Developing the heart & developing disaster

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Sanjay PS
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Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:26 pm

Developing the heart & developing disaster

Postby Sanjay PS » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:40 am

Inspirational quotes by Arhant , Venerable Ajhan Chah

In the beginning you have to train your heart like this. You may not understand what is happening or what the point of it is, but when the teacher tells you to do something, then you must do it. You will develop the virtues of patience and endurance. Whatever happens, you endure, because that is the way it is. For example, when you begin to practice samādhi you want peace and tranquillity. But you don't get any. You don't get any because you have never practiced this way. Your heart says, ''I'll sit until I attain tranquillity''. But when tranquillity doesn't arise, you suffer. And when there is suffering, you get up and run away! To practice like this can not be called ''developing the heart''. It's called ''desertion''.
Instead of indulging in your moods, you train yourself with the Dhamma of the Buddha. Lazy or diligent, you just keep on practicing. Don't you think that this is a better way? The other way, the way of following your moods, will never reach the Dhamma. If you practice the Dhamma, then whatever the mood may be, you keep on practicing, constantly practicing. The other way of self-indulgence is not the way of the Buddha. When we follow our own views on practice, our own opinions about the Dhamma, we can never see clearly what is right and what is wrong. We don't know our own heart. We don't know ourselves.

Therefore, to practice following your own teachings is the slowest way. To practice following the Dhamma is the direct way. Lazy you practice; diligent you practice. You are aware of time and place. This is called ''developing the heart''.

If you indulge in following your own views and try to practice accordingly, then you will start thinking and doubting a lot. You think to yourself, ''I don't have very much merit. I don't have any luck. I've been practicing meditation for years now and I'm still unenlightened. I still haven't seen the Dhamma''. To practice with this kind of attitude can not be called ''developing the heart''. It is called ''developing disaster''.
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

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Re: Developing the heart & developing disaster

Postby binocular » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:11 am

Sanjay PS wrote:Inspirational quotes by Arhant , Venerable Ajhan Chah
If you indulge in following your own views and try to practice accordingly, then you will start thinking and doubting a lot.

I think there is a factor in this "indulgence in one's own views" that we as Westerners are not directly responsible for, nor is it easy to fix. This factor is some basic trust in the Dhamma as taught by Buddhists and trust in the Buddhists.

Being born and raised in a Buddhist culture, that trust is to some extent a given in the sense that it is cultivated from early on; in said culture, children begin to have that trust long before they are even old enough to be able to have much doubt at all. Before they know it, they have a sense of belonging to the community of Buddhists.

But for us Westerners who first come to Buddhism as (young) adults, things are very different. That basic trust is not there. And first cultivating it when already an adult is a lot different than cultivating it as a child. Cultivating it as an adult, one has to make many more decisions than a child; for the child, those were made by the child's parents.

So some Westerners who have an interest in Buddhism develop a sense of alienation from Buddhism and Buddhists, a sense that they have to work hard to earn their position in Buddhism. With this, it's no wonder they resort to "indulgence in one's own views."
Glenn Wallis: Nascent speculative non-Buddhism
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Do you believe that the Dhamma can be adequately taught solely through words, and even to people one doesn't care about?

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