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Breaking the one vow

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:23 am
by Ogyen
I have hit a brick wall - everywhere I look the filters of gloom cover my sight, a nasty negative energy shrouds my outlook despite keeping at it and doing everything I know (and that list is fairly extensive having years of practice working with the goggles of depression and the afflictions of mental stress). My head knows it's just filters, tricks of perception, nothing to even dive too deep into - I watch the clouds like storms come and go.. I even sense very keenly some days there is no 'me' to get all bent out of shape and I let much of it rise and fall away without 'acting/reacting' to the whole cycle... but the one thing I'm least proud of that I did was break the one vow I made to my teacher when I took refuge. He made me pick one of the 10 that I vowed and said, "This is the one that you vow to never do, the one that you vow to me." And I picked. I don't know why I picked that one. I even felt I didn't know if I could always keep it no matter what. And in the lowest of lowest, I broke it. I feel like the biggest phony ever. I probably am - I mean I don't even pretend to try to be Buddhist... even that is a construct. I feel like either I embody a Buddha or shut up kid - don't pretend or try to be anything. There is no try, either do or don't -and watch yourself doing or not doing. Meanwhile, I FEEL the suffering. Intensely. And no relief is coming.

What are the consequences of breaking one's vow to one's teacher? I imagine pretty dire...?

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:44 am
by Malcolm
Vows work like this -- when you break them, the break only lasts for a single day. You confess, and you move on with your life.

N

Ogyen wrote:I have hit a brick wall - everywhere I look the filters of gloom cover my sight, a nasty negative energy shrouds my outlook despite keeping at it and doing everything I know (and that list is fairly extensive having years of practice working with the goggles of depression and the afflictions of mental stress). My head knows it's just filters, tricks of perception, nothing to even dive too deep into - I watch the clouds like storms come and go.. I even sense very keenly some days there is no 'me' to get all bent out of shape and I let much of it rise and fall away without 'acting/reacting' to the whole cycle... but the one thing I'm least proud of that I did was break the one vow I made to my teacher when I took refuge. He made me pick one of the 10 that I vowed and said, "This is the one that you vow to never do, the one that you vow to me." And I picked. I don't know why I picked that one. I even felt I didn't know if I could always keep it no matter what. And in the lowest of lowest, I broke it. I feel like the biggest phony ever. I probably am - I mean I don't even pretend to try to be Buddhist... even that is a construct. I feel like either I embody a Buddha or shut up kid - don't pretend or try to be anything. There is no try, either do or don't -and watch yourself doing or not doing. Meanwhile, I FEEL the suffering. Intensely. And no relief is coming.

What are the consequences of breaking one's vow to one's teacher? I imagine pretty dire...?

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:00 am
by Lhug-Pa
What about the clay pot versus the gold pot analogy?

Why are Hinayana vows said to be irreparable like a shattered clay pot?

Does it mean that breaking a Hinayana vow ensures lower rebirths? Or does it simply imply that by breaking a Hinayana vow one could pay that karma through suffering in this life? (as opposed to like paying the karma of a broken Tantra vow like mending a gold pot through prostrations, Ganapuja, 100 Syllable Mantra, etc.)

Namdrol you've said that the Buddha Dharma considers non-Buddhist religions to be subsumed within the Shravakayana (and maybe this would even include agnostic-Humanism)..., does this mean that any broken vow outside of Mahayana or Vajrayana is irreparable according to Buddhism?

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:16 am
by Tilopa
Apply the 4 opponent powers then retake the vow if and when appropriate. It's good to be concerned, vows are important, but don't stress because there is no negative karma so heavy it can't be purified. Recite Vajrasattva mantra.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:47 am
by Grigoris
:good:
You can even take the vow by visualising the teacher and Refuge tree and retaking it in front of the visualisation.

But definitely the Four Opponent Powers and Vajrasattva.

But above all: Don't stress about it!
:namaste:

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:18 pm
by Ogyen
gregkavarnos wrote::good:
You can even take the vow by visualising the teacher and Refuge tree and retaking it in front of the visualisation.

But definitely the Four Opponent Powers and Vajrasattva.

But above all: Don't stress about it!
:namaste:
I have done this - thank you for the input it does make me feel a tiny bit better. I've felt really awful just thinking that I broke the vow because I promised him I would NOT. It felt like I let him down, even if he doesn't know about it, I know it... I take the vow again and again with my morning bodhisattva recitation, and do my best to NOT break it again, and I don't beat myself up, I just try to remember this is why we practice, we're suffering and do dumb things... :oops: Confess, let baggage down, don't do it again. Rinse wash repeat. A helpful reminder is a cheap 10 flower silver ring I wear, each flower has 8 petals around a center circle, so i look at it as my 10 virtues daily reminder and that the Eightfold path is contained within each virtue. The center of each flower is the heart of the virtue and petals look like they're divided as spokes -- Nice coincidence that this ring happens to be so simple, and numerically perfect, and picked well before I ever took refuge.

I guess the minds sees symbols where it wants, it seems dharma is all around me.

:namaste:
D.Ogyen

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:17 am
by Nicholas Weeks
What if you did not 'break' it? Did you eagerly set out one fine day to do so; did you say to yourself 'guru be damned' I am going to break it; did you further exult in the breaking and think 'this is great, I am going to do this anytime I want?'

If you did not think all this; if you felt uncomfortable during the violation of your vow; if you felt and still feel great remorse and promise to not violate your vow again - then you did not really break it.

If you want to keep up remedial practices because it helps you forget about this slip, so be it. But wallowing in remorse is no good; move on and continue to try your best.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:51 am
by Ogyen
Will wrote:What if you did not 'break' it? Did you eagerly set out one fine day to do so; did you say to yourself 'guru be damned' I am going to break it; did you further exult in the breaking and think 'this is great, I am going to do this anytime I want?'

If you did not think all this; if you felt uncomfortable during the violation of your vow; if you felt and still feel great remorse and promise to not violate your vow again - then you did not really break it.

If you want to keep up remedial practices because it helps you forget about this slip, so be it. But wallowing in remorse is no good; move on and continue to try your best.
Excellent point Will. I did not set out to break it and when I caught myself, I knew I was doing wrong. And I stopped immediately. Thank you - remorse is a useless emotion beyond the healthy two minutes it usually gets from me - I just had never experienced this kind of thing - it was unsettling. But I learned something valuable: I am watching myself and being a lot more present than I ever have been before. At least I caught myself being mindful in a very negative place, right? :group:

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:37 pm
by AlexanderS
Out of couriosity what was the vow? If it's´true private, then of ´course dont tell me.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:18 pm
by Ogyen
AlexanderS wrote:Out of couriosity what was the vow? If it's´true private, then of ´course dont tell me.
I will not engage in divisive speech.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:28 pm
by Malcolm
Ogyen wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:Out of couriosity what was the vow? If it's´true private, then of ´course dont tell me.
I will not engage in divisive speech.
Oh well, say you're sorry and move on.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:53 pm
by Blue Garuda
I know well that you are a deeply compassionate person.

You mean that you failed to have equanimity when your world fell apart?

Namdrol is absolutely right.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:23 pm
by Tilopa
Namdrol wrote:Oh well, say you're sorry and move on.
Exactly. It's not as if you killed someone.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:05 am
by Lazy_eye
Ogyen wrote:
I will not engage in divisive speech.
That's a tough one. I would find it very challenging to keep. An enormous amount of everyday speech is divisive (think of all the gossip and backbiting that goes on in a work environment); the habit is deeply ingrained in most of us and it's easy to slip up despite the best intentions. Happens to me more frequently than I'd like to acknowledge.

Were you conscious of an intention to create discord, or did it just happen that your speech had the effect of creating division? Sometimes hard feelings can occur as a result of our words even though we didn't set out to stir the pot.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:53 am
by Jinzang
Namdrol wrote:Vows work like this -- when you break them, the break only lasts for a single day. You confess, and you move on with your life.
What Namdrol said is right and bears repeating,

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:31 am
by plwk
At least I caught myself being mindful in a very negative place, right?
But that was just one moment you caught yourself, what about all the other moments that went by?
Pat yourself on the back for that but move on, don't get stuck...no one say it's gonna be easy but it's not impossible...

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:53 am
by Ogyen
Lazy_eye wrote:
Ogyen wrote:
I will not engage in divisive speech.
That's a tough one. I would find it very challenging to keep. An enormous amount of everyday speech is divisive (think of all the gossip and backbiting that goes on in a work environment); the habit is deeply ingrained in most of us and it's easy to slip up despite the best intentions. Happens to me more frequently than I'd like to acknowledge.

Were you conscious of an intention to create discord, or did it just happen that your speech had the effect of creating division? Sometimes hard feelings can occur as a result of our words even though we didn't set out to stir the pot.
I am one of the most careful people you'll ever meet in choosing words. I have been called a "sphinx" plenty in my life. It's not that I'm especially cryptic, it's just that I'm intensely aware of the kind of positions my words can put others/myself in and how they influence the mindsets of those around me. Language is a powerful tool, I poet a lot (it's not a profession, just a condition...) - what happened was that as Blue Garuda mentioned, my world fell apart, and yes, I failed to have equanimity and kind of just didn't watch my choice of language in which I cast another person in a very negative light - nothing I said about the person was false - but it was said from a place of anger and so still not right speech and fundamentally not my place to speak that way. People are how they are going to be, who am I to judge their very shortcomings I'm no less guilty of myself. I found myself angry and wanting to be acknowledged and used the full force of my linguistic ability (which is not insignificant - and over which I tend to have a lot of discipline) to "demand" this respect I felt I wasn't getting. It was small-minded and ultimately not productive. I've since said sorry and moved on as Namdrol has suggested. It's a valid point. Just be more mindful of my anger

No I didn't kill anyone. The point was that it was the one that I had promised, so I took it very seriously when I breached it, because I have a strong sense of 'devotion' to my teacher and felt like I had said those things to/about him. The act was a poor choice, but I felt it might have held double negative value because of the promise I made. I agree it's not an easy one to keep - but I picked it because it's one that falls in line with my orientation of behavior on this Buddhist path - I've had extensive years in therapy - it's a vow that I'm keenly aware of and keep daily... just gotta watch that righteousness that rises with the shenpa...

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:55 am
by Ogyen
plwk wrote:
At least I caught myself being mindful in a very negative place, right?
But that was just one moment you caught yourself, what about all the other moments that went by?
Pat yourself on the back for that but move on, don't get stuck...no one say it's gonna be easy but it's not impossible...
that is the one vow that does not 'slip by'... I'd sooner say nothing that speak divisively of anyone. Other slips, yes, I have to be more mindful. Thank you for reminding me. It's not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever seems to be..

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:14 am
by AlexanderS
Ogyen wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:Out of couriosity what was the vow? If it's´true private, then of ´course dont tell me.
I will not engage in divisive speech.
Okay, none of my buisiness anyway.

Re: Breaking the one vow

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:48 pm
by Lazy_eye
Ogyen wrote:I am one of the most careful people you'll ever meet in choosing words. I have been called a "sphinx" plenty in my life. It's not that I'm especially cryptic, it's just that I'm intensely aware of the kind of positions my words can put others/myself in and how they influence the mindsets of those around me. Language is a powerful tool, I poet a lot (it's not a profession, just a condition...) - what happened was that as Blue Garuda mentioned, my world fell apart, and yes, I failed to have equanimity and kind of just didn't watch my choice of language in which I cast another person in a very negative light - nothing I said about the person was false - but it was said from a place of anger and so still not right speech and fundamentally not my place to speak that way.
Yeah, one can almost without realizing it slip into an angry or frustrated state of mind and then -- too late -- realize one has spoken out of that state. I often encounter this. Happens to me at work -- and perhaps more frequently at home since I am co-raising two rambunctious kids. I've become fairly alert to the changes in mind-state that happen in stressful situations, but sometimes irritation can bubble up quickly and catch me by surprise.

Training in heedfulness, I guess...