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Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:19 am
by No_Mind
Last nine months has been rather topsy-turvy for me. A lot of changes, a lot of suffering, a lot of samsara.

No matter how Dhammic and strong and stoical one is, it does leave an enduring mark as one goes through darkness stumbling at every footstep, never knowing what the next day will bring.

A proud and take no prisoners kind of person I have become calm but not without a deep sense of melancholia about life and what it really means.

It has also made me sentimental .. something I never was.

It all came to a head last weekend when I visited a casual dining restaurant with my niece, and the piped music was a song by a young girl named Ariana Grande (my niece said), and suddenly I remembered a similar dining experience about 20 years back and the song that was playing was one of my favorites "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" followed by "Sweet Caroline".

And I felt so terribly lonely. It is not the loneliness that goes away if one is among lots of friends and relatives. It is a disconnect .. a realization that one is too old .. that everyone sitting there considers Game of Thrones to be the greatest thing since the wheel was invented and no one .. not one person there has seen "The Godfather" or "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

How can I use Dhamma to get past this .. and grow old with no anguish? I don't mean the physical deterioration but the distance from the rest of the world.

:namaste:

No_Mind

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:29 am
by Akashad
Ow I have the exact same moment at restaurants.it's where my contemplation of impermanence gets triggered really bad it's a sad event for me except, I'm not old.but I can already see the end coming.I can i swear I'm not being philosophical i trully see it coming I feel so much grief and nostalgia for things that haven't even happened yet.I asked a meditation teacher how I shouldn't be sad about impermanence and he said the key is to understand that this body does not belong to us,nothing belongs to us.just go with the flow.Another way to take away the grief and sadness is by cultivating brahmaviharas if your not ready for the let go let go anatta approach then brahmaviharas will keep you safe in a bubble plus produce a good death and rebirth.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:18 am
by No_Mind
Akashad wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:29 am
Ow I have the exact same moment at restaurants.it's where my contemplation of impermanence gets triggered really bad it's a sad event for me except, I'm not old.but I can already see the end coming.I can i swear I'm not being philosophical i trully see it coming I feel so much grief and nostalgia for things that haven't even happened yet.I asked a meditation teacher how I shouldn't be sad about impermanence and he said the key is to understand that this body does not belong to us,nothing belongs to us.just go with the flow.Another way to take away the grief and sadness is by cultivating brahmaviharas if your not ready for the let go let go anatta approach then brahmaviharas will keep you safe in a bubble plus produce a good death and rebirth.
I am not exactly old but middle aged. "How to cope with middle age" would have been sounded so much more prosaic.

Will try to heed your advice and dedicate myself more to suttas.

For old times sake .. (maybe mods would frown)



P.S - As I grow older YouTube, it seems is becoming my best friend.

:namaste:

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:39 am
by Ceisiwr
No_Mind wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:19 am
Last nine months has been rather topsy-turvy for me. A lot of changes, a lot of suffering, a lot of samsara.

No matter how Dhammic and strong and stoical one is, it does leave an enduring mark as one goes through darkness stumbling at every footstep, never knowing what the next day will bring.

A proud and take no prisoners kind of person I have become calm but not without a deep sense of melancholia about life and what it really means.

It has also made me sentimental .. something I never was.

It all came to a head last weekend when I visited a casual dining restaurant with my niece, and the piped music was a song by a young girl named Ariana Grande (my niece said), and suddenly I remembered a similar dining experience about 20 years back and the song that was playing was one of my favorites "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" followed by "Sweet Caroline".

And I felt so terribly lonely. It is not the loneliness that goes away if one is among lots of friends and relatives. It is a disconnect .. a realization that one is too old .. that everyone sitting there considers Game of Thrones to be the greatest thing since the wheel was invented and no one .. not one person there has seen "The Godfather" or "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

How can I use Dhamma to get past this .. and grow old with no anguish? I don't mean the physical deterioration but the distance from the rest of the world.

:namaste:

No_Mind


Remember that this life isn’t yours.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:45 am
by budo
You're getting upset that people have newer toys? :D

I sometimes get upset thinking about how people I love continually suffer and there's nothing I can do about it.

One of the reasons why I don't want to bring a child into this world, don't want them to get disease and illness, potentially raped, murdered, falsely imprisoned, stolen from, kidnapped, wars, deal with death of loved ones, deal with the horrors of existence. If I do bring a child to this world, it's only for them to understand nature and attain the dhamma.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:47 am
by Sam Vara
You are attached to "The Godfather", but not to "Game of Thrones"; probably because you were exposed to the former at a time in your life when you were forming an attractive sense of who you are.

Now you have been given the opportunity to detach from both. When I revisit music and films from my youth, I'm often struck by a number of features. First, how different they are from my memories of them. This suggests that a lot of the "golden aura" is something that I currently contribute to them. I hold the idea of them in my mind, and how special I am to have discerned their depth and quality. But I haven't actually remembered them all that accurately.

Second, how poor they are. Crude production techniques. When I first saw the "Woodstock" movie, I thought it was cutting edge: all that fancy photography and deep philosophy! Today, it's merely embarrassing.

Third, how similar they are to so much popular culture; the same chords, same clichéd situations, the same tricks on the part of the artist (or more likely a committee of "creatives") to grab our attention. For example, many people of my generation revere The Beatles. They think of them as creative demi-gods. But if you listen carefully, and know a bit about music, their work, good as it is, is very similar to soppy old British music-hall songs of earlier generations. Quality work, to be sure, but just disposable tricks of the trade. In this, and other examples of popular culture, I think the trick is to see how much of us there is invested in the memories and the appreciation.

When you let that go, the rather syrupy and self-indulgent feelings of sadness and loneliness are replaced by a feeling of uprightness and calm.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:48 am
by No_Mind
budo wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:45 am
You're getting upset that people have newer toys? :D

I sometimes get upset thinking about how people I love continually suffer and there's nothing I can do about it.
I am not upset at people. I am trying to cope (like many others) with growing old and becoming more and more disconnected from society.

:namaste:

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:51 am
by budo
No_Mind wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:48 am
budo wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:45 am
You're getting upset that people have newer toys? :D

I sometimes get upset thinking about how people I love continually suffer and there's nothing I can do about it.
I am not upset at people. I am trying to cope (like many others) with growing old and becoming more and more disconnected from society.

:namaste:
Yes I know, but you shouldn't look at it that way. You should see those examples you listed as people burning themselves with fire and being oblivious to it. You should see it as you burned yourself with fire, and now you suffer for it.

The world is burning with fire, better to live in a sublime peaceful garden.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:51 am
by No_Mind
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:47 am
In this, and other examples of popular culture, I think the trick is to see how much of us there is invested in the memories and the appreciation.

When you let that go, the rather syrupy and self-indulgent feelings of sadness and loneliness are replaced by a feeling of uprightness and calm.
Exactly. I have like most people spent much of my life becoming attached to what is transient. It is like trying to hug a cloud.

I never cease to be amazed at how this forum can make me see/think clearly.

:namaste:

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:56 am
by Sam Vara
No_Mind wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:51 am

Exactly. I have like most people spent much of my life becoming attached to what is transient. It is like trying to hug a cloud.

:namaste:
All of us are the same. But some of us have heard that there might be a remedy!

It's good to see you around again, No_Mind.
:namaste:

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:31 am
by SarathW
If you in the present moment you can’t grow old.
You feel old because you have attachment to the past and the anxiety about the future.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:11 pm
by salayatananirodha
feeling is conditioned, not unconditioned
being conditioned, it arises, it changes while persisting, and is subject to fading away

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:34 pm
by binocular
Jarā-dhammomhi jaraṁ anatīto.

I am subject to aging. Aging is unavoidable.

Byādhi-dhammomhi byādhiṁ anatīto.

I am subject to illness. Illness is unavoidable.

Maraṇa-dhammomhi maraṇaṁ anatīto.

I am subject to death. Death is unavoidable.

Sabbehi me piyehi manāpehi nānā-bhāvo vinā-bhāvo.

I will grow different, separate from all that is dear & appealing to me.

Kammassakomhi kamma-dāyādo kamma-yoni kamma-bandhu kamma-paṭisaraṇo.

I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and live dependent on my actions.

Yaṁ kammaṁ karissāmi kalyāṇaṁ vā pāpakaṁ vā tassa dāyādo bhavissāmi.

Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.

Evaṁ amhehi abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ.

We should often reflect on this.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Chant ... n0007.html

I will grow different, separate from all that is dear & appealing to me.


P.S.
Find an audio of this chant, one that will readily stick in your mind, for easy safekeeping and recollection.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:45 pm
by binocular
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:47 am
You are attached to "The Godfather", but not to "Game of Thrones"; probably because you were exposed to the former at a time in your life when you were forming an attractive sense of who you are.
Technically, these are all tragedies: GoT is about royals and aristocrats and lots of them dying by murder, so it's automatically fit for the category of "tragedy"; and "The Godfather" series, although not about royals, are about the mobster equivalent of royals, and again, lots of them dying by murder.

There is something profoundly attractive about tragedy; and proper tragedy involves royals, not commoners, plebeans.
Tragedy dignifies human suffering in the way ordinary drama (involving commoners) does not.

I think this is something to look into -- the way one wishes to appear classy even when old, ill, and down on one's luck.

Re: Coping with growing old

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 4:22 pm
by No_Mind
binocular wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:45 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 8:47 am
You are attached to "The Godfather", but not to "Game of Thrones"; probably because you were exposed to the former at a time in your life when you were forming an attractive sense of who you are.
Technically, these are all tragedies: GoT is about royals and aristocrats and lots of them dying by murder, so it's automatically fit for the category of "tragedy"; and "The Godfather" series, although not about royals, are about the mobster equivalent of royals, and again, lots of them dying by murder.

There is something profoundly attractive about tragedy; and proper tragedy involves royals, not commoners, plebeans.
Tragedy dignifies human suffering in the way ordinary drama (involving commoners) does not.

I think this is something to look into -- the way one wishes to appear classy even when old, ill, and down on one's luck.
You misunderstood me. It is not only about "The Godfather" but also several "good" films (mostly from my parent's generation) such as "Dr. Zhivago" or "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

Don't hone in on tragedy. In subtle ways society has begun to tell me (and everyone else my age .. born towards end of Vietnam War) that we are no longer needed, our needs and aspirations (human needs .. emotional needs) no longer matter.

It is extremely difficult to come to terms with being cast aside by society.

:namaste: