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The WHY that drives the process

The WHY that drives the process
Answer
2/27/08 5:15 PM
Author: woman_alone
Forum: The Big Issues

One of the things I've been mulling over a lot lately, as I get more serious about my practice, is the why behind my actions. WHY do I want to do this?

When I first came to Buddhism it was because I was disenchanted with the painful/stressful aspects of daily living, and found in Buddhism a direct approach for understanding and approaching suffering. Practice at that time was about reaching the ending of stress. Now it's grown to include something else, I think. It's about seeing this experience for what it truly is. Like a profound curiosity. Amazingly, I find I can't exactly describe the source behind the passion. It just sort of feels right... so I continue to do it.

I would put out there, for the rest of you on this path, do you feel the same? And for those of you who have attained the goal, was it worth it? And did the suffering go when you integrated?

RE: The WHY that drives the process
Answer
2/27/08 9:52 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Me too! "The Dhamma made me do it", sort of. Gaining momentum with insight practice made me really curious about all manner of things. It also revealed a lot of psychological "stuff", as Dan calls it. Dealing with that, once insight has brought it up to attention, is largely a matter of sila practice: yet it's all so interconnected (but how I hate this NewAgeSpeak! are there no clean words for this?), the way I live has an impact on my meditation and the other way around, as well.

I guess it's the way path progresses. Remember how the four Noble Truths each come with a task? Suffering should be comprehended, the cause of suffering should be abandoned, the end of suffering realized, the path to the end of suffering developed. ("comprehend me"; like the "eat me" cake in "Alice in Wonderland", Nanavira said) Also, each task has three stages, learning, practicing, and, er, realizing. This stuff is straight out of the discourse "Setting in motion the wheel of Dhamma", SN 56.11

Just my rambling monkey mind.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: The WHY that drives the process
Answer
2/28/08 2:54 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
I got into sitting practice because I was working in another tradition in a heavy but naive way--out of a matter of "karma" and, despite tremendous skepticism, an interest in what in German they call "Mehr als Leben"--and got into some trouble with it. Listening to Daniel speak about his experience with the Deep Insight into the Arising and Passing Away while doing something as innocent as trying to incubate a flying dream resonated with me and cemented the need to see things through clearly, as it were. The Theraveda tradition presented a formal environment that appealed to me.

All that, though, is mere history--the question isn't really about what conditions led to one doing something, since they're gone, but rather, "Why do this" followed by a few more "but why do that" to each answer. Then the question is, What should I do to address this intention?

That said, there is a strong stick aspect to the carrot-and-stick approach, at least with the side-effects of insight. Right now I would answer "why keep doing insight" with "because I want this violent shaking and spontaneous breath-of-fire and these weird energetic phenomena to go away".

RE: The WHY that drives the process
Answer
2/28/08 4:01 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: woman_alone

Nathan -
I'm hearing a theme from some of the more advanced practitioners. It's something like "don't start if you're not serious about it, the middle part may be less than pleasant". That's good to know. I'm still at the why do this. Once I hit that point of no return, I'm sure I'll be asking the questions you're talking about now.

Florian -
I get your comment "the way I live has an impact on my meditation and the other way around". It's all the same thing, really, isn't it? I've loved learning that lesson. I stopped compartmentalizing my life (this is work, this is home, this is me, this is family). Now it's just ONE BIG. And meditation has become sort of the mortar that glued it all together. The more it moves together, the more curious I am about what it would look like from "the other side". So I just keep going. It's great to find others on a similar path. Doesn't feel so lonely any more emoticon

RE: The WHY that drives the process
Answer
1/20/09 6:55 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
I came to the dharma out of genuine curiosity. I was a student at a small Christian college, studying the bible, and I decided that I wanted to learn about another religion. I had read books by Christians on other religions, but were usually biased an unfair, pointing out why they are all cults and won't get you to heaven. I thought it would be good to learn about another religion from someone who actually participates in it. The rest is history.

I find it interesting that I discovered the dharma out of genuine curiosity, since genuine curiosity is necessary for insight meditation. Why this curiosity pulled me toward Buddhism and not another tradition is beyond me. The curiosity that brought me to the dharma is also the energy that pushes me toward the goal of realizing nirvana. There seems also to be a natural longing to help others on the path as well, which keeps me going during the times when my energy is especially low.

RE: The WHY that drives the process
Answer
6/19/09 6:28 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: EnikhanJohorns

Why you practice is the most important signifier of how successful your practice will be at achieving realization. The best reason to practice true buddha dharma is to want to cause the cessation of the suffering of all beings everywhere. Once you begin to truly practice for this reason, rather than superficial reasons, you will naturally attain realization and experience no suffering. Practice for this reason and you will not clutch at the straws of pleasurable, even wild experiences of the past. This is true even while dying.

RE: The WHY that drives the process
Answer
6/19/09 7:26 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
maybe if i were a child my answer would be: "Why?" to the question "Why?"
as a teenager id say, "because suicide doesnt work!"
as an adult i say, "because i have no choice"
in 5 years, "_________"