Im nearly 50 years old and so far in my life I have never found a sense of belonging or any sense of purpose. I haven't found a way to work that offers any sense of contribution or meaning. I have worked in low skilled low paid jobs struggling to make ends meet for over 30 years and going nowhere. Now I'm at a point where I feel I just cannot do what is required of me in this society any longer. It's soul destroying. I have no motivation or desire to get out of bed and go to some mindless crappy job just so that I can eat and pay my bills while other people make billions for doing nothing and live in the lap of luxury. There has to be more to life than this. I have tried to find other things to do that are more rewarding such as creative endeavours but failed to find the confidence and determination to go out and make it happen and so I just end up back in the same crappy jobs.

So how does this relate to Buddhism you might be wondering. Well I guess I turned to Buddhism in desperation. I felt so bored and disenchanted with life that I thought there must be another way to see things. Buddhism seemed to offer that. So I begun meditating and went on some retreats. I begun learning how to watch the mind.

I have had a lot of psychological insight into the how I am the way I am because of my family etc over the years but this is more from reading than from meditating. I thought that Buddhism would give me some sense of freedom and help me to push through and change my life in a positive way but after 6 years I haven't really changed much and now I feel disappointed and disenchanted with Buddhism because it seems to promise so much but deliver so little. The only thing I can say is that I have learnt to react a little less. To notice impatience, anger and other difficult feelings and not react to them. Isn't there more to it than this? I guess right now I am experiencing a range of difficult feelings and Buddhism would say notice how they are impermanent, notice how averse to them you are, notice how they are not self etc. So I do this but it doesn't make it any easier. They still keep arising and they are still really difficult, uncomfortable and painful and I still want to not feel this way. So then what?

  • 3
    I think you need to talk this through with a teacher.
    – user10515
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:34
  • 1
    What do you seek?
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 22:42
  • Meditation is like looking in a mirror. If you don't like what you see, it helps you change. But you have to decide what needs changing, Buddhism can't do that for you.
    – user2341
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 0:52
  • I think this the protected status should be removed. This question has a lot of votes (be it Buddhists who voted or people with Miccä Ditti). It's good to have a lot of people suggest ways to address this issue. This is a common issue that happens to people due to practicing Buddhism wrong. Maybe, we can edit the question to make it a bit more formal? Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 0:06
  • You might - possibly - like the sutta SN22.84 (accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.084.than.html) which I also like myself (because of the closing dialog between the Buddha and the sour Ven. Tissa) and to which I have linked in my tiny private palicanon-selection(german)[ go.helms-net.de/txt/palikanon/index.htm (see "Tissa"] Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 21:50

13 Answers 13


Buddhism is not the answer. Buddhism is not the problem, either.

You turned to Buddhism looking for a quick fix to your life, and now that you haven't found that quick fix after 6 years you are lashing out. I get the impression there is a lot of pent up anger in you. Anger at the world, anger at your job, anger at the so-called "better off" people who earn millions for doing nothing, and now anger at Buddhism for not fixing it for you.

Buddhism is not a quick fix. It is not the answer.

Buddhism is merely a toolkit which enables you to fix yourself.

Meditation is not Buddhism. Going on retreats is not Buddhism. Reading the Pali Canon is no Buddhism. You can meditate all day every day for the rest of your life and not find happiness. You can read every Buddhist work ever written and not find happiness.

Turning to any religion or philosophy and expecting it to put right everything that is wrong is not how to make things better. All you are doing is finding a new target to point the finger of blame at when it doesn't "do it for you".

Meditation doesn't create happiness. It merely calms and clears the mind washing away the unimportant cares of the world and allow you to focus it on what really matters. The mind is "like a rampaging elephant". Only when it is calmed and tamed can you sit on its back and make it go where you want. Meditation calms and trains that elephant.

You can read and learn every bit of musical theory you can get your hands on, but it won't make you a concert pianist. Only practice will do that for you. It's like that with Buddhism. You can know all about it, but if you do not practice it (and by that I don't mean meditating every day), Buddhism will not do anything for you.

The majority of people's problems with the world - not finding their place in it, not being happy with their role in life, not liking what they are doing, etc - is not because the world is at fault. It is their view of the world that is wrong. "With our thoughts we shape the world" is one of the truest phrases ever uttered. You cannot change the world. You cannot even change other people. The only thing you can change is yourself, and that starts with changing how you view the world.

No, it's not an easy task. But that's what meditation is for - to help you keep focused on that task.

As an example:

"You have been in a succession of low-paid menial jobs and don't earn enough to make ends meet."

There are two things wrong with that statement, and both highlight the problems of your world view - of your perception of life. You are not in a "menial" job. You have the good fortune to be in a job that is free of stress and responsibility. Do you really want to be paid lots of money for doing next to nothing? No one is paid lots of money for doing next to nothing. They are paid lots of money to take the fall when things go wrong. They are paid lots of money to make the business decisions that affect the lives of thousands of employees. I for one wouldn't want the stress and responsibility that rests on their shoulders, not for all the tea in China.

You don't have a menial job. You have an easy, care free, job.

If you aren't happy with where you are it is through a desire to be something you are not. A desire to be someone else. You are who you are, not who the media says you ought to be. In the words of Crosby, Stills and Nash: "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with". Most misery in life comes from wanting what you can't have - and if/when you get it you then want something more. That wanting, that craving, is, as Buddha taught us, the cause of all suffering in the world. When you let go of that craving for something else and accept who and what you are, that is when peace and happiness begins.

And you can't make ends meet? So move the ends. Some people get a longer piece of string, and you know what happens to long pieces of string: they always end up in a tangled mess. Some steal someone else's string and tie it to their own.

Or you can try tying it around something smaller. Do you really need a new fancy mobile phone? Do you need that pair of earrings?

A Buddhist Monk has nothing except a razor and a spare robe. My favourite teacher, Ajahn Brahm, tells a story (one of many, he does love his stories. You should look him up on Youtube, his way of teaching will open your eyes). I forget if it was actually about himself or another monk, but it basically goes like this (I am no story teller, so forgive me):

A monk, it may have been Ajahn Brahm, or his teacher, Ajahn Chah, or someone else, I forget, had been giving a talk to the lay people. It was a good inspiring talk, and afterwards one of the lay people came up to the monk full of gratitude and wanting to do something in return. Monks aren't allowed to have money, so he said to the monk "I have $100 here for you. I know you can't have it, but if you tell me what you'd like I'll go and buy it for you."

So the monk starts thinking: what would I like? The first thing that comes to mind is "a piece of paper to write a list on". Then he thinks "And a pen to write the list with". It starts to get dark, so he thinks "a torch so I can see at night would be good too". Before long his list has grown and grown and grown, including such things as a cushion to sit on while meditating, a new bowl for the alms round, etc.

The next day the lay person comes back to see what the monk would like him to buy. The monk says to him:

"Don't you ever do anything like that to me again! I was in torment all night, tossing and turning, making a list of things to get. It was hell!"

... Or something to that effect anyway. The point is, when you start becoming attached to the world like that it only breeds more attachment. And that attachment breeds suffering. It leads to a desire to have more, a desire to change who/where you are through the accumulation of "things".

It is only when you start being a Buddhist, instead of learning about Buddhism, that your life will change - and that change will be instantaneous and surprising.

I myself rarely sit and meditate. However I am almost constantly meditating. Meditation isn't just about sitting in the lotus position going "Om". It's about being still within yourself. I am meditating right now whilst writing this. My mind is calm, my thoughts are clear. I'm financially broke. Both Trump and Kim Jong-Un have silly hair. Life is great.

  • 4
    No I wasn't looking for a quick fix. I was looking for a way to understand where I was going wrong. How my perception was perhaps causing me to create suffering in my life. I was and still am perfectly honest about this. I am absolutely aware that there were and are disfunctional patterns in my life that repeat themselves and so I wanted to work this stuff out and understand my mind and how I got where I am and how to change it. I understand what you are trying to tell me and I appreciate it but you've assumed a whole lot of stuff about me from one tiny moment in which I wrote something.
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 12:31
  • 4
    @Arturia One of the problems with this kind of situation is that we can only see a tiny fraction of your life, and we have no choice but to make assumptions. Much comes across unbidden in how you tell us about things, not just what you tell us. The adjectives you use to describe things indicate more than you admit to yourself about how you feel about them and perceive them. Ask yourself why you see your job as "crappy". Don't fixate on how you got to be there - that is the past, and you can't change the past.
    – Majenko
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 12:38
  • 3
    Past and future are figments of your imagination. The only part of the past that exists is your memory of it. The only part of the future that exists is your expectations for it. You are here, now, at this moment in time. If your memory of the past is troubling you, change how you look at that memory. If your expectations of the future are not allowing you to be fulfilled, change your expectations. Live your life, not the life you wish you had.
    – Majenko
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 12:43
  • Thank you for this, I sit on a boat, with what many in the world would consider not a lot, but I have a lot within myself, and though I had everything in the past, I now have everything that I could ever need or even want. If only the rest of the world was like this.... silly haircuts apart! Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:58
  • 2
    @henning Not blaming, but yes, I see your point with that wording. The OP is suffering from Wrong View and they need that fixing before they can progress. If you want to blame anything it's everything that has happened since the dawn of time that has shaped both the OP and the environment they are in that's to blame (even you and I) for creating and nurturing that Wrong View.
    – Majenko
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:27

Generally things happen due to cause and effect so use that to your advantage by creating the causes for happiness.

You need to work on the grosser aspects before you can work with the subtle.First cultivate happiness.Otherwise your going to be gritting your teeth through the path.

Here are a few practical suggestions:

1.Keep the sila (precepts). This just by itself can remove a huge chunk of misery.But it can take awhile to see any results,maybe think of giving yourself a year to work on just keeping the precepts.It's very good for the long run. Sila is like a protective shield.

2.Make Dana (Giving).You mentioned that you've been working low paying jobs.Make LOTS OF DANA.I know it's hard to give but start slowly.Also bear in mind the most effective way of giving:

(1).To get the most out of your giving.Choose a person worthy of gifts.For example a noble person,an arahant,a teacher,monastics.Even if their not Buddhists choose someone who is pure and noble.I would actively seek out teachers or monasteries to donate to if i strongly suspect they are very advanced in their practice.

(2).Give to a person who Needs it.This is more meaningful then giving to a person who doesn't need anything.

(3).Make sure your state of mind when giving is pure or descent.Maybe meditate first or do chanting or contemplate the dhamma.Don't regret giving.This can affect your returns.

(4).Avoid stealing.Or taking anything that's not given.Practice sharing.The richer you want to be the more you should give.The effects vary for most people.i generally see the effects of giving much faster.But i can't speak for others.As this depends on our own karma.

3.Make Merits. Do volunteer work,charity,Honour the Buddha,listen to the dhamma,help someone,be kind to someone etc.This will open doors of opportunity and bring happiness.

4.Finally Practice the BRAHMAVIHARAS. I cannot stress this enough.It is like a painkiller or morphine,it will keep you high and on cloud nine in samsara.Its effects are much more immediate than other meditations which can take a while to see their results.the biggest problem for me when i practice brahmaviharas is that things life can seem soo smooth and happy that i forget to practice!so even when you experience the effects of brahmavihara practice don't slack off.

Basically what i'm trying to say is you need to work on being happy first.And you do this by using your knowledge of karma,cultivating the necessary causes that will bring forth its effects.when the mind is happy,calm,stable,contented (Samadhi) THEN you can REALLY SEE these subtle insights of impermanence,greed,hate,delusions which will ultimately release you from all suffering.But don't try to jump there by skipping through an important step of making the mind happy first.Only a happy,calm,contented (samadhi) mind can see the truth.

  • 1
    A very good and comprehensive answer.
    – user2424
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 17:16

Don't force it! Learn to find and follow your inspiration, to cultivate your inspiration :-)

Buddhism is meant to be inspiring, the example of Buddha is meant to be an example you can relate to - he too could not find his place in the world before he escaped from the palace. Then he got inspired!

Managing inspiration is the foremost practice in Buddhism. Obviously, being inspired by lust/greed or hatred/negativity is destructive, but being inspired by positive things is not just O-kay, it is actually helpful... and good! :) Being inspired by Dharma is best, but for starters, just work on being inspired by positive things, things you like, that are not harmful.

Do not suppress all of your desires/impulses, do not inhibit all energy completely, that's an extreme of self-mortification, not Buddhism. Instead, learn to follow your heart - even if it creates trouble for you temporarily, as long as it's inspired by your spiritual quest.

Learn to follow your heart, to its (positive) desire, then have the guts and the will/intent to pursue that until the end, even if it seems far-fetched or unrealistic, then feed on that energy that comes from your confidence/commitment to your choice (even if you fail, result doesn't matter), then reinvest that energy into the new quest. As long as quest is spiritually motivated in the broad sense, it will get you a step closer.

Do what you truly want deep down. Be brutally honest with yourself and do what you really want. No need to find the one thing you really want. Start small. Do hundred small things that you really want, then you will find a bigger one hiding in plain sight and so on.

You will feel more alive as you do this, it will take time to build up through trial and error, but it should get you real results.

I apologize for 100% practice-based answer, with no references. I hope this helps.


"I'm nearly 50 years old.. I have never found a sense of belonging... I haven't found a way to work that... I'm at a point where I feel I just cannot... I have no motivation... I have tried to find other things.. I just end up back in the same crappy jobs... I turned to Buddhism in desperation... I felt so bored and disenchanted..." etc. etc. etc.

The real issue is highlighted and marked in bold for your convenience. The whole question is full of it! Buddhism is all about resolving that one and only problem that matters. You just need to find a proper teacher. Here's a booklet on how to resolve it: https://www.sirimangalo.org/text/how-to-meditate/

  • That poor I, if only we could solve 'I'ts problems.
    – user2341
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 1:12

Im nearly 50 years old ...

You seem to be realising the fact of unsatisfactoriness at the intellectual level (Cintā Maya Paññā). You have to try to re enforce this at the meditation level (Bhāvanā Maya Paññā). Once this is properly re enforced, you can come out of your the unsatisfactoriness which you are experiencing. For this you have to do a meditation techniques which is suitable to you and also ensure you are doing the techniques properly. Learning from books or experimenting on your own may not be the most effective way to get about it.

In addition the path is also conditioned hence requires effort and can be also painful or unsatisfactory, but more steps you take on the Noble 8 fold part and the Threefold Training lesser the pain and burden. Also be mindful you are doing it the right way.

One stage in meditation when it is going right is disenchantment towards the 5 aggregates (Nibbida), which is as follows.

So how does this relate to Buddhism ... disenchanted ...

Disenchantment with the world of 5 argerates is a good sign and can be a inspiration for spiritual practice to get out of the unsatisfactory situation. You have to also reinforce the disenchantment you have realised intellectually through meditation, but in this case towards the 5 aggregates, not with the teaching as this can easily due to doing the wrong technique or not doing it properly. How to develop disenchantment towards the 5 aggregates through cultivation can be found in:

I have had a lot of psychological ... So then what?

Disenchantment with the practice may arise when your spiritual practice does not go the way you want because you have built up expectations, which also hinders progress. Related to this, the unpleasant feeling of renunciation, is also touched in Sal,āyatana Vibhanga Sutta.

Since you are doing this on your own perhaps you might have missed some aspect of the theory or practice. In addition if you are craving for results or doing meditation for the sake of result then the results become elusive. This may intern lead to spiritual doubt which is a hindrance. You could also be trying too hard. Also may not be balancing the seven sets / 37 factors of enlightenment properly. Also the unpleasant feeling generated due to this have a multiplicative effect. Developing equanimity towards it lessens the burden and pain. Some essential key point about the practice, through in a different context, can be found in this answer and my other answers. As long as you are doing a suitable practice and also doing it properly, do not worry about it results, as they will come in due time.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to do a retreat to learn the technique properly. You can try finding a place near you:


Speaking from my personal experience & character, I would probably not value Buddhism at all if i did not obtain satisfying peace & happiness from it. Buddhism has brought me peace & happiness for many years however I meditated for many months full-time in a monastery to develop this.

I have gained the impression from your posts you are a very honest person & don't spend your time fondling or playing with religion. Therefore, I provide an honest answer for you.

I think your experience of Buddhism is similar to most laypeople that meditate one or two hours per day, who gain some insight into their personality & habitual emotions and that is about it.

Most Buddhists are 'religious', i.e., their interest or faith in Buddhism is related to a strong belief in & craving for reincarnation ('rebirth') rather than related to happiness from meditation.

As for myself, I do not believe in reincarnation or any kind of life after death. If meditation did not bring me peace, happiness & understanding, I probably would have no interest in Buddhism.

As for Nirvana, it is 'disenchantment' ('nibbidā'). If there is enough disenchantment, the mind will stop craving or wanting anything from this world. When this is mature, the mind is peaceful.

When I was 23 years old, I left home to travel on some kind of search because I was completely disenchanted with worldly life. Luckily, I found Buddhism on my travels, when I wandered into a monastery as a tourist.

But, even today, I am also 50 years old now & I am often disenchanted with life, not so much inwardly, but more & more outwardly, as the world becomes more & more crazy with wars, total lies & complete disregard for human life, civility, the rule of law & society. I left my job two years ago because, suddenly, it became crazy, with the work values turning upside-down.

I empathize with your situation. Not much is happening in this world that is positive.

The Buddha left his home at 29 years old due to disenchantment (see link). When Buddha attained enlightenment & Nibbana, it was also due to disenchantment (see link).

O monks, the well-instructed noble disciple, seeing thus, gets wearied of form, gets wearied of feeling, gets wearied of perception, gets wearied of mental formations, gets wearied of consciousness. Being wearied (disenchanted) he becomes passion-free. In his freedom from passion, he is emancipated. Being emancipated, there is the knowledge that he is emancipated. He knows: '(ego) birth is exhausted, lived is the holy life, what had to be done is done, there is nothing more of this (ego) becoming.'


This is the nature of life. Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. First you have to accept these factors. Once you accept these,the only way you can go is up. Not Down.

  • Upanisaa Sutra lists "supporting conditions" for Liberation, a sequence of stages. Suffering is one of them. Next is Faith, then Joy. Then Rapture... It gets better. Disenchantment come after...
    – user2341
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 1:09

Did you think it would be that easy, to just get rid of those negative feelings and achieve arahantship, enlightenment (the ending of mental fermentations, nibbana the highest bliss)?

Even during The Buddha's time when The Buddha was alive and teaching there were not that many arahants in the world (a few thousand or so I can't find the exact number).

"You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way." (Dhammapada, 276)

The Buddha predicted the pure dhamma lasting only for 500 years so in modern times achieving arahantship is nearly the same as becoming a paccekabuddha.

I would encourage you to develop the seven factors that lead towards enlightenment, most likely you're lacking in one or more areas.

"These seven factors of enlightenment, Kassapa, are well expounded by me and are cultivated and fully developed by me. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana." (SN 46.14)

"Bhikkhus, just as all the rafters of a peaked house slant, slope, and incline towards the roof peak, so too, when a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment, he slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna." (SN 46.7)

The Seven Factors:

  1. Mindfulness (sati)
  2. Keen investigation of the dhamma (dhammavicaya)
  3. Energy (viriya)
  4. Rapture or happiness (piti)
  5. Calm (passaddhi)
  6. Concentration (samadhi)
  7. Equanimity (upekkha)

More information on the seven factors - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/piyadassi/wheel001.html


Perhaps others feel the same way you do, but have less introspection and have put less effort in to self-development than you have. Look for ways to help. I ran a center for meditation and retreats for 10 years. This didn't fall in my lap, I made it happen, and it was "costing not less than everything", which is why I had to leave eventually. Now I am looking for ways to teach self inquiry.

Sometimes the sky is dark and the road uphill. Either it will get better, or you will have done your best. "Many heroes are not yet born. Many have already died. To be alive to hear this song is a victory."


With all due respect to your problem and situation, please take some time to read this:

Sunita the outcast (Theragatha (-gāthā) - 12.1.2)

Further Reading

It is important not to forget why you turned to Buddhism and be open to it's understanding of the problems you face. All your problems are due to pancha upädänakkhanda , which by definition is suffering / sad as expressed in the Four Noble Truths. Ideally you need to acknowledge this and detach (disenchant) yourself with them; and extend this perspective when looking at your own mind and body (pancha upädänakkhanda)

What has been missing in your pursuit of Buddhism is Sammä Ditti. Without the proper view as described clearly in Buddhism things that your do, almost ritualistic and samatha meditation, will undoubtedly make you feel unhappy upon lack of proper outcomes. The point is, Buddhism clearly states that such things (sankhatha) are sorrowful by nature in the long run.

May you realize the Four Noble Truths through Samma Ditti, soon.

  • I researched Samma Ditti and I found a page that says as follows - " In order to realize the Three Characteristics of Existence one should develop insight knowledge by practising vipassana meditation, and we should be able to understand those three characteristics within the five Aggregates of grasping (khandhas). We are unable to see things as they really are because delusion or ignorance, by its nature, covers reality (saccapaticchadaka moha)". So my question is if I have been practicing vipassana for 6 years why do I still not understand this? What is Samma Ditti still missing?
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 22:39
  • Sometimes the instructions in dhamma is very simple but our minds are deceitful. It is very clear that Sammä Ditti has the objective of 1. Ridding the idea of a "self" 2. Completely discarding thanhä(craving). So Sammä Ditthi has an objective too. This is clear in the Dhäthu Vibhanga sutta. In it Buddha says, life can be maintained with Four Determinations. Then he says 1. Intelligence is to avoid being late 2. Truth is to safeguard 3. Gifting is to let go 4. Settling (calming down) is to be practiced. 1 being obvious, 2 behind the Four Noble Truths (Sammä Ditti), 3 rid craving, 4 for nibbana. Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 23:04

Your predicament is same as majority of meditators. They all benefit from the technique. I have not found a single useless meditation technique. But without understanding the psychological aspect of any teaching, techniques(s) will not take you far. First of all within few months (maximum a year) of practice there should be perceptible change in energy levels. Your body will start getting in sync with Nature. You will tend to sleep less, eat less, senses much more powerful. Your mind's ability to focus (concentration power) will increase exponentially. If you have not got to stage one you have not understood the teaching well or there is less action. From your post it is very clear you are suffering from inferiority complex. You should not be bothered about someone making billions because that is mostly a matter of chance or inclination (some people are good at making money). Every human is unique and I am sure you are much more talented than all the billionaires. It is just that energy is not there to actualize yourself. You are attempting self realization which I find quite absurd at this stage. Modern human being is a multi-dimensional phenomenon and path to self realization is through self actualization. If you pump all your energies into realizing your potential one day you will attain peace which monks will envy. Self realization will not be difficult then. I suggest you stop all practice, focus on health (do some light exercises, yoga etc), focus on diet (light diet, detox diet etc), focus on understanding of who you are. Try to get a life which fulfills you. Then attempt Buddha's teachings. They will make sense later because even after a fulfilled life some void will be felt. Buddha is meant to fill a gap which we all perceive but do not know how to bridge. May be some other master.


I'm running short of time however, I can't help trying to offer what I thought that's useful for you after reading your OP. I totally agree with you the world is crazy and many doings are meaningless. I myself a very artistic person this world is too rough for me. I also felt the same I'm out of the place/ don't fit in, people seem can easily living like fish in water but I have to learn how to live a human life, including how to interact with other humans, literally.

A) Change happens and it happens beginning from the inside:

...low skilled low paid jobs...

Change your attitude of work, if you can't do without the job, treat it as a service to other humans. If one is more thorough with Buddhist teaching, sweeping the floor is the most noble job ;).

B) Compassion is magnetic:

Try to help others, this will nourish your heart. Compassion is a magnetic force, a heart full of compassion will attract blissful conditions to your life. Compass is made of a magnet, right? So you know compassion is the greatest guide to where you want your life to be.

C) Accept what happened, by accepting one finds the ground to lay foot to move forward:

Not sure what your Buddhist learning and the tradition you are with. Mahayana Buddhist (my learning is based on Chinese Classical Sutras thus I'm more in this field but I'm not interested in labels) accepts the notion of Karma, the exact place where you are is the totality of your past doings, including those past(s) you forgot, i.e., past lives. Therefore if someone seems bad but enjoying luxurious life without effort, it's also the totality of what he done in the past upto now. He could have done great sacrifice/deeds in the past but you just don't know. We don't know how all those equations work out and how the sum calculated, for many past(s) are forgotten. Therefore, understanding this, the notion of Karma, it's easier for one to accept whatever condition you have at this moment, and take full responsibility of it. Then you can begin to transform your situation.

Buddhism would say notice how they are impermanent, notice how averse to them you are, notice how they are not self etc.

I think you are learning Buddhism in the English community with strong Theravadist teaching. In fact it's not like a pair of shoes fit all sizes all the time, and more. It will be too complex to explain in short. Meditating on these notions wouldn't help you in this moment of unrest. If you are still able to find the peace to do meditation, I suggest, you may do just by observing the breath, calm the mind, when disturbing thoughts/worries come by you will notice it immediately then remember to return to the breath instead let it go on to create a movie/story in your mind. If you are able to enter more into the meditative state, then you will begin to see that there is an unconditional existing in you, that is blissful, and capable, life is just the same like a movie, except it's not projected on a screen in the cinema, but on the canvas of the world. With it then your mind maybe able to receive insight, which will guide you and help navigating in life.

There are more to add on meditation, and more on the different methods, however I'm not sure if my assumption is in accord with your situation. I will just leave it as is now.


I am sorry to say this @Arturia, but you have so far taken the wrong approach to Dhamma. But it is not late, and you can correct yourself going forward. The problem is not in the teachings, but in you being misled to go the wrong way. It is not your fault though. In the present-day world wrong views have gained widespread currency. These wrong views promote wrong intentions, wrong modes of conduct, and leads us astray.

The good thing is that you seem to have a sense of humility and honesty that will be of immense help to be able to understand the true nature of things. The more that one gets to see this reality the more one’s mind automatically gives up attachments to this world voluntarily.

One who is striving to walk this PATH, should first learn the key fundamentals from one who has gone through at least the first stages of the Path. Finding this person is not easy. Once you do find this person, the first thing that he will tell you is that there is much to be done before you even start on meditation. Before meditating it is important that you learn the true nature of this world (anicca, dikkha, anatta). Not just intellectually but truly. Then you will gradually remove a bulk of defilements. Then you will start to comprehend that it is not possible to achieve and maintain anything to one’s satisfaction. Here it is important to note that you do not have to remove any attachments by force. When one comprehends Dhamma to the level to see not only the unfruitfulness but the dangers of our ‘normal way’ of going about things, you start becoming more and more detached from things. Then your attachment to sense pleasures lessen.

This in turn lessens the tendency to do unfruitful and harmful things because of a “covered mind”. For this you need to increase the knowledge of Dhamma. You are going to come across many a PALI TERMS. All these different terms could be confusing to those who are new to these terms. But one will get used to these terms with time, and it is important to understand what they mean (not just to memorize) in the long term. With usage, they will become familiar.

By comprehending anicca, dukkha, anatta to a certain extent, removes ‘ditthi’ or wrong views. It may seem simple, but it requires lot of effort to discipline the mind to get to that stage, mostly via learning and contemplating Dhamma. One has by now reduced the strength of attachment to “worldly things” to the extent that one will not do certain immoral actions no matter how much wealth or sense pleasure is at stake. Only at this stage of practice will you be ready to start practicing meditation.

Many people start meditating without any idea of the goal. Having a road map is necessary to get to an unknown destination. Starting to meditate without having an idea of what to meditate on is like just getting in the car and start driving without having a map showing where the destination is. Finding the map is the hardest and most important part.

We need to examine what is meant by “bhavana” (meditation). The Buddha said that even listening to a discourse is bhavana. When listening attentively, one’s mind gets focused on it, comes to samadhi, and can get to the PATH. This is contemplation on the key Dhamma concepts, in particular anicca, dukkha, anatta. Also it is to try to get an understanding of the Buddha’s world view. This meditation (bhavana) involves mainly the contemplation and examination of dhamma concepts. Formal meditation techniques are needed mainly after this stage.

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply but If to to take on board your view that I have taken a wrong approach, been misled or need to
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 2:53
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    Thanks for taking the time to reply but if you are going to say such things that I have taken a wrong approach, been misled or that I need to do other things before meditating then it would be helpful to explain I detail why you believe this. I don't see how you can come to this assumption after reading my short post. I actually don't subscribe to those views at all. If I go to a sangha or retreat they will not say "no you shouldn't meditate yet". That is a preposterous idea. Siddartha didn't wait, he just went and sat under a tree and begun to look so I don't see why you think I should not
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 3:03
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    Also I'm tired of being told to find a teacher. I've looked and I can't find one. They are either too busy or they speak to me like I've been meditating for one week which is annoying.
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 3:05
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    I have read a lot and listened to many talks about the eightfold path and four noble truths etc so I do have an understanding of dhamma. You mentioned an analogy about getting in a car without a road map of where to go but this is just an empty cliche. It explains nothing to me about where to find the roadmap or where I'm meant to be going.
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 3:09
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    Again you are telling me something but not being completely clear. Where are these 57 books? If they are written in that repetitive style that much of the Buddhist writings are in I won't even finish 1 let alone 57.
    – Arturia
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 9:12

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