Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Difficulty Going to Classes

I feel incredibly guilty that I don't want to go to my weekend teachings. Our teacher, a Geshe from Dharmasala, is an exceptional teacher with a light heart, laughs often and explains the most abstract teachings in ways that we can understand and it pushes us further to study and meditate. I truly love him and love the teachings.

I have a stressful job, don't feel very well most of the time & the thought of having to be somewhere 7 days a week makes me anxious, feeling guilty and exhausted. Classes are Saturday/Sunday from 2-4PM. I am exhausted on the weekends and wake up as late as possible then get ready for class and there isn't time for grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning or anything else.

Every November HHDL asks him to come to Dharmasala for teachings and Geshe-la returns in mid-January. This time he was asked to lead a retreat for 2 1/2 months and has just returned, we begin classes tomorrow. I was able to do things with my family this Summer, catch up on mundane things like laundry (when we have regular class I have to resort to washing clothes in the tub because I'm too tired to go to a laundromat) I order groceries on-line & pick them up after class - I'll admit that is so convenient. When he is gone during the holidays I have a lot of time with family but this year he's not going to Dharmasala and the guilt just crushes me if I don't go to class.

I get so much insight and knowledge from class but I'm so burned out from everything. I know, I know, if I meditated more upon emptiness and Great Compassion I might not feel this way but I'm not there yet.

Comments

  • You are guilty.

    Ask for a home visit from Geshe or a senior student who likes doing laudatory laundry sadhana ...

    In the words of Rinpoche Yoda:
    Class or no Class
    Learning there is

    yagr
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    No matter what you do or don't do, guilt is the least constructive pursuit.
    Do what you can at home, as you can, when you can, as your teacher has taught you.
    Our Western life makes it difficult to find time, and feeling unwell makes it even more difficult to focus on meditation.
    So it you cannot focus on meditation, at least do the Dorje Sempa (Vajrasattva puja) at the New Moon.
    If you have the Lam Rim, or books on Buddhism, read in bed a little bit each night before you turn out the light.
    And work on mindfulness as often as you can remember to during the day.
    We do the best we can, and that is the best we can do.

    lobsterpersonAman444
  • 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
    edited October 20

    Does he do Podcasts?
    Could you not cut it down to alternate weekends?
    Have you actually tried discussing this with him?
    _
    I have heard it said (and I am not sure where, but I think it might even have been HHDL who said it!) that the lay follower devoting themselves to Buddhism, has a far harder task than any ordained person, because of all the distractions, duties and dedications to worldly mundane but necessary things.... So I think you are pushing yourself too hard....

    There is also the question of your family:
    Do they help you with your tasks and help you share the load of Domesticity?

    ( I admit, I am jumping to conclusions here, but as you mention 'family' I'm assuming the "2.2 kids, dog and spouse...)

    Living the Lay life AND keeping up your devotional duties is extremely hard. Sometimes, it's an impossible ask' and as you have discovered, 'sumphin's gotta give'....

    You say you "don't feel very well a lot of the time"....
    is this a specific condition you have, or a general malaise?

    And a further consideration:
    Are you getting enough sleep?

    Apparently, 2/3 of the population - that's over half! - are suffering from disrupted sleep patterns, insomnia and fractured nights due to a poor sleep regimen... This can lead to a lot of stress, anxiety, volatile and changeable temperaments, and other more serious physical health complications.

    I'll wait for you to consider this post and respond to the Italicised questions, before contributing further support/help....

    yagrperson
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited October 20

    OP, IMO, everyone, for mental and physical health purposes, needs one day/week when they can stop the planet and get off. An empty day all to oneself, with no obligations, nothing on the schedule, so you can do whatever strikes your fancy. Read a book by a sunny window, take a walk, enjoy some soothing music, enjoy tea with a friend, whatever. Not a care in the world, on that day!

    You owe yourself this. You deserve this, just for being human. :)

    It sounds like you were lucky, and got a good teacher, but it sounds unusual to me, to have classes on both weekend days. It adds up to 4 hours/week, which is quite a bit. Is this part of a long-term curriculum he's teaching, or are you studying a particular text? I wonder if the 2 hrs. x 2 days could be condensed into one 3-hr. session. Though I think you need more of a break than even what that would provide.

    Maybe it's time to practice non-attachment to your studies? I think you need some carefree time, as well as some normal daily/weekly living time, for errands and tasks at home. Your schedule doesn't give you an opportunity to de-stress and rejuvenate. Your health comes first. You seem to feel happier, when you don't have the classes to go to. You should heed that signal, that your body-mind is sending you.

    I'm also curious as to your "not feeling well most of the time" statement. I hope you're not developing a fatigue condition. OP, for starters, take a weekend off from class, and get a massage. You'll feel so much better, afterwards! You'll have a more positive outlook, and the "struggling" feeling will melt away, at least for the weekend. Massages can be healing, in that they stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, shutting off the stress hormones, and bathing you in mellow endorphins. You desperately need this!

    Best wishes! And remember, Buddhist practice is about letting go: of guilt, of the need for chronic busy-ness, of those things we think we "should" be doing. Perhaps you'll be able to pick up the course a year from now, when he starts a new beginner group, or something. In the meantime, take a LO-O-O-ONG time out. You have my permission. Enjoy!

    federicalobsterperson
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    Is he teaching on a particular subject that continues both days of the weekend? From my experience that seems like a lot and multiple classes per week is normally split into different subjects or one session teachings and one practice, even alternating between weeks. Perhaps the Geshe hasn't considered the time difficulty most westerners face and if the issue is raised he'd probably consider offering different teachings on the different days so you don't feel like you are missing out or falling behind.

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

    When it came to Buddhist practice, my Zen teacher once suggested to me: "Take care of your family."

    BunksKundo
Sign In or Register to comment.