Author Topic: New to Buddhism  (Read 1222 times)

Offline Ravonith

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New to Buddhism
« on: June 14, 2016, 03:43:16 am »

I am new to this site and new to Buddhism.
I wouldn't say I am a Buddhist yet as I have only just taken the first steps, but you have to start somewhere!

I lived in Scotland until I was about 7 and then moved to north wales, I am now attending university and am on a placement year.
I have never really 'fit in' anywhere as I was bullied throughout my childhood and was in a very unhealthy relationship for about a year and a half when I was 18.
My first 'real' experience of happiness was when I reached university (2.5 years ago), but even then I was plagued with my own anxieties, then about 1.5 years ago my mum had her first serious suicide attempts (this happened on multiple occasions throughout the university year and my exams, I live 5 hours away from my family at the moment so each time I received a call saying she could possibly die I knew that I couldn't be there for her, which was quite hard).
I had tried meditation before, but I stopped when my anxiety and mild depression reached its peak, looking back that was a reason to continue with meditation but I can't change that now!

Anyway! long story short is during my exams last year I was so stressed (I had been accepted into a placement and needed a 2:1 in those exams to actually be able to do the placement!), this caused me to have a constant panic attack until I had no choice but to go to the doctor and be put on beta blockers (just to stop the physical symptoms).
After that I spent a lot of time wallowing in self pity and convincing myself that I was not good enough to be at uni or to have gotten this competitive placement. I eventually got over that, but was then so full of hatred for my supervisor that I could do nothing but wish I was home or wish I wasn't there.

I have always been interested in Buddhism (hence the previous meditation attempt!) and have recently found a website that had links to multiple talks on different topics by a Buddhist monk. He worded everything so clearly that I realised that have not been 'living', but in a constant state of resentment (for myself and others), hatred and anger. Reading his words hit me like a tonne of bricks and has completely changed my outlook on life.
I don't feel anything like I did a week ago, I feel so light. I have been in situations that would usually cause me to fill up with resentment and anger, but the anger wasn't there. It felt almost like something was missing, but I think I am now genuinely happy for the first time in as long as I can remember. Although my past isn't the prettiest I now know I wouldn't change one second of it, because without the suffering I wouldn't be who I am today. And I can honestly say I am happy with who I am. 

Sorry for the huge text post but I just thought I'd share how I came to be on this website and if anyone has any tips for me to further my journey into Buddhism or some meditation techniques you would suggest (I have been practising daily mindfulness and breathing meditations for almost half a year now) I would love to hear from you! 

I wish you all happiness! :)

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Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: New to Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 04:45:56 am »
Hi, Ravonith.

Welcome to FreeSangha.

Buddha identified several things in his Four Noble Truths, which apply to all of us.  Whether you realize it or not, you addressed them in your short introduction:  We live in a realm of suffering.  This suffering has a cause.  The cause is our clinging to that which is insubstantial, hoping that it will not be so.  When it is harmful to us, we suffer directly.  When it is pleasurable, and it all falls apart we suffer from the loss of that, which was to us pleasurable.

All of our suffering is rooted in our ignorance of these facts, what Buddha called truths. 

There is a solution:  "Living our lives in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path.

As you study Buddha's words passed on to us from practitioners over thousands of years we learn that we have an obligation to ourselves not only to memorize his teachings, but to put them to the test as to their accuracy and effectiveness by practicing what Buddha taught to see for ourselves that they are in fact effective in eliminating our suffering.

I look forward to reading your posts and hearing from you as to your progress along your path.

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.


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