Lonely Buddhist

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Re: Lonely Buddhist

Post by Ayu » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:32 pm

Okay. I understand.
My teacher is also focusing to us, we should be a Sangha jewel to eachother.
But unless I have become a Bodhisattva or Buddha, I find it difficult sometimes. Often I help people by doing nothing special. Accidently. At other times, I realize 'This person needs help. S/he even asks for mental support." And I try hard to give it, but the result is counter-productive. Instead of giving inspiration, there is increasing envy or discouragement as a consequence. :shrug:
And there are some saints in my sangha also, but I can't sit on their lap to receive their support all the time. We all need solitude sometimes and the skill to practice in solitude also.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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Re: Lonely Buddhist

Post by Ambrosius80 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:44 pm

Hello and welcome! :anjali:

I was in a similar situation some time ago. To me it seems that the largest problem with western Buddhist Sanghas has to do with the contemporary western materialistic culture. People are only drawn to the Dharma because they see meditation and the like as merely self-help tools, intended to better their concurrent lives instead of actively aiming to help all sentient beings or to live by Buddhist ethics and morality. Often this attitude is also reflected in how Sangha members relate to each other. (read: aloof and indifferently).

Most westerners have little to no interest in things such as bodhicitta, rebirth or the law of cause and effect. Instead, people disregard or dismiss such concepts entirely because sadly our culture has placed individual, material happiness over the needs of others, and in addition most people go to extreme lenghts in order to dismiss responsibility for their actions.

As others have mentioned, westerners also tend to overanalyze and rationalize things, including Buddhist teachings, which leads to cynicism and scepticism about them. Everything, for a modern westerner, must be irrefutably tested and proven before it can be believed or even personally practiced. For this reason many western Buddhists can prove to be cold and indifferent, as they see Buddhism as some personal philosophical/spiritual adventure that is only relevant when it suits the practitioner's situation and interests. Buddhist morality (sila) and wisdom (prajna) are often ignored, and only meditation (samadhi) is emphasized in many Buddhist centers throughout Europe and the USA. That's why certain Sanghas can seem uninviting and indifferent.

My advice to you would be to find a Sangha that is generally a joy to visit, instead of a chore. It should make you feel at home and have a majority of people who practice Buddhism seriously. And frankly ethnical Buddhist centers/temples are the places I would check out first in any Western country. For a true communal atmosphere I would definitely start with the Pure Land temples.

I wish you can find a good Sangha for yourself! :anjali:
"What we have now is the best. He who can never be satisfied is a poor man, no matter how much he owns.

What you have results from karmic causes that you created, and what you'll gain hinges on karmic causes that you're creating."
-Master Sheng Yen

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