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What did the Sakyamuni Buddha have to offer?
February 2, 2006
7:19 pm
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I have a 5 page, very simply written document based upon Buddhist though. It uses very little jargon. It addresses our everyday issues in a very helpful way without 'preaching'.

I thought that if anyone is interested, I might post it paragraph by paragraph giving us all including myself a chance to digest, to discuss, to accept or reject the notions as we see fit.

It starts with two rather profound Quotes, one by Daniel Goleman the author of the book 'Vital Lies, Simple Truths' and the other by the present Dalai lama.

Here Goes:

"The range of what we think and do is

limited by what we fail to notice. And

because we fail to notice

that we fail to notice

there is little we can do to change until

we notice

how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.

Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths"

and:

"Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else.

Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama"

February 2, 2006
10:42 pm
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Tez,

I completly agree that failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.

My first question is simply how do we come to notice?

February 2, 2006
10:51 pm
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thanks tez. very good..! I'm gonna come back here to read it later when I'm feeling more ready. I saw the Bhudda word in the title and I knew you'd either be the author or be one of the first to reply, hehe....

February 2, 2006
11:05 pm
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I fail to notice that I fail to notice that I fail to notice that ... I really fail to notice! lol! My head is spinning now. I must be Dalai Lama level III 😀 You say that 3 more times, you get promoted to 6.

Ok, sorry. Just playing. Yea I get the point. interesting. First we have to notice that we are not noticing.

Well. failing to notice what? How do we notice things more? I guess taking the time to think calmly.

February 2, 2006
11:50 pm
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Isn't this cool guest?

It's as close as we'll ever get to being Tez's students.

February 3, 2006
12:03 am
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tez-isn't it just simpler to say world wise?? how come some have it and some dont?? are u born with it? cause i can definitely say i missed the boat. 🙂

February 3, 2006
1:08 am
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Tez,

I'll be following along on this thread. I probably won't say much, but I'll be reading. It sounds interesting.

Seeker

February 3, 2006
10:38 am
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hi Y-R, yea, I hope I learn some new things. Tez said and he may be right that I'm a "hard nut to crack". Honestly I have skepticism about bhuddist stuff and Tez knows that. We've talked about it before. But I'm always ready to go down to the root again, give it a new chance and see what bhuddism is basically about and whether it works or not. I dont know even know a lot about the subject so I cant make the judgement but lets see what I can learn here.

Hey Tez, you wont believe it but I shook hands with Daniel Goleman about two months ago :D. Yea, he was here in the town and gave a speech (his famous EQ lectures). Cool! He asked me where I was from, etc.

February 3, 2006
11:03 am
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fail to notice that I fail to notice that I fail to notice that ... I really fail to notice! lol! My head is spinning now. I must be Dalai Lama level III 😀 You say that 3 more times, you get promoted to 6

That was sooo good. I really enjoyed it. I neede a good laugh

(garfield)

February 3, 2006
12:02 pm
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you're welcome. _Sometimes_ (only) I have more funny things to say and then I hold back, heh cause I think people are gonna be offended. Anyway thanksss. I crack myself up good sometimes.

February 3, 2006
3:10 pm
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I'll be reading as well. Great idea Tez.

February 3, 2006
3:48 pm
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Me too. So far, I seem to have developed a rather anti-Buddhist stance, for a whole variety of experiential, intellectual & spiritual reasons. So I look forward to trying to open my mind & heart again and learning new things about this umbrella of philosophies (as I see 'it' / them.)

Edge of seat! ...

Blessings - Gazelle.

February 3, 2006
6:11 pm
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At this initial juncture, I would like to strongly emphasize that I am not the teacher here - I regard myself very much as a student.

Whether they be positive or negative responses, I intend learning from what you guys post about these Buddhist writings.

Also I would like it to be known that technically I am not a Buddhist. I have not taken 'refuge'(Buddhist equivalent to Christian baptism).

The introductory part of the article said:

"WHEN WE LAUGH at our own follies, when we feel alive with excitement at a circus, or when we are absorbed in the beauty of a sunset, we can realize our own capacity to overcome suffering. In those experiences, we access our basic goodness, our natural radiance, and our potential for happiness. The freedom of humor, the radiance of excitement, and the bliss of absorption are natural to us and can be developed through conscious work. We do not need to be repaired; we do not need to be saved; and we do not need to earn enlightenment. We are not born in sin, hopelessly condemned in this life, or in some way defective. The potential for enlightenment and freedom from suffering is built into us, yet it requires that we explore, nurture, and work with our own awareness and energies."

Here we seem to have a marked contrast between Buddhist and Christian beliefs.

What do you all think about this Introductory paragraph?

February 3, 2006
6:48 pm
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A modified cheer! But my problem is this: Christian doctrine teaches that we are 'conceived & born in sin' (sex is necessarily bad?!)and 'tainted with Original Sin' even before we take our first breath, and somehow need to be 'saved' by a power outside our undeserving selves (all of which I personally find abhorrent, leading to so much low self-esteem & unneccessary guilt for our own natures & the very fact of having been born.)

BUT ... the underlying assumption with your paragraph here seems to be that suffering is our baseline state, even if we have means of overcoming it with effort.

One is based on 'sin' & the other on 'suffering' - each with their own remedies. But must life be envisioned this way???

How about our basic, natural, unblemished state being the contentment, interest in the world, fun & love of a healthy, happy, well cared-for, ego-free, natural baby? So suffering is the exception rather than the rule? This often seems to be reversed in so much Christian and Buddhist thought, with their emphases on misery & negativity.)

Or are my perceptions all awry ... tainted with my erstwhile youthful misunderstanding & depression? I was looking for inspiration in my student days but only found a quagmire. It is probably mea maxima culpa (like most things. Lol.) Pleeease put me right, Tez! I SO want to start a fresh new journey with you here!

Blessings - Gazelle.

February 4, 2006
12:35 pm
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That is TOO heavy for my normal usual self. Let me get a couple of Redbulls and I'll be back later. How could Bhudda think up of all that if there was no Redbull at that time..!

February 4, 2006
12:47 pm
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This is also too heavy for me.

You made me laugh and it was nice.

Garfield

February 4, 2006
3:37 pm
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Oops! Eeek! Sorry, Guest & Garfield! It's just that I've been wrestling with the Big Questions of philosophy & theology and studying different religions all my life; and so I'm inclined to jump in wherever they are mentioned. Inappropriately, as I'm discovering on this site - which I realise is NOT a forum for serious spiritual questioning or debate. Here one can only give inspiration within set religions for those inclined to accept it wholesale. (Though perhaps only Christianity is acceptable on here. I've seen no Muslim or Jewish or Hindu postings, nor my own esoteric mix with Druid & mystical elements.) My misunderstanding. Sorry to hijack your thread, Tez.

I'll back off now & not weigh people down. Blessings - gazelle.

February 4, 2006
4:09 pm
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oh gazelle, Sorry, I meant ofcourse Tez's original posting was heavy at that time. I have moments when I'm ready to read complex stuff. I'll come back to his post later and then ofcourse I want to read your stuff too cause it'll be in line with his post. Please dont feel you have to "slow down" for us :). You know, happyness matters and some people are happy without even knowing who Bhudda was. I know many people in my country, even some from very poor families who dont even know how to read and write and they're happy. But everyone's circumstances and happyness journey is unique. Also, this IS the right place "liberation brew" to talk about these things so "FIRE AWAY". :d. 😐 :p

Also if its deep stuff, I usually cant digest it in the first attempt. It has to sit subconciously in the back of my mind for some time (like you cook that Croc Pot Specials where the stew cooks on low heat for 20 hours). So I guess I got a Croc Pot in my head. I look forward to coming back and reading. No way does this mean I'm drawing back. Well I hope you got the point so carry on.

February 5, 2006
1:01 am
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hi Tez,
Ok I'm back and am feeling in the high state so I was able to dissect the paragraph. Here's the honest feedback (hope you dont mind):

"or when we are absorbed in the beauty of a sunset, we can realize our own capacity to overcome suffering."

Cant agree with this line. It was written to look "pretty". Sunset? I mean, come on. This is a popular idealistic cliche. How does being absorbed in the beauty of a sunset make us realize our capacity of overcoming suffering? Come on! The line doesnt stand on its own. Using that line, the author actually diluted the power of the first part:

"WHEN WE LAUGH at our own follies, when we feel alive with excitement at a circus"

Which is good on its own, but did he feel something was incomplete? Was the first part not enough to talk about the capacity to suffer? Was he trying to say something else but got lost in thinking about the beauty of the sunset? Just this puts doubt on the rest of the paragraph. But I'll read on:

"We do not need to be repaired; we do not need to be saved; and we do not need to earn enlightenment. We are not born in sin, hopelessly condemned in this life, or in some way defective."

So in simple terms this means: 'Accept yourself as you are'. We know that. Yea thats right, this is in contrast with Christian teaching (that we're born in sin).

THIS is the main line here:

"The potential for enlightenment and freedom from suffering is built into us, yet it requires that we explore, nurture, and work with our own awareness and energies."

So basically, how do we explore, nurture and work with our own awareness and energies? Hopefully the later part of the articles will talk about it, but now I'm more skeptical after the use of the "sunset" cliche. My time is important. If someone uses cliche like "beauty of the sunset" and tries to spin something off, sorry but that disappoints me pretty bad. Maybe some other author might have been able to put it in better words, but het - you said its in simple terms and no jargons. I think if they tried to translate it and translation came out to be "beauty of the sunset" that puts the "jargons" in doubt as well. But again, I'm open to reading more stuff.. so lets see what else you got.

February 5, 2006
3:29 am
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gazelle

On the 3-Feb-06 you said:

"A modified cheer! ... suffering is our baseline state, even if we have means of overcoming it with effort. ..."

According to the Buddha suffering is definitely not our base-line state - wisdom and compassion(i.e. insightful love) is.

That is why the Dalai Lama said:

"Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else."

It is recognition of our true nature that brings lasting happiness. However effort is required to clear away the leaves covering the surface of the pristine lake of our minds to see our true selves for what we intrinsically are.

Then you said:

" ... One is based on 'sin' & the other on 'suffering' - each with their own remedies. But must life be envisioned this way???"

No certainly not and this is the Buddha's message.

However, if one looks at the world through the eyes of an individual human struggling to just survive in a very predatory world, one sees only predator and predated upon in interchanging roles depending on time, place and circumstances.

Watch a nature show and see the the real nature of the world. Ask a veteran from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc whether there is a loving world or a predatory world.

Take a trip to the abbatoirs to see how meat and chickens get onto the supermarket shelves. Watch a bird feed its young and you will see worms being horrendously killed. Watch a darling little willie wag tail chasing spiders and moths.

Even in your peaceful back yard, it is a predatory world. Even, if we are fortunate enough to avoid wars, thugs, etc we eventually will have to face the predation of sickness, old age and death.

Pleasure and pain are facts of life. Suffering however is not a necessary consequence of loss of pleasure or the experiencing of pain. Pain and loss are not synonymous with suffering. Suffering is a result of a particular attitude to pain and loss. What that attitude to pain is will be seen as the article unfolds.

February 5, 2006
3:53 am
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This web site is full of examples of people suffering. Relationship problems, abuse, loneliness, you name it. And all this in God's own country the U. S of A. Imagine what it is like in Palistine, Mainland China, North Korea - etc, etc.

Even in the'paradise' of the West, getting past the daily drudge of working for a living in a job that is dissatisfying, working with people who we do not particularly like, copping crap from a boss just to keep the kids fed, is certainly suffering.

Who of us here can truly say that they are suffering free and are 100% happy with their life and quite content to grow old, get sick and die? But that's what's coming to all of us if we live long enough, rose colored glasses or not.

If we can't change our job or our life situation then we may be able to change or attitude to it and thus let go of our suffering.

If we know how to do that then we will have a choice - at least. Otherwise, it is more of the 'same old, same old'.

The next part of the article says:

--------------------------------
"Designed for Growth:

Our human design contains the inherent capacities of our mind and body, as well as our instincts to grow, connect, and make meaning. It also contains capacities that only emerge after we have reached certain stages of growth.

Knowing how to reach those stages and develop growth-producing qualities is a key to our freedom.

Just as an acorn contains within it the design for the oak tree, so we contain all the ingredients necessary to reach spiritual maturity.

However, unless it receives the right nourishment and good soil in which to take root and to grow, the acorn may become squirrel food rather than an oak. Its strength will develop as much from the tests of its environment as from the richness of its soil.

Our spirit grows in the soil of our conscious experiences, extracting nutrients from the energies and insights of those experiences. The ability to extract these nutrients requires taming the mind and reworking the emotional reactions in our bodies.

As we develop the wisdom to see through our self concerns we create the conditions for expressing our happiness. Developing the openness to engage others, we create the sense of belonging. By living life instead of fixing it, we experience life as the precious gift that it is.

The world does not then suddenly change and give us special care and attention or a heavenly reward. Rather, we develop the sense of Grace, a kind of gratitude for the forces that operate in us and in all beings and phenomena."

----------------------------------

February 6, 2006
5:14 pm
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"Choosing Between Struggle and Radiance:

Throughout this process, we receive glimpses and then a fuller realization of the fundamental radiance that we already are and always have been. Then our realizations and struggles form the base for developing compassion. Compassion as an experience, a quality of being, and a way of relating to others is also part of the human design. The potential for compassion is developed and matured through the process of living, struggling, and thereby expanding awareness. Through our own experiences, we can know something about human experience. As compassion develops, so does our sense of bonding to other people and to humanity. Our capacity to relate wholeheartedly grows.

Working with Suffering:

Our path to growth, connection, and freedom begins with the acknowledgment of our own suffering. All spiritual traditions believe that life involves suffering. Suffering is not pain as such, but a particular kind of pain. Suffering is a painful feeling about pain. The pain of suffering is an attitude that is added to our direct experience, and that makes us feel threatened, sad, frustrated, or angry.

Suffering arises from identification with and attachment to our roles, possessions, social images, and self-definitions. When we suffer, our inherent freedom to generate possibilities and to embrace the unknown is limited by an image of a separate self composed of our past experience and our current self-image. The hope that our separate self sense will survive and the fear of its inevitable extinction keeps us turning compulsively in a circle of fascination and struggle. In this vicious circle we grab at any possibility of solidity, fight with any threat to our identity, and ignore anything that is emotionally inconvenient.

As long as we think, feel, and act as though we are a separate identity, a "me" that things happen to, we experience life as limiting and threatening Everything appears as a potential source of pain - even those things that bring us pleasure also bring the fear of their loss. We separate ourselves from others and from life with walls of insecurity, fear, and indignation.
Suffering takes many forms. We may project it when we fear an impending event; we may linger over it when we've had a personal loss; or it may operate unacknowledged in our unconscious, manifesting as denial or numbness in the face of direct experience. It can be so habitual that pain itself becomes the theme song of our life story, the filter through which we perceive experience."

February 6, 2006
6:40 pm
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guest_guest

On the 2-Feb-06 you asked:

"... failing to notice what? How do we notice things more?"

When we are self-focussed, we tend to filter out all that is irrelevant to the welfare of the self and others of importance to that self.

Overcoming pre-occupation with the welfare of the self frees our conscious awareness to "notice things more".

February 9, 2006
5:26 pm
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I finally got to read this.. whew.

hi Tez, for me thats all hard to integrate into something "Ok, what do I do now?". See what I mean, I want to see practical steps. I guess I'm being impatient.

>> our conscious awareness to "notice things more". << I get that, but how about this: if we are focusing on ourself, we are bound to notice things more which are good for ourself. I mean, I cant ignore my hunger and other needs, right. I think welfare of the self HAS to be there. Everything good stems from there, but ok, carry on. This 5 page thing, what will get at the end? Any good directions?

February 18, 2006
6:57 pm
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Guest_guest,

If you are looking for an easy way out - there ain't any.

You say that you want to be 'yourself'. First you have to find that 'self' that you want to be.

When you discover that there is no 'self' that you can find, then you will be free to let go of being that 'self'. Then you will feel light and free with very little or no 'ego' self to preserve, protect, to evaluate, to self-esteem, or worry about.

This is not to deny that the process going on that you call your body still will need feeding, clothing, housing, sex etc. Only now what others might or might not be thinking about you will be of little or no concern to you. You will become far more compassionate with both 'yourself' and others. After all that 'Awareness' that both your 'self' and other 'selves' seem to POSSESS still suffers to the degree that belief in the ego's reality exists.

If that ain't practical enough for you then I suggest that you contemplate, reflect upon and meditate on this question:

Who and where is the 'self' that is doing the meditating????????

Then after much of the above solid 'practical' PRACTICE you might be free to be yourself around even your new 'love of your life'.

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