Stealing your own offerings

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mtulev
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Stealing your own offerings

Post by mtulev » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi guys

I hope I can get some good ideas. The thing is I mentally offered (in my native language "presented with a gift") „my love“ to a woman (that was the most precious I felt I had, following the text) to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, during a Medicine Buddha meditation. I have done this mediation before and I know the offerings there are supposed to be metaphorical. However, I was very upset and blocked back then and after the meditation, I realized I had used „presented” with a literal intention – that is - I no longer had any right to explore my chances or maintain my feelings. It meant like if I approached her or write her, or feel love towards her anymore, I am committing stealing from the Triple Gem.

I was terrified by the possible karmic consequences - to steal from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. I know that this would be extremely heavy karma for me, and on top of that stealing is a breach of my samaya/bodhisattva vows - so more of heavy karma. At the same time I didn’t want to give my love feelings and chances away. Out of paranoia, I confirmed my literal present during making prostrations and on other occasions ... Then I went like crazy, and decided to substitute this offering with another, different one which I also didn't want to give (note for me 'give' had no metaphorical meaning whatsoever at that moment).

And, I kept on offering literally to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas many more compensation offerings - to become a monk/hermit and practice non-stop, to attain Enlightenment in this life, all my income and property/belongings (including future income), to quit smoking, to take the five precepts and, especially to be celibate all my current life and future lives .. and many, many more offerings of this sort, so that I gain merit and mitigate my bad karma.

And when offering them, I was fully aware that I must do all those things, after having mentally and verbally offered them, and dedicated, in advance, the merit for the sake of Enlightenment to others. I know that you steal from the Buddhas even if you intended to offer something to them and not give it, not to say take your offerings back (Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Tsongkhapa's Lamrim - "to take for yourself some substance that you intended to offer to the Three Jewels").

The thing is - after regretting every one of those offerings of mine, I was giving the next one out of fear, and now I am in a spiral I can hardly stop.. In practice, I realize I don't want to give any of my offerings.

Now life is hell - I quit my job so that I don't spend money offered to the Triple Gem for sustaining my life, but even if I wanted to beg for food (all my present and future money already offered) I would be sent to a mental institution. Even repaying my loans I understand as a theft from the Triple Gem. Helping somebody is a theft, sex is a theft, love is a theft or unwholesome, because I haven't physically fulfilled my offerings as I meant it. And the beings who still receive anything from me (food, money etc.), actually receive something stolen from the Triple Gem, so it makes awful karma for them.

The more I try to develop boddhichitta, I realize I don't have anything "clean" to offer to my loved ones and Guru. From what I am reading, It turns out that having broken the Boddhisattva vow, and stealing from the Triple Gem, I poison the lives of all around me. All the time I am afraid I am stealing from the Triple Gem, and polluting the lives of those who I come into contact with because of my broken samaya.
I am almost beyond sanity. Even trying to do a Vajrasattva practice would require to give the offerings the way I meant them. I feel in hell.

I asked my teacher a number of times, he said there must be karmic effect if I don't fullfil what I had declared but never told me what to do or not .. Finally, he told me he didn't want to teach me anymore.

This situation is beyond my wishes and capabilities - I don't want to give up all the so called sensual things, and I don't want to go to the Vajra Hells, and be polluting beings around me. What would you advice?

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Ayu
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by Ayu » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:13 pm

Maybe offerings are not the right practice for you. Try to leave the anxiety. Concentrate on some positive things like accumulating merits by other practices.

There are several different practices by which you can accumulate merits. (Offering Mandalas, Vajrasattva, meditation on emptyness...)
Don't focus on bad karma. Simply regret the emotional hotchpotch that evolved, stop it and and carry on positively.
:namaste:
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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jkarlins
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by jkarlins » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:40 pm

relax

you're ok

maybe go for a walk

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cky
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by cky » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:55 pm

mtulev wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:34 pm
Finally, he told me he didn't want to teach me anymore
Did he tell you why he didn't want to teach you anymore?

mtulev
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by mtulev » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:16 pm

Hi

I asked him my questions in different ways for six times during a couple of months ... He last told me I didn't follow instructions and he was fed up with me. The instructions are to practice ngondro. That's what I sincerely tried and still try to do, but every time I start it it just gives me the same old feeling - that I have to fullfill my offerings.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:27 pm

The buddhas and bodhisattvas have fully realized and express wisdom and unconditional love. They have one intent and that is to help beings like you and me become freely loving and liberated like they are. They have no pride to wound by anything you might do.

Since they are without desire, they do not need or cling to your offerings. But they know that offering things and making vows helps us to grow and wean ourselves from selfishness. If the practice has stopped helping you, it no longer serves its purpose. As others have said, it might be best to set offerings aside for now and cultivate in other ways, maybe calm abiding or metta. Many pieces work together to make up our practice life.

Good luck and peace to you :)

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jkarlins
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by jkarlins » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:57 pm

That doesn't sound like the way ngondro is supposed to feel like. I realize I may be overstepping my bounds here, and don't mind.

I think teacher/student relationships, and ngondro take a wide variety of shapes. That being said, if I felt totally uncomfortable doing that practice, totally miserable, or if my teacher was totally fed up and threatened to not teach me, I would have given up.

Jake

Toenail
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by Toenail » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:31 pm

Sounds to me like you may have a mental illness. Maybe you should go and see a therapist. The feelings and thoughts that you experience sound like OCD to me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive ... e_disorder

Toenail
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by Toenail » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:39 pm

Also, you most certainly do not even have Samaya. Since you don't have Samaya, you cannot break it. If you had Samaya and would have done what you did, it would also not constitute a breach of your Samaya. You are fine. But definetly try to get some help. In most western countries there are free probatory counselling sessions.

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jkarlins
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by jkarlins » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:27 pm

Ok.

All that being said, I wish you the best. I hope you can either mend your relationship with your teacher, or find a new one

Jake

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Vasana
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by Vasana » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:25 pm

It's good to be cautious but it's even better not to jump to conclusions about what any given teaching means before weighing up all the information. For whatever reason, you've acquired a militantly uncompromising view of the Dharma. It seems like the best thing you can do is to genuinely ask yourself if your thoughts about all of this are based upon facts or not. Is there even a slight possibility that some of your conclusions may be incorrect or at least incomplete assessments of your situation?

There are lots of things you can do to feel better and at peace about your situation and one of them is to gain a clearer understanding about what offering, purification, karma & the 4 opponent powers really mean and how they are connected. Offering in particular is not some kind of contract in the way you're suggesting here. Read a variety of teachings on these topics from different sources to get a wider perspective of what they mean and what they don't mean. In the mean time, really take time to digest the meaning of this quote from Shantideva;

"If something can be done about the situation, what need is there for dejection?... And if nothing can be done about it, what use is there for being dejected?”

And this excerpt summarizing a teaching of the Karmapa's;

"His Holiness [Karmapa ] emphasised that there is a distinction made between the person who has committed a negative action and the action itself. It is the action which is bad, not the person, so purification is of the negative action. It is important to understand this separation and be able to create distance between ourselves and our misdeeds; otherwise we can become overwhelmed by guilt and unable to free ourselves. Some people, he warned, are consumed by so much guilt that they cannot escape from the negativity they have created in their minds."

As long as we're governed by ignorance, we're going to make some mistakes along the way. It's just how it is. It's good to feel a little sense of shame or guilt when we know we've done something wrong but that should motivate us to apply a suitable remedy and not drive us into further despair. You really don't need to do anything drastic and I hope whatever drastic steps you've already taken like quitting your job and giving away your money [?] don't cause you too much disruption. Take some time to relax your mind, body and nervous system too since it's a lot harder for the rational and pragmatic part of the mind/brain to function when you're flooded with fear and stress hormones.

Don't believe everything you think!
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Stealing your own offerings

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:11 am

Complex question, it assumes that repeated neurotic mental activity is the same as genuine intentions and impulses that are acted on, I am not sure that is correct, in fact I'm pretty sure it's not.

For example, many people also have random thoughts of violence, sex, self-harm, and general obsession that go through their heads, but are not actually impulses they will ever act on. I am not sure what sort of Karma generates these things (I have some of that myself), but I don't believe it is the same as intention.

So, this being a pretty sensitive subject, I think the best is to obtain the advice of a Lama and/or a mental health professional, and not us. Therefore I am locking the thread unless someone has a compelling argument to the contrary.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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