He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.
Watch every episode of Whose Line online for free! :)
The first manuscript of my poetry book is ready for editing! :) I am so happy to finally be at this point!
The three poisons are as follows: greed, hatred, and ignorance. In the Buddhist view, they are considered to be toxins in our lives. They are considered to be the root of most, if not all, suffering. A Buddhist works on eliminating these from her life.
I am going to quote a website here because the person succinctly explained these three:
“Greed’s companions are desire and lust, and these passions and attachments cause us to want to “get hold of” things, and to have more and more of them. Anger’s friends are hatred, animosity and aversion, which cause us to reject what displeases us or infringes upon our ego. Ignorance, which is “not knowing,” especially not knowing our true nature, paves the way for delusion or in our believing something that is false.”
So I am going to shortly explore each one now.
We must come to the realization that we cannot truly own anything, but rather greed consumes us. Everything is impermanent, and because of this we should not become over attached to anything of this world because what happens when two people want the same thing? Conflict. A person who is driven by greed is stingy, self-indulgent, and lacks compassion for others. They become locked up in their own little world of “ownership.”
Do not get me wrong here, I am not saying sell all worldly possessions and live in a grass hut. Just keep in mind that often that which we own, ends up owning us. A Buddhist resists this. Obsession with possessions, both owning and the desire to possess more, should be held in check by generosity and compassion.
It’s probably a waste of my time to even write this section because I believe nearly everyone believes hatred is something which is bad for a person. However, people need to look deeply at their assumptions, principles, values, and beliefs about life to see if hatred as perverted their view. For instance, capital punishment, no matter how heinous the crime, is not acceptable. It is an act committed out of the delusion that hatred gives to people that they are entitled to take a life because another life was irreversibly damaged or destroyed.
A person dominated by this poison is attached to their suffering and often becomes self-righteous. They are vengeful and hold grudges. To combat this a person should cultivate loving-kindness, grace, mercy, selflessness, and forgiveness.
I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. This is not saying you cannot be angry and express it. However, there are healthy ways of dealing with and expressing anger. If it sits and festers it becomes hatred, but that should be avoided. Again, I strongly reiterate, it is NOT wrong or unnatural to feel anger when one is wronged or what-have-you, BUT it should not consume you. There are healthy ways of dealing with anger.
The final poison is ignorance. This is my favorite because I feel that we live in a time of vast information and yet, people still turn from knowledge or are invested in misinformation. Ignorance here is simply not knowing, but it’s implications are greater than not knowing the answer to last night’s final jeopardy; in the Buddhist view, we are ignorant of the true nature of reality. To again quote from the same site:
When we are ignorant, we are not realizing our potential for true happiness, which is our true nature, our Buddha nature. Ignorance causes insecurity and a feeling of weakness, powerlessness and apathy.
People are ignorant of so very much. If there is one of the poisons that every person is guilty of beyond all else it is this one. For instance, let’s take another Buddhist principle, impermanence, and apply it to the nature of reality. This world and all it contains, including people, are often seen as having some lasting nature. In previous posts we’ve examined anatman and come to see though the impermanence of the self. The idea of a permanent “ego” or “self” is a delusion we all too easily take for granted as true. Upon a closer inspection, we find that all the five aggregates are constantly changing and shifting and there is nothing outside of the five aggregates to call the self; therefore, we’ve concluded (though I encourage you to read the post on anatman and the five aggregates because this is a too short version) there is not permanent self. Everything in the world is like this. Rocks today, are the sand and dirt of tomorrow. The seed of a tree is a seed today, tomorrow a sapling, and later a tree, and even later on it will die of old age ,or become wood chips, paper, or toothpaste. Nothing stays the same. If we stop experiencing things as having permanence however, and begin to see the impermanence, we will experience true reality without clinging to it.
This is a hard topic to cover and I’ll apologize now if I was not thorough or clear enough. As always, I love comments and questions. Just keep them constructive. :)
These are not in any particular order. Just felt like compiling a list of just slasher movies that are worthwhile to watch.
I will be updating this list as time goes by. I’m on a real slasher movie kick right now. :)
Well, tonight is my first night of my cooking class. All Latin American cooking. :)
Oh where, oh where do I begin? Where do I end? I suppose we’ll start with those questions. Where is the beginning of enlightenment? Where is the end? Where is the beginning of nirvana? Where is it’s end?
This is so difficult to even answer these questions. There are many different sects and divisions within Buddhism and so many different perspectives on these two things. I believe I will give you the two views which differ most from one another and say everything that can fit between the two positions does exist as a view.
What is enlightenment? This varies so much.
On one extreme, enlightenment and nirvana are said to occur simultaneously. Enlightenment however is more something you achieve, whereas nirvana is a state of being. So some believe if you end up enlightened you have stepped into the state that is called nirvana as well. Here enlightenment and nirvana begin at the same time.
Enlightenment is a poor translation of the word bodhi which would better be understood as simply “awakening.” We could see enlightenment as the point where a person’s entire mind and heart have received the truths of Buddhism and are unwavering in that. Nirvana could be said to begin with enlightenment then, but one is still far from it; an enlightened being has merely begun to walk down the right path towards nirvana.
Enlightenment, stripping it of various doctrinal beliefs, is simply the awareness of the Truth. That truth is something I would not be so presumptuous and arrogant as to assume I could communicate it here.
What is nirvana?
Nirvana is liberation from this world of delusion, liberation from the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance. It is a state where we see this interdependent reality as it truly is. We see that everything is emptiness and emptiness is everything. It isn’t “heaven” or “always being happy.” It is something beyond these ideas.
What does all of this mean? It is something a person must discover for them-self. Nirvana is beyond intellectual comprehension. One cannot reason their way to nirvana. The noble eightfold path is the way to nirvana, but what exactly awaits a person who achieves nirvana, no one knows. It is impossible to communicate.
There is only one sure thing I can say about nirvana. It is freedom from the cycle of samsara. When a person attains nirvana, they will no longer be reborn.This does not necessarily mean that the person ceases to exist; it is something we cannot know and therefore cannot speak of. What I can glen from my reading is this: your karmic energy no longer struggles and powers the wheel of samsara and suffering.
Hopefully this post will help describe these concepts without making assumptions about them too much. Questions and comments are always appreciated.
I am going to attempt something very, very difficult now. As we descend into deeper concepts of Buddhist thought, it becomes harder to find familiar terms for something so unfamiliar. So bear with me.
First, one must understand that the Buddha came from a time and a place when Hinduism was the ruling way of thinking. And the Hindus believed in what is called atman or atma; in English we would call this “the self,” “the soul,” or “the ego.” Atman is what gets reincarnated in the Hindu view. Buddha, however, taught that a person (here is where wording gets tricky: even to use the word “has” or “have” is not right) has “anatman.” Which gets translated several different ways, but we will call it the “non-self.” This is tricky, but has to do with one of the Buddha’s most emphasized points: impermanence. The Buddha observed and meditated on the fact that everything in the world is impermanent. He even applied this observation to the Hindu concept of atman and came up with what is known as the five aggregates of being (a.k.a. five skandhas).
This is basically an early psychological theory which has not lost its applicability for today. The five aggregates are what the concept of non-self is comprised of. They are as follows: form, sensations, perceptions, volition, and consciousness. Form is anything which is physical/material. Sensations are the stimuli the brain receives from the five senses; they are generally sorted as being pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. A ripe grape would be sweet and therefore pleasant; whereas one which has fermented may be bitter and therefore unpleasant. Lastly, there are tens of thousands of stimuli coming into the brain in the course of every few moments, but most we choose to ignore because they are so common-place and thus, they are neutral. Perceptions are whether your brain recognizes an object it focuses on; for instance, I perceive that I am sitting in a chair, opposed to on the floor or laying in bed. Volition is comprised of all your opinions, prejudices, thoughts, mental habits, etc. For example, an opinion I hold is that Sarah Palin is a moron. Finally, there is consciousness, which is pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll just describe it as awareness in case there was any doubt. I am very conscious of what I am writing currently, whereas I am not aware of what my cats are doing at the moment.
The Buddha concluded that we are comprised of the five skandhas and they are ever changing, shifting, and morphing and so it wasn’t right to say that there was any permanent self. Rather the five aggregates comprise the non-self. The Buddha wasn’t saying that a person doesn’t exist at all, but it is saying we are inter-dependent with everything else and everyone else. It’s sort of an anti-solipsism.
Ok, so this one is pretty heavy. Maybe re-read some of it. And I’d love any feedback, be they questions or comments.
Thanks :) I’m really glad it’s helping you. I am a Buddhist so if you ever want to chat personally about it, just let me know. We can talk on here, facebook, or skype (I don’t have a webcam and microphone, I just use it for IMing). I should within the next two days come out with a new post on Buddhism. Peace :)