Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 31 of 31

Thread: Box or Lid or Both?

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Box or Lid or Both?

    I'm tired of teasing this out in my brain, so I decided to throw it out to the forum.

    When you perceive a hole in your life there seems to come with it a need to fill that hole. This need leads to attachment behaviors, addiction being the most extreme example, but there are many other lesser examples you can fill in for yourself depending upon whatever holes you perceive in your life. Pondering this I came up with the analogy of box and lid, with box representing the hole in your life and lid representing the need to fill (or at least cap) that hole. But then I thought, wait a minute:
    If you have a box, does it need a lid?

    Of course, acceptance is the key. But do you accept the box, the lid, or both?

  2. #2

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    The way I see it, accept the box, and then whether you feel like putting a lid on it or not, either way, accept that feeling (with awareness).

  3. #3

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    I'm not going to bite on that hook. The hole is a feeling, just let it go.

  4. #4

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I'm not going to bite on that hook. The hole is a feeling, just let it go.
    And when it chooses not to leave?

  5. #5
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I'm not going to bite on that hook. The hole is a feeling, just let it go.
    But isn't the need (box lid) also a feeling? These things tend to come together, a boxed set, you might say.

    Also, just to torture my analogy a bit more, sometimes the lid doesn't fit the box very well, thus resulting in suffering.

  6. #6

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I'm not going to bite on that hook. The hole is a feeling, just let it go.
    And when it chooses not to leave?
    OK, I'll bite on that since action is necessary.

  7. #7

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Hi,

    Through our Zazen Practice, we taste that Wholly Complete, Completely Whole, such that there is not even need for words expressing "complete" and "whole" (because absolutely nothing has been left out or is missing from the world from the start, save for the mind judging "something is lacking". Only the mind needs something "complete" in contrast to the self's judgment and idea of an "incomplete"). Today, I came across a quote from Master Dogen (Eihei Koroku 1.9) that seems to point to two ways that our Practice allows us this wholeness ... by letting us empty out, and by filling in all the gaps between our self and the world ...

    One phrase [that expresses the essence] causes a block of ice to melt and the tiles to crumble, and another phrase fills in the cracks and crevices. Within this one phrase, all the buddhas of the three times ... accomplish the way and turn the Dharma wheel. Therefore [as said by Layman Pang], "The bright clarity of the ancestral teacher's mind is the bright clarity of the hundred grasstips

    Each of the phenomena of this life-world (the hundred grasstips) is complete, bright and whole when experienced as such.

    Yet, as human beings, we will always live as little selves ... with needs, fears, a sometimes sense of incompleteness. As Scott noted, even when we have an unshakable feeling of lack as humans sometimes will, "accept that feeling (with awareness)".Another quote from Dogen I happened to come across, written after his "exhile" at Eiheiji, in the cold mountains, expresses this ... Even amid the joy and equanimity, there is some sadness ...

    Joyful in this mountain retreat yet still feeling melancholy,
    Studying the Lotus Sutra every day,
    Practicing zazen singlemindedly;
    What do love and hate matter
    When I'm here alone,
    Listening to the sound of the rain late in this autumn evening.


    Such is what it means to be a True Human Being, not a stone. You see, we do not live merely in the absolute of nirvana, but also in the relative of this samsara. Too much of the latter, and we live in greed, anger, delusion. Too much of the former, and we cannot live as men. Combine each skillfully (for they are not two), and thus is life truly Whole, Complete ... even amid its imperfections and difficulties.

    The famous chant, The Identity of Relative and Absolute (by the 8th Ancestor, Sekito Kisen) puts it thus ...

    The subtle source is clear and bright;
    the tributary streams flow through the darkness.
    To be attached to things is illusion;
    to encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.
    ...
    Light is also darkness,
    But do not move with it as darkness.
    Darkness is light: Do not see it as light.
    Light and darkness are not one, not two,
    Like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.
    Each thing has its own being,
    Which is not different from its place and function.
    The relative fits the absolute as a box and its lid.
    Gassho, J

  8. #8
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Selinsgrove, PA
    Posts
    1,061

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Hello Al and all,

    I've had a hole or a box if you will. Sometimes it is left without a lid. Sometimes I find a lid that just doesn't fit properly. Sometimes I find a lid that will fit for a while, then I realize that a different one is needed. I think a box without a lid is okay. But if you find a lid that fits, by all means use it until it no longer fits. But don't dwell in the box. Don't dwell on finding a lid with a perfect fit.

    Sometimes a box has more than one lid that will fit. Sometimes a box is just a box and is just okay being what it is.

    I'm really no help at all, am I?

    Gassho,
    Kelly (Jinmei)

  9. #9
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Kelly, you are a great help. That was a fine mastication of my box/lid analogy.

    I agree with everything Jundo says. I believe all of that to be true, but getting to the root of that truth is what I am exploring here. How do we get to feel so complete when we have mixed up boxes and lids, holes and needs? "I think I need love, so I go get sex" is sort of an example where the box is lack (empty) of love and the mismatched lid is need for sex. Part of the answer is zazen, where we drop boxes and lids, holes and needs. But how does this help off the cushion? Because, like Scott said above, what if that feeling comes back? You can keep dropping it and dropping it and dropping it, and so on, but dropping the need for love is pretty hard, whereas getting sex might be a lot easier. Do you see where I am going on this?

    What do people recognize most in their lives, the hole or the need to fill that hole? I think we usually get stuck on the need, the box lid. But what is a box without a lid? It is an empty hole, thus not the good kind of emptiness. So the root issue is not the need, the box lid, because what good is a box lid without a box? Not much. At some point I think it becomes essential to recognize the box, to look at that hole in your life fully and completely, so that you can find the right fitting lid and not just keep grabbing for whatever seems handy. Here is where zazen comes in handy again, but in a completely different way.

    I heard a great dharma talk a while back on the Houston Zen Center website http://www.houstonzen.org/
    where Gaelyn Godwin talked about the value of ritual. She used the example of a baseball player that goes through a very elaborate ritual before each pitch. He will tap his hat, swing the bat, tighten his gloves, and so on, and the point of all that ritual is to slow his mind down so he can see a 100 mph fastball zipping a few feet from his head, recognize what type of pitch it is, calculate its trajectory, and then let his body move fast enough to swing the bat to hit it, hopefully. Her point was that zazen operates the same way -- it slows our mind down so that we can see things that are otherwise quite complicated -- such as holes in our life and the needs we use to try to fill those holes, boxes and lids -- more clearly. And that's where I'm at.

    I was thinking to drop the need is key. But then I thought, wait a minute, where does that need come from? It must come from some lack, some hole in my life. At that point I began to think that the need is less the the issue than the lack from which that need springs, so dropping that lack is key. But then I thought, wait a minute, how do you drop a hole in your life? Should I drop both, or should I just accept both? And then I thought, let's put this on the forum. And now my thinking out loud here has taken you full circle.

    When I am able to slow my thinking down it looks like lacks and needs, boxes and lids, are separate. Or are they? There seems to be a not one, not two quality to them. I think, for now at least, as I continue to think this through out loud, that recognizing the the box, the hole in life, is more beneficial in the long run. There''s also an "acceptance without acceptance" quality to this (which was what I was expecting Jundo to say :P ).

    What do YOU think?

  10. #10

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Hi.

    Since mybrother and uncle are both potterers, i often use the analogy of an tea bowl.

    First of all, all potterer builds something around nothing and creates a spaces for that nothing, because without nothing in the middle, where would you else have anything?

    Secondly, having a lid to put on the teabowl, can sometimes be helpful since it keeps the tea warm longer, but it's damn hard to drink the tea with the lid on.

    thirdly, lid or no lid, you have to have some way of letting a little sunshine into the bowl sometimes, so it doesn't get to dark...

    (hope it makes any sense, seems strange writing it in english...)

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  11. #11
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I think I got it! By accepting the hole you thus drop the need to fill that hole. It's sort of a compound non-action. Not that hard once I got it all out.

    And I really like Kelly's and Fugen's posts.

  12. #12

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Oh! Oh! Oh! I think I got it! By accepting the hole you thus drop the need to fill that hole. It's sort of a compound non-action. Not that hard once I got it all out.

    And I really like Kelly's and Fugen's posts.
    Yes :-). The hole is not the hole itself, but your response to whatever it is. Establish a nice relationship with it and the hole turns out not to be a hole after all.

  13. #13

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Hello and Happy New Year to those posting here
    Down with the 'flu and came by for a visit

    for some reason these holes and boxes and lids reminded me of a story I enjoyed when I was little
    we are going back a little over 50 years now between the ages of 6 and 8

    there was an old woman who had holes in her blankets and she set about fixing the problem by taking her scissors and cutting the holes out

    the blankets didn't keep her any warmer....

    who is the famous zen master who said 'show me your mind'
    to the student who said his mind was unsettled?

    This is an excellent zen master

    if we were to take this post to him he would ask you to show him your holes, and to bring your boxes and lids for him to see

    that done, I imagine he would take the tea cup lid off Fugen's tea cup, drink the tea, and invite us to join him if we like

    there are no holes and nothing needs filling

    flip the coin and there are desires, and desires are inexhaustible

  14. #14

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I agree with everything Jundo says. I believe all of that to be true, but getting to the root of that truth is what I am exploring here. How do we get to feel so complete when we have mixed up boxes and lids, holes and needs? "I think I need love, so I go get sex" is sort of an example where the box is lack (empty) of love and the mismatched lid is need for sex.
    Just Sitting should fill the box as much as it can be filled (or, better said, let one experience this box never empty from the start ... in fact, what "box"?). That is the ultimate medicine which Buddhist Practice has to offer, to wit, no 'self' no 'need' 'nothing in search of completion' ...

    However, so long as we are a human self, we will have the feeling of empty boxes, and mismatched boxes and lids. At that point, the Precepts guide us (such as the arrow pointing us toward "not misusing sexuality").

    Which leads to the next question: Exactly how do we walk that path?

    Part of the answer is zazen, where we drop boxes and lids, holes and needs. But how does this help off the cushion?
    There is no separation on or off the cushion. So long as one keeps working to "fill the whole" (even with "Buddha" or "Enlightenment", as much as with food or alcohol, sex or drugs), one will never be fulfilled in the way which Buddhism offers. We bring the same dropping of judgments, needs, likes and dislikes, attractions and aversions "off the cushion" and into life.

    Of course, so long as we are in life ... we will still have judgments, needs, likes and dislikes, attractions and aversions ....

    So, for the rest of the time, on or off the cushion, when the "gaping need" cries out (which it will, because that is just the human condition) ... the Precepts and a bit of self-control (avoiding excess, avoiding harmful activities, dropping attachments) guiding us on passage between the rocky shoals (of excess, harm to self and others, addiction and attachment).

    We do "accept" the need even as we seek not to yield to its excesses (by following the Precepts) and seek to drop it away (vie Zazen). That is ""acceptance without acceptance".(living from two viewpoints, not even one: (1) no box in need of filling (2) human boxes in need of filling, which we accept as the human condition -but- then seek to fill in healthful ways.

    There is nothing wrong, by the way, with filling "needs" in one's life (for love, for companionship, for food, for recreation_ ... so long as all are done in healthful, balanced, non-excessive, ways. Eat, but not in excess. Do not be a prisoner of desires, bound up in seeking to constantly fill the hole. Seek friends and loved ones, but (the Buddha advised) those that help one down the path of life, and do not lead one into harm.

    Simply, fill one's whole with Zazen ('no hole to fill'), and a salubrious life (avoiding harmful fillers, excessive fillers, attachment to fillers, addictions to fillers ... and seeking healthful fillers, balanced fillers, good healthy moderate food, mild drink, good friends and supportive loved ones ... ) ... and you will have good sailing though life, my friend, both on the calms seas and through its storms.

    ... zazen operates the same way -- it slows our mind down so that we can see things that are otherwise quite complicated -- such as holes in our life and the needs we use to try to fill those holes, boxes and lids -- more clearly.
    Yes, our Zazen also allows us to be more aware of when the mind is playing its mind games, pulling us into greed, anger, excess, harmful activities, attachments. It does "slow things down", let us recognize the game ... and, hopefully, get out of playing it.

    At that point I began to think that the need is less the the issue than the lack from which that need springs, so dropping that lack is key. But then I thought, wait a minute, how do you drop a hole in your life? Should I drop both, or should I just accept both? And then I thought, let's put this on the forum. And now my thinking out loud here has taken you full circle.
    Well, drop away that whole spiraling tornado of thoughts!

    Gassho, Jundo

  15. #15

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Keishin, thank you for your story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Yes, our Zazen also allows us to be more aware of when the mind is playing its mind games, pulling us into greed, anger, excess, harmful activities, attachments. It does "slow things down", let us recognize the game ... and, hopefully, get out of playing it.

    At that point I began to think that the need is less the the issue than the lack from which that need springs, so dropping that lack is key. But then I thought, wait a minute, how do you drop a hole in your life? Should I drop both, or should I just accept both? And then I thought, let's put this on the forum. And now my thinking out loud here has taken you full circle.
    Well, drop away that whole spiraling tornado of thoughts!

    Gassho, Jundo
    I think the function of the intellect / thinking mind is to make sense of things, to make answers; but there is no answer to the ultimate question of what is this, hence a natural inclination to a little melancholy or sadness. The practice itself is the answer, just cut off off your thinking, for me its way too dominant and out of balance anyway. Maybe I'll spend more time with nature today.

  16. #16
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Metaphors don't even get at it, really.

    Box? Lid?

    Still going a LONG way to realize the nose on your face.

    Chet

  17. #17
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Had I to do it over again, Chet, I don't think I would have used the box/lid metaphor. It seemed an interesting way to approach it at the time, and I like how people have added on to it in creative ways, so it's ok either way, I guess.

    "Dropping the tornado of thoughts." Now that's a nice metaphor. But if I had done that in the first place I wouldn't have this thread to share in this place, which was worthwhile for me and hopefully others also. Such was my "plan."

  18. #18
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    My tornado is winding down, just a bit more...

    I think yet another way that zazen helps is by teaching us diligence. Just as we learn to countless times keep coming back to the moment, to just diligently sit with our problem and accept it, that same persistence can also be applied in trying to solve that problem. I think this is the non-acceptance part. Putting the two together is what gives us acceptance without acceptance, countlessly coming back to the moment and dropping the problem while also countlessly trying to be in the moment as we attempt to solve the problem. That's what I've been doing, although not very successfully.

    I realize now that my metaphor was grossly wrong in one serious aspect. Boxes (holes in a life) are meant to be filled, not covered up with box lids. A box is for storing things, not covering over. My diligence was to keep looking and sitting with this hole in my life, and while doing that I was also diligently trying to cover it over with various activities. However, it was only through even more diligent awareness that I finally see that my activities were misplaced. As Keishin's story so beautifully illustrates, I was cutting out the holes in my blanket only to discover that it was not keeping me any warmer.

    The hole in my life is loneliness. I won't go into all the misplaced activities, but they have been empty in the not-so-good sense. The substance that can fill my hole is people, to involve more people in my life and to have more meaningful relationships with those people. I have isolated myself, pretty much by choice, and now it is time to diligently choose to act in way that will break me out of that isolation, or at least ease me out of it.

    This thread has been very helpful to me, thanks to you all. It has been very good, very beneficial, and the only thing that could make it better is if it also benefits others to fill the holes they find in their lives through diligent and skillful means.

    Deep Gassho

  19. #19

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    "People say we got it made. Don't they know we're so afraid. Isolation"

    "Yes, I'm lonely, wanna die. If I ain't dead already, girl you know the reason why"

    John Lennon

  20. #20

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    The hole in my life is loneliness.
    I suspect that everyone who is seriously on a spiritual path goes through deep feelings of loneliness.

    Gassho to you ... Scott

  21. #21

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Craving contact, craving solitude; it's always gonna be something

    'at this very moment, what more need we seek'

    what indeed!

  22. #22

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    PS you need not feel so 'holeyer than thou'; our composition is made up mostly of
    space--our wholesomeness is full of 'holes' as it were, but this space is not empty and in fact emptiness is emptied of emptiness

    perhaps the scientifically inclined can more eloquently express this...

  23. #23
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    The hole in my life is loneliness.
    I suspect that everyone who is seriously on a spiritual path goes through deep feelings of loneliness.

    Gassho to you ... Scott
    Absolutely. Chogyam Trungpa has written a fair amount of good stuff on this topic.

  24. #24
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    A quick search of Chogyam Trungpa and loneliness led me to this quote that really fits nicely.
    loneliness is not a lacking of something, but rather the aching fulfillment of our open, raw, caring nature.
    Here's the link to the full article.
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/...-a-good-thing/

  25. #25

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    A quick search of Chogyam Trungpa and loneliness led me to this quote that really fits nicely.
    loneliness is not a lacking of something, but rather the aching fulfillment of our open, raw, caring nature.
    Here's the link to the full article.
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/...-a-good-thing/
    The great Humanistic psychologist, Victor Maslow, identified various human needs that, pretty much, we all require for a truly complete life ... and are so fundamental, that they may even be necessary to a rich spiritual practice. He place them in a hierarchy, with lower needs to be satisfied before the above are possible to satisfy (Physiological needs, in the table below, are the most basic and the higher categories build upon those) ....

    Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

    Physiological Needs
    These include the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as the need for water, air, food and sleep. Maslow believed that these needs are the most basic and instinctive needs in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met.

    Security Needs
    These include needs for safety and security. Security needs are important for survival, but they are not as demanding as the physiological needs. Examples of security needs include a desire for steady employment, health insurance, safe neighborhoods and shelter from the environment.

    Social Needs
    These include needs for belonging, love and affection. Maslow considered these needs to be less basic than physiological and security needs. Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments and families help fulfill this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community or religious groups.

    Esteem Needs
    After the first three needs have been satisfied, esteem needs becomes increasingly important. These include the need for things that reflect on self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition and accomplishment.

    Self-actualizing Needs
    This is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others and interested fulfilling their potential.
    Like this article? Sign up for the Psychology Newsletter to get the latest psychology updates and to learn more about diverse topics including social behavior, personality, development, memory, creativity and much more.



    http://psychology.about.com/od/theories ... yneeds.htm
    To make a long story short, it would be hard to have a successful life and practice without sufficient food and drink to sustain life (not for very long anyway ... and despite the claims of certain Indian mystics to have done away with such needs). Next is physical safety (although someone of high spiritual training might be much more tolerant of danger and physical violence to their person ... I think that everyone has their breaking point. We all need a degree of safety in order to truly devote ourself to practice).

    Well, companionship is right in there too. And unless someone who has intentionally chosen to abandon the comradery of friends and loved ones (such as a hermit in the hills), I consider this also necessary to life ... much like food and water. Even the Buddha, after all, did not advocate a permanent cutting off from all contact with others ... or reject friendship and a sharing of community. He merely advocated cutting the worldly ties of family for the "spiritual family" of the Sangha.

    Companionship, friendship and love are necessary to a complete life (without clinging and excess, of course). Please find good friends and somebody to love.

    Gassho, J

  26. #26
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Of course, love and human connection are very important. But you can have very good friends and people you love, and still experience loneliness, especially if there are deep parts of who you are and how you are in the world that your loved ones do not understand. This is why the spiritual path can be lonely, because it shifts how one engages with life, what one looks to for inspiration, and so on--and this shift in perspective can alienate one from other people who have a different perspective on life. You realize at some point that you are not going to win approval or acclaim by walking this path you are on, that there are no external rewards for your commitment to the truth--fame, money, approval. The only reward is freedom, which is also lonely, because freedom is the realization that we can't hold on to anything. Love can never die inside of us, but the ones we love will die, and even in their love of us, they cannot touch or understand the fundamental core of our experience.

    A big part of what Chogyam Trungpa talks about regarding loneliness is the loneliness of realizing that each of us walks our path alone. That does not mean we do not find guides, friends, and even guardians along the way, but rather that no one else can explain it to us or do it for us. We have to suffer through the breaking of our delusions against the rocky shore of reality, and no one else can carry that pain for us.

    Chogyam Trungpa also relates the sense of loneliness to a total lack of security, no way to reinforce or reassure the ego.

    "I think we should realize that the practice of meditation takes us on a journey that is very personal and very lonely. Only the individual meditator knows what he or she is doing, and it is a very lonely journey. However, if one were doing it alone without any reference to the lineage, without any reference to the teacher and the teachings, it would not be lonely, because you would have a sense of being involved in the process of developing the self-made man. So you would feel less lonely. You would feel like you were on the way to becoming a hero. It is particularly because of the commitment that one makes to the teachings and the lineage and the teacher that the meditative journey becomes such a lonely one.

    That commitment does not particularly bring protection or companionship or feedback to clear away your doubts or remove your loneliness. In some way your sense of loneliness is exaggerated by your commitment to the path. The path has been established and you start to take a journey on it. That journey is then up to you. You can read the map, which tells you how far along you are. You can stop at various places for rest and refreshment. But still it's your journey.

    Even if you are sharing the journey with other people, those other individuals' experience is different, totally different, in terms of how the journey really affects them. So it's a lonely journey. There is no support, no specific guideline. You may have been told to do this and do that, but that is just at the beginning--so that you know how to be lonely.

    So loneliness is one of the basic points. It means not having any security on this path of meditation. One can't even say that you get moral support. For one thing, as we discussed earlier on, you don't exist; and because of that, security doesn't exist. The only thing that is visible, that apparently exists, is the journey, the loneliness itself. That is a very important point for us to see and realize.

    On this path, we are not looking for the grace of God or any other kind of saving grace. There is no sense that we are going to be saved, that someone is going to keep an eye on us so that if we are just about to make a mistake, someone will fish us out. If we had that sense, the journey would become a very sloppy one, because we could afford to play around. We would think that in case we did the wrong thing, we could be fished out or saved. But instead of relying on outside help, in this case, the impetus has to be a very personal impetus. Nobody is going to save us and nobody is going to protect us, so this journey has to be a very personal, individual journey. That's a very important point."
    (Chogyam Trungpa, The Path is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala, 1995, pp. 126-128)

    "Now, the next question is the role of the teacher, the guru. How is he or she going to affect this process? There is no contradiction whatsoever between being on a lonely, personal journey and relating to a teacher. The role of the teacher is to teach the students what direction to take, to teach you a certain attitude and how that attitude might develop further. And the role of the teacher is to show you that the path is lonely...

    Then there is another notion, which is the sangha, the community of practitioners working together. The sangha is also the creation of the teacher and the teaching in a sense. You get information, messages, from being among friends who are also doing the same practice as you at the same time. You might feel that you can take off by yourself whenever you want, that you can maintain yourself without having to be hassled by the sangha, without going through the painful problems of dealing with the rest of the community, these friends around you. But this is partially not accepting the world of the teachings. You want just to have a summit meeting with your teacher and to try to avoid the rest of the flock. You go off in order to be saved from the hassle of relating with anybody else. This is also in part looking for something other than loneliness--looking for security. Although your style of dealing with the whole thing is the style of loneliness, actually dealing with the sangha would make you feel more lonely. And that is very painful."
    (Chogyam Trungpa, The Path is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala, 1995, pp. 128, 130)

    "There are all kinds of different levels and different approaches to trying to ignore the loneliness.

    If you are like the ordinary person in the street, working a nine-to-five job, you feel very lonely. And also you felt very lonely before you got to the ordinary level. You felt you had to struggle, that you were wretched, outside of society. And then, when you try to step above the ordinariness into extraordinariness, you also feel lonely. All those attempts are made out of loneliness. The whole time the goal is not to be lonely, to achieve enormous security. So there are constantly inspirations arising out of the sense of loneliness, always looking for companionship. That seems to be the problem.

    So we have two kinds of processes here. Rejecting loneliness by using the medium of loneliness; and trying to use the medium of friendship and companionship to arrive at the goal of loneliness. The second one is the dharma way. At the beginning you have your spiritual friend and your sangha that you work together with. It feels good, fantastic. But once you have been initiated into the path and style and practice of meditation, then your goal is loneliness. You begin to realize that.

    Loneliness here is not meant in the sense of feeling alone in an empty room with nothing but a mattress. When we talk about loneliness here, we are talking about the fundamental starvation of ego. There are no tricks you can play; there is no one you can talk to to make yourself feel better. There's nothing more you can do about the loneliness at all. So for that reason, there's a need for a teacher, for the sangha, and a need for practice.

    This is not based on a theistic approach--needing protection, needing a savior. As far as that is concerned, everybody is their own savior. The basic point is that the practice of meditation brings all kinds of experiences of uncertainty, discontentment of all kinds. But those experiences seem to be absolutely necessary. In fact, they seem to be the sign that you are on the path at last."
    (Chogyam Trungpa, The Path is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala, 1995, pp. 133-135)

    STUDENT: My connection with the word loneliness has to do with different emotional states like sadness and all that sort of thing. It seems that you're talking about something different, but if so, I don't understand it.

    TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: Maybe it is an emotional state of some kind, but not in the sense of the highlight when your emotion reaches its peak. Rather, it's a self-existing situation. Whenever there is uncertainty and threat, there is loneliness, which is the fear of no companionship and the fear that nobody understands you--which is very simple. At the same time, it's a fear that you might possibly not exist, that there's nothing to work on, nothing to work with. We might even go so far as to say that it's a sense of total nonexistence and total deprivation. A feeling that whatever direction you face, you're facing the world rather than the path. Things are being pushed back on you. It's some subtle state of wretched ness. I mean, it's a heavy one. It's a very total wretchedness, all-pervasive. It's not just one-directional, such as, 'Because he treated me badly, therefore I feel lonelier, and I'm sobbing.' It's not just him alone, but it's the whole orchestra that's not playing your music.
    (Chogyam Trungpa, The Path is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala, 1995, pp. 137-138)

    STUDENT: I'd like to ask a question about loneliness and love. In my experience, the kind of love where two people try to be together in order to protect themselves from loneliness hasn't worked out too well. When you come in contact with the loneliness, it seems to destroy a lot of things that you try to pull off in trying to build up security. But can there be love between two people while they continue to work with the loneliness?

    TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: That's an interesting question. I don't think anybody can fall in love unless they feel lonely. People can't fall in love unless they know they are lonely and are separate individuals. If by some strange misunderstanding, you think you are the other person already, then there's no one for you to fall in love with. It doesn't work that way. The whole idea of union is that of two being together. One and one together make union. Zero is not union, one is not union, but two is union. So I think in love it is the desolateness that inspires the warmth. The more you feel a sense of desolation, the more warmth you feel at the same time. You can't feel the warmth of a house unless it's cold outside. The colder it is outside, the cozier it is at home.

    S: What would be the difference between the relationship between lovers and the general relationship you have with the sangha as a whole, which is a whole bunch of people feeling desolateness to different degrees?

    TR: The two people have a similarity in their type of loneliness. One particular person reminds another more of his or her own loneliness. You feel that your partner, in seeing you, feels more lonely. Whereas with the sangha, it's more a matter of equal shares. There's all-pervasive loneliness, ubiquitous loneliness, happening all over the place.

    STUDENT: Would you say that loneliness is love?

    TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: I think we could say that.

    STUDENT: You've indicated that as we got into this loneliness, there would be a lot of wretchedness as well. Now I'm wondering how compassion fits into this picture. How does one practice compassion with that loneliness?

    TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: I think loneliness brings a sense of compassion automatically. According to the Buddhist scriptures, compassion consists of shunyata, nothingness, and knowledge, prajna. So that means the ingredients of compassion are the experience of nonego and a sense of precision, which is often also called skillful means. You can't have compassion unless you have egolessness and the sense of precision at the same time. The sense of egolessness, obviously, comes with loneliness and at the same time seeing through oneself, so that everything's been examined and looked at. That becomes compassion. That's unconditional love, unconditional loneliness. Then even after you've reached that point, the loneliness principle goes on. But then you are not lonely anymore; it becomes aloneness as opposed to loneliness, which brings a sense of space.
    (Chogyam Trungpa, The Path is the Goal: A Basic Handbook of Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala, 1995, pp. 139-141)

    STUDENT: But doesn't the sense of aloneness or loneliness contradict the idea of totality?

    TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: Absolutely not. If you realize that you are a lonely person, then you feel the totality of the whole space in which you are lonely or alone. It amounts to the same thing, absolutely the same thing. You can't feel alone unless you feel the totality of the whole thing. There is no help coming from anywhere at all. You have to make your own individual journey, which is purely based on you. That goes without saying.

    S: That's not the same thing as ordinary loneliness then.

    TR: There is no such thing as ordinary loneliness. Loneliness is one thing--there is always space.
    (Chogyam Trungpa, Orderly Chaos, Shambhala, 1991, p. 12)

  27. #27
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    I was originally referring to the social aspect of loneliness, not the spiritual aspect of it, but then I realized I was splitting the two, creating a duality. The social (companionship, friendship and love) is the spiritual.

  28. #28

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Trungpa is interesting to read but a little too mind gamey for me.
    Building relationships with others and being alone is better than just being alone. Being a friend for yourself is a good start.
    Did that song 'Be a Friend for Yourself' ever take off?

  29. #29

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    The perception of emptiness can seem like a void in the human mind (or a hole needing to be filled). Sit in the void, become the void.

  30. #30
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    The only reward is freedom, which is also lonely, because freedom is the realization that we can't hold on to anything.
    That's only half of realization. The other half is that we don't need to hold on to anything.

    Chet

  31. #31
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Box or Lid or Both?

    Quote Originally Posted by gakuse345
    The perception of emptiness can seem like a void in the human mind (or a hole needing to be filled). Sit in the void, become the void.
    Emptiness is not a void.

    Chet

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •