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Thread: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

  1. #1
    disastermouse
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    Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Does anyone else ever wander around feeling......bad for people who just will never have a moment of awakening? People who are trapped into thinking that their thoughts are theirs..and that their constructions are real?

    I mean...I wander around in that mode far more than half the time too....but what's been seen cannot be unseen.

    The natural urge is to share this Dharma - but to what avail? Even those who have sat diligently for years can be miles from it - even as they're soaking in it.

    I must be looking at this wrong...

    Chet

  2. #2
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Just me, huh?

  3. #3

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I've had moments where I've had to stop myself from getting all "preachy," if I can use that term. I see people stuck in behavior patterns that I know intimately well from my not-so-mindful past. It's difficult at times to deal directly with folks like that, and yeah it can be sad to watch it when your interaction is more indirect.

    But what can you do? Our society demands and even rewards a certain self-centeredness. The sort of delusion that many of us are brought up with can be a tough nut to crack. I try to sort of subtly lead by example where I can. Like when I have a run-in with the ranting, raving loony in my office, I do my best to meet him with a smile and calm responses, despite his aggressive demeanor. It wasn't so long ago that I was the office's ranting, raving loony, after all.

    We can spread a lot of good, calm and peace just with own 'tude sometimes. That may not further anyone else's path toward enlightenment, but it certainly can't do any harm.

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Hey Chet,

    I wouldn't say I wander around thinking that about people in general, but it does occur to me in regards to my folks....especially after visiting them as I just did. They both cling to a very tight "story" and I see little chance they will ever truly wake up. My mother especially is very unlikely to ever take a real look at herself (or true lackthereof) and I've worked hard not to look at myself with her eyes (after years of training as a child to do exactly that). But after this visit I thought less of her effect on me and more about the fact that I just can't help her. That was very sad to me, so at least I don't think you are looking at it wrong....unless I have missed your point.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  5. #5

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    ... Even those who have sat diligently for years can be miles from it - even as they're soaking in it.
    Chet
    Speaking for the "unenlightened" I have to say I worry more about my own enlightenment than that of others. I do sometimes wonder what the world would be like if the majority were enlightened, then realize I don't even know what it would be like for myself to be enlightened...

  6. #6

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Chet,


    In waking up, there is no room for that kind of thought. I strongly suggest you to study the manners and teachings of the countless non-Buddhists around you, all a living manifestation of Thusness.

    Bows to Chet, one of my teachers

    Taigu

  7. #7
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    ... Even those who have sat diligently for years can be miles from it - even as they're soaking in it.
    Chet
    Speaking for the "unenlightened" I have to say I worry more about my own enlightenment than that of others. I do sometimes wonder what the world would be like if the majority were enlightened, then realize I don't even know what it would be like for myself to be enlightened...
    What? No...I mean...have you had but a glimpse? Forget about your ideas of enlightenment - they have nothing to do with reality anyway.

    My point is not that others should be enlightened - it's that I feel for them because they are suffering and they haven't even entered the stream towards figuring out the real heart of the matter. And they may never do so...and their suffering is in many cases so needless.

    Now, you may or may not have entered the stream - but you may or may not even know at what point you do. As you do this practice, with a will to truth, you are entering the stream. You are acquainting yourself with the great matter. Even if you don't understand.

    Just practice with sincerity, curiosity, and compassion.

    Chet

  8. #8
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Chet,


    In waking up, there is no room for that kind of thought. I strongly suggest you to study the manners and teachings of the countless non-Buddhists around you, all a living manifestation of Thusness.

    Bows to the Chet, one of my teachers

    Taigu
    I knew there must be something wrong with my thinking and I was looking for correction.

    *gassho*

    Chet

  9. #9

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    ... Even those who have sat diligently for years can be miles from it - even as they're soaking in it.
    Chet
    Speaking for the "unenlightened" I have to say I worry more about my own enlightenment than that of others. I do sometimes wonder what the world would be like if the majority were enlightened, then realize I don't even know what it would be like for myself to be enlightened...
    What? No...I mean...have you had but a glimpse?

    Chet
    I don't know. I have had moments of great calm and acceptance. But I'm guessing if I had truly "had a glimpse" I would know it.

  10. #10
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    I don't know. I have had moments of great calm and acceptance. But I'm guessing if I had truly "had a glimpse" I would know it.
    Don't be so sure! Remember - shikantaza is the embodiment - the expression - of enlightenment. If you get hung up wondering whether you've seen 'it' - you'll never see it...because 'it' is right here with you now.

    Forget about seeing enlightenment...what is 'this right here'? THIS moment is THE moment....not some magical, mystical 'kensho' moment that isn't this moment. Thinking this way just gives you all sorts of crazy ideas and goals for your mind to attempt.

    IMHO.

    Chet

  11. #11

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    .

  12. #12
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I don't think feeling sad for bad for people is helpful to those people (or yourself, for that matter). Besides, who says you have the answer? Buddha? Who's he? What answer?

  13. #13
    Stephanie
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    IMO, when you judge people in this way, something is happening that has nothing to do with Dharma...

    There are as many kinds of wisdom as there are people. This is one of the realizations I had that helped me choose the path of social work--that even the people most reviled and discarded by society all have their own wisdom. Wisdom that is often unrecognized, unseen, and unheard... Wisdom comes from experience, and everyone has a unique history of experience that gives them a unique perspective on life. Everyone's life is valuable because everyone has experiential wisdom to share. If only we all were better at listening to one another. Lord knows I've still got a long way to go myself, in terms of my openness and ability to listen.

    When it comes to Dharma wisdom, experiential knowledge of truth, there is more than one kind of wisdom. There are the insights that come in blinding flashes of truth, and there is the wisdom that gets worn into you over the years, so slowly and subtly you don't even notice it happening. There is realization of emptiness, of the impossibility of tethering ourselves to an unchanging, stable point of view, the knowledge that no thought is true... but there is also realization of patience, of kindness and gentleness, of reverence and respect for others. There is the slow, deep growth in ability to appreciate life. To appreciate, and love what is before us. Your perfectionism, and very strong and narrow judgments of others, continue to block you from this kind of wisdom, IMO. You pity the people who don't know the truth you know, all the while your devotion to your particular perspective blocks you from seeing what they have to teach you, and the ways in which they may be wiser than you. I guarantee if you look at someone long and hard enough, you will see at least one way they are wiser than you.

    I remember a Dharma talk (on YouTube, don't know exactly which one it is though) Robert Thurman gave in which he described a tantric visualization in which he was taught to imagine himself as the only unenlightened person in the room and that everyone around him was an enlightened Buddha trying to teach him and wake him up. The funny thing is, this is exactly how things are, in my experience. We are all surrounded by teachers, and our capacity for wisdom is equal to our capacity to be humble enough to submit to be taught by others.

    Many times in the past, I used to look at others, and want to teach them about Zen, and zazen, feeling the same sort of feeling you describe, seeing these people caught so much in their own deluded thinking. But I do not really think that way so much anymore. Don't get me wrong, I can be and often am very judgmental of others, especially others' ignorance (as I perceive it), but I don't really go around thinking that if everyone learned to sit zazen and practice that everyone would be saved and we would be living in this perfect, enlightened society. I mean, look at all of us here at Treeleaf, practicing, having gained at least some insight into the mechanism of suffering, and still we all struggle, sometimes flounder with life, in one way or another. So can we really be so arrogant as to say, 'if only everyone did what we do and knew what we knew, the world would be so much better'?

    Maybe another way to look at it is, we're all lucky that other people in the world aren't so messed up they need to do this practice that we need to do. I'm grateful for all the sane and normal people that keep society going in ways an army of people like me could not. If it weren't for the deluded, suffering populace that gave Buddha alms, his Enlightened Self would have starved to death. How grateful we should be to the world full of people who don't get whatever we think the truth is, yet who keep us supplied with rice and iPhones and love and support and friendship. How wonderful it is that there are people who unquestioningly accept everything they experience as real, and who thus keep this wonderful carnival going for us who know it's not all real. How wonderful we all have something to contribute in terms of skill and knowledge and experience to this world we must all share and from which none of us can escape.

    Think of how many people blazed through history convinced that their superior wisdom was going to save the unfortunate people not as enlightened as they were, and think of all the war, and genocide, and slavery, and psychological cruelty and oppression that came with it.

    I guarantee that all the while you go along in your privileged enlightened perspective, there is a lot you are missing that is happening right in front of you, and a lot that is going to pass you by because you couldn't see it or appreciate it, because you too lacked the wisdom to recognize what was right in front of you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I came back to edit my post a bit, to say who says you have their answers. But basically, what Stephanie said is the same thing, plus some extra. Well said, Stephanie!

  15. #15
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    IMO, when you judge people in this way, something is happening that has nothing to do with Dharma...
    Sometimes judgment is also the Dharma...

    When the Buddha said that there were many who could not grasp his Dharma, but that teaching was worth it because there were some who had but very little dust in their eyes - was that judgment not very much a part of the Dharma?

    Oh wait! I forgot about all the bloodshed that caused. Strawman much?

    But then, the point is not to judge others and say 'they are not awake, they cannot be awake' - the point is to realize that very much of their suffering is unnecessary and they may never know it...and the flip side of that is that we are lucky to have been exposed to and open to the Dharma.

    Chet

  16. #16
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Undo
    Does anyone else ever wander around feeling......bad for people who just will never have a moment of awakening?
    I wouldn't worry Chet. I bet there are quite a few people who are thinking similar things about you or any of us on here.

    There is a chance that some people become ex-smoker, ex-drinker or ex-non glimpser about how they view other people. I think this is why is it so important for us to use our beginners mind, with everything.

    I might be missing your point when you say

    THIS moment is THE moment....not some magical, mystical 'kensho' moment that isn't this moment. Thinking this way just gives you all sorts of crazy ideas and goals for your mind to attempt.
    This sounds like you are describing "some magical, mystical 'kensho' moment" just wearing different clothing.
    You try really hard to not understand, don't you Undo? How is 'this very moment' anything magical?

    Do you like dealing with the intentionally obtuse? Because I don't.

    Chet

  17. #17
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I came back to edit my post a bit, to say who says you have their answers. But basically, what Stephanie said is the same thing, plus some extra. Well said, Stephanie!
    Oh dear - more intentional obtuseness!

    My point isn't that I have their answers - the point is that there are answers - very important ones - to which they may never be fortunate enough to realize or to which to be exposed.

    Everyone's got sort of a sheep mind about this 'how dare one suggest they know something others do not?' - and yet....in our everyday life, it's constantly that we know things others do not and vice versa.

    Do others have lessons to teach me? Certainly. Are many people completely ignorant of the Dharma? Also, certainly. I'm not claiming that it's my Dharma - but that it is the Dharma. It's not automatically wrong to note that others are living their lives in a way that is completely delusional.

    Are we really going to pretend that Christianity (as practiced) opens the eyes as does Buddhism? Or that Islam does? Or Judaism? Or Neo-Paganism?

    If this is true, why not eliminate Buddhism? It obviously is not necessary.

    No...I'm afraid not. Buddhism is unique - and in many ways very radical - and this should not be diminished by this 'different paths up the mountain' business. As a matter of fact, there's a guy who's just written a book about this that looks interesting.

  18. #18

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Thanks Stephanie, that was a great post. I can see you writing a book some day

    I would make just one comment on "There is realization of emptiness, of the impossibility of tethering ourselves to an unchanging, stable point of view, the knowledge that no thought is true... but there is also realization of patience, of kindness and gentleness, of reverence and respect for others."

    Another view is that all thoughts are truth. It's what we do with them that matters. We can quickly spin negative thoughts into obsessions or great fears. the practice is letting them go and just being. Maybe acting on some of them. But who knows the future.

    Re: non-buddhists save me every day from my self. they make suggestions and show me what to do. buddhism is just a practice, its not that special and I don't relate to people as enlightened or not enlightened, buddhist or non buddhist.

    /Rich

  19. #19
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Thanks Stephanie, that was a great post. I can see you writing a book some day

    I would make just one comment on "There is realization of emptiness, of the impossibility of tethering ourselves to an unchanging, stable point of view, the knowledge that no thought is true... but there is also realization of patience, of kindness and gentleness, of reverence and respect for others."

    Another view is that all thoughts are truth. It's what we do with them that matters. We can quickly spin negative thoughts into obsessions or great fears. the practice is letting them go and just being. Maybe acting on some of them. But who knows the future.

    Re: non-buddhists save me every day from my self. they make suggestions and show me what to do. buddhism is just a practice, its not that special and I don't relate to people as enlightened or not enlightened, buddhist or non buddhist.

    /Rich

    More missing the point....

    Okay. Obviously I fail utterly at trying to explain myself......so I'm going to take a hiatus from Treeleaf.

    I'll come back if I get any better at getting my points across without having them completely misunderstood.

    Chet

  20. #20

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I think it pretty simple ...

    The Buddha came up with some pretty good medicine for human suffering. We see a lot of suffering in the world, in our own lives too, and we wish more folks would benefit from this medicine.

    But we must see "them" as just "us" (in the truest true sense ... like the man trying, with his own hand, to cure a wound on his own hand). We must not think of suffering beings as higher or lower, worse than us, or different from us in any way. We'd best seek to "save all sentient beings" without thought of lowering others or raising ourselves up. More than "there but for the grace of Buddha go I" we might say "there go I".

    In fact, we are, each one of us, each Buddhas and each deluded beings ... bozos on the same bus, just trying to get on with the trip.

    An eighty year old man must learn from the child of three. The patient teaches the physician, and the physician herself is sometimes a patient. As the physician treats the patient, the patient treats the physician. Stephanie said it so well. I think this is what Chet was trying to point to too.

    I am reminded of a few sections of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch ...

    "One who practices ... does not see the faults of people everywhere. ... The deluded man, however, even if he doesn't move his own body, will talk of the good and bad of others the moment he opens his mouth, and thus will behave in opposition to the [Way]. "

    "The lowest people may have the highest wisdom; the highest people may have the least wisdom. If you slight other, you create limitless,unbounded offenses."

  21. #21
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Woah! Dude, chill! I get your point quite clearly. You don't need to leave. So not everybody understood you - it happens. Happens to me and I get frustrated sometimes. I wonder if I'm saying it wrong or the other person is being deliberately obtuse or if the other person is naturally obtuse... but yeah, I got your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Thanks Stephanie, that was a great post. I can see you writing a book some day

    I would make just one comment on "There is realization of emptiness, of the impossibility of tethering ourselves to an unchanging, stable point of view, the knowledge that no thought is true... but there is also realization of patience, of kindness and gentleness, of reverence and respect for others."

    Another view is that all thoughts are truth. It's what we do with them that matters. We can quickly spin negative thoughts into obsessions or great fears. the practice is letting them go and just being. Maybe acting on some of them. But who knows the future.

    Re: non-buddhists save me every day from my self. they make suggestions and show me what to do. buddhism is just a practice, its not that special and I don't relate to people as enlightened or not enlightened, buddhist or non buddhist.

    /Rich

    More missing the point....

    Okay. Obviously I fail utterly at trying to explain myself......so I'm going to take a hiatus from Treeleaf.

    I'll come back if I get any better at getting my points across without having them completely misunderstood.

    Chet

  22. #22

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I'm catching up on some Sit-a-Longs.... Taigu dropped some wisdom that you might find applicable to this thread just a few days ago...
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=17122

    Gassho, hope to see you back soon Chet

  23. #23

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Hi Chet,

    Sorry that you feel misunderstood. My initial reaction meant that I really wanted to point out something important. Not to deliver a blow. Not my teaching style. You may invistigate the sadness and turn it into a joyful wish; bringing about the Dharma in our life will keep the drama away and has a positive effect on everybody. Boddhisatva work, which is your work, no doubt, can be energetic and positive.

    You may also understand that when spoken to in a harsh way, we do experience pain. A good reason to put it into practice and be kind to others even if we have to tell them the truth.

    Take care and come back asap

    gassho


    Taigu

  24. #24

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I think I know how chet feels and I've felt the same way in the past, but I also realize that thinking like this does not really help anything. The business of saving all sentient beings can sometimes feel like a very lonely endeavor (which is why being part of a community is so important), but I have no illusions that I can save all or any sentient beings (including my own self), by becoming an evangelist. I think a lot of other religions and practices have shown that this can have the opposite effect. Also, there is the danger of thinking you are something "better" or "more enlightened" than the other people around you, and the mind just loves to think like that. It really seperates "you" from the "world", which is exactly the illusion that keeps you from "going beyond". So, feeling bad or sad for those other people around us is actually no different than feeling sad or bad for ourselves (which I have also been guilty of).

    But I also think we may be missing what chet is trying to say. The topic post is "Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...".
    I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong, chet) that he knows this is "Odd" (not helpful, possibly harmful and definitely risky thinking). The "sadness" is a human feeling that we have all experienced, whether or not we intellectually know that it's harmful or not, sometimes it's just there. The "gratitude" being that the Dharma is here for us to use, whether we choose to use it or not. Many people have chosen not to use it and many have used it without even knowing it, or using it and calling it by a different name. But are these things really any different?

    My answer to feelings of sadness for "other" people is this:
    Either you walk the path or you don't. If you do, then you spread the Dharma naturally (by example for instance), if you don't, then you live your life in other ways. You will suffer some days and be happy other days. Whether you practice zen or not, you live your life as you best know how, which is natural and perfect. No better, no worse, no sadness, no grattitude, no comparing, no contrasting.

    Gassho

  25. #25

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Chet, Hope to see your comments soon. I really value your views as they have helped me clarify my own. I often need a hiatus or vacation from something.
    /Rich

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Hey Chet,

    I'll echo what Rich said and hope you come back when you feel ready. I've wanted to post something for the last couple days, but didn't want to sound...obtuse, I suppose. Take care.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  27. #27
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Chet, you ask in your original post if you are looking at this wrong. Some of us give you a different way to look at it and you call us "obtuse" and claim a need for a hiatus. Maybe we misunderstood, probably we misunderstood, certainly we misunderstand your journey because it is solely your own, just as our journey is ours, and all the people you feel sad about and grateful toward are on their own journey. As Taigu said, it's all buddha. You have the answer, Chet, so look for it in you. When you need us, we'll be here.

  28. #28
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Thank you for writing this. I spent this afternoon listening to a friend vent about her life and I can relate so much with what you've written.

    Gassho,

    Rafael

    Quote Originally Posted by Jronin
    I think I know how chet feels and I've felt the same way in the past, but I also realize that thinking like this does not really help anything. The business of saving all sentient beings can sometimes feel like a very lonely endeavor (which is why being part of a community is so important), but I have no illusions that I can save all or any sentient beings (including my own self), by becoming an evangelist. I think a lot of other religions and practices have shown that this can have the opposite effect. Also, there is the danger of thinking you are something "better" or "more enlightened" than the other people around you, and the mind just loves to think like that. It really seperates "you" from the "world", which is exactly the illusion that keeps you from "going beyond". So, feeling bad or sad for those other people around us is actually no different than feeling sad or bad for ourselves (which I have also been guilty of).

    But I also think we may be missing what chet is trying to say. The topic post is "Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...".
    I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong, chet) that he knows this is "Odd" (not helpful, possibly harmful and definitely risky thinking). The "sadness" is a human feeling that we have all experienced, whether or not we intellectually know that it's harmful or not, sometimes it's just there. The "gratitude" being that the Dharma is here for us to use, whether we choose to use it or not. Many people have chosen not to use it and many have used it without even knowing it, or using it and calling it by a different name. But are these things really any different?

    My answer to feelings of sadness for "other" people is this:
    Either you walk the path or you don't. If you do, then you spread the Dharma naturally (by example for instance), if you don't, then you live your life in other ways. You will suffer some days and be happy other days. Whether you practice zen or not, you live your life as you best know how, which is natural and perfect. No better, no worse, no sadness, no grattitude, no comparing, no contrasting.

    Gassho

  29. #29
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Chet, you ask in your original post if you are looking at this wrong. Some of us give you a different way to look at it and you call us "obtuse" and claim a need for a hiatus. Maybe we misunderstood, probably we misunderstood, certainly we misunderstand your journey because it is solely your own, just as our journey is ours, and all the people you feel sad about and grateful toward are on their own journey. As Taigu said, it's all buddha. You have the answer, Chet, so look for it in you. When you need us, we'll be here.
    Go.
    Fuck.
    Yourself.

    And take your passive-aggressive bullshit and shove it up your ass.


  30. #30
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Still here, wondering if you're in a BPD moment.

  31. #31

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Chet,

    First of all, I hope you don't leave, or if you need a break you come back...

    I'm a newb, and sometimes I just try to wrap my head around Zen and just keep a consistent practice. Most of the time, when I read, watch or listen to things I'm just trying to stay above water. I can't really disagree because I don't always know what I've read about. lol

    In any case, it slowly seeps into me, and I start to get the gist of things...

    The point of all this is that when I read your post, it really p#%#%$# me off. Mainly because I felt it had a condescending tone to it.

    But I realized that's because I feel that way about people too; I completely relate to it. Is it right, or correct? Probably not, but I feel that way sometimes.

    Then I realized this is the point of a Sangha. We are mirrors for each other. We keep each other straight. We teach each other. Yes, we don't always see eye to eye, and we piss each other off, but we grow from it. The challenge is to express what cannot be expressed.

    And your post has helped me grow.

    Cyril

  32. #32

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    .

  33. #33
    Stephanie
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    This whole interaction in this thread is highly frustrating.

    I deeply respect you, Chet, as a person of wisdom who has helped me slowly find my way back to the path (an ongoing work in progress), but like any of us, you have flaws, and a couple of them are that you're not the world's best listener and that you're willing to dish out to others strong words that you can't take when they are dished to you.

    What kills me is that you, like any of us here, still struggle with life and suffer. In ways that I believe could be alleviated if only you were willing to listen to others. Your posts in this thread elicited quite a reaction out of me because I found them a perfect illustration of a place where you get stuck. And how you don't fucking listen when people offer to guide you out of that place. I think you like being stuck where you're stuck, which means, of course, that's where you'll remain.

    You push away the feedback you asked for from others that challenges you. You challenge other people all the time, very strongly, it's one of the things I appreciate about you, but it ain't right that you take your toys and run home when others give you a dose of that same strong medicine you dispense so readily to them.

    If you ever want to stop feeling alienated, unable to connect with others, I suggest re-reading this thread with an open mind. Of course you're going to feel a disconnect from others if you insist on looking down at them as if from on high, with pity and dismay.

    You're not as different from other people as you think you are. This is true of any of us.

  34. #34
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Thanks Stephanie, that was a great post. I can see you writing a book some day
    Although I too feel sure that one day Stéphanie will be writing a book, in fact I hope she has already started ,I think that there are quite a few threads in this forum which could be compiled into a book, probably a few volumes. I find quite remarkable the interactions, developments and unfoldings of our different viewpoints and sensitivities. I haven't been a member long but I can already see how Iv'e benefited from the wisdom that comes out of all our doubts and fumbleings, I'm sure it would help others too. Could be worth thinking about one day.

    gassho,

    Sylvie

  35. #35
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    This thread was never about looking down on anyone. You have to try really hard to see it that way.

    The problem is that although that was so definitely not the way it was intended, it seems like it's the only way it's been received. Which means there's no longer any reason to talk about this with you, Steph.

    Good luck on your path, though.



    Chet

  36. #36

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    This thread was never about looking down on anyone. You have to try really hard to see it that way.

    The problem is that although that was so definitely not the way it was intended, it seems like it's the only way it's been received. Which means there's no longer any reason to talk about this with you, Steph.

    Good luck on your path, though.



    Chet
    Chet,

    It seems like some over-reaction on your part, some people misunderstanding what you meant on our part... that's all.

    The mind theatre at work.

    Let's Skype.

    Gassho, Jundo

  37. #37
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    You push away the feedback you asked for from others that challenges you. You challenge other people all the time, very strongly, it's one of the things I appreciate about you, but it ain't right that you take your toys and run home when others give you a dose of that same strong medicine you dispense so readily to them.

    If you ever want to stop feeling alienated, unable to connect with others, I suggest re-reading this thread with an open mind. Of course you're going to feel a disconnect from others if you insist on looking down at them as if from on high, with pity and dismay.
    This is what I'm talking about - this is a clear misunderstanding of my original intent. My point isn't that I've got something others don't have - my point is that we all have access to this, but so few of us ever realize it.

    I'm not placing myself above anyone - we're all here in the midst of enlightenment - every second is enlightenment. And no one realizes it...it's like having a treasure and not knowing it. My point wasn't that some have that treasure and others don't....my point is that we all have that treasure! That's what makes it difficult to see others not realizing that they have immediate access to this!

    As for the hiatus - I just started smoking again and I feel much, much better. Maybe I can try to communicate...but I certainly was in the midst of a huge, multi-day BPD relapse. But that's just the point!!! If someone so marginally functional such as myself has access to this treasure, how much more so for people who do not have the stunning personal flaws that I possess?

    My point was never to say, "Ha! I'm so enlightened! Why is everyone else so stupid??" I can barely keep myself functional in the everyday world - every little stress is magnified by the fact that I have no stable sense of who I am with which to combat this stress. A few really bad days blows away all sense of accomplishment that I may have about pretty much everything! The only thing that doesn't disappear entirely during these times is the basic ground of sanity that is the enlightenment of this very moment.

    Zen is not self-help. It is not here fundamentally to make us more functional - it's not to create a favorable life situation. Zen is more radical than that. I am a terribly shitty conduit of any sort of advice for basic functionality....but my dysfunction is not caused by the awareness of the perfection of this right here. The perfection of this right here exists regardless of the dysfunction of my life situation.

    It's this way for all of us. My life situation is pretty unique and alienating - but it's the same fundamental perfection at the same time! This is why it's unassailable. It is unformed, indestructible - and it's that way specifically because I don't own anything that is not available to every single person in this very moment.

    It makes me sad to see that what I was trying to express was botched so entirely. Almost everyone I know outside of my immediate family functions much better than do I....and yet, still so many people fail to realize this perfection - this is what's so sad.

    Chet

  38. #38
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Hi Chet
    I was reading this and thought immediately of this thread as I finished. It is a teaching from Zen master Honghzi called All Beings Are Your Ancestors.

    Fully appreciate the emptiness of all dharmas.Then all minds are free and all dusts evaporate in the original brilliance shining everywhere. Transforming according to circumstances, meet all beings as your ancestors. Subtly illuminate all conditions, magnanimous beyond all duality. Clear and desireless, the wind in the pines and the moon in the water are content in their elements. Without minds interacting, wind and pines or moon and water do not impede one another. Essentially you exist inside emptiness and have the capacity to respond outwardly without being annoyed, like spring blossoming, like a mirror reflecting all forms. Amid all the noise sponaneously emerge transcendent.

    Gassho Nigel

  39. #39

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Hi everyone!
    I won't be long on that because I'm not good at it, but in brief...
    I perfectly understand Chet's post! I feel the same way very often including with family members... on the other side, it don't make me better than them ... I just feel it so sad that they don't see what they are doing to themselves or to others. But I also I'm totally conscious that people must think the same thing about me sometimes.
    And it is true that sometimes I feel like I should share my "buddhist stuff" with them to help. But that's self-centered and egoist... so let just be aware of what people "give" and lets share just being together without any sense of religion, philosophy, right or wrong.... Just this perfectly imperfect moment...

    I particularly like what Taigu beautifully said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    You may investigate the sadness and turn it into a joyful wish; bringing about the Dharma in our life will keep the drama away and has a positive effect on everybody. Bodhisattva work, which is your work, no doubt, can be energetic and positive.
    Thanks to you all,
    gassho,
    Jinyu

  40. #40

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis
    Hi everyone!
    them ... I just feel it so sad that they don't see what they are doing to themselves or to others.
    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Me too, and you are so right, its the doing that matters.
    States of mind just don't do it for me anymore....that's about as obtuse as I can get

    It makes me feel sick to see birds covered in oil, that's why I chant for them.
    /Rich

  41. #41

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Does anyone else ever wander around feeling......bad for people who just will never have a moment of awakening? People who are trapped into thinking that their thoughts are theirs..and that their constructions are real?

    I mean...I wander around in that mode far more than half the time too....but what's been seen cannot be unseen.

    The natural urge is to share this Dharma - but to what avail? Even those who have sat diligently for years can be miles from it - even as they're soaking in it.

    I must be looking at this wrong...

    Chet
    Hey Chet,

    I hope that I am not misunderstanding you, but I feel that I can relate to your post. I am new to the path in a sense that I've been practicing seriously for only a couple years, but I have been interested in Buddhism for some time. At times, I feel like I've found a hidden treasure that unlocks all the secrets about the human condition; and this treasure allows for us to be more in touch with all things around us. When I see those around me that have not experienced this truth, I feel a sense of sadness that they may never find what I have. However, I also feel that each person is doing what he/she can in order to walk down their own path. If asked, I explain my beliefs, but I try to never present it as better than any other view. I DO understand what you mean by feeling a sadness for people that cannot experience this truth, but we cannot point out the path to anyone who is unwilling or unable to walk it. I too am lost in delusion with everyone else, so I turn that sadness into compassion for all those around me; human, animal, and plant alike. I see people attached to all sorts of things (including myself), so this thought makes me intensify my practice that much more. At all times we are awake, but we may not be AWAKE to that fact. :shock: :?: :shock:

    Thank you for sharing, Chet. You have been an inspiration to my practice and a valued member to the Treeleaf Sangha!

    Gassho,

    Adam

  42. #42
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Chet, your compassion for the relief of others' suffering is admirable, although telling one of those suffering others (namely me) to G.F.Y. shows a need to put more of that compassion into practice. I approve of YOU, Chet, but not your behavior sometimes. It's an important distinction. You are getting better in terms of fewer outbursts like that, but still have miles to travel, as do I.

    Anyway, I plead guilty to being unclear and/or obtuse in the post that so riled you, so let me try to be more clear. Here are a few excerpts of what you have written on this thread (emphasis mine).
    Does anyone else ever wander around feeling......bad for people who just will never have a moment of awakening? People who are trapped into thinking that their thoughts are theirs..and that their constructions are real?

    My point is not that others should be enlightened - it's that I feel for them because they are suffering and they haven't even entered the stream towards figuring out the real heart of the matter.
    There is a BIG difference between feeling sorry FOR someone and feeling sorry WITH someone. You know this, Chet. Feeling sorry for someone is not nearly as helpful, or compassionate, as feeling sorry with someone. You know this, Chet. I am SURE you do not want anyone to feel sorry for you in your struggles, your delusions, your dysfunctions, so why should you feel sorry for anyone else in theirs? You know this, Chet. Deep down, or maybe right near the surface, I am sure you know this. I think you knew it in your original post, or else why would you have asked about it in the first place?

    You also said this:
    This thread was never about looking down on anyone.
    IMO, when you feel sorry FOR someone you are looking down on them. Feeling sorry for implies you are okay and they are not okay, which implies a sort of one-up status. Maybe feeling bad "with" people was your original intent all along and you just worded it as "for." It's an important distinction.

  43. #43
    disastermouse
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Don't worry, Al - it really wasn't you - I was in a bit of a meltdown mode...and over-reaction was the order of the day for about three of them. I should have split this place because I KNEW I was reactive.

    I think your 'sorry for/with' argument is bullshit - but that has more to do with where I'm coming from and I think your intentions are entirely in the right place. I'm awfully glad you're here because you really push my buttons. Why I think this is a good thing is that we both come from pretty radically different sides of the individuality/community spectrum, I think. Because your sensibilities are so different than mine, as are your values - I tend to see insincerity instead of 'care for the group' - and a part of this is definitely a self-defense mechanism on my part. I've never successfully been part of a close group for very long, and so 'group-tenders' really threaten me. In a way, they are the quickest to point out just why I might not fit in. So...I see mealy-mouthed insincerity where it isn't sometimes...which isn't to say that a reticence toward self-expression isn't a weakness of your perspective - just that I tend to see it in everything that group-tenders do - even in the things they do that are very, very necessary. I'm surprised at just how little I still know about you.

    Likewise, I think that my filterless self-expression and lack of suppression of my worst qualities, although they can be damaging - probably rub you the wrong way even when they aren't. I can't speak for you, obviously...but I suspect that sometimes I'm taken for arrogant when I'm not - even though my self-defenses and lack of self-restraint do often cause me to put myself not just apart from the group, but sometimes above it - especially in my disregard for what is valuable in your perspective.

    So...I'm going to try harder to see what is valuable about your perspective before I react. I doubt that I'll be very successful for awhile - but please know that I'm trying.

    And I offer you an opportunity to 'come out of your shell' a little more and express yourself...even your selfish, 'bad', inconsiderate self a little more. Having better balance between these traits can be beneficial for both individuals and group-tenders, IMHO - and it'll cause us to less frequently project our shadows onto one another.

    Chet

  44. #44

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Hi Guys,

    I just had a nice chat with Chet. He said I could discuss this subject here, because he does all the time ... including on this thread. He has a little condition, all his life (borderline personality disorder) in which his thoughts get very stormy and he reacts to people a bit aggressively, says things, judges situations in ways that may alienate others. He himself sees this later, when the attack passes, although he may not at the time.

    I emphasize this especially for new members of the Sangha who may not know Chet ... and also for older members who may forget or not fully understand. Please keep this in mind before reacting to his words. Furthermore, as I told Chet ... his claws are not even that sharp! Compared to 90% of the folks on the internet ... he is a pussycat. (Chet, you are not even 20% as "bad" as you think you are when you are having your attack. Believe me. Perhaps, try to avoid the moments when you feel compelled to say "go fuck yourself" to someone ... although you say the condition makes you feel compelled to do so beyond control). Furthermore, his opinions are wise and highly valued, even if wrapped in a little vinegar sometimes.

    Chet, like all of us, is Buddha ... and an opportunity to practice. Thank you. My life, like everyone's life, is filled with sometimes "difficult" people ... in the work place, in our own families ... and we need to learn to be with that. In fact, I know folks in my own life who are 500%, 5000% more difficult than Chet. (Ask my wife and son what I'm like when Jundo gets up on the wrong side of the futon!) The more we encounter "disturbances" ... the more that we can recall that it is within our power not to be "disturbed" by them, as on that other thread ...

    viewtopic.php?p=36563#p36563

    If you are having a problem with something "disturbing" ... look inward and not only outward.

    The only rule on this Forum (besides sitting Shikantaza Zazen each day) is to be gentle with each other in words and tone ... even as we pull no punches in what we say or in speaking Truth (one can do both at once).

    Okay ... so we got off the original topic a bit. Getting back to that ...

    I too feel great sadness to see the suffering in this world, to see how people mess up their own lives, so often without any need. I feel sadness, wishing that more people could practice and benefit from these Buddhist Teachings.

    But our way is to feel sadness with peace (even joy), acceptance without acceptance at the weeds of life ... We clean what needs to be cleaned in life while free of (simultaneously) any idea of "clean vs. dirty", the dirty being perfectly just what it is. Moreover, we clean without any thought that we will ever get things perfectly clean. Yet we clean clean clean ... As Suzuki Roshi said ...

    [W]e do not have any idea of dirty or pure, or any idea of calamity or disaster. But even so, [Dogen] says, we have, you know, practice of cleaning ..., you know. That is a kind of practice. We clean our body, you know, because our body is filthy. Even though, our face, or mouth, or body is clean ... when you get up, you should wash your face, and rinse clean your mouth, even though it is clean. We do it as a practice, you know, but not because it is dirty. That is our practice.
    We cannot save all the Sentient Beings, most cannot be saved now ... even though we vow to try (and even though, from another perspective, there was never a Sentient Being from the first who was in need of saving). Yet, we try try try.

    But how?

    This is where the lovely Mahayana teaching of Upaya "Skillful Means" comes in ... Daido Loori described that this way ...

    Zen teachers use skillful means—upaya. ... Upaya are employed by all of the schools of Buddhism. Skillful means are necessary because each of us already has what we seek. Each of us is perfect and complete lacking nothing. The first words the Buddha said on his own realization were: "All sentient beings are enlightened." That being the case, what can you give anybody? What could you possibly receive? Buddha did not want to teach at first because he did not know where to begin. When he was beseeched to do so he wondered how he could teach something people already had. After awhile, he began to find the skillful means to communicate, and this was the first turning of the Dharma Wheel. The first teaching he expounded was the Four Noble Truths: the wisdom of suffering, the wisdom of the cause of suffering, the wisdom of the cessation of suffering, and the Eightfold Path. That was the beginning of upaya.

    In the 2,500 years that followed, the different schools of Buddhism have developed various kinds of upaya. In a sense, everything we do is upaya. ... All of it is the skillful means to get us to see what is real.
    I often say that we do not "proselytize". The best way to demonstrate this practice is just to practice one's practice. Be a good son, daughter, father, mother, friend. If other folks see the change in you that comes from this practice, they may become interested themselves. My mother, later in life, was very open to the road I choose. During the first few years, she had been concerned that "Zen" meant I would be hanging around airports in a bedsheet selling George Harrison CDs. When she had cancer, I even had her Zazening , and in the end, she asked me to perform a "Buddhist Jewish Whatever' funeral as clergy ... which I did.

    In the meantime, I had indirectly and subtly got some of the Buddhist message across to her ... and in her later years, she became more "Zen" even without her realizing it ... more embracing of how things were in her life, more "letting go" of troubling things ...

    As Peter and several others said here

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter
    I've had moments where I've had to stop myself from getting all "preachy," if I can use that term. ... I try to sort of subtly lead by example where I can. ...

    We can spread a lot of good, calm and peace just with own 'tude sometimes. That may not further anyone else's path toward enlightenment, but it certainly can't do any harm.
    Everything can be Upaya.

    Gassho, J

  45. #45

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    PS -

    This whole thread has rather been a lesson in the original point ...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Does anyone else ever wander around feeling......bad for people who just will never have a moment of awakening? People who are trapped into thinking that their thoughts are theirs..and that their constructions are real?

  46. #46
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Don't worry, Al - it really wasn't you
    :lol: That's funny, Chet, because I wasn't worried it was me at all. It's not me or you. If only it were that simple. We do rub each other the wrong way, and our values are very different, and I doubt we would ever hang out together in any place other than here online. Based on your GFY comments, however, I think I rub you harder than you rub me. I think you act like a real asshole sometimes, but I know you're not an asshole (like Jundo said above, you're not as bad as you might think you are, and I have taken worse from far worse than you), so I have learned that these "episodes" come and go, an example of impermanence in your/my/our life. As for how you rub me, I get concerned about you... and then I wonder if you are worth the concern because you're acting like an asshole. But I always decide you are, and that's why I wade back into this and other threads where we clash. So this makes me a group-tender? Interesting.

    Speaking of interesting, I'll take your recommendation to act more selfish, bad, and inconsiderate as a way of balancing my life under advisement (anti-Kannon?). And on that note, allow me to say GFY Chet, and I mean that in the most concerned group-tending way :twisted: :roll: :lol:
    AL

    Oh wait, as for the bullshit sorry for/with argument, when Kannon hears the cries of the world, is she one with them or does she feel sorry for them? How does she express bodhisattva compassion? For what it's worth, I don't feel sorry for you in the least. Hey, was that selfish of me to say? :shock: Good for me, you think, right? But if I admit being concerned about you without feeling sorry for you, then where does that leave me? Could I be feeling compassion for you :? Nah, GFY with that! :P

    OK, off to bed, no more button pushing tonight.

  47. #47
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    I guess I got the feeling that you were someone concerned about the group because of your 'R-word' thread and because I have it in my mind (perhaps wrongly) that you step in when you think someone's causing someone else suffering.

    You seem to be an advocate for people. I really didn't mean to offend you. Also, I would have no problem being around you outside the forum in the real world. The way you post sometimes rubs me the wrong way, but the same qualities probably make you an alright guy to hang out with.

    Like I said, maybe I've got you all wrong. That certainly is a distinct possibility.

    Am I an asshole? Yeah, probably - at least some of the time...and I can be pedantic, patronizing, and haughty. I'm also close-minded, stubborn, and careless.

    Regardless, I don't actually wish anyone any ill will - even at my most asshole-ish.

    My biggest problem is that I don't understand you or where you're coming from most of the time.

    Chet

  48. #48
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Odd Dharma sadness...and gratitude...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I guess I got the feeling that you were someone concerned about the group because of your 'R-word' thread and because I have it in my mind (perhaps wrongly) that you step in when you think someone's causing someone else suffering.

    You seem to be an advocate for people. I really didn't mean to offend you. Also, I would have no problem being around you outside the forum in the real world. The way you post sometimes rubs me the wrong way, but the same qualities probably make you an alright guy to hang out with.

    Like I said, maybe I've got you all wrong. That certainly is a distinct possibility.

    Am I an asshole? Yeah, probably - at least some of the time...and I can be pedantic, patronizing, and haughty. I'm also close-minded, stubborn, and careless.

    Regardless, I don't actually wish anyone any ill will - even at my most asshole-ish.

    My biggest problem is that I don't understand you or where you're coming from most of the time.

    Chet
    I am concerned about the group, but I don't think I rescue people from their suffering here, at least not knowingly.
    I am an advocate for people, and I am not offended by anything you say, ever, even when I disapprove of it.
    It's nice to know you would be willing to hang out with me. So now I have to be open minded enough to also say I would be willing to hang out with you. HMM, have your people call my people :lol:
    I know you don't mean any ill will, even at your most asshole-ish, which is one of the reasons I am never offended by you.
    You're trying, Chet, and I really appreciate that! You've grown a lot in your time here, and it's good to see.
    And I think your recommendation about being more "bad" is fair and interesting enough to be its own thread so that others can ponder it also.
    Take care, Chet

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