Self-cherishing

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:55 am

Hello Buddha community

I have heard about the subject of self-cherishing. If the community can help, my questions are:

If other people disagree with my opinions or disagree with people I respect, such as gurus I love, what are methods that can be used to be free from self-cherishing?

Self-cherishing can be very strong. Therefore, I am interested of hearing about many techniques that can be used to be free from self-cherishing.

Thank you

Folia :heart:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:46 am

Hi Folia
Self is the main frame of our existence. Only Arahant are fully eliminate the self belief. In Buddhism this topic is discussed with many ways.
This is how I tackle my self-cherishing.

- I try to remind me the teaching of Anatta. That is everything around us are aggregates and there is no person as such.
- Mana – one of the ten fetters. The thought that I am higher, lower or equal to someone. I see every person as different.
- Practice Brahma Vihara – Metta,Karuna,Muditha
- Meditaion
- Remind me the three factors of existence – impermanence, unsatisfactoryness, No self
:)
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby perkele » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:08 am

See that your "self" is good. Then it's not a problem to cherish that.
Two ideas:
1) correct your mistakes - keep an eye on what's going wrong in you and try to correct that. Then you can feel good about that. When you notice you behaved silly, apologize if it seems to make sense. When others behave silly as well, then still, it's good to try that, try to keep that attitude at least that it would be good to apologize if possible.
2) look at it from a different angle - really, since "self" is not real, you can look at it from gazillions of angles, so look for some angles where you can see something good and foster that. So if you can find a more tolerant angle to look at such situations as described for example, then develop that. That's something you can rightfully cherish then.
Things like that will be good to lead you along for getting rid of "self" in the end I think. But you don't get rid of self until you are an arahat. So don't look for instant solutions.
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:48 pm

SarathW wrote:This is how I tackle my self-cherishing.

- I try to remind me the teaching of Anatta. That is everything around us are aggregates and there is no person as such.
- Mana – one of the ten fetters. The thought that I am higher, lower or equal to someone. I see every person as different.
- Practice Brahma Vihara – Metta,Karuna,Muditha
- Meditaion
- Remind me the three factors of existence – impermanence, unsatisfactoryness, No self

Thank you, SarathW

Your answer is very helpful. You said everything around us are aggregates and there is no person as such. This can be difficult because the people we love, like our gurus, we see as a person. Isn't this why we love our gurus?

You said the thought that I am higher, lower or equal to someone. This can be difficult because don't we follow our opinions or love our gurus because we see them as being better?

I see the solutions you have recommended to tackle self-cherishing can really work but they must take some effort to practise. Your solutions go against the grain of our human nature.

Thank you

Foila :heart:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:52 pm

perkele wrote:Two ideas:
1) correct your mistakes - keep an eye on what's going wrong in you and try to correct that. Then you can feel good about that. When you notice you behaved silly, apologize if it seems to make sense. When others behave silly as well, then still, it's good to try that, try to keep that attitude at least that it would be good to apologize if possible.

Perkele

This is a difficult medicine to swallow. That we make mistakes or even the gurus we love can make mistakes.

Thank you

Folia :heart:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:13 pm

Hi Folia
Please read the attahce link from chapter 15. Then open this thread and say what you think about it.
Metta
:)
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby SDC » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:08 pm

The "self" cannot being fully controlled, so therefore it is not "yours".

What is being cherished is the idea of a self at its best. We cherish the idea of what we wish we always could be. We do not cherish the idea of a self at its worst. Self "at its worst" is often not considered self at all. However we cannot always choose which one to be. For something so uncertain and unpredictable, how cannot it be declared as "mine"? This is something good to focus on - You have this idea that you cherish, yet how often does that idea actually come to reality? And if and when it does, why does it not stay forever? According to the Buddha - because it is not under your control and it is not yours.

Cherish the good that you are capable of, just try not to cherish the idea of "you" that is doing it.
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby perkele » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:22 am

Folia wrote:
perkele wrote:Two ideas:
1) correct your mistakes - keep an eye on what's going wrong in you and try to correct that. Then you can feel good about that. When you notice you behaved silly, apologize if it seems to make sense. When others behave silly as well, then still, it's good to try that, try to keep that attitude at least that it would be good to apologize if possible.

Perkele

This is a difficult medicine to swallow. That we make mistakes or even the gurus we love can make mistakes.

Thank you

Folia :heart:

Yes, we all make mistakes.
Even arahats can make "mistakes" in some way it seems. Although these mistakes are without blame, because they have no wrong intentions. Think of Sariputta for example. Even though he was already an arahat, and he was regarded as the disciple foremost in wisdom and understanding, I remember in the suttas two instances still where the Buddha corrected him. Of course, Sariputta had no problem with that. He was an arahat and did not think in terms of self. He had no conceit, he could not take it as an insult, and of course it was also not intended so by the Buddha. So there was actually no mistake on either side. It was just a very pragmatic thing. And there was actually no real blame in Sariputta's actions. Because he had no greed, hatred and delusion, and no conceit. He only did what he thought was best, but still, the Buddha could tell him something slightly better. That would be better for others, not for him, because he had already given up his self.
Of course that's on a very different level than our problems.

I don't believe that your Guru is an arahat. But of course I do not know. It's not important for me, since I have nothing to do with him.

As long as we are not arahats we don't know.

Sometimes people can tell us something better, sometimes not. Sometimes we can tell others something better, sometimes not. We must see for ourselves and look that we do good from our heart. Even if we don't know we must try, just keep that direction. And maybe sometimes it's the best to shut up, because we don't know.

I also make mistakes. And I don't know if what I told you is very helpful or not. I only tried to say something useful at that moment.
As long as we are not really sure, as long as we are also liable to mistakes, we should know that we are liable to mistakes, and therefor we should also be forgiving. Forgiving is more fundamental than apologizing. When you are always able to forgive, then you won't have too many problems. But you must still not get blind to possible mistakes. You must know for yourself. That is also a way to reduce self-cherishing. When you can forgive yourself, you can forgive others. When you can forgive others, you can forgive yourself. Then you become a bit more free inside. Without forgiveness one cannot even see the mistakes clearly. So how could one be in a position correct them? How could one be able to correct them?
But the only mistakes you are really bound to correct in the end are your own. From others you can learn maybe sometimes, in very different ways. When you try to be a good example you will find good examples to learn from. In the end you don't need examples anymore, because you know for yourself, without clinging to self. Like Sariputta.
So that's our goal. :tongue:

So that's all I have to say. If it is useful or not, I don't know. :smile:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:21 am

SarathW wrote:Please read the attahce link from chapter 15. Then open this thread and say what you think about it.

SarathW

I was very long & complex to read. It said Buddha taught the truth is found in every religion. If a person believes the truth is found in every religion then they can be free of self-cherishing.

Buddhism does not claim the monopoly of truth and does not
condemn any other religion. “Intolerance is the greatest enemy
of religion”. With His characteristic tolerance, the Buddha
advised His disciples not to get angry, discontented, or displeased
even when others spoke ill of Him, or of His Teaching,
or of His Order. “If you do so,” the Buddha said, “you will
not only bring yourselves into danger of spiritual loss, but you
will not be able to judge whether what they say is correct or
not correct” – a most enlightened sentiment. Denouncing unfair
criticism of other faiths, the Buddha states: “It is as a man
who looks up and spits at heaven – the spittle does not soil the
heaven, but it comes back and defiles his own person.” 25

25 . See Sri Radhakrishnan, Gautama the Buddha.


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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby ground » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:53 pm

Mindfulness of death :sage:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby SarathW » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:41 pm

Hi
Thank you for making an attempt to read the link I gave you. Yes it is not easy to read or understand what Buddha taught. I spent year reading and meditation, but I still scratch the surface.
If you are not a Buddhist please follow your religion. Please only remember that Buddha has taught some thing little bit more. To me it is just as the difference between the Olympic winner and the runner up. But it is still a huge achievement.

That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind!

Once you understand Buddhism you will realise that none of above analogies not enough to convey the true meaning or value of Buddha’s teaching
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:58 pm

ground wrote:Mindfulness of death :sage:

Ground

I imagine from the viewpoint of death, attachments & quarrelings become for nothing. We think: "What did it matter? Were those quarrels & opinions really so important?"

Can 'self-cherishing' be reincarnated?

Thank you

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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:35 am

SarathW wrote:If you are not a Buddhist please follow your religion.

Thank you SarathW

The book said Buddhism does not claim the monopoly of truth. I do not agree with this statement. If all religions taught the truth would they not all be the same?

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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby ground » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:22 am

Folia wrote:
ground wrote:Mindfulness of death :sage:

Ground

I imagine from the viewpoint of death, attachments & quarrelings become for nothing. We think: "What did it matter? Were those quarrels & opinions really so important?"

What is important is that mindfulness of death does not remain just an idea, just intellect. It may be so in the beginning, but it should become a sense of inevitable dissolution of all that makes itself felt as "self" ... a sense of inevitable progressing dissolution/disintegration from the depth of the heart.

Folia wrote:Can 'self-cherishing' be reincarnated?

Billions of questions arising in the wake of affirming ideas (here "reincarnation") as more that just mere ideas. Cherishing ideas is no different from self cherishing. Where does this "wanting to know this or that" go upon death? (question not meant to be answered, question is answer) :sage:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby Folia » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:35 am

ground wrote:it should become a sense of inevitable dissolution of all that makes itself felt as "self" ... a sense of inevitable progressing dissolution/disintegration from the depth of the heart.

This still sounds like an idea, of inevitable dissolution/disintegration in the future. Can this dissolution/disintegration occur now, so self-cherishing has dissolution/disintegration now?

Thank you
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby ground » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:12 am

Folia wrote:
ground wrote:it should become a sense of inevitable dissolution of all that makes itself felt as "self" ... a sense of inevitable progressing dissolution/disintegration from the depth of the heart.

This still sounds like an idea, ...

All that is expressed by means of words may "sound like an idea" in the sphere of what is called "reader". Why? Because upon the eye meeting forms aka words in which no meaning inheres ideas arise in the sphere of what is called "reader". So "it sounds like an idea" because in the sphere of what is called "reader" it is an idea.

Folia wrote:of inevitable dissolution/disintegration in the future. Can this dissolution/disintegration occur now, so self-cherishing has dissolution/disintegration now?

It does occur now, in every moment and every moment, every now can be the onset of dying. This realization and the continuing awareness of it may be called "mindfulness of death". But not everbody may have the capacity to deal with this. Either since the bridge between intellect and realization cannot be crossed or since there is a strong inclination to depression or fear. In these cases for the time being "mindfulness of death" may not be appropriate to counter self-cherishing. :sage:
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby fearandloving » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:37 pm

This is a wonderful topic!

The "self" cannot being fully controlled, so therefore it is not "yours".

What is being cherished is the idea of a self at its best. We cherish the idea of what we wish we always could be. We do not cherish the idea of a self at its worst. Self "at its worst" is often not considered self at all. However we cannot always choose which one to be. For something so uncertain and unpredictable, how cannot it be declared as "mine"? This is something good to focus on - You have this idea that you cherish, yet how often does that idea actually come to reality? And if and when it does, why does it not stay forever? According to the Buddha - because it is not under your control and it is not yours.

Cherish the good that you are capable of, just try not to cherish the idea of "you" that is doing it.


I believe that if this advice is reflected often enough than self-cherishing will fade away. Self-cherising, just like clinging to the self in any other fashion, goes away completely when the notion that the self even exists is truly realized to be false.

When you notice that you are cherishing yourself, in what ways are you doing that? Maybe it's something really specific, like your cherish yourself mostly physically and are involved in a very healthy lifestyle or beautification. Maybe you cherish your altruistic actions and when you are doing good for others that is when you are cherishing yourself. I think it's possible that if you can catch that in the act and probe into it you will have much better control over it. And doing the same thing when you make a 'mistake' and think "oh that wasn't me, I lost myself for a minute there when I yelled/lied/etc." probing into that same belief, seeing all the aggregates clearly. Than not only does it become more clear that the whole combination of things is not you at all, but it becomes much less attractive!
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Re: Self-cherishing

Postby SarathW » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:43 am

Folia wrote:
SarathW wrote:If you are not a Buddhist please follow your religion.

Thank you SarathW

The book said Buddhism does not claim the monopoly of truth. I do not agree with this statement. If all religions taught the truth would they not all be the same?

:heart:


Buddha taught us various level of happiness. It varies from happiness with material possession to a happiness without material possession (Nirvana the ultimate happiness)
Other religions even some philosophers teaches us how to be happy with in various ways. Only Buddha taught us the ultimate happiness (Niravana)
:)
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