I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

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I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Kanen » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:13 am

Well, yes I do. I'm trying to learn, to understand, and to somehow find a way to stop hurting so much.

My name is Chandler, I'm seventeen and living in Texas. I only began looking into Buddhism about a month ago - I'm not sure what made me do it, some sort of whim, a stray thought. But what I found was astounding. I was raised in a very Christian home, my brother being a Baptist minister and everything, and for years I thought that I was a good Christian boy. Then I discovered I was gay, told my family, was rejected, and gave up on a teaching that I found to be 1)Illogical, because I could see no proof of a god, and 2)Evil, for what it had done and is continuing to do in the world. I embraced atheism with all my heart, began to uphold logic and reason as virtues, and thought that was the end of it. I'd spend the rest of my days as a secular humanist.

But then things changed. About two years ago I sank into a terrible depression. I've always had a problem with self-image, but this twisted it into something else entirely. I began to truly hate myself - who I was, the person I saw looking into the mirror everyday. The depression led me into a lot of other things - drugs mostly, but anything that I could find to numb the pain, to shut these thoughts up. I felt entirely lost in my suffering, and I wanted desperately to find a way out.

And then I found Buddhism, and for the first time in so long, I could see a light at the end of a tunnel. It was a structure that I felt I needed. It was a morality that rang true to me. It upheld enlightenment and discovering truth for yourself. I started meditating and found, for the first time in so long, that I could make the thoughts stop, at least for a time.

I read up on several different practices, but I'm still very confused as to what everything means. Parts of the teachings - such as reincarnation and karma - I find hard to accept, and I have seen references to brahmins and such that I reject outright as a mixing of Hindu practices. I cannot believe in a higher power, but perhaps I can believe in myself.

What I want from this site is understanding. I need someone to guide me along this path - I need a teacher, and that is almost impossible to find in this small, podunk little town I live in. Because this... this... I don't know what to call it, religion? Philosophy? Whatever it is, it's given me hope. And I want to pursue it.

But who knows? This may just be a whim of mine. I fall into fads every now and again, so why wouldn't this be any different? I know, though, that I don't want it to be a fad. I want to change my life.

I don't know if any of this makes sense or if I'm just rambling, but I could use some guidance. Buddhism is... a bit daunting, trying to delve head-first into it. If I could, I would travel to a center or temple and just ask questions, but that's out of my reach. I want to find a teaching that I can follow, but I have no idea if that is Theravada or Mahayana. I need understanding first - and yes, I should learn some patience.

-Kanen
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:24 am

Welcome to Dharma Wheel!

Also check out our sister site in my signature line. Also some introductory resources:

http://www.goodquestiongoodanswer.net/
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3012
http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=176
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:50 am

Welcome Chandler!

Sounds like you've been going through a tough period. Don't (let others convince you to) lose hope in yourself. In Buddhism it is said that there is no existence more precious than this human existence!

Poke around here and se if you find anything of interest to you. Check out this topic for starters viewtopic.php?f=77&t=2984
:namaste:
Greg
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby hansen » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:35 am

Welcome.

It's very brave of you, to come out like that, and inform your family. It's unfortunate that they cannot be more supportive, however. I think it's natural for most of our lives to try to please those we love. And it can be very hurtful when we can't do that. So it's going to take a lot of strength, probably as you have found out. I've been around the block more than once, and its my experience that our challenges don't get easier in and of themselves. I always wanted to believe that there was some Silver Bullet that would do that. In the world there's lots of people trying to sell you something like a Silver Bullet, too. On this path, challenges remain challenging!

Buddhism is NOT a de-sacralized philosophy or psychology. It's a very spiritual path that holds a belief in spiritual explanations for why things are as they are. With something like this, life itself becomes a higher power. But there are elements of philosophy, psychology, as well as religion - what we do is forge together something in our understanding that works for us, but is also consistent with the long view of tradition. Hopefully you'll find enough resources to make that possible.

Thank you for sharing your situation in honesty and humility, and good luck - hope you find what you're looking for!

- h a n s e n -
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby lobster » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:01 pm

:popcorn:

Hi . . . you seem to have a doppelgänger on another forum. Hope you find what you require :namaste:
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby invisiblediamond » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:14 pm

Kanen wrote:Well, yes I do. I'm trying to learn, to understand, and to somehow find a way to stop hurting so much.

My name is Chandler, I'm seventeen and living in Texas. I only began looking into Buddhism about a month ago - I'm not sure what made me do it, some sort of whim, a stray thought. But what I found was astounding. I was raised in a very Christian home, my brother being a Baptist minister and everything, and for years I thought that I was a good Christian boy. Then I discovered I was gay, told my family, was rejected, and gave up on a teaching that I found to be 1)Illogical, because I could see no proof of a god, and 2)Evil, for what it had done and is continuing to do in the world. I embraced atheism with all my heart, began to uphold logic and reason as virtues, and thought that was the end of it. I'd spend the rest of my days as a secular humanist.

But then things changed. About two years ago I sank into a terrible depression. I've always had a problem with self-image, but this twisted it into something else entirely. I began to truly hate myself - who I was, the person I saw looking into the mirror everyday. The depression led me into a lot of other things - drugs mostly, but anything that I could find to numb the pain, to shut these thoughts up. I felt entirely lost in my suffering, and I wanted desperately to find a way out.

And then I found Buddhism, and for the first time in so long, I could see a light at the end of a tunnel. It was a structure that I felt I needed. It was a morality that rang true to me. It upheld enlightenment and discovering truth for yourself. I started meditating and found, for the first time in so long, that I could make the thoughts stop, at least for a time.

I read up on several different practices, but I'm still very confused as to what everything means. Parts of the teachings - such as reincarnation and karma - I find hard to accept, and I have seen references to brahmins and such that I reject outright as a mixing of Hindu practices. I cannot believe in a higher power, but perhaps I can believe in myself.

What I want from this site is understanding. I need someone to guide me along this path - I need a teacher, and that is almost impossible to find in this small, podunk little town I live in. Because this... this... I don't know what to call it, religion? Philosophy? Whatever it is, it's given me hope. And I want to pursue it.

But who knows? This may just be a whim of mine. I fall into fads every now and again, so why wouldn't this be any different? I know, though, that I don't want it to be a fad. I want to change my life.

I don't know if any of this makes sense or if I'm just rambling, but I could use some guidance. Buddhism is... a bit daunting, trying to delve head-first into it. If I could, I would travel to a center or temple and just ask questions, but that's out of my reach. I want to find a teaching that I can follow, but I have no idea if that is Theravada or Mahayana. I need understanding first - and yes, I should learn some patience.

-Kanen


Don't assume you can solve your problem with religion. Don't leave reason behind. Don't believe anything is true ever. The final analytic is nothingness. If you can live on despite that, more power to you, as they say.
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Luke » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Welcome, Kanen! :hi:

I hope you find lots of helpful information about Buddhism here.

Here's a classic, short book about Buddhism which you might be interested in.
http://www.dhammaweb.net/books/Dr_Walpo ... Taught.pdf
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Adamantine » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi Kanen, welcome to Dharmawheel! I hope you find some useful information here. Here is a good thread on introductory books on Buddhism which you may find useful-- there are some great books that are a good place to start.. maybe even a better place to start then a temple:

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=13014&p=171529&hilit=opening+primordial+khenpo#p171529
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:20 am

No-thingness is from Kabbalah..Ba-zow.

Emptiness is actually everything, and has no beginning, end, center etc. it's not nothingness or the opposite of existence.

Anyway, good luck on your journey Kanen, glad you're here.

Don't decide what you can and can't believe in, people get to hung up on that crap. Just go to a Dharma center, start reading and practicing if you want to get somewhere, getting to caught up in what you should believe won't lead you to anything IMO.
"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: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:16 am

Off topic discussion on the statement by "invisiblediamond" split here.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby lawrence » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:08 pm

Gassho,
Knowing that you don't know is a great first step, you acknowledge your preconceptions and misconceptions and can begin again.
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Nosta » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:21 pm

Chandler, welcome!

A quick note about not believing on karma and rebirth and how that relates to practice: in a buddhist perspective, believing on such concepts is the Right View, its the correct thing to do, but even you dont believe on anything like that, I can assure you that meditation will have real and positive effects on you.

Scientific research on meditation is showing that there are visible changes in the brain and in our emotions. Mindfulness meditation is the most used on such researches, and also the most simples (but hard to master), so you could start by there. If you search for mindulness meditation, remember that Vipassana meditation is the same as mindfulness meditation (I am saying this because it may be helpful on google).
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:12 am

Welcome and good luck! Hopefully you can find a few answers to your questions here.

You may want to check out the books: Queer Dharma, Stories of Gay Buddhists Vol 1 and 2. It is often easiest to identify with Dharma by the stories of its practitioners that resonate with your own life experience. The western buddhist community is generally very supportive of LGBT issues and I think you will find many that were raised like you were in a Christian faith and faced the same crises.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
~Arthur Carlson
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Re: I Don't Know What I'm Doing Here

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:15 am

Hello Chandler - Welcome to Dharmawheel!

Fundamentally you and all sentient beings are Buddhas.
However none of us directly experiences this reality.
Nonetheless it is so.
However you can prove it to yourself over time - you have the capacity to be infinitely kind and loving to other beings. Often this manifests with our pets rather than people (or Grandmothers and Grandfathers to us).
Try to be loving and kind to everyone you meet, including yourself.

If you remain interested in Buddhism, please read the life story of the Buddha.
There actually are Buddhist resources in Texas, esp. Austin and Dallas.

May you quickly attain enlightenment and save all beings from ignorance and unkindness.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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