Author Topic: Quitting  (Read 28597 times)

DSFriend

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Quitting
« on: August 25, 2011, 11:28:56 AM »
Have you ever thought of quitting your spiritual path or seen your dharma brothers and sisters quitting and abandoning the path?

Here are a few of the common reasons I have come across  :
- it's too tough and i'm not good enough for it
- there's another path more suitable for me
- i love the worldly affairs too much
- it's not for me now...maybe later in my life
- i am stuck and there's nothing can be done about it

Recently I had a chat with a dharma brother who wanted to abandon the path. And I thought, this is not foreign to us, the practitioners on the path who are not attained yet.  What have helped you to counter thoughts and feelings of quitting?

Perhaps your sharing and thoughts can help someone else visiting this forum who may be choosing between abandoning the path or abandoning the three poisons.


thaimonk

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 07:19:27 PM »
There are reasons we create to abandon the path. If the reasons are because someone does not want to deal with their inner emotions and wish to give up, then the problem is going to persist no matter what they do or where they go and they know that.  Whatever they persue secular or religious, they will eventually give up. The reasons they come up with  to give up the Dharma is not the Dharma is too hard, but they do not want to improve, transform, evolve. They think it's easier to give up? Give up on what? The methods, paths and teachings to transform our minds to higher consciousness, altruism, realizations, happpiness and eventually enlightenment. Why would anyone want to give up on that? Why would anyone want to surrender such a precious path? Surrending such a path is pure selfishness. Because you can't help yourself let alone all sentient beings or others when you quit the methods to cultivate those qualities. 

If the problem is with the Dharma, then there is no problem. The Dharma cannot create any problems.

I am not being negative or judgemental, but who would not want treatment for aids, cancer, stroke, paralysis? When you give up on your treatment, you make everyone around you and yourself suffer further. Similarily, when we give up on the Dharma, we create the causes to further solidify the very habits that make us wanna to quit our spiritual goals. Quitting is saying Buddha is wrong. There is no higher mind. No one has attained it. No one gets enlightened. Enlightenment exists for everyone else but myself so I give up. When feelings of giving up arise, then we should think carefully, what are we really giving up on? The path to more suffering or the path to less suffering.
I have come across people who give up, but unfortunately they do not become better than before they gave up. Giving up is such a loud cry for attention for some. The attention we seek should not be consolation, but having abandoned the causes for self pity and all the manifestations of bad habituations from further arising.

If you want to quit, then quit selfishness, miserliness, self centredness, laziness, self pity and bad habits. Quitting is fine. We should quit the right things. And that is not Dharma for sure.

Sorry to sound negative as I don't mean to be, but entertaining ideas of quitting Dharma practice reflects the mind who has not applied full methods into their daily lives. Therefore not getting results. You can't quit something you have not really put full effort into. I mean, you can't quit what you really have not started. Anyone starting and putting real efforts into the Dharma path will get results. Dharma is on the inside. And full methods of Dharma should be applied on the inside. If you apply the Dharma methods fully on the inside, thoughts of only quitting samsara will arise and never your practice as taught by the perfect Buddha.  :)

We have to realize something and realize this now, DHARMA IS NOT HARD. We have to stop saying it's hard. We have to stop saying it creates difficulties in our lives. We create difficulties in our lives. Dharma is the best thing in our lives. Why so self destructive and extreme to remove the best thing from our lives. Happiness is from our mind. Unhappiness is from our mind. Our mind creates it all. And Dharma can show the mind how to create real lasting happiness. It's seemingly hard and it's convenient to blame Dharma. But Dharma is not the cause of our pain, but we are. Our habituations are pulling us down deeper and deeper into something we can't escape in the future. DHARMA IS NOT DIFFICULT because difficulty implies creating suffering and Dharma does not, did not and will not create pain, but not doing dharma creates pain. Because we quit the best method to eradicate our pain. We have to stop threatening to quit, or entertain ideas to quit, because if we wanted to quit we turn our backs on all that is good, all our friends in the Dharma who believed in us, we turn our backs on the Three Jewels, our protector and our teachers. We turn against all of them just so we don't endure difficulties anymore?? Does that sound right? Are they the ones giving us difficulties. You know, we were suffering way before we even heard about the Dharma.

Reality check time. Quit Dharma, we go back to suffering. Continue Dharma we still suffer but not forever.  :)

No offense to anyone in what I have expressed above. I am not being holier than thou or putting anyone down. Just that quitting the Dharma means you quit on everything good for you. Why would you wanna do that? Love yourself. You deserve it. Love yourself and reward yourself by doing the Dharma. The blind turtle's head's in the yoke on the vast ocean, don't take your head out!

I really feel I can quit everything but the Dharma. it's not because I am so good. It's that I have taken a real long hard realistic look at my situation, the world around me and I know Dharma is my only salvation. I would rather die than give up Dharma. Death is just a transition, giving up Dharma is the end to all positive transitions. Never quit, Never entertain the idea and plant nasty seeds in your mind. Never give up. Never look for the easy way out. Absorb all the problems of others and just go straight ahead. BUDDHA CANNOT BE WRONG. We can be wrong. So just trust the Buddha which means really take refuge and surrender to change, work, effort, evolving and growing. It's not painful if we look at it for what it really is.    ;)




« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 08:38:30 PM by Mana »

WisdomBeing

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 12:41:20 AM »
I think people think about quitting or quit because of ignorance. As thaimonk says - what are you quitting for? Will things be different in the non-Dharmic world? I can't imagine what life would be like if i didn't live without thinking of karma.

To quit Dharma would be like jumping out of the pan into the fire. So what is the point. There may be a sense of temporary relief because we can go back to our habituations of doing what we like, when we like and with whom we like and those are usually not positive activities (which is why they are not encouraged when we follow the Dharma path).

I like what you said about Dharma isn't hard and it's all about how we look at it. I read a book by Lama Zopa on transforming problems into happiness awhile back, and if i recall correctly, he mentioned something like that. If we label the problem as a problem, it immediately becomes one. This is also in tune with other secular self-development theories - like power of the subconscious mind - if we tell our mind we are happy, we become happy. Probably these self-development theories came from Buddhism to start with!

I love Thaimonk's post so much i have to post it on my facebook!!
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

WisdomBeing

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 01:02:28 AM »
Just to add - i saw this quote "All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others." Shantideva

I think we have a mistaken view of selfishness. If we are truly selfish and wish to benefit ourselves, we would pursue Dharma solidly and without question. Unfortunately we have a skewed idea of what is selfish because the things we want to do doesn't benefit but lead us to pain and more suffering. Ironic really.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Tenzin K

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 09:22:20 AM »
Agree with thaimonk.
If we are a quitter….anywhere we go it's the same because we just always look for easy way out when we face problem. This problem so call is created by ourselves.

There is no places that have no problem because that is what we labeled. Since we have label it in such use the dharma that we learn to solve it.

Our main objective of doing dharma is to liberate ourselves from the worldly suffering. That is so obvious that quitting the dharma is just going back to suffer and more.

Of course during the journey we will face difficulty, but personally to me where in this world that you will not face difficulty? even for a child to learn to walk they will fall and feel pain or even bruise or bleed. Should he/she quit?…….

If we have benefited from the dharma and we know that is the right path that we will enjoy lasting happiness why give up?

Probably we have subconsciously set our focus towards ourself too much than others.

Don't waste what you have put in. If you have start your journey with Dharma move on. If you have not start now.

LosangKhyentse

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 04:17:30 PM »
Whoever wishes to quit should read and focus on Shantideva's exposition on attaining bodhicitta (Bodhisattvachavatara). This is the greatest exposition within the Mahayana which gives powerful reasoning and logic as to why we need to fortify ourselves against ourselves.

After doing a thorough study of this, one should engage in the 8 Verses of Thought Growth daily combined with serious Om Mani Peme Hung recitation doing tonglen. This practice combined with working hard for others continuously should take care of the sneaky self-centred mind trying to take control and trying to win again.

Quittng is the answer to nothing. Quitting is the antidote to happiness. Quitting is self respect's biggest enemy. Quitting is the key word for those who find samsara a pleasure grove. Quitting only makes us the biggest winner in our own self pity.

Never quit, just find antidotes. And if you always think of quitting, then all the more you shouldn't quit.

TK

Big Uncle

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2011, 06:20:40 PM »
Thank you Thaimonk, TK, WisdomBeing and Tenzin K for good sharings,

I have been there and done that, sorry to say. Fortunate for me, I didn't go all the way with quitting the Dharma. I thought about it thousands of times but dare not act as there are just too many obvious examples of people who left and degenerated. After that, if I am to quit, too many people would be hurt. Well, if the person was to remain in the Dharma, he/she must be able to come to terms with the fact that distractions will become bigger and any spiritual practice would become meaningless and not to mention accepting the hurt that one will inflict on all Dharma brothers and sisters. Worse still, it might encourage others to leave the Dharma as well. No matter how disillusioned we are, we cannot wish that upon anyone and quitting is a surefire way to wish that upon our brothers and sisters. If I can quit, so can they.

I don't have antidotes but the contemplative practices posted by tk is very beneficial for such negative mindsets. Besides contemplation, sometimes it will help to find solace in something good we had achieved in Dharma or someone we have benefited. This sometimes works for me. If all else fails, just cry it out, punch the air or talk it out with someone we can trust.

Lam Chung

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 09:54:36 AM »
What a huge question. I think the full response is the whole of Buddhadharma. People who quit do so because it is their karma: out of delusion, being interfered with by harmful spirits, coming under the influence of bad friends, anger, attachment, laziness, wrong view...
Watching it happen can increase our own determination, enhancing our bodhichitta or seeds of bodhichitta. We can actively practice not abandoning any living being and make prayers and dedications for them to strengthen their faith. It happens all the time that people come and go. I think that if we continue to practice and improve this will inspire many people to come back again - but not always as the causes to abandon Dharma are strong in some people. In many ways it is the saddest thing to see happen, because without the wish to practice Dharma, the door to liberation remains shut and the door to the lower realms are wide open. My own wisdom is too weak to benefit most people at the moment, so all I can do is my best to improve my own qualities and realisations, and pray to the holy beings.

pgdharma

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2011, 11:26:10 AM »
I had never thought of quitting as i believe in "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going." However, I think that most people thought of quitting due to ignorance and laziness and not wanting to put in the effort to push oneself.

I thank Thaimonk for sharing such a contemplative post. Yes, DHARMA IS NOT HARD. It is our disillusioned mind that makes us think that Dharma is hard. When we put effort into dharma we can see results. And it is these results that makes us want to put in more and more effort. However, through this journey, we also come across set backs and disappointments but I believed that our practice should be worth more than those set backs and disappointments.


Reena Searl

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2011, 07:58:33 PM »
Thank you Thaimonk for sharing the well explained post! I love it very much
Dharma is not hard, its our minds that make dharma is not easy. I belief that the more I practice dharma, will achieve permanent happiness and will also benefit others, just like TK shared below :

Quittng is the answer to nothing. Quitting is the antidote to happiness. Quitting is self respect's biggest enemy. Quitting is the key word for those who find samsara a pleasure grove. Quitting only makes us the biggest winner in our own self pity.

Never quit, just find antidotes. And if you always think of quitting, then all the more you shouldn't quit.


Big Uncle

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 05:35:34 AM »
Thank you guys. Some of the advice sting as I have thought of quitting before. I am just glad I never carried it through. Quitting is not an answer that a desperate practitioner is seeking but a quick fix solution to evade the real answer. Unfortunately,  that person knows that intellectually but circumstances or lack of merits still compels him/her in that manner. People who quits the Dharma I have noticed is highly intelligent and very quick to pick up faults in others but hardly able to pick his/her own fault and even if he/she admits mistakes, it is to placate the other person.

Unfortunately for all of us, we can escape from everyone but we cannot escape our karma. Our karma will eventually catch up and by that time, ti would be too late. Its very sad. That is one of the fears that stops me in my tracks.

diamond girl

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 05:57:57 PM »
Quitting is probably one of the greatest human mental poisons. People quit all the time in one way or another. May it be careers, relationships, even the Dharma. People who have the quitting habit have one common trait - they are constantly blaming everything and everyone else. They are masters of excuses and justifications. What they fail to see is the glaring fact that they are the common element in all the so-called "bad" situations.

Reflect. Quitters of relationships constantly complain about how the other person never fulfills their needs, the other person does not understand them, the other person is selfish...and the list goes on. People who quit and change jobs like changing clothes, constantly complain about the bosses and how much the bosses are demanding and unreasonable, they complain about colleagues who are not supportive, who play politics, etc... and the list continues... Quitters never see that colleagues change, bosses change and partners change, they are the common element.

When we quit we are actually quitting on ourselves. We do not give ourselves a chance to push ourselves to the next level of improvement. Think. Quitters are NEVER happy. Never content. Always complaining about the whole world. Very sad.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 10:36:47 AM »
When quitting does come to our mind, it could be due to various reasons.  All the reasons that you can think of may or may not be valid.  However, that is not really important.  The core of it is we think of quitting because we do not want to deal with the challenges in that particular situation that we are in anymore.  Maybe quitting will give us temporary relieve, but eventually it will come back to us again and we are back to square one.  The problem we are facing is within our mind and we carry our mind wherever we go.  Therefore, It make sense to face up to the problem and find a solution and solve it. Otherwise, even if we quit, we will find ourselves in the same situation again before long.   

vajrastorm

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 04:22:58 AM »
Quitting or abandoning Dharma or the Path is a sure sign of surrendering to one's self-cherishing mind, one's ego.Thank you TK for your precise diagnosis of why a person quits and for prescribing the antidote , which is developing Bodhicitta.

Last weekend, I was called a hundred miles to the bedside of a friend from long ago, who was dying.My heart broke at sight of her lying on the bed, already bereft of speech and on drip. She cried when she saw me and seemed terribly upset. But what pained me were all the signs of her not letting go  and her clinging to this life. Her eyes were dark with anger and fear. She'd been a highly successful and rich person and was living it up like a god in the gods' realm. I was told when cancer struck her (and it was already at the 4th stage when it was discovered), she refused to give up and sought all forms of treatment. It was only when treatment didn't help and she realized she was dying, that she turned from a confident cheerful person to an angry person, adamant against praying and any form of spirituality to cope with her end.  How terrible is one's ego and self-grasping when(out of ignorance) one clings to it as though it were one's dearest friend, when in actuality it is one's deadliest enemy.   

dorjedakini

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Re: Quitting
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 10:38:30 PM »
Can you imagine if all the Shugden practitioner quit because of the ban and all the pressure from the TCA and the Tibetan community? We always let our ego wins. We are so spoiled, many of us when a little bit of difficulty arises, we complaint to the whole world that life is bad and we want to quit to show that we are right, we cannot be putted down.....we keep feeding our ego.

In fact winner like to inconvenient themselves, look for trouble to solve, from there they move up and be better just like those Lama and Guru who keeping Dorje Shugden as the main practice and keep building and expanding the monastery, have huge statues made in Tibet, Shugden stupa etc.....

Just like what tk told us, think of other more than ourselves.