My name is Serenity and I'm twenty-two (going onto twenty-three in a few weeks), living in Arkansas. There's not very many places in my area that teach on Buddhism and I thought I'd join so I could learn more. I hope that's alright. I'm guess what you could consider 'Agnostic'. I don't know what to believe or disbelieve about the afterlife and that is really torturous for me. I was raised in an area where Southern Baptism was the main religion and was taken to the extreme, so much so that it was a very hurtful and negative experience for me. Of course, I understand that not all are like this, but it made me realize my true lack of belief and faith. I've dealt with an overwhelming fear of death since I was 15 and the only time I have ever felt any measure of peace, or control, is when I started reading 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' by Sogyal Rinpoche. I still suffer with the fear, but realize that I feel much more... calm and at ease when I read into Buddhism and Zen teachings. My significant other is a Buddhist, so there's no lack of books in the house. I've wanted a place to learn more, and wish I had a teacher, but that's not likely for the area I live in.
I hope that was an okay introduction.
I really just want to find the inner peace in me that my mother named me for and stop living my life in fear and fog and confusion. Buddhism is the closest to clarity I've ever experienced but I'm at a loss as to where to start.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I know nothing of Arkansas , Serenity ( what a lovely name ) as I am English, but there is an online directory of Arkansas Buddhist groups called www.Buddhark.com/
. If you can get hands-on instruction its always best.