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New and searching for help.

Hi everyone,
I wanted to join a community to talk to likeminded people as well as perhaps get some guidance for my future practice.
I have been interested in Buddhism for a long time since I moved to Hong Kong and felt so much more than any Catholic Church I had been forced to go into as a child. I have dipped in and out of it, read a few book, attended some workshops, but I feel it is time now to dive in. At this point in my life, I feel so angry all the time, angry with people that have hurt me, angry with people that walk to close to me on the pavement. I recognise that I am so over sensitive and I want to forgive as well as give love to everyone. I worry constantly, about everything. My father committed suicide due to worry and so I recognise it's not healthy for me to be like this.
I am looking for people to help guide me and to discuss areas of Buddhism they want to talk about.
I don't know about different stems of Buddhism, I wondered if anyone knows which one they think would suit me more? I'm moving to Canada soon and I would like to be fully involved with a Buddhist community.

Comments

  • HozanHozan Veteran
    edited July 21

    Hi @Charley . Welcome to the forum and nice to meet you. You have certainly come to a good place here. I am only here since March and have already learned a great deal from so many people here who are generous with their wisdom and advice. Start having a read through some of the threads and sections! There is so much wisdom here already and so many topics discussed in the different threads. As a relatively new member I dip into the archives and older threads as well as the new ones! Very sorry to hear about your father. You are already on such a great path having recognised your anger and wanting to change. So many people never acknowledge it or cannot see it and so cannot change. I wish you well on your journey to Canada and seeking out a Buddhist Sangha to join. We in NB can also be your Sangha. In fact NB members are my main Sangha! There are many more knowledgeable and wiser in the ways of Buddhism than I here, who may answer your questions in more detail as regards branches of Buddhism etc.
    Much Metta and every best wish.
    Welcome to the Sangha
    Hozan.

    VastmindlobsterJeffreykarasti
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Welcome B)

    Future practice? As you seem in need, what practices are you currently engaged in?
    http://yourskillfulmeans.com/section/meditation-practices/

    Hozan
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Charley said:

    I don't know about different stems of Buddhism, I wondered if anyone knows which one they think would suit me more?

    @Charley

    It's a matter of "Ehipassiko" seeing for your self....

    Perhaps by starting with a guided "Forgiveness meditation" practice may help to stem the flow of angry thoughts, so as to allow more clarity of thought....

    I'm moving to Canada soon and I would like to be fully involved with a Buddhist community.

    Here's a link to Buddhist centres in Canada...

    Metta

    HozanCharley
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Hello @Charley! There are a few Canadian regulars here, hopefully they will chime in, they might have suggestions on that route. In the end only you can determine which branch will be the best fit for you. Depends on a lot of things. Thich Nhat Hanh is a great recommendation from @federica and is where I started. The first Buddhist book I read was his "The Heart of the Budda's Teachings." He is a Zen monk, but puts his own spin on things quite a lot. Lovely, easy to read and understand. Very helpful. This is a wonderful board to be a part of.

    Charley
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Everybody is different so I don't know if anything I suggest or rather talk about will be helpful for you.

    I have had mental health problems. But mine was a condition with like an onset and then I had suddenly had schizoaffective disorder which includes delusions and disorganized thinking. Before that I had not much problem mentally aside from some shyness and foolishness but that's another story.

    But I actually started reading about Buddhism and meditating. I had depression in response to the schizoaffective so like I was depressed about the turn my life took. And acutely very impaired. I think I was so depressed it was hard to read more than a paragraph of my mail. The meditation helped a little it was sort of a nice feeling standing up after my 10 minute meditation. An oasis. But the depression faded but the delusions and that lot remained and I've had it to some extent throughout my practice till now and that's about 16 years.

    I also had experiences with anger. Particularly when I was living with a woman who also had her own mental health issues and she had drinking alcohol issues. I found that noticing anger like you talk about and wanting to stop it is important. And in that relationship in particular I would withhold any negative feelings or anger and not express it for as long as I could. Because she was borderline personality which means she could go from zero to upset to happy really fast so I tried to not express negativity but the problem is that is very hard and you can be liable to feel sick holding that back and blow up at times.

    I learned it is actually a skill to express negativity or 'anger' right when it starts up so that it never has to be held back. You have to express it skillfully though and you might not be able to predict the reaction you get from others because it may be hard for them to hear your negativity.

    But definitely important in anger is to learn to express it skillfully.

    Then stress and anxiety is a different topic. And suicidal ideation I learned is a symptom like a fever that means you might need some professional help from a psychologist, counselor, or even a stay in a hospital until you can sort things out.

    But I did find Buddhism useful in all of these.

    karastiCharleyHozan
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    Welcome to the site @Charley! I am a burgeoning novice as well

    I would recommend spending more time on the basics before finding a sect. I worried about that and it got in the way of my understanding. I thought choosing a sect would help me understand faster and better but it is actually the other way around. With a good foundation under your belt you will be able to navigate the teachings easier; some will call out to you, and you will accept what is right when the time comes. All different Buddhists sects only augment and pinpoint our practice; in the end the goal is the same.

    When I first started I spent a lot of time reading http://www.buddhanet.net/ It really is one of the most comprehensive sources of Buddhist information out there. A lot of it is hard to grasp. I barely understood any of it, but I knew it resonated with me. So I trucked on. Here I am 2.5 years later. Buddhism has definitely given me the refuge and way of life I always felt was missing.

    What you need right now you already have: a will to learn and improve. Just continue with your will and you'll find a way. Telling ourselves "I want to get better" can be immobilizing. We expect too much. Don't pressure yourself. You are doing enough as it is.

    I am sorry about your father. I have been suicidal before. It is a difficult journey some do not survive. The fact that his struggle awakened such compassion and determination inside of you is very admirable and courageous.

    NB is a great place with great people and great wisdom. Welcome to the Sangha!

    lobsterCharleyHozan
  • CharleyCharley Sweden New

    Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to write to me. I knew this was the right thing to do.
    @Hozan I will definitely have a read through the old threads and files. Thank you.

    @lobster I went to a workshop which involved a lot of meditation about conquering fear and anxiety. There, I bought a book 'An introduction to Buddhism' I read 'Buddhism for dummies' quite some time ago. So, not that much really, I try to meditate as much as possible but focus more on past life healing. That link is brilliant, thank you so much.

    @federica I absolutely adored you words! I have written down everything you have advised in my 'Buddhist and meditation' book. Thank you so so much. My question would be, how much time do you dedicate to different meditation themes? Yes I can do the meditation for anger, but then how long should I allow that to domintae until I go back to meditation for compassion.

    @Shoshin these are brilliant, thank you so much. I have sent them to myself.

    @karasti Thank you, I have written that book down and I will definitely see if I can get hold of it. I think you are right about choosing the right branch.

    @Jeffrey it sounds like you have been on a real journey! I hope things are becoming easier for you now. I don't have suicidal ideation mainly because I know what it feels like for the people left behind, but I do worry that I could get to a point where I no longer have control and it will not be a decision I make mindfully if I continue on this path. I also want to have children soon and I do not want to stop them from living because I am so worried about them.

    @eggsavior thank you for all of your tips, it certainly puts things into perspective to hear from someone that was in my position not so long ago. All the best with your continued practice!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Charley said: .... My question would be, how much time do you dedicate to different meditation themes? Yes I can do the meditation for anger, but then how long should I allow that to domintae until I go back to meditation for compassion.

    Do whatever feels instinctively right and comfortable for yourself. In time, you'll notice subtle differences and alterations in your behaviour pattern and in the mind you mentally process stuff.

    Meditation on Anger, and Meditation on Compassion need not be separate, they're not mutually exclusive.
    Experiment, do what works for you.
    Compassion begins with you.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Charley said:
    I have been interested in Buddhism for a long time since I moved to Hong Kong and felt so much more than any Catholic Church I had been forced to go into as a child. I have dipped in and out of it, read a few book, attended some workshops, but I feel it is time now to dive in. At this point in my life, I feel so angry all the time, angry with people that have hurt me, angry with people that walk to close to me on the pavement. I recognise that I am so over sensitive and I want to forgive as well as give love to everyone. I worry constantly, about everything. My father committed suicide due to worry and so I recognise it's not healthy for me to be like this.

    You too eh?
    I was brought up semi-Catholic for too long. I too am overly sensitive and angry. What to do?

    • metta bhavna
    • move towards ahimsa
    • self flagellation oops ... definitely not helpful ...

    About worry ... mmm ...

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Sweden, Hong Kong, Canada, a real world traveller, welcome @Charley :)

    The trick i found to coping with worry is to concern yourself with its roots. Babies are not worried, they are the epitome of chilled-out relaxing, alternating between mother's milk and sleeping. That's where we all come from, that's our true nature. Everything else - including all the worry - is learned behaviour, stuff that is programmed into us. It's up to you to untangle this programming, to rationally examine it, to deprogram yourself and reach a natural, resilient state.

    Being overly sensitive and angry... perhaps it might help to meditate on the suffering of others? I have found that very enlightening, it arouses a lot of compassion and that acts as a kind of buffer to anger and irritation.

  • CharleyCharley Sweden New

    Hi everyone, I'm sorry it's taken so long for a response. This week has been absolutely crazy.
    Thank you so much for all your replies.

    On Monday and Tuesday I received my Reiki attunment. That in itself was a very enlightening experience, but for the last month, I have been woken by visions in my room. Pictures of things (last night was snakes on the ceiling!) I am still trying to deal with the meaning of this. Perhaps you are thinking that it does not have anything to do with Buddhism and therefore I should not be writing about it, but I feel it is all part of my spiritual journey. If anyone is willing to talk about it, maybe a private message would be better?

    I have also just received the news that my sister in law has cervical cancer. I have asked the universe to help my brother and her in any way it can, but what else can I do? In terms of Buddhism, do I mediate for her? Do I send positive energy? Coming from a Catholic background, I would rather not 'pray' as I would feel like I was being two faced so to speak. Any advice on how to do my but would be greatly appreciated!
    Love and light!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I'm sorry to hear the news of your SIL! I always find Tonglen meditation helpful in those cases. Some people take it as a literal attempting to take on what the other person is going through (like the man in the Green Mile did if you saw or read that). But it's really a transmuting of sorts, as it's been explained to me. There are instructions online, Pema Chodron has good direction that is easy to follow and understand. It isn't really a method of doing anything magical for her. But more transmuting suffering in general. But it can clear the mind to allow you to see what you can actually do for her, if you are able to offer assistance if you are close enough to them. Helping with appointments, babysitting, meal making etc are all good ways to be of help.

    When I dream, I journal about it later. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can jot down a couple quick notes so I don't forget the dream. But I don't put a lot of stock on them as far as deep meaning. They are usually simply symbolic of things going on in my mind and once I write about it, I can figure it out. Tibetan Buddhism has a lot of dream-related stuff in it. Most others don't really touch on it, as Buddha wasn't a fan of trying to predict the future using dreams or anything else. But the entire story of his life started with a dream his mother had, so, it's still in there because of the culture of the times. Some of the cultures still hold onto those ideas of auspicious dreams.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I dedicate merit. My cousin is dying and I just say that I dedicate the merit of my meditation to him and all beings.

    BunksCharley
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    I like to recite parts of the Metta Sutra when I want to extend compassion and support.

    http://www.buddhanet.net/metta_in.htm

    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot06.htm

  • CharleyCharley Sweden New

    Thank you very much all of you. I appreciate the help a lot.
    @karasti I will look into the Tonglen meditation.
    Unfortunatley, these are not dreams, I am woken before the visions start so I am awake. I have written them all down but I have no idea what they symbolise or mean.
    I will definitely have a look into the Tibetan Buddhism. I am not sure they are for the future as soeone suggested they could be from past lives. I really don't know why it's happening. Thanks again for taking the time to write.

    @Jeffrey I am very sorry to hear about your cousin. I will look into this tomorrow and do some meditation. Thank you very much!

    @eggsavior thank you for your suggestions, I have copied the links and will have a look into it.

    Jeffrey
  • elcra1goelcra1go Edinburgh, Scotland New

    Hello @Charley and all...
    I am also new to this site and fairly new to Buddhism. I knew small details about Buddhism such as Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path. I started Vipassana meditation after reading 'Mindfulness In Plain English' by Henepola Gunaratana- I felt anxious most of the time, even for the tivial things- I found that for me as soon as I started meditating, it was 'oh yeah- I remember this...'- this feeling of relaxation and not being tense all the time, then started studying Buddhism daily. At first I was drawn to Therevada, - I'm not sure why, just felt right for me. But the more I study Buddhism, I find I read up on differing schools and styles. I just like to see what works for others- and take the lessons into my life. Just this morning on the way to work I read a quote from Becoming Enlightened by HH The Dalai Lama 'In my own experience I have found great benefit from looking into and practicing a wide variety of Buddhist teachings_'- so I it works for him I'll keep on keeping on. x

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    The most helpful thing in all of Buddhism is a daily meditation practice. =)

    lobsterShoshin
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