+1 vote
by (390 points)
I used to be catholic now I don't now if I can be considered Buddhist but that's the path I try to follow yet I still have catholic conditioning like praying God when I need help, want to say thanks...
by (390 points)
Thanks a lot for your answer! I used to believe there was a God as I just believed what I was taught. Now I really don't know but would tend to think there are no Gods.

Yet, I sometimes want to say thank you or apologies for my wrong actions (actions that I could not apologies to someone in particular). Maybe my need to thank or apologies to someone comes from my desire to have someone I can confide in or is just a simple habit.

I dont know if I should stop those inner conversations with God as I don't believe there is one and instead just notice my thoughts.... i guess it's not that important but I do feel awkward when I catch myself "talking" to God and still feel the need to express gratitude or regret/apologies.

Thanks again so much for taking the time to answer my question! Have a lovely day! :)
by (390 points)
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my question!!! :)

I like the metta meditation and have started practicing it but I don't feel that it feels my need to say for example "thank you God for having parents that take care of me, for having a family, for having this or that...." or when I want to say "sorry God for once again giving in to my addictive behaviours...."

How can I use metta meditation for those kinds of prayers?
by (390 points)
Thanks so much for your answer!!! That was really helpful!

I guess it's as if I was saying thank you to my dad for a present I got from a totally different person!!! It wouldnt make any sense!  ;)

So yes maybe just feeling grateful without addressing it to any "god' or person in particular.

I don't know how this would work when I want to apologies for engaging in my addictive behaviours as I can't say sorry to anyone in particular as it does not involve anyone else but me.
How would I phrase this in my head....
Should I address my apologies to myself as I cant address them to anyone as I would if i had hurt someone in particular?

Thanks so much again for your insights and wisdom!! :) Have a beautiful day !:
by (390 points)
Thank you!!! Yes I should definitely thank my parents more often!!! :)

I agree thanking someone that has nothing to do with what I am grateful for does not make any sense!!! It's as if i was telling you thank you for a present my mom got me! ;)

How would this work though when I feel regret for engaging in my addictions ? I can't address an apologie to anyone (maybe myself?). How should I phrase this in my head?

Thanks so much again for taking the time to answer my question!!!! :)
by (17.2k points)
Regret is one of the five hindrances and it is bad karma for you. You can obviously apologize to people you may have inconvenienced with your addictions. But that is not permanent cure for regret. You should practice Satipatthana meditation to cure this.
by (390 points)
Thank you!!! :) I guess I want to apologise because of the regrets I feel as you mentioned and in deed its a hindrance! I will check out what Satipatthana meditation is! :)

Have a great day!
by (390 points)
I am new to buddhism so I don't know if Satipatthana meditation is just simple meditation as taught by Bhikku Yuttadhammo which I think it is after googling what it it was! ;)
by (1.8k points)
Bhante, is imagination limitless, and so we are not constrained or bounded by it? Whereby, reality is bounded by ‘truth, just Through our experiences’? Would that be a/the reason it is often easier to conceptualise things than to attend to reality?

And do Vinaya rules help play a role in creating a ‘boundary’ for which the study of ones reality becomes easier?

Also, imagination and creativity is what made mankind go the moon? Or invent the aeroplane. So in the Buddhist view, is imagination and creativity, if at all, necessary?

Finally, I hope I don’t sound disrespectful, but What should have been my greatest test being confined to a small room, during Covid, looking at my bicycle, and map of India, And the realisation it wasn’t going to happen, didn’t Really disturb me.  It was Bhante’s presence, And conceptualising the Amount of ‘effort’ that lead to the presence, and conceptualising that before monkhood, Bhante probably did some climbing by a beach in Ao Nang, Thailand as I did that gave me some inspiration to look deeper into the Dhamma during lockdown, and it was useful. So thanks (in gratitude).
by (17.2k points)
Watch these 3 videos:
Read this booklet:  https://www.sirimangalo.org/text/how-to-meditate/
by (390 points)
I did watch those videos and found them very helpful! I still need to read the booklet :) Thank you so much!

5 Answers

+1 vote
by (1.8k points)
The Buddha’s teaching (the Dhamma) is a gift that has been put into words to help guide us on a path to end ‘the causes” of suffering.

The teachings show us how to directly experience and understand the nature of reality through our sense doors of Smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound, as well as cognition, through the process of meditation.

Practicing meditation helps us see things more clearly as they really are by drawing the attention inwards rather than outwards towards a God or anything else. When we are skilful in this, we cultivate wisdom, and we discover, experience, understand, and should be able to verify ‘the truth’ (the nature of reality from Buddha’s teachings) for ourselves.

So in essence, if the nature of your reality is that there is a God, and you feel the need to thank God, then there is nothing wrong with that. :) I’m sure we all come from different backgrounds with different views, and we’ve all asked the same questions as to why and how we came to be, and where to next?

Consider this.  If we say we do not know the answer, we begin to seek the truth, but if we say there is a God, Then we already know the answer.  So then,  why are we still seeking the truth?  For me the truth comes from within.
by (390 points)
Thanks a lot for your answer! I used to believe there was a God as I just believed what I was taught. Now I really don't know but would tend to think there are no Gods.

Yet, I sometimes want to say thank you or apologies for my wrong actions (actions that I could not apologies to someone in particular). Maybe my need to thank or apologies to someone comes from my desire to have someone I can confide in or is just a simple habit.

I dont know if I should stop those inner conversations with God as I don't believe there is one and instead just notice my thoughts.... i guess it's not that important but I do feel awkward when I catch myself "talking" to God and still feel the need to express gratitude or regret/apologies.

Thanks again so much for taking the time to answer my question! Have a lovely day! :)
+1 vote
by (710 points)
You could try Metta Prayer if you miss praying. Metta means "loving-kindness", the praying is not praying to God. It is intending, wishing well for others and for yourself, it is loving-kindness. It is also good for alleviating hateful thoughts and feelings.

You can follow a typical Metta Prayer which can be the following:

"May I be happy. May I be well. May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering.

May all beings in my city be happy. May they be well. May they be peaceful. May they be free from suffering.

May all beings in my state be happy. May they be well. May they be peaceful. May they be free from suffering." (Buddha Groove,2018.)

Try to have an image of whoever you're sending the prayer to in your head, people also say the prayer in their minds rather than out loud. You can send it to specific people such as friends and family, but we are discouraged from sending it to the people we are romantically attracted to, as the prayer might have more impure motives. You can do the prayer daily, as little or as much as you like. Hope that helps :).
by (390 points)
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my question!!! :)

I like the metta meditation and have started practicing it but I don't feel that it feels my need to say for example "thank you God for having parents that take care of me, for having a family, for having this or that...." or when I want to say "sorry God for once again giving in to my addictive behaviours...."

How can I use metta meditation for those kinds of prayers?
+2 votes
by (1.9k points)

Gratitude is a great thing; the Buddha said there are two people rare in the world:

One who does good things for others without prompting (pubbakārī).

One who knows and acknowledges the good others have done for them (kataññū katavedī).

The problem with saying thank you or praying to God, Jesus, or Buddha, is that they didn't actually bring you all the good or bad things in your life, so thanking them or praying to them for help will lead to wrong view and complacency. Religions that believe God is responsible for the good in our lives tend to eschew personal responsibility and self development.

Just because we like something doesn't mean it's actually beneficial. I would recommend trying to be mindful of your desires.

by (390 points)
Thanks so much for your answer!!! That was really helpful!

I guess it's as if I was saying thank you to my dad for a present I got from a totally different person!!! It wouldnt make any sense!  ;)

So yes maybe just feeling grateful without addressing it to any "god' or person in particular.

I don't know how this would work when I want to apologies for engaging in my addictive behaviours as I can't say sorry to anyone in particular as it does not involve anyone else but me.
How would I phrase this in my head....
Should I address my apologies to myself as I cant address them to anyone as I would if i had hurt someone in particular?

Thanks so much again for your insights and wisdom!! :) Have a beautiful day !:
by (1.8k points)
Bhante, is imagination limitless, and so we are not constrained or bounded by it? Whereby, reality is bounded by ‘truth, just Through our experiences’? Would that be a/the reason it is often easier to conceptualise things than to attend to reality?

And do Vinaya rules help play a role in creating a ‘boundary’ for which the study of ones reality becomes easier?

Also, imagination and creativity is what made mankind go the moon? Or invent the aeroplane. So in the Buddhist view, is imagination and creativity, if at all, necessary?

Finally, I hope I don’t sound disrespectful, but What should have been my greatest test being confined to a small room, during Covid, looking at my bicycle, and map of India, And the realisation it wasn’t going to happen, didn’t Really disturb me.  It was Bhante’s presence, And conceptualising the Amount of ‘effort’ that lead to the presence, and conceptualising that before monkhood, Bhante probably did some climbing by a beach in Ao Nang, Thailand as I did that gave me some inspiration to look deeper into the Dhamma during lockdown, and it was useful. So thanks (in gratitude).
+1 vote
by (17.2k points)
You can thank the Triple Gem( Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) for preparing you to face any situation in life.  As Buddhists, we take refuge in the Triple Gem. In Sinhalese we say "Theruwan Saranai!" when greeting a fellow Buddhist. It  means "may the Triple Gem be your refuge!".  

You can also thank your parents for their kindness, compassion, empathy, equanimity and dedication in your upbringing.

You can thank your teachers for teaching you to identify right from wrong.
You can thank your friends who helped you in difficult situations.

Forgetting all of them and thanking an imaginary being in the sky is only as good as thanking a good luck charm in your pocket for all your success in life.
by (390 points)
Thank you!!! Yes I should definitely thank my parents more often!!! :)

I agree thanking someone that has nothing to do with what I am grateful for does not make any sense!!! It's as if i was telling you thank you for a present my mom got me! ;)

How would this work though when I feel regret for engaging in my addictions ? I can't address an apologie to anyone (maybe myself?). How should I phrase this in my head?

Thanks so much again for taking the time to answer my question!!!! :)
by (17.2k points)
Regret is one of the five hindrances and it is bad karma for you. You can obviously apologize to people you may have inconvenienced with your addictions. But that is not permanent cure for regret. You should practice Satipatthana meditation to cure this.
by (390 points)
Thank you!!! :) I guess I want to apologise because of the regrets I feel as you mentioned and in deed its a hindrance! I will check out what Satipatthana meditation is! :)

Have a great day!
by (390 points)
I am new to buddhism so I don't know if Satipatthana meditation is just simple meditation as taught by Bhikku Yuttadhammo which I think it is after googling what it it was! ;)
by (17.2k points)
Watch these 3 videos:
Read this booklet:  https://www.sirimangalo.org/text/how-to-meditate/
by (390 points)
I did watch those videos and found them very helpful! I still need to read the booklet :) Thank you so much!
0 votes
by (2.0k points)
edited by

Good householder,

gratitude is the base for any path and fruit, even the base for any useful meditation. A person of ingratitude is incapable to grow either to better nor to reach the path, as it is a basic of right view.

This gratitude, a matter of kamma, starts with one's first gods, one's parents "there is mother and father", continues with "what is given, sacrificed", recognizing givers of all kind, "good and bad deeds", distinction of what is recognized as go(o)dness, "there are Gods", to take unseen al well in account, and Sublime teacher, goodness hardly ever can be repayed.

Nothing wrong at all in respecting and venerating all kinds of Gods, but the opposite, like taught by "God" Buddha. Even this realm here, the creation of this "ask sirimangalo" has it's creater gods, and protective Devas.

Of course, of all Brahmans, the Sublime Buddha is the highest for his disciples, being " created from his mouth, the Dhamma", their father.

Who ever holds high ones parents, givers, teacher, lives with Brahma, who ever honors and respects the Gods and Devas, will be respected and protected by them like children, like-a-like.

So may good householder never fear to be grateful of supportive given, stay observant in regard of gifts toward grow and refined, till release, by having possible reached oneself to become independent, able to really give: Bhagavato. And it's one's own choise to recognize goodness and also to one day become independent from the requirments to take on loans. Nothing in this world is for free but certain debts pull toward liberation and release. Good to chose giving into re-lation and refuge wisely.

Some useful readings on basic of gratitude:

Because we live in this world, we live through our dependency on other people. I think I’ve told you the story about the young boy in Thailand whose parents had scraped together money to send him in to a private Christian school in Bangkok. The boy started picking up Christian ideas at school, and one night he came home, saying that he wanted to ask grace at the table.

So the parents let him. He started his grace by thanking God for putting food on the table. The father immediately cuffed the boy up against the head and said, “What kind of ingrate are you? I’m the one who put the food on the table. If it were up to God, there’d be nothing on the table at all.”

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