Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

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Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:50 am

Recently (just a couple of days ago) my life has been going through a huge disastrous change, a very important part of which is my family ordering me not to practise any Buddhism again. I have given all my sutra, sarira, other holy relics and pretty much all things related to Buddhism away, mostly to a temple. I may not even nienfo or recite mantra (not out loud or observably anyway).

I lost my job last week due to not-good-enough performance. This is mainly attributable to my laziness and lack of focus. Great as my job is, I hardly find it enjoyable and so welcomed any kind of distractions, including learning and practising more Buddhism. I am not blaming Buddhism, for it is really my fault. I indulged myself in Buddhist practices too deeply, to the detriment of my life with family and work. I should have taken Buddhism a bit slowly and gradually. I should have persevered in my job, which is a part of the Bodhisattva way. I've been giving Buddhism a bad name.

Also, my family has commented that during the last few months I have lost my "heart" with them. They see that I have become a colder person and deduce the cause to be my Buddhist practices. Perhaps I have really regarded myself, having acquired knowledge in Buddhism, as superior in terms of knowing about this world, disregarding their contributions to the well-being of the family and also me. I over-zealously preached Buddhism to my family and friends. With all this I have alienated myself from other people. My family and I have become victims of my pride. This is not proper Buddhism.

What is done cannot be undone. Now my most urgent missions are to find a job, repair my family relationships, re-engineer my personality and my way of living, and only practise Buddhism secretly and silently. By re-engineering my personality and way of living, I meant I have to let go of my pride and become a hardworking and persevering person who can put up with pain of, not just working, but also all aspects of life.

May this also be my repentance. May I ask the Triple Gems and fellow Buddhists reading this to please offer me help and advice where you can?

Allow me to transfer this merit to my character development, my continuing practice in Buddhism, my family, my karmic debtors, anyone reading this and anyone else suffering from similar obstacles.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby catmoon » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:46 am

I think you are going to be just fine. You have a remarkable ability to see and accept the flaws in your practice, and a willingness to accept change. You seem to have little if any self-attachment, which it what allows you the freedom to make changes. The risk you face now is that the pendulum will now swing too far in the opposite direction to your previous practice.

So, I would only offer the ancient Greek advice: moderation in all things. Balance. Equanimity. Find that Middle Path.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:56 am

Well, looks like you know what needs to be done.

Precious guru, embodiment of all Buddhas of the three times;
Great bliss, the lord of all accomplishments;
Wrathful power, who dispels all hindrances and subdues demons;
Pray bestow your blessings.
Please remove the outer, inner, and secret obstacles and
Grant your blessings to accomplish wishes spontaneously.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby viniketa » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:01 am

Kaji wrote:..and only practise Buddhism secretly and silently.


That may not be necessary. Just practice simply, quietly, and with humility...

May your practice benefit all beings.

:hug:

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:04 am

Thanks all, for the encouragement.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:23 am

Practice compassion, transparently.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby oushi » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:51 am

Great pity. It looks like you are enslaved by people around you, and they will do anything to keep you as a slave. You wanted to be yourself, and they wanted you to bring money and entertain them. Be driven by wise compassion, not unhealthy fear. That will help you not only to rebuild relationships, but also find a job.
People around you are not evil, it's just the nature of social life and desire to control. Almost all people are like that. Find a job, and give people what you love to give, not what they demand.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:18 am

oushi wrote:Great pity. It looks like you are enslaved by people around you, and they will do anything to keep you as a slave. You wanted to be yourself, and they wanted you to bring money and entertain them. Be driven by wise compassion, not unhealthy fear. That will help you not only to rebuild relationships, but also find a job.
People around you are not evil, it's just the nature of social life and desire to control. Almost all people are like that. Find a job, and give people what you love to give, not what they demand.

Thanks for your comment and advice. However I do not think it is fair to say they enslave me; they love me but have a preconceived idea of what I ought to be or become. Their focus is not to have me bring money and entertain them, but to be a loving son, husband and father, which admittedly isn't too much for them to ask for. I believe I have failed them in that aspect in the past year - and I intend to change that, driven by compassion and not fear or attachment.

Giving people what I love to give sounds great, but is difficult in practice. It also highlights my inability to make people understand certain things, or perhaps they are simply not ready for them yet. As absurd it is as hearing people wanting to adorn jewelery and make-up on their way to the execution ground, most people do prefer that way of life. Giving them what they demand, as long as it does not impede my giving of what is really good for them, is not a bad thing, especially if it makes it easier for me to earn their trust and respect.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby oushi » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:40 am

Their focus is not to have me bring money and entertain them, but to be a loving son, husband and father, which admittedly isn't too much for them to ask for.

As a son, husband and father, I ask you, is being son, husband or father something that we need to be asked for? We are asked only when our being does not go with accord with expectations. And people have different expectations. My mother didn't like my wife, my wife didn't like my mother, I was torn apart. I struggled for years to please everyone, and I didn't please no one. Somehow peace appeared when I started to follow myself without desire to satisfy expectations of others. Respect yourself. Allow yourself to be yourself, as it is something that cannot be taken away from you.
It also highlights my inability to make people understand certain things, or perhaps they are simply not ready for them yet. As absurd it is as hearing people wanting to adorn jewelery and make-up on their way to the execution ground, most people do prefer that way of life.

If you have a desire to share something share it, but don't expect anything from others. When for the first time, I told my mother about buddhism, she cried because I abandoned God. Now she loughs enjoying Dharma.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:50 am

oushi wrote:
Their focus is not to have me bring money and entertain them, but to be a loving son, husband and father, which admittedly isn't too much for them to ask for.

As a son, husband and father, I ask you, is being son, husband or father something that we need to be asked for? We are asked only when our being does not go with accord with expectations. And people have different expectations. My mother didn't like my wife, my wife didn't like my mother, I was torn apart. I struggled for years to please everyone, and I didn't please no one. Somehow peace appeared when I started to follow myself without desire to satisfy expectations of others. Respect yourself. Allow yourself to be yourself, as it is something that cannot be taken away from you.

As strange as this may sound, I actually need to be asked to be a fit son, husband or father to be one. I understand the nature of my personality and character to be not a very loving person. I also do not like being in the norm. I have a huge ego to be different, and even superior in whatever way I can. Sure I can exercise compassion, but I think that is more an acquired notion to be than being in my blood and bone.

Deep in my heart I have this secret desire to be free from all family ties, so that I can practise Buddhism full-time. However, I have to ask myself whether this is merely a desire to escape from my current duties as a son, husband and father. Leaving my family when they still need me would be the very opposite of compassion. Karmic forces have placed me into my current position. Accepting it and doing my best are the way to go, I think. I intend to exploit this challenge as a stage of progress in my Bodhisattva path.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:57 am

oushi wrote:
It also highlights my inability to make people understand certain things, or perhaps they are simply not ready for them yet. As absurd it is as hearing people wanting to adorn jewelery and make-up on their way to the execution ground, most people do prefer that way of life.

If you have a desire to share something share it, but don't expect anything from others. When for the first time, I told my mother about buddhism, she cried because I abandoned God. Now she loughs enjoying Dharma.

In my family and culture, sharing one's thoughts is not as readily accepted as perhaps in a Western family and culture. Although not the most zealous type of Christians, my father has tried to make me become a Christian again. Also, I have tried hard to maintain a vegetarian diet, but time after time my family simply did not allow it - to insist would make them very sad and disappointed of me, which is not good. I am bound by a moral code to be a good son, husband and father, in their perception, part of which is to obey them and comply with social norms.

Perhaps I do not yet have the wisdom to share Dharma with everyone.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby oushi » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:11 am

Deep in my heart I have this secret desire to be free from all family ties, so that I can practise Buddhism full-time. However, I have to ask myself whether this is merely a desire to escape from my current duties as a son, husband and father. Leaving my family when they still need me would be the very opposite of compassion.

I see that you are aware of your bondage. First of all, solve the problem of dependencies. If financial dependency exists, solve it asap. Break the lines that bind you, whether they are hemp ropes, or golden chains.
Perhaps I do not yet have the wisdom to share Dharma with everyone.

Before sharing the Dharma with others, free yourself. As long as you are enslaved, nobody will believe in freedom you are "selling", as it obviously is fake.

Accepting it and doing my best

Doesn't "doing best" contradicts "accepting"?
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:50 am

oushi wrote:
Deep in my heart I have this secret desire to be free from all family ties, so that I can practise Buddhism full-time. However, I have to ask myself whether this is merely a desire to escape from my current duties as a son, husband and father. Leaving my family when they still need me would be the very opposite of compassion.

I see that you are aware of your bondage. First of all, solve the problem of dependencies. If financial dependency exists, solve it asap. Break the lines that bind you, whether they are hemp ropes, or golden chains.

I owe my parents, wife and child. They need my love and daily support and presence to remain happy people. Even if I give them enough money to last two lifetimes, leaving them would not be a good thing to do. If I have karmic debt to pay before I could take it the life of a monk, guess paying it off would be the correct thing to do.
oushi wrote:
Perhaps I do not yet have the wisdom to share Dharma with everyone.

Before sharing the Dharma with others, free yourself. As long as you are enslaved, nobody will believe in freedom you are "selling", as it obviously is fake.

Well, I am still not free from my ego, pride, laziness, greed for enjoyment and intellectual stimulation, etc. I have to free myself at least from these things before I have any hope of being freed from my family bonds.

oushi wrote:
Accepting it and doing my best

Doesn't "doing best" contradicts "accepting"?

What about "doing my best given my current circumstances"?
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby oushi » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:17 am

Kaji wrote:They need my love and daily support and presence to remain happy people. Even if I give them enough money to last two lifetimes, leaving them would not be a good thing to do.

Who said anything about dropping love and support? Why leave them?
Kaji wrote:What about "doing my best given my current circumstances"?

Do you think you can command circumstances? What does "doing my best" mean? What's the scale? Expectations of others? How do you even measure if your doing your best, or not? By smile of your relatives? Who's the judge?
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kunga Lhadzom » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:23 pm

If they really loved you,
they would let you be yourself & accept you as you are.
Real love is selfless.
Immature love is selfish .
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:54 am

oushi wrote:
Kaji wrote:They need my love and daily support and presence to remain happy people. Even if I give them enough money to last two lifetimes, leaving them would not be a good thing to do.

Who said anything about dropping love and support? Why leave them?

I thought that was what you were proposing - so what are you suggesting me to do?

oushi wrote:
Kaji wrote:What about "doing my best given my current circumstances"?

Do you think you can command circumstances? What does "doing my best" mean? What's the scale? Expectations of others? How do you even measure if your doing your best, or not? By smile of your relatives? Who's the judge?

Yes, I do have to meet the expectations of others. They will give me enough feedback to know if I am doing well enough.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby Kaji » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:57 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:If they really loved you,
they would let you be yourself & accept you as you are.
Real love is selfless.
Immature love is selfish .

I had a conversation with my wife last night. I myself came to the conclusion that I being myself is a problem. I being myself am not a very likeable or useful person. It is difficult for most people to accept me for who I really am. All who love me suffers from my true self. This is a huge problem. I have tried being myself, to the detriment of them and myself. I see the only way now is to not be myself but who I ought to be, not just in their eyes but also according to Dharma.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby oushi » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:27 am

Kaji wrote:so what are you suggesting me to do?

Read my replies again.
Kaji wrote:Yes, I do have to meet the expectations of others.

Expectation is the great source of suffering. By wanting to meet the expectations of others, you enter the second level of hell. First one is when you suffer from not meeting your expectations, what is already happening now. You are not tough enough to be yourself, and you think you will find the strength to pass the hell?
Kaji wrote:I had a conversation with my wife last night. I myself came to the conclusion that I being myself is a problem. I being myself am not a very likeable or useful person. It is difficult for most people to accept me for who I really am. All who love me suffers from my true self. This is a huge problem. I have tried being myself, to the detriment of them and myself. I see the only way now is to not be myself but who I ought to be, not just in their eyes but also according to Dharma.

Now you just feel sorry for yourself. I'm not catching for that.
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby viniketa » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:28 am

Kaji wrote:I had a conversation with my wife last night. I myself came to the conclusion that I being myself is a problem. I being myself am not a very likeable or useful person. It is difficult for most people to accept me for who I really am. All who love me suffers from my true self. This is a huge problem. I have tried being myself, to the detriment of them and myself. I see the only way now is to not be myself but who I ought to be, not just in their eyes but also according to Dharma.


It seems you are confusing your "self" with your actions. Try finding who is "self", first, then try changing actions.

:namaste:
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Re: Obstacles! Help or advice appreciated.

Postby CrawfordHollow » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:42 pm

Have you considered going to counseling, perhaps in a family situation? I know its not for everyone and definately does not always work. I have seen a counselor in the past, she was a Buddhist and very compassionate person, sometimes having a third party that understands and is willing to help could be a benefit. I also don't believe that you should give up your practice of Buddhism. You should definately take a good look at your intentions, though. It seems like you are incredibly honest with yourself and are aware of your shortcomings. Your spiritual practice shouldn't be a source of resentment on either side. I would also suggest not to preach it or try to convert anyone. This is your path, it will create positive changes, you just have to be commited and let things happen naturally. I really think a good counselor could help with this situation. Just my two cents.

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