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Help confronting spiritual dryness


#21

What I am trying to tell him is it is gradual training.
What we have to make sure is that we are in the path.
Right view is the forerunner of the Noble Eightfold Path.


#22

Please stick to the O.P. and not derail this thread by an argument over another issue. If you wish to keep discussing (not arguing) about that particular dhamma point, then please open a new thread for that purpose. If you like I am happy to transfer the relevant posts there.

metta :anjal: :dharmawheel:


#23

I’d guess that as you learn more through practice and study, you will become more equipped at recognizing the leaks and what kind of development or what lack of thereof is resultant in what particular manifestation of states.

When one is on a roll it might seem like one is incapable of falling away but if one was to fall away, that is only a testament to one’s ignorance of circumstances and false expectations.

Protecting the practice, satisfying the mind, dispelling hindrances and setting oneself up for success are acquired knowledge and skills.


#24

I can remember that inevitable “come-down” following a good retreat. Conditions for practice aren’t always ideal, and things get in the way.


#25

I think we assume the ‘journey’ is like one through a luscious jungle with mangos and exotic flowers; the reality is that it goes through deserts :desert:, plains etc. I think the Buddha likened it to the making of a sword: it’s heated in a furnace, and cooled in water, repeatedly until it’s purified metal :crossed_swords: .


#26

Knowing regression for what it is … is actually progress! :wink:

The simplistic answer is to let go of the delights that draw one away from practice. Precepts can be very helpful here. For example, when I resolved to refrain from eating dinner, I didn’t have to worry about choosing anymore. Resolving to relinquish made it easier to let go–and the benefit was that I can eat whatever before noon. Even chocolate cake or pie. :pie:

Another surprisingly helpful guard against backsliding is considering the following when I face a choice:

Four prejudices: making decisions prejudiced by favoritism, hostility, stupidity, and cowardice.

And another sturdy partner in progress is the following passage which basically says that it’s easier to stop the avalanche of the senses before it sweeps us away:

And what is the effort to restrain? When a mendicant sees a sight with their eyes, they don’t get caught up in the features and details. If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming. …

And lastly, walking meditation listening to DN33 (or any other sutta) has proven quite valuable. It’s valuable simply because I’m not indulging in the defilements for 1-2 hours–my mind if fully occupied with walking, listening and counting breaths. There’s absolutely nothing left over to get distracted.

Great to hear from you. Best wishes in your practice. :pray:


#27

I will also list some trainings to explore;
Moderation in eating, monastic discipline, non-delight in talk and company, learning and remembering the Dhamma, restraining the senses, “policing” one’s thoughts as well as one’s speech and action, being inspired by reading or listening to the Dhamma, association with admirable people, reflecting on the drawbacks of oversleeping, developing friendliness, ornamenting the mind with charity, developing sympathy and compassion, developing wisdom in accord with dhatuvibhanga sutta, developing equanimity by means of elements, dispelling drowsiness by means listed in the capala sutta and reflection (see sleep), often reflecting on impermanence, reflecting on non-self, developing other wholesome themes for reflection and coming to agreement with the Dhamma.

All of these trainings have been well described and should be developed imho, you can ask around for particular references to the manuals.

Sometimes small things make a lot of difference, ie reading a gatha poem or reading some inspiring Sutta for joy.


#28

Having a compassionate view, I would say if it were solely up to me, I would be an arahanth without any further delay- but I’m not entirely in control of what happens in my life, or my mind. And I practice as best as I can. As it’s said kalyanamittas have to be involved.