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Someone posted a very cynical "buddhist's guide to happiness", with a challenge for apologists to step up and explain it away. I feel like the people commenting on his entry did a good job of clarifying his misunderstanding of the philosophy, but it got me thinking.

What is the buddhist guide to happiness, when you take all the niceties and aphorisms and cerebralness out of it, and make it practical?

So here it is, as I see it. Like all things in buddhism, it's merely my interpretation and your mileage may differ. Et Cetera.


  1. All life is suffering. This is the first noble truth. It doesn't mean we're in agony every minute we're alive, it means that everything that lives, suffers at some point, on some level. If you think about it, you're probably suffering in some way, right now. Your right toe might itch; that's suffering. When you accept the first noble truth, you realize you're not a special flower and you're not more miserable than anyone else. Believe it or not, that's a big step toward happiness.
  2. Suffering comes from attachment. You get your head stuck on things being a certain way, because that way is familiar. It's not even always awesome. Then when things change you get your head all wonky because you were attached to it being the old way. You have to let go and be flexible - you might be able to influence the way things are, but you can't control them.
  3. Acceptance is good, mmmmkay. Reference above. So, you got in a car accident and lost your left foot. Yeah, man, that sucks. Big time. Now it's done happening and there's nothing you can do to undo it. But you can do a lot moving forward, as soon as you accept it. Once you accept it you can go get a prosthetic, you can invent a new style of dancing that involves hopping, you can write a book about your tragic adventure, you can buy a swanky cane and shake it at meddling kids.
  4. NOTHING is permanent. Everything changes. Whether on a geologic, astronomical or human time scale, nothing stays the same. So reference #2 and get over it. That thing you think is superawesome cool? Not ever going to be exactly the same as it is this moment, thankyouverymuch entropy. So appreciate it fully, enjoy it to its fullest right now and let it go.
  5. Don't worry. Look, if you worry about something that can be changed right now, then you're wasting time you could be using to change it. If you're worrying about something that can't be changed, you're wasting time you could be using to accept it and get over it. So cowboy up and have some chocolate milk. (this is the hardest one for me to follow :D )
  6. No religion or philosophy ever solved anyone's problems. This includes buddhism. They just give you a framework and you solve them yourself. If you try a framework and it doesn't quite fit or make sense to you, take what does work and move on to the next one.
  7. Take refuge. Buddhists have three categories of refuge, where we can seek comfort. We take comfort in the philosophy - sometimes you can logic away your unhappies. We also take comfort in the concept that this too, shall pass. And when all else fails (at least for me it's the last resort refuge) we take comfort in our community, family and friends.
  8. Everything is connected. Not just in a hippie way of being made out of stars and rented atoms. We're connected by cause and effect. So you are hurting because someone else was hurting, because some other hurting person hurt them. When you recognize that the idiot in front of you cut you off because he's just gotten a phone call that his wife was in a car accident and died, you kinda don't mind being cut off so much.
  9. Be compassionate, dude. Sometimes, thinking about how other people are feeling helps get us out of our heads and then we feel better when we come back. Sometimes it puts our own crap in perspective. Sometimes it just distracts us so we forget what we were hurting for. And sometimes, we get lucky and it actually solves some of our problems too.
  10. It's ok to suffer. When something hurts, running away from it is only going to make it worse. Accept the pain (see a theme here?) and explore it to its fullest because it's not going to be the same later. Don't be attached to how you felt before the pain because you can't have that back - it's gone. Don't be attached to how you're going to feel when the pain goes away, because that's not here yet and you have to feel the pain in order to get there. Put your head down, feel the hurt, and be ready to let it go when it has run its course. If you're hurting it's 'cause it was your turn, and everybody gets their turns.
  11. Let go This sums up everything above. Don't cling to things being a certain way. Be willing to accept new things and find the benefit or at least the lessons in them. Make the most of the present moment, even if the only thing good about the present moment is that it'll someday be over. Let go, relax, breathe. Welcome to being human.



This is not a comprehensive list of the ingredients of happiness, for sure. But it covers the basics from how I apply buddhist philosophy to my life. What can you add to this list?

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Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
jorhett
Mar. 15th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
didn't intend to be cynical
I didn't intend to be cynical. I meant only to point out that being non-attached is only half the thing.

None of the things you've mentioned below would help someone get out of a situation which is bad for them. In fact, everything I have ever read about buddhism advocates not acting, and giving up hope for change.

I'm saying that real life, as opposed to life in a monastery, requires action sometimes. Yes, we should be non-attached. But sometimes we should act to make things better, rather than sitting sit and letting bad things continue.
shodoshan
Mar. 15th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
You're completely right. Being non-attached IS only half the thing.

Actually, buddhism very much advocates acting, and doesn't ask you to give up hope. I thought that didjiman explained that very well in your lj.

You're absolutely supposed to act to make life better, which I describe in #s 3,5,7,9 and 11 (heh, didn't mean to do that) above. And if applied correctly, they do help someone get out of a situation that's bad for them.

I can send you an email where I explain how applying my philosophies can help someone get out of all the scenarios you listed in your LJ, if you want. But I don't think you want.

*hug*

This post wasn't meant to make you feel defensive. You just got me thinking, was all.
jorhett
Mar. 15th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
Well in the book I am reading it consistently advocates not acting. "What should I do?" == "Abandon Hope"

I also have read your post and didn't see any action in any of the numbers. This may be my problem, and why I have a problem with it. But none of those numbers above suggest doing anything other than accepting it as it is.
jorhett
Mar. 15th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
I also have read your post and didn't see any action in any of the numbers.

So I've read and re-read and I'm back to the same point. Nothing in any of these numbers says to do anything other than relax and accept.

So me where any of these would cause me to hire a lawyer to defend myself, which you felt strongly I should do? According to all of these numbers, I should accept the change in my life and be willing to move onward with my new life as a Felon.

Hiring a lawyer to defend myself is absolutely not accepting and relaxing with my new status.
chapel_of_words
Mar. 15th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
And this is flowing a bit into the zen, there are many actions where "not doing" is better for all than "doing". We, as humans, are prone to action - and that's not always the best. I don't at all know your situation, but I do know lawyers. And many lawyers make very good careers on cases that really have no merit, and little chance of winning. To accept an injustice is hard, but to throw good effort after bad experience (paying a lawyer, living constantly in the emotional churn of a protracted lawsuit) may be *worse* than accepting that the injustice has occurred, and taking some other action (other than hiring the lawyer) that does not cause harm to yourself, or perpetuate the harm, might indeed be the better choice.

I'll give you an example from my bouncing days. If some drunk appears to shove you and spills his drink on you - you *can* try to take out his knee anticipating a fight. (Action). If that then cripples him, he sues you, he loses his job, you lose your job, face a lawsuit etc. etc. - those are negatives you'll have to deal with (many people take on a lot of guilt if they've severely hurt another, even if they felt justified in the moment).

However, there are other non-actions I can choose to take - laughing it off, offering my hand in case there was a misunderstanding. These cost me little in the short term - if he swings at me again (it happens) then sure, it's a fight, but maybe I misjudged what happened - maybe he stumbled, maybe he's having a really bad night and if we'd met in other circumstances we'd be friends. There are ways of defusing the situation without resorting to violence. That's where the acceptance of suffering (he got my clothes stained with beer and my ego bruised) is balanced against the compulsory need to act without thinking.

Does that help at all? Perhaps a bad example.

Tim C.
jorhett
Mar. 16th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
I don't at all know your situation, but I do know lawyers.

Sorry, I was referring to a specific conversation that happened in another thread. I offered to just give up and let the court have its way with me (ie Accept) and was soundly beaten about the head and shoulders by all of the same people who are now saying "just accept"

Fighting back against the unfair suit is the right thing to do. It is not Accept. It is absolutely Reject and Fight. There are times that this is the right thing to do. I've never seen a Buddhist text that explains this idea. (nevermind that the Buddhists all around the world are involved in a variety of political and cultural rebellions, so clearly...)
chapel_of_words
Mar. 17th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
I think you are mistaking self-pitying for acceptance in the philsophical sense. They are not one and the same.

In Man's Search for Meaning Frankl describes a very similar approach to what buddhism calls acceptance: Frankl concludes that the meaning of life is found in every moment of living; life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death.

There are sections of his book when he accepts that, being tortured by the Germans he has no physical action he can make to stop it, but he can still choose how to mentally react to that torture. That is an acceptance of the limitations of the situation, but not an acceptance of his own desire to pity himself in that situation, nor in that self-pitying to cease the mental resistance which he discusses.

In your particular case, the suit is unjust, and you are going to fight it. But what will you do IF you lose it (and whatever appeals)? If hypotehtically speaking, you take on the mentality of "I have let the court have its way with me" then you are self-pitying and not in fact accepting. That kind of self-pitying can become so corrosive over time that the loss of the court case can become a life-anchor, souring the rest of one's life in bitter memories of how one got screwed over. The acceptance, as I understand it, of Buddhism and Frankl is to NOT let the lost course case, the beating about the heads and shoulders, the torture inflicted by the Nazi's in the concentration camp define the rest of your life. Accept that it has happened and that it was a period of suffering, learn from it, and then get on with moving on to something else.

Tim C.
jorhett
Mar. 17th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
Tim, I'm sure you mean well but you're far enough off base in regards to me that it's just confusing the conversation overall. So I'm going to not respond to this -- not because what you're saying is right or wrong, but because there's just too much ground to cover here and I'm not capable of doing it in a livejournal comment thread. Most everyone else responding in this thread knows me very well already ;-)

Thanks for the advice.
chapel_of_words
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
No worries at all and you're welcome - as I know nothing from you but what you posted here I have no doubt I was far off base and tried to answer as best I could, but hope I did not offend in the process. =)


Tim C.
didjiman
Mar. 15th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
That's not non-action. In fact, simply accepting is NON-RESPONSE, not non-action, and is in fact, an act. I will write a post about it later.

Be well.

Oh, and throw away that book, obviously it's not explaining things well :-)
jorhett
Mar. 16th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
You're absolutely supposed to act to make life better, which I describe in #s 3,5,7,9 and 11

Okay, real quick analysis of verbs:

3. "...as soon as you accept it. Once you accept it..."

I'm leaving out specifics about buy a cane, write a book, etc. "Accept it and write a book" is really just "accept it". None of these are things that can improve the situation. Back to my comment about domestic violence -- Yes, you can accept it and write a book about it. Honestly I think you should either get out of the relationship or stop yourself from participating, whichever is the problem. (or maybe both)

5. "Don't worry." and "So cowboy up and have some chocolate milk."

Don't worry, and accept it. Still no action, beyond drinking chocolate milk.

No religion or philosophy ever solved anyone's problems. This includes buddhism. They just give

7. "Take refuge... logic away your unhappies." "Take comfort that this too, shall pass." Take comfort in our community, family and friends."

Take comfort. Okay, it might not be acceptance, but it's certainly not an action.

9. "Be compassionate"

Okay, having compassion for the other person is good. But it's still not going to change a bad situation.

11. "Let go". "Don't cling" "Be willing to accept" "Make the most of the present moment, even if the only thing good about the present moment is that it'll someday be over. Let go, relax, breathe."

Aren't we just back at "accept" again?

Again, I agree that all of these things must be done. But every single once of these is "accept", and there isn't a single verb here saying "make a change", other perhaps than by accepting the sucky situation and stop desiring something different -- in short, abandon hope.

Note: I'm not saying that Buddhism doesn't provide answers on how to proceed. I'm saying that neither this book nor your post above say anything other than "accept it for what it is".

Sometimes, the appropriate thing is the recognize that it hurts, to give up your attachment to it and GET OUT. Or depending on situation, give up on your pre-decided role and GO IN. But I've never seen a book on Buddhism that advocates either one. Just "accept it for what it is, give up all hope for it to ever be something else".

shodoshan
Mar. 16th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
First of all, I think you spent too much time on this. :>

Second, we are clearly running into a case of me not using language that is specific enough, aggressive enough and bullet pointed to be heard by you.

However, it is clearly important to you, so I will respond to each one. Then I'm going to let someone else take up the debate because I'm tired of it. :D

#3. I love that you left out the specifics because they're all actions. Every single one of them. You accept that you lost your foot and you GO BUY a prosthetic. You INVENT a new dance. You can't do any of those things if you're still back at the step where you're railing against losing your foot. The ACTIONS that you need to MOVE forward are impossible without acceptance.
No, none of those ACTIONS addresses domestic violence. I wasn't talking about domestic violence in that point. None of those actions addresses how to make a nice casserole, either.
For domestic violence, the key is to accept that you are in a DV situation. Having been in one, I can tell you that as soon as you ACCEPT that (an action in and of itself) you can then LEAVE or GET COUNSELING or CALL the cops. All actions that are impossible if you never accept that you're being abused.

In #5 the action is to CHANGE it if it is possible. And if it is not possible, to LET GO and RELAX. I know you like active actions, but that's not always possible. Sometimes the action that is right for the moment is to WAIT or CHILL OUT.

#7 Take comfort certainly is action. It's again the language you're objecting to. How does one take comfort? One READS books. One TALKS to people, one GOES TO SEE one's friends. Taking comfort is a generic passive term to describe an immense list of possible actions which is different for every single person.

9 Be compassionate - Let's think about the actions involved in this passive phrase. In order to find out how others are feeling, you have to TALK to people, LISTEN to them, ASK them questions, GO SEE them sometimes, CALL them, and usually, HELP them with whatever their problem is. I realize help is a passive generic verb that doesn't describe a specific action, but I think you're getting my point.

11 - believe it or not, LET GO is an active verb. You are holding a ball. Let go of it. It will drop and bounce. It's a conscious action. I also say that in letting go, you need to FIND the meaning or lesson. And you have to RELAX. This is an action that is so strenuous and difficult that you, personally find it nearly impossible. I think that should give me like 50 extra action points. :D

You don't HEAR anything but "accept it for what it is", but as I told you, that is because of the differences in how we communicate. It's there in my post. And it's there in buddhism.

It's clear that you feel buddhism is not the right path for you - and that's totally fine. But the categoric statements of "buddhists think you have to give up all hope" and "buddhists say you can't act, you have to just accept" make me very sad. It's a clear sign of misunderstanding.

The key in buddhism is finding the understanding, awareness and peace to take the RIGHT action. Not just any kneejerk action.

And that's why, when discussing amputees you will not find an action that helps DV victims. The RIGHT action for the situation.
chapel_of_words
Mar. 16th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
Not related to Buddhism but this is the level of technical dialog you need to get into when really describing *any* philosphy to avoid bumper sticker level comparisons. As a pragmatist and a reltavist I often get the "so anything goes...right?" inquiry, which is absolutely not the case. But it takes far more words and far better thought out than I can do to describe what it really means to be pragmatist.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/pragmatisms-gift/?scp=1&sq=pragmatism&st=cse

On another aside when it comes to training martial arts I would divide them into three categories, A, B and C. A is the theoretically easiest to learn (assuming physical comptency) and yield you the most immediate self-defense capability, often in months, things like boxing, wrestling. B martial arts take longer and are more complex - often taking a few years to get to a comparative, or exceeding, self-defensive capability - Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Jujitsu etc. I'd put an A martial artist at 6months against a B martial artist at 1 year...however...after 5-8 years, maybe a different story. The final martial arts I'd call the C level, that can take an extremely long time to fully understand and gain applicable capabilities in: Kung Fu animal styles, Akijitsu or Akido - you may be in these disciplines for 5 years and still get your ass handed to you by that 1 year A practitioner, but you get someone with 20-25 years in those styles - serious committed effort - and watch out.

Similar different components of different religions are at different levels of cognition and ease of understanding. I can probably communicate an A level understanding in a year which gets you the basics, a B level might take years to understand and a C level might take a lifetime. There are many C level components in almost all religions, but I have the feeling the art of "non-action" is a C level in buddihsm and probably takes more than can be conveyed in an LJ post.

Does it make sense?

Tim C.
chapel_of_words
Mar. 15th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
caveat: not a buddhist

I've done a lot of reading on the Eight Fold Path, my interests lie in the eclitc rather than religious, looking at triskelian constructs in lots of ethos. But as to Buddhism advocating non-action I think looking at the tri-division of the Eight Fold Path may be englighenting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_fold_path (recommending solely as a quick & easy encylopedic source, rather than definitive).

If you notice several steps of the Eight Fold path are entirely internalized - what they refer to as Wisdom (Right View, Right Intention, Right Knowledge, Right Liberation). However the grouping they refer to as ethical conduct almost mandate an external action, based on the Wisdom of the other steps: Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood. The final grouping is Concentration: Right Mindfulness, Right Effort and Right Concentration.

I originally came to the Eight Fold path in studying trying to find a better way of describing the phrase: do what you know, know what you do. The triskle or dialectic here is that thought without action is the thesis, action without thought is the antithesis, and only when you synthesize them into an intended action or a mindful action, do you get the true form of doing something. Everything else is just exercise. =)

What makes do what you know, know what you do very very very hard, and I'm assuming also the eight fold path - is that it demands you to act in the right, rather than just think in the right. Everyone has good intentions (perhaps) but it is very difficult to act on those intentions. Many may realize they are in a bad relationship (right view), but that's not enough, you have to act on that knowledge for it to mean something.

Tim C.
jorhett
Mar. 15th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
Got some books to recommend on the Eight Fold Path?
didjiman
Mar. 15th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
Re: didn't intend to be cynical
Give ma a day and may be I will write a post on "non-action." Most westerners, no offense, do not know what it means in the Buddhist / Daoist concept.
chapel_of_words
Mar. 15th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
I may be going out on an extreme limb here but perhaps another number to add:

#12: This life isn't the only go you'll have at life.

Tim C.
shodoshan
Mar. 15th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
definitely one of the buddhist principles, but does it help you along the road to happiness? I left it out of my list because for me, that knowledge doesn't help very much. How do you feel about it?
chapel_of_words
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
Well I believe in reincarnation. That's the glass analogy from the wedding - each life is like pulling a half glass of water from the lake, and throughout life we add in all sorts of other streams, flavors, botiques and blends - and when this life is over we pour the water back in, take a new half glass and start again (or if you believe in afterlife you jump in the lake and go "elsewhere"). So it's not a buddhist belief...but it does I think, at least me, mean I'm happier about life.

I don't feel like that this life is the only life I get to make my mark and so I have to get it all, do it all, be it all. I am comforted in what tiny tiny steps I make to move humanity forward will be added to millions of others and may mean something down the road, after this life, but not outside the reach of the next. I know that when I have made certain life choices that have ruled some things out - maybe those are paths I already took previously and now I'm on the new one, or those are ones that will be taken later.

I find a kind of comfort that every life is another lesson learned, even if they can be painful lessons. How can you find some children with such wisdom they seem old? Maybe they learned from a lot of pain in the previous life and are already starting a leg up in this one. How can you meet people that instantly become soul mates? Perhaps this is not the first time your souls met.

There is a Hindu tradition of a Prince speaking the name of divinity constantly, so that when he died it would be on his lips. I think the same thing of afterlife - if you believe in reincarnation, you get reincarnated, if you believe in heaven, you get heaven - these are not incompatible destinies for me. I don't need to worry about where my religious friends are going to nothingness, but believe that they go to what they wish to find (I just hope that at some point they get bored, get back out of the lake and come find me again!)

In the midieval concept of this life and the next life, this life was viewed as punishment, a training ground for the "better" life in the afterlife - but when you're reincarnated, each life is both the training lesson and another leg of the journey. Our souls get older, but our bodies begin again younger. I don't have a fear of death, and although I mourn the loss of ones close to me I don't fear they're going into nothingness, or that they "chose wrong" and are going to hell as an unbeliever, rather they are going to exactly that which is best suited for them next, be it a return, a pause, or a rest forever.

Does that make sense?

Tim C.
jorhett
Mar. 15th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
playing Devil's Advocate
just in case it isn't obvious, shodoshan and I are enjoying batting back and forth in a public place a topic we are almost entirely in agreement about. I'm playing a bit of a devil's advocate, since I absolutely agree with everything about non-attachment. I'm just advocating that many books (and even the list she posted) does not include the idea of actually acting.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, or even that it isn't implied. I'm arguing that it's not stated.

Edited at 2010-03-15 09:10 pm (UTC)
lobolance
Mar. 15th, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
Re: playing Devil's Advocate
I ended up listening to a bunch of podcasts to hear more thinking about buddhist stuff, because I was stuck in some of the same places around 'action' (not wanting to be a doormat in life just to be 'spiritual' ;-) ); also had a one on one with a teacher 'cause I knew he was an activist (as I have been); clearly he 'does' stuff. That was helpful. Still, some days it makes more sense than other. But as didjiman said 'right action' (going with the non-attachment to outcome so you can then take the next right-action step)is the directive I think. Am very interested to see what else he posts!
jorhett
Mar. 16th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
Re: playing Devil's Advocate
But as didjiman said 'right action' (going with the non-attachment to outcome so you can then take the next right-action step) is the directive I think.

Yes, absolutely. I just don't see the "right action" acknowledged anywhere. I don't think the Buddhists have got this part.
lobolance
Mar. 16th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
Re: playing Devil's Advocate
As I understand it, they have it. However, it never seems to be in the first three hours of talking buddhism! Which I think drives a lot of people away.
amilori
Mar. 16th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
Corollaries.
I'm always surprised when someone outlines these principals but leaves out the corollaries

1. All life is suffering. So look for your joy

2. Suffering comes from attachment. So be willing, not only to let go, but to walk away. Be ready to move onward and make changes.

3. Acceptance is good. But you have to move onward and make the changes you can, once you’ve accepted what is and what you can’t change. Don’t focus on the stuff that simply is, focus on what you can do next.

4. NOTHING is permanent. So be ready to move onward and make changes. Keep moving (forward is best, but if you don’t move you don’t live, so act.)

5. Don't worry. Find the positive or make the positive.

6. No religion or philosophy ever solved anyone's problems. You have to be willing to take action to solve or move beyond your problems, not expect life or fate or religion to do this for you.

7. Take refuge. Better, make a refuge for yourself. Best, make a part of yourself into a refuge for others (as long as you reserve part of yourself as a refuge for yourself. You can’t help others if you’re falling apart.)

8. Everything is connected. Cause and Effect, Action and Reaction. Just remember that if you don’t act, you still get acted upon. But you also get to choose your reaction and positive reactions tend to lead to further positive reactions.

9. Be compassionate. See above (positive reactions tend to lead to further positive reactions)

10. It's ok to suffer. You will feel what you’re going to feel. And it’s ok to feel the pain, to feel rejection. But then you have to decide what you are going to do next. Move on.

11. Let go. See all of the above. Move on, make changes, decide what’s next.

Without the corollaries, you don't grow.
shodoshan
Mar. 16th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Corollaries.
Nicely put. For me, the corollaries are all implied in what I said, but you're correct that it's helpful to explicitly list them.

:D
garwalf
Mar. 17th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
So much great stuff I spent lots of time reading, stayed up past my bed time, don't want to spend lots of time writing, and have forgotten much of what I was thinking. So a quick 2 cents.
Jo, your original post reminded me of some subtleties and problems I've run into. A simplistic interpretation of detachment really is a cop out. The more detailed view involves things like detachment from the fruits of your action. You can't control everything, so don't be too hard on yourself about unexpected results or paralyze yourself with anxiety, just "do it".
Compassion is very important, including compassion for yourself, i.e. don't be a doormat because your not being compassionate towards yourself. Ignoring yourself is a cop out form of compassion.
On a related note, tied to personal experience, 7 (take refuge) and 10 (it's ok to suffer) should be closely tied. I've found I can logic away my unhappiness in such a fast, knee jerk way that I don't acknowledge my own suffering or notice where it's coming from. Part of being present is realizing that right now you could go off on a long rambling tangent because you're sleep deprived and should really head off to bed instead. G'night!
shodoshan
Mar. 17th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
well said!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )