opinions, what good are they?

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  • Stev
    Member
    • Jan 2011
    • 54

    opinions, what good are they?

    I have something of a problem, I have opinions.
    My opinions of the world today make me feel like we are all standing on the abyss of Zombie apocalypse, ok maybe a slight exaggeration lol but if one has just a smidgen of interest in how our world is run, it's inequalities and selfishness, its reliance on force and selective use of human rights one tends to develop opinions.
    Yet when I am meditating, my opinion-free time, if I hear a bird sing or my dog nuzzles up to me for a cuddle the world, my little world,my bit of space and time, is fine.
    But I am not starving, I am not being shot at, I have not lost my job in an austerity purge to pay for bankers bonuses.
    I am wondering, what good are opinions, i cannot change the world, I am only responsible for my world, yet if we all thought like that, if we didn't have opinions our societies could never change, who would speak up for those who cannot speak themselves
    My opinions create waves inside me, which turn into tsunamis when someone disagrees with me!!!
    Is it a good thing or just selfish to withdraw from my opinions and just stroke my dog and listen to the birds singing?
  • Geika
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Jan 2010
    • 4980

    #2
    All I can say is gassho... and I am also glad I am not being shot at.
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

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    • Kyonin
      Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
      • Oct 2010
      • 6742

      #3
      I think opinions are our way to relate to an learn about the universe. Having opinions makes us understand what we like and what we want to stay away from.

      The problem is when we attach to them. They make us obtuse and we won't see pass our own nose.

      It's funny you post this. Today I had a phone conversation with my dad. If you think you have strong opinions, well meet Mr. Kyonin Sr., a guy who hates the universe (although he has a nice heart)

      We were talking about science and technology and he said something like "And those god damned researches at universities. Hate them. They waste time inventing stupid things like flying robots instead of working".

      He said that while speaking through the wonder of a phone, using a VOIP line that works over the Internet. All which were invented by the very researchers and scientists he despises!!!

      His opinion is so strong, so rooted inside, that he can't see the world freely, without judging.

      When we sit, we drop opinions and destroy the wall that separates the Me from the Non-Me. It all comes together.

      Gassho,

      Kyonin
      Hondō Kyōnin
      奔道 協忍

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      • RichardH
        Member
        • Nov 2011
        • 2800

        #4
        Every time this mouth opens there is a point-of-view taken, with innate blind spots. I can relate to the desire to shut-up and

        never speak again. It seems like nothing but trouble sometimes. But maybe that would just sweep things under a rug. There

        is a scene in Monty Python's "Life of Brian", where Brian is being chased by followers who think he is the Messiah. He falls

        into a pit and lands on top of a recluse who's practice is not speaking. The recluse is furious and the first thing out of his

        mouth in decades is a stream of rage and profanity.

        Gassho. kojip

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        • Heishu
          Member
          • Sep 2012
          • 484

          #5
          Sometimes the worries of the world around us consumes us as if a fire was upon us. Sometimes the worries of the world need to be shushed. Sometimes a dog knows what is best for us. Sometimes the birds sing peace to our hearts.

          Gassho,
          Alan


          “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39477

            #6
            Originally posted by Stev
            I have something of a problem, I have opinions.
            My opinions of the world today make me feel like we are all standing on the abyss of Zombie apocalypse, ok maybe a slight exaggeration lol but if one has just a smidgen of interest in how our world is run, it's inequalities and selfishness, its reliance on force and selective use of human rights one tends to develop opinions.
            Yet when I am meditating, my opinion-free time, if I hear a bird sing or my dog nuzzles up to me for a cuddle the world, my little world,my bit of space and time, is fine.
            I have opinions too. Lots and lots. That is part of what makes us human, and if they are good opinions, they are the first step in our doing something to perhaps fix some of those problems with the world you mention. The Buddha and Dogen had lots and lots of strong opinions, which they expressed in their Teachings as the right ways to Practice. Opinions are good and necessary to life, not themselves the problem.

            However, this Practice is about simultaneously knowing a realm in which no opinions are needed, where birds just sing and zombies just zombie ... even as there are no birds, or zombies, or you and me to be chased by them. Perhaps we might say that only the Song remains singing us all. (When we do so, a vibrant Wisdom and Compassion will arise that will even change some of our opinions!)

            Further, this Practice is about not being caught up and imprisoned by those opinions we have. Can you hold them lightly, have opinions without being excessively opinionated ... even as you may work for the achievement of your vision passionately? Can you be willing to let go if the opinions fail or prove wrong ... even as you seek to prove them right?

            So, that's the ticket ... hold opinions, trying diligently to make this life-world-self better, but hold them lightly. At the same timeless time, drop all opinions and let all just go, just be. All at once, as one.

            A subtle power of this Practice is that we can come to live doing all of that at once.

            Gassho, Jundo
            Last edited by Jundo; 09-13-2012, 02:34 AM.
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              thanks for your post Stev. I too have lots of opinions sometimes they work for me, sometimes they don't. One of the things that I am practicing in my life during Ango and hopefully afterwards is ... share my opinions, but try not to have an expectation of some result. I find this hard, but hopefully the more I practice the more natural it becomes

              I laugh at myself sometimes thinking, "hello, Michael ... you give things away all the time with no expectation, why can't you do it here?"

              Gassho
              Michael

              Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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              • Seiryu
                Member
                • Sep 2010
                • 620

                #8
                having opinions is just what we do. But an opinion is just that, a opinion. As long as we do not cling to them, as long as we know how to see them as such and let them go if need be....

                more ramblings
                Humbly,
                清竜 Seiryu

                Comment

                • Omoi Otoshi
                  Member
                  • Dec 2010
                  • 801

                  #9
                  Yes, like with thoughts, there can be freedom from opinions in the midst of opinions.
                  In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                  you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                  now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                  the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                  Comment

                  • Jinyo
                    Member
                    • Jan 2012
                    • 1957

                    #10
                    Opinions are fine as long as we are not opiniated.

                    Singing birds and cuddlesome dogs are good too

                    Gassho

                    Willow

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                    • Hans
                      Member
                      • Mar 2007
                      • 1853

                      #11
                      Hello,

                      I remember a TV presenter (an American Football coach) who was involved in a TV programme I was working on a few years ago. He said his father had told him " Opinions are like old socks. Everyone's got them...and most of them stink"

                      Gassho,

                      Hans Chudo Mongen

                      Comment

                      • Stev
                        Member
                        • Jan 2011
                        • 54

                        #12
                        Thank you all for your input, I need take some time to think about what has been posted.
                        thank you.

                        Steve

                        Comment

                        • Jundo
                          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                          • Apr 2006
                          • 39477

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Stev
                          I need take some time to think about what has been posted.
                          thank you.

                          Steve
                          Think ... and non-think, of course!

                          Gassho, J
                          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                          Comment

                          • AlanLa
                            Member
                            • Mar 2008
                            • 1405

                            #14
                            I was going to start a thread with the title "I am not my judgments," but I guess I'll just tack it on here somewhat disjointedly.

                            I am not my judgments. There, I said it, publicly no less. It's very hard to admit, though, because judgments are what we use to construct this thing we call a self. What are we if not a set of judgments (or opinions)? The reason I wanted to post this is because I have been trying to trace back my frustrations with work. It can be very dissatisfying at times, very dukka, and that's because I have all these judgments about how it is supposed to be but is not. Basic Buddhist stuff here, and applying it to my life overall is fairly fine, and applying it to the general idea of my work is fine, but when I get down to the nitty gritty of practicing it in that very moment when judgments meet lots of resistance with reality is not so fine. Students are not how I want them to be; they do things that I judge as "bad." The administration is not how I want it to be; it's values seem to conflict with mine and as a result they do things that I judge as "bad." I am very passionate about what I do, and I am passionate about students succeeding, and it's that very passion that leads me to all these judgments, which in turn lead to conflicts -- both internal and external, but still all me -- that I react to passionately. The result of all this is me as dukka, so lately when these nitty gritty moments arise, my manta has been "I am not my judgments." The balance I am trying to find with that little mantra is to not be so attached to something I feel passionately about, but that's kind of an oxymoron, which makes it very zen, I suppose. Thus I practice daily in many ways and places.

                            I am not talking about a passive acceptance here at all. I do try to make change, but the riptide is strongly against me in the other direction. So again, finding that balance of going with the flow while paddling in the other direction, wanting to go in one direction while being pulled opposite, all while understanding I can't get out of the surf because it's all water everywhere. I just need to keep my head above water.
                            AL (Jigen) in:
                            Faith/Trust
                            Courage/Love
                            Awareness/Action!

                            I sat today

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                            • Risho
                              Member
                              • May 2010
                              • 3179

                              #15
                              I'm very attached to what I'm passionate about, no doubt about it. But I think if you discover something is off you just need to adjust course. Holding opinions too tightly is too much, too tunnel-visioned. If you don't hold any, then it's just nihilistic inaction, like you are dead or giving up. But if you can hold them just right, like being passionate which is a gift to truly find something that you can give yourself to with all your being, you can act but adjust when you need to.

                              Gassho,

                              Risho
                              Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

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