Author Topic: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?  (Read 9134 times)

icy

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Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« on: January 12, 2013, 10:13:43 AM »
Do not be discouraged. It would be very foolish to give up now. On those occasions when you feel most hopeless, you must make a powerful effort. We are so accustomed to faulty states of mind that it is difficult to change with just a little practice. Just a drop of something sweet cannot change a taste that is powerfully bitter. We must persist in the face of failure.

In difficult personal circumstances the best recourse is to try to remain as honest and sincere as possible. Otherwise, by responding harshly or selfishly, you simply make matters worse. This is especially apparent in painful family situations. You should realize that difficult present circumstances are entirely due to your own past undisciplined actions, so when you experience a difficult period, do your best to avoid behavior that will add to your burden later on.

It is important to diminish undisciplined states of mind, but it is even more important to meet adversity with a positive attitude. Keep this in mind: By greeting trouble with optimism and hope, you are undermining worse troubles down the line. Beyond that, imagine that you are easing the burden of everyone suffering problems of that kind. This practice--imagining that by accepting your pain you are using up the negative karma of everyone destined to feel such pain--is very helpful.

--from How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

dondrup

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 11:55:25 AM »
A spiritual practitioner’s journey to liberation and enlightenment is full of challenges, ups and downs.  It is not an easy path to tread on.  We would run and complete a marathon no matter how hard and difficult it may be.  Otherwise it is pointless to even start the run.  Our spiritual journey is more than just a marathon; it is about our future happiness and transformation from ignorance to enlightenment.  Along the way, it is inevitable that we will find difficulties and adversities and become defeated by our biggest enemies, our delusions.

It is very easy to succumb to our failures and give up when we have only just begun the long journey.  We need to have strong faith and reliance on our spiritual guide and our Dharma protector.  We must surrender to our spiritual guide and trust that he will lead us to our intended destination skilfully.  We need to rely on the Three Jewels. 

We all know the above.  But why do we still not able to overcome our difficulties?  HH Dalai Lama had mentioned honesty and sincerity!  How true!  If we are not honest and sincere with ourselves in our practice, we cannot accomplish any attainment.  We are sure to fail and give up practising!

It is entirely up to us on how we want to arrive at our goal.  We need to apply whatever methods we have learned from Dharma and put them into practice.  Our spiritual guide had taught us non-stop and enough but how much have we put his instructions into practice?  We definitely can overcome the obstacles and problems that are hindering our progress.  We just got to do it and move on!

RedLantern

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 03:28:33 PM »
We just need to remember first to investigate internally"to the very heart of things".What is the source of the sorrow,lamentation,pain,grief and despair?How do they arised?
To practice relaxing into our life,in all it's joys and sorrows,and to relinquish the need to know what's going to happen next.There this great power in patience because it cuts through arrogance and ingratitude.It is the path that let us move from resistance to acceptance.
We take our work and daily life as part of our Dharma practice,to practice mindfulness and alertness,loving kindness,compassion,generosity,gratitude,contentment,patience and etc.
By accepting the agreeable and disagreeable aspects of life,we no longer limited by our longing for life to be
different than it is.We have all the time in the world,in the spaciousness of every moment.

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 05:17:51 PM »
I've once walked up a a stony and steep hill with a person whom I highly respect for his wisdom and understanding about life. He said something that stuck with me until today. While trying to catch his breath he asked, "Gee.. it is really hard going up isn't it?". I replied, "Yes". Then he said, "Well, it is the same with Dharma, going UP is HARD. But it is definitely WORTH IT. It will be so EASY to go DOWN. But what is the point? Everyone can go DOWN."

His words touched me deeply and stayed with me as a reminder each time a difficult situation arises .
DORJE PAKMO

buddhalovely

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 04:10:09 AM »
The practice of Dharma has to relate strongly with our mind, it has to become one with our life.

Many new practitioners think they have to bring the Dharma into their lives, but I think it can be difficult, especially for those of us who are beginners. In our lives we have many difficulties and many problems, we also have certain empty spaces in our life, so that is where the Dharma needs to be applied. We need to use the Dharma to work on those problems and difficulties. Your life is an important thing. You apply the Dharma in the way you live. There is a way to bring Dharma into your life.

I have seen many examples, that people have good harmony with their family, then they entered the Dharma, but did not understand a lot of things very clearly. So they brought a lot of changes to their lives, for instance, vajras and bells and things like that. Things that made the other members of the family feel uneasy. Sometimes you can create disharmony within the family because you do strange things in trying to bring the Dharma into your life. I don ‘t think that is the right way to do it.

In our life we find we have problems to solve, empty spaces to fill up. Dharma helps us to bring these onto the path. Your relationships with family and friends do not need to change much. You become a better person when you live with the intention of being helpful and useful to other people. Then you live the life of the Dharma. Your practice of Dharma, your life, becomes stronger and stronger. Slowly, your life becomes Dharma. This way you can bring more balance into your life.

You do not need to disturb the harmony. You don’t have to make your life imbalanced. You can use the Dharma in a beneficial way.


bambi

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 12:33:22 PM »
I have known and seen many people who give up and just walk away even after so many years of practices. Yes, it is due to our habituations and of ego. Wanting to look good and not back down because they don't want other people to 'gossip' about them or either that they give up for more worldly pursue. And the worst part is they can't be bothered of what will happen to them in the future. I pity those people. I almost ran away but I have kind Dharma brothers and sisters who have helped me a lot and of course through perseverance. We must always try to help them if they want to leave and hope that they return if they leave.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 09:10:29 AM »
One of the main thing of Dharma practice is the 8 verses of mind transformation.  Sometimes, I seem to get it and sometimes old expectations and experiences creep in to destroy what I seem to have understood.

However, finding that balance and equanimity of the mind seems like a charade that never ends.  I have learnt enough (which is very little) to know the goodness of Dharma and following the path is truly tough.

The only thing I do is to be steadfast and forgive whatever and whoever, self included, in order to go forward. Whenever I hit a bad patch, I realised how little I have progressed. 

To consider those that we have benefited as your supreme teacher is the most difficult as this is to let go of expectation and to be fine if no appreciation is given or even be stabbed in the back by ones whom you thought cared about you.

It is not easy, but I will persevere even if I have to leave the scene for a while.  Yes I know that is a form of avoidance. But that may be the solution from now until I train myself more.

tingtong

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2015, 12:17:24 AM »
I learned something recently.. I been always thought difficulties and challenges is a word what we use whenever we couldn't achieve certain needs or desire that we want.. but it shouldn't be so as difficulties and challenges should be a words that hits ur minds and activates all impossible to possible nerves where our needs will turn into a reality. We can't just stop somewhere that we think is hard.. but we should be trying hards to go beyond the difficulties and achieve the next level limits in life...

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2015, 09:30:04 AM »
I totally agree.  That is why it is important for us to understand our resistance and push ourselves to the next level.  Do not give up even when we are facing obstacles. 

In my case, I have a Guru and Protector, Dorje Shugden who will always be there to help me on my spiritual path.

cookie

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2015, 11:44:40 AM »
My Guru has once said that it is not good at all to have no struggles and difficulties whilst practicing Dharma. It means we are not transforming our minds. If we are truly practicing and transforming we will definitely face struggles, because, when we put our minds through changes it will more likely then not resist. Hence we will face discomforts or even anger at times when challenged to make changes. When faced with struggles we must apply antidotes. We have to be realistic and recognise our weaknesses and apply methods to help rid off the delusions and anger. Always listen and follow the Guru's advice. Have faith in your Protector.  Keep clean samaya. Do purification practices. Keep steadfast and we will ride through the hard times. That won't be the end. Hard times will reappear every now and then....... until we become ENLIGHTENED.
Hence, finding difficulties in our Dharma practice should be looked at as a good thing as it gives us the actual opportunity to practice the Dharma and get rid of our negative karma

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2015, 01:42:35 PM »
I agree completely.  Another good analogy is that we have never exercised and when we start we will surely have pretty bad pains.  Continue and not be deterred and the muscles will build for a stronger you and your mind.

Practising Dharma is also getting out of our old and well practised habituations and out of our comfort zone.  Therefore how can we not have difficulties.

No pain no gain.  The gain of liberation is worth it.

eyesoftara

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2015, 09:29:22 AM »
All our difficulties arises from the one thing. SELFISHNESS! All Buddha Dharma are taught to destroy this one thing. Hence, all difficulties in your Dharma Practice derive also from selfishness. As we have been habituated with selfishness from countless past lives, it is of course the hardest thing to get rid off. Even Buddhas have not be able to alleviate all the sufferings of beings. This is evident by the fact that countless beings are still suffering in samsara.

But because we are born this one time out of trillion in this optimum human rebirth and have the 18 opportune conditions and have met a Guru, we should not waste this one rarest chance.

Difficulties are only to be expected but we need to just continue no matter what.

pinecone

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2015, 01:32:40 PM »
“Do not be glad when happy, rejoice when sad: Happiness uses up accumulated merit, Unhappiness purifies sin and obscurations.”(Extracted from “Liberation In the Palm of Your Hand”)

I remembered from one of my Guru’s teaching  which relates to this topic that if we do not encounter difficulties or obstacles when doing dharma work, most likely we are not practising the dharma well enough ! No doubt, worldly achievements  come with great hardship but little lasting benefit and short lived happiness. The greater the difficulty, the greater the purification and merit.  All the past great lamas and gurus have had to give up a lot and go through immense difficulties to achieve the goal. How can it be any different now in this age of degeneration when merit is deteriorating?

angelica

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2015, 03:42:18 PM »
Our spiritual path can never be a smooth one, even for those long time practitioners. Our obstacles in life are due to our karma from past life.

I would say obstacle in life is a reminder to us, remind us that we still have up and down in life and suffering, we are not out of samsara yet, so we need to continue with our practice and not giving it up. Obstacles in life is also a test for us, to see how much we have transform and how we deal with the situation before and after our practice. We can contemplate on this and improve ourself.

Giving up is not a solutions, is run away from solving the problem. But the problem is still there, it will not go away. Work hard, get out of comfort zone and give ourself a challenge, with the help from our Guru, support and advice from Dharma brother and sister and with the help from Dharma Protector, we will definitely be able to get over our obstacle in life and move towards a higher level of practice.

Geraldine Sarie

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Re: Finding Difficulty in Your Dharma Practice?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2017, 01:50:48 PM »
Being into a Dharma practitioner, I think firstly one person’s mind, need to be very clear and understand the purpose of practicing it. The mind should be focus right into good motivation. I came across, there are people find it difficult due to their ego and self cherishing mind. They just couldn’t accept their fault when problems been provoked and kept blaming and giving excuses of others attitude that caused. There were even some people have wrong motivation of practicing Dharma. They kept hoping for unrealistic things which I think it may caused very negative thoughts to them.
 It’s pretty sad to see them have such wrong thinking and view of practicing Dharma. For what I think, to heal their mind is to cultivate more into meditation and mantras recitation. ;)