The Closet Buddhist

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Darkest Moments Lead To Light

Everyone has their darkest moments in life and they  can set a couse for the rest of your life in a positive or negative way. I had my darkest moment at the age of twenty six. I suffered a serious nervout break down that landed me into a psychiatric hospiral which lead to the bi-polar disorder and asperger’s diagnoses. If that was not done I would probably not be here today.

Now trying to focus on weathering the storm has been the fight that I am dealing with constantly. This is my Mara. Focusing on getting to the light and knowing this will pass and has to pass is what lead me into Buddhism and for me to meet my mentor in a monk. He and I to share one common thread, we both have bi-polar disorder. He has been sharing with me how he deals with it that does not rely solely on medication. He looks a bit it as a chain of suffering that has weak link that has to be broken. Breaking that link into the chain of suffering is key for getting the suffering out from your life.

I have had to focus on the how and why I do suffer with all of the meditations that I have been given as homework. Sometimes, mindfulness can be your biggest ally in your fight against with the darkness.

* Before taking the Buddhism only approach to mental illness, go see a practitioner to help get you stable for your own health. They can make sure you are stable to help you start the long road of recovery. I add the Buddhism teachings in with the therapy and the council in I recieve. Some of the teachings in Buddhism has helped me see through some of the muck and has helped me stay stable and has even helped lower doses of medication when appropriate.

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Buddhist Book Review-The Heart Of The Revolution By Noah Levine

This book was read of my own free will and came from my huge local library.

The author of the book Noah Levine, explains his life as a punk with his life of substance abuse, anger, and suicide attempts. This book goes through the grit of Buddha’s teachings in a form that the average Joe can understand. The material is presented in a way that you can apply the Buddha’s teachings in the twenty first century that reaches out tof today’s youth. Too many books on Buddhism do not even attempt to reach the youth.

The downside is this book might be torture for those who are not new to the Buddha’s teachings go or want more substance.

Bottom line, read it. I enjoyed the reading it on a chilly New England afternoon.

There Is No Excuse For Bullying

We are in bullying awareness week and Bullying needs to be stopped on all spectrums. Some people feel entitled to bully on even the most trivial reason like bad writing. Get over it, there is no excuse. What gives you the right to put others down for not being like you? I feel it is insecurity and a need for control of another.

The Suffering Of Change According To An Aspie

Suffering in Buddhism has three parts; pain, change, and conditionality. My form of suffering that affects the most is suffering from change, A part of my Asperger’s is that I am rigid with routines. If you throw me off the slightest path, I will become a riveted and then I do not know how to deal with the change.

I havery begun to look at it as this will pass and the world will not come to a crashing end if someone comes over and you are delayed putting dinner on the tabble. It may be a noting to be but again, the world will not come to an end. This is something that will pass and the sufeeling of change is something that will be worked out over time through meditation. Suffering from change get will always be with me but it works it self out the more you medditate.

Real Life Mara Demons, I Have Mine

The Buddha faced the Mara demon which turns what should be negatives aspects of life seem positive. Here is mine, it is called mental illness. I suffer from Bi-Polar disorder and severe soctal anxiety disorder. Here is how it throws me off the path.

The bi-polar disorder causes severe ups with a cute mania and crippling depression. It is the mania that causes me the true problem in causing me to be come not mindfull in my actions. I become severely deluded in believing that I need things that I should not need like that $54 eyeshadow pallet. What good is it for me besides instant gratification for something that I might rarely use?

Now the social anxiety disorder holds me back from doing good with fear with being around people. Meditation helps me work through it that not all will bite and to start to overcome this fear. The fear of socializing  has held me back from going to the meditation center, creates negative aspirations in me to avoid others and makes me even more of a closeted Buddhist.

How I Gave Up Eating Meat

Eating meat is what I consider a disrespect to all life by the loss of life of an innocent and al. Giving up meat is not an easy thing to do but it can be done.

  1. Work with a nutritionist so you do not cut out any important nutrient that is vital to your health. For example I had to find other proteins other than soy because I am allergic.
  2. Start with one meal at a time and breakfast is the easy way to dip your feet in it since it is a favorite meal for breads. Since I eat oatmeal for breakfast, that was the easiest way for me.
  3. Avoid the fast food restaurants. Their menus are loaded up with junk and you have no choices in food anyways. Start carrying something with you. Your wallet will love you when you end your trips to Burger King.
  4. Go check out some vegetarian cook books froom your library. This will give you ideas of what to eat so you are not board and be tempted to eat meat.

For me, I could not give it up cold turkey ; pun intended. I had to ween myself off of meat over four months and I have not had a piece of meat go past my mouth since May.

Answer To Why I Am A Closeted Buddhist

I have been asked from Twitter to why I am a Buddhist in the closet and here is why. It is the family I have and fear of their reaction. The family I come from are devout Protestants and are not to tolerant to those who do not believe the same way they do. I love them dearly but it is their reaction I fear. I do not want to have to cut ties for choosing to follow Buddha’s teachings because that is what I am concerned will happen. They will make me chose Buddhism or them.

Feeling And Compassion And Empathy From An Aspie’s Point Of View

Asperger’s is thy enemy for me with social interaction and emotions. Understanding emotions and blocking emotions can be an unfortunate talent of  mine. I do not know how to feel them to be exact but there are other ways to show that you have empathy and compassion and that is by actions. I explain what I can not express through my words I do it through action. I do believe actions speak much better than words anyways.

Book Review: The Buddha In Your Mirror: Practical Buddhism And The Search For Self

Written By: Woody Hochswender, Greg Martin, and Ted Moreno

This book was found in my local library like many of the books in my blog that I may be talking about and is read on my own free will.

This book is written by Americans and written in simple English that the average person can understand. I like how the authors word the book that  will drive more curiosity for those who want to learrun more about the teachings of the Buddha. This book is how I traveled down the road in learning about the Buddha and wanting to practice the teachings of the Buddha.

 

My Plans For The Holidays As A Buddhist In A Non-Buddhist Family

Thanksgiving is coming up and to me it is a holiday of sloth and gluttony for some and the slaughtering of animals. Everyone in my family travels but I have plans to cook in a nursing home for the day. This is giving back and be  generous to others. I feel better about doing this because I want to start a new tradition of helping someone on this holiday. The nursing home that I will be going to is a place that needs cheering up for the day.

Christmas is going to be a tough one but I will request that if you must give me anything, put the money to a local charity without my name on it. I feel like I feel I am forced to give in material gifts back to them because they have a habit of shaming you for not being thoughtful in a big gift for them. When I give big, I want to do it for the right reason. The right reason is to make someone feel happy without feeling obligated. My happy time this Christmas will be working with the local youth center as we do a teddy bear drive. This is how I want someone to be happy during this holiday season.

 

 

 

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