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To All The Young Members ( and lurkers)

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited June 2017 in General Banter

Some food for thought…For the "Beginner's mind"

Many of us stumble upon the path at a later age (more old and fragile than young and agile :) )

So to the teens, early, mid, late twenties, (and into the thirties …I guess) you have all been blessed with a karmic pattern (past life or this life who knows...) that has lead you to the Buddha’s Dharma at such a young age…

It’s a precious gift, full of wisdom, and if used wisely, it will enrich your lives and no doubt, the lives of those whom you encounter along life’s journey ie, the Path…

At times there will be challenges and obstacles to overcome, the Dharma will equip you with the necessary tools to overcome them…but you have to have these three things Great “Faith” Great "Doubt" Great "Determination"...

~Sensei Sevan Ross~
"Great Faith and Great Doubt are two ends of a spiritual walking stick. We grip one end with the grasp given to us by our Great Determination. We poke into the underbrush in the dark on our spiritual journey. This act is real spiritual practice -- gripping the Faith end and poking ahead with the Doubt end of the stick. If we have no Faith, we have no Doubt. If we have no Determination, we never pick up the stick in the first place."

So study/practice and use your gift wisely…. don’t waste it…

My teacher keeps reminding his students of how precious human life is, and of how fortunate we human are to have the Dharma in our lives…I agree wholeheartedly ….



  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Outstanding reminder @Shoshin <3

    We wastrels who have devoted our lives to the lost and found, will remind ourselves again and again. Stay on The Path. Very simple.

  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    Thanks for this great advice.

    I have noticed immense distress arising with all this positive thought lately. I realize now I have felt these spiritual experiences before. I was born 3 months early and almost died. Miraculously I had no apparent health problems (aside from mental health which only manifested later). Ever since i remember I was defined by my mortality, so i think I've had an interesting perspective. I remember moments where I felt very free, but a quiet, still freedom. It was jarring.

    Now I understand what it is. I also know what I am not choosing. I think I need to mourn that too. I haven't been talking as much lately. Not because I am in a bad mood but because I have nothing to say. I am not thinking as much. Honestly. It feels like my mind is getting lighter as I think less. Visualizations help keep me grounded however.

    For so long I yearned to be a part of the world. Now I know it is better to be free from attachment. But it is a radical change, one that is difficult. Juvenile fears of losing out on something because other people can get there. Is this non attachment an earnest choice or decorated avoidance?

    I am reminded of the Dhammapada. My perfect refuge. Surely I can trust in these words.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Indeed! One never knows when their time is up, so the sooner you get started the better. I dabbled in Buddhism in my early 20s, but like many suffered a lack of understanding of Dukkha and determined it wasn't for me due to a poorly written World Religions textbook in college. But it was my then-14 year old son who got me back into it when he started asking questions. He is 20 now, and I had thought he pretty much let go it if. He hasn't talked about it much for a long time. But when we were doing some work in his room, I found a poster he made with the 4 noble truths on it, and notes he took recently about applying them to his daily life. It is still with him <3

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    My teacher's teacher was hell on "waste." There were endless tales of his visiting the kitchen in the monastery and retrieving bits of greens the cooks had thrown away rather than adding to the pot.

    With age, however, I find there is a whispering in my mind ... a voice saying, "nature throws away so much without a backward glance -- people, flowers, trees, clouds, etc. etc. Doesn't the question need to be asked, "Who is the one proclaiming waste? Is it really wasteful or is it simply not what the proclaimer proclaims?"

    Human life is precious? Certainly ... just like dandelions?

    Just curious.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I'd say in nature nothing is actually wasted. Everything serves a purpose when it comes to things "thrown away." Big storms blow down piles of trees that then try and fuel fires. If no fire, they decay and turn into compost for new generations. All of which, of course, serve a purpose for the continuation of life. Our waste, not so much. Of course, we have to make common sense. But it is yet another way we have removed ourselves from the cycle of life and outsourced it, and not for the better. Waste from humans (from our bodies) used to also serve as fertilizer and compost. Until we overpopulated and caused health concerns by moving into buildings. It seems the more convenient our lives become, the more useless waste we produce. While nature mostly doesn't waste anything, it all has a purpose.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 2017

    Nobody here but us precious dandelions ... o:)

    We should not be so precious about our nothingness ... just as we should not be overwhelmed with our unique rippling ability ...

    In a sense we are a bag of bones. In a sense we contain a possibility ...

    When love beckons to you, follow him,
    Though his ways are hard and steep.
    And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
    Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
    And when he speaks to you believe in him,
    Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

    The Prophet - Khalil Gibran

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Nobody here but us precious dandelions ... o:)

    Oowoo a lobster-dandelion, how quaint…I want one for my collection :lol:

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I was probably an early bloomer by Western standards, having began with Taoism at nine, in a household where there was no contact with Far East cultures at all.
    Still, it is with the macrocontext of experience accumulated through growing in years and living cashing in lessons that the wisdom learned early really sinks in.
    It is the bliss and the hardships of the mileage in travelled roads that really blooms into a glimpse of wisdom.
    Before that, it is simply handy knowledge.

  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    This post was very interesting and has made me think about what I want to do. I never thought I was lucky to encounter the Dharma so early. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I was drawn to it as a teenager. I never really practiced but I believe that small influence was enough to keep me going until I could.

    I am thinking about going back to school with some reservations. I basically want to do too much. I love art, psychology, writing, biology, and history the most. I thought perhaps my interests could consolidate in a Buddhist ministry or inspired career.

    I have looked into. Naropa university. It's very expensive. There aren't Buddhist churches around my area. There is a non denominational
    UU church however; maybe I could be a token Buddhist colleague there.

    I have a couple years of community college before I have to make a decision. I just don't want to sacrifice something I love for something else I also love. I want my creativity and spirituality to be a priority.

    I know the Dharma flourishes everywhere. But the idea of entering a Buddhist career path is becoming more and more enticing. Like a middle point between lay life and monasticism.

    Because I am so young I feel like I am meant to help people with the Dharma. I have always wanted to help people. Is the Dharma presenting me with a vehicle to do that? Possibly.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @eggsavior said:
    ... Possibly.


  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Naropa is absolutely fabulous. If you can apply for scholarships and such, they are pretty generous. If you have any way to make it work, even for 2 years after your AA degree, it is so worth it. My sister lived in Boulder for several years and her gf at the time and many friends attended Naropa. It is such a vastly different take on education with a focus on service and compassion. I wish my knowledge of it had entered my life earlier. I would have done whatever I had to to make it work. Just something to consider, I'm sure it's not for everyone. I just have a very high opinion of it, lol. Sometimes cost just doesn't work out. But if you are willing to do a lot of homework and leg work, often you can find resources people barely know about to help with cost.

    There are also a lot of people who bring their Buddhism into their career paths, which might be a better option. You could think about doing a double major in say, art therapy or counseling and Buddhist Studies, which you could do at other colleges. My sister has a Buddhist therapist. Night and day between her and a typical western therapist. Art therapist frequently work with traumatized people and children (of those I know, I'm sure it's much more vast than I have seen). So you could take your interests and talents and put a Buddhist spin on them, too. It makes me excited to see someone considering this :) By the time I really got on my path, I had a family, and moving for school and affording it became a whole different story. I have not given up on it, but it would be a later in life thing for me, but that is becoming even less likely as my kids are going into college and we're taking on some debt for that. i don't really want to go to college when I'm 70, lol. But if I had it to do again, I would have found a way to go to Naropa, even if for 2 years, I would have focused on therapy or peace studies and worked with families in an outdoor recreation setting at resolving family conflicts.

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