Why Try At All In Life?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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hkvanx
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Why Try At All In Life?

Post by hkvanx » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm

I was contemplating this on subway ride to work.

If everything in life is impermanence, why try at all? Besides practicing meditation, all other efforts are fruitless to our individual path to nirvana, peace and happiness.

I am a layman and do not live in a monastery like a monk. Does that mean I should do the bare minimum (work to get money for food & shelter)? Avoid setting goals, relationships and possessions? These things promote attachments that will lead to suffering.

Opinions on this approach?

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:00 pm

If you follow the logic completely, dropping out is the only thing that makes sense.

Most of us can't handle dropping out.

Be honest about your wants, desires and attachments. Be moderate.

Suffer what there is to suffer. Enjoy what there is to enjoy. Continue on the path of refuge.

For now, it appears your at a stage of dawning realization about the implications of what the Buddha taught. I heard a teacher once say, if Dharma is not upsetting you, you're not understanding it. This path is not about coddling and humoring your wishes. It's about seeing clearly

For now, I'd suggest not making any rash decisions and let those thoughts you are wrestling with stew for a while. A few years is about right. Let yourself be a layman. You took no vows. The path to Buddhahood is long. Patience, endurance.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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LastLegend
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:02 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
I was contemplating this on subway ride to work.

If everything in life is impermanence, why try at all? Besides practicing meditation, all other efforts are fruitless to our individual path to nirvana, peace and happiness.

I am a layman and do not live in a monastery like a monk. Does that mean I should do the bare minimum (work to get money for food & shelter)? Avoid setting goals, relationships and possessions? These things promote attachments that will lead to suffering.

Opinions on this approach?
Impermanence is appearance but we have a nature that is unborn undead.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

Simon E.
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:06 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:02 pm
hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
I was contemplating this on subway ride to work.

If everything in life is impermanence, why try at all? Besides practicing meditation, all other efforts are fruitless to our individual path to nirvana, peace and happiness.

I am a layman and do not live in a monastery like a monk. Does that mean I should do the bare minimum (work to get money for food & shelter)? Avoid setting goals, relationships and possessions? These things promote attachments that will lead to suffering.

Opinions on this approach?
Impermanence is appearance but we have a nature that is unborn undead.
No we don’t. The Unborn and Unmade there are. But they are not you nor me. Neither do we ‘have’ them.
The undead exist only in Zombie movements.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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LastLegend
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:08 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:06 pm

No we don’t. The Unborn and Unmade there are. But they are not you nor me. Neither do we ‘have’ them.
The undead exist only in Zombie movements.
True and correct. Was using a conventional way to express it!
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:11 pm

Yeah, be careful talking about Buddhanature. That needs explanation and is easily misunderstood and takes even more work to untangle.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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LastLegend
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:17 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:11 pm
Yeah, be careful talking about Buddhanature. That needs explanation and is easily misunderstood and takes even more work to untangle.
Well there is a recognition or a knowledge which is (‘that’ knows) as the subject and nature as object. This knowledge/recognition is still appearance. ‘That’ is consciousness.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:17 pm

For laypersons, consider the Vimalakirti nirdesa.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Simon E.
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:19 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:08 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:06 pm

No we don’t. The Unborn and Unmade there are. But they are not you nor me. Neither do we ‘have’ them.
The undead exist only in Zombie movements.
True and correct. Was using a conventional way to express it!
“Undead” is not merely unconventional.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:21 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:17 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:11 pm
Yeah, be careful talking about Buddhanature. That needs explanation and is easily misunderstood and takes even more work to untangle.
Well there is a recognition or a knowledge which is (‘that’ knows) as the subject and nature as object. This knowledge/recognition is still appearance. ‘That’ is consciousness.
Only in a Buddhist forum do those elliptical lines even appear workable.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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LastLegend
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Location: Washington DC

Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:24 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:19 pm
“Undead” is not merely unconventional.
Okay! No contest!
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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LastLegend
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:21 pm
LastLegend wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:17 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:11 pm
Yeah, be careful talking about Buddhanature. That needs explanation and is easily misunderstood and takes even more work to untangle.
Well there is a recognition or a knowledge which is (‘that’ knows) as the subject and nature as object. This knowledge/recognition is still appearance. ‘That’ is consciousness.
Only in a Buddhist forum do those elliptical lines even appear workable.
I am sorry language is tough.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

tkp67
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by tkp67 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:30 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
I was contemplating this on subway ride to work.

If everything in life is impermanence, why try at all? Besides practicing meditation, all other efforts are fruitless to our individual path to nirvana, peace and happiness.

I am a layman and do not live in a monastery like a monk. Does that mean I should do the bare minimum (work to get money for food & shelter)? Avoid setting goals, relationships and possessions? These things promote attachments that will lead to suffering.

Opinions on this approach?
I detached so completely from the material world and people that my detachment was problematic. It creates sloth. It is great at being able to see the nature of others in relation to one's own but it doesn't do so in a way that is interactively meaningful.

Funny thing is well before this I had zeal and zest for life but it was provisional. It was dependent. I went through this process and lost that and said what is really going on? Some time and much practice later I started to simply feel zeal and zest for life by being alive regardless of what is going on outside of me. This isn't to imply I spit beams of happiness 24/7 like a lighthouse but I wake up feeling enthused about the new day. My days only go downhill if I let my mind rise and take over my day.

I needed to be alone with my mind to understand it more. Did I need such extreme actions to detach and come back around? I can't even say I am just glad to be in this process. I will say now I spend a good amount of time where I have access to solitary nature which really helps me be alone with my mind without negative influence of any delusion but my own.

I now spend enough time in a place where my mind can be maintained and interact with the rest of my life in between.

The malaise you feel is a true cause, detachment a part of the process, but it does not define the benefits from the process post detachment.

Simon E.
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:36 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
I was contemplating this on subway ride to work.

If everything in life is impermanence, why try at all? Besides practicing meditation, all other efforts are fruitless to our individual path to nirvana, peace and happiness.

I am a layman and do not live in a monastery like a monk. Does that mean I should do the bare minimum (work to get money for food & shelter)? Avoid setting goals, relationships and possessions? These things promote attachments that will lead to suffering.

Opinions on this approach?
A simple life is good. Good for peace of mind..good for the planet. But attachments can be subtle. It is easy to get caught up in attachment to not having things, not eating certain things, not owning certain things. The way to know if you are simply letting go of things or subtilely attached to them is if you find yourself judging others who have made a different lifestyle choice to yours, that suggests attachment with a minus sign in front.
I know this the hard way. I am a very judgmental person who is trying to give it up.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:40 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:25 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:21 pm
LastLegend wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:17 pm


Well there is a recognition or a knowledge which is (‘that’ knows) as the subject and nature as object. This knowledge/recognition is still appearance. ‘That’ is consciousness.
Only in a Buddhist forum do those elliptical lines even appear workable.
I am sorry language is tough.
No need to apologize. Language is difficult to work with in discussing something that is beyond words. I am prone to similar flights so in teasing you, I'm also reminding myself.

There's a story in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra about a doctor outlawing milk, and then later prescribing it. Relevant on this point and worth a read if you don't know it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:47 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:36 pm
The way to know if you are simply letting go of things or subtilely attached to them is if you find yourself judging others who have made a different lifestyle choice to yours, that suggests attachment with a minus sign in front.
I know this the hard way. I am a very judgmental person who is trying to give it up.
Trying to give up attachments in my experience seems to be an infinite regress of cures for cures that have gone bad. The whole trying part seems to be an expression of attachment, so...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Simon E.
Posts: 6556
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:51 pm

I hear you..tricky, this life business.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:55 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:51 pm
I hear you..tricky, this life business.
Mara is so insidious... Every time I thought I was making progress smashing him, I find him laughing, peddling the bike I thought I was riding to get out of the mess.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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justsit
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by justsit » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:12 pm

IMO the answer to "how to live?" can be distilled down to the basics - do good, avoid evil, purify the mind. Since we continue to create karma, better to act in as positive a manner as possible in this very life.

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LastLegend
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:17 pm

justsit wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:12 pm
IMO the answer to "how to live?" can be distilled down to the basics - do good, avoid evil, purify the mind. Since we continue to create karma, better to act in as positive a manner as possible in this very life.
👍
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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