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New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt - Dhamma Wheel

New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.
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Butrfly_Nirvana
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:47 pm

Hello! I'm a 27yo stay home mom and while I'm living in the Bible Belt (Oklahoma), I have recently decided to stop allowing other people to make me feel guilty about not being a "good Christian"....I tried my best, but I just never really fit in. Then I realized that I didn't fit in, because I wasn't being honest about my beliefs. After some soul searching and research I found Theravada Buddhism to be my 'home' in a manner of speaking. While I am very new to all of this, I've been reading a lot, and for the first time I feel like it's right within me. I can't tell you the hours I've wasted trying to conform to Christianity, going through all the steps the church asked of me, and all the hours of endless reading only to be left more confused--nothing but feelings of doubt, and well, I guess disbelief! I'm sure that people outside my home are eventually going to try to 'save me', but after doing some reading, I feel prepared for that. I now feel like I have been empowered to be free from all those 'threats and promises' of another religion. I have never been more at peace in all my life. I don't feel awkward anymore, and I feel like I fit in now...which is a great feeling to find!

Sorry this is a bit long, but that's the back story on me. I look forward to becoming a part of this site! In the town I live in there are about 20 churches, all centered around Christianity in one form or another, but I've yet to find any Buddhists like me... But maybe they will start to surface as I seek them out! So until then, I may be on here quite often to connect with like minded people!

Oh, and before I forget, I do struggle with the pronunciation of some of the words, so if anyone has found a website or other resource that can help me that would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for taking time to read this! I look forward to getting to know you all, and learning more about Buddhism! :namaste:
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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bodom
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:55 pm

Welcome! Im so glad you found your way here.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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David N. Snyder
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:16 pm

Image




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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:17 pm

Hi Butrfly_Nirvana
Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
I hope you find here some good companionship and a little bit of wisdom!
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:52 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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retrofuturist
Site Admin
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:56 pm

Greetings,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel, and I hope the message I sent you was of some use.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Cittasanto
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:12 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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withoutcolour
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:53 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby withoutcolour » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:23 am

Welcome welcome!
:group:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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Monkey Mind
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Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Monkey Mind » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:11 am

<--- Survived the Bible Belt. Welcome.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

notself
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby notself » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:46 am

Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:20 am

Hello Butrfly,

I lived in Mississippi for a period in my life so I can completely understand the problem(s) you're facing. But you have stumbled upon Dhamma Wheel so you're already in better shape. It might be hard to find local Buddhists but keep searching, studying and practicing and things will begin to come together. I wish you continued happiness and success! Be well!

Mike
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:
My Practice Blog:

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AdvaitaJ
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Location: Michigan, USA

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby AdvaitaJ » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:28 am

Butrfly_Nirvana,

Welcome! I'm not from the bible belt, but I have spent considerable time there. Being surrounded by well-intentioned evangelical Christians can be difficult and I don't envy you your situation. :spy:

:anjali: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:28 pm

Wow! Thank you all SO much for welcoming! I am truly glad to have found this site! Thank you for the pronunciation help as well!

One of the greatest things I found while researching Buddhism is how to respond to those 'imposing' their religion on me. To share it is one thing, but when you refuse politely and they still try to coerce you, it is then imposing.

I am sure I will come to find this place as a place of refuge and support when people start trying to 'save my soul'! lol

"Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on someone else." That speaks volumes to me...

Anyways, thank you all for the support and welcome! Looking forward to making my way around the boards!
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Bozworth
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:20 am
Location: Austin, TX

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Bozworth » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:12 am

Oy! I survived the Bible Belt too... Mississippi born and raised.

I find that a simple, unapologetic "Nah, I don't believe in that stuff," stops the eager-to-convert in their tracks. They may not like you for it, but that's their issue (probably stirs up insecurity in their own beliefs). I've also been "testified" to (unsolicitedly) about how great it's working out for them. A simple "good for you" is as much of a response as you should give (if any at all), then quickly evade or change the subject. Never feed the monkey.

Anyways, welcome. This site should be a good resource for you.

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Fede
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Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Fede » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:37 pm

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

Luke
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:53 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Luke » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:40 pm

Hi Butterfly,

Congratulations for discovering Buddhism and for being strong enough to stick with it in spite of your environment!

I grew up in the northeast and I can't even imagine what Christians must be like down south. However, lots of conservative Christians in America seem to like the Dalai Lama. Maybe you can use that fact to your advantage sometime, even though your preference is for Theravada.

You can feel compassion for these pushy Christians by thinking about how their minds are clouded by ignorance and attachment. In contrast, the Buddha saw things clearly. He clearly understood the true nature of the mind, the true nature of reality, and the way to end the suffering of all beings.

Putting a few Buddhist images up on the wall in my bedroom cheers me up and inspires me a lot. Perhaps putting up some Buddhist images might inspire you as well.

Best of luck with your Buddhist path,

Luke

:buddha1:

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Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:30 pm

Thank you! I've been studying and learning more every day, and I feel like a different person already!

Basically, around this town if you aren't Christian they will do 1 of 2 things towards you: 1. Constantly try to convince you of their beliefs being the only way to go, or 2. Completely shun you and your family to the point that they don't even acknowledge you when you are out and about. :shrug: Seems sort of hypocritical to me... But to each their own... ?

Anyways, my personal life is just so much more fulfilling and positive, regardless of how others want to treat me!

Thank you all for the warm welcome!
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Kokoro
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:36 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Kokoro » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:07 pm

You know, despite never visiting the Bible Belt myself, I live in a small, rural farming town in Ontario where everyone is of one denomination of Christianity or another, and I've found many of the people here are very similar to those you have described. I can't turn on the radio without hearing a country song about Jesus or "the Good Book" or pick up a local newspaper without finding stories of locals who have been "saved" or have saved others or a lengthy reprimand from one of our many pastors, ministers or revrends reminding us that Christ is the "only way" and that it is our duty to see to it that the whole world finds Christ.
Mind you, many of the people here are kind, polite and friendly and would give you the shirts off their backs (more impressive these days when the average tempurature here is well below freezing in both C and F!), but I have yet to find the courage to admit to anyone aside from my family that I am not only a non-Christian, but a Buddhist as well.
Welcome to our Forum and to the Buddha Dhamma. May your walk on the Dhamma Path be strenghtening, comforting and enlightening, and may you be well and happy in all you do.

If someone has not yet pointed it out to you, I highly encourage you visit DhammaWiki , which may prove very valuable in your ongoing study of the Dhamma.

:anjali:

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Butrfly_Nirvana
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:07 pm

Thank you. I will bookmark that site!

I've since told my former church that I've converted, as well as my father, and I'm sure that by next week the whole town will have heard about it...so I'm curious to see what will happen the next time I go to the supermarket! lol
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


Luke
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:53 pm

Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Postby Luke » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:57 pm

Last edited by Luke on Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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