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Thread: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

  1. #1

    3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Are we living out the reality of life ... or just memories and fantasies, dogma and doctrines, caught up in thoughts?

    Let's think about it.

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Are we living out the reality of life ... or just memories and fantasies, dogma and doctrines, caught up in thoughts?

    Let's think about it.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Word.

  3. #3

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Quote Originally Posted by Uchiyama
    You have to open your eyes to your present reality and start off with a totally naked self, possessing no property or anything else.
    There were two things in this section that I found especially interesting. First, I am a painter, so I find it easy to empathise with the artist he mentions. I have been painting for about 17 years since I took early retirement from a job as a power station engineer. I have sold a lot of paintings in that time but I certainly wouldn't like to have to try to make a living from it. And it's so easy to become jealous of other painters who sell at exhibitions when your own paintings haven't sold. But I have had to realise that you have no entitlement or right to a painting sale. It is often just a matter of luck that someone has similar tastes and likes what you do. I realised years ago that the main thing to do is as Uchiyama says, to just enjoy your painting ( or whatever your work is ).

    I wonder where we get this idea of entitlement and rights to certain things? I visit a disability forum sometimes and the people there are are always whingeing about their disability as if they have a natural right to be able bodied like everyone else and it must be the doctor's fault and there must be a mistake somewhere etc., etc. I start thinking like that myself sometimes, but really we have no right to be anything other than what we are, and we will be never be contented until we accept that. The deadliest trait is comparing yourself with others,

    Gassho,
    John

  4. #4

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    I was struck by the story of the temple. My wife's family has lived in the same geographic area for several generations and they tell a lot of stories that stretch back into time, full of people long-dead, but they tell the stories with the same emotions as if they had lived them. The stories are part of how they identify themselves and their family. I've caught myself repeating these stories in the same way, and then thought - I have no idea if this is true or not, if I know the whole story or not, and although I can replicate the emotion, I have no information to back it up. It's a strange feeling.

  5. #5

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Since I first read this book a year or two ago I'm often reminded of the story about the artist who longs for the past. I guess this is something everyone is susceptible to, I know I am. But, as Uchiyama Roshi says, wherever you are, in whatever situation, you must come to terms with it. That advice is not always easy to accept, but I think we just remain trapped in our own fantasies until we do.

    Gassho
    Ken

  6. #6

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I start thinking like that myself sometimes, but really we have no right to be anything other than what we are, and we will be never be contented until we accept that. The deadliest trait is comparing yourself with others,

    Amen, thank you John. But it is so hard and unsettling to cut loose from these comparisons and have the confidence to follow our own path. But it is especially critical when our interpretations of others are so fictional. The grass is always greener I guess. We all display our best qualities, hide our weaknesses, yet assume we are the only ones doing so. Thatís my experience anyway.

    Gassho,
    Kelly

  7. #7

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    I wonder how well our weaknesses are really hidden.

    Best wishes,
    Terry

  8. #8
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I wonder where we get this idea of entitlement and rights to certain things? I visit a disability forum sometimes and the people there are are always whingeing about their disability as if they have a natural right to be able bodied like everyone else and it must be the doctor's fault and there must be a mistake somewhere etc., etc. I start thinking like that myself sometimes, but really we have no right to be anything other than what we are, and we will be never be contented until we accept that. The deadliest trait is comparing yourself with others,
    That's interesting. I have a neurological condition that leaves some people disabled (not like they lose limbs, which may be what you're talking about), and I participate actively in a forum. Not _one single person_ complains about their condition, about what they have lost and what the have to deal with. (And we're talking about both disability and the threat of sudden death or further complications.) It has been a wonderful experience for me to read these people's thoughts, knowing how much some of them may suffer. Why such a difference? Could some types of disability inspire such thoughts more than others? Or could it be the atmosphere on a particular forum that allows such thoughts?

    Kirk

  9. #9

    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc

    That's interesting. I have a neurological condition that leaves some people disabled (not like they lose limbs, which may be what you're talking about), and I participate actively in a forum. Not _one single person_ complains about their condition, about what they have lost and what the have to deal with. (And we're talking about both disability and the threat of sudden death or further complications.) It has been a wonderful experience for me to read these people's thoughts, knowing how much some of them may suffer. Why such a difference? Could some types of disability inspire such thoughts more than others? Or could it be the atmosphere on a particular forum that allows such thoughts?

    Kirk
    Of course, they/we ( I have Muscular Dystrophy) give each other lots of help and support as well. 'Whingeing' was too strong a word - there are many on the forum who have developed great attitudes and found ingenious ways of dealing with the progressive degenerative changes caused by their disability. But there is often an underlying feeling that 'this shouldn't be happening to me' that I sometimes used to suffer from myself. Perhaps it is the long time span of the disease that gets to people. I was diagnosed at age 12 and am now 65. I find that my Zen practice has helped lift my 'victim' mentality. Sometimes I post messages that try to remind people on that forum that it is better to learn to live with the way things are, in the present, that we are all subject to old age, sickness and death, and have told them about the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Not sure if it does any good,

    Gassho,
    John

  10. #10
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: 3/7 - Living Out the Reality of Life p. 34

    John,

    Yes, perhaps it is the long time you've had to deal with your disease that makes it harder. In my case, most people don't start having problems until anywhere from their 20s to their 40s, so there are few who have been dealing with it for decades as you are.

    Yes, do tell them about meditation and how it can help. I edit a newsletter for a patients' association, and Jundo was kind enough to contribute meditation instructions to an article I wrote about meditation and relaxation. Maybe you can do the same? If you want a copy of my article and Jundo's text, send me an e-mail.

    Kirk

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