Forum Replies Created
Thanks for your detailed reply Will. Quite honestly I seem to have hit a nerve with you looking at your detailed reply on why I have glossed over some deeper meanings. Is the fundamental reason why we give compassion so important? Actually, I think the opposite. I think that it is not important if you are doing it for a Higher Power or for your own morals, or because you think that we are all connected and one ‘god’. That is exactly the point where people start fighting over who is right and who is wrong. The reason does not matter at all; it is only the doing that matters, and that is where most people of all religions and non religion fail.
My summary of all spiritual teachings may seem oversimplified to you because, well, it cannot be any more simple. Why make it complicated? It is very simple! Love you, love others and live in the moment 100%
Whether for your version of god or mine, or just for you, we would all be rewarded if we actually did so. The world would be a much happier place if we all stopped intellectualising who is doing what why, and actually just started really loving thy neighbour as thy self – the one commandment from Jesus that summarised everything in the bible!
If you read my website you can read why I have called it ‘How to be a Buddha’. I am not deceiving anyone. I explain very clearly that a buddha is an enlightened person and anyone can be a buddha because everyone is a buddha already. A buddha lies within us all right now. It is not really a journey. It is a choice. We just need to choose to be a buddha and stop trying or doing it half heartedly. I am following the teachings of spirituality, not one person, based on this very simple and important message:
If we really want to be a buddhe, and get access to ‘god’ (whoever or whatever god may be) through heaven on earth or in the form of an afterlife, or whatever; it does not matter who has the right version (I doubt any of us do!). But the teachings are the same – we need to devote our lives 100% absolutely to giving compassion aka love all the time!
That is a sacrifice that most are not willing to make. Being a truly spiritual person is a sacrifice because you literally give your life to loving all things unconditionally. Then you can be a saint, a buddha, a Jesus, a god, an enlightened person. Then you ‘may’ get the actual answer to the questions you seem to be asking which is what are the actual reasons for things that happen and what should we really believe. Because then, according to all spiritual teachings, you would be fully awakened to the truth.
If being a saint/buddha/god/jesus/enlightened person is too much of a sacrifice or not, well, that is a question only you can answer for you. I am attempting to be as much of one as I can and it is certainly an awakening experience and I recommend everyone try to be more compassionate and live more in the moment. It is a very worthwhile project that awakens me more every day!
Can intoxication be Self-compasssionate? That is the question for this heated discussion here!
This is an ethical, moral, environmental, spiritual, scientific, philosophical and psychological question – for which I have not yet come to my own conclusion and I do not propose an answer.
On 30th April, I will take everything that I have learnt and write a full report with quotations from you and various sources and then I will come to my own conclusion based on what everyone has said and what I have experienced so far.
Please keep the opinions coming until then!
I will unfortunately not be able to respond to any more comments for the next week or so. I am in Salento in Colombia surrounded by nature and for the next few days I am going to go camping in the wild (as I have wanted to try this new experience for some time and not yet got round to it). I will also take up Jasmine’s advice above and do some daily meditation! (and some yoga).
So I will be off the grid, but I would really appreciate any further comments and opinions before I get back.
Hi Jasmine @jasmine-3
I totally agree with you that we are on individual journeys and there is no one right way to be a better person. As I wrote to Will above, it seems to me that spirituality can be summed up as being as compassionate as possible and living in the moment. How we do that is our choice and also very personal.
I am also not religious nor a Buddhist. I just like what the Buddha said, and I also agree totally that we are all buddhas! Hence my name! 🙂 check out what I wrote here 🙂
I love your comparison of giving more kindness and compassion becoming an intoxicant in itself. The difference being of course, that it is very good for us! 🙂 I also agree totally that the more we live from compassion (self and for others) the more we benefit. I do not have as much experience as you. My project is all about trying to be a buddha now, and I really do need to get back into meditation being a daily practice. In fact you have helped me here because I now have a good week or more on my own in nature and meditation will be a good activity to re-commit to over the next days.
The rest of what you say I agree with totally too. If you check out the tabs at the top of my blog-site, you will see that I see things in very much the same way with regard to being energy and connected, and knowing through experience, and I also like your final point that intoxication can be a good thing if it raises our consciousness. Interesting conclusion!
As I said to Will above, I have not come to my own conclusion yet and I do not propose an answer. I want to keep this debate interesting and open because I genuinely want other people’s opinions. On 30th April, I will take everything that I have learnt and write a full report with quotations and various sources and then I will come to my own conclusion based on what everyone has said and what I have experienced so far.
Hugs and thanks again for your comments!
On my web page
Hi Will @monklet
I am following the teachings within spirituality, not specifically the buddha. And the Self that I am referring to is that part of us that seems to guide us. It is the best of who we are. It has many names – our intuition, inner child, Higher self or maybe even soul. I usually call it my intuitive spirit because it is the spirit of who we are.
You are right. I have no idea what the Buddha called that part of us. I follow dharma (the teachings of buddha) which I understand to be the natural way of things – that we are all connected and not separate – rather than the unnatural way of materialism ‘things’ and the ego and I.
That is how I see the world. I am not religious, nor a Buddhist. I have just read many different sources on spirituality and have concluded that everyone is saying the same things – be self-compassionate, compassionate to others, and live in the moment now. Everything else is extra topping (ie. how we go about that and whether or not there is a Higher Power are personal decisions).
I got the precepts from SN Goenka when I did a 10-day vispassana course. The course made a lot of sense to me and changed my life. The meditation practise from SN Goenka is based on Buddha’s teachings in the simplest and purest form without specific mantras, lamas to follow, or complicated meditative techniques, and is completely open to anyone of any faith or no faith.
SN Goenka talks about the precepts for a clear mind to meditate and also to purify our bodies. He states that the Buddha said that an enlightened person abstains from all intoxicants. Therefore if we want to be enlightened then we need to do that too.
I do not have to stop consuming intoxicants completely (a beer, wine, coffee, joint etc). At the moment I am being a vegetarian and I could go and eat some chicken if I want, but that is not the point of my project. My project is (believe it or not) fun and very rewarding! and it is also a challenge and serious and sometimes tough.
But I am doing it because I want to get to know my Self (who I am, what I want, what makes me tick) and I would also like to inspire others too, so that maybe in the future I will make a positive difference in the world.
My understanding of spirituality is, again, that in order to be fully awakened (enlightened) we need to be unconditionally self-compassionate, compassionate to others and live in the present moment. I don’t think we need to be a monk, and think we are all capable of achieving this and still living perfectly harmoniously around others in the ‘real world’.
My posts are becoming more challenging which I guess is my way to be more creative too because I love writing, so my question for my next post (which you can read about here) is Can intoxication be Self-compasssionate? because I wonder if I am attempting to be my Higher Self (the best that I can be), is there a place for intoxicants?
This is an ethical, moral, environmental, spiritual, scientific, philosophical and psychological question?
I have not come to a conclusion and I do not propose an answer. I want to keep this debate interesting and open because I genuinely want other people’s opinions. On 30th April, I will take everything that I have learnt and write a full report with quotations and various sources and then I will come to my own conclusion based on what everyone has said and I have experienced so far.
If you want to know more about my project, then I would be absolutely ecstatic if you chose to follow my mission by signing up on my main page at howtobeabuddha.com to my email updates or Facebook page!
Thanks for the email Will. You definitely got a good reaction out of me 😉
Hi Jasmine @jasmine-3
I can no longer see an option to edit my last post to you so I’ll just write another reply here …
Like Matt @amatt above, you also say that by practicing meditation, purity of intention and selfless service, and also being mindful and aware, sooner or later we will no longer want to intoxicate ourselves. We don’t have to leave anything as this will happen naturally.
I tend to agree with this for the most part. Exceptions would be if people are getting drunk every night and trying to be spiritual but wake up every morning with a hang over and cant get to yoga class, do meditation or even be bothered to be aware. Then that mental trick occurs when you say that you will do it later or tomorrow instead.
The conclusion that I come to is the same for my project of following the teachings of buddha to see what happens though. Does this mean that buddha was wrong when he said that we should abstain from all intoxicants, or am I misinterpreting or missing the point? :p
And ultimately my question for my next post still remains the same:
Can intoxication be a compassionate action?
Further views on this much appreciated!
Please keep the great replies coming and please read my first post above about what this project is all about!
Many many thanks!
Hi Jasmine @jasmine-3
Thank you for another great reply! Will answer your reply when I wake up. Right now I need bed 🙂
Hi Matt @amatt
Thanks for your reply. I would first of all like to pick up on your final point about some people who un-friend themselves and try to jump into a new, groovy “spiritual dude” or “spiritual chick” personality. I know what you mean. I remember one girl I met in particular who was talking about thinking outside society’s rules but was doing and being everything that society tells you a hippy chick is like.
I am really serious about my journey of Self discovery. I am doing it for me, not for an image, but I do hope that my journey will prove fruitful for me and in the end inspire positive change in others. That would be my goal.
You mention mindfulness a lot, and again I know where you are coming from. I call it going with the flow or listening to my intuitive spirit but the idea is the same. I try to slow down, be fully aware and mindful of what I am doing and how I am feeling, and make decisions based on that.
The journey this has taken me on so far has already been very profound and enlightening.
The only thing that I am not sure about is where you say “Consider that the precepts are more like a beginners guide to tuning your body.” I know that Buddhism sees the precepts as a guide, but isn’t that a bit of a loose interpretation of Buddha’s words? It is hard to know what Buddha actually meant all those years ago, but as I understand it, he said that all enlightened people carry out these precepts, and so if we want to be enlightened then it follows that we should carry them out too.
For my project at How to be a Buddha I am trying to live by the teachings of the Buddha to see what really happens.
This is why I struggle a little here. Because I understand fully that more important than following any specific instruction or rule is to follow our desires with mindfulness, and then we will stop carrying out non-compassionate actions as we listen to our Self anyway, but if I am following what the Buddha actually said to see if it actually works, then maybe being mindful of my drinking a beer could be seen as a way out of actually abstaining?
Further thoughts on what Buddha actually meant with his precept most welcome.
Thanks Matt for your thought-provoking response!
Hi Will @monklet
Thanks for sharing your view!
I know what you mean about precepts 3 and 4, but agree with you that sexual misconduct is (for me also) about sexual morality and taking the consequences of my actions seriously.
For me, everything boils down to compassion (both for my Self and everyone/thing else) so if I am being caring and kind and loving, then my sexual conduct must be good, and the same for precept 4. If my speech is kind and loving and compassionate, then a fib or white lie may be allowed.
I am also being a vegetarian now for the same reason. Killing animals does not seem to me to be a compassionate action. A bit like you with intoxicants, this is not so hard for me because when I cook at home, I usually don’t use meat in my cooking anyway, but, yes, when I go out, it can sometimes be hard.
I personally struggle more with intoxication because I struggle with the question:
Can intoxication be a compassionate action?
Will, I love your answer. Thank you!
I have set up my challenge now here
In the meantime, I would greatly welcome any other views out there!