I have been practicing for quite a few years. I meditate pretty regularly. I do feel my life is calmer than it was, but I after a period of relative peace, my mind regularly grabs me and takes me on a very bumpy ride. I am still full of anger and negativity which gets set off by things that push my buttons. I am very disappointed with my progress.
Show Me the Way
Dear Show Me the Way,
Your disappointment with the results of practice is very common. And if I read between the lines correctly, the reason for your disappointment is also very common. Many people are serious about wanting to end their suffering and follow the Buddhist path, and yet they push back against the very things that the Buddha taught was necessary to end suffering.
And what is that? Basically, to let go of all our feelings and perceptions, all our cravings, everything that defines us in our mind and how we view the world around us, based on our learned experience. And in place of that mental construct, return to our essence, our true Buddha nature, our heart … which is full of light and love, at one with all things, experiencing all things directly with dispassion, accepting that things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is, and knowing that we have everything we need inside ourselves to be at peace and happy.
This is not an easy task by any means. First, we are talking about changing the habit-energies that have built up over a lifetime and are all that we know. Second, we cannot fathom what we or our life would be like if we did as the Buddha taught; it is so foreign to us, even if we have had momentary glimpses of our true Buddha nature. Third, our ego-mind is very strong, with deep roots in our being, and will not give up its perceived role as protector of us without a fight.
It you truly want to find peace and happiness, two things are of critical importance. Your faith in the teachings of the Buddha and in your own true Buddha nature must be strong, without any doubt. And you must commit yourself, you must have the intent to let go anything that disturbs your heart’s inherent peace and happiness.
For more, see my recent blog post, “What Price Peace and Happiness?”