Author Topic: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life  (Read 288 times)

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« on: September 10, 2017, 09:48:31 pm »
I am often hesitant to openly share information about my path online, but I have no local option, I am using relative language because truth as I understand it has no mode of transmission in which to describe what I wish to express but I do not see a "self" when I evaluate it and do not wish to be mistakenly thought to be indulging in the belief that I am somehow truly separate.

 I often give input to others and strive to provide perspective and peace. I am not often one to ask for input and attempt to gain it through study and practice. I am science minded and have thought a great deal about several of the many great revelations of Buddhism and they saved me earlier in my life from drugs and the struggles that the suffering of addiction had brought me.They have as well improved my life immeasurably.

Many people suffer heavily when they are young, I do not wish to come across as though I am special in some way by saying that for my culture and location I endured a great deal of difficulty and loss early in life and was early to set out entirely on my own because there was no one else of a sound disposition to aid me. I took comfort in that which instinct lead me to and so was adrift in the suffering of many causes until as I said I found a great deal of peace.

About 15 years ago I pulled myself together, later I realized through the transmission of the Prajñāpāramitā sutra the hollow nature of self and the nature of reality being false as the senses perceive it. As my meditation continued and grew, sound faded, feeling faded, and I can attain peace for a short time. I cannot however hold onto this state for very long and soon the attachment I have to life pulls me back into a place which is the subject I am preparing to explain.

I work in a max/super maximum prison as a  high ranking security supervisor and thus am exposed to a concentrated environment of suffering and ignorance which is very toxic. I have worked in law for many years, my past gives me compassion for those who I see can not escape some of what I had faced. I have seen things that are shocking and violent, enough so that examples are often not believed when offered and to the degree that I do not wish to disrupt the peace of the forum readers by spelling out these exposures in their entirety.

I have a family, they need my support and the turbulence of my youth left me with a limited education and now I cannot provide for them in a better way than to continue to work in a place which is comprised of broken concepts, pain, and ignorance. I use what little I truly know to bring peace as often as I can and to quell the storms which arise daily but the battle is against the roots of mountains in both the inmates and the officers and there is no balance.

The toll of the stress is such that even while I have faith that this lifetimes trials are for the benefit of all living beings I am distraught at the sheer scale of the capacity that humans have to carry on with hate and anger and fear. I have slowly become overwhelmed. I cannot retreat into hermitage without creating more suffering for those who rely on me and who I have promised care even if I wanted to, and my attachment to them prevents me from truly wanting to.

My practice has been under pressure throughout my time engaging in it, it has offered a lot of growth but I have become tired and saddened, and anxiety of what I have seen and will almost certainly see again haunts me now. Rest is hard to get and I have no Sangha locally, I have been in possession of only two jewels, and with humility ask if there is any advice I may beg of this community which may set forth a better course of thinking than the one comprised of sadness I find myself in current possession of.

I am caught in the current of an ancient stream, having placed myself in its path, I wish to swim, but am tired.
 

Offline Samana Johann

  • Not a member, just an endured/enduring guest.
  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Doing forest monk in Cambodia
    • View Profile
    • sangham.net
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 02:55:45 am »
Anemephistus is allways welcome. To speak open, while it may be nice to sozialise and entertain one self here, it not really the place for one normally not asking. But that all is a matter of upanissaya.
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 05:37:18 am »
Samana Johann has reminded me of Sampayutta Paccaya and the Paccaya Sutta!  :namaste:

I once was in a store years ago, My wife and I were picking out drapes for our windows. Ultimately a frivolous activity but at the time caught up in the activity and in absence of understanding we began to argue about what color a green fabric was, whether it was sea-foam or mint. We continued until we were quite angry with one another. I had been studying and the sudden truth came to me like lighting in two realizations, drapes are of a greatly limited importance and I was fortunate to be able to have them, and secondly that I was arguing with a person I loved over the color of something that we could both see! We had been caught in the frustration of the terms and the need to agree but there were no drapes in the true argument, and we had disregarded our perception for ego.   

I have taken my morning meditation on the vijnana and how it reacts to Sampayutta Paccaya and the effect when discernment is not being practiced in each moment with right thinking. At some  point I have made a transition from giving and receiving peace from quelling violence and helping others to an interdependant co-arising circumstance with the suffering I set out to help alleviate. It is a common mistake in my profession, allowing the environment to teach the senses instead of teaching the people in the environment with tools that bring peace to the living beings who reside and work within.

Frankly I struggle with this. Working in a dangerous prison for over a decade and keeping my mindset as close to the truth as I can get it. As far as i am aware I am the Only Buddhist amongst the 500 employees of my security division. Many of them see enemies when they look around them at those who are suffering. I explain often what I see in the most basic way I can so that it will be received. I have forgotten to be happy with the opportunity to effect such a place and have replaced it with sadness at the need to do so.  This has been an incorrect adjustment which arose from my perception being left untended to. And as Samana Johann has reminded me, it's a matter of upanissaya.

 
 

 

Offline Ron-the-Elder

  • Member
  • Posts: 4474
  • May all beings live rightly and harmoniously.
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 06:27:31 am »
I am often hesitant to openly share information about my path online, but I have no local option, I am using relative language because truth as I understand it has no mode of transmission in which to describe what I wish to express but I do not see a "self" when I evaluate it and do not wish to be mistakenly thought to be indulging in the belief that I am somehow truly separate.

First let me welcome you to FreeSangha.  From the extent and quality of your sharing it is obvious that you will be a valued contributor to our forums and their threads.  Your openess and honesty is much appreciated.  It is obvious that you are experienced in venues where you have participated in sharing your experience, strength and hope with impunity.

Quote
I often give input to others and strive to provide perspective and peace. I am not often one to ask for input and attempt to gain it through study and practice. I am science minded and have thought a great deal about several of the many great revelations of Buddhism and they saved me earlier in my life from drugs and the struggles that the suffering of addiction had brought me.They have as well improved my life immeasurably.

We have similar approaches to interpersonal relationships.  As a result, reading your input will have a special value for my paying attention, and no doubt many of us will be able to learn from your experience.  This is only expected as it states in The Big Book of AA in the chapter regarding "How It Works" :  "We will come to understand how our experience can benefit others."  So, again, feel free to share what is necessary knowing that you will be benefitting others.

Quote
Many people suffer heavily when they are young, I do not wish to come across as though I am special in some way by saying that for my culture and location I endured a great deal of difficulty and loss early in life and was early to set out entirely on my own because there was no one else of a sound disposition to aid me. I took comfort in that which instinct lead me to and so was adrift in the suffering of many causes until as I said I found a great deal of peace.

I can relate to what you are sharing.  It reminds me of a story I have heard from another, where he shares that he came upon a man banging his heard against a brick wall.  When he asked the man why he was banging his head against the wall, the stopped, looked at him, and replied:  "Why?  I am banging my head against the wall, because when I stop, it feels sooooo good!"


Quote
About 15 years ago I pulled myself together, later I realized through the transmission of the Prajñāpāramitā sutra the hollow nature of self and the nature of reality being false as the senses perceive it. As my meditation continued and grew, sound faded, feeling faded, and I can attain peace for a short time. I cannot however hold onto this state for very long and soon the attachment I have to life pulls me back into a place which is the subject I am preparing to explain.


Practicing in The Theravadin Tradition I have never spent any time reading and studying "The Prajñāpāramitā Sutra", or The Heart Sutra.  However, I am looking forward to reading your expressions as to how it has been of assistance to you in your practice, and how it has aided you in addressing the challenges you faced and are facing in your life.  If you wish to discuss the lessons on a more scholarly level, there are many Mahayana practitioners, who can discuss, and if you wish, debate the teachings therein on this board.  There are also many links available to those exact passages in both Sanskrit and English if you wish, and commentaries available from monastic scholars.   I have a few friends and associates who fall into the later category, and I will be happy to introduce you to them as you wish.

Quote
I work in a max/super maximum prison as a  high ranking security supervisor and thus am exposed to a concentrated environment of suffering and ignorance which is very toxic. I have worked in law for many years, my past gives me compassion for those who I see can not escape some of what I had faced. I have seen things that are shocking and violent, enough so that examples are often not believed when offered and to the degree that I do not wish to disrupt the peace of the forum readers by spelling out these exposures in their entirety.

My wife is a Clinical Psychologist, who worked in our local state prison here in our home state (New Hampshire) and also in other states both in the north and south.  If you have any specific questions, or would like to share experiences I am certain that she would be open to listening and assisting on a personal level.

My career was that of an environmental safety and health professional primarily in an engineering capacity.  Like yourself, I am very science minded, which has both been an asset and a hindrance to progress along my personal path in Buddhist studies.  I also spent many years of my career in the capacity of supervision and management, so we also have that in common, which will help us to understand and share information with each other.

Quote
I have a family, they need my support and the turbulence of my youth left me with a limited education and now I cannot provide for them in a better way than to continue to work in a place which is comprised of broken concepts, pain, and ignorance. I use what little I truly know to bring peace as often as I can and to quell the storms which arise daily but the battle is against the roots of mountains in both the inmates and the officers and there is no balance.

My first wife, now deceased, and I raised four children, and now have five grandchildren, and one great grandson. 

It has also been my experience that because of our family responsibilities we come to a point in our lives that we feel stuck, and frustrated, because we can't seem to find the time to improve our personal lot.  The Big Book of AA offers another time tested trite truisms, which are helpful here:  "This too shall pass!"  and " Today, acceptance is the answer to all my problems."  Once the psychic pressure is relieved by changing our way of thinking, we will be surprised by the opportunities which arise for us to improve ourselves and to thereby qualify for other life improving opportunities as they come our way.  We will also improve our vision so that we can recognize them as they come along, and gain the motivation needed to seek them out.

Quote
The toll of the stress is such that even while I have faith that this lifetimes trials are for the benefit of all living beings I am distraught at the sheer scale of the capacity that humans have to carry on with hate and anger and fear. I have slowly become overwhelmed. I cannot retreat into hermitage without creating more suffering for those who rely on me and who I have promised care even if I wanted to, and my attachment to them prevents me from truly wanting to.

Buddha had to make the same decisions, when he was a prince of the Sakyans.  He decided in his own way with regard to his personal capacities and resources and we in our practices must do the same.  The first precept is the principle upon which I have always focused in this regard:  "Cause no harm."....which has always been proven a worthy guideline for me personally.  I highly recommend it.

Quote
My practice has been under pressure throughout my time engaging in it, it has offered a lot of growth but I have become tired and saddened, and anxiety of what I have seen and will almost certainly see again haunts me now. Rest is hard to get and I have no Sangha locally, I have been in possession of only two jewels, and with humility ask if there is any advice I may beg of this community which may set forth a better course of thinking than the one comprised of sadness I find myself in current possession of.

I am caught in the current of an ancient stream, having placed myself in its path, I wish to swim, but am tired.

Just so, for most of us at various points along our paths.   This kind of affectation is what has bought many of us to Buddhism, and which led us to our teachers, and our sanghas, minds, flesh, brick and mortar, and most importantly The Buddha's Teachings (The Dhamma). :dharma:
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 Samana Johann

  • Not a member, just an endured/enduring guest.
  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Doing forest monk in Cambodia
    • View Profile
    • sangham.net
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 07:14:00 am »
Maybe an inspiration:

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Dhamma Brothers - Vipassana Introduced in American Jail

As certainly makes *oh*: best to come into that, will be simply to walk your self fist, and then maybe join. Vipassana RI. Good, if doing, would be to visit the monks Sangha) first, take refuge and precepts.
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 08:32:55 am »
You have been very kind and I appreciate deeply your encouragement. Thank you, I am genuinely moved by your thoughtfulness.

Quote
We have similar approaches to interpersonal relationships.  As a result, reading your input will have a special value for my paying attention, and no doubt many of us will be able to learn from your experience.  This is only expected as it states in The Big Book of AA in the chapter regarding "How It Works" :  "We will come to understand how our experience can benefit others."  So, again, feel free to share what is necessary knowing that you will be benefiting others.

A person very close to me took the path of twelve steps, that person started a year before I started down the Road to Buddhism. Once I found my life unmanageable and my suffering exceeded the volition to continue my behavior I looked for an answer. I found the transmission of "The heart of the Buddha's teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh, this was my first exposure to Buddhist logic. It took me a year to read it. Each time I found a new concept that challenged me I stopped reading, considered it, and tested it in my life. By the end I had become a new being, the transition was startling to those who had known me. The two of us that started a year apart,  we leaned on one another to maintain our sobriety and it was tumultuous at first. It was then we noted how much the two things had in common, though the language was very different, the concepts were equal. The truth is like love, it feels the same in every language and can be recognized by everyone who sees it. 

I have been clean for 14 years, 4 months, 21 days


Quote
Practicing in The Theravadin Tradition I have never spent any time reading and studying "The Prajñāpāramitā Sutra", or The Heart Sutra.  However, I am looking forward to reading your expressions as to how it has been of assistance to you in your practice, and how it has aided you in addressing the challenges you faced and are facing in your life.  If you wish to discuss the lessons on a more scholarly level, there are many Mahayana practitioners, who can discuss, and if you wish, debate the teachings therein on this board.  There are also many links available to those exact passages in both Sanskrit and English if you wish, and commentaries available from monastic scholars. I have a few friends and associates who fall into the later category, and I will be happy to introduce you to them as you wish.

I cannot say as my search for wisdom expanded that I am truly in a school with regards to Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana. It is my opinion that there is deep and abiding truth at the core of the interpretations where understanding how to exist in peace and harmony is concerned, as for the more global ramifications of these divisions I have spent no time questioning them. My practice has been entirely guided by texts and transmissions and discourses I can encounter online. I did not prioritize their source but instead looked at each one critically for what sense it made (or could make) to me. I have kept notes on my understanding of "The Prajñāpāramitā Sutra"  and would look very much forward to a discussion about it. I have not however ever spoken directly to another person who has any knowledge of it and so I am in foreign territory on that front.

Quote
My wife is a Clinical Psychologist, who worked in our local state prison here in our home state (New Hampshire) and also in other states both in the north and south.  If you have any specific questions, or would like to share experiences I am certain that she would be open to listening and assisting on a personal level.

My career was that of an environmental safety and health professional primarily in an engineering capacity.  Like yourself, I am very science minded, which has both been an asset and a hindrance to progress along my personal path in Buddhist studies.  I also spent many years of my career in the capacity of supervision and management, so we also have that in common, which will help us to understand and share information with each other.
 

That is a very kind offer. It is hard for people who have not seen the things that transpire inside of the confines of prisons to really grasp them. They are not unique, but they are concentrated and there is a certain apprehension in sharing them, we not only watch the walls, but we guard others from the suffering inside them, sometimes that means silence so that it does not spread.

Supervision of those who do not share ideals is a hard thing and I believe you are correct that it has a common ground amongst those who have experienced it.

I feel again as though I must thank you. The nature of the world and humanity is large and wonderful, the nature of the self is small and greedy, and It can be very hard to keep perspective. Your kindness has helped with that in an instant and I appreciate it. I look forward to speaking to this community and to you.

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 08:34:55 am »
Maybe an inspiration:

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Dhamma Brothers - Vipassana Introduced in American Jail

As certainly makes *oh*: best to come into that, will be simply to walk your self fist, and then maybe join. Vipassana RI. Good, if doing, would be to visit the monks Sangha) first, take refuge and precepts.


I will watch these, thank you!

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 07:42:48 am »
Maybe an inspiration:

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Dhamma Brothers - Vipassana Introduced in American Jail

As certainly makes *oh*: best to come into that, will be simply to walk your self fist, and then maybe join. Vipassana RI. Good, if doing, would be to visit the monks Sangha) first, take refuge and precepts.


Thank you for linking these videos. I plan on sharing the American prison link with some people who may find it intriguing enough to consider some form of action.

Offline Samana Johann

  • Not a member, just an endured/enduring guest.
  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Doing forest monk in Cambodia
    • View Profile
    • sangham.net
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 04:31:20 pm »
Maybe an inspiration:

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Dhamma Brothers - Vipassana Introduced in American Jail

As certainly makes *oh*: best to come into that, will be simply to walk your self fist, and then maybe join. Vipassana RI. Good, if doing, would be to visit the monks Sangha) first, take refuge and precepts.


Thank you for linking these videos. I plan on sharing the American prison link with some people who may find it intriguing enough to consider some form of action.


As told, the wise way is to make a course first for yourself. Follow the way of a monk actually is like a voluntary prisoner for the sake of liberation. It's actually a blessing to possible get taimed, also an ordinary prison can be of much value if teacher are around.
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

Offline Solodris

  • Member
  • Posts: 331
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 07:24:35 pm »
Maybe an inspiration:

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Dhamma Brothers - Vipassana Introduced in American Jail

As certainly makes *oh*: best to come into that, will be simply to walk your self fist, and then maybe join. Vipassana RI. Good, if doing, would be to visit the monks Sangha) first, take refuge and precepts.


Thank you for linking these videos. I plan on sharing the American prison link with some people who may find it intriguing enough to consider some form of action.


As told, the wise way is to make a course first for yourself. Follow the way of a monk actually is like a voluntary prisoner for the sake of liberation. It's actually a blessing to possible get taimed, also an ordinary prison can be of much value if teacher are around.


I suppose being tamed is a blessing.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 08:48:40 am by Solodris »

Offline Samana Johann

  • Not a member, just an endured/enduring guest.
  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Doing forest monk in Cambodia
    • View Profile
    • sangham.net
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2017, 02:08:26 am »
It's a blessing being even taimed, ready and willing to be taimed, it's a blessing to come in contact with the unexceld trainer of those ready to be taimed, yes.
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2017, 06:19:57 pm »
It's a blessing being even taimed, ready and willing to be taimed, it's a blessing to come in contact with the unexceld trainer of those ready to be taimed, yes.

 :dharma:

Lovely

Offline Samana Johann

  • Not a member, just an endured/enduring guest.
  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Doing forest monk in Cambodia
    • View Profile
    • sangham.net
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 05:45:53 am »
Nyom, spoken of the highest blessings. It sometimes "accidentally" happens that on places where nobody even has normal telefon connection that hi-speed net is avaliable for a gone forth, a very stranger, yet even in a remote cave in a mountains forest, and so my person decided, while "accidently" looking one more time into this topic to watch a movie after very long time.

When seeing this Dhamma-brothers movie it's a real joy. Thought being in prison, those people who had the luck to take on such a course are so seldom blessed people, possible even gain real liberation or no more able to fall away.

If we think how much possibilities "free" people would have, like many of you here, or the director and other stuff in this movie, we should really take on first of all our own chance because it's the same very very seldom situation. What ever comes later on or we are possible able to give.

Do not waste a precious life for "higher aims" than the Blessed One taught those able to be taimed. For those capable and willing to become Dhamma-Brothers or sisters. Thirty is pretty ok.

Timsa Sutta: Thirty

« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 05:53:42 am by Samana Johann »
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

Offline Anemephistus

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 07:01:00 am »
Prison is a place where normally, interdependent arising of wrong ideas and  suffering occurs.  It's very difficult to reach past that to people who are incarcerated when one is an officer. Personally I try very hard to bring peace to each situation as it arises, sometimes I am left with no safe option besides actions which are forceful in order to make things physically safe.

I have contacted our chaplain about this video, but our Buddhist group has two inmates out of over near thousand inmates. The place where I live has very few followers of the Dharma and many, many, Protestant Christians who are not fond of other faiths,  I get treated with respect by most I encounter because I am decent at refusing to focus on differences and engaging debate, I try to just say what is true. But the underlying fact is that they are not very interested in using teachings they do not recognize, and they are not very interested in learning about them either. 

I am going to continue to look for the opportunity to  show how Vipassana could help. I have tried several approaches in the past to add Buddhist teachings (even without labeling the source of them) to both officer training and to our religious groups, to little effect. So I walk through my days and await personal opportunity to engage others and use what I have understood from sources of wisdom to help others.

Being honest though, It is very hard sometimes to work in such a place, it is tiring. Being here, on this forum, talking to others and taking refuge has helped to rejuvenate my understanding and my motivation. 

Samana Johann, sometimes I have a hard time understanding what you have written, but I can tell you are always trying to help and I can usually find your meaning and it is humbly appreciated :) May those rare opportunities become plentiful for all living beings!

Offline Samana Johann

  • Not a member, just an endured/enduring guest.
  • Member
  • Posts: 580
  • Doing forest monk in Cambodia
    • View Profile
    • sangham.net
Re: Situation and thoughts about livleyhood and life
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 07:17:27 am »
Maybe an inspiration:

Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Dhamma Brothers - Vipassana Introduced in American Jail

As certainly makes *oh*: best to come into that, will be simply to walk your self fist, and then maybe join. Vipassana RI. Good, if doing, would be to visit the monks Sangha) first, take refuge and precepts.


Thank you for linking these videos. I plan on sharing the American prison link with some people who may find it intriguing enough to consider some form of action.


As told, the wise way is to make a course first for yourself. Follow the way of a monk actually is like a voluntary prisoner for the sake of liberation. It's actually a blessing to possible get taimed, also an ordinary prison can be of much value if teacher are around.


One could "cry" to see just another talker, director, officer... in a documentation or in this prison here.

Don't waste time to wait of others and to try to help. Who ever has upanissaya to you will come along anyway. It's not sure that either the Dhamma nor such confortable prisions will be there if Nyom will be a service receiver after having wandered on another time.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 07:20:49 am by Samana Johann »
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal