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Doubting myself

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:22 pm
by nirvedh
Hello,
I was a follower of Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) - a Buddhist sect. I used to chant and do group activities in an effort to solve my problem - what I now understand was my Ego. Anyway there were a lot of inconsistencies in the Buddhist teaching and a lot of questions arose in my mind. I began to suspect and question it. I later found some blogs and articles by ex - members that made me leave the sect. I was thoroughly convinced that it was a fraud and I left happily
I later discovered the Power of Now and that changed my life forever. I saw the chief cause of all problems - Ego. I was able to make Huge changes in my life by watching the Ego. I would occasionally flip through some old BSG material that I had In my house and laugh at how I once bought into its truth. I was firm in my beliefs and living a happy life. I felt unstoppable as by learning more about the Ego - I'd become such a better version of myself. In short life was good and I was optimistic about the future.
Recently I read thorough that old magazine again. It talked about how some member had 'benefited' from the Buddhist practice by chanting and doing activities. Keep in mind I'd read such experiences before and I'd scoffed at the ridiculousness of rituals.
However this time when I read the article, my mind presented a strange thought, "Maybe I should start chanting again". I was so stunned by this unexpected thought. I thought my beliefs were rock solid. How could I ever consider such a thing. I'd beaten it completely (the idea that BSG was the road to salvation), I'd seen through its lies and manipulations. So why on earth would I think this way?
Keep in mind I will not join some religion again. I know its not the right answer. What troubles me is that why did I have such an incongruous thought in the first place. To help you understand, I'll use an example. I was a heavy drinker but I've quit completely. With such a finality that nothing can convince me to drink again. I have no triggers, no residual thoughts, nothing. I'm firm in my beliefs. Nothing can make me take a drink again. I have no stray thoughts about drinking. I don't have any weak moments where I might crave a drink.
I used to feel the same way about BSG. To have your confidence shattered, your views questioned, being full of self doubt is a terrible thing. I feel a rift within me. My ego has gone into overdrive connecting this to "Am I sure about anything at all?". All sorts of madness has ensued in my mind. The thought " I should chant again", has absolutely no basis in logic. On one hand I know logically that religion is not the answer, especially not BSG. Then why did I have this weird thought. I've been trying to find an answer to this question. I feel having such a thought is a bad thing. I want to understand why I had it.
Can anyone connect to what I'm saying? I really need an answer. I can't really figure it out. This is occupying all my time and contaminating everything I do. Please help.

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:44 pm
by Webwanderer
Welcome to the forum.

Here's my take. Chanting is not a religion. It's a practice. Like all practices, whether chanting or getting up to watch the sun rise, there is an effect on consciousness. There are no rules here, only the experiential effects of focused energy and thought. One person could chant themselves into a limited religious perspective on life, while another could chant themselves out of one. It's not the chanting that matters so much as the nature of one's attention while doing so. Chanting is a tool to focus attention, nothing more.

If you can use it to your advantage then do so. If it distracts from your goals in consciousness then avoid it. The question is, what does your gut tell you? How does it feel in terms of effective action? Of course chanting is not the only tool in the box to help focus attention in recreating our world view. That you have some experience in it could be helpful to you. If it worries you to distraction, find another tool such as a breathing technique.

WW

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:46 pm
by Rob X
Great answer and suggestions from WW. Perhaps the reason that you are tempted to chant again is because something inside of you knows that chanting in itself is pretty harmless - it does not entail a commitment to an outmoded ideology (and this is where your drinking analogy fails - drinking can be an all or nothing affair.) I used to be part of a Buddhist group many years ago but gave it up due to its doctrinal and sectarian leanings. But that doesn’t mean that everything about Buddhism is of no value. I have meditated ever since and I see some of its core insights as valid. There’s no reason to cut yourself off from any ‘spiritual’ practices and insights that can work in accord with your current, more liberated outlook.

Welcome to the forum.

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:16 pm
by nirvedh
Hello and thank you for your replies.
The thing is I don't have any problems or issues with other religions. I just feel that I've found my path and have no qualms with what other people are doing. The Buddhist chant I'm talking about is "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" which after chanting is believed to lead to all sorts of miracles. It's something absurd. Here chanting is not harmless because its based on the belief system that it will solve all of life's problems. This NIcheren Buddhism sect (Soka Gakkai) basically espouses a philosophy to change your life - it simply doesn't work. I was a member for two years before I quit.
Few months later I found Power of Now and slowly my life began changing. I've actually experienced sustained enlightenment, I mean a few hours were there was nothing but emptiness inside, the thoughts had stopped and I felt nothing but joy. I've actually experienced what Eckhart talks about. It's not a joke. I had a thought about chanting again, when I knew it's a waste of time. I have no wish to rejoin the sect again. I really can't find any explanation for it. The only thing I can do is to remain Present. I'm going to stop giving any more Time to this thought as it's taking up all the time I have. I'm just going around in circles.
I accept that whatever this is, it's the best thing for my consciousness. I'm going to not drift back into the madness of Past and Future and just remain Present. Any suggestions would be helpful.
It's like I have a problem and I cannot find an answer. I feel that If I just figure out why, I'd be at peace. Thank You again.

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:11 pm
by Webwanderer
I had this thought the other day that I've rather enjoyed the feel of working with. It's the idea of being 'born again'. Of course many Christian sects have usurped this idea as meaning to accept Jesus as a personal savior and the implications of then beginning a new life. I see a more effective application. Being born again means to completely let go of the past and focus present and forward. The past can't be changed, but the future can (and will) be created.

The focus of our attention in our past has created our present experience. The more energy we expend looking back from the present, the more that past (stored energy) influences and creates our future experience. To be born again is to recognize the creative potential of our present life focus and consciously choose a direction of our preference. Each moment is a born again moment in that the past is recognized as the way things 'were'. But this is now. This is the creative moment. To that past we are now dead in favor of the birth of a new direction.

Old habits sometimes die hard so rebirth is an ongoing option of choice in how and in what we focus our energy and attention. In time the newly focused energy will replace the old and life will unfold naturally. Looking back, when old thought constructs arise, is just another opportunity to say goodbye and choose for rebirth and the direction of our choosing.

WW

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:40 am
by nirvedh
That was so profound WW. Thank You very much

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:15 am
by Onceler
It's funny WW, I've been thinking that being born again is the profound core of Christ's teaching and Christians should really figure out the transformative power of this message that resonates deeply, not some facile verbal contact to accept Christ into ones heart. I've done this in my life with no transformative effect.

Nirvedh, the thought to chant was just a thought. In my opinion, thoughts are conditioned algorithms that loop through our minds until they run their course in our lives. Thoughts are not who you are, right? Have you found out who you are? Once you do you are free from your thoughts and your thoughts are free from you.

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:28 pm
by turiya
I came across this quote today:

"It's not what the mind says. It's how seriously it is taken." -Mooji

Re: Doubting myself

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:58 pm
by nirvedh
Thank You all