Author Topic: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)  (Read 15900 times)

Offline Madelyn

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #60 on: April 27, 2014, 09:21:12 am »
My story, condensed as much as possible:
As a child I was extremely isolated, I often went for weeks without encountering a person other than my immediate family.

I developed depression and anxiety in my early teens.

In my mid teens I was kicked out of home, my mother has some fairly serious psychological problems, and simply could not deal with having me around, being miserable all the time.

I moved in with my boyfriend, who was in his mid 20s. At first he was fairly reasonable, but as time went on he became more and me restrictive, to the point of locking me up, making me leave the room when anyone else came to the house and punishing me for attempts to contact the outside world. He was physically and sexually violent. He convinced me, over two years, that I was intrinsically bad, and had to constantly work, in the house, the bedroom and the relationship, to deserve his love and make him trust me.

I escaped and was kept in hospital for a month, in which I gained weight and learned some basic social and maturity skills. I had missed a lot of development, which had taken a lot of catching up.

I got a stimulating job, found an apartment and was lucky enough to meet a really lovely man, we fell in love within weeks. He was caring and understanding, he had experienced his own psychological problems and had lost his brother to suicide when they were teenagers. He had a young son, who we cared for together. The mother was a drug addict, she had joint custody, which was a constant source of stress, as the child often come to us in a sorry state, and often left in a car with a drunk driver. On top of this, the ex-wife was  threatening violence against all three of us. My partner, to whom I had just become engaged, could not deal with the stress. He killed himself.

That was five years ago. In all that time I never felt 'spiritual' I never believed there was such a thing. I've been treated, quite successfully, for PTSD, depression and anxiety. During the treatment process I've been taught about meditation and mindfulness, as methods of controlling symptoms, but also gaining insight and reorganising one's own psychological habits.

I now have a constructive career that truly interests me, a safe home, a truly wonderful marriage and a functional, blame free relationship with my parents and siblings.

I was interested in the origin of the techniques I was taught and found that they were pretty much unaltered buddhist practices. I did some more research and found that the Buddhist philosophy is very similar to the scientific method (on which my career is based), but far more focused on the importance of the individual and on ethical treatment of others. This pretty much fills the gaps, this is what the scientific method lacks as a way of life (rather than purely as a method of deduction). I think Buddhist teachings and meditation may be, to my personal life, what the scientific method is to my lab.



Offline Madelyn

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #61 on: April 27, 2014, 09:23:45 am »
Oh, and um... I'm a British female in my mid 20s.



Offline nightowl

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #62 on: April 27, 2014, 03:34:37 pm »
Hi Madelyn,

Thanks for your sharing. You are so brave and mature!
To repay your sincerity for this forum, here my turn.
I already posted on another thread that I got divorce 6 years before I met my present wife, let me add something more here.
About 30 years ago, when I started practicing mindfulness, one of my spiritual teacher was a venerable monk. He was an Abbot of a little forest temple which was located very far from the cities. I was told that before he was a monk, his wife cheated on him. But when his ex and her new husband got serious ill, my teacher (that time still wasn’t a monk) still went to take care both of them very well!?! His story was very impressed on me. But that time I could only imagine how suffer he had to deal with until that very situation happened to me. Like teacher, like student, really. (Hmm...maybe not quite so about taking care of them. lol)
And no, I didn’t pretend to be cool at all. Never! Even with my long time spiritual practice (30 years) it was still so hard for me to pass that toughest and self-pity period.

There’s a saying in Vajrayana Buddhism (Tantra.) It goes like this:
“if we fell on a ground, we have to use that very ground to help us back on our feet again. Anything else will be only our fancies and never work.”

“Just as water that has entered the ear may be removed by water
And just as a thorn may be removed by a thorn,
so those who know how, remove passion by mean of passion itself.
Just as a washerman removed the grime from a garment by means of grime,
So the wise man renders himself free of impurity by means of impurity itself.”

(from Cittavisuddhiprakarana of Aryadeva)

And yes, I spent 3 years (after divorce) to really understand this without fooling myself otherwise and another 3 years seeking for my true relationship. And lucky that I found one, finally. :-)


Offline Madelyn

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #63 on: April 27, 2014, 08:42:45 pm »
Thank you for sharing and appreciating. Every story is inspiring.



Offline Sean D Bartel

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2014, 08:46:22 pm »
Masami Saionji guided me through some rough angsty teenage patches with her book "The Golden Key to Happiness." Though not Buddhist or spiritual per se, she pointed me toward learning about meditation and respecting the beauty in the mundane.

Around the same time Angela Bassett played Tina Turner in "What's Love Got To Do With It?" I was astonished to see Angela as Tina chanting "Nam myōhō renge kyō" ("the muddier the mud the more lotusy the lotus" in the words of the lovely woman a few posts up) to an alter instead of doing a traditional Christian prayer, and the movie helped me to feel empowered to change my way of thinking about prayer and even about cultural identity.

I dislike labels (and the pigeonholes they adorn) intensely, and I don't think I'll entirely lose who I was as I become who I will be, so I can't do a timeline of what I believed then versus what I believe now because the dust is still settling in my mind. But I've learned to appreciate that it is one gorgeous cloud of dust.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #65 on: May 17, 2014, 11:14:35 pm »
Hi Sean and welcome to Free Sangha.

In a sense, you are quite correct --- although we do need to move away from the concept of "I", it is true that labels do a disservice. Even when it comes to our understanding of the path, it is not unchanging or stagnant.

Offline Sean D Bartel

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #66 on: May 18, 2014, 10:28:31 am »
Thanks for the welcome Dharmakara! Lots of neat stuff here. :)

Offline doubledragon

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Re: Share YOUR ways towards the Path (Dhamma)
« Reply #67 on: June 15, 2014, 02:51:03 am »
Hi, everyone!

I don't know if the original poster is still hanging around, but since the thread is still open, I thought I could add my two cents.

I make my whole waking day my practice. Mindful awareness in the present moment is my motto. I enjoy life when it smiles, I accept life when affliction strikes and I can't change it.

I continue learning, I practise yoga and do sitting meditation. I keep growing.  :buddha:

 


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