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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Amaravati Demon: Learning to deal with disillusionment

The Amaravati Demon is the term Viradhammo used to use to describe the utter disillusionment with Lay life that haunted you like a bad smell after having spent some time in the monastery, on a retreat or as a guest.

Part of learning how to do this practice lies in dealing with these uncomfortable feelings about the seeming emptiness, and hollowness of secular life.

People who are new really struggle with it. But the old timers learn to recomcile their expectations, and come to terms with the limited viewpoints outside institutions or groups like Amaravati.
The real skill comes in learning to be truly happy in the moment, knowing that most of the world is on auto pilot, with little chance of seeing the way things really are.
It IS possible to be happy knowing all these things. Its part of being a beginner in meditation that the whole life chapter of disillusionment, comes up to be worked on.

I like the quote
Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water.:

It IS possible to use the most mundane life as a vehicle for awakening. The old Buddhist timers know that, and that's why (amongst many reasons) they look happier than the new people!
So don't worry if you think everythign is a bit shit, now that you've seen a few monastics! It gets better!

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