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Old 07-19-2006, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
Where is my mind?
 
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The path has become more of a dirt track.

Peace to all,

When I used to post here some time ago, I was so certain in my beliefs. I was convinced that I had now reached my ultimate spiritual path with NKT Buddhism and I would countinue on that path till my dying day at least.

But now, the path is less clear.

I still believe in the fundamentals of Mahayana buddhism, but the details elude me. If anyone asks, I tell them that I am a buddhist, but in my heart I think "Is that actually true?"

Now I have no clear spiritual guide and no clear direction. Part of me thinks that this is a good opportunity to grow, another part of me is worried that I am making no progress and a small part of me thinks that I should go back to the NKT and just ignore all the things that made alarm bells ring in my head.

So now, I am finding it extremely difficult to post replies to any messages. I type responses and then delete them because I worry that wiser people than I will tell me that I am wrong (even though I know how absurd this is).

Although I believe as strongly as ever, I have lost all confidence in my beliefs. If that makes any sense.

Just felt a need to share that.

Peace
AT5
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

"Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe."
Henry David Thoreau

I wish I had something more profound to offer you AT5, but I guess sometimes the path is dark and you just need to find your way. I don't know about Buddhism, but in Christian thought the theologian Paul Tillich offers that the God Above the God of theism is the God you find after you've gone into the abyss and faced meaninglessness. Not sure if you'll find that uplifting, but to me it says that having periods of doubt are part of our spiritual growth, when we are getting ready to go on to a higher level of understanding. Perhaps you are ready to leave some of your less mature ideas about religion behind.

Whatever this phase is, I hope that you get through it and find the strength to keep searching. And as for posting your ideas here, I also hope you find the courage to do that as well, because I always enjoy your contributions. I, for one, promise to go easy on you!

cheers,
luna
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Great big virtual hugs my brother!

Most of us have skidded round the corner of your dirt track when we were headed down the straightaway with such faith we just knew no turn could make us lose control.

Absolutely awesome that you've decided to say you have some confusion. I seem to remember some discussions regarding the bells a while ago...

I agree this is an opportunity...an opportunity to evaluate where you are, what you feel, how your spirituality relates to your life...

Someday I will tell you all of the tale of turmoil my physical life is in...but I am waiting for it all to play out. Many if they were in the same straights would determine that the world was out to get them, that karma, or some evil god, or whatever had them by the tail. I know a few things in my current situation...I had a role in it, a huge role, I cannot blame others for what I created. I also know there is a lesson in it...and that it will all work out in the end. Day by day while issue after issue arise, blessing after blessing befall me...the yin and yan is amazing...and the knowledge that this to shall pass is rewarding.

Of those things that I currently consider bonuses/blessings some relate to things that if they come into fruition will be huge....and if they don't will be wonderous experiences...knowing there is no failure...just more work, more contemplation, more meditation...life is good.

Glad to have you back, post away...
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

A T F,

Good to see you here again.

And if I said, it's all been part ot a certain time, and it is in a process of shift, maybe, just maybe it reconciles, the very fact of the openness I read from you, and from Wil and others. Remember, you are still with your truth, and it is finding it's way to the surface. Trust.

love - c -
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Hold your head up, especially during your spiritual fasting.
Quote:
Matthew 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
Quote:
Ecclesiastes 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
You'll be OK.
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Fasting of The Heart
Quote:
Yen Hui, the favorite disciple of Confucius, came to take leave of his Master.

"Tell me," said Yen Hui, "what is fasting of the heart?"

Confucius replied. "The goal of fasting is inner unity. This means hearing, but not with the ear; hearing, but not with the understanding; hearing with the spirit, with your whole being. The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing. The hearing of the understanding is another. But the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence it demands the emptiness of all the faculties. And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens. There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you that can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind. Fasting of the heart empties the faculties, frees you from limitation and from preoccupation. Fasting of the heart begets unity and freedom."


"I see," said Yen Hui. "What was standing in my way was my own self-awareness. If I can begin this fasting of the heart, self-awareness will vanish. Then I will be free from limitation and preoccupation! Is that what you mean?"


"Yes," said Confucius, "that's it! If you can do this, you will be able to go among men in their world without upsetting them. You will not enter into conflict with their ideal image of themselves. If they will listen, sing them a song. If not, keep silent. Don't try to break down their door. Don't try out new medicines on them. Just be there among them, because there is nothing else for you to be but one of them. Then you may have success!
It is easy to stand still and leave no trace, but it is hard to walk without touching the ground. If you follow human methods, you can get away with deception. In the way of Tao, no deception is possible.
You know that one can fly with wings: you have not yet learned about flying without wings. You are familiar with the wisdom of those who know, but you have not yet learned the wisdom of those who know not.
Look at this window: it is nothing but a hole in the wall, but because of it the whole room is full of light. So when the faculties are empty, the heart is full of light. Being full of light it becomes an influence by which others are secretly transformed."

Excerpt from "The Way of Chuang Tzu"
Interpreted by Thomas Merton
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

AT5, hi


i would ask; what is the nature of reality that pertains to my position amongst things! Is there something right at the centre of all things, that is undefineable and philosophically saponaceous [like slippery soap]? Where all natures seam meaningless compared to the vacuous enormity before you, infinitely close and far.


Your faith is deeply linked to your perception and inner sense; think of the senses as the fingers on your hand separate parts emerging from one entity. In this the senses are five manifestations of the one. The deeper your connection to the innermost sense the closer to 'it' [nirvana?[?]] - to the undefinable. Perception also emanates from the same centre of the soul as the senses, e.g. The interaction of the visual sense and inner perception as linked with inner sense, is the third eye in essence if i may.
Faith is in my mind also an entity of the centre, perhaps it is the very link between us and god/divinity....




in short what i am saying is that in my view you have reached down so deep that faith is a part of you yet everything is like an uncatchable carp evading meaning! It is the very form of meaninglessness that is itself your own proof! All you need is belief in what your faith literally is [in it's nature].


Hope that help or at least detracts
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

AT5:

That one's personal life may at times be confusing is no surprise since the world itself is Babel, confusing, and we are but minute reflections of all that confusion.

Smile and laugh at it as much as you can, have faith in where you choose to go (even if that is only for a day at a time) and be assured that you will arrive there.

There were days in my life that I was not sure I would survive the night to awake the next day to the light, but I always did, and still do. Never be afraid to express your heartfelt thoughts. We're not here to judge them. We're here to learn from them.

flow....
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Your words scatter light ... a saying sprang to mind:

"Let go and let be."

In recalling the words, I could not remember where I had read them. To my delight I found it a saying of The Eightfold Path.

And I feel, in your heart, you know which way to go.

So let go, and let be!

Courage, brother, you have earned your burden for those whose shoulders are not yet broad.

Thomas
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
..Courage, brother, you have earned your burden for those whose shoulders are not yet broad...
Reminds me of a saying...Now @5 I know you are Buddhist therefore G-d is a questionable entity...but there is a saying I've always liked which Thomas so kindly reminded me of...and a recent response that I heard that I really like...

G-d gives us no more than we can handle...

.... I only wish (s)he wouldn't trust me so much!

Which makes me think of the one ...

Some people are upset at the way G-d is always called in the masculine,
He, the Father, etc... So they like to replace it with the femininine or a mixture Mother/Father G-d, (s)he. Which causes consternation amongst
others..and even others have issues with gender or anthropomorphism so
they choose to refer to G-d/Spirit as It. Which of course continues to
offend even more...Truth is G-d doesn't care what name or reference or
label you give...whether it is She, He, or It....just don't combine them all.
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Old 07-20-2006, 02:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

I don't believe that any particular creed or "ism" is necessary to tread the path. Each of us has his own, but at least we are withing hailing distance of one another.

"There is more faith in honest doubt than in half the creeds."--Tennyson
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Old 07-20-2006, 04:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Nice to see you again AT5. In my case, I alternate between bemoaning the fact I don't know didly and seeing "Don't know" as the virtue it is. As it is said in the zen tradition: "when there is great doubt, there will be great awakening; small doubt, small awakeing; no doubt, no awakening." Take care, earl
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Peace, AT5!

Don't think you need not post - what you have said here has been an inspiration to me, as I find myself heading down the same dirt track.

There are others feeling what you are feeling - and as you can see from the responses, even more who are lovingly cheering you on.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

many thanks to all for this thread...............

And it gives me the opportunity to quote again from St John of the Cross..........."If we wish to be sure of the road we tread on we should close our eyes and walk in the dark"

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Old 07-21-2006, 01:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: The path has become more of a dirt track.

Anyone seen the animated movie 'Cars' yet?

Sometimes you have to play on the dirt track...

And it this vehicle we are in handles different than on the paved road...

And as we learn the new skills in the new terrain we develop new understandings...

Consider turning into the skid @5.

And I so ditto the remarks of others. I so appreciated your participation in the past. And your thoughts as you contemplate, cogitate, circumnambulate...will be beneficial not only to you, but also to many of us...and many who have not been here yet...
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