Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
rolling_boulder
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Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by rolling_boulder » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:55 am

Hi everyone

I am experiencing something that I wonder is a common experience to Western Buddhists.

When I first discovered Buddhism I was really gung ho, ascetic practices, 8 precepts in working lay life, super duper, reading all the suttas, long sittings, lots of meditation.

As time goes by I seem to just mellow out more and more and life doesn't seem to be as big of a deal anymore.
I suffer less, which is great, I suffer a lot less. I mean, I just don't seem to take myself so seriously anymore. And it's become more clear how much further I have to go, and that this doesn't have to be a full tilt sprint to Nibbana or something.

But I definitely notice kind of a mellowing or a dulling of my enthusiasm for "Practice," at least as it's conventionally understood, as an external thing you do with postures and food and asceticism etc. I don't read much Dhamma anymore because I've kind of heard it already, I don't feel I need to hear more of the same. Kind of like a saturated sponge, I can't soak up anymore and it kinda feels like it's time to just let those causes have their effects, no need for really intense effort anymore. On the one hand there is so much less suffering, but on the other, that zeal that would keep me in the meditation hall earlier than anyone else seems to have evaporated - on the contrary, sometimes I sleep in!

I don't know if it is just that I have found the right tune for my effort, or I have just gotten lazy and old lol.

Does anyone also feel this?

R.b.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

SarathW
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:39 am

Yes this is quite normal.
Assuming that you are not an Arahants and you have more work to be done, perhaps it seems you are consolidating.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Antaradhana
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by Antaradhana » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:17 pm

Perhaps you are not paying enough attention to tilakhana: anicca, dukkha and anatta - all buddhist reflections and contemplations are somehow reduced to them. You also need to remember daily about death, which may come suddenly, sending you to a not so good world as the human world, or you will not be able to meet the Dhamma in the next life. These perceptions need to be developed and given attention in their practice https://suttacentral.net/an7.49/en/thanissaro https://suttacentral.net/an10.60/en/bodhi
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

rolling_boulder
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by rolling_boulder » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:31 pm

Antaradhana wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:17 pm
...
Thx, I suspect that I have perhaps come to a point in practice where my self-imposed dukkha has decreased to the point where I have become complacent because it's "good enough" for now. But it is true that this might change in the future and perhaps I had better spur myself with those reflections.

It is amazing how the simplest contemplations are the most profound. Death. Metta.
I was reading the Metta Sutta the other day and a whole new meaning of it became apparent to me... these teachings are so much more than surface value...
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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cappuccino
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:44 pm

rolling_boulder wrote: I was reading the Metta Sutta the other day and a whole new meaning of it became apparent to me... these teachings are so much more than surface value...
what new meaning?

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cappuccino
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:59 pm

it is said, the human realm is best for practice

heavenly realms won't motivate

rolling_boulder
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by rolling_boulder » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:48 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:44 pm

what new meaning?
Well it's kind of a personal meaning to me, because one of my deep personal anxieties is not doing the #1 Best Thing with my time 100% of the time, to the point that I spend more time doubting what I should do, than actually doing things. If that makes any sense. But the Metta Sutta starts right off,
This is what should be done...
And as I was seeing it, it's a list of things where if you're living in accordance with these things, you're probably doing okay. And that there isn't one perfect way to spend your time all the time but more a series of qualities that we aspire to develop in tandem with each other. So it helps with that driven anxiety about high achievements and attainments not yet attained which saps the happiness of the moment.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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cappuccino
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:14 pm

you need to clarify what you really want
Last edited by cappuccino on Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Zom
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by Zom » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:31 pm

I don't know if it is just that I have found the right tune for my effort, or I have just gotten lazy and old lol.

Does anyone also feel this?
This is absolutely normal. This is just impossible to train yourself 24/7 all your life - neither physically (as sportsmen know perfectly well), nor mentally. One must find his own pace in practice, and one should realise that for most people this practice will take many lives to accomplish. That was true even for most part of ancient buddhists who heard Dhamma from the Buddha himself.

As for those numerous suttas talking about The Urgency (in ascetic and meditation practice) - I guess these were given to monks who were heading to arahantship in this very life (and had a potential to attain it in this very life). Common mistake - to apply all these texts to yourself, a lay person who missed the "Mass Enlightenment" by some 2500 years .)

sunnat
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by sunnat » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:04 am

You are identifying with the level you have reached. Don't do that. Don't do anything. Just observe the mellow with equanimity. Like all composed things it will decompose.

binocular
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by binocular » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:46 am

rolling_boulder wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:55 am
I don't know if it is just that I have found the right tune for my effort, or I have just gotten lazy and old lol.
Or you've just gotten to the point where you need to take things to the next level, so to speak. Get really serious.

:bow:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:10 am

Image



Once, one Burmese monk said something like:


  • Meditate,
      • if you are in the mood for meditation.


  • Meditate,
      • if you are not in the mood for meditation.



Image
🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

Meezer77
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by Meezer77 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:50 am

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:10 am
Image



Once, one Burmese monk said something like:


  • Meditate,
      • if you are in the mood for meditation.


  • Meditate,
      • if you are not in the mood for meditation.



Image


Or in my case the word meditate would be replaced by medicate. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 I’m too easily amused, golly.

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:06 am

Meezer77 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:50 am
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:10 am
Image



Once, one Burmese monk said something like:


  • Meditate,
      • if you are in the mood for meditation.


  • Meditate,
      • if you are not in the mood for meditation.



Image


Or in my case the word meditate would be replaced by medicate. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 I’m too easily amused, golly.


:twothumbsup:

i would rather like to replace not the verbs but the nouns like this:
  • Meditate,
      • if you are in the mood for medication.


  • Meditate,
      • if you are not in the mood for medication.
🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Loss of zeal or just chilling out?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:51 am

i hope not off topic:
dhamma_newb wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:25 pm
"If we are attached to having only good experiences in meditation then bad experiences tend to come. If we are averse to bad experiences, good experiences tend not to happen. Meditation is knowing how to simply watch the experience, whether it be good or bad. If we can watch like this, we will realise that things are simply the way they are; there is no inherent good or bad. Our responsibility is merely to acknowledge whatever we are experiencing." - Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw
🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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