Author Topic: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?  (Read 10467 times)

KhedrubGyatso

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What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« on: June 11, 2012, 06:39:30 AM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?
 

Big Uncle

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 03:54:45 PM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?
I think A is the one that best reflects my attitude to practice. I haven't really thought much about this before but I guess, I am not the one who pushes the envelope much. 

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
I think the difference between the 3 reflect different levels of compassion and different levels of practice. Due to varying degree of commitment to practice, it is all reflected within these 3 very distinct levels of motivation. The highest level of compassion is C and the lowest level would be A.
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?
It is obvious that Prince Siddharta's resolve to seek full enlightenment is embodied in the C mindset. Enlightenment as the Buddha had experienced was a rare one that was not experienced before his time. The Buddha's complete perfection of his compassion, omniscience and so forth is revolutionary for his time.   

Positive Change

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 07:39:19 PM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?
For me personally I would put myself mostly in A and sometimes in B depending on the situation. Yes it is a mindset that is selective and I have come to realise that hence am striving towards B and eventually C which should be the progress in our spiritual path.

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
The difference is the varying degree in commitment and selectiveness. Because if we really think about it and contemplate, there really is nothing we cannot do. What keeps us in A and B is our selective minds stemming from laziness.
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?
I believe Prince Siddharta went through all three attitudes in his quest for enlightenment but the one that eventually led him to it was definitely C. Why this mindset is important in achieving this goal is because it eradicates or more importantly it is void of selectiveness which is detrimental in our spiritual development let alone out goal of enlightenment. How can we be selective if we are to benefit all sentient beings?

hope rainbow

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 07:32:16 AM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?

' Because this is possible , I will do it. ' would be my pick.
Thus, a practice based on study and logic and verified facts.
This sentence is like relying on the recognition of the 3rd Noble Truth before engaging in the 4th Noble Truth.

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
 

The sentence B sounds like a bet, it "looks" impossible, but I'll do it anyway perhaps because there is nothing better to do... Does not sound very solid to me.
I could imagine one goes from B to A upon meeting with a being that has achieved the qualities of a Buddha. Then it could not possible look "impossible" anymore.

The sentence C sounds almost dogmatic: "nothing is impossible" does not mean much to my intellect... It sounds rather vague. A rather vague but strong statement though.

-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?

I think that would be B, and indeed there was no Buddhism before Him, so there was nobody to teach Him the 3rd Noble Truth, so He went on and took a chance with faith for what He had was just not good enough and would never have been good enough anyway. In a way it is like "there is nothing to loose" and "this might very well help many others".

Big Uncle

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 03:40:44 PM »
At the end of the day, I think it is about the realization of impermanence that will spur the urgency and the call to action. All of us have varying degrees of intellectual understanding of our mortality but the best kind of realization comes when we have sufficiently contemplated that death can come at any time.

Even for those who are young, the realization could come with our aging parents and loved ones. It is always too late to do more when they have died. It is best done when they are still around and not when they have passed away because it will be instrumental with their state of mind when they are dying. Even a death could be a beautiful one if we leave them with good memories of responsibility and spirituality.

Dedication of out Dharma work to our parents and loved ones are the most powerful ways to share the merits with them. And if we explain to them how beneficial it is, we will give them peace of mind as well. That's the best.

Midakpa

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 04:54:23 PM »
I think I'm at the level of "b". If we try, we might succeed. So it's better to try and fail than not to try and definitely fail.

The difference between the three attitudes is in the degree of confidence and fearlessness. The first attitude is that of a practitioner who is cautious and fearful of failure and hence will not take risks. The second attitude is that of a practitioner who is more courageous and determined to succeed in spite of the odds. The third attitude is that of one who is totally fearless. It's a type of courage born out of faith in the Three Jewels.

It's the third attitude that best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment. He never gave up although he met with so many difficulties. Though disappointed many times, he was not discouraged and finally achieved enlightenment and spent the next 45 years serving humanity both by example and precept without worldly concerns. His last message to his disciples was to continue to strive on diligently (sounds like "b" to me):

"Behold, O disciples, I exhort you. Subject to decay are all component things. Strive on with diligence."

biggyboy

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 05:44:10 PM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

In my opinion, when I look at both (a) and (b), both runs on the mode of wanting to do to succeed yet having the option to fail at the back of the mind.  Not a strong committal statement.

While for (c) Noting is impossible. Just do it and NOW ...A committed doer wanting to succeed operating on a very strong passion mode and mindset.  Definitely, when Prince Siddharta embarked on the quest on finding the truth and ultimate enlightenment, has operated on this committed mode and not given up for the sake of enlightenment and every sentient being.

In conclusion, the above 3 statements are differentiated by the person's motivation operating on which  level of compassion, practice and degree of commitment to succeed.  Of course, the highest level would be (c).

Tenzin K

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 12:42:01 PM »
All three are the motivation thought in mind of action.

I use to be A but as time move on and working with a group of people that highly motivated with strong drive to make things happen it changes to be B and C
Being A is a norm for most of the people because we always look for the easy way. We are being selective do choose those we are able to do easily.

For B, we still have not changed fully on our view in seeing things that we are capable of doing it but it’s better than A where we want to take up the challenge. We are willing to put in effort to explore.
Lastly C, is great motivation knowing that we are capable of doing anything and will not let anything stop us to achieve it by no more waiting attitude. This mind to strive to achieve with great determination & consistency.

Of course C that Prince Siddharta attitude best describes. He has no doubt to move from his palace but just to find the truth of life. No turning back for him but just to continue his journey to meet the enlightenment.

Aurore

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 12:53:15 PM »
All 3 points can be a form of spiritual practice. It is all dependent on our attitude towards it. The difference is how much we are willing to let go of our laziness, attachments and selectiveness to do it.

a.  'Because this is possible , I will do it.'
I relate to this better simply because it's comfortable to do something within the limitations which I set for myself. How this can be seen as spiritual practice is if I do the "possible" really really well without mistakes and with integrity.

b.  'Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
This is the next step I wish to attain. To push myself out of my comfort zone and to challenge my laziness of having to take the time to learn, to face failure and to pull myself up after failure. Doing the impossible may seem impossible at first, but through practice, everything will become easier and easier.

c.  'Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.'
This point reflects Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment most. His belief and attitude that nothing is impossible is what made enlightenment possible. If Siddharta did not set himself to succeed by thinking that nothing is impossible, he wouldn't have gained enlightenment. If Siddharta stayed in his comfort zone, and not just do it by leaving his palace and giving up his status, there will be no Shakyamuni and Buddhism.

Spirituality is doing what may seem impossible but made possible because of the strong wish to benefit all sentient beings.
 

Q

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 01:27:49 PM »
Based on my reflection of how I practice... I'd say that 'a' applies most for me. Sometimes, when things feel difficult, then I'd convince myself that all will be well, so at those times 'c' also applies to how I practice.

When I was new to Buddhism, i used to think in the context of 'b'... that it seems so impossible. But I've learned otherwise, and to say it looks impossible is like directly saying the Buddha's existence is impossible too. So I reprogrammed my thinking and now I believe it is possible to gain enlightenment with the proper guidance of my kind Guru.

I don't think 'b' is a positive thought that would help our practice very much... choices 'a' and 'c' are positive because it does not set the mind to think our goal of attaining liberation is impossible, or improbable. To me, having the attitude that 'nothing is impossible' is very positive as it takes away all the fears and reservations that we may have inside of us... and when such barrier is removed, we not only practice Dharma full heartedly but also free ourselves of all the unnecessary junk emotions that hinder us from practising fully.

As for Siddharta... I feel 'c' applies most to his spiritual journey until attaining enlightenment.

DS Star

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 01:53:42 PM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?

I would say (b) ist he best in reflecting my attitude to practice for now. Honestly, at times I do tend to feel exhausted and disappointed with my inability to transform fast enough. Stubbornness slowed down my progress but I am acknowledging it and is working towards changing my viewpoint to be more positive.

The differences in my opinion only lies in the level of conviction: (a) is the most basic requirement for improvement, we need to recognize that there is the potential within us; the goal is clear, thus it is not just a blind faith. Whereas (b) is one step further on the path; when we're on the path then only we encountered the real challenges; no more superficial idealistic quest. The attitude here is that while find it hard to overcome the challenges, we also acknowledged that we have the ability to achieve our goal = we CAN do it. As for (c), this is the highest of all 3 conviction and the is the factor of 'URGENCY' in it. The level of conviction is at the highest because we now recognised that time will wait for no one and that THIS is the ONLY WAY for us.

I would say (c) to reflect the attitude of Shakyamuni Buddha in his practice. He felt the urgency, thus, he went out immediately on the night his son Rahula was born. He didn't look back or regret because he had the conviction that he will find the answer.


dondrup

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 02:33:40 PM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?

Our mind may perceive something as impossible though in reality it is possible for us to accomplish it.  I believe our past habituations shaped the way we react to the above three scenarios. Hence, for me I would strive to develop my mind to accomplish something to the best of my abilities.


-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?

Attitude C is for someone who realizes the meaning of impermanence. Nothing stays impossible forever.  Hence he will just go for it immediately without hesitation. Attitude B is for someone who lacks the confidence even though he understood impermanence and will do his best to accomplish it. Attitude A is for someone who has the least confidence and will only do it upon full conviction of its possibility.
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?
C.



KhedrubGyatso

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 02:36:22 AM »
Thank you everyone for working your brains out ! Yes, i think it is about the different levels of motivation.
A is ordinary effort .
We normally can do what we like or relate to or which we can work the details out.

B is special effort .  This characterises sports champions and pioneers , adventurers etc who could take risks in difficult tasks and take on hardship in the spirit of discovery and reaching excellence.

C is extraordinary/supramundane effort. This is the domain of saints and super beings who can remove the im from impossible through faith in power of one's mind to benefit others - the bodhicitta motivation.


ratanasutra

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 11:22:54 AM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?

The attitude that describe Prince Siddhata's to gain enlightenment is C : nothing is impossible. Just do it and now which shown since day one when he left from the palace till the day he gain enlightenment, he never give up and learn everything from the beginning without any guidance. The people who have this C attitude will success in both spiritual path and in business term.

The best attitude to help for spiritual path is also C : as we will do whatever it take no matter what we need to go through and how difficult it is. If we have C attitude then our spiritual practice will progress and we can see result of it.

In general people will have A or B attitude therefore in the company there will be a training department to train and motivate staff to do more and change the attitude towards the positive side to make work become better and company grown.

Attitudes can be changed, and develop base on the understand of the mind so we should always looking forwards to to develop it. 

bambi

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Re: What is the true spirit of Buddhist practice?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 12:08:48 PM »
a.  ' Because this is possible , I will do it. '
b.  ' Even though it looks impossible, i will still strive to do it.'
c.  ' Nothing is impossible. Just do it and NOW.

-Which of the above honestly best reflect your attitude to practice?

-They are all positive attitudes which are helpful to one's spiritual path. What is the difference between them ?
 
-Which of the three atttitudes best describes Prince Siddharta's quest for enlightenment ?


Hmmm... I can say when I was new in Buddhism, it would be A and B.

Obviously I wanted to achieve 'happiness' and be better at what I am doing. I don't want to be a sour prune all my life  ;D knowing that such teachings exist and it has helped people throughout the world. Believing that mind transformation is definitely possible but its up to us on whether we want to or not.

And then, as time pass, its C. Contemplating on impermanence and all the bad things happening around me day in and day out. I do not want to waste any more time doing the opposite of Buddha's teachings which I know I can definitely bring with me at the moment of death. Yes yes, I know. Action speaks louder than words. Nothing is impossible!  ;D

The difference with the attitudes is the effort put in to make it happen the best way we can. We can't be laid back in Dharma practice and if you are, then there is no point in practicing and doing the opposite.

I believe that Prince Siddharta's quest involved all three attitudes or else he wouldn't have given up everything and meditate under a tree. After eating 1 grain of rice a day, He definitely realized that it is not the way to gain realization and there are other ways which are safer and it works.