a given. As seng tsan says (hsinhsinming), "Enlightenment is synonomous with trusting mind." Or, "lest you become as little children ye shall not enter the kingdom of god."

   It is easy to assume that people in groups behave the way you see them behave in your social milieu. In truth, there are groups in which people do not feel they need to protect themselves from their associates. Groups in which caring for your brothers and sisters is so taken for granted that people don't feel they need to care for themselves. The experience of this sort of social interaction - a spiritual commune, ashram or sufi circle - can transform our notion of what is socially possible when people desire to work together for common purposes. As an example, the group cast away on gilligan's island found themselves together on a sinking ship, and submerged their egos into a coherent group to survive and thrive. The group featured in the series 'the walking dead' needing to protect themselves from the zombies are a metaphor for the spiritual life.  "Spiritual friendship is not half the spiritual life. It’s the entire spiritual life!” (buddha, upaddha sutta)

   People are miserable because they cling to what is impermanent, non-self, and inherently unsatisfactory (dukkha). They make judgments as to what is good and what is bad, and they cling to and crave their "good," while hating their "bad." Never realizing that their "good" is as much dukkha as their bad. And that their "bad" is as useful to their practice for liberation as their "good." As ram dass liked to say "its all grist for the mill" - "content" if you like. As a "coping mechanism" misery is pathological, neurotic.

   Their are desires which do not lead to further dissatisfaction, as the desire to practice the dhamma, or the brahmaviharas. But any desire is a form of dissatisfaction by its nature: a lack of acceptance, respect and gratitude for everything that happens, whether it appears good or bad for whatever we might be inclined to cling to, whether ego, friends, family, country, or any other identification. It's all good. "Every day is a good day."  


terry


theme from gilligan's island (next to the original hawaii five-o, hawaii nei's all-time favorite show)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.
The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost.
The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
With Gilligan,
The Skipper too,
The millionaire and his wife,
The movie star,
Professor and Mary Ann's
Here on Gilligan's Isle.
So this is the tale of our castaways,
They're here for a long, long time.
They'll have to make the best of things,
It's an uphill climb.
The first mate and his skipper too,
Will do their very best,
To make the others comfortable,
In the tropic island nest.
No phones, no lights, no motor cars,
Not a single luxury.
Like Robinson Crusoe,
It's primitive as can be.
So join us here each week my friend,
You're sure to get a smile.
From seven stranded Castaways,
Here on Gilligan's Isle.
Yeah with Gilligan,
The Skipper too,
The millionaire and his wife,
The movie star,
Professor and Mary Ann's
Here on Gilligan's Isle

Songwriters: George Wyle / Sherwood Schwartz

RE: How do you deal with the pointlessness of 'mundane' life?
Answer
10/19/18 10:17 PM as a reply to Nick O.
[quote=]
This "inherent unsatisfaction" outlook in Buddhism, I believe deserves an astrisk.

"All things and experiences are inherently unsatisfactory.....IF one does not accept and understand impermance."

This autumn, there has been satisfaction when experiencing the changing leaves, appearance of glorious cloud formations and panoramic views from tall mountain tops. There has been satisfaction with people I work with and my place in this world. I know that the leaves will fall and the sky will grey. I know that people in my life will sometimes dissapoint and that sometimes I will dream of being somewhere else, doing something else but those feelings are accepted as part of the process, part of being human. 

But there are tiny moments of deep satisfaction in every day and perhaps this is because my definition of satisfaction has become more synonymous with "gratitude". And that is what I read in Hibiscus Kid's quote above..

"...to truly be gracious for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me". 

aloha nick,

   Hibiscus kid spoke of being materially better off than 99% of humanity. To be "grateful" ("gracious"?) for the sort of material excess north americans are so attached to and compromised by is fundamentally different from appreciating cloud formations, changing leaves and panoramic views. Even then, clinging to pleasant views as opposed to "mundane" ones is just more dukkha. In truth, no blessings have been "bestowed upon me." There is no "me" and no "bestower." Just skandhas and co-arising phenomena. No real things at all. Impermanence means apparent things are utterly empty, they do not exist, there is only this One Pearl changing constantly. Nature flowing into - and out of - its forms. When impermanence is truly realized there are no things to cling to, and certainly no "blessings," other than the dhamma and the spiritual life.

   Even if you "accept and understand impermanence" - easier said than done - any thing we take delight in will cause an equal amount of suffering (kamma). Take delight in generosity, compassion and wisdom, which - practiced rightly - are in our nature and not attachments.

   I'm not trying to be disagreeable, nick. An attitude of gratitude for the (blessedly) awesome beauty of nature features largely in my own life. In either my house or my cabin I need only look up to see fabulous views, in hawi of maui and alenuinui channel and in ocean view the whole sweep of the coastline. But feces, maggots and dead rats are awesome too.

terry




Do not run around after fame and gain
in the realm of sound and form.
Not running around is the continuous practice
transmitted from person to person by buddha ancestors.
Mature hermits, beginning hermits, one person, half a person,
I ask you to throw away myriad matters
and conditions and continuously practice
the continuous practice of buddha ancestors.

ryokan