Your Spiritual Youth

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Mantrik » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:42 pm

The threads by one of our younger members prompted me to ask myself:

'Well, what were YOU into at the same age?'

If we take age 17-21 (so we include student years) I wonder what we were all exploring as part of our spiritual path.

Did any of us find Buddhadharma and stick with it ?

Did any of us find anything we could really adhere to?

I was exploring the Golden Dawn, OTO, Hinduism (as it was the tail end of the hippy era), Welsh mysticism, poetry and horror fiction such as Arthur Machen and William Hope Hodgson, Egyptian 'magic' and of course 'Buddhism' (Bardo Thodol first, then Huxley...).

So I'm no stranger to exploring the occult, religions etc. in my youth. I just wish I'd gone for more depth and less breadth.
Or maybe I'm not.............breadth is good, perhaps, as it gives us context.

How about you?
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

Simon E.
Posts: 5294
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:54 pm

I spent time with a Sufi teacher, and then was very taken with Ramakrishna..I visited the centre in London a lot.
I then discovered Dharma ..
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

User avatar
Monlam Tharchin
Posts: 1667
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:45 pm

I discovered the Dharma at about age 15 but seriously misunderstood it. I completely skipped the compassion part and tried to be some kind of unemotional weirdo. After that stopped being fun, I became a typical secular anti-religion teenager for a while.
I spent some time trying to be a Quaker off and on in my 20s. Their approach of direct experience of God, coupled with my study of the Gospel of Thomas and the Cloud of Unknowing, made sense to me.
If I hadn't ended up coming to the conclusion that such a God either doesn't exist at all or not like the way Christians say he does, I'd probably still be a Quaker.
But that disappointment forced me to branch out in my mid-20s and here I am.

I think I learned a lot from my time among sincere Christian seekers.
It showed me the value of living a faith as one's everyday constant activity.
It's probably partly why I found resonance with the Pure Land approach of all-day nembutsu.

Miroku
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Miroku » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:10 pm

I discovered dharma at 17 after thinking that buddhism is fake. At 17 I read Lama Ole's book Buddha and Love and although I am still quite far from knowing what is the deal with Ole the book has changed my life. I started reading about zen, vajrayana and then finally about dzogchen and Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche when I by accident clicked on the czech DC page. At first I thought it is fake as I saw him in his hawaii shirt smiling, but few days later I felt compelled to return and explore and well rest is history.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9245
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by DGA » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:18 pm

I was exposed to Taoism (or what I thought was Taoism) through some books when I was in my early teens. I constructed myself an identity out of that for some years.

Around 19 I picked up some Buddhist books and read those. Theravadin, mostly. Reading around in Theravadin material led me to construct a different identity for myself that I inhabited for a few years more, and also to an insight meditation group. I read a lot of insight meditation books, and a lot of the books that insight meditation books recommend, and so on. That became a rabbit hole. I also got into hatha yoga, which was helpful and fun.

I read a lot of Gurdjieff material and other stuff in that scene. And some other stuff too. I read widely. I also met some teachers in different traditions (one Sufi, one Shaivite most memorably).

What stopped me shopping around was a weekend Zen retreat I participated in around age 27. Around this time, I met a lama who had moved to the town I was living in. That was the end of my protracted adolescence.

Motova
Posts: 910
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Motova » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:30 pm

17 New Age (Alien Channelings, Indigo Children, Starseeds, Psychic Development)
18 New Age (Winter/Spring), then Kundalini Yoga (Summer), then Tibetan Buddhism (Fall)
19 Tibetan Buddhism
20 First Empowerments
21-23 Dzogchen Community (Mostly just the Thun book)
24 Dzogchen Community (Focusing on the Guru Yoga book ATM), Pure Land, reading Thervada stuff, Hypnosis
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Mantrik » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:42 pm

Wow. :)
I guess what we were into not only relates to where we were but the decade too. Mine was late 1960's and early 70's. I bet there's a PhD to be earned by linking a person's youthful music collection with their early spirituality.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Thomas Amundsen
Posts: 1859
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:52 pm

I wasn't very spiritual at age 17. I became interested in Zen and read books by Alan Watts sometime when I was 18 or 19. Then I started formally practicing Zen with a teacher at age 20, I'm 32 now. Age 17-18, I was more interested in theoretical physics and stuff like that. I read The Tao of Physics I guess when I was 17, that was kind of a bridge, I think. Although I always had a vague interest in spirituality, mediation, and Zen/Taoism, even from a really young age. I thought that Taoist masters, Kung Fu masters, and Master Splinter looked really cool :)

Tenma
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:25 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Tenma » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:39 am

Mantrik wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:42 pm
The threads by one of our younger members prompted me to ask myself:

'Well, what were YOU into at the same age?'

If we take age 17-21 (so we include student years) I wonder what we were all exploring as part of our spiritual path.

Did any of us find Buddhadharma and stick with it ?

Did any of us find anything we could really adhere to?

I was exploring the Golden Dawn, OTO, Hinduism (as it was the tail end of the hippy era), Welsh mysticism, poetry and horror fiction such as Arthur Machen and William Hope Hodgson, Egyptian 'magic' and of course 'Buddhism' (Bardo Thodol first, then Huxley...).

So I'm no stranger to exploring the occult, religions etc. in my youth. I just wish I'd gone for more depth and less breadth.
Or maybe I'm not.............breadth is good, perhaps, as it gives us context.

How about you?

Hey! What about us pre-teens? :x

MiphamFan
Posts: 901
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by MiphamFan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:35 am

I was into the Western grimoires at around age 17-18, and even tried to summon some demons from the Goetia, didn't work, and I think I brought a lot of unnecessary turmoil in my life due to that. At some point I saw Jason Miller posting about Tibetan Buddhism, I went for my first empowerment and then just lost interest in Western magic more and more. I had some misconceptions about the Dharma from first reading Miller's stuff which I had to work out over the years, and I don't agree with him about many things concerning the Dharma anymore, but I still do thank him for being a secondary cause for exposing me to Tibetan Buddhism.

User avatar
Ayu
Former staff member
Posts: 6894
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Ayu » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:24 pm

I had an affinity to meditation in my early years, when I was maybe 14 or 15 years old. When I saw a photo of someone sitting on a medow meditating my heart made a jump of joy.
But I didn't know anything about Dharma, I had no idea it existed. So, one day I thought, I wanna know more about these things and I went to our local library in order to find a book about witchcraft. Probably my intention was to become a mysterious lady, some kind of "good witch".
Fortunately there was no book of that kind, but I found a heap of interesting books on meditation and yoga. Good karma, I'm glad.

Sadly, there was no attraction to Buddhism before I became 46 years old. :shrug:

So, OP, it's true: youth has to walk on meandering paths in order to develop their own knowledge about what is right and wrong. And they need so much fortune... they have not the faintest idea how much protection they need and have.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

User avatar
Kunga Lhadzom
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:49 pm

I wrote poetry . Read Neitzche. Loved being alone....also had a deep love for others....i also thought it was interesting how the mind works on mind altering drugs....life fascinated me...I loved everything. ...wanted to be everything (starving artist, actor, archeologist, palentologist, astronomer, geologist, art teacher, ).

But i couldn't focus on one thing...so life had its way with me....
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

https://drunklotus.blog

User avatar
weitsicht
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by weitsicht » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:50 pm

I was 24 when my grandma deceased.

That was when I re-learned to cry.

My search for the essence of life was there, but got deeply suppressed by the future-me projected angst of making a living.

Somehow I am reliving that youth now at 35-40. Because now I can. I even remember dreams when I was five.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

Motova
Posts: 910
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Motova » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:14 am

Tenma wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:39 am
Mantrik wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:42 pm
The threads by one of our younger members prompted me to ask myself:

'Well, what were YOU into at the same age?'

If we take age 17-21 (so we include student years) I wonder what we were all exploring as part of our spiritual path.

Did any of us find Buddhadharma and stick with it ?

Did any of us find anything we could really adhere to?

I was exploring the Golden Dawn, OTO, Hinduism (as it was the tail end of the hippy era), Welsh mysticism, poetry and horror fiction such as Arthur Machen and William Hope Hodgson, Egyptian 'magic' and of course 'Buddhism' (Bardo Thodol first, then Huxley...).

So I'm no stranger to exploring the occult, religions etc. in my youth. I just wish I'd gone for more depth and less breadth.
Or maybe I'm not.............breadth is good, perhaps, as it gives us context.

How about you?

Hey! What about us pre-teens? :x


:smile:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

tenyang
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by tenyang » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:52 pm

I grew up in a family/environment were I was exposed to different religions and beliefs (ranging from atheist to agnosticism, to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, folk religion...) and encouraged to keep a tolerant and open mind and seek answers for myself. I'm very grateful for this. I think this encouraged me to develop an early interest in the spiritual path, although my own personal/intimate beliefs were very vague for a while. I do remember I was obsessed with a sense of "mystical quest" since as early as when I was 13-14. By the time I was 17 I I remember I considered myself a pantheist (i.e. held the belief the divine is the whole itself), although my ideas were probably closer to "hylozoism" (all matter is alive). At the time I was convinced that science held all answers, and that spirituality should be based on it. Little by little, though, I began to realise that science had its limits: in particular, it really bothered me that the pursue of science did not make those engaged in it better people. I came to realise a lot of people in the scientific world were cultivating their own arrogance, narcissism, selfishness. This was a shock to me. It made me understand science was not enough. While I had heard the story of prince Siddharta when I was a kid and had had been fascinated with Buddhism for a while, it was only in my late teens and early twenties that I actually started reading about this topic. Then I remember how a short Zen story I read (the one about the cracked pot) resonated so much with me that it encouraged me to find out more about Buddhism. At first my sources were only books, so it was more of an intellectual pursuit than practice. Then I my mid-twenties I got a chance to attend teachings in a local Tibetan gompa,and that's how I met my master and started on this path.

On a side note, I still think that the Dharma and science should go hand in hand. They are just different tools or frameworks to seek out answers to different questions.

tenyang
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by tenyang » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:44 pm

tenyang wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:52 pm
I do remember I was obsessed with a sense of "mystical quest" since as early as when I was 13-14.
I think I should clarify this point. What I meant is that as a child and teen I was a prolific storyteller - it was my way of making sense of life and deal with it (and because of that I never felt a desire to share them with others). Recently I've come across a couple of old boxes of those stories I had written and it struck me that most of the stories I wrote in my early teens shared the basic same elements and plot: the balance of a community/family is severely disrupted (either by natural causes or an action/choice made by main character); either way the main character feels deeply affected and the shock propels him/her on a quest to seek out knowledge; in the process the main character severs ties with the community and becomes and outcast; along the way, he/she acquires wisdom; eventually, character realises he/she has found answers within and finds peace/balance, but decides to return to the community to share it even if that means suffering or death.

So, not a particularly original plot (from a narrative point of view the good bits were the details and character development I guess)... but I found it curious that this idea was so important to me at that age.

Choosing to take refuge and practice the Dharma and take life-long commitments was a rational choice I made as an adult. But at the same time, I think there's also an emotional component that played a role, a feeling that the teachings do really resonate with my outlook, my values, my life experience. It's not merely an intellectual thing.

Not that it has been an easy ride. Transitioning from what I thought/believed and what I was learning through practice and the teachings has been sometimes tough and even painful (because of attachment): like transitioning from pantheism to the idea of emptiness, or the concept of karma and its implications (I feared I would become callous towards others' suffering, as in "if that person/being suffers, it's the result of their past actions, they deserve"; of course this is not the right approach, cultivating compassion is fundamental!), or finding myself questioning my choice to be an organ donor.

User avatar
Sonam Wangchug
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:12 am

Though I had some connection to the Tibetan buddhist tradition since I was a child, I didn't formally take refuge and get into it until much later (16)

By the age of 19 I was living in a Kagyu monastery with Brahmacharya upasaka vows, and planning on ordaining and going into at least one 3 year retreat.

By 21 I was ordained, however my connection with the Nyingma was clear, and at that time I recited many prayers to Guru rinpoche hoping that I could connect with an authentic Nyingma lama. (Which came true)

I eventually disrobed, and have been practicing in the Nyingma tradition for quite a while now.

As a teen I hung out with a very bad crowd, and the fact that I was able to get away from that and connect with a spiritual path is something I owe to HH The 16th gyalwang karmapa, and HH Dudjom rinpoche, for that I will forever be grateful.

steveb1
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by steveb1 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:31 pm

At that age I was a devoted Catholic - raised Catholic, 12 years of Catholic schooling, cousin who was a priest, aunt who was a nun. I didn't leave the Church until the age of 28 because the "truths" seemed relative at best. I began studying comparative religion, Carl Jung, Alan Watts, critical New Testament scholarship and during that study I found that Buddhism, especially the Mahayana, was quite attractive. Finally I got "snagged" by Buddhism when I happened to come across an article about the kindness of Christians by Jodo Shinshu priest Jose Tirado. This sparked me to examine Shin, and after a short period of investigation, I found that it fit like the proverbial glove, and I have been a Jodo Shinshu adherent for over ten years now.

I still value some of my Catholic heritage, especially after I learned from Jung that the Church's sacramentality served as a conduit for archetypal material, and that this accounted in great measure for so many years spent in the Church, for the sake of the "soul satisfaction" that I was finding in its rituals, sacraments, and liturgy.

Bristollad
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by Bristollad » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:01 am

17-21 hmmm, Lam Rim Buddhist Centre with Geshe Damcho most weekends and Tai Chi classes Mon-Thurs, 4 hours each night. Building fences, drystone walls, scrub bashing etc. for Avon Wildlife Trust on their nature reserves during the daytime. That’s when the aspiration to ordain took hold, took another 30 years to get the right conditions in place :rolling:

User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Your Spiritual Youth

Post by TharpaChodron » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:01 am

I think my first unofficial introduction to Buddhism was seeing the beautiful Kuan Yin statue at the Nelson Atkins Museum several times when I was a child. It left a great impression on me, for sure.

And I was really into all of Chogyam Trungpa's books and "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" at age 19. I then met Pema Chodron when I was 19 or 20, had a private meeting where I asked her how one knows if they should become a Buddhist. She answered very matter of fact, and I felt like a total idiot and left hastily.

I never became ordained or took my passion to a more serious level, but I do recall being around 20 yrs old, working in a cafe in Austin, Tx and a bunch of Tibetan Buddhist monks came in. I served all their drinks and I recall thinking what a wonderful opportunity to create some good merit it was. I was stoked. :D

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: liuzg150181, Ogyen and 26 guests