Author Topic: How to get support in difficult times  (Read 598 times)

Offline Nads

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How to get support in difficult times
« on: September 29, 2016, 03:35:02 pm »
Hi,

I'm new to this forum.  I came to Buddhism via the teachings of Pema Chodron.  I have only listened to her teachings and they really spoke to me.  Likely because I was struggling and she speaks to how to deal with difficult life circumstances.

The issue is that I am very isolated with a 22 year old daughter who is very dependent on me. She deals with anxiety and health issues and it is very difficult to get her out of the house to connect with other people.  I am separated  from my husband of 23 years and heading toward divorce and have no help from family or friends.  I am trying to figure out how to get support during this difficult time. 

It occurred to me to connect with an online community which is why I joined this forum. 

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. 


Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: How to get support in difficult times
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 02:39:59 am »
Hi, Nads.

I am sorry to read about your life circumstances, but glad for you that you found us and are willing to open your heart and share. 

Truth is that this round of existence in which we live is what Buddha called "Samasara" a place in which we are born / reborn, age, acquire diseases, endure pain, suffering, experience a wide variety of agonies.  Samsara is a place in which we are never satisfied, where stress is legion, a realm where we die and then start the samsaric cycle all over again.  We moan and think, "Surely, this is nothing but all bad news for us, who have arisen in this realm!"

Quote
An ocean of tears

"Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?... This is the greater: the tears you have shed...

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Why is that? From an in construable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."

— SN 15.3


Sounds like all bad news, right!  Well, the good news is that you, I, and everyone else  have been reborn here in The Realm of Humans are privileged to be exposed to Buddha's Teachings, most especially The Four Noble Truths: The Truth of Suffering, The Cause of Suffering, The Fact that suffering can be Ended by our own actions, and a prescription, a means to end our suffering:  The Noble Eight Fold Path.

Quote
This precious human birth

"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation: 'This is stress...This is the origination of stress...This is the cessation of stress...This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"

— SN 56.48


Quote
Why do we wander in samsara ?

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating four things that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I. Which four?

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble virtue that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble concentration that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble discernment that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"It's because of not understanding and not penetrating noble release that we have wandered & transmigrated on such a long, long time, you & I.

"But when noble virtue is understood & penetrated, when noble concentration... noble discernment... noble release is understood & penetrated, then craving for becoming is destroyed, the guide to becoming (craving & attachment) is ended, there is now no further becoming."

— AN 4.1


So, despite our focus on our suffering, as you can see, it is fortunate for all of us that we were reborn in a realm where we can learn what Buddha taught.  However, from here on in it is up to us what we do with that information, and how quickly we wish to apply that knowledge in our lives.  For, as Buddha pointed out to us, it is "The Practice", the practical application of what we study and learn, the personal testing of its validity by implementing these lessons in our lives, by verifying what we glean through our study of The Dhamma, which will make not only a great difference in the quality of our lives, but most importantly will lead to unbinding and release from the fetters, which hold us in this realm of what Buddha called "dukkha":

The Four Noble Truths :  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/truths.html

And that is what Buddhist forums like this one, and brick and mortar "sanghas" are all about.  They are places where we can study, apply, practice, test, share, compare and contrast what we have discovered, what we have practiced, what we have verified and validated for ourselves.

So, please do.  Welcome!

_/\_Ron :grouphug:
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 02:53:22 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline lisehull

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Re: How to get support in difficult times
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2016, 10:26:10 am »
Please keep on posting so we can share with you!
Lise

 


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