What Have You Learned

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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CedarTree
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What Have You Learned

Post by CedarTree » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:20 pm

What are some teachings, perspectives, experiences, or whatever that you have learned a long your walk on the path that have made a lasting and very profound impact in your life?

Recently I was posting on The Dao Bums forum and someone addressed my "Sky Gazing" post and included a beautiful Chinese Taoist painting with diverse life and water falls and dimensions and what looks like the seeker within his own painting.

He said this was sky gazing in his tradition and it was a good and powerful message to remember the relative is the absolute.

It made me think, what have you all experienced and maybe this can really help each of us grow by cutting through the usual questions and answers and getting to the guts of our own lives :)

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Dan74
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Dan74 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:51 pm

I guess I've learned to take my dramas a little less seriously.

There are still things that push my buttons, of course, things I haven't seen into deeply enough to uproot the attachment/aversion-self dynamics. There are still narratives that persist. But their stranglehold has loosened, so I don't get stuck in the rut as much.

For instance right now I am dealing with a very ambitious boss giving both a colleague and myself a very hard time. We've worked for months for free (this is a start-up) and we are close to completion of the prototype, but rather than be happy and rejoice in our joint accomplishment, she is turning this into a very tense and unpleasant situation. My inclination is to walk away, but I also owe my family who've all been doing it tough sacrificing even basic things, a chance of finally having some money (like for kids to have winter shoes, etc). So I persevere as long as possible, just for this chance, under a barrage of negativity. Sometimes even with a smile.

It's not much, but hey... it's a lot for me.

_/|\_

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Meido
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Meido » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:15 pm

Basically: conditions that I experience as difficult, challenging, fearful, uncomfortable, etc. reveal only my own deficits.

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
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Queequeg
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:51 pm

Nothing. Everything.

Beyond that doozy...

The world is a whole lot less solid than I *want* it to be. Sometimes I can think myself into a moment of existential vertigo, perched at the precipice of being. And then, letting go usually takes care of that. And then I'm back to the old samsara game, shooting marbles in a burning house.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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jkarlins
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by jkarlins » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:04 pm

Keep going. The inkling I had at the beginning that the dharma was amazing is true, so keep at it.

Pay attention to teachers and senior students. They have something, and you can learn from it.

In the Vajrayana, there's a feeling of "on" or "off the path." Pay attention to that.

Jake

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KeithA
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by KeithA » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:22 pm

Acceptance.
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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Rick
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Rick » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:30 pm

I think the most important thing I've learned in my long and cockeyed path is how little I really know about ... pretty much everything. :rolleye:
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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CedarTree
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by CedarTree » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:36 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:51 pm
I guess I've learned to take my dramas a little less seriously.

There are still things that push my buttons, of course, things I haven't seen into deeply enough to uproot the attachment/aversion-self dynamics. There are still narratives that persist. But their stranglehold has loosened, so I don't get stuck in the rut as much.

For instance right now I am dealing with a very ambitious boss giving both a colleague and myself a very hard time. We've worked for months for free (this is a start-up) and we are close to completion of the prototype, but rather than be happy and rejoice in our joint accomplishment, she is turning this into a very tense and unpleasant situation. My inclination is to walk away, but I also owe my family who've all been doing it tough sacrificing even basic things, a chance of finally having some money (like for kids to have winter shoes, etc). So I persevere as long as possible, just for this chance, under a barrage of negativity. Sometimes even with a smile.

It's not much, but hey... it's a lot for me.

_/|\_
Wishing you the best :)
Meido wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:15 pm
Basically: conditions that I experience as difficult, challenging, fearful, uncomfortable, etc. reveal only my own deficits.

~ Meido
This is the big one I am finding. In particular inter-personal dynamics when you can't just stop talking to the person or get away from them. I am learning the back drop I thought was the objective one of "Truth" is just another shadow of my self and all it's short comings.
Rick wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:30 pm

I think the most important thing I've learned in my long and cockeyed path is how little I really know about ... pretty much everything. :rolleye:
Haha Amen

Practice, Practice, Practice

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TharpaChodron
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by TharpaChodron » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 pm

According to my current mood, I've learned the most basic elements of Buddhadharma are key and all this Buddhadrama is a distraction, not helpful at all imo. As the controversies seem to swell, I feel disheartened by my fellow practitioners, so it's back to basics for me.

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CedarTree
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by CedarTree » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:45 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 pm
According to my current mood, I've learned the most basic elements of Buddhadharma are key and all this Buddhadrama is a distraction, not helpful at all imo. As the controversies seem to swell, I feel disheartened by my fellow practitioners, so it's back to basics for me.
I couldn't agree more. Seems real practice has to hit the road at a certain point and that is about elementary stuff in my case and it seems many of those much better than I.

P.s. Hope your practice goes well :) Despite all the lameness of many conversations and such within this forum and the general Buddhist community I have always enjoyed your input and I think it is important as common sense and a kind heart can brighten and remind people of what's really important versus getting lost in concept and language games.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Virgo
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Virgo » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:47 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 pm
According to my current mood, I've learned the most basic elements of Buddhadharma are key and all this Buddhadrama is a distraction, not helpful at all imo. As the controversies seem to swell, I feel disheartened by my fellow practitioners, so it's back to basics for me.
Basically...

Kevin

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TharpaChodron
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by TharpaChodron » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:18 am

CedarTree wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:45 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 pm
According to my current mood, I've learned the most basic elements of Buddhadharma are key and all this Buddhadrama is a distraction, not helpful at all imo. As the controversies seem to swell, I feel disheartened by my fellow practitioners, so it's back to basics for me.
I couldn't agree more. Seems real practice has to hit the road at a certain point and that is about elementary stuff in my case and it seems many of those much better than I.

P.s. Hope your practice goes well :) Despite all the lameness of many conversations and such within this forum and the general Buddhist community I have always enjoyed your input and I think it is important as common sense and a kind heart can brighten and remind people of what's really important versus getting lost in concept and language games.
Yep, I think common sense isn't so common and the elementary stuff really is important. And likewise, your input has come across as very genuine hearted and nice to see. :)

The things that inspired us originally about Buddhism shouldn't be dimished by all this dissension. I don't know if you're American, but it's kind of similar to how people in the US feel about the current political climate. you can be dragged into apathy or use this as motivation to try harder to achieve the big dream of hope, wisdom, compassion.

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TharpaChodron
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by TharpaChodron » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:20 am

Virgo wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:47 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 pm
According to my current mood, I've learned the most basic elements of Buddhadharma are key and all this Buddhadrama is a distraction, not helpful at all imo. As the controversies seem to swell, I feel disheartened by my fellow practitioners, so it's back to basics for me.
Basically...

Kevin
Cheers on being our new moderator :)

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Virgo
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Virgo » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:21 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:20 am
Virgo wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:47 pm
TharpaChodron wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:41 pm
According to my current mood, I've learned the most basic elements of Buddhadharma are key and all this Buddhadrama is a distraction, not helpful at all imo. As the controversies seem to swell, I feel disheartened by my fellow practitioners, so it's back to basics for me.
Basically...

Kevin
Cheers on being our new moderator :)
Aw thankyou.

Kevin

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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by DGA » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:01 am

Whatever it is, let it go.

Relax.

Do your best and don't worry.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:16 am

The power of mantra.
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by PuerAzaelis » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:50 am

Get busy doing nothing.
And nobody in all of Oz. No Wizard that there is or was.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:19 am

In my own experience, that it can take a lifetime to learn not to be a total jerk.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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lelopa
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by lelopa » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:17 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:19 am
In my own experience, that it can take a lifetime to learn not to be a total jerk.
:thinking:
oh you lucky-one...
for some it could take more than one lifetime :crying:
ཨོཾ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་བོ་དྷི་ཙིཏྟ་མ་ཧཱ་སུ་ཁ་ཛྙཱ་ན་དྷཱརྟུ་ཨཱཿ

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Wayfarer
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Re: What Have You Learned

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:11 am

I find something that happens time and time again, is just when I think I've learning something really excellent, something will happen - OK, I will do something - that makes me feel like I'm back at square one. Square one is not actually that bad a place, but still. It reminds me a little of the Myth of Sisyphus, all the same.

On a more optimistic note, I have learned the basic significance of being useful to other people, and also of sticking with things until they get done. Another thing is, less emotional reactivity. I learn that whatever comes up, is transient, it's going to pass. That especially helps when you get the blues, when you feel down. A point about feeling down, is that when you're in that space, you can't see anything good, it all looks grey; I have learned that this is transient, that this is just a feeling that will always pass.

That's what comes to mind, anyway.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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