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I've really never had occasion to talk about my spiritual interests. The topic has simply never arisen. Does that mean I'm in the closet? In order to not be closeted, does one have to wear one's spiritual path on one's sleeve? Does anyone outside of the US bible belt even care? (Well, besides the JW's, that is)
Oh, actually, it did come up once, in conversation, haha! I took a taxi once to the Tibetan monastery in town, which would have required two or three buses for me to reach, and on Sundays, the buses run sparsely. The driver was Near Eastern. I explained where my destination was (didn't have the address), and that it was a Buddhist monastery; -- "you can't miss it", I chirped.
He asked (almost demanding), rather seriously, "What is this Buddhism?!" So I explained some basic aspects of it, and he was very interested. He took it all in, and said it made sense, it was a good thing. "You work on yourself, then you help others", he summed it up. Fascinating exchange. Peeking out of the closet can be a fascinating and rewarding experience.
Hello everyone, I'd like to learn more about Buddhism and how to incorporate it's teachings into my life. I am also interested in how Buddhist teachings apply to current issues. Does anyone have any books or online lectures to recommend to me?
How to incorporate Buddhism into your life? Be kind and thoughtful toward people. Monitor yourself (this is called "mindfulness") to observe when your motive for choosing an action might be ego-based, vs. compassion-based. Let go of the ego as a driving motive.
You'll be well on your way to being a serious practitioner, if you can do those simple things.
Of course, this is very worrisome and dismaying. But corporate interests have been taking over many paths of influence over the generations. I remember seeing a documentary on how the auto, petroleum and highway industries influenced public opinion back in the 40's or 50s by staging a huge exhibit at a World's Fair, to demonstrate how cars were America's future and the path to modernity. Public transit was shown to be old-fashioned and backwards. Cities of the future would have networks of freeways whisking people from the suburbs to downtown for work and leisure.
This trifecta of interests then proceeded to buy up transit companies in major cities around the country, removing overhead electric-trolley lines and light rail tracks, replacing all that with gas-guzzling buses on limited schedules, to force people to buy cars. They eliminated Los Angeles' bus system altogether. They tore out light-rail commuter train tracks on the east side of San Francisco Bay, serving people who worked in SF. They were later sued in federal court for all the damage they'd done, but received only a slap on the wrist, and weren't required to replace any of the services they'd eliminated.
I don't know if such an outrage could have been perpetrated on the public in Europe. I have the impression the corporations have a stronger stranglehold on life in the US.
The university I attended in the Pacific Northwest had a leading School of Forestry. When my uncle got his degree there, they taught that clear-cutting was extremely damaging, and should be avoided at all costs, and taught techniques for culling some trees while leaving neighboring trees standing, so that the forest could easily regenerate.
By the 1980's, one of the big timber companies in the state had taken over the School of Forestry, "buying" it with huge donations. Suddenly, the curriculum changed radically, and clear-cutting was seen not only as ok, but a rationale was found to justify this as "healthy" for wildlife!
And it's become painfully clear in recent years the extent to which corporations have been striving to hoodwink the American public into believing that global warming/climate change is not caused by human activity.
Perhaps re-regulation, rather than de-regulation of industry, should be implemented, if it's not already too late to take back our government from these destructive interests.
Thanks, @yagr. I'm happy to hear that you have a good therapist that you feel comfortable with. Very interesting about how patients who dissociate can't do EMDR until the dissociative tendencies are resolved. You seem very patient. Keep up the good work.