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emotions

Postby Guo Gu on Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:55 am

hi everyone,
here's a thread to share, question, comment on all sorts of topics regarding emotions.
i know it is so big of a topic, and so central in ppl's lives. most ppl identify themselves with their emotions; it is what ppl have ever known about themselves so it's hard to see that their life choices, values, discrimination, happiness/anguish, etc. are determined by it.
what do you say?
guo gu
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Re: emotions

Postby Nothing on Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:37 am

Hi Guo Gu :heya:

Yes, we are definitely conditioned by our emotions. Personally I have found myself in situations where the emotional response is automatic, a strong habitual tendency to respond or to react in the same or similar way, especially when the present situation resembles a situation from the past, when there was a strong emotional response, either pleasant or unpleasant, depending on was the expectation of that particular situation, either fulfilled or unfulfilled, but both obviously have led to forming of strong conditioning or habitual tendency that can manifest anytime in the present and sometimes I find it hard to be aware, mindful or attentive to notice the habitual emotional reaction as it arises, instead it is noticed after the damage is done :)


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Re: emotions

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:34 pm

Guo Gu wrote:what do you say?


I live a very simple life,
The obvious obervation that emotions arise due to conditions and are temporary and therefore it arises dependendly show that all emotions (thoughts etc) are void of self nature, so how could one identify with emotions or thoughts.

Instead of going to psychologist or whatever Guru or book is now in the top 10 of self-help list, one simply needs to study dependent origination, not perse the literature, but when you wake up in the morning the simplest thought of "I want a cup of coffee" and understand its origination is the way, instead of thinking about stuff or trying to pacify the churning of emotional reactivity only when life doesn't go how we want, then you're too late and is only counterproductive.

I'm actually helping a 6 year old observing this while most adults cannot because they're to intellectualy attached to their ideas about themselves and the world. Forget religion books and all that, just observe the "mind" (the very thing which arises due to conditions and is temporary) and see any identity is an addition to perception, thus a fantasy, and one cannot be liberated from fantasy with the use of fantasy.

If one cannot see dependent arising as it is, then the first antidote is understanding intellectually that "I am not these thoughts or emotions" which is good, but since it is intellectual one must be wary that that thought or "insight" which is merely a temporary medicine does not become a sickness, which counts for all appearances (as thoughts are) which are mistaken for Source. In the end a free one does not go through the day thinking once "I am the body" or "I am not the body" or "I am these emotions" or "I am not these emotions" it's simply all a product of mind, a free one is not free of anything, because even the notion of being free from illusion, is the very illusion.

So lets dance and chill for a bit, drinks are on me. :)
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Re: emotions

Postby Nothing on Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:34 pm

Brother,

I fully agree that the way is to observe the dependent arising of all things, phenomena during the day, see them for what they are i.e empty (not the common understanding of that word, but you know that) and by no accident that is the central teaching in Buddhism , but in my opinion some people who have bigger psychological problems, first need psychological counseling, which can help to form an adequate self first and even for those who do not have any major psychological issues, because their minds are not calm, to just observe the "mind" will end up in spacing out for most of the time :), but I could be wrong.

I suck at dancing, but I can chill with a bourbon ;)
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Re: emotions

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:20 pm

Happy... to know you, Guo Gu.

Grateful... for your gift of your book to me: Passing Through the Gateless Barrier -- Koan Practice for Real Life, (2016), Shambhala.

Excited... that Fukasetsu (alias, one "Marcel"... ) may be attending Chan retreat with you soon, during Rohatsu sesshin season.

Full of best wishes... for everyone.

Thanks for asking, practice continues. Every day is a new day.

:rbow:

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Re: emotions

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:00 am

Nothing wrote:Brother,

I fully agree that the way is to observe the dependent arising of all things, phenomena during the day, see them for what they are i.e empty (not the common understanding of that word, but you know that) and by no accident that is the central teaching in Buddhism , but in my opinion some people who have bigger psychological problems, first need psychological counseling, which can help to form an adequate self first and even for those who do not have any major psychological issues, because their minds are not calm, to just observe the "mind" will end up in spacing out for most of the time :), but I could be wrong.

I suck at dancing, but I can chill with a bourbon ;)


Good to see you again Brother,

I understand what you're saying at it depends on the pshycological problem and the individual in question.
My country has the best (free) psychological counseling in the world, I can savely say that.
But despite out of all the ppl I've met in a private circle, sure psycholigical help in usefull to some degree but it's still whatever one makes of it in a dream, in 90% of the cases I've seen the ppl being worse of with then without psychological assistence. Ofcourse coming from my subjective reference of knowing what is possible and what medicine can turn into a sickness sure. In my country it's very normal and no taboo to have a psychologist, actually I'd wish 9/10 folks would get one :lol2:

But when it comes to really being a benefit for those who have the capicity of understanding depended arising, why go to a psychologist when there's a better way of seeing things and turning one's perspective completely around? Well simple who has heared about it, it's not on the news, like the presendential race is, nor can you find it in schools, I don't mean Buddhism perse, I mean who has the ears to hear the Dharma, those who have it, it doesn't matter if they've never heared about it or not on first hearing you can see they have the potential or not.

Simple example, 10% of ppl I meet who have gone to psychologists to no avail for 10-20 years I ask them a simple question;
What's your first thought when you wake up in the morning? Answer could be anything from getting coffee brushing teeth, thinking if my wife cheats on me, worrying about work/kids or waking up with the single though of playing an xbox game or doing zazen, drinking beer whatever it is that doesn't matter.

So then I say something like, ok suppose you wake up in the morning in a field of grass butt naked 1000 km away, what would be your first thought/reaction be then? Would it be coffee, zazen, boss, wife, xbox etcetera, it won't be that habitual first thought right?
(when this arises that arises) a few of them grasp it so I won't say anything regarding emptiness or dependend arising, I wait for them to get it, if they don't I just send them back to their psychologist. But a few of them understand for a moment that their whole identity to whatever they feel/think is due to conditions, for me those ppl are ready to go beyond psychology and get right into the heart of the matter of self perpetuated delusion. Sure perhaps only 0.1% of that 10% will actually do, but at least the potential is there.

I won't get into into details but that's how I trigger their potentialiy or thirst for the Buddhadharma, without using a single Buddhist or religious word btw. My point is Zen is not psychology and psychology is just a lie to make ppl feel a bit better or alternate their sense of self within their dream, it only creates additional layers

ps I suck at dancing too, it's just an expression like "be free" in whatever you do be yourself without worry about bagage from culture and family, in other words you have no past, nor future, nor self-reference, so no need for hope and fear, so dance. :dance:

I'll have a whiskey Sir. :)
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Re: emotions

Postby partofit22 on Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:27 am

Tonight we tried to categorize emotions into realms just for fun -- and to figure out which movies/shows we like and why .. :) I dont think dialogue is real without emotion- We differed on what types we liked- We could argue, as we have before, about war movies, which strikes me funny because I don't understand how someone who likes war movies couldn't sit through drama thats the likes of say August Osage County- To me, they are the same- Tragedy, sadness, discontent, until a serviceman or wife says or does something funny- We just dont respond the same to the same emotions!
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Re: emotions

Postby Nothing on Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:05 pm

fukasetsu wrote:Good to see you again Brother,

I understand what you're saying at it depends on the pshycological problem and the individual in question.
My country has the best (free) psychological counseling in the world, I can savely say that.
But despite out of all the ppl I've met in a private circle, sure psycholigical help in usefull to some degree but it's still whatever one makes of it in a dream, in 90% of the cases I've seen the ppl being worse of with then without psychological assistence. Ofcourse coming from my subjective reference of knowing what is possible and what medicine can turn into a sickness sure. In my country it's very normal and no taboo to have a psychologist, actually I'd wish 9/10 folks would get one

But when it comes to really being a benefit for those who have the capicity of understanding depended arising, why go to a psychologist when there's a better way of seeing things and turning one's perspective completely around? Well simple who has heared about it, it's not on the news, like the presendential race is, nor can you find it in schools, I don't mean Buddhism perse, I mean who has the ears to hear the Dharma, those who have it, it doesn't matter if they've never heared about it or not on first hearing you can see they have the potential or not.

Simple example, 10% of ppl I meet who have gone to psychologists to no avail for 10-20 years I ask them a simple question;
What's your first thought when you wake up in the morning? Answer could be anything from getting coffee brushing teeth, thinking if my wife cheats on me, worrying about work/kids or waking up with the single though of playing an xbox game or doing zazen, drinking beer whatever it is that doesn't matter.

So then I say something like, ok suppose you wake up in the morning in a field of grass butt naked 1000 km away, what would be your first thought/reaction be then? Would it be coffee, zazen, boss, wife, xbox etcetera, it won't be that habitual first thought right?
(when this arises that arises) a few of them grasp it so I won't say anything regarding emptiness or dependend arising, I wait for them to get it, if they don't I just send them back to their psychologist. But a few of them understand for a moment that their whole identity to whatever they feel/think is due to conditions, for me those ppl are ready to go beyond psychology and get right into the heart of the matter of self perpetuated delusion. Sure perhaps only 0.1% of that 10% will actually do, but at least the potential is there.

I won't get into into details but that's how I trigger their potentialiy or thirst for the Buddhadharma, without using a single Buddhist or religious word btw. My point is Zen is not psychology and psychology is just a lie to make ppl feel a bit better or alternate their sense of self within their dream, it only creates additional layers

ps I suck at dancing too, it's just an expression like "be free" in whatever you do be yourself without worry about bagage from culture and family, in other words you have no past, nor future, nor self-reference, so no need for hope and fear, so dance. :dance:

I'll have a whiskey Sir. :)


Back at you Brother,

Yes, for some people is very needed, for other is only helpful to some degree, cause after that it is just polishing of the ego, over and over, and they become kinda dependent on the psychologist. I see that as replacing one conditioning for another and they will be better for some time, but since nothing is fixed and conditions change, dissatisfaction will slowly , but surely start to arise again and I guess that is why they are not better off even after 10 or 20 years. :lol2:

That is a very simple and effective question that you are asking them. :)

Of course, it is not mandatory at all to use any Buddhist or other religious terminology and actually the teacher that triggered my thirst for the Dharma and later the Buddhadharma did not use any religious terminology.

And yes no need to waste time with psychologist for those who have potential and just deal with the branches, if the root of those branches remains untouched. :)
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Re: emotions

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:36 am

hi all,
in my limited experience, sometimes ppl can allow anything to become an illness... dependent origination included. gotta meet them where they are, in their own dependently originating ways. it's one thing to free oneself; it's another to free others.
there's no fix dharma. no such thing. but there are different types of practitioners, from kinesthetic to intuitive to rational to tonal, to any combination of these. some are very much in tune with their emotions while others are more aloof; lifestyles and karmic dispositions also condition ppl in many ways. alas, dharma accords.
the wonderful thing with ppl is truly meeting them... seeing the unchanging seasons amidst flowers blossoming each in their own way. no arising, no ceasing... and ppl liberate themselves in dharma.
but without meeting them, they cannot be free. without cultivation, one doesn't meet anyone.
practice continues, as joe says.
be free,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: emotions

Postby partofit22 on Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:20 am

Guo Gu wrote:hi all,
in my limited experience, sometimes ppl can allow anything to become an illness... dependent origination included. gotta meet them where they are, in their own dependently originating ways. it's one thing to free oneself; it's another to free others.
there's no fix dharma. no such thing. but there are different types of practitioners, from kinesthetic to intuitive to rational to tonal, to any combination of these. some are very much in tune with their emotions while others are more aloof; lifestyles and karmic dispositions also condition ppl in many ways. alas, dharma accords.
the wonderful thing with ppl is truly meeting them... seeing the unchanging seasons amidst flowers blossoming each in their own way. no arising, no ceasing... and ppl liberate themselves in dharma.
but without meeting them, they cannot be free. without cultivation, one doesn't meet anyone.
practice continues, as joe says.
be free,
guo gu


Yes :)
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Re: emotions

Postby Seeker242 on Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:10 pm

Guo Gu wrote:what do you say?


That they can be overruled by logic and reason. For example, someone steals your money and that causes anger. But what benefit does being angry have? It's not going to help the situation. It's not going to get your money back. There is none! And what about the person who stole the money? What kind of life are they living where they feel a need to go steal people's stuff? A sad unhappy life...What kind of consequences are they going to suffer by doing that activity? Bad consequences...It's unfortunate that people have to live that way. Using that line of reasoning, the anger is replaced with love and compassion.

Overruled! :lol2:
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Re: emotions

Postby Avisitor on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:00 pm

Is this tied to the constant internal monologue??
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: emotions

Postby Guo Gu on Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:38 pm

Seeker242 wrote:
Guo Gu wrote:what do you say?


That they can be overruled by logic and reason. For example, someone steals your money and that causes anger. But what benefit does being angry have? It's not going to help the situation. It's not going to get your money back. There is none! And what about the person who stole the money? What kind of life are they living where they feel a need to go steal people's stuff? A sad unhappy life...What kind of consequences are they going to suffer by doing that activity? Bad consequences...It's unfortunate that people have to live that way. Using that line of reasoning, the anger is replaced with love and compassion.

Overruled! :lol2:


good for you.... but then you're left with logic and reason.... how do you deal with that?
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Re: emotions

Postby Guo Gu on Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:39 pm

Avisitor wrote:Is this tied to the constant internal monologue??


monologues, in most cases, are also subtly shaped by the textures of our emotions and moods.
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Re: emotions

Postby Avisitor on Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:28 am

Guo Gu wrote:
Avisitor wrote:Is this tied to the constant internal monologue??


monologues, in most cases, are also subtly shaped by the textures of our emotions and moods.
guo gu


But aren't emotions supported by the thoughts?
ie. Someone feeling anger will have thoughts of being cheated or how one was treated badly
So, aren't the emotions shaped by the thoughts??

Chicken or the egg??
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Re: emotions

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:26 am

I've heard that a chicken is an egg's way of making more eggs.

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Re: emotions

Postby [james] on Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:37 pm

Guo Gu wrote:hi everyone,
here's a thread to share, question, comment on all sorts of topics regarding emotions.
i know it is so big of a topic, and so central in ppl's lives. most ppl identify themselves with their emotions; it is what ppl have ever known about themselves so it's hard to see that their life choices, values, discrimination, happiness/anguish, etc. are determined by it.
what do you say?
guo gu


Emotions, among some Buddhists as among many people in general, seem to me to be regarded as dangerous territory. Proceed with caution, if at all.

And yet a baby, until its cognitive abilities begin to develop, is communicating emotionally. Some (perhaps all?) humans appear to be born with certain emotional dispositions already in place: the happy baby, the calm baby, the cranky baby, etc. and proceed to grow into their life steered, in part, by those first tendencies. So emotions, I would say, are basic, primal and prior to thought and form the foundations of our self regard.

The development of thought processes can support a strengthening of our original emotional tendencies, in wholesome or unwholesome ways, or allow us to recognize other areas of emotional language and expression, again for ill or good.

I am struck by how emotions, my own at least, always seen to arise from areas of the body other than the brain. The respiratory and digestive organs primarily and the heart. Is information carried to the brain (gut wrenching, heart breaking, bursting with joy) interpreted by the brain as "emotion" or does emotion, as it is experienced in the body, actually arise as physical response to mental formations? Not that it makes a difference, I suppose, unless the goal of practice is to develop a harmonious balance, to cut off the roots of disturbance or, as did Walt Whitman, to simply sing the "Song of Myself".

I wonder too about the Brahmaviharas, the Four Immeasurables: Loving Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy and Equanimity. All four seem to be in the realm of Emotion.
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Re: emotions

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:32 pm

James,

[james] wrote:I wonder too about the Brahmaviharas, the Four Immeasurables: Loving Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy and Equanimity. All four seem to be in the realm of Emotion.

Well, in the case of true Compassion, emotion is not involved (but, also see below, where I compound the claim).

When one is awake, Wisdom and Compassion arise spontaneously in response to circumstances and situations, and independently of feelings.

This is not to "put down" emotion(s) in any way. It's just that the observation is that the arising and exercise of true Compassion (distinct from 'sympathy', or 'pity') neither arises from emotion nor is accompanied by it.

Another way to say this --in speaking about true Compassion -- is that, "Compassion is not necessarily something that you feel."

I use the words "not necessarily" in order to soften the blow somewhat, as people not familiar with true Compassion -- and the experience of its arising in seamless accord with circumstances and necessity -- could form the mistaken impression that the awakened state contains no feeling(s). The awakened state contains feelings, alright, and even an enhanced ability (over the deluded state) to feel and to sense, but it's just a fact that true Compassion itself does not depend on feelings, nor is related to them.

Instead, true Compassion and its spontaneous arising is a natural consequence of our actual non-separateness, revealed by Wisdom, and as lived in Awakening.

None of this original and natural functioning is uncovered and given birth for free-exercise, though, without sufficient depth and breadth of practice. I think Buddhist schools of practice recognize this, and I think that their spokespeople and teachers would approve this statement.

Likewise, from your list in the line I quote, I'd say that Equanimity depends not at all on emotion, either, nor is it related to it. It depends on samadhi cultivation (again harking to practice, not emotion).

Similarly, the other remaining things you mention are themselves practices, not results of practice. That is, "loving Kindness", and "empathetic Joy". These are artifices, and, as such, may possibly be useful devices. They are not the naturally-arising results of true Wisdom and true Compassion, but are deliberate practices designed and constructed and undertaken for development of skilful means upon oneself, primarily. That is, they are meant as trainings for the practitioner. And that's fine, as some particular schools of practice use them, possibly beneficially, as such.

But in awakening, they and other constructed, programmatic artifices do not exist and are not exercised. True Wisdom and true Compassion operate instead.

--Joe
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Re: emotions

Postby Guo Gu on Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:47 am

Avisitor wrote:But aren't emotions supported by the thoughts?
ie. Someone feeling anger will have thoughts of being cheated or how one was treated badly
So, aren't the emotions shaped by the thoughts??


well, not "thoughts" as we think of what thoughts are... what buddhist treatises discuss as "subtle mental continuum" in modern lingo is more like subtle neuro synoptic connectivity that form our emotions or thoughts, and these synapses occur throughout the body--not just in the "brain." [there was no language in ancient india (or asia in general) for what we now know as the connection of synaptic communication btn different systems of our being in connection with the environment.] still this is not the whole picture.

in one way, this issue with emotions vs. thoughts, body vs. mind, etc is wrong headed. in buddhism, there is no such bifurcation, which stem from the (problematic) cartesian model of duality. in buddhism, it more like a tripodic relationship that includes the environment. this is known as dependent origination. things arise on the basis of the six sense faculties, six sense objects, and six corresponding cognitive awarenesses (this is called the 18 realms). in other words, thoughts/emotions are neither inside nor outside but in the process of this tripodic complex relationship. so far, modern science built on the cartesian model, tends to imagine thoughts and emotions as stemming out of this shell that we live in. but this may not be completely true. if it were, we would never be able to connect with others outside of this shell.... clairvoyance can never happen... mothers would never be able to suddenly and intuitively connect psychical to a daughter who's having an accident.... we're interconnected. and in this process, karma is also at play.

irrespective, in this process, what we can do is begin by transforming the way we consciously perceive ourselves and the world. in our perceptions, there are views and attachments that we have to expose, transform, and let go. it is not only a "cerebral" or "rational" practice but we have to be in tune physically, emotionally, and socially.

just some food for thoughts...
guo gu
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http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: emotions

Postby Avisitor on Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:33 am

Guo Gu wrote:irrespective, in this process, what we can do is begin by transforming the way we consciously perceive ourselves and the world. in our perceptions, there are views and attachments that we have to expose, transform, and let go. it is not only a "cerebral" or "rational" practice but we have to be in tune physically, emotionally, and socially.

just some food for thoughts...
guo gu


Thanks for that response.
It makes my head hurt from thinking about ... what or where the truth lies
It has gotten to the point where I feel or sense all these thoughts and feelings as heaviness
And haunts this shallow mind. So much want to let it go.
Maybe in the next life ...
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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