a bit about me

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a bit about me

Postby lotusflower » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:46 am

hi all

I am a 39 year old woman from the UK who is very interested in spirituality.

I have been a practising buddhist for the last 5 years; a member of sokka gakkai international which follows nichiren buddhism. the teachings are based on the shakyamuni's later teachings, the lotus sutra of which the essence is that we can are all buddhas and have infinite potential. anyway i think the teachings are beautiful but increasingly have become disillusioned with the practise which revolves around chanting, attending activities, encouraging others to start practising. we are encouraged to chant to acheive our goals with the idea that "earthly desires are enlightenment". Anyway i have had some benefit of practising but for the last 2 or more years i have had lots of anxiety and some depression that has been unbearable at times. this is put down to negativity and that i should chant more, study more etc which i have really tried to do but the joy just seemed to have disappeared from my life and i was very caught up in the ego. Feeling such despair that I hadn't acheived my goals, feeling like a failure etc. couldnt understand it as spiritual practise is meant to make you happy isnt it?

Anyway recently i have started reading lots of new age spirituality such as Tolle, Louise Hay, Course in Miracles etc etc. This just makes so much sense to me the idea of accepting and surrendering. so much more gentle than the constant striving that my religion seems to encourage. maybe this isnt the intention of sgi but this is certainly how it comes across to me. i certainly dont think this was shakyamuni buddha's intention! anyway i digress. i had a profound experience a few weeks ago. i was smoking weed and i started to really see my ego as separate from me and that my environment was a reflection of me and that i was one with it. then my perception completely changed and i felt so unbelievably present. i could feel the life force and universe vibrating through me and i felt at one with this. this was so unbelievably different to my normal perception of reality that i started to get scared and panicky and then it passed. anyway after i felt high anxiety for a few days perhaps because i realised life was not what i thought it was but my ego did not like this! but then something seems to have clicked and i have surrendered to the now and i feel great! my thoughts are still there but i am observing them and they are passing and i am really seeing them for what they are, A TOTAL ILLUSION! the past and future are an illusion! OMG this feels amazing to realise this and i have felt such peace and joy ever since and LOVE! all this striving i have been doing and the answer was within me all the time! of course the worries and feelings still arise but i just bring presence to them and they transmute into a deep sense of peace.

i am going to have to step down from sgi (i have a responsibility). this is difficult for me as i have devoted 5 years to the practise but i now know this is not teh right path for me. i love what ekhart says somewhere about if you feel joy you are on the right path, i don't regret my buddhist practise as i think it paved the way for where i am now and maybe i needed the structure and discipline at the beginning of my journey. i just think, as ekhart says, organised religion is so covered with extraneaous matter that it loses its spiritual essence. i think that is true.

anyway just thought i would share. this looks like a great group. i am a big ekhart tolle fan and look forwarding to reading more of the posts
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Re: a bit about me

Postby peas » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:04 pm

Welcome. A beautiful example for us all on these forums of how to explain without drama the journey of awakening. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: a bit about me

Postby Fore » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:40 pm

Good stuff lotus, I would suggest slow changes as opposed to drastic, as this initial awakening tends to fizzle some. You may also see through some of the ritualistic bits(bark) of your previous practice, and get closer to the heartwood.

Kind welcome to you.
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Re: a bit about me

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:51 pm

Hello lotusflower, welcome to the forum. I enjoyed your opening post and especially your recognition that life is not so much about our goals as it is about our journey. Goals, while valuable in their own right, are always future focuses, but our journey is our actual life experience.

My sense is that this now, this present moment, as Tolle points out, is where life is lived. We are the conscious space in which all life experience takes place. There is nothing physical about our Essence. Physical experience is simply one type of conscious exploration. And yes, I agree that following our joy - or what feels right - is the fast lane to expanding consciousness. It is about our conscious vibration, and our feeling nature is what guides us and informs us of the quality of our focus of attention.

Enjoy the forum. Share your interests. No doubt you will find many useful discussions.

WW
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Re: a bit about me

Postby Psychoslice » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:08 am

Welcome to the forum lotusflower , I like your story, there's nothing wrong with practising Buddhism just because one Awakens, or find Tolle's teachings to be true, Buddhism is a beautiful way of life, and I would still practise if I was you.
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Re: a bit about me

Postby Webwanderer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:47 am

Psychoslice wrote:Buddhism is a beautiful way of life, and I would still practise if I was you.

Curious advice. How can you know this would be best for her because you believe it would be best for you? Would it not be better for her to trust her own inner guidance to where ever it may lead?

WW
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Re: a bit about me

Postby Psychoslice » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:09 am

Webwanderer wrote:
Psychoslice wrote:Buddhism is a beautiful way of life, and I would still practise if I was you.

Curious advice. How can you know this would be best for her because you believe it would be best for you? Would it not be better for her to trust her own inner guidance to where ever it may lead?

WW

Well I have been there, I love the Buddhist way of life, as I also love the stories of Krishna and even some of Jesus' teachings. When I had my own experience in consciousness and realized that we don't need any of this, I also realized that there was nothing wrong in all this, its all a story, and with certain philosophies it can be a beautiful story, I am only sharing my own experience, she doesn't have to do anything that I suggest, I'm sure she has enough intelligence to do that for herself. .
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Re: a bit about me

Postby lotusflower » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:53 pm

hi all
thanks all for your great input, i understand psyhoslice's point about buddhism. yes we don't need it but is a beautiful philosophy and it doesnt hurt to be around other spiritual people with very similar beliefs, my challenge with sgi is that it originated in a very masculine society (japan) and this is reflected in the practise. there is a lot of striving and challenging and beating obstacles and winning. now, this may suit some people (and i think some do really benefit from it) but it is definitely not the path for me anymore. i realised this when i experienced "the power of now" how none of this other stuff matters. the constant striving and goals etc was just making me more anxious and more important to me is acceptance and being in the moment. this wasn't an intellectual realisation i came to and i was a very very dedicated buddhist and thought this would be my life long practise but my experiences have now made me just know that this isn't right. and it is quite hard for me now as all my support network etc is in sgi - it has been my life for 5 years! the poster who said i shouldnt do anything drastic is quite right. i am learning to be gentle with myself and it feels like a wonderful relief. all the focus on karma and creating good causes has created a lot of conflict and stress within me

these last few years have been very very difficult for me. i have felt extremely anxious and depressed and felt i had no choice to surrender to where i am and when i did i felt an incredible sense of relief. not to say it is going to be plain sailing here on in but it just feels like a tap i had shut tight has been turned on and everything is now flowing or like dam has broken, it is wonderful but also a bit overwhelming at times.

great to meet like minded people here!
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