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Buddhists/feeling miserable


hello sir. since the time i have started to follow the budddhist path many positive things have come about in my life for the first time. i can handle situations and problems and people more effectively. i dont feel the need to depend on anyone for the solutins to any problem.
but some things on the negative side(i am not sure if i can call them such) have also come in life. i seem to laugh and smile much less now. after knowing that everything changes and nothing is permanent, i seem to not enjoy when good things happen in life. i talk a lot less now. i have always had an image of being the centre of attraction and happy go lucky fellow for all my friends. but now in the search to know myself, i seem to have lost contact with most of my friends. i sometimes feel miserable about it.
To be very frank i always had a beautiful image of myself. but since i am following this path i have realized that i am no more than a bag full of all the negative emotions and attitudes that i thought existed in other people more. so is it that, since, for the first time in my life i have decided to look inwards for my solutions that i am experiencing these things? are these emotions and realizations about myself normal? am i on the right path?

Dear Gurinder Singh,

Thank you for your questions.

" but since i am following this path i have realized that i am no more than a bag full of all the negative emotions and attitudes that i thought existed in other people more. "

If this is the case, then it is quite possible that either you are following a wrong path(as set by your teachers) or you are following the path incorrectly (as set by your teachers).

By seeing yourself negatively and only holding negative values for yourself, you are being too extreme. This is no different than only seeing yourself as good or better than others. It is too extreme and NOT true. No one is completely bad as no one is completely good. We must see both the good and the bad in us and in all things. This way, the proper result is that we see the inherent duality in all things. There is good in all things, but also bad. Once we see this, we simply CHOOSE not to play this game. Not because the game is evil or the players are bad. It is just a game that CANNOT be won.

By teacher (the Arahant Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo) told us a story once. When he was young as a layperson, he visited a field. He has a nimitta (vision) of himself in that exact field in a past life. In that life, his friends tried to convince him to go help steal a watermelon. However, he refused to take part in stealing. Then, his friends stole a watermelon and ran away. However, my teacher did not run, because he had no part in the stealing. He believed that his goodness would save him from blame. But when the farmer chased the boys and saw my teacher, he assumed my teacher was one of the thieves. So he captured my teacher and cut his throat. When my teacher saw in his vision how unfair life was, he told us he stood in that field and cried for a long time. He cried until he had no tears left and said he couldn't even force his mouth to close. He kept thinking, why did I come back to be reborn. Why am I so dumb to keep being reborn in this unfair world?

However, at that point, he realized he had to do something. He could not just stand there cursing his mistake in being born. He realized he was already born and he would have to make the most of the life he had. He still had the opportunity to cultivate maximum merit and intelligence enough to help him become enlightened as soon as possible. He would have to work hard and fix all his mistakes and wrong perceptions in order to make this his final life. He thought about the work he would have to do and made a promise to himself to never come back. No more crying, time for work.

This is what he taught us. We must criticize and find our faults. We must see our evils and the bad in us. But we must balance it with encouragement. However, he said we must criticize more than encourage. If we encourage too much, we will get self-delusional and lazy. However, if we do not encourage ourselves, we will not have the will to keep continuing the journey towards our final destination.

I hope I have answered your questions.  


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Anandapanyo Bhikkhu


I can answer questions about Buddhist practice, Buddhist understanding and how to apply Buddhism to daily life. I can help analyze Buddhist sayings and teachings. In addition, I can help with questions Buddhism stories, fables and Vinaya(rules). I have meditated for over 10 years and can help you start with meditation. In addition, I can help provide insight into what to do when you feel that you have hit a wall with your meditation. My main area of expertise is how to think in accordance with Sammaditthi (the right view - and number 1 in the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path. If I cannot answer your question, I have many able teachers with over 20 years experience to help me, so chances are I will be able to find an answer for you.


I have been practicing Buddhism since I was born, but as a serious practice since 2003. I started studying under various famous Thai Theravada masters. Finally, I met and studied under Phra Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo who has recently passed away on Nov 11, 2008 and is widely accepted as a great Arahant (fully enlightened) teacher of our time. In addition, I have personally read and studied much of the Buddhist scriptures and popular literature available. I have recently undertaken the ordination vows and have become a Buddhist monk in the theravada forest monk tradition. I reside at a temple with many dedicated practitioners and great teachers. I have been practicing training my mind to be aligned with right view (sammaditthi) for over 10 years. I have also been meditating for over 10 years. In my time spent with Acariya Thoon, I learned many things and was able to incorporate them into my life. In addition to practicing Buddhism within temples and my home, I used to own two restaurants and managed commercial real estate. I had to deal with many different and problems. I learned how to use Buddhism to fix my problems, both externally (my environment) and internally (within me).

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