Gleinile wrote:My name is John. Maybe eight months ago now, I consciously chose to take The Path to Nirvana. I have always felt called, but, have been for most of my 26 years, distracted. Now that I am actively seeking peace, contentment, and unconditional love, I am faced with many, many difficulties.
Well, are you seeking Nirvana and peace and contentment or do you want to attain enlightenment? They are different goals actually. Just keep that in mind as this may evolve over time.
Either way, we have to become determined to reach these goals as they will not happen by themselves. Many people have he idea that even "mystical" experiences are sufficient to attain the goals of peace/contentment or enlightenment. They are not.
I work in an english language school of a big company in Japan.
Really? I would like to do that myself so please PM me if you feel comfortable. I would like to ask some questions.
Mostly, I like teaching the students - we have fun trying to get to grips with learning language - but sometimes, I just end up feeling empty, and I loose my patience.
The Mahayana scholar/yogi Shantideva said that patience was the best austerity. Patience is very difficult but it may help to recognize that humans are really extremely confused and stressed.
The daily routine seems futile. My co-workers are very negitive, and any attempts to express positivity are countered with cynicism, which is very hard for me to deal with.
Cynicism is a chronic mental state in our world. It's a coping mechanism but is also one of the ways people propagate suffering in their environment.
I have never been to Japan but grew up partly in Hawaii and was exposed to Buddhism directly there. Buddhism at that time in Hawaii was Japanese Pure Land Buddhism and Zen Buddhism.
Some people here have lived in Japan like Huseng. You are in a wonderful place although a place very much beset with it's own problematic history and present day struggles.
There are many ways to start studying Buddhism. One way would just be to visit temples and see how things unfold. Of course in Japan there are several traditions such as Pure Land, Zen , Tendai (the mother school of Japanese Buddhism), and Shingon (a form of Japanese Vajrayana). Each of these have smaller traditions. However it has always been my experience that visiting temples and seeing Buddha statutes in itself is a positive experience and is a kind of practice (formally it's a kind of pilgrimage). You could also start reading some sutras.