Lost and hesitant to find teacher

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Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Gyaltsen Tashi » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:43 am

Damn, my post just got lost.

OK. the thing is I get depressed and I am unable, nay, unwilling to do practice (formal practice at least) for 2 weeks to a month at a time. My Dharma practice diary shows I missed Jan to Mar without any practice. I have no recollection of what happened.

When I am happy and stable, I can practice for an hour at a time, but I am seldom happy and stable. I take 60 mg Prozac and 10 mg Olanzapine.

I am saddened yesterday and I fear I am spiralling into another depression.

Would any teacher have me?
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:09 am

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Would any teacher have me?

Of course. You need the Dharma as much as anyone. Seek out a teacher in your own time, there is no urgency.

Being unhappy is not a crime. In some ways it may actually help you see through the illusory nature of our daily lives.

Take heart, and stay with it. It will help if you focus on the things that bring you happiness. Make sure you look after your health.

All the best.
May all beings be happy
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby philji » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:35 pm

You are suffering. the Buddha , Dharma and Sangha are here to relive suffering therefore seek them out. :anjali:
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Adamantine » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:46 pm

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Damn, my post just got lost.

OK. the thing is I get depressed and I am unable, nay, unwilling to do practice (formal practice at least) for 2 weeks to a month at a time. My Dharma practice diary shows I missed Jan to Mar without any practice. I have no recollection of what happened.

When I am happy and stable, I can practice for an hour at a time, but I am seldom happy and stable. I take 60 mg Prozac and 10 mg Olanzapine.

I am saddened yesterday and I fear I am spiralling into another depression.

Would any teacher have me?



Maybe this could benefit your view about your predicament: the words of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche on the topic: "Depression is a Highly Intelligent State of Being" http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/03/depression-is-a-highly-intelligent-state-of-being/

I've also been present when someone asked Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche about their depression, and about taking medicine like Prozac. While this was to a specific woman, I will try to paraphrase to the best of my memory: he said something along the lines of it being important for some people to take these medicines to help them at first, because it could be far worse without them. In the meantime, they should also practice meditation. Eventually, through the results of the meditation practice, it may be possible to leave the medicines behind.

There's also a really good book about neuroscience and meditation related to depression you may find very helpful: Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidencehttp://www.amazon.com/Hardwiring-Happiness-Science-Contentment-Confidence/dp/0385347316

The most important thing is to decide on a daily practice routine with total conviction, whatever you can do to start with: 15 min in the morning, before your breakfast or whatever: make it like brushing your teeth.. essential part of your day. It is best if you get personal instruction though, and yes, any teacher would have you: we are all suffering samsaric beings.. deeply sad in one way or another. That's precisely whom the Bodhisattvas have vowed to help.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Martin007 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:44 pm

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Would any teacher have me?


Of course. What might be most helpful at the moment is just to have some face-to-face contact with other Buddhists - is there a local group or temple you can visist? There is no need to make any early commitments, just spend some time with like-minded people. Also try to do a little meditation each day, even 5 or 10 minutes can be significant.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Alfredo » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:01 pm

Don't feel guilty about missing practice, if you honestly couldn't do it. If you can't, you can't. Do what you can, and start every day anew. Keeping a daily routine is not nearly as important as being kind, patient, etc.

If you are blacking out or experiencing memory gaps (as opposed to just forgetting or neglecting dharma practice), then this is a serious medical issue which you should definitely bring up with your doctor or psychiatrist.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Jangchup Donden » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:27 pm

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:My Dharma practice diary shows I missed Jan to Mar without any practice. I have no recollection of what happened.


If you have no recollection of what happened for three months, you might be suffering from some kind of bi-polar disorder. It would be good to find a professional psychologist to talk to.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby byamspa » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:11 pm

But please please please do not look to a dharma group as a substitute for therapy for the illness. Dharma people can support someone recovering from illness, but are not therapists. Take you medication, see your doctors, see your lama and do what they tell you to do. Practise will come when it can and when it is possible.
Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:07 am

byamspa wrote:But please please please do not look to a dharma group as a substitute for therapy for the illness. Dharma people can support someone recovering from illness, but are not therapists. Take you medication, see your doctors, see your lama and do what they tell you to do. Practise will come when it can and when it is possible.

Sound advice, for sure.

Although if you read the title of the thread you would have noticed that the OP does not have a lama/teacher.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Son of Buddha » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:17 am

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Damn, my post just got lost.

OK. the thing is I get depressed and I am unable, nay, unwilling to do practice (formal practice at least) for 2 weeks to a month at a time. My Dharma practice diary shows I missed Jan to Mar without any practice. I have no recollection of what happened.

When I am happy and stable, I can practice for an hour at a time, but I am seldom happy and stable. I take 60 mg Prozac and 10 mg Olanzapine.

I am saddened yesterday and I fear I am spiralling into another depression.

Would any teacher have me?


What is your formal practice?
Sitting meditation can be easy for people miss essecially if your depressed just got off work/tired and just dont "feel like doing it"

If you get in that slump again instead of not doing any practice at all,try doing Nembutsu or a Mantra recitation during that time period,its easy and you can do it anywhere,until you get your formal practice going again.

Peace and love
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby lobster » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:13 am

Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Would any teacher have me?


Yes. Most definitely.

As well as continuing with medicine and therapy is there a dharma centre where you can volunteer to be depressed and perhaps garden, renovate or otherwise be useful in your depression?

Don't give up people will be doing puja for you. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:51 am

lobster wrote:
Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Would any teacher have me?


Yes. Most definitely.

As well as continuing with medicine and therapy is there a dharma centre where you can volunteer to be depressed and perhaps garden, renovate or otherwise be useful in your depression?

Don't give up people will be doing puja for you. :twothumbsup:

Who is your teacher lobster ?..I'll go first. Mine is Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:53 am

:good:
Adamantine wrote:
Gyaltsen Tashi wrote:Damn, my post just got lost.

OK. the thing is I get depressed and I am unable, nay, unwilling to do practice (formal practice at least) for 2 weeks to a month at a time. My Dharma practice diary shows I missed Jan to Mar without any practice. I have no recollection of what happened.

When I am happy and stable, I can practice for an hour at a time, but I am seldom happy and stable. I take 60 mg Prozac and 10 mg Olanzapine.

I am saddened yesterday and I fear I am spiralling into another depression.

Would any teacher have me?



Maybe this could benefit your view about your predicament: the words of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche on the topic: "Depression is a Highly Intelligent State of Being" http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/03/depression-is-a-highly-intelligent-state-of-being/

I've also been present when someone asked Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche about their depression, and about taking medicine like Prozac. While this was to a specific woman, I will try to paraphrase to the best of my memory: he said something along the lines of it being important for some people to take these medicines to help them at first, because it could be far worse without them. In the meantime, they should also practice meditation. Eventually, through the results of the meditation practice, it may be possible to leave the medicines behind.

There's also a really good book about neuroscience and meditation related to depression you may find very helpful: Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidencehttp://www.amazon.com/Hardwiring-Happiness-Science-Contentment-Confidence/dp/0385347316

The most important thing is to decide on a daily practice routine with total conviction, whatever you can do to start with: 15 min in the morning, before your breakfast or whatever: make it like brushing your teeth.. essential part of your day. It is best if you get personal instruction though, and yes, any teacher would have you: we are all suffering samsaric beings.. deeply sad in one way or another. That's precisely whom the Bodhisattvas have vowed to help.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Berry » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:13 am

Simon E. wrote:Who is your teacher lobster ?..I'll go first. Mine is Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.


This is exactly the same off-topic question you asked me in another thread, Simon E.

What difference does it make who someones teacher is ? There's nothing in the Terms of Service which says teachers must be named to strangers on the internet.

:coffee:
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Simon E. » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:35 pm

Absolutely not you are quite correct.
On a thread addressing the need to find a teacher its hardly off-topic however.
And answering it is not compulsory is it ? Neither is saying that you haven't got one anything to hide..when and if that is the case.
If you spend time in real world discussions with Dharma practitioners it is the most common and normal question in the world....Why wouldn't it be ?
Its an obvious way to put replies in a context.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Berry » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:45 pm

Simon E. wrote:If you spend time in real world discussions with Dharma practitioners it is the most common and normal question in the world....Why wouldn't it be ?
Its an obvious way to put replies in a context.


When I have chats with other Dharma practitioners away from a computer, I don't question them about their teacher, nor they mine, there are plenty of other things to talk about.

I also think it's being rather obsessive and odd to address a complete stranger who you haven't even seen, with "My teacher is so-and-so, who's yours ?" in the middle of a discussion about vegetarianism, in my case .

Its like having to answer intrusive questions and be in some unfriendly man's guru cult, if you're a cautious woman like myself, yet want to chat to other practitioners in an internet group.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Jikan » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:56 pm

It's hardly an intrusive question online--at least not unusually intrusive. In real-time, meat-world conversations, there's more context available from which one can deduce where one stands. Online, it's a different story: it takes a few more steps to sort out which practitioners are indeed serious from those who are not.

Which is to say that the question "who's your teacher" in online Dharma discussions is a cipher for "do you have a teacher," which is a cipher for... "are you an internet loon or are you legit"? It's a way to find out if the individual has any credibility, fairly or not.

I am not saying this is Simon E's intention in posing this question, by the way. I assume Simon's intentions are what he says they are (he was looking for context). These are simply generalizations made from about ten years' experience of online Dharma.
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby pemachophel » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:00 pm

IME, among Tibetan Buddhists in Asia, it is extremely common and considered normal to ask someone, even a complete stranger, who their Teacher is. This is not considered rude, intrusive, or inappropriate.

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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby Berry » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:54 pm

Jikan wrote:Which is to say that the question "who's your teacher" in online Dharma discussions is a cipher for "do you have a teacher," which is a cipher for... "are you an internet loon or are you legit"? It's a way to find out if the individual has any credibility, fairly or not.


I've had more than one teacher - and 2 of them are dead now....but that's irrelevant because I'm completely amazed that if someone says they don't have a teacher, or they don't want to name their teacher, that they're somehow considered to be "an internet loon" without any credibility if they don't "play ball " to nosey questions.

pemachophel wrote:IME, among Tibetan Buddhists in Asia, it is extremely common and considered normal to ask someone, even a complete stranger, who their Teacher is. This is not considered rude, intrusive, or inappropriate


I don't live in Asia, so that's irrelevant to my own circumstances. I think its intrusive and rude in the context of the internet where other people aren't visible. I could be giving my personal details to a psychopath for all I know.

However,obviously I must have joined the wrong website.

Have fun. :hi:
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Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Postby reddust » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:10 pm

one of the dangers sharing a teachers name online here in America is strangers calling them up and stalking them. there are some real sickos out there.
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