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About dharma-shishyah

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  1. Dear flowboy, don't take it to heart. We are all broken, we are striving for wholeness but this can't be done in a day (or a year). The only important thing to do is stay in the fight.
  2. All hearts are restless, until they find rest in God. -- St. Augustine
  3. If that is what you really want, then awesome. But... could it be that you are using rigour and discipline to fight your feelings of depression? Why fear, or otherwise censor, those feelings? By labelling feelings as "depressed" we allow ourselves to treat them as abnormal and somehow not corresponding to reality. But that won't make them go away, or at least it won't make the underlying cause disappear. Maybe you should consider dealing with the feelings and concomitant thoughts, rather than repressing them. (I am not saying this is an easy fix. But at first, just let the feelings be, don't fight them, and don't fight the ways they affect your behaviour. If you really must fight, then fight your own negative judgments about yourself.) You also seem to loathe yourself for being unproductive and unmotivated, but you can't beat yourself into a (truly) motivated state. You're either motivated by/for something or you aren't. And if you're unmotivated, no wonder you're being unproductive. I am sorry if this is unhelpful, but I just get the feeling from your tone that you are starting to doubt whether what you're doing is effective. And I think with good reason.
  4. Responding to your last question: (just a guess) by visualizing positive outcomes instead of negative ones. By progressively taking on larger risks, starting small, and challenging your own fears/negative prognostications. Anyway from what you've been writing, it seems that you have taken pretty good steps already, in confronting the unknown and taking new steps. So take the opportunity to congratulate yourself on that!
  5. Flowboy is completely free to either take or leave my little suggestion. Or do something in between even. But that should already have been clear from the way I wrote it.
  6. By the way, it is interesting to me that, although you tell yourself to be less hard on yourself, you immediately qualify these words by attributing them to an internalized female voice. Can't a man legitimately tell himself to be less hard on himself? Or a man to another man? Could the reason for this be that we really want a woman to tell us this, because it is ultimately her judgment that we are afraid of? Just thinking aloud... (Although in my experience, if I find myself wanting reassurance that I should take things a little easier, I take that as a sign that I should do just that. Because in such circumstances, we tend to accept it when someone else tells us to take it easier -- again, especially when it's a woman -- so instead of trying to find a friend to talk to and elicit words of sympathy from them, why not just short-circuit the process and just listen to ourselves?)
  7. It does sound like you're being very hard on yourself. For one thing: I do not think a person has a moral obligation to rid himself of all his past trauma. For the most part, this kind of trauma was inflicted when self-consciousness was either absent or in statu nascendi, so where exactly is the personal responsibility? But then one could also argue* that there is in our culture a tremendous over-focus on the idea that we are shaped in negative ways by our past. Whatever happened to the idea of "living in the moment"? If one should constantly monitor oneself for behavioral or thought patters that emanate from our personal past (in ways that can only be conjectural, dependent on some kind of theory about how the psyche evolves), then that seems a giant recipe for distraction. You're then basically always dragging your own past behind you. I would advocate for the idea that "One is already perfect the way one is" as an antidote for excessive preoccupation with past trauma. [* These are not weasel words by the way: I do in fact think this, but I don't need to persuade you. If the idea strikes a chord with you, fine, if not, equally fine.]
  8. I really applaud your honesty and bravery in writing down your 'dark suspicions' concerning yourself. In my experience, those moments of my life have been very healing. You have written down a truth that was there in the back of your mind all along, and apparently now you feel strong and self-assured enough to put it in writing. And let me also add that even if your suspicions were completely true, there is nothing in them that you should feel ashamed of. It would simply mean you are "human, all too human". I also like what @tsuki said about using 'practices' as a way to shed light on ordinary consciousness. I believe that we shouldn't depreciate ordinary consciousness too much. In fact, some good-old fashioned common sense can be intensely reassuring and grounding. Better still, I think we should trust and develop our common sense to the point that we can use it as a yard-stick to measure the utility of our spiritual practices by. This is also what the Buddha said (paraphrasing): "Don't blindly trust authority, don't be taken in by fancy sophisticated arguments, don't trust sacred writings just because they're sacred writings, but verify for yourself that what I say is true." (The exact quote is in Chapter 1 of The Art of Living by William Hart.) Sometimes it even seems to me that the whole point of spirituality is to make you see that all of spirituality is a mirage, but you just have to go through the process of self-delusion and disenchantment to find that out for yourself.