Meditation and Ambition

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Meditation and Ambition

Post by rowyourboat » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:11 pm

Hello Ashitaka
It is important to be able to maintain/sustain yourself in life- it is also natural that we change as human beings, especially when we start meditating. we will not always want to be what we thought we would be many years ago. meditation has changed my life- i have diverted my life path into something more wholesome along the lines of what I am already doing (it is in the caring professions)- I hope to bring mindfulness and meditation more into my work. So it is best to find a good balance between both- I have been meditating for a few years now and I find that I have amibition, but for wholesome things-that is what gives me satisfaction- my life would have taken a very differnt path if it hadnt been for the dhamma - i would have been interested in the whole money and power game. i dont see my self going down that path for those reasons. having said that there is nothing inherantly wrong with money- it all depends how badly you crave for it and what you plan to use it for. As long as it is not for entirely selfish aims and you dont develop a bad craving for it -nothing inherantly wrong in it IMO-especially if one is on the path and knows what one is doing.
With Metta

& Upekkha

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Re: Meditation and Ambition

Post by Dan74 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:41 pm

I do recall a sutta where a performer comes to the Buddha and is instructed to drop his activity as something bolstering delusion (reference?)

In Mahayana, there is Khyentse Norbu who is a lama and film-maker ... e_Rinpoche making Buddhist films and thereby perhaps circumventing the Buddha's advice to the performer.

I would say that if you make films that cause people to pursue Dhamma or to embrace more wholesome and creative aspects of their lives, then it is not against the Buddha's teaching and an ambition worth having!

The effects you are describing from meditation could be the initial phase. One of the things I've noticed is a kind of openness and that helps creative ideas flow. But I guess it depends on just how much structure and expectation is there in your meditation practice.

Good luck!!!


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Re: Meditation and Ambition

Post by pink_trike » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:23 am

My ambition is to see as clearly as I can (in the Dharma sense) no matter what I find myself doing - whether it's art, blowing my nose, building my little business empire, or sleeping.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen


Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Meditation and Ambition

Post by AdvaitaJ » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:13 am

AN 8.54 Thus have I heard. Once the Exalted One was dwelling amongst the Koliyans, in their market town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dighajanu, a Koliyan, approached the Exalted One, respectfully saluted Him and sat on one side. Thus seated, he addressed the Exalted One as follows:

"We, Lord, are laymen who enjoy worldly pleasure. We lead a life encumbered by wife and children. We use sandalwood of Kasi. We deck ourselves with garlands, perfume and unguents. We use gold and silver. To those like us, O Lord, let the Exalted One preach the Dhamma, teach those things that lead to weal and happiness in this life and to weal and happiness in future life."

Conditions of Worldly Progress
"Four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life. Which four?

"The accomplishment of persistent effort (utthana-sampada), the accomplishment of watchfulness (arakkha-sampada), good friendship (kalyanamittata) and balanced livelihood (sama-jivikata).

"What is the accomplishment of persistent effort?

"Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft — at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.

My rookie opinion: Go for it. Just keep your perspective balanced, remember what's really important, and don't crave or cling to success.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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