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View Diary: I sucked at Buddhism last night (257 comments)

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  •  many practices involve closing the eyes (15+ / 0-)

    many do not.  I am not sure why one would dogmatically insist on one or other other.  (Closing eyes or open does not particularly relate to attention, only to which particular sensory inputs arise in the mind to attend to.  Quiet and loud, similarly.  What matters is the relation to what arises and awareness of it)

    I would have to suggest that returning to basic principles can shed some light here.

    Remember among the four noble truths is that there is dukkha (translated as suffering or unsatisfactoriness most frequently) that arises from attachment.  Now, I suspect most would agree it doesn't matter what it is you are attached to, be it coffee creamer or climate change, it is the attachment that gives rise to the suffering.  It is a bit as yoda says "size matters not."  As an illustration, the creamer is probably a good teaching method precisely because it is so very trivial and people can easily recognize it as trivial, in which case why would it make sense to create suffering for yourself over it?

    So, it may be that you have missed the meaning of the lesson, in which case it would seem not to have been a particularly effective lesson for you.

    There is a tension between unattachment and engagement, and it sounds like the speaker scheduler is among those who do not find a connection between the compassion that arises and action.

    Perhaps you might get the Ayya Santussika to come give a more basic question of how her practice gives rise to engagement. I'm guessing she has more than a passing connection to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, who is a well known teacher of engaged buddhism.  (here's an interview of him for a flavor  In it, he is asked about the mindset you describe:

    John Malkin: People often feel that they need to choose between being engaged in social change or working on personal and spiritual growth. What would you say to those people?

    Thich Nhat Hanh: I think that view is rather dualistic. The practice should address suffering: the suffering within yourself and the suffering around you. They are linked to each other. When you go to the mountain and practice alone, you don't have the chance to recognize the anger, jealousy and despair that's in you. That's why it's good that you encounter people—so you know these emotions. So that you can recognize them and try to look into their nature. If you don't know the roots of these afflictions, you cannot see the path leading to their cessation. That's why suffering is very important for our practice.

    best of luck, but it is a complex and subtle thing that you are trying to get a hold of.

    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

    by Mindful Nature on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:48:05 PM PDT

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    •  I like this (3+ / 0-)
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      Mindful Nature, oceanview, SoCalSal
      Perhaps you might get the Ayya Santussika to come give a more basic question of how her practice gives rise to engagement.
      The Thich Nhat Hanh quote is also very helpful. Thank you.

      The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. -- Jaki Gefjon (A.A.Attanasio)

      by Max Wyvern on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:52:19 PM PDT

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