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Buddhists left and right

Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

Something I've become curious about: What other Buddhists are in your life? Who are they? Family members? Is the rest of your family Buddhist? What is the interaction like? Does it evolve over time? Or are the other Buddhists in your life in a local group? Or online?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    Other than those on this forum, I have no other Buddhists in my life AFAIK....

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited December 2016

    I found out post-humously, after a cousin had passed away, that he'd been a Buddhist most of his life, including throughout his distinguished service in Vietnam. When he reported for the draft, he told the draft board that because he was a Buddhist, he wouldn't carry a gun, but he would fulfill his service. They took him. He earned a medal for exceptional service as a medic, in spite of never having handled a gun. I imagine that his Dharmic compassion motivated him to help others in need, and to perform acts of bravery in rescuing soldiers from enemy fire.

    I wish, now, that I had known this, so that I could have talked to him about it, and learned more.

    Vastmindherbertoeggsavior
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    My sister has been involved for a while with Buddhism on her own level. She spent a lot of time in Boulder and took some classes at Naropa. Several of her friends that I know are the same. My son got interested in Buddhism when he was 15 (he just turned 20). I have a small local sangha, so have many Buddhist or Buddhist-inspired friends, and my involvement with yoga also connects me with many like-minded people who are at least familiar with Buddhism and friendly to the concepts. I'd actually say in my everyday life, I know quite a few people who fall within those ranges. More that do than don't, and I live in a town of 3000 people. So that's interesting to think about. But they are largely who I surround myself with by choice, and I keep a small circle of friends.

    I get a lot of questions from family/friends who are curious. Even our Sangha runs the gamut from quite in-depth discussions and very basic stuff (which can easily become quite in-depth, lol).

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2016

    My children one 'Christmas' ( around 10 years ago) bought me a Buddha Bust :)

    My daughter's explored Buddhism when doing a religious studies paper at uni, plus she's read books on Buddhism, by Dalai lama, Pema Chodron...(In fact I'm buying her another Pema Chodron book for her birthday, she like her/Buddhism's approach to life situations)..But I wouldn't say she a practising Buddhist as such...

    My eldest boy lived in Japan for six years, he did visit Buddhist temples quite often when he was there, but he didn't take up Buddhism has a practice...

    So two out of four of my children have shown some interest, as for the other two, they don't seem to show any interest in religion... But they are familiar with Buddhism due to my practice...

    In Aotearoa (NZ) "Buddhists" make up 1.3% of the population (in 2006)

    Island life is community life...I attend a Buddhist group every Monday evening and we see each other during the week (it's a small island)...There are (so I have discovered ) quite a few Buddhist practitioners on the island from all different schools/sects...The island in the past seemed to draw spiritually minded people, and during the late 60s through to the late 90s early 2000, alternative lifestylers eg "happies" inhabited the island...many were into Eastern philosophies ...

    Many islanders are curious about Buddhism and some of the people I work with (in both jobs) have shown an interest in the Buddhist approach to life, but more so in the 'meditation' techniques...

    No doubt there are many people who practice the Dharma(the Buddha's teachings, from books they have read or Dharma teachings on youtube) but don't call themselves Buddhists...

    herberto
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    My uncle is a Buddhist, he writes poetry about Emptiness in Dutch. He very gradually moved that way and used to have long discussions with his mother about religion, her being a reformed Protestant and staunch in that belief.

    My father is more alternative than Buddhist, he seeks enlightenment but more through the knowledge of the Indian guru Osho. He has a wide Buddhist streak though, and we often have interesting talks over coffee.

    There are a number of Buddhist centres in the area, but none immediately close to me. It's at least half an hour by bus or train to get into a town where they are, and they are relatively small compared to the overall population, which is predominantly Christian.

  • I consider the great Bodhi, prophets of other religions, Siddhas, monks, yidams, stream starters etc as friends or at least fellow fiends. I consider their written words, their epic trails and tales as examples ...

    http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/rhinoceros.html

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2016

    Buddhists in the Bible belt? :lol: Surely you jest!

    Just a few Temples around....broke up by Asian ethnic groups.... (and a big TNH Monastery 45 mins away). NB is my constant church home. Family is all Christian. Just Hubby and I are Buddhists.

    This is Jesus land around here...keep all your other weird stuff to yourself! hahahaha

    herberto
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    @Vastmind said:
    Family is all Christian. Just Hubby and I are Buddhists.

    You're the first one to mention a Buddhist spouse/significant other. I suspect you're the exception, and that most of us are 'solo practitioners' in the house. I am.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    ^^ Yup. ^^

  • herbertoherberto Arizona Explorer

    I'm the only one in my home that practices Buddhism. A friends daughter is a Buddhist and the guy that tiled our home is a Buddhist. I also have several friends that are interested in Buddhism and have been reading about it, but so far I practice alone.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    @Steve_B said:

    @Vastmind said:
    Family is all Christian. Just Hubby and I are Buddhists.

    You're the first one to mention a Buddhist spouse/significant other. I suspect you're the exception, and that most of us are 'solo practitioners' in the house. I am.

    Well... like everything, it's got it's good and bad. If we're not being careful, it can just be another subject to fight/argue about.

    "You bought another bell? We already have 3...Your missing the point!"
    " I sit for 2 hours a day...you only sit for 30 mins...so..???."
    " That's not what the book/Monk meant...."
    " OMG...lay off the incense...my sinuses are angry!"

    hahahaha...you get the point.

    karastidhammachick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Vastmind Yes! I can see all those things happening in our house. I'm kind of glad I'm the only in-house Buddhist. My son practices, but mostly in his room he meditates and reads. His room is in the basement. My husband doesn't care either way (he grew up Catholic but doesn't subscribe to anything at this point) but he doesn't really understand why it's important to me, either. I have my little altar (which is relocated thanks to Christmas decorations) and he'll pile paperwork on it and doesn't understand why I get mad, lol. It's the only tiny corner in the house that belongs to just me and I want it kept just-so! Buddha doesn't want your papers!

    VastmindherbertoSteve_B
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Steve_B said:
    Something I've become curious about: What other Buddhists are in your life? Who are they? Family members? Is the rest of your family Buddhist? What is the interaction like? Does it evolve over time? Or are the other Buddhists in your life in a local group? Or online?

    For a long time it was just me. My first wife sort of adopted some of it so maybe she was more Budd-ish than Buddhist. Same with my cousin and my oldest friend. All three are passed on now so maybe I should stop introducing people to Buddhism. They did ask though and I never pushed it.

    My fiance is Buddhist since birth and that's partly why she stuck with me. Her parents are also Buddhist and her Dad was left at a monastery when he was very young in Cambodia.

    Other than that there are a couple of sanghas I go to every now and then that I am not really a member of and you guys.

  • ZenCanuckZenCanuck Toronto, ON Explorer

    I have a few friends I call my "Buddha buddies". One has been into it for many years, the other got into it years ago, but it was more of a side road from her Paganism (I'm a Pagan too, that's how we got to be friends).

    When I started exploring Buddhism last summer, I told them about it and now they're joining me at a meditation group, kind of getting back into it after being less active in recent years.

    We've joined a sangha in Toronto, I'm probably a bit more committed to it at the moment than they are, but only because I'm a baby Buddha who needs the extra support....they are more established.

    I joined this discussion website because I'm always looking for new folks to talk to.

    herbertoBunksKerome
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    I don't know a single Buddhist besides you fine folk.

    Bunks
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @JaySon it's possible you do (in an acquaintance type of way) and don't even know it! The first retreat my teacher did when he came here, I figured maybe 5 people would come. We live in a town of 3,000 and I know most of them. More than 40 people came, and from that group, we started a local Sangha with the guidance of our teacher, who lives 250 miles away. We have a couple dozen regulars. So, if we have that kind of support in a rural, redneck town, I'd bet you have more around you than you realize :)

    lobsterJaySonBunks
  • just_sojust_so Explorer

    I suspect most Buddhist like the solitary aspect of Buddhism. It's unbranded. It doesn't have a budget. It doesn't ride a bike or knock on doors. It's the Truth you seek, not the truth you buy. I might like to know if I have any family members that are Buddhist but I doubt I would talk to them about it much. By design, Buddhism is personal.

    BunksNMADDP
  • just_sojust_so Explorer

    Lo and behold... a couple Jehovah's witnesses came knocking on my door just now. O.o I take refuge in the Sangha but I'm not sure how I would respond if Buddhists came calling. Never thought about that before.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @just_so said:
    I'm not sure how I would respond if Buddhists came calling. Never thought about that >before.

    I'm glad that Buddhists don't cram their beliefs down other people's throats. In Toronto there is always someone yelling something about God or the end of the world somewhere downtown. They should be personal beliefs kept to one's self unless it is the right forum.

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Hell, most of my family doesn't even know I'm Buddhist. It's not that I'm scared for them to know, but I just don't feel like defending my views. (Which are Right View by the way bwahaha).

    Tigger
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Tigger the fact is, your country is a 'Free' one, and unless one's utterances carry hate or divisive speech, or words intended to incite separatism, people are free to express themselves as they wish.
    I know it can be annoying, but you're under no obligation to respond, or agree.

    There are some countries where such actions would have people condemned to death, or a life-sentence of Hard Labour.
    The people you speak about, as harbingers of the World's End, are correct in a way. It WILL end. The question is when, and how. But sadly, many people of that ilk might be mentally ill, particularly if they rant aimlessly, and ramble in unconnected ways.

    Tigger
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @Steve_B said:
    Something I've become curious about: What other Buddhists are in your life? Who are they? Family members? Is the rest of your family Buddhist? What is the interaction like? Does it evolve over time? Or are the other Buddhists in your life in a local group? Or online?

    -My daughter and a handful of friends are Buddhist...

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