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Is there a stage in practice when the practitioner is drawn to read the sutras? My problem is that I'm at a point where I'm confused w.r.t. what should I do. Performing actions seems pointless, there is no access to "higher" feeling like delight, joy, love, etc. Everything is "ok", which makes it dull.

  • What actions are you talking about? – Lanka Feb 15 '17 at 13:57
  • All actions.... – user Feb 15 '17 at 14:05
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Sit with the dullness of it. Get to know the dullness.

One of the greatest challenges of Buddhism, is to learn to avoid aversion.

Dullness, is generally speaking, unexciting. When you feel unexcited, it makes you want to get away from that feeling. Don't try to get away from it. Sit with it. Discover what happens when you just let it be.

First and foremost, ask yourself, " what is going on with me, that I am having an emotional reaction to this experience?"

Not just when you are having unplesant emotional reactions, but also when you are feeling good about it. And not only your experience with your buddhist practice, but with everything, all the time.

Even with the feelings you are having right now as you read my reply.

  • We are just algorithms proving theorems in a very clever way. – user Feb 15 '17 at 14:22
  • Good point. Everything is empty but we are afraid of it because of our existence and social norms. Hence we jump into "doing something". – esh Feb 18 '17 at 7:35
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Meditation is not an easy path & does not bring guaranteed happiness. Generally, meditation requires lots of time & intensive retreat practise to develop well.

My personal opinion is reading the suttas without meditative realisation will result in many misunderstandings of the suttas.

However, there are suttas for laypeople, which are about skilful ways to live ordinary life.

If you want to look at some suttas, In The Buddha's Words may be good (however, the translator's commentary footnotes may not be accurate representations of some more complex teachings).

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Is there a stage in practice when the practitioner is drawn to read the sutras?

No.

My problem is that I'm at a point where I'm confused w.r.t. what should I do.

What do you want to do? What are you trying to achieve?

Performing actions seems pointless, there is no access to "higher" feeling like delight, joy, love, etc. Everything is "ok", which makes it dull.

Yes it is pointless, but if you want to, you can attach a point to it like everyone seems to do. But that would be moving away from the truth/fact of the matter. Do you want to do that? It depends on you.

But I want to say that today you will ask this question, and in a few days you will forget this question, and then you will ask the same question in a different form after sometime.

These are not questions to be answered like Q&A. They are subjective experiences and feelings which only you know and which don't have an answer as such. Please accept this fact. And help yourself (or not if you don't want to).

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Generally whenever you feel that your actions are pointless you can be assured you are in a nihilistic state of mind and not in the Middle Way of Buddhism. In Buddhism actions ALWAYS matter.

Without critiquing the merits of various suttas and sutras, I would have to say many are not suitable for beginners because the average person lack the required experience and will as pointed out interpret it incorrectly, leading to a usually nihilistic outlook.

This is where many Mahayana sutras shine with emphasis in skilful means to teach the difficult to grasp concept to people at various levels. One of the most popular being the Pure Land Buddhist sutras such as the Amitabha Sutra. It is to be chanted and Practice until you reach the Pure Land through direct experience. And yes the Pure Land is glorious. Just what a person who is seeking higher emotions like you is looking for. You will need to have some faith for this. Don't let scholars and even other Buddhist doubt the meaning and authenticity of this teachings. You can be assured the generations of masters know what they are doing and talking about.

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