Dealing with the stresses of school

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby flowerbudh » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:38 am

Hello sweet friends.

I've fallen into a slight depression partially because of the changing light (it gets dark here very early at this time of year) but also because of the stresses of school and my very human desire to do well academically. My mother doesn't make matters much easier, because she cannot deal with my sensitivity and does not understand it. Which is alright, but it makes my bruised heart sting a little more. While I am taking this time to delve into my being, meditate, and practice compassion, I still feel a sense of unease not succeeding in school as much as I used to. Your wisdom? P.S. I see my therapist tomorrow and will talk this over with him as well. :)
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:45 am

On the light thing, get a UV light box, they range from 50-100$ (iirc), and mine has been indispensable for living in the PNW during the dark time of the year.
"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: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby montana » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:24 am

We Buddhists have so many methods to make the mind sharper you should be getting straight A's!

Do Manjushri sadhana puja or self generation each day before school, you will get straight A's.
When I was in university I did this and thereafter was straight A's and dean's list.
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:43 am

are you sure self generation is allowed without empowerment?....
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:45 am

I also tend to get really down at this time of year, and start to feel depressed. It makes sense if you think about it, originally it was when animals need to start conserving energy, so naturally you start to go into a more slow, down state. Regulating with a light box (for 30 minutes right when you get up) is in fact good if that's something you're interested in. If you're facing insomnia you can also combine that with melatonin in the evening. This time (especially with daylight savings) can be a bit confusing to the brain. I'd also hugely recommend getting some good exercise as many days as you can, getting some good cardio in can really lift the spirits.

A good thing mentally for me throughout my life when stressing about school, was making mental reminders to compartmentalize it from other things, and not let it totally take over. In other words, reminding myself that even though it was a big thing in my life, it was not the only thing. Even thinking of one interest in my life that was not connected with school whatsoever, and remembering that that was also important to me. School is a huge part of your life (both the academic and social stresses), but then you also have your spiritual practice, and maybe some other hobbies, or just other simple things you enjoy. Their all just little parts of your life. Hope that doesn't sound too abstract.
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:01 am

montana wrote:We Buddhists have so many methods to make the mind sharper you should be getting straight A's!

Do Manjushri sadhana puja or self generation each day before school, you will get straight A's.
When I was in university I did this and thereafter was straight A's and dean's list.

(In response to KonchokZoepa's question as well). Typically self generation would not be done without an empowerment. Sometimes a lama may tell you to do it if they've given you the Lung, but you would not assume to do the self generation if you don't have either. The mantra as well as supplication is okay to do, it's a very nice prayer (though even my Manjushri prayers never managed to land me those straight A's :D
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Adamantine » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:39 pm

montana wrote:We Buddhists have so many methods to make the mind sharper you should be getting straight A's!

Do Manjushri sadhana puja or self generation each day before school, you will get straight A's.
When I was in university I did this and thereafter was straight A's and dean's list.


It's not a good idea to recommend "self-generation" to anyone, particularly someone so young: that should only be prescribed by a qualified Lama with the proper transmission, and oral instruction. Often it's not even allowed until after completing ngondro.

That said, Manjushri's mantra is often given to small school children in Tibet and in diaspora. Of course, getting the lung-- oral transmission would still be important.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby TaTa » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:00 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Hello sweet friends.

I've fallen into a slight depression partially because of the changing light (it gets dark here very early at this time of year) but also because of the stresses of school and my very human desire to do well academically. My mother doesn't make matters much easier, because she cannot deal with my sensitivity and does not understand it. Which is alright, but it makes my bruised heart sting a little more. While I am taking this time to delve into my being, meditate, and practice compassion, I still feel a sense of unease not succeeding in school as much as I used to. Your wisdom? P.S. I see my therapist tomorrow and will talk this over with him as well. :)


My strategy was "not giving a frak". Probably not the best advice but it worked. I wasnt buddhist back then..

A little bit of humor:
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:40 pm

In any difficult time, I've found that focusing again on ALL beings as the beneficiaries of practice helps.
That way, it's not tired sad me who has to save the whole world.
It's the one person I see that I decide to smile at and it brightens their day a little.
It's the one insect I'm mindful enough not to tread on, so they can go on their way.
Even a drop of benefit to someone else is worth my practice effort, and that thought can help you keep afloat.

In school, there are so many opportunities to put into practice whatever you've learned and whatever you can do.
Think how stressful it is for many of your fellow students, too!
Relaxing and remaining open as benefits of practice will help you do very well academically, I think.

I'm glad you're speaking to a therapist too who knows you better and can help more directly in person than people on an internet forum :)
Namu Amida Butsu
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby SeekerNo1000003 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:13 pm

Dear flowerbudh,

I've been through such times too! There were years when I was a good students, and years when I was not. There were also
times I failed. In the end I went far in education (almost finished phew!). It's okay not to be a good student all the time.
If you persist, you can go as far as you want. If one path should fail, another will work.

Our educational system pressures us to be top students all the time, which is impossible. Everyone has ups and downs, and
trying to be a top student all the time may drive one crazy.

My mother used to stress about my education too. That was completely unnecessary. If I was to go back in time,
I would just trust myself more, and worry less about pressures from outside, well-intentioned or not :).

A big hug for you! :hug:
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby montana » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:32 am

Adamantine wrote:
montana wrote:We Buddhists have so many methods to make the mind sharper you should be getting straight A's!

Do Manjushri sadhana puja or self generation each day before school, you will get straight A's.
When I was in university I did this and thereafter was straight A's and dean's list.


It's not a good idea to recommend "self-generation" to anyone, particularly someone so young: that should only be prescribed by a qualified Lama with the proper transmission, and oral instruction. Often it's not even allowed until after completing ngondro.

That said, Manjushri's mantra is often given to small school children in Tibet and in diaspora. Of course, getting the lung-- oral transmission would still be important.


Flowerbudh may have the empowerment already as far as I know. The empowerment should be received before self generation for sure, but that goes without saying I think.
You know I've heard of lamas telling people to practice Manjushri in place of ngondro.
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Adamantine » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:00 am

montana wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
montana wrote:We Buddhists have so many methods to make the mind sharper you should be getting straight A's!

Do Manjushri sadhana puja or self generation each day before school, you will get straight A's.
When I was in university I did this and thereafter was straight A's and dean's list.


It's not a good idea to recommend "self-generation" to anyone, particularly someone so young: that should only be prescribed by a qualified Lama with the proper transmission, and oral instruction. Often it's not even allowed until after completing ngondro.

That said, Manjushri's mantra is often given to small school children in Tibet and in diaspora. Of course, getting the lung-- oral transmission would still be important.


Flowerbudh may have the empowerment already as far as I know. The empowerment should be received before self generation for sure, but that goes without saying I think.
You know I've heard of lamas telling people to practice Manjushri in place of ngondro.


Maybe, but unlikely as she says she is 15. Most people who haven't been raised in the Dharma have not received empowerment by that age. What's more, this is in the General Dharma forum, not the Tibetan Buddhist one.. so it is an error to assume anyone posting here has received empowerment: they may be connected to any of the other Mahayana schools, or just getting to know about all of them.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:52 am

montana wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
montana wrote:We Buddhists have so many methods to make the mind sharper you should be getting straight A's!

Do Manjushri sadhana puja or self generation each day before school, you will get straight A's.
When I was in university I did this and thereafter was straight A's and dean's list.


It's not a good idea to recommend "self-generation" to anyone, particularly someone so young: that should only be prescribed by a qualified Lama with the proper transmission, and oral instruction. Often it's not even allowed until after completing ngondro.

That said, Manjushri's mantra is often given to small school children in Tibet and in diaspora. Of course, getting the lung-- oral transmission would still be important.


Flowerbudh may have the empowerment already as far as I know. The empowerment should be received before self generation for sure, but that goes without saying I think.
You know I've heard of lamas telling people to practice Manjushri in place of ngondro.


It's better to assume someone doesn't have the empowerment, and to a beginner that does not go without saying, especially without saying "if you've received the empowerment". Some Lamas may in fact instruct that, but it is not the norm, and Manjushri is not even the most common empowerment in my experience. And ngondro requires transmission as well. Just don't want to confuse anybody, even though your recommendation of Manjushri is a very good one.
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:36 am

Perhaps you are dealing with some inner conflict regarding school. Easy for me to speak on this subject as I am quite an expert on inner conflict ;-) . Anyone can succeed at almost anything if they are internally motivated, and their mind is clear. Are you getting an education that fits a goal you have personally, or for someone else?
Some people seem to do best when working vertically, for example "I want to be a doctor, so I will do this and study that, etc" . Other people find that there interests are expanding and changing and that no set path suits them. This is my style for better or worse. My resume goes to 2 pages with a wide variety of experiences. I don't regret "no settling down" , although making so many major changes every few years can be tough on relationships. I've come to the conclusion that I'm actually always working on Dharma, and know that each of us has to discover, then accept who we are and practice that which supports us.
Your greatest advantages seem to be an inquiring mind, and your youth. You can resign yourself to throwing yourself fully into your studies with the motivation of pleasing others, and find some contentment in knowing a few years of study is a blink of an eye in comparison to a "normal" lifespan.
I'm 67, a newlywed, and living halfway around the globe from the place of my birth. Everyday is still filled with challenge and wonder.
-wishing you all the best-JT
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby smcj » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:22 am

This time of year lots of people get melancholy. That's ok. Getting depressed is not.

There is an aspect of depression that is pessimistic, that sees the world as a heartless cruel intimidating place where everything is all wrong. But as a Buddhist I've come to discover that even though there is pain and horror in life, ultimately that is not the way the universe is. I do not actually practice Dzogchen, but just having the philosophical understanding that the ultimate nature of the universe is perfection gives me hope when otherwise in my life I could see none. One thing my teacher gave me that I can never lose is the certainty that even when all looks dark, that there is a light that I just can't see yet. So when I do my refuge prayers, what I am taking refuge from is my own conclusion that the world is all wrong. Maybe my karma is all wrong, but that is different than the ultimate nature of the world. So taking refuge for me means, in part, that I rely on the idea that after my karma clears away I will be able to see the light that was always there to begin with. And with that I can start to have a positive approach to life.

Keep your grades up. That's important too.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Virgo » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:36 am

You probably want to get your vitamin D levels checked.

Newer research shows it is healthy to take up to 10,000 IU's per day, if you need it.

I take 6000.

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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Virgo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:49 pm

Virgo wrote:I take 6000.

Kevin

Currently I take 8k in gelcap form (+ the 400 in my multivitamin).

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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Motova » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:40 pm

I can't tell you much, besides keep truckin'. Don't procrastinate until the last minute; do a bit of homework and studying every night. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish after university, and use that to motivate yourself. Read a book or two outside of school that pertains to whatever you want to do after university, and use that to fuel your motivation. This is your time to build good habits as a student, a time to master taking notes, time management, researching (learn how to reference properly, speed read, find some scholarly databases that you can connect to through your local library), constructing essays, and making friends. Choose your friends VERY WISELY! I understand that you're basically in the thick of it. Grade 9-11 are the worst years to be a student, straight up. So you have a good reason to be stressed. Meditate regularly, it will help so much. Especially before you start to work on homework or assignments, or even before you write a test or go to school! Try not to drink too much. And don't bother with drugs. You will have countless offers to smoke weed and do other things in a year or two, stick to your alcohol. Doing drugs is totally contradictory to being a student. Meditation is infinitely better, believe me. I smoked weed from the start of grade 10 to a week ago. It honestly ruins your time in school and out of school. Once you get to university, things will get sooooo much better. So much more freedom socially and academically, you will rejoice! I wouldn't care too much about getting straight A's until you hit those years where universities are allowed to check. In Cananda it's grade 11-12.

This is advice from a past pothead/procrastinator who somehow got straight A's and managed to get into the best university in Canada. Learn from my mistakes and you will be absolutely golden! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby Matt J » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:47 pm

The best practice I have found to deal with stress is attention. Paying attention, being with unpleasant feelings, and noticing the truths of Buddhism that arise in the present moment: the feelings are impermanent, having or removing them does not bring permanent satisfaction, and the feelings are not you.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: Dealing with the stresses of school

Postby theanarchist » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:46 pm

flowerbudh wrote: While I am taking this time to delve into my being, meditate, and practice compassion, I still feel a sense of unease not succeeding in school as much as I used to. Your wisdom?



Focus on compassion for yourself instead of other beings. You can't be compassionate with others if you are unable to be kind and gentle and tolerant with yourself.

Anf if you are kind, gentle and tolerant with yourself nasty remarks by others do a lot less emotional damage.
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