Why Try At All In Life?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:19 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?
Personally, my opinion is that you should get a teacher/mentor/spiritual friend and start studying Dharma, rather than speculating like this.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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LastLegend
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:30 pm

True!
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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明安 Myoan
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:28 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:43 pm
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.
Hi, hkvanx. Impermanence has a positive aspect: you can grow positive tendencies, like generosity and patience, while relinquishing negative ones, like lying, selfishness, and so on.
The Buddha taught not only that there is suffering in the First Noble Truth, but how this suffering can be reduced and eliminated in the Noble Eightfold Path.
It includes seven factors in addition to meditation.
There are also factors involving speech, thinking, livelihood, actions, and so forth.
I hope this isn't too basic.
It's clear from the outset that the teachings are meant to be applied to all areas of one's life, which necessarily involves how we interact with others.
For laypeople, that process must also involve conventional realities, like having a livelihood, everyday difficulties, and trying to treat others with kindness.

There's quite a lot of benefit we can experience and bring to others through the teachings well before attaining buddhahood.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Dan74
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Re: Why Try At All In Life?

Post by Dan74 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:04 am

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

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