@adamdunsbyhotmail-comactive 2 weeks, 2 days ago
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April 2, 2019 at 3:09 pm #3363
Great discussion guys. I’ve had some experience with this that I feel might be useful to share here. In the very early 2000s, with the world trade centre disaster, second gulf war and the onset of the ”credit crunch”, I became overwhelmed and a bit obsessed with the news and also had an experience of witnessing and understanding the power that the media holds over us. One Monday morning the newspapers came out and the headline on some of the major ones was ”Economic Crash Inevitable”. By the end of that week myself and other people that I worked with had lost most of the work that we had had lined up because people had responded to the headlines by stopping spending and the work that we were doing was no longer affordable for them. They were too frightened to spend their money.
To me it was obvious that the media had, to a large degree, stimulated the recession into which we were then falling and it changed the way that I looked at the news. Sensationalism is a key tool of newspaper journalism and so the events that we are fed are often emphasized and enhanced for their negativity. This makes the world seem a very dark place at times, to which we collectively and individually respond by creating more darkness and more fear.
When I made a decision to not watch news or read papers for a while I felt refreshed and liberated. I believe that I had, to some extent, been brainwashed, and I also believe that this is part of the desired effect of the democratic/capitalist power system that we call society.
It was very interesting watching the general population being played and manipulated with various stories, all based on fear and none of which ever actually came to any real threat. The fact that I wasn’t affected in the same way was due to the fact that I refused to accept the bait. This felt like a very advantageous and empowering position to be in and made a lot of space in my mind for more healthy and fulfilling thinking and living( ,
I now choose to read news and watch news related programs produced by more responsible journalists and feel that I can choose what I take on board and choose what to dismiss, for whatever reason. As a Buddhist I feel that my responsibility in all of this is to take care of my own little corner of the world as much as possible with awareness and compassion by contributing whatever I can to my Sangha, which sends ripples of light out into the universe which, I believe, counter-acts the darkness.
I hope that helps, Namo Amida Bu( :
January 6, 2019 at 5:32 pm #3251
Nice thanks. My meditation has naturally become an enhancement of my refuge in Amida, The Dharma and The Sangha. I did not intend for this to happen. As is common in my spiritual life, I was aiming for one thing and got something else! Namo Amida Bu( :
November 27, 2018 at 6:36 am #3197
Thanks Andrew. It’s always inspiring to hear a sincere and heartfelt desire to practice. Today I will address my desire for pleasure and escape from discomfort.
“Mara, your forces are not of the world and cannot be defeated externally; only our insight can constrain your force.”
November 6, 2018 at 2:46 pm #3130
Thanks Satya. I will definitely write some more about the day to day stuff. Just needed to get the philosophical stuff out first! ( , Namo Amida Bu ( ,
My mind is still pretty blown by it all and I’m feeling a pretty deep shift in myself as a result of the experience. So will keep posting the stuff that comes up as a way of processing it all. NAB
November 20, 2017 at 11:14 am #2430
Great to hear that your bunnies are on crack, but maybe it’s better to start them off on weed or something, let them work their way up to the hard stuff! After all we are meant to be responsible Buddhists!! Namo Amida Bu( !
November 13, 2017 at 8:50 am #2393
Note to self: Namo Amida Bu!!!
August 5, 2017 at 6:31 am #2009
Yes, exactly. I think it comes back to the fact that we don’t know the power of what we do because we don’t see the results, most of which are subtle beyond comprehension. And as we know, all of our shortfallings can be utilized by Amida so I don’t think ‘failure’ is possible in this sense because the magic is in the love and compassion which i believe always comes from a higher source, Amida, Quan Yin…when we’re working in conjunction with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas we are as close as we’ll ever get to fulfilling the vows. That’s my personal feeling anyway.
Namo Amida Bu( :
May 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm #1623
…I never heard that. Sounds like it might be some sort of evolutionary function. Very interesting to think how it might turn out. I guess the expansion of the universe would be a feature of entropy as well. NAB
April 21, 2017 at 11:17 am #1568
Thanks Satya. I had a little experience as well. I sat with my question, “what would you like me to do?” which was more focussed on my work predicament than anything else, and found myself offering prompts for the answer. In other words, trying to project my desires onto the meditation in order to get the result that I wanted to hear. I quickly realised that this was the case and instead, just sat with a visualisation of Amida that I keep in mind and use a lot. After service I was wondering back into my room and thinking about how Amida might show me his will for me. I stopped for a couple of seconds when I got into my room, said “Namo Amida Bu” and then immediately noticed that I’d been holding my wegassa(correct spelling?) all the time. Of course I took this as the answer. To pursue my faith by whatever means available to me. This made me feel better about my situation
as I am practicing a philosophy of: to do whatever is put in front of me to the best of my ability! Since that’s exactly what I’m doing, I’m confident that this is Amida’s will. Somewhat tainted by Adam’s foolishness, but close enough for me and hopefully Amida too. Thanks for the meditation! Namo Amida Bu( :
April 5, 2017 at 12:29 pm #1503
Most of mine seem to be appearing quite powerfully at the moment. I’m at a pivotal point in recovery from one particular compulsion at the moment and am, shall we say, quite preoccupied with the opposite sex. Especially with the summer clothes coming out and the legs on show! Probably a bit inappropriate for me to share but it’s my truth today. They all seem to feed into each other when they come up like this and then it feels like every thought I have and action that I take is compulsively driven. Music is one that seems to lead to others when I’m sensitive as well. The buzzy vibes lower my defences and I find myself justifying acting out with food, films, internet and just distracting myself with whatever eases the discomfort. Quite interesting how it all seems to lead back to the feelings that I was avoiding in the first place though!! Hhmmm. This is why I need a higher power!! Namo Amida Bu( :
March 29, 2017 at 1:57 pm #1465
Thanks for sharing this Andrew. I feel like I know you better. Very true about letting the past be the past, it has a lot to teach us as well. Namo Amida Bu( ;
February 23, 2017 at 9:06 am #1262
Thanks Satya, good question. I suppose it seems like the quarantine enables the useful aspects of the “bad stuff” to be utilised without them contaminating the good stuff. Maybe they act as a sort of fertilizer that feeds the spiritual growth process. In 12 step terms the “darkest past is our greatest gift” when our experience provides inspiration and hope for the people we help. Without them we couldn’t relate to the still suffering as effectively. Our painful pasts position us uniquely to be able to help others. Of course this depends on the love of HP, who contains the good and bad stuff in quarantine. Turns out that I even need help applying my virtuous attributes, lest my ego sweep me away with self-righteousness! Namo Amida Bu( :
February 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm #1254
…Namo Amida Bu!
February 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm #1252
”Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion. Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads or you shall learn nothing.”
Thomas Henry Huxley.
January 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm #1018
Thanks for posting this Satya.
My word for last year was Prosperity. When I set this, I think that my intention was somewhat influenced by the material connotations of the word and in that sense it could quite easily be percieved as a non-starter.
I recently devoted my life to the Buddha in my monastic training and in doing so renounced my attachment to worldly comforts. “Prosperity” is often associated with, and measured in terms of stuff accumulated, but I was never going to be inundated with expensive or luxurious possesions in my newfound state of self-imposed poverty.
However, I did find an amazing sense of liberty at being released from the pressure that I had previously felt to “succeed” in the world, and a newfound focus on the areas of my spiritual life and practice that feed my faith. This, in hindsight, feels like a more healthy and useful expression of Prosperity, so I consider my last year’s word intention to have been successful.
After my time in France last year I was asked if I could summarise the experience in terms of spiritual learning and development. What came to me was “Patience”. The ability to accept the various frustrations of being human and appreciate the complexed and sometimes(very) lengthy but extremely important healing processes that characterize the spiritual path. This seems like a good place for me to start 2017 from. Hope springs eternal.
Namo Amida Bu( :