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WillRiley79
23 Apr 13, 21:41
I would like to hear back from everybody with questions and criticism if you feel it necessary. Here's my situation: I'm a 17 year old just out of high school and have been pursuing Buddhism for about a year. I recently went through a breakup (see my post "dissolving the ego") and it shook me pretty hard. It was the first major mountain I had to overcome since my return from rehab following a near death experience.

All this is unimportant. I watched a video called "fear of enlightenment" which just had a picture of a spinning lotus and in the background was a lecture from Alan Watts explaining how we spend so much time looking for this thing and are willing to jump through hoops for it when in reality it's right there in front of us the whole time. If we look for it in the world around us we will find nothing but vanity and will get nowhere. If we don't look at all then what progress will we make?

I completely understand now what all of those texts and teachers were talking about when they said things like "just look within yourself." That's it. It's really that simple. I've realized that I am not my emotions and I am not my body. I am not my possessions, I am not my reputation. Nothing can phase me because i have lost all illusion of attachment to my emotions and this earthly life.

Like i just found out my ex is now getting married to a man in the army, and this would've normally killed me inside. I just had a little jolt of anxiety for a second and realized that I have no quarrel with her. I wished her well and continued to live my life in peace:) I have been making great efforts to share my findings with anyone I can but the unfortunate thing about living in the states is that not many people are willing to listen. I often laugh at passing thoughts like giving my social security and bank information to a random stranger and just finding a monastery near me and living in peace among those with the same ideals. But I've chosen for the present moment to continue pursuing a career.

Life is an adventure now, I have so many options and so many things i could learn, I really hope all of you find what it is you're looking for. Like i said to start, comments and criticism are welcome. There's a lot i left out but this is the basic gist

Element
23 Apr 13, 22:31
I've realized that I am not my emotions and I am not my body. I am not my possessions, I am not my reputation. Nothing can phase me because i have lost all illusion of attachment to my emotions and this earthly life.
hi Will

to feel the freedom of letting go is what it is about. when emotions settle & dissolve, & peace comes, this is the fruition of continuing letting go. however, it is one thing to not attach to emotions. it is another thing to be free from emotions. ultimately, the path is the peaceful joy, free from negative emotions


Like i just found out my ex is now getting married to a man in the army, and this would've normally killed me inside. I just had a little jolt of anxiety for a second and realized that I have no quarrel with her. I wished her well and continued to live my life in peace:)
this is excellent. if we have felt we have loved another, then to make mature that love is essential, which means wishing them the best. true love is unselfishly respecting the wishes of another. often, when such separations occur, one party grows in real love and the other party does not.

as for your 'ex', it sounds like she needs to feel secure. personally, if relevant, I would encourage to see 'sexualisation' clearly. we can view relationships in a sexualised way where, in fact, often for many, particularly women, relationships are about feeling 'secure' & the same old same old marriage thing

you are 17 years old. She wants marriage, probably soon pregnant, with kids. Do you want that? Generally, it is the sex & the associated mind games that confuse us.


I have been making great efforts to share my findings with anyone I can but the unfortunate thing about living in the states is that not many people are willing to listen.
common folk are generally like this. generally, it is best to discuss spiritual & Buddhist ideas & insights with Buddhists & similar minded folk


just finding a monastery near me and living in peace among those with the same ideals.
I recommend you consider trying this, even if only for a month or two, during a holiday period. Just a month in a good monastery will bring great changes and understanding of the Buddhist way of life. It will be invaluable, imo.


But I've chosen for the present moment to continue pursuing a career.
To me, you sound very articulate, mature and thoughtful for a 17 year old. Thus developing a career is generally the path taken. Just like education, career is a stage in life that generally needs to be developed, even if only for a relatively short period


Life is an adventure now, I have so many options. Like i said to start, comments and criticism are welcome.
My comments are above, as requested.

As for 'life', learn from the past but there is so much more ahead, often unimaginable. My predominant thought is my personal life has changed so much since I was 17 years old.

With much metta

:hands:

WillRiley79
23 Apr 13, 23:17
Thank you very much for your feedback. There's just one thing that i was confused about and this is when you said "it is one thing to not attach to emotions. it is another thing to be free from emotions. ultimately, the path is the peaceful joy, free from negative emotions." I don't see how this can be true when there is no escaping the fact that we are human and we have positive and negative emotions. I think it's just important to realize that no emotion has the power to control you and that you can find peace within yourself no matter what. The way i see it, inner peace is far more important than just being happy all the time. What do you think?

Element
24 Apr 13, 05:15
I don't see how this can be true when there is no escaping the fact that we are human and we have positive and negative emotions.
In Buddhism, there is the term kilesa (defilement), which means emotions such as greed, hatred, anger, delusion, fear, despair, feeling personally hurt, etc. Buddha taught freedom from these kilesa & from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair is possible.

As humans, our nervous system will certainly feel pleasantness & unpleasantness. But these feelings are not kilesa.

As humans, we can find a wonderful peace that is freedom from defiled emotions (kilesa) that are created from thinking & views.

With metta

;D

Clarinetist!
26 Apr 13, 23:17
Many people run around (and around internet forums!) claiming “enlightenment” because they have tasted, or can access, some feeling of “oneness.” The seeker may have even seen for a time visions of “oneness beyond oneness beyond time or place” without even a separate see’r to do the seeing. They may know that that this world of samsara is like a dream. Such folks then proclaim themselves enlightened though they are “playing in the entranceway, still short of the vital path of emancipation.” Such persons mistake “oneness” or “oneness beyond beyond” for truly being “at one” with this life of chaos, division, beauty and ugliness, peace and war. The error is that they want this world of samsara to feel like enlightenment — or want to constantly see the multiplicity through the eyes of “oneness” or “oneness beyond oneness” — but do not know the non-enlightenment of just allowing samsara to be samsara. I read it at Shambhala SunSpace

No offense meant at all! I am just kind of weary of people who claim that they have experienced enlightenment then go about telling everyone. Of course, I know nothing about this.

Kind regards:hands:

Empty Bowl
27 Apr 13, 11:44
Hi Will! You have covered a lot of territory in just two threads! You have gone through the low, low, LOW, and this week are on the high, high, HIGH. It would be wrong to think, "oh good, I have arrived", when in fact the path of life is somewhere in the middle, and for a young man of 17 I would hope would be a long and interesting walk.

I am happy for you that you had such a clear taste of inward peace! As a man a number of years beyond you, I am still getting up every day and facing the daily challenges of walking what I profess amidst a busy world. I can promise that there are answers for you to find to questions you cannot even conceive of yet at your age. Much to learn, young grasshopper.

Allow me to badly paraphrase a favourite Buddhist story that means a lot to me:

Seeker in Monastery to Abbott: "What must I do (for enlightenment)?"

Abbott: "Have you eaten your rice?"

Seeker: "Yes."

Abbott: "Now go wash your bowl."

Finding the way is in the little things along the trail!

Trilaksana
27 Apr 13, 23:42
I cannot say whether you have "arrived" or not I certainly am no arahant. However, In my practice I've found that when I think I've eliminated some sort of defilement I later realize that not much has changed.

I think we sometimes repress the qualities in ourselves that we see as bad by thinking something like "I'm never anxious anymore." Or "I'm never stressed anymore" whatever the case may be.

So I think the best is to forget about what progress you think you may have made. Don't hold on to thoughts they can mislead you. Just observe yourself and you'll see what you still have to improve upon.

Of course this is all my opinion. I'm not a teacher and I've only been practicing for over a year.