Author Topic: New Buddhist  (Read 1217 times)

Offline MickeyNDY

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New Buddhist
« on: November 27, 2016, 04:29:12 pm »
I am 52 years old and live in The United States in the state of Florida.
I have been studying diligently and aspire to one day become a nun. But, I have so much catching up to do. There's so much information out there I feel like I'm swimming in circles. I learn best in a classroom situation all this reading is confusing.

When I was a child I can remember having such clarity of mind that I could close my eyes and see so many beautiful things and so many scary things. Somewhere along the line that ability left me as it does with so many. When I was a teen, I began my search to regain what I had lost. I tried concentration meditation. I tried astral projection techniques. Then, I began exploring pagan religions and metaphysics. I got nowhere. As a young adult, I turned to drugs and alcohol desperate still to regain my inner sight. Fortunately, I found no solace in those either and left those behind. All during that time, I cared for others. I cared for my ailing father, I cared for my neighbor who had Parkinson's disease, I cared for my husband who was a drug-addicted alcoholic, I cared for my partner who had cancer. Since then, I've been living in the fog of depression and never satisfied with my life. Until now, that is. I realize that my personal search was for was for selfish reasons.

Now I am a full-time caregiver for an elderly lady. While I was with her on holiday in New York City, I met a Buddhist monk in Central Park. He gave me my first set of mala beads. The act of kindness between the monk and I awakened something within me. I began reading the Dharma and now I attend The Heart Sutra every week on my day off. (I work 6 days a week)Turning my life towards loving kindness has not only changed me but my client as well. Her demeaned has changed.

The only thing I lack now is the discipline and determination to meditate daily. I have plenty of time to myself but I always find something silly to do rather than meditate.
I keep having thoughts and feelings that I need to be closer to a Sangha where I can spend more time in study but then I would have to leave my job and find a new one that would allow more personal time. I don't even know where to go to seek refuge and truly dedicate my life.

What I really need is sensible advice. I look to this virtual Sangha for help. Thank you.

May all beings gain enlightenment.

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Offline The Artis Magistra

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Re: New Buddhist
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 06:49:48 pm »
Lets first determine what kind of Buddhist you are interested in being based on what you are willing to do and believe.

The choices to make are:

Buddhism is a strict set of rules and hierarchal organizations that adhere to the preserved saying in the Pali Canon or Buddhism is welcoming to all and it is not necessary to become a monk or a nun to study and achieve happiness.

Buddhism is strictly Indian in origin and diversion or inclusion of other ideas, especially ideas that are not called Buddhist should be excluded and are false and delusional or So many things which are not called Buddhist because Buddhism is about Love and Healing.

I want to experience the world through the strict lessons of a one called a master or leader or I want to experience freely the ever present Dharma through everything I can.

If you gravitate towards the first options, you may want to be a nun in the most extreme tradition you can find. If you are gravitating to the other options, you are better suited to a more personalized journey which will largely remain unvalidated by people calling themselves Buddhists, which is only a problem for the ego, and so it is or can be a real problem, yet you don't need validation or certificates to be a Buddhist. The Buddha was for example an unqualified learner and teacher, he was on his own journey.


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