[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Heruka wrote:the guide to the bodhisattvas way of life by santideva has some great verses to reflect upon.
its a simple small step, but it will help.
all the best
I did not stop hating all at once, unfortunately, no epiphany and instant insight!
It is so sad when I think on how his life went, how he tried to keep it together til he died from a heart attack, surely it must have been broken? his heart, I mean. And so, gradually I lost my hatred as I knew that he had only the best of intentions for me and did help me when I asked for it.
When I was 13, I recall saying to Mom, that Hell was life on Earth, as it was living with Dad. She didn't know what to make of it!
And now, it is Mom I am estranged from! The Mother who was always the understanding one, who gave to her other daughter a life changing gift that excluded me. I had such a hard time getting close to Mom when she moved nearby and now I think it was due to this long held secret, which, when finally outed accidentally by sis, ended our relationship at Mom's instigation. Whew! I got lucky, I figure, as sis is now taking care of the evil tempered woman who is my Mother.
Oy! Go figure!
They both still hate Dad and will hate him til the day they die, not realizing the importance of forgiveness. It felt so much better to be at peace with Dad and our past. When I mentioned forgiveness including Dad, sis went quiet on the phone (wanting forgiveness for self but not willing to give it to Dad?). I suppose they think I will never forgive them......but how will they know if they will not speak with me?
There are still some cranky days when I awake and feel anger and hatred toward what they did to me and their attitudes toward me but I do know better than to harbour such or to try too hard to make it all go away too quickly. It does take time and small steps,
unless you have that karmic quality that allows for quick release for these things.
Unfortunately my mind is like a steel trap, unwilling to let go..........until those neural circuits learn new paths, making learning a slow go for me! Ah dummy D
Not everyone can afford to pay for therapy, I know, but the pros have seen it all before and do know how we tick and what might work for our personality once they get to know us. If you can afford some talking sessions with a friendly listener and adviser, it may help a lot, much faster than working on one's own.
May the Blessing of understanding and forgiveness be yours, soon!
It is so true that you don't stop hating all at once. As you have done I have looked at the good things about my father.
1. i always knew he loved me; i was his favorite. even my brother says so. ha.
2. i could have been crippled if he had not taken me to other doctors instead of listening to the first one and then finding penicillin at the military doctor. It had just begun being used.
3. he alone sent me money when my dog had distemper. Of course my dog died anyway
4. he never once put down my mom after the divorce.
And when he was dying I alone had to make the decision to not extend his life which would make him a vegetable, and it was I who went down to L.A. from Northern California to get his clothing and arrange for the ashes to be sent. No one else wanted to, but my older sister would have but she had already returned to Mississippi. This is not to praise me, but show that this is how sad his life was. Even his brother who lived there wanted nothing to do with him. My sister had come to visit him in the hospital, and we had taken her there, and he was unconscious (not in coma) until I sang the song he always wanted me to sing to him when I was a child, "Mockingbird Hill," and he reached over and touched me. Then he was out of it again. I wanted to get out of there early; my sister didn't, but we left, and I wish now that I had allowed her more time.
So when thinking about your parents you have to think of the good as well.
it is hard to be estranged from one's mom. i was for a year after i told her in a calm, kind way that it made me feel guilty to sit and listen to her always putting down my sisters, brothers, in-laws, etc. She blew up; my step-dad came in the house and threw me out because she was crying, saying that i was the one putting them all down, and this after my sitting there listening for 5 minutes to her doing it. she didn't talk to me for a year; my step-dad never forgave me. it wasn't easy forgiving my mom and maybe i never have. when she died i thought, now i don't have to listen to her verbal abuse, but then my two sisters took over for her. i do my best to forgive them. so i think the op is going to continue to have a rough time of it until he can figure it all out. i am still working on it with my sisters.
therapy could help but i would recommend cognitive therapy instead of some of the others. if one has a Buddhist teacher that would be helpful too. And I would recommend a psychologist over a psychiatrist or family counselor.
KeithBC wrote:Heruka wrote:the guide to the bodhisattvas way of life by santideva has some great verses to reflect upon.
its a simple small step, but it will help.
all the best
I'll see you and raise you one...
The Wheel of Sharp Weapons by Shantarakshita
(sure hope I spelled that right.)
My best teacher said that she always went to it when she found herself in any difficulty.
There are so many of us.
I remember how a friend told me of how he was singled out for abuse by his father as the family scape goat. He didn't become an alcoholic but rather chose heroin until sometime in his mid twenties. When he was working at the jail farm he looked up and was taken into artwork by the flight of a hawk.
Repair of the relationship was never possible for him with his father but he did manage to fill the hole in his heart by helping others, cats when there were no humans around.
His father died and my friend is at peace with himself and has understanding of his father, knowing that none of it was his fault tho perhaps a circumstance of karma.
Sometimes it is not possible to fix or cure the outer circumstances but we can do something about ourselves, if we choose to and especially if we have some tools that Buddhism provides. Buddhism and therapy do go well together. The one therapist I spoke with a few years ago told me that he had nothing to offer me to add to what I was already practicing as a way out of my dilemma with a boss. He was also an ex-minister of some sort and was intrigued that Buddhism gave me so much practical advice. He said he had never looked at it but was going to after meeting me ! huh! rofl moi! no, just a mere hint of the Buddha's teachings thru me, I guess.
Time helps us get thru these things. The sting grows less, the understanding more. Balance.
The Middle Way is a great path thru things!
Keep listening to dharma teachings and let the teachings sink into you. If all this does not work, let me introduce you to saying this super powerful mantra Namo Amitabha about 20 times or more (in your head or out loud when you are by yourself) as fast as you can (so no intruding thoughts can get involved) 'over' your anger or any negative thinking/thought when it arises or before it arises in order to subjugate it...this might be hard at first as you anger or negative thought will overcome the saying of Namo Amitabha. So you have to fight it with a strong determination to get rid of this grudge. The reason is you have been rehearsing this anger in association with your father for most of your life, it has become a bad habit or karma that is very hard to get rid of you don't try very hard. Be patient with a strong determination to cut this deep hatred.
Try all in combination as I suggested above.
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―
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