Motivation to Reach Nibbana

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WindDancer
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Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by WindDancer »

After listening to Bhikkhu Bodhi's Introduction to Buddhism 6 day course on YouTube, I reflected on my faith and confidence in the Buddha's teachings and my resolve to live this Path of liberation. Bhikkhu Bodhi offered why it is worth it to dedicate oneself to this practice whether there is no existence after death, there is only one life followed by an eternal afterlife or there are multiple lives.

I related to all of Bhikkhu Bodhi's reasons why it is worth it to fully commit myself and my life to live this Path of liberation. To the level of my understanding, I have solid faith and confidence in the Buddha and his teachings, and I am fully resolved to engage wholeheartedly to daily practice, but I found one problem in my motivation.

I know there are benefits to myself and others in this life if I practice to the best of my ability. I have experienced benefits to myself and others as I have practiced The 4 Nobel Truths, The Noble 8 Fold Path, The Bramha Viharas, Sila, Panna & Samadhi, The Precepts, The Paramis, The 7 Factors of Awakening and more. I have faith that the good or bad Kamma we create will impact us after this life. This creates motivation to fully live this practice even when it is challenging because of the consequences both in this life and what comes after this life. I am motivated to practice for the increase of happiness and the reduction of suffering for all beings, and I am motivated to share the Dhamma with others so they might benefit from this Practice.

I lose focus and my motivation wavers when I consider doing what it takes to reach Nibbana. I start asking myself, "What is Nibbana, and is it worth it?"

Several talks by Dhamma teachers make Nibbana sound like it is unable to be understood by those living in a conditioned existence. They say the Buddha describes how to reach Nibbana, but He doesn't say what Nibbana is. This perspective perpetuates my loss of focus and loss of wholehearted motivation to practice at a the level required to reach Nibbana.

Other Dhamma teachers talk about Nibbana in ways that sound similar to the way a severely depressed person talks about why they want to commit suicide. "I am suffering so much in my life that the solution is to end my life." Similarly, the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth is Samsara or endless suffering. Nibbana is a way to end this suffering by stopping living altogether. I am motivated to practice to suffer less, but these perspectives on Nibbana do not create an unwavering motivation to do what it takes to reach Nibanna.

I would appreciate your help in understanding how to develop and maintain the motivation necessary to reach Nibbana.

Thanks,

WindDancer
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char101
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by char101 »

Nibanna is based on no desire instead of desire, so instead of having desire to attain nibanna, you develop no desire towards the 5 khandhas, rebirth, and existence, due to their nature of impermanence, suffering and not self. That itself, is nibanna.
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by SteRo »

WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am I know there are benefits to myself and others in this life if I practice to the best of my ability. I have experienced benefits to myself and others as I have practiced The 4 Nobel Truths, The Noble 8 Fold Path, The Bramha Viharas, Sila, Panna & Samadhi, The Precepts, The Paramis, The 7 Factors of Awakening and more. I have faith that the good or bad Kamma we create will impact us after this life. This creates motivation to fully live this practice even when it is challenging because of the consequences both in this life and what comes after this life. I am motivated to practice for the increase of happiness and the reduction of suffering for all beings, and I am motivated to share the Dhamma with others so they might benefit from this Practice.

I lose focus and my motivation wavers when I consider doing what it takes to reach Nibbana. I start asking myself, "What is Nibbana, and is it worth it?"
Maybe your lineage does not match a particular understanding of the path?
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am Several talks by Dhamma teachers make Nibbana sound like it is unable to be understood by those living in a conditioned existence. They say the Buddha describes how to reach Nibbana, but He doesn't say what Nibbana is. This perspective perpetuates my loss of focus and loss of wholehearted motivation to practice at a the level required to reach Nibbana.
In a sutta the buddha says that he's only teaching dukkha and the ending of dukkha. Isn't that enough?
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am Other Dhamma teachers talk about Nibbana in ways that sound similar to the way a severely depressed person talks about why they want to commit suicide. "I am suffering so much in my life that the solution is to end my life." Similarly, the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth is Samsara or endless suffering. Nibbana is a way to end this suffering by stopping living altogether. I am motivated to practice to suffer less, but these perspectives on Nibbana do not create an unwavering motivation to do what it takes to reach Nibanna.
You might also set the goal lower, e.g. attaining sotapanna. Because the greatest attainment of sotapanna from my perspective isn't abandonment of personality belief but abandonment of doubt and attainment of certainty which remedies lack of motivation or contaminated motivation.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by DooDoot »

WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am He doesn't say what Nibbana is. This perspective perpetuates my loss of focus and loss of wholehearted motivation to practice at a the level required to reach Nibbana.
The scriptures explain countless times what Nibbana is. Nibbana is the end of craving; the end of greed, hatred & delusion; the end of self-view; dispassion; disenchantment; etc.
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am Similarly, the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth is Samsara or endless suffering.
'Birth' ('jati') & 'death' ('marana') are types of attachment or self-views; the belief there are "selves" (instead of mere 'aggregates' & 'elements') that are born & that die, which creates suffering. Many scriptures (such as MN 140) say when conceiving 'self' ends, birth & death end.
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 amI would appreciate your help in understanding how to develop and maintain the motivation necessary to reach Nibbana.
I think to be motivated for Nibbana, you must already have a natural dispassion or disinterest towards worldly things. Nibbana is not like acquiring a better more luxurious motor car. Instead, Nibbana is like having no interest in motor cars.
Yāvatā, bhikkhave, dhammā saṅkhatā vā asaṅkhatā vā, virāgo tesaṃ aggamakkhāyati, yadidaṃ madanimmadano pipāsavinayo ālayasamugghāto vaṭṭupacchedo taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṃ. Ye, bhikkhave, virāge dhamme pasannā, agge te pasannā. Agge kho pana pasannānaṃ aggo vipāko hot .

To whatever extent there are phenomena conditioned or unconditioned, dispassion is declared the foremost among them, that is, the crushing of pride, the removal of thirst, the uprooting of attachment, the termination of the round, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbāna. Those who have confidence in the Dhamma of dispassion have confidence in the foremost, and for those who have confidence in the foremost, the result is foremost.


https://suttacentral.net/an4.34/en/bodhi
:candle:
SteRo wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:11 am...the greatest attainment of sotapanna from my perspective isn't abandonment of personality belief but abandonment of doubt and attainment of certainty which remedies lack of motivation or contaminated motivation.
The abandonment of doubt occurs when the sotapanna clearly discerns personality belief causes and/or is suffering. In other words, the abandonment of personality belief & abandonment of doubt occur together and cannot be separate things. :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by SteRo »

DooDoot wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:41 am
SteRo wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:11 am...the greatest attainment of sotapanna from my perspective isn't abandonment of personality belief but abandonment of doubt and attainment of certainty which remedies lack of motivation or contaminated motivation.
The abandonment of doubt occurs when the sotapanna clearly discerns personality belief causes and/or is suffering. In other words, the abandonment of personality belief & abandonment of doubt occur together and cannot be separate things. :smile:
Still conceptually the attainments can be separated and individually assessed as in the case of "Feeling, perception, & consciousness" (MN43). Since actually no attainment at all can be affirmed shows that both, separate assessment and assessment as a oneness are actually baseless and depend on conventional context.
Last edited by SteRo on Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ
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Aloka
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by Aloka »

Hi WindDancer,

Can I suggest that you have a look at this book " The Island - An Anthology of theBuddha's Teachings on Nibbana" by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro....and first read Ajahn Sumedho's Introduction at the beginning of the book.

https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/the-island/

With metta,

Aloka :anjali:

.
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by Srilankaputra »

It is possible to get an approximate knowledge about Nibbana, that will aid the attainment of experiential knowledge later.

In order to do that, something interesting about the mind has to be understood. The mind can take as its object the presence of something as well as the absence of something. Some examples,

:heart: I can say; this heart is red, equally I can say this heart is not blue.

'0' This number has no value.

There are said to be three ways that a mind in Samma Samadhi turning away from the world can take Nibbana as object.

Absent of all perceptual attributes(Animitta)

Unagitated(Appanihita)

Coreless(Suñña)

Sīlavaṃtaṃ guṇavaṃtaṃ
Puññakkhettaṃ anuttaraṃ
Dullabhena mayā laddhaṃ
Passituṃ vandituṃ varaṃ
Sāriputtādi therānaṃ
āgataṃ paṭipāṭiyā
saddhā sīlaṃ dayāvāsaṃ
Buddha puttaṃ namāmahaṃ
santa100
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by santa100 »

WindDancer wrote:Several talks by Dhamma teachers make Nibbana sound like it is unable to be understood by those living in a conditioned existence. They say the Buddha describes how to reach Nibbana, but He doesn't say what Nibbana is. This perspective perpetuates my loss of focus and loss of wholehearted motivation to practice at a the level required to reach Nibbana.
But then it's not that much different from other worldly disciplines. One doesn't really have a clear idea of the end goal is until one's spent time completing the curriculum in a gradual and consistent manner. For example, for a 4-year degree in Mechanical engineering, one'd have no idea about the exact nature of this kind of engineering at first. And just by sitting there pondering won't get him anywhere. S/he has to go through the curriculum: Freshman year, Calculus I, Physics, Intro. to Engineering Design; Sophomore year, Multi-var Calc, Differential Equation, Thermodynamics; Junior year: Fluid Mechanics, Mech Design & Manufacturing; Senior year: Heat Transfer, Control Systems. As s/he progresses thru the courses and connect all the pieces of the puzzle, the idea of what Mechanical engineering really is gets clearer and clearer and clearer. Similarly for the idea of Nibbana. One can only truly know it after s/he's walked the walk, not just talk the talk. One'd also need to progress from Freshman year thru Senior year (ie Sotapanna/stream-enterer, Sakadagami/Once-return, Anagami/Non-return, Arahant )
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

The Buddha taught that the unenlightened life is suffering; but that there is a way out of suffering. To those who have attained to high levels of insight there is little to no suffering.
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/Buddha
Nibbana (Pali), nirvana (Sanskrit), is the highest spiritual state and the ultimate goal of Buddhism.

The word nibbana comes from nir meaning ‘stop’ and và meaning ‘to blow.’ Thus Nibbana is the extinguishing or blowing out of the fires of greed, hatred and ignorance. Alternatively, it may come from nir plus vana meaning ‘desire’ and thus mean the ‘stopping of desire.’ When, as a result of practicing The Noble Eightfold Middle Path, ignorance and craving give way to knowledge and fulfilment, one attains Nibbana and at death is no longer subject to rebirth and all the suffering that entails.
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/Nibbana
Nirvana (Buddhism)
Nirvana (निर्वाण, Sanskrit: nirvāṇa; Pali: nibbana, nibbāna) is the goal of the Buddhist path.[1] The literal meaning of the term is "blowing out" or "quenching".[2] Nirvana is the ultimate spiritual goal in Buddhism and marks the soteriological release from rebirths in saṃsāra.[1][3] Nirvana is part of the Third Truth on "cessation of dukkha" in the Four Noble Truths,[1] and the summum bonum destination of the Noble Eightfold Path.[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_(Buddhism)
ti-lakkhaṇa:
Three characteristics inherent in all conditioned phenomena — being inconstant (anicca), stressful (dukkha), and not-self (anattā).
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html#t
Three kinds of dukkha
"There are these three forms of stressfulness, my friend: the stressfulness of pain, the stressfulness of fabrication, the stressfulness of change. These are the three forms of stressfulness."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... ukkha.html
The concept of suffering can be seen from three aspects: (i) suffering due to pain (dukkha-dukkhata), (ii) suffering due to change and (viparinama-dukkhata), (iii) suffering inherent in the sankhara- dukkhata). All sorts of suffering in life, such as birth, old age, illness, death, association with people and unpleasant situations, separation of loved ones and pleasant conditions, not getting what you want, sadness, lamentation, stress - all these forms of physical and mental suffering, which are universally accepted as suffering or pain, are included in the suffering aspect due to pain. A pleasant sensation, a happy situation in life, is not permanent, it is not eternal. It changes, sooner or later, and when it does, it produces pain, suffering, unhappiness. This vicissitude is included in the aspect of suffering due to change. It is easy to understand the two forms of suffering mentioned above. No one will contest them. This aspect of the First Noble Truth is more popularly known because it is easy to understand. It is a common experience in our daily lives. But the third kind of suffering inherent in formations is the most important philosophical aspect of the First Noble Truth, and it requires some analytical explanation of what we regard as a "being," as an "individual," or as "I."

What we call "being," or "individual," or "I," according to Buddhist philosophy, is only a combination of constantly changing physical and mental forces / energies that can be divided into five groups or aggregates .
Source in Portuguese: http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/dhp/dhp2.28.php
"Mahali, if form were exclusively stressful — followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure — beings would not be infatuated with form. But because form is also pleasurable — followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress — beings are infatuated with form. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition.

"Mahali, if form were exclusively pleasurable — followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress — beings would not be disenchanted with form. But because form is also stressful — followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure — beings are disenchanted with form. Through disenchantment, they grow dispassionate. Through dispassion, they are purified. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the purification of beings. And this is how beings are purified with cause, with requisite condition.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:anjali:


I also have problems with Depression ..

and it is very interesting to see how we can change our opinion depending on our emotional state which is impermanent.

so it's normal to be unmotivated on the way in search of Nibbana ..

most practitioners feel this .. even practitioners who have no problems with depression ..

then this emotional state will pass ... and you will see more clearly the importance of continuing to practice in search of Nibbana ..

Keep practicing..

:namaste:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by befriend »

Nibbana is the ultamite peace meaning it's the ultamite happiness because peace is the highest happiness if Buddhism makes you happy on a daily basis focus on the happiness the joy it gives you
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by cappuccino »

WindDancer wrote: I start asking myself, "What is Nibbana, and is it worth it?"
It is … the Wonderful, the Marvellous, Nibbæna, Purity, Freedom, the Island, the Refuge, the Beyond.
~ S 43.1-44
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by WindDancer »

char101 wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:06 am Nibanna is based on no desire instead of desire, so instead of having desire to attain nibanna, you develop no desire towards the 5 khandhas, rebirth, and existence, due to their nature of impermanence, suffering and not self. That itself, is nibanna.
Thank you. This change of perspective is helpful,

:anjali:

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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by WindDancer »

SteRo wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:11 am
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am I know there are benefits to myself and others in this life if I practice to the best of my ability. I have experienced benefits to myself and others as I have practiced The 4 Nobel Truths, The Noble 8 Fold Path, The Bramha Viharas, Sila, Panna & Samadhi, The Precepts, The Paramis, The 7 Factors of Awakening and more. I have faith that the good or bad Kamma we create will impact us after this life. This creates motivation to fully live this practice even when it is challenging because of the consequences both in this life and what comes after this life. I am motivated to practice for the increase of happiness and the reduction of suffering for all beings, and I am motivated to share the Dhamma with others so they might benefit from this Practice.

I lose focus and my motivation wavers when I consider doing what it takes to reach Nibbana. I start asking myself, "What is Nibbana, and is it worth it?"
Maybe your lineage does not match a particular understanding of the path?
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am Several talks by Dhamma teachers make Nibbana sound like it is unable to be understood by those living in a conditioned existence. They say the Buddha describes how to reach Nibbana, but He doesn't say what Nibbana is. This perspective perpetuates my loss of focus and loss of wholehearted motivation to practice at a the level required to reach Nibbana.
In a sutta the buddha says that he's only teaching dukkha and the ending of dukkha. Isn't that enough?
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am Other Dhamma teachers talk about Nibbana in ways that sound similar to the way a severely depressed person talks about why they want to commit suicide. "I am suffering so much in my life that the solution is to end my life." Similarly, the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth is Samsara or endless suffering. Nibbana is a way to end this suffering by stopping living altogether. I am motivated to practice to suffer less, but these perspectives on Nibbana do not create an unwavering motivation to do what it takes to reach Nibanna.
You might also set the goal lower, e.g. attaining sotapanna. Because the greatest attainment of sotapanna from my perspective isn't abandonment of personality belief but abandonment of doubt and attainment of certainty which remedies lack of motivation or contaminated motivation.
Thank you SteRo. The ending of dukkha is enough, and I am motivated to do what it takes to end dukkha. I think you have revealed the presence of one of my stronger defects- the feeling of not doing, having, accomplishing or experiencing enough. I am at peace and am highly motivated to maintain my daily practice and to continue to grow. I need to be content where I am on the Path. I like your suggestion to set a lower goal of sotapanna and this would naturally remove the doubt that is impacting my motivation of doing what it takes to reach Nibbana.

:namaste:

WindDancer
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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by DooDoot »

SteRo wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:26 am Since actually no attainment at all can be affirmed shows that both, separate assessment and assessment as a oneness are actually baseless and depend on conventional context.
Mahayana papanca. Doubt about what is really the Path ends because it is experienced directly giving up personality view ends stress & suffering. How can doubt end if the taste of liberation is not experienced? :shrug:

:focus:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Motivation to Reach Nibbana

Post by WindDancer »

DooDoot wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:41 am
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am He doesn't say what Nibbana is. This perspective perpetuates my loss of focus and loss of wholehearted motivation to practice at a the level required to reach Nibbana.
The scriptures explain countless times what Nibbana is. Nibbana is the end of craving; the end of greed, hatred & delusion; the end of self-view; dispassion; disenchantment; etc.
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 am Similarly, the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth is Samsara or endless suffering.
'Birth' ('jati') & 'death' ('marana') are types of attachment or self-views; the belief there are "selves" (instead of mere 'aggregates' & 'elements') that are born & that die, which creates suffering. Many scriptures (such as MN 140) say when conceiving 'self' ends, birth & death end.
WindDancer wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:50 amI would appreciate your help in understanding how to develop and maintain the motivation necessary to reach Nibbana.
I think to be motivated for Nibbana, you must already have a natural dispassion or disinterest towards worldly things. Nibbana is not like acquiring a better more luxurious motor car. Instead, Nibbana is like having no interest in motor cars.
Yāvatā, bhikkhave, dhammā saṅkhatā vā asaṅkhatā vā, virāgo tesaṃ aggamakkhāyati, yadidaṃ madanimmadano pipāsavinayo ālayasamugghāto vaṭṭupacchedo taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṃ. Ye, bhikkhave, virāge dhamme pasannā, agge te pasannā. Agge kho pana pasannānaṃ aggo vipāko hot .

To whatever extent there are phenomena conditioned or unconditioned, dispassion is declared the foremost among them, that is, the crushing of pride, the removal of thirst, the uprooting of attachment, the termination of the round, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbāna. Those who have confidence in the Dhamma of dispassion have confidence in the foremost, and for those who have confidence in the foremost, the result is foremost.


https://suttacentral.net/an4.34/en/bodhi
:candle:
SteRo wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:11 am...the greatest attainment of sotapanna from my perspective isn't abandonment of personality belief but abandonment of doubt and attainment of certainty which remedies lack of motivation or contaminated motivation.
The abandonment of doubt occurs when the sotapanna clearly discerns personality belief causes and/or is suffering. In other words, the abandonment of personality belief & abandonment of doubt occur together and cannot be separate things. :smile:
Thank you DooDoot for your thoughtful reply. Your reply and some of what others have shared have helped me to see that I have been seeing things from an unhelpful perspective, and as a result, I have been engaging in wrong action or taking an unhelpful approach. I see that my perspective has been tainted by the greed of attainment of Nibbana instead of taking action aligned with "the end of greed, hatred & delusion; the end of self-view; dispassion; disenchantment; etc." as you stated above. It makes sense what you shared, "when conceiving 'self' ends, birth & death end."

I have plenty of personal experience that supports your comment, "I think to be motivated for Nibbana, you must already have a natural dispassion or disinterest towards worldly things." People, things, experiences, etc. that I desperately clung to years ago, no longer have a hold on me. The dispassion and disinterest in these worldly things just melted away as a result of living and practicing this Path of liberation. You have helped me grow in faith and understanding of how to continue to make progress.

I appreciate your patience and the patience of others as I learn. Due to where I have lived, I have done my best to find my way over the past 40 years or so. I have not had the benefit from a local teacher or sangha that offered a well rounded and in depth approach to sharing the Dhamma. As a result, I have grown considerably in some areas. I have a moderate amount of growth in others, and I am in the beginning stages of development in other areas. Those of you here at Dhammawheel continue to be a big help toward helping me become more balanced in my overall practice.

:namaste:

WindDancer
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