What exactly are we supposed to do?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alfa
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What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by alfa » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:25 am

In the Buddhist context, that is. Not new agey stuff like living in the present, reducing stress etc.

Since we are here in this world, what exactly are we supposed to do?

If liberation from the cycle of birth and death is the ultimate goal according to Buddhism, then what are we doing here in this material world? It's like saying getting out of prison is the ultimate goal, but we are still in the prison???

SarathW
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:29 am

Since we are here in this world, what exactly are we supposed to do?
Simply follow the Noble Eightfold Path.
That is what all the way from layperson to Arahant do.
It is the same practice at a different level.
For instance.
- Some do not kill human but kill animal
- Some do not kill animal but kill insects
- Some people do not kill insects but kill trees
- Sotapann do not kill because he has eliminated Sakkaya Ditthi
- Arahant does not kill because they have fully realised Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Crazy cloud
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by Crazy cloud » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:29 am

alfa wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:25 am
but we are still in the prison???
We are in prison!

freedom from above and below ...

We are not in prison!
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

justindesilva
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by justindesilva » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:36 am

alfa wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:25 am
In the Buddhist context, that is. Not new agey stuff like living in the present, reducing stress etc.

Since we are here in this world, what exactly are we supposed to do?

If liberation from the cycle of birth and death is the ultimate goal according to Buddhism, then what are we doing here in this material world? It's like saying getting out of prison is the ultimate goal, but we are still in the prison???
.
This is a good question. What am I doing on this earth. Astronomy ( related to agganna sutta) explains this. As the earth rotates relative to the cosmos around the sun . All objects in the cosmos are in motion. The earth with beings too move and as a result every object ( as nama rupa) keep changing . This is also anitya. We beings along with the earth ( as apo , tejo, vayo , patavi) change moment to moment along with the changing earth , so that the earth is in dynamic equilibrium. The carbon cycle nitrogen cycle , decay of organic matter etc. are part and parcel of impermanency yet to stabilise the earth.
in Vasetta sutta lord budda state that the earth and beings are processed by kamma , whereas the heirs of kamma are our own selves. Wholesome kamma helps the positive process of this earth where we beings manifest this energy.
To be short pancaseela is the descipline that is needed by humans to protect the environment for the stability of this earth.

paul
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by paul » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:48 am

Just like escaping from a prison a practitioner should first evaluate the main fetters that are holding them according to temperament, and then implement the antidotes given in the suttas as a plan of practice:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el026.html

“in one of greedy temperament there is frequent
occurrence of such states as deceit, fraud, pride, evilness of wishes, greatness of
wishes, discontent, foppery and personal vanity.
In one of hating temperament there is frequent occurrence of such states as anger, enmity,
disparaging, domineering, envy and avarice.
In one of deluded temperament there is frequent occurrence of such states as stiffness, torpor, agitation, worry, uncertainty,
and holding on tenaciously with refusal to relinquish.”—-Vism. III: 95

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equilibrium
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by equilibrium » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:16 am

alfa wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:25 am
Since we are here in this world, what exactly are we supposed to do?
Both "we" and "world" are fabrications.....and there is no such a thing as "here"!
At least try to escape from this illusion.....
If liberation from the cycle of birth and death is the ultimate goal according to Buddhism
.....So you should be aware that there is "no birth and death ".....as an escape.
...then what are we doing here in this material world? It's like saying getting out of prison is the ultimate goal, but we are still in the prison???
Grasping at the word "prison " doesn't help.....because one "clings".
But escape allows one to let go....."released"

santa100
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by santa100 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:42 pm

alfa wrote:It's like saying getting out of prison is the ultimate goal, but we are still in the prison???
There's no evil prison warden who locked us up. We lock ourselves up in chains that are stronger than any kind of physical chains in this world: the chains of greed, hatred, and ignorance. And so it's up to the individual to break free through his own effort, no one elsce can do that for him.

dharmacorps
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:50 pm

The Buddha did explain that the universe in and of itself serves no greater purpose. There is nobody driving our experience but ourselves. So, it is important to steer clear of ideas like that (that someone or something "jailed" us) because it makes things more complicated than they need to be. That we have bodies now is a result of kamma.

But yes, what can we make the focus of our lives? the practice for liberation.

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Bundokji
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:09 pm

In a way, it is not so different from what everyone do, that is, seeking satisfaction, but the Buddha's way is the skillful one.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

SarathW
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:09 pm

There's no evil prison warden who locked us up.
What about the Mara?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

santa100
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by santa100 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:16 pm

What about the Mara?
He might be the builder of the prison cell but it's you who will decide to stay there or not.

SarathW
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:24 pm

Catching wild pigs using traps.

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Pondera
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by Pondera » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:01 am

Right Livelyhood. At some stage in your life you’re either going to enter the work force or go off to become a monk. Either way, you must sustain your body and protect it from the elements. There really isn’t a proverbial meaning to life. The meaning of life is “stay alive”. In the mean time you can practice right speech, right action. You can delve into mindfulness and concentration. But above all you must, at some stage in your life, leave the nest and learn how to flap your wings.
Four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, equanimity and peacehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3qI6G ... sp=sharing

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salayatananirodha
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by salayatananirodha » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:49 am

Purify your mind, in turn developing disenchantment with everything in the world, seeing what arises and ceases as just suffering. This puts a complete and irreversible end to birth and becoming.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

SarathW
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Re: What exactly are we supposed to do?

Post by SarathW » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:48 am

Sabba papassa akaranam, kusalassa upasampada
Sacittapariyodapanam, etam Buddhana sasanam

Meaning:
To cease from doing all evils, to cultivate good
To purify one’s mind, this is the advice of Buddha.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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