1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
Barbara O'Brien

When Bad Stuff Comes in Big Doses

By June 3, 2010

Follow me on:

I want to call your attention something written by Zen teacher Dosho Port at Wild Fox Zen. When we arouse way-seeking mind, he says, "we can expect to be blessed with a great deal of difficulty in a short period of time."

A great deal of difficulty? Dosho says, "what we might get when we really arouse a clear and bright way seeking mind is a lot of bad karma arriving and maturing in a short period of time." This is for our benefit. In effect, the "bad" stuff burns away quickly rather than continue to ripen slowly. Please read Dosho's post to get the full meaning.

Anyway, I want to throw this open for discussion. Has this been your experience? I fear I'm not seeing much of a difference between "burning quickly" and "ripening slowly," but I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Comments
June 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm
(1) Katsugen Kensho says:

Barbara: thank you for all your hard work in this effort. My experience has been that when near or in the midst of a clarifying moment related to practice “stuff happens.” It is as if the universe tilts smilingly at an aspiration toward compassionate action or for endurance in practice. I have read that Jack Kornfield has said: “Self-discovery never brings good news.”

June 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm
(2) Marvin D says:

I am a Reiki practitioner / master. Reiki is a healing techniques which, in a fashion, is one means of arousing a seeking mind. One generally comes to Reiki as a means of resolving negative physical or emotional issues. In this regard ones mind is aroused to seek the source of the problem.

It is very common for Reiki treatment to stir up many unexpected emotions or sensations which can be quite intense. As a part of the healing process one may also experience very challenging, disturbing even painful events.

Such events can take the form of powerful dreams, reliving old traumas, or even confrontations or difficulties with other people. Such things direct one towards some a point where the release there can be the release of stored memory from mind and body which facilities healing.

The process is sometimes referred to as a healing crisis. Some Reiki practitioners understand this process as balancing the negative effects of so called bad Karma against ones intention to be healed. This always involves moving from fear and anger to love, forgiveness and compassion.

Those who have been through such a healing crisis will most likely relate to how bad things can indeed come in big doses. The phrase it’s always darkest before the dawn is entirely apt when describing such an experience.

June 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm
(3) Sue S says:

Five years ago I began studying the Buddha’s teachings, almost by accident, and latched onto them quickly because they seemed to fit so well.

Four years ago I had a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor, three years ago my father died, a year later my mother followed, and inbetween were job losses, and challenges which the Dharma teachings helped with.

A new director of our department at work arrived four years ago, bent on reshaping everyone into his idea of what their forms should be. He seemed cruel, impatient, egocentric – all that stereotypical blah. To keep sanity as well as my job, I decided to make him my friend. I used to say “best friend” but that sounds a bit dramatic now. But I’ll be darned, he softened; I tried to notice what was good about him, which it turns out was a great deal; and about the “bad” – it seemed obvious that he was busy working on his own karma, whether a Catholic would admit to that or not. He may have had advice from another source to “clean up his act” but it doesn’t matter where the message was from. We both benefited.

When others say, “I couldn’t work for that man,” I say, “You need to make him your best friend.” Most people don’t agree, and I try to shrug off their reactions.

Now I’m in process of teaching myself how to handle the heartbreak of a grown daughter who is either bipolar or has some other mental affliction. This has been a greater challenge than anything before, worse than anything in life so far. Embracing the fact that this is challenging my karma and that she’s going through her own balancing act is a help. I don’t like it, but do accept it.

June 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm
(4) JoeBuddha says:

Nichiren says, “When great evil occurs, great good will follow…Although you’re not Shariputra, you should leap up and dance!”
If the practice of Buddhism were easy, there would be no benefit in it. When you try to move your life, naturally there will be resistance. I especially appreciate Sue S’s story, although I would try to see the Buddha in him first.

Sue, as to your daughter: Please try to see and appreciate her enlightened nature. I was married to a schizophrenic person and the last six months before her suicide were a constant challenge. Still, I learned the most about her and myself in that time, and wouldn’t exchange it for anything. I became a real parent and a much more of a humble and compassionate person through that experience. She is still one of my inspirations. Learning opportunities are seldom comfortable.
Nonetheless, I’ll pray that you won’t have to go through the same challenge. Please take care of her and yourself.

June 4, 2010 at 8:43 am
(5) NellaLou says:

Cleaning out the garage came to mind. We move the boxes and tools and behind them are all sorts of creepy crawlies, mold, lost items, stains we forgot about, empty paint cans, secret things.

Each requiring it’s own bit of special clean up.

Slow or quick seems to depend on one’s energy level at the moment and amount of fortitude available. (and sometimes courage)

June 4, 2010 at 10:23 am
(6) Barbara O'Brien says:

Cleaning out the garage came to mind.

Yes, but I think Doshi is saying something else here. I may be reading the post differently because I’ve heard Dosho speak on this and also read his book, where he elaborates on this a little further.

What he’s saying is not that as we practice we discover all the nasty spiders that were hidden behind the old paint cans. Certainly, that’s true.

But what Dosho is saying that when people reach a certain point in practice their lives go haywire. They lose jobs, their marriages break up, they get heart disease. In other words, all kinds of karma seeds sprout all at once. I’m wondering if other people have noticed this.

June 4, 2010 at 11:11 am
(7) CL says:

JoeBuddha,

Great quote. Yes, as a Nichiren buddhist, practicing with the SGI, we discuss this topic quite frequently. In essence, we practice a form of meditation wherein “earthly desires are enlightenment” (boníno soku bodai) and “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana”

A great explanation can be found here:

http://www.sgi-usa.org/memberresources/resources/buddhist_concepts/buddhist_concept2.php

Of course, in any form of meditation where one is given a means to plumb the depths of their lives in the three existences of past, present, and future, we are going to come across the bad stuff before we find the core of buddhanature. It is as in nature, in miniature, that a lotus flower blossoms forth from a time spent in the mud. It then returns to this state. In our daily lives, we have the opportunity to reach that state of buddhahood and bring it out to face the crucial obstacles that, without fail, will arise.

Life is itself an active meditation and we are always ina state of practice, just varying levels of concentration.

gassho

June 4, 2010 at 11:19 am
(8) Betsy says:

True, true, true. I found my teacher in 1983. I had brain tumor surgery in 1987. So many other things. In the Vajrayana tradition, which I practice, when you begin the Preliminary Practices (Ngundro), you start with Refuge/Prostrations but we were advised to also do the Purification section (Vajrasattva) simultaneously because of this ‘mixed ripening’ of karma. The teachings say that to even encounter the Pure Path requires having accumulated vast amounts of merit (good karma) as the cause, and to continue requires even more. (It takes merit to continue the opportunity to make more merit). Also because we are deluded sentient beings, our karmic causes are always mixed, or linked, with negative karma. For example, we may do a genuinely good deed like saving animals but mixed in might be pridefulness or desire for fame. Mixed. So when the ‘good’ part comes to fruition in this life, there’s also some of the ‘bad’. My teacher once gave an astounding teaching diagraming linking karma with white and black dots and the lightbulb went off! Linking karma is the key. Also, once you have the tools to purify, you actually want karma to ripen quickly so you can purify it now, and not let it bite you in the behind in the bardo.

June 4, 2010 at 11:28 am
(9) CL says:

Betsy,
great explanation!

namaste

June 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm
(10) Lee says:

When I began practicing I was relatively wealthy with a top position in a multinational company… my operations were constantly number one… i never had a complaint… i soon lost my job… i soon lost my money … my teacher told me ‘you are riding a huge karmic wave lee’ … (and I was really a pretty good guy even before i began practice) … I wondered sometimes why I ever began ‘practice’ … so i’d say yes my experience has been things ‘changed’ pretty dramatically … and there has been much to learn … basically just simple things … like bowing … being willing … and bowing!

June 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm
(11) CL says:

Lee,

Great post. Buddhism is a lifetime of learning. I believe that when we sit within our sangha or ourselves, just sitting, practicing whatever style of meditation you prefer, just that fact alone is a challenge in this age when it is often just as easy to sit whilst under the influence of the computer screen or television or in the workplace, where it is often (though not always) the chaos of expectations, both our expectations and other’s expectations of us that do not even begin to seek unity. When we turn that all off and awaken our basic energies, under a primordial vow, we truly open our eyes without the chaos of expectations.

June 5, 2010 at 1:48 am
(12) NellaLou says:

“But what Dosho is saying that when people reach a certain point in practice their lives go haywire.”

I haven’t read Dosho’s book so I’ll go by what you say Barbara.

It could sound like some kind of mystification in some respects. Unleashing the force or whatever. That is only mentioned because I don’t think it is the sense that is actually meant. (There’s already enough mystification around these things)

I view all this as a natural process of wisdom accretion (or unveiling), for want of better terms. If we all lived to 300 years old quite possibly we’d all get a spiritual awakening. (I love talking to really old people, they’ve realized so much more than me) However 300 year life spans are not the case, so some of us attempt to accelerate it with Buddhist practice.

This statement you’ve made is quite true in my case. And your contrast between burning quickly and ripening slowly is a good one. But they seem to be both parts of the same thing. The dynamite and the fuse in a way.

Entering Buddhism I became fanatical about practice. That lasted about 5 years. Then I lolly-gagged around with it for about 10 years. Then decided to practice seriously, though not fanatically, again.

Within a couple of years I quit a well-paying “dream job”, instigated a divorce (with due cause) and moved to India. But spiritually it was an outstanding time. (And still is 8 years later)

That might be seen as pretty haywire to some.

It also rather begs the question. Because the most obvious changes involved in these turnarounds happen in fairly short order it might seem sudden. But the instigating events collect up over decades. Rather like pressure on an earth fault building. Then a release of that pressure and an earth quake.

I don’t know if unearthing things bit by bit in daily practice really mitigates the possibility of these big explosions or not. It seems to be such a deep thing that consciously we can dive to a certain level but beneath that, other psycho-dynamic forces are at play. Touching them is not unlike drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico-all kinds of mess can occur. Or not provided certain safeguards are in place. (Like a good teacher, Right View and so much more which you have written about so well)

Ponlop Rinpoche wrote: “Meditation is the only way we can fully taste our mind ;)

I mentioned courage in my previous comment. That’s part of it. Or rather fearlessness. (Pema Chodron has written so wonderfully on that many times) Do we nibble around the edges or do we bite? That rather effects the course of events.

So to answer your question Barbara, Yes I’ve noticed this too personally.

But also, I read a lot of writing by monastics and the majority of them describe something like this about when they decide to become monastics as well as during their practice afterwards.

It strikes me that perhaps when one first experiences the deep awakening of Bodhicitta it is the time one really “notices” their practice in terms of life experiences and events.

Some say that once that’s engaged there’s no stopping it. This is what I mean by the deeper psycho-dynamics.

Plenty to consider with these questions.

June 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm
(13) Sandra Seirin says:

So easy to look at other’s karma. I have a friend who’s been diagnosed with cancer. I think of him frequently and thought of his illness as a stage of his practice. Believed he is ready in his practice to take this on and survive emotionally, if not physically.

But what a surprise to read all the posts and suddenly realize that I’ve been unknowingly struggling with karma!! Fourteen months ago I lost my main job; my secondary job has tapered off; a rented house has been a constant problem and headache; a small sangha has taken forever to go beyond three people.

Meanwhile, I’ve been concerned with whatever I thought at the moment I needed to learn, this of course changed through time. Concerned about maybe not doing things right, or not understanding what exactly it was, I was suppose to do.

I guess the only thing to do is let karma flow, other times will come. Thank you all for posting.

June 7, 2010 at 5:59 am
(14) NellaLou says:

I came across this quote today which sums it up:

Never think that you will be able to settle your life down by practicing the Dharma. The Dharma is not therapy. In fact, it is just the opposite. The purpose of the Dharma is to really stir up your life. It is meant to turn your life upside down. If that is what you asked for, why complain? If it is not turning your life upside down, on the other hand, the Dharma is not working. That kind of Dharma is just another one of these New Age methods; the Dharma should really disturb you.

-Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche via RevDannyFisher

June 7, 2010 at 11:05 am
(15) Barbara O'Brien says:

Nellalou — that’s a great quote. Thanks.

June 7, 2010 at 9:20 am
(16) Lee says:

and so stuff comes and goes and i wonder does anyone else out there fight with the idea “now that I’m of pure intent…seriously training…wanting to do good etc etc” does this not bring us good stuff… like OK I’ve got some Karma to clean out but eventually my good intent, diligent training must bestow upon me ‘rewards’… is this not so? then why do I begin to see … and i see all those around me mired in muck, creating their own bit of hell and I can’t help them … in fact seemingly can’t even help myself … (and no longer know what to say)… and I wonder… maybe I don’t really know what’s good and what’s bad (in the sense that some seemingly bad thing may turn out to have been a good thing.)… there is sometimes great frustration caught between the east and the west.

June 7, 2010 at 11:17 am
(17) ken says:

I think that in the process of dying (which begins after birth) life gets more and more complex. The continual inflow of info, mistakes, lessons and experiences makes thought management and prioritizing harder. In my case my stubborn going it alone self Godding created my own crises. I now can see it for what it really is (good or bad) and deal with it truthfully.

It’s maintaining balance; we all experience “good” and “bad”, otherwise the only way that balance works is if one always has good and another always has bad. I don’t think either person exists.

June 8, 2010 at 12:02 am
(18) Keerthi says:

My experience is completely different!

Dharma is the ultimate therapy. (For this one must realize Dharma means detachment and nothing else).

The more you practice correct Dharma or Noble Eightfold Path (NEP) you become so lucky, very healthy etc. etc.

When you practice correct NEP (found only in Sri Lanka after 2,000 years thanks to Ven. Lankapura Sariputta thero) you erase your bad Karma by the day and increase your good Karma.

NEP (the form of medtitation discovered by the Lord Buddha and lost over 2,000 years ago) is the only way one can erase bad Karma. The more you erase and accumulate good Karma you have to become lucky, healthy, confident etc.

One day, The Buddha came across four Brahmins practicing different hard rituals to get rid of Karma. The Buddha asked them “how much Karma have you erased by now?” They said they don’t know.

Then The Buddha asked “how much more Karma remaining to be erased?”. They said they don’t know.

They said they were only doing what their master asked them to do.

The Buddha’s method is different. The more you climb the ladder the more you see.

Karma is three fold, 1. Bad Karma (Apunyabhi sanskara) 2. Good Karma (Punyabhi Sanskara) 3. Karma causing birth in Brhama worlds (Anenjabhi sanakara – Karma due to Brhamin meditation).

Average people are packets of first two forms of Karma. Those who do various forms of meditation have all three forms of Karma.

When you go on practicing NEP first you erase Bad Karma. The moment you get rid of all Bad Karma you become Sothapanna or first level Buddhist saint. So long as you have bad Karma you cannot see Nirvana, the supreme bliss. The first level saint is a person who had a glance at Nirvana. Due to this he gets to know that Nirvana is there and achievable by practicing NEP only. He is now left with good Karma (2nd and 3rd forms of Karma).

Due to himself being full of good Karma he himself can experience the results of his practice. He/she feels very lucky, very confident and very healthy. Common ailments never come to that person. Damages to body through the skin hardly happen! When other people get hurt or die you survive without any damage! This is how one realizes the level of erasing Karma.

This is why I sincerely always try my level best to introduce correct Dharma or NEP to people in the west. I know and I can see what is happening. The best medicine is NEP rediscovered by Ven Sariputta in Sri Lanka. If one practice NEP he/she will agree with me why I say Ven. Sariputta is the first Arhant after 2,000 odd years and the only fully enlightened teacher on earth.

His teaching can be taken as pure Buddha Dharma, the original Buddha Dharama without any worshiping, ritual or chanting etc. Or his teaching can be taken as the religion of the future!

June 8, 2010 at 9:20 am
(19) Lee says:

It must be wonderful to have found such a teaching. How long does it take for one to erase all the bad and acquire total and complete bliss? Maybe I’ve been wasting my time meditating and finding hard things as well as nice things along that path… Can one really accumulate good karma and be assured great health, wealth and peace of mind?

June 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm
(20) steve har says:

Hello Keerthi

Please speak plainly about how to erase “Bad Karma” [or bad karma either one].

Just what is it I do just now to erase it? Please provide more details especially about the erasing, ultimate therapy parts.

Detachment only, no engagement? No engagement with other peoples’ suffering?

June 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm
(21) Barbara O'Brien says:

steve har — please note that I do not endorse Keerthi’s karma erasing methods, in particular his emphasis on “detachment,” which contradicts the teachings of most schools of Buddhism.

June 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm
(22) Keerthi says:

Dear Lee & steve har

First, I would like to say that what Barbara says is correct to a certain extent. That is why I clearly and openly state Ven. Lankapura Sariputta has rediscovered the lost path (NEP) after 2,000 odd years and is 100% out of all beliefs, rituals, myths, miracles, praying, chanting etc. etc.

Please don’t misunderstand me as doing marketing for Ven. Sariputta. I just want to share my great experience with others who deserve it and introduce to the world the greatest discovery gifted to the world by The Buddha over 2,500 years ago.

In Therawada it is clearly said you have to get rid of all defilements to attain Nirvana. Defilements are the root course of Karma.

The great path was lost simply due to non practice of it by later followers (when you practice you also can see this).

I guarantee what you find below is not found in literature of any form of Buddhism, as Barbara very correctly says, and invite the readers to read it several times.

In all types of meditation one concentrates the mind to one object thereby getting powerfully attached to one object. Therefore, there is no detachment and Nirvana. This is what The Buddha saw as the major shortcoming of meditation. Therefore, one must clearly understand that with meditation(contemplation, concentration) there is no Nirvana!!!!

Everybody just practice the form of meditation learnt from a teacher and never ever looks back and analyze what is really happening in doing so. This is why most have written above that they had bad experiences since starting practice.

The practice of NEP is completely different and invites one to analyze what is done. In fact this is the way one realizes all what is taught by The Buddha!!!

Everybody is in a belief that they have (or do not have) a mind. There is no method other than NEP to see the mind.

The mind is “dispersed” in the body and therefore has to be “extracted” from the body to see it. The practice of NEP leads to extraction or detachment of mind from body. When extracted the mind is called Nirvana.

The practice of NEP is the only way to realize the Four Noble Truths (FNT). Please note that FNT is not to be learnt but has to be experienced and realized.

The practice reveals 1. Dukka is body or misery (and not suffering), 2. reason for Dukka is minds attachment to body, 3. total detachment from body is Nirvana and 4. only path to such detachment is NEP or practice of non-attachment to keep detachment.

The first experience of detachment reveals that the Nirvana is the supreme bliss and at the same time (without knowledge)e mind gives up attachment to heart momentarily/instantaneously. The person with such experience is the first Buddhist Saint. He knows that detached/pure mind is a “bliss” and it is what The Buddha named Nirvana. Such a person has momentarily seen the elusive mind for the first time in long Samsara.

Further practice reveals the mind is first (in all lay beings) based in the heart. The second experience brings the mind to the tip of the tongue along with the bliss and is seen pulsating just like the heart. Now you have the “elusive, monkey mind 50% under control”. The experience reveals another feature of Nirvana. That is apart from being the supreme bliss, in Nirvana the mind lives as it pulsates!!! By that time one has to realize many many things taught by The Buddha and (may or may not be) found in literature.

This experience reveals what has happened to Buddhism well over 2,000 odd years ago and makes you realize that you know the truth contrary to what you find in books.

The first experience takes you over bad Karma. This you can test and experience later. As a result you become healthy, happy, brave, confident etc. etc. The more you “realize” pertaining to the level you are the more benefits you reap. That will show you “Buddha” means realization and nothing else. You will feel like somebody is protecting and helping you.

The practice will reveal it is the missing link between all forms of Buddhism. With that you can purify todays Buddhism and make pure Buddha Dharma.

The practice provides the insight that what happens at the initial stages, as most have mentioned above, is exactly what is happening in the outside world today.

You will further see the world is heading towards a very bad time and after some time there will be heaven on earth.

To get to know how to practice the correct NEP and many more you can write to me on keertiwijet@gmail.com.

June 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm
(23) steve har says:

Keerthi

I do not question your experience or your intention to communicate clearly your experience
Doubtless you have found something for yourself worth finding. This is a good thing.

Some of your advocacy however seems to undercut the integrity of other experience and communication
For example there is a way in which Columbus discovered America for some; but others would say that the land was there before it was declared “discovered”. Native people who have lived south of Canada or north of Mexico for thousands of years do not share this particular declaration of discovery.

Similarly I know Costa Ricans who are startled every time they ask someone from the United States where they are from and the northerner says ” I’m American”. These startled Costa Ricans might say: “Oh you mean you are NORTH American” and think to themselves “what am I chopped liver, I’m American too, I’m Central American”.

Some ways of writing and speaking create confusion with the listener. I know this about my own words, for sure.

So in the spirit of raising the quality of the conversation here are some of your words and phrases that strike me as confusion creating:
-the greatest discovery since
-the great path was lost
-I guarantee what you find below
-in all types of meditation one concentrates the mind to one object
-everybody just practice the form of meditation learnt for a teacher and never looks back
-everyone is in a belief that they have/dont have a mind
-there is no method other than NEP to
-NEP is the only way to realize the 4 Noble Truths [FNT]

This is not a complete list of all the points of confusion creating that I’ve noticed and I leave out naming the specific confusion created.

Generally it is the case of confusing the map with the reality; it is “my way or the highway and there is no other highway” kind of thinking.

You and I may have different maps and different routes between New York and London. Your map might work. My map might work too. You are free to brag about your map, of course. You are free to invite me to try your map. But you are not entitled in your enthusiasm to undercut or characterize the insufficiency of my map either accidentally or on purpose.

So to sum: your enthusiasm about NEP is interesting; your assertions about other Buddhist practices and assertions about Buddhist history are not interesting and in my view not accurate. Frankly some of your assertions dishonor the life-time examples of many practitioners. I am curious what in your understanding and enthusiasm or mine causes so many points of confusion in my reading of your posts.

Please accept my comments as respectful curiosity not personal criticism

June 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm
(24) lee says:

Keerthi says: “Everybody just practice the form of meditation learnt from a teacher and never ever looks back and analyze what is really happening in doing so. This is why most have written above that they had bad experiences since starting practice ”

In my case … I said things changed a lot after i began training…lost my job; my money etc… I did NOT say I considered these things BAD.. in fact in many many ways they have been necessary and good. I am not looking for this bliss you speak of and I agree with what Steve Har just said you make many many assumptions about others practice which indicates you are really in a box .. by the way what does it cost to get this teaching?.. ….

June 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(25) Barbara O'Brien says:

FYI all: I have discerned that Keerthi lives in Sri Lanka, and the path he advocates seems to be a reaction to Sri Lankan Buddhism, which does have a lot of issues these days. I don’t believe he is much aware of what’s going on with Buddhism outside of Sri Lanka. And there’s no point arguing with him.

June 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm
(26) lisehull says:

And, is there a point in allowing Keerthi to continue preaching on your website? I for one have stopped even looking at his posts.

June 11, 2010 at 9:49 am
(27) lee says:

Barbara:

You are right. My humble apologies for the sarcastic comment … i am just quite suspicious of any group (any religion) who makes such huge statements and have found that most often they are a money making enterprise … I can tell by the comments that what he’s done has been quite impressive to him … my deepest bows to everyone…

June 13, 2010 at 5:42 am
(28) John says:

Hi Barbara-

I’m late to this discussion, but as to the question of “life” becoming difficult after deciding to walk the ‘path’, I have to give some input. Strictly from my experience (very limited), the short answer is “yes”- but while reading some of the other posts, a thought occured to me–maybe after we begin trying to live the “Buddha-way”, we just become more aware of life’s difficulties, whereas before, we just ignored them, or numbed them through a variety of amusements (drugs, alcohol abuse, sports, obsessive excercise and diet, etc.). For what it’s worth, this is what my mind has spoken to me about, and I think maybe it hits the mark a little more realistically than saying that some external ‘out there’ source is somehow making our lives more difficult because we chose to practice the way- to me, “karma” is just what it is-the result of our thoughts, actions, speech, lifestyle, obsessions. When we choose to walk the NEP, and dedicate ourselves to being more mindful, naturally, we become more aware of the everyday realities that perhaps before we just wanted to bury in a heap of denial- I experienced periods of crushing depression before walking the path (I began back in 2007), and guess what– I still exprience periods of crushing depression! The diffrence is, that I am more aware of the connection to our mental obsessions, and desires. And more in touch with the reality of our existence- I cannot change the past, I can only live in the present. Nothing is perfect. I have some control over my life, but I cannot make the sun rise. This is a perspective that I did not have before walking the path. No matter whether I remain in my currently unfulfilling job, or find “something else”, the 83 problems will always be there in life. I think that our practice really serves to awaken us to our 84th problem- that we desire to have no problems!

June 13, 2010 at 7:21 am
(29) Barbara O'Brien says:

John — Although I agree with what you say, Dosho is saying something else. He is not saying that we start to notice problems that were always there, but that at some point in practice the events of our lives really do get much, much more difficult than they were previously. This is something we’re doing to ourselves, although not consciously.

I’ve read Dosho’s book, and this “meltdown” point is pretty far advanced, if I can describe the spiritual path as having markers. It usually happens when people have been in practice for years and are getting close to a profound awakening. It’s a “darkest before the dawn” thing. And the painful events are not “bad,” because they enable awakening.

My experience is that karma really does work that way. It can seem like an “external ‘out there’ source,” until you get past seeing the world in terms of “here” and “out there.” These events move us to where we need to be. It’s the hurt that pushes us toward the light, so to speak.

June 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm
(30) John says:

Thanks, Barbara- I see now what you saying. Do you think it is because, through practicing consistently over a period of time, we begin ‘seeing’ things differently, or perhaps responding differently to outside phenomenon? By the way, thank you for your webpage-it has been immensely helpful in my practice- it is good to be able to discuss points of view, and thoughts- I have a lot of baggage to release, and I realize it won’t happen overnight- having a place to share thoughts and receive insight definitely helps! JS

June 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm
(31) Barbara O'Brien says:

Do you think it is because, through practicing consistently over a period of time, we begin “seeing” things differently, or perhaps responding differently to outside phenomenon?

Maybe, but I don’t that’s the issue here. Dosho says it’s lots of old, accumulated karma that ripens all at once and causes an earthquake in your life. Everything gets shaken up. It’s the final stage before a really deep realization; something like being pulled into a black hole, and time and matter go haywire. I suspect it’s one of those things one has to experience to understand, and I’m not quite there yet, either. :-)

June 15, 2010 at 1:50 am
(32) Keerthi says:

Dear Steve har and others

I agree that my comments make people angry and really really upset. It is something I encounter almost on daily basis.

What to do, you must not have any hesitation to tell the truth.

I describe everything through experience only but, see, everybody argues from what they know.

I gave my email address to take those interested away from this Blog so that it does not disturb Barbara’s opinion since this is Barbara’s Blog and not mine. Nobody wrote to me.

It is wrong to comment on what I say without doing what I asked to do. Nobody tried it but instead got ignited.

Galileo Galilee was killed for telling the truth, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Salman Rushdi, Thaslima Nasrin all had to suffer in expressing views different to that of the majority.

Sri Lanka was where Buddhism was first written. It was written in native language “Sinhala”. The Brhamins translated it to Pali and burnt all the original Sinhala scripts 1,500 years ago. They made Buddhism and made it look like a product of Brahminism.

The Buddha says his teaching is something never heard before. Do you find anything in today’s Buddhism that is never found in other religions?

When something never heard before comes up it is natural to have reactions like this.

The practice of NEP makes you lucky. It protects you. When a country has more people practicing NEP that country becomes a very fortunate, beautiful place. It will be protected from natural disasters etc.

If you can patiently wait you will see for your eyes what I am telling.

June 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(33) Patriciasjl says:

“Dosho says itís lots of old, accumulated karma that ripens all at once and causes an earthquake in your life. Everything gets shaken up. Itís the final stage before a really deep realization; something like being pulled into a black hole, and time and matter go haywire. ”

Those experiences (in varying duration) may just be broader life’s happening. Our subjective reaction or interpretation to the phenomenon or phenomena could be the difference– that it could be described as mystical black hole or existential angst or emotional breakdown during a shift of consciousness. This is how I relate to Dosho’s sharing, and the bases are my own experiences.
Yet, I’m new to Buddhism (I don’t belong to any sangha). I still have a long way to go with my studies compared to you guys, I think. And even so grapple with certain interpretation of my meditation experiences.
Cheers, Barbara. Your pages are helping my self-study.

June 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm
(34) Barbara O'Brien says:

Our subjective reaction or interpretation to the phenomenon or phenomena could be the difference‚Äď that it could be described as mystical black hole or existential angst or emotional breakdown during a shift of consciousness. This is how I relate to Dosho‚Äôs sharing, and the bases are my own experiences.

That’s way too easy. If it were that easy, it wouldn’t be worth a discussion.

What Dosho is talking about is not a different subjective response to the same old circumstances, but whole new circumstances. In other words, this is very, very specifically not about a different reaction to same old life, but life events changing. Jobs are lost, marriages break up, terrible diseases develop. It makes no sense, but Dosho says this often happens when people reach a certain point in practice, and that point usually takes years to reach. Old karmic seeds ripen and hit you with multiple crises at once. This is quite astonishing. I can’t say I’ve had this experience, but I wanted to throw open the discussion to see if it has happened to other people.

June 24, 2010 at 12:42 pm
(35) NellaLou says:

Something just struck me about this. As we pull our sense of ego out of the many structures that it, along with the egos and beliefs of others, have helped to prop up (read big delusions) those structures crumble. We see them for what they are and without the support and effort of ego maintenance they cannot stand on their own. They are supported by belief in solidity of self, which further maintains solidity and separation of the other. A kind of accelerated entropy if you will. The bonds of delusion break.

January 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm
(36) Dave says:

Keerthi is so stupid and egocentric comparing himself to Galileo, Jesus and Budda, the good thing is that he made me leaf a little bit.
Anyone following his advice should be careful, the biggest tragedy it will be a great lost of time, witch we are all running out of it, what I can share of my experience is to be ready for the time when death arrives thorug Phowa practice, make Phowa the hearth of your practice so you are ready to go to a pure land :) , It really doesn`t matter whatever good or bad experiences comes in this life, we really can not choose what it is going to happen, death will come, I have been close to death 4 times, and in that moment nothing matters, only where you are goingo to go.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.