A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Requesting and offering prayers and aspirations for those in need.

A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Postby SonamZangpo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:04 pm

It is very easy to maintain composure and Buddha-likeness when things are fine and going well, or even if they are a little stressful. Now, they are not fine nor a little stressful.

My girlfriend-now-fiance is a minor. 17 years old, nearly 18. She lives with her mother, who is an alcoholic, and apparently needs psychiatric help, but instead engages and emotionally destructive behavior both toward herself and her daughter (my fiance). I was staying with them, and my influence in staying was positive; active conflicts lessened, I helped around the house to help ease tensions, and so on.

Yesterday, for some reason, her mother decided to accuse both of us of "planning against her," among other things. She threw myself and Ali (my fiance) out of the house, telling us not to come back. Luckily, I kept my apartment across town and we went there. Then, later, her mom called fuming, demanding Ali return home. I told her to go home to try to keep conflict to a minimum. Her mom acted physically violent toward her, and Ali, smart as she is, recorded the whole incident on her phone. She then fled to a friend's house, then came back to my apartment. We then called the police. However, in the state we live in there are no laws concerning emancipation of a minor, so she was forced to go back to her mom's house, despite providing evidence of abuse.

I started feeling powerless, and still do, to an extent. In many religions, people can pull strength in claims that their God or deity has "a plan," or some such thing. However, Buddhism, in my view, has to do much with the power of the self. If I lack faith in my own ability, then what?

The Sangha. There's a reason there are three jewels, and that the Sangha is one of them. I was once told, long ago, that the Sangha is there for support since life in general and the dharma path can be so difficult. That they can help you sort of "not fall off the bandwagon," to put it in vernacular.

So I come to you, my Sangha, the only one I have access to at the moment, and humbly request- no, not request- beg for your prayers. In a time where I am feeling like I have no power, perhaps those of you who feel empowered could contribute where my current lack of faith cannot.

Thank you, a thousand time thank you and a thousand times bless you,
Sonam
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Re: A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Postby Will » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:33 pm

This is not a "spiritual" or Buddhist piece of advice, but it may work. Tell Ali to just stay away from her mother's home. She needs to disappear. Never mind the legal dangers, the physical dangers to Ali sound more serious. Friend's homes, motel rooms, hopping around from place to place - whatever it takes.

How long before she turns 18?

PS - Prayers from Ali for her safety & her mother's return to sanity will be more effective than from you alone.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Postby SonamZangpo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:37 pm

She turns 18 in a little less than six months. And I agree with what you say- she just got a job, and can try to be out of the house as much as she can. Her ex-boyfriend volunteered to be at the house when she has to be there, since I'm now forbidden from said house, and while... due to my past, and getting cheated on makes me feel very, very uncomfortable with that situation, this is ultimately about her wellbeing, and I really do see the benefit in it, so it's something to be considered.

I would urge her to pray herself, but she's somewhat opposed to religion in general. She's accepting, and even enthusiastic about my practicing Buddhism, and perhaps in time she'll see the benefits it yields, but I'm not going to push her in the spiritual direction is she doesn't wish it.

I guess to convey the extent to which she's accepting is that we have discussed how one of my long-term plans is to go on a long Buddhist retreat, and she has been encouraging of that (though, it will have to be far down the road for many reasons).

In addition to just regular prayer, are there any mantras specifically you could suggest? White Tara is the only Tantric mantra I am empowered to practice, but the manni mantra and the medicine Buddha mantra comes to mind.
http://www.facebook.com/szangpo

http://www.facebook.com/kyle.labonte <- This is my more active facebook, if you want some real discussion

OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA

"The world is dark when you're depressed; your thoughts have the power to invent your world." -Courage Wolf

"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
(I acknowledge I do not follow the quote above this, that is why it is there! so I will be reminded every time I post! :) )
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Re: A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Postby LastLegend » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:13 am

Chant/repeat/say Namo Amitabha with all of your heart without a doubt and pure concentration and whatever you wish for will come true.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Postby Will » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:50 am

Sonam,

Never mind initiation permissions for most mantras. Just use whatever one is part of your favorite bodhisattva. Direct it to the mother mainly, plus safety for your girl.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: A need for prayer, the importance of the Sangha

Postby dontknowmind » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:43 pm

I know its a bit delayed, but I wish you and your fiance all the best. I hope that she will be able to leave such an abusive environment soon.

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