OBC Connect

A site for those with an interest in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, past or present, and related subjects.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 a preparatory life?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1408
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: a preparatory life?   Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:49 pm

I have a recurring thought that seems to want expression as a post, so here goes. btw I don't mind if anyone thinks it's rubbish, it will likely read that way unless one allows for the possibility that we retain some aspect of soul or individual identity between lives. Although it's not dependent on that being the case, either.

Anyway, I have this growing awareness of things about myself I'd like to change / let go of, coupled with a sense of time passing more quickly . I often think "you don't know how much time's left, better get moving so you don't take this stuff with you". I guess this is basically the idea of "cleaning up karma" or "working on ourselves" or however the buzz phrases would put it. But for me the focus seems to be on another, future existence, rather than current conditions for this life in this time and place. I'm not usually struck by premonitions or fancies, and in this case I have no specific glimmers of information about a future life. There is just a growing sense that I'd better be getting ready for something. It's like signing up to run a half-marathon and knowing you should do conditioning runs for quite awhile in advance of the event, else it will likely be a bust. I feel the same about a coming life, I just don't have an idea what "the event" or "events" may be, except that I'll need to be on top of my game for it. That part makes me nervous.

I know we're always "going on" to what's next, and that everything we do is preparation for what follows. That part I understand, it just doesn't account for all of what I seem to be bumping into here.

Maybe this is just a symptom of boredom with a somewhat cushy life, and a wish for adventure. A drama to star in? could be.


Last edited by Lise on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:17 pm

Lise wrote:
I know we're always "going on" to what's next, and that everything we do is preparation for what follows after. That part I understand, it just doesn't account for all of what I seem to be bumping into here.

Do you have a sense of how to prepare?
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1408
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:46 pm

Yes, it feels related to discipline and converting certain things my mind/personality/whatever likes to do, things that aren't good or beneficial.

Sometimes when I'm raging internally about someone or something, and this happens too often, I'm just completely giving in to a negative torrent, tirade, rant, to the point where I go on auto-pilot and stop paying attention to what's around me. When it gets to that point I can feel something else in the background saying "you need to stop this, it's gonna cost you, there's no room for it" and then that kind of snaps me out of the agitated state. It's odd because this feels like a warning, not just a suggestion of "now, let's be nicer because you know you should". It has to do with maintaining focus rather than lingering in this whirlpool of self-indulgent ire; it's like I'm going to fail to react, because I'm not mentally THERE and on top of my game when a critical moment arrives, and something really important will suffer for it.

I can think of other things too, similar, petty traits I don't worry too much about because, in this life, so far, I mostly get away with them. But I have a sense that someday those traits are going to sink the ship. If not here, then somewhere -
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:36 am

Hey Lise

I'm not even going to bring up meditation.

Luv

H
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 668
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:55 am

Lise wrote:
I have a recurring thought that seems to want expression as a post, so here goes. btw I don't mind if anyone thinks it's rubbish...

Anyway, I have this growing awareness of things about myself I'd like to change / let go of, coupled with a sense of time passing more quickly . I often think "you don't know how much time's left, better get moving...

...There is just a growing sense that I'd better be getting ready for something. ...I just don't have an idea what "the event" or "events" may be, except that I'll need to be on top of my game for it.

Lise, I would not presume to speculate or offer advice to you, in response to your question.

And yet, because your thoughts resonate so strongly, I can respond with what they trigger for me.

I have come to believe that we face the prospect of dramatic changes on our planet over the coming years and decades. And I would therefore suggest the possibility that your intimation of a challenging future is neither hypothetical nor abstract.

As we continue to deplete cheap fossil fuels and many other resources critical to our current economy, while preciptitating climate change, and amassing exponentially increasing debt, we not only make the continued contraction of our global economic, financial, monetary, industrial agriculture and municiple utility life-support systems inevitable, but their ultimate collapse, ever more likely.

I think that we face the prospect of a change so dramatic that it is nearly incomprehensible. And we are in collective denial.

I am not a 'doomer' about this (as are many who consider these issues) because much of my life's work has been focused on a design response to this very possibility.

I also see this as a karmic issue in the way that you've described.

In essence, the task I see, is to get our way of dwelling, on the planet, right.

So, I think that your overarching intuitive perception is right on the mark!
Back to top Go down
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:58 pm

It would be interesting to hear a bit more about what your design response to the very real possibility of a global economic, ecological collapse might look like Kozan. At times I think about the Luddites in England about two hundred years ago, the textile workers who protested against mechanization of looms, which they thought would cause them to lose their jobs in time to come. Luddism is now a term often used for that which opposes technology in all of its forms. When I go to the dentist I am very glad modern technology exists, yet this very technology didn't come about without causing some "disturbance" somewhere on this earth. The big problem seems to be that man just never knows when to stop, is ignorant or oblivious to the consequenses of overuse to the point of recklessness and will eventually have to suffer the results. Looking at this from a Buddhist standpoint it could very likely be a collective karmic retribution.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1408
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:26 pm

Howard wrote:
Hey Lise

I'm not even going to bring up meditation.

Luv

H

Thanks for that, H sunny

Steve, my thinking runs along similar lines re: the challenges for coming generations, esp. if the support structures start falling away, the things we take for granted (orderly government and law enforcement, functioning markets for food/water/other essentials, a natural environment that is not yet too toxic to sustain life). Much as I enjoy rounds of samsara (within accessible memory) the thought of being born into very challenging conditions makes me think "what would I hope to have within myself, or be capable of, that would help me meet these challenges?" And by this I mean, what would I hope that any being could have -- I don't mean just my awesomely unique self, reborn with my individual identity intact. And what traits or tendencies would I rather not ship to the next destination, for someone else to receive? That's the question I'm noticing more lately.

I am aware that speculation doesn't get us far with questions like these; to me they're just fun to think about. I may not be doing anything but improving my own ability to stay focused in the midst of annoyance. Or maybe something of that effort will register in the cosmic ether, the Akashic records, whatever, and be useful elsewhere later on -

Just saw Brigitte's post - good question -
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

Posts : 602
Join date : 2010-11-14
Age : 73
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:05 pm

Brigitte I think it is willful ignorance on our part; we refuse to notice the obvious. Ninety percent of species are extinct, unchecked animal populations grow until the exhaust their food supplies and then collapse, all the many great civilisations of the past have perished - but of course it's different this time! What we leave for future generations is all our mess, but also all our achievements which will hopefully not be wiped out. But the mess is great. Many rail against nuclear power because it will take a thousand years for the waste products to decay, but the natural CO2 cycle is over two thousand years so every gram of excess carbon we burn will take at least that long to dissipate. Which means that side of our mess we visit on our children, and our children's children, and our children's children's children and so on for probably two thousand years or more.
Dear me it's rather late and I fear I have my Cassandra hat firmly on.. ah well goodnight, hopefully a decent night's sleep will help!
Back to top Go down
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:52 pm

Hopefully Cassandras cap did not cause too many bad dreams, but I know what you mean. I look upon the fresh faces of my grandchildren and can't help but be concerned about what is in their future. I shudder at the Walmarts of the world, Chinas industrialization and ever encroaching development into the rainforest where much of the worlds medicine comes from. Then, as an antidote, I can't help but think of rock erosion. I am thinking of the deva who wears away a block of granite by passing over it with her garment every once in an eon or so just to keep the relativity of time in mind and how it is looked at within Buddhist perspective. I may be wrong, but think it is the Avatamsaka that deals with all this ? Nevertheless, keeping in mind that even the very minutest actions have profound far reaching effects we need to proceed ever so carefully from within whatever understanding we currently have.
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:19 am

If there is intelligence out there, I wonder if it thinks humans are a...

monkey / lemming hybrids,


a taxi service for viruses

or

the landscaping crew for an alien species.
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

Posts : 602
Join date : 2010-11-14
Age : 73
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:43 am

Howard, we can only hope they have zafus!
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1408
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:31 pm

If they do have zafus, what will they think of those of us who don't? Will we be made into dinner straightaway, or later? I should look for mine.

Do you suppose the regular practice of shikantaza results in a superior flavour of the meditator? That could be a risk.

Kozan wrote:


In essence, the task I see, is to get our way of dwelling, on the planet, right.


Yes, our way of living with ourselves and with each other, and the way we use resources - all of it together.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
polly

avatar

Posts : 143
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 63
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:00 am

I love this topic, in part because I misunderstood Lise's initial intent. (It's always a trip when you see others taking off in a direction you hadn't anticipated.) I was thinking purely of how I need to watch my own bad habits/tendencies and try to work with them. I have (some) control over what I do, but I despair of trying to influence anything else, other than by example. Thinking globally makes me crazy in terms of having any impact. And I'm pretty much just a landscaping crew already.

I brought this topic up at an AA meeting once, and all the members were deeply offended and refused to discuss it. Except for one doctor who announced that he was fine the way he was and didn't need to change anything. (Except, maybe, for those weekly binges...)

I can't think of a better way to change than to meditate, but second in line is to try an opposite approach to whatever koan seems to have me stumped.
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Hey polly

I can't think of a better way to change than to meditate, but second in line is to try an opposite approach to whatever koan seems to have me stumped.

Perhaps this flies in the face of the "the koan unfolds naturally" teaching, but I think all folks who have been meditating for sometime run the risk of reworking their Koan into forms that are palatable enough to ignore.

Typically for most of us, this would result in a koan make over that conforms to our view of "training". Simple delusion becomes transformed into compounded delusion with little reason to address it. Not only can we remain subject and controlled by it but we actively protect it as our developed spiritual identity.

Perhaps meditation will eventually sort it all out but speaking of Polly's "second in line approaches.....

I've been recently been quite surprised at what I've been uncovering through the simple examination of any of my habits. I have usually been conveniently thinking of them as the places where I could flip on the auto pilot switch but just try picking out the most dominant one and drop it for a week.

Usually after a week, if I no longer have that tweaking junky taste in my mouth from that habit withdrawal, I choose my next most dominant habit to try dropping, otherwise I stick with the original for another week. Deciding to only do it for a week at a time makes it an easier practise to try and learn from.

It has been quite educating to discover what hides behind our habitual behaviours and as Lise says "how comfortably off our game we actually may be".
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
polly

avatar

Posts : 143
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 63
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:33 pm

Hi Howard,
I'm impressed. Dropping a habit for a week is no small accomplishment. I don't find some (most?) koans or habits to be very comfortable things though. At least the bad mental habits I have are so persistent in their lifelong bid for attention that it becomes almost silly. In those cases if I face the enemy within myself and choose the reverse action from the habitual one I have more hope of unloading the burden and seeing the delusion for what it is.
Which is pretty much what you said in your last sentence, huh?
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: a preparatory life?   

Back to top Go down
 
a preparatory life?
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» not past life memories, inherited memories
» THE HEAVENLY LIFE
» Simulated Life
» prayers 4 next level of life
» Someone prophesying great things into my life

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
OBC Connect :: OBC Connect :: In Theory and Practice-
Jump to: