Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby Lolita » Mon May 27, 2013 8:34 pm

I just want to thank everyone for their sound advice, I have been grateful for each answer given.

I wanted to follow up with what has been happening. I have been practicing Buddhism in my daily life and have decided to officially convert. Well, by "official" I mean I no longer identify myself as a Christian. In fact, all my life I have been having difficulty identifying myself as one. Becoming a Buddhist has never felt more right to me.

I live with a family, particularly one man who is severely passionate about his Catholic religion. When it was revealed I decided to follow the Buddhist path, I could sense the frustration and disbelief of it all. Even my mother has been having difficulty with my decision. This has been putting a strain on me, because I feel like I have no support from my loved ones. I am bombarded with Christianity densed conversation, purposely placed statements of "God" and "Commandments" -- all done passive aggressively. I try not to be bothered by it, and accept that they're dealing with it the best they can -- but it has been proved tough, since I do want my family to accept my newfound path that I am very happy about.

How did you converts deal?

Thank you again.
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon May 27, 2013 8:58 pm

Lolita wrote:I just want to thank everyone for their sound advice, I have been grateful for each answer given.

I wanted to follow up with what has been happening. I have been practicing Buddhism in my daily life and have decided to officially convert. Well, by "official" I mean I no longer identify myself as a Christian. In fact, all my life I have been having difficulty identifying myself as one. Becoming a Buddhist has never felt more right to me.

I live with a family, particularly one man who is severely passionate about his Catholic religion. When it was revealed I decided to follow the Buddhist path, I could sense the frustration and disbelief of it all. Even my mother has been having difficulty with my decision. This has been putting a strain on me, because I feel like I have no support from my loved ones. I am bombarded with Christianity densed conversation, purposely placed statements of "God" and "Commandments" -- all done passive aggressively. I try not to be bothered by it, and accept that they're dealing with it the best they can -- but it has been proved tough, since I do want my family to accept my newfound path that I am very happy about.

How did you converts deal?

Thank you again.



That's hard, my family are all atheists basically, but they would never come out and try to "convert" me to atheism, it sounds like you are doing the best thing you can, just be understanding and try to avoid conflict..not sure what else there is that you could do.

Maybe when you get annoyed just remember what the Dhammapada says about concern with other people's spirituality or lack of it ...to highly paraphrase: the more you watch that, the more your own confusion can grow..and that applies to all of us! Purity and impurity are our own doing, your family can't do anything about yours, nor you about theirs.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby PorkChop » Mon May 27, 2013 9:26 pm

Lolita wrote:I just want to thank everyone for their sound advice, I have been grateful for each answer given.

I wanted to follow up with what has been happening. I have been practicing Buddhism in my daily life and have decided to officially convert. Well, by "official" I mean I no longer identify myself as a Christian. In fact, all my life I have been having difficulty identifying myself as one. Becoming a Buddhist has never felt more right to me.

I live with a family, particularly one man who is severely passionate about his Catholic religion. When it was revealed I decided to follow the Buddhist path, I could sense the frustration and disbelief of it all. Even my mother has been having difficulty with my decision. This has been putting a strain on me, because I feel like I have no support from my loved ones. I am bombarded with Christianity densed conversation, purposely placed statements of "God" and "Commandments" -- all done passive aggressively. I try not to be bothered by it, and accept that they're dealing with it the best they can -- but it has been proved tough, since I do want my family to accept my newfound path that I am very happy about.

How did you converts deal?

Thank you again.


You're a lot more brave than I am when it comes to "coming out".
I told my wife (who I'd have a hard time hiding from anyway) and told one of my brothers.
My family's Catholic too, the brother I told is pretty die-hard, and he was less than thrilled.
If my folks ask I'll tell them the truth, but in my family we have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with things other people would find uncomfortable.
For example, I didn't find out my grandfather had Alzheimer's and didn't have much time left until about the week he passed (folks had known for months).

I don't think my wife is thrilled with my decision either.
She's a Christian convert from a family of SGI Buddhists, but she understands where I'm coming from, and seems to accept it.

Luckily I don't have anybody trying to convert me back, but I'd like to think I have some solid logic behind my decisions if I get challenged.
Good luck with the people around you.
They seem like they just want what's best for you.
I'd probably explain that they don't have to understand your decision, but at least respect it.
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby lobster » Tue May 28, 2013 7:49 am

Lolita wrote: . . .since I do want my family to accept my newfound path that I am very happy about.


Naturally.
It may never happen :hug:

Is it possible to go on Catholic retreat with your family? If you get your own room, you can read and practice in peace and they might become more contemplative . . .
I was brought up a Catholic and find it easy to go to a quiet Church and practice Buddhist meditation. They have holy hour. Early morning it is quiet where I am. Use maybe flowers, bowl of water, non 'Catholic threatening' items on your alter. Not easy . . . great practice . . .

It is not easy. Understood. :namaste:
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby mandala » Tue May 28, 2013 2:23 pm

Lolita wrote:I live with a family, particularly one man who is severely passionate about his Catholic religion. When it was revealed I decided to follow the Buddhist path, I could sense the frustration and disbelief of it all. Even my mother has been having difficulty with my decision. This has been putting a strain on me, because I feel like I have no support from my loved ones. I am bombarded with Christianity densed conversation, purposely placed statements of "God" and "Commandments" -- all done passive aggressively. I try not to be bothered by it, and accept that they're dealing with it the best they can -- but it has been proved tough, since I do want my family to accept my newfound path that I am very happy about.


Wow that's tough, but good for you for doing what's right in your heart. I can't really be of any help, I didn't convert from Christianity & I wasn't challenged by (most of) my family. My Jehova's Witness sister stopped talking to me, so that was easy.

But i think it might be beneficial for you to let go of needing your family's acceptance for now... with any deeply held belief, it can be very hard to change or be accepting of views outside their own.

I reckon give them some time to see you haven't grown horns and a tail, that you're happy and loving and kind and accepting of THEIR views... they'll probably come around or ease off a bit.

As for the passive-aggressive mentions of commandments... being the smart ass I am with an aversion to passive-agression, I would be mentioning that the commandments aren't so different to Buddhist precepts.. surely both are about living ethically and not causing harm to others... but then again, I don't mind a good confrontation so best to disregard this bit! :P

All the best.
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby dakini_boi » Tue May 28, 2013 7:09 pm

My advice is try to find common ground between your faith and theirs. When they bring up Christian stuff, see if there's any of it that you can agree with - for example, both religions teach the importance of virtue, good deeds, and compassion. Also, try to have compassion for how this may be threatening for them. Be especially sensitive to the fact that they may perceive your choice as self-righteous even if you don't behave that way. On some level, they may even feel personally rejected! If you can find occasions to say something like, "yes, I agree with that, I share that value," then that could help allay their fears.
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby JonathanB » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:22 am

On the surface level of both religions I see conflicts but at their core I don't. Is there any greater example of bodhicitta than Christ's death on the cross? The whole movement of Ground, Path, and Fruition are all there in the story. Here's God, the great I AM, the ground of being, as a man named Jesus who takes on the sin of others (separation from God) and dies with it and is resurrected, rendering separation void. So for anyone who believes that Christ's death was their death and truly undergoes that in the core of their being, the boundless compassion of eternal life is there waiting for them, and is revealed as always having been there, just obscured.

My only insight into the ground of being came through Christ by contemplating the Gospel. Later I heard about Dzogchen and heard the songs of realization sung by Mahasiddis and it sounded so familiar that I'm convinced Christianity is just as much a path as Mahayana or Vajrayana. Christianity is my root but Buddhism is just so methodical and clear.
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby Doomguy93 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:46 pm

The best you can do is just explain the reason why you left Christianity and if they accept it or not it is their decision. In the end all you can really do is practice the path and let go of what other people may think or say. :namaste:
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Re: Converting to Buddhism from Christianity

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi Lolita,

I just want to say I think you are being very brave to follow your heart the way you do.

It's wonderful i think that you're choosing Buddhism, but if i causes a lot of stress with your family maybe it is an option to not "officially" renounce Christianity...just read up on Buddhism a bit, go to a few Buddhist centers in your vicinity to see what's going on there, etc. If you follow the Buddha's teachings in your heart, that's all what matters.
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