My name is Jaya and I just turned 20 about two weeks ago. I started my practice on October 4, but I don't plan to "officially" take refuge until sometime next summer. I want to make sure this is a lifelong commitment before I do so.
I feel like I was fated to come to Buddhism, haha. In the past year I've had some memorable existential crises, one time where I stayed up til 5 am crying about death and impermanence and the cruelty of existence. I've also had some extreme attachments in past romantic relationships; the most recent one was better but still I needed some help.
I walked away from Christianity to Atheism at 15 but the past few years I'd been feeling unfulfilled, like something was missing, or like I still needed answers or meaning or something, and a lack of religion/spirituality wasn't helping. Recently I began picking up hours at my university's divinity bookstore, and that was all while the incentive I needed to remember that I wanted to study Buddhism.
For now my basic practice is meditation for half an hour while chanting the compassion mantra. Today I added prostration while reciting the names of the 35 Buddhas, which raised the time up to an hour. I'm hoping to keep it like this for a while, so I can be diligent about it.
I'm using the school's Hindu/Buddhist shared meditation room, and noticed that the first day that I couldn't concentrate because I was so worried about people walking in and finding me. Thankfully that wasn't such an issue today! (Although I was much more concerned about my empty stomach XP)
There were also a few moments where I felt like I might want to cry... not sure about that. Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe it's just me. It usually is
I tend to lurk, so I may not post much, but I wanted to say hi and let you all know I'm here