My mind creates this desire or a dream that I will get enlightened and become some sort of Guru who teaches Buddhism to many, I will become someone like Bodhidharma or Milarepa etc.

I want some practical solution to counter this fantasy of my mind which has become a hindrance to the meditative absorption state. How should I counter this mental fantasy by making the mind look at the facts, whatever that may be.

  • 3
    When I was young I had the idea to "run away from home", as some children do, and maybe live in the countryside somewhere or to become a train driver, instead of going to school that day. My younger brother came with me: and we were gone for several hours before the police found us. What bothers me is, it was a pretty stupid or immature idea though an attractive fantasy or dream, well I was only young, but I mis-led my younger brother. I feel some shame about that, and don't want to mislead him or other people again.
    – ChrisW
    Dec 1, 2022 at 5:32
  • 1
    i mean, influencers are kinda bad. there's nothing wrong with being inspired by other, famous or historical, bodhisattvas. so i guess it depends on why you want to achieve these things. is it out of compassion, or just the very base desire of wanting to be seen as good, or something worse?
    – user19950
    Dec 9, 2022 at 6:48
  • Charnel ground meditation is an effective intervention to cure us of Māra's temptations. Unwholesome aims keep the entire human race trapped in the cycle of aging, sickness and death. For the welfare of all beings, choose a more wholesome aim.
    – Alex Ryan
    Dec 9, 2022 at 17:36
  • 💚Why is it a fantasy? They have courses in teaching, don't they? You could be the next Buddha for all anyone knows.
    – Lowbrow
    Dec 15, 2022 at 6:00

4 Answers 4


The dung beetle sutta contemplation below can help you with your desire.

"Monks, gains, offerings, & fame are a cruel thing, a harsh, bitter obstacle to the attainment of the unexcelled rest from bondage. Suppose there were a beetle, a dung-eater, full of dung, gorged with dung, with a huge pile of dung in front of him. He, because of that, would look down on other beetles: 'Yes, sirree! I am a dung-eater, full of dung, gorged with dung, with a huge pile of dung in front of me!' In the same way, there is the case where a certain monk — conquered by gains, offerings, & fame, his mind consumed — puts on his robes and, carrying his bowl & outer robe, goes into a village or town for alms. Having eaten there as much as he likes — full of almsfood & invited again for the next day — he goes to the monastery and, in the midst of a group of monks, boasts, 'I have eaten as much as I like, I am full of almsfood & have been invited again for tomorrow. I am a recipient of robes, almsfood, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for curing illness. These other monks, though, have next to no merit, next to no influence. They aren't recipients of robes, almsfood, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for curing illness.' Conquered by gains, offerings, & fame, his mind consumed, he looks down on other well-behaved monks. That will be for this worthless man's long-term suffering & harm. That's how cruel gains, offerings, & fame are: a harsh, bitter obstacle to the attainment of the unexcelled rest from bondage.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will put aside any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen; and we will not let any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen keep our minds consumed.' That's how you should train yourselves."
SN 17.5


In the Mahayana tradition, what you're describing is the Bodhicitta, the awakening mind. It's the compassionate energy, vigor and vitality that comes from releasing energy from the contracted ego mind; one wants to share what you currently understand about your discovery. However, some delusional aspects of ego are still kicking around, and this is where the energy from the awakening mind becomes tied up in egoic pursuits, giving rise to pride and arrogance along with a strong sense of superiority.

Au contraire, the energy itself isn't wrong, but some of the ideas and behaviours may lead to questionable conclusions and a large helping of disappointment. Perhaps try to get a sense of that energy and redirect it towards other tasks like mindfully sweeping... a favourite metaphor in the zen tradition for clearing the mind alongside the actual task of sweeping, itself...

"Where you sweep, confusion swirls around, swirling around confusion where you sweep. More turning, sweeping, turning. In the place you cannot sweep, do your utmost to sweep. Day and night, backbone straight, continuously without stopping. Bold and powerful, do not let up. Suddenly, sweeping breaks open the great empty sky. Ten thousand distinctions, a thousand differences exhausted – completely opening.”

  • Tiāntóng Rújìng

I can't find anything about doing good things just to be seen as a good person. I don't know why that is, perhaps because the law of cause and effect if a pretty basic teaching, and good actions create good karma for you. But, in general, the desire for fame is going to be quite a mundane concern

1 & 2: Happiness vs. Suffering · 3 & 4: Fame vs. Insignificance · 5 & 6: Praise vs. Blame · 7 & 8: Gain vs. Loss.


"Monks, these eight worldly conditions spin after the world, and the world spins after these eight worldly conditions... "For an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person there arise gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. For a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones there also arise gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones and the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person?"... "His mind does not remain consumed with the gain. His mind does not remain consumed with the loss... with the status... the disgrace... the censure... the praise... the pleasure. His mind does not remain consumed with the pain... Desirable things don't charm the mind, undesirable ones bring no resistance... Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state, he discerns rightly, has gone, beyond becoming, to the Further Shore.

So, the point in Buddhism is that it's all suffering anyway, all the fame in the world only ends up causing further distress without liberation.

You could try zen and the idea of "no merit".

In a way, it's kinda harmless to be motivated by fame, same as it is to be motivated by happiness or praise. Personally, I have something similar with historical impersonal gain. Not all selfless actions are good (killing someone for someone else), and not all praise is good (I'm sure even Hitler had yes-men).


If this is a recurring theme, you could also question your dream in terms of true purpose. Often, we differentiate between mind and heart, ego and true path. Also, we can get distracted in vain and infinite dimensions, which can bind us to suffering, which others mentioned here already. Any path can lead in ever branching mirrors of suffering.

Yet, if you have a recurring desire, you can investigate deliberately, either through meditation practice - maybe trying a different lineage of school, open ing up to the desire, or you can not investigate, and cut it off and maybe you get beaten to that path after all after some time trying to get astray. Either way - paths of life to be walked.

So you might as well give it a go, if you feel a certain calling. Becoming or being a teacher may not as glorious on the actual path as it may seem posthumously.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .