Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post Reply
bcol01
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by bcol01 » Sun May 20, 2018 5:57 pm

While I do have faith in Nichiren Buddhism, I am finding it incredibly hard to let go of the faith that I grew up with. I'm sure there is some psychological reason for this but I'm wondering what to do. Do I just continue to chant everyday and hope that the instinctual pull towards my faith that I grew up with will dissipate or? At this point I have been sort of practicing both Christianity and Buddhism and I am worried because Nichiren warned about mixing practices and I don't want to lose any merit either. Thank you for your insights everyone and for your advice this is truly a great forum. 🙏. Gassho

markatex
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by markatex » Sun May 20, 2018 6:05 pm

It’s just ingrained in some people. Who knows why? It’s not something I personally have an issue with, but maybe that’s because my family was not really that religious, although the surrounding culture of the Deep South was.

When you say you’re still sort of practicing Christianity, what does that look like, exactly?

I get the impression you’re perhaps fairly young. If so, that probably has a lot to do with many of the issues you’re struggling with. Keep chanting and don’t worry about “losing merit.” You obviously have a connection to the daimoku as well.

bcol01
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:20 pm

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by bcol01 » Sun May 20, 2018 6:15 pm

Thank you, I guess when I say I'm still sort of practicing Christianity what I mean by that is I'm occasionally still reading my Bible and listening to sermons.

markatex
Posts: 283
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by markatex » Sun May 20, 2018 6:34 pm

Just keep chanting. There’s no Dharma police to tell you what you’re allowed to read or listen to. I would try to work some Buddhist literature into your reading, though. It sounds like maybe you just need to develop your faith in the Dharma more.

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1334
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Mantrik » Sun May 20, 2018 7:05 pm

That's a story I'm not very used to reading.

Mostly, I know people who are very dissatisfied with the Christian religion they grew up with and seek a new form of siprituality.

It's better to be the way you are, because your motivation is more positive.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 2112
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Minobu » Sun May 20, 2018 7:30 pm

All teachings like this are from the Buddha placed in our way .

They are designed for people at different junctures on the path.

There is nothing innately wrong with any of them and they all serve a purpose.

If I did not have an experience at what an Anglican minister referred to as the Holy Spirit i would never understand Original enlightenment and The Primordial buddha at all. the experience was like 30 years after i first started chanting . by actually trying the whole Christian thing it led me to a nice place.

I was so closed off from atheism being taught to me and hounded into me at such an early age that it was hard to see or understand a concept such as Original Enlightenment.

it's still fuzzy but at least i can now allow myself to be open to certain suggestion.

narhwal90
Posts: 603
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by narhwal90 » Sun May 20, 2018 9:52 pm

I got a lot closer and more involved with gongyo/daimoku when I took my practice off the cushion, not in a evangelical way- but it occurred to me that if I am to be a bodhisattva then I need to make suffering my business which means if I'm not busy alleviating it then I'm probably contributing to it. A good friend of mine's wife runs a Catholic inner city food pantry so I started volunteering there. I volunteer other places too, but the pantry work is #1. They are profoundly devoted to the folks in their parish most of those who come to the pantry don't even go to the church which doesn't matter at all- the congregation seems to measure its merit by the amount of service they do. I think its a great model for what I need to be doing as well and its a privilege to work alongside them.

I say this because my practice became a lot more important to me when it is the reason I do service, concerns about doctrine are generally secondary when the business at hand is helping families eat for another month. I also spend a good deal of time working with doctrinal questions related to Nichiren and beyond but the reason for doing so is to make more clear the skillful action off the cushion not to establish completeness or correctness of belief.

So my encouragement would be, don't let it go but instead put it to work. In service, enact the bodhisattva vows and at the same time follow Jesus's example. Get close in with the unfortunate, alongside the others doing the same, and perhaps the doctrines that inspire you will become clear.

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 2112
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Minobu » Sun May 20, 2018 11:14 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 9:52 pm
I got a lot closer and more involved with gongyo/daimoku when I took my practice off the cushion, not in a evangelical way- but it occurred to me that if I am to be a bodhisattva then I need to make suffering my business which means if I'm not busy alleviating it then I'm probably contributing to it. A good friend of mine's wife runs a Catholic inner city food pantry so I started volunteering there. I volunteer other places too, but the pantry work is #1. They are profoundly devoted to the folks in their parish most of those who come to the pantry don't even go to the church which doesn't matter at all- the congregation seems to measure its merit by the amount of service they do. I think its a great model for what I need to be doing as well and its a privilege to work alongside them.

I say this because my practice became a lot more important to me when it is the reason I do service, concerns about doctrine are generally secondary when the business at hand is helping families eat for another month. I also spend a good deal of time working with doctrinal questions related to Nichiren and beyond but the reason for doing so is to make more clear the skillful action off the cushion not to establish completeness or correctness of belief.

So my encouragement would be, don't let it go but instead put it to work. In service, enact the bodhisattva vows and at the same time follow Jesus's example. Get close in with the unfortunate, alongside the others doing the same, and perhaps the doctrines that inspire you will become clear.
you're alright Narhwal .

User avatar
Kim O'Hara
Former staff member
Posts: 3680
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon May 21, 2018 3:12 am

bcol01 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:57 pm
... the instinctual pull towards my faith that I grew up with ...
Words matter, because they are our tools for clear thinking.
"Instinctual" labels your Christianity as inborn and natural, and really, it's neither. If it was, everyone in the world would be Christian, wouldn't they?
"Habitual" is the word you need. Habits are drilled into us through repetition and are hard to change but are learned and can be unlearned. The habitual pull of the religion you grew up with is made up of thousands of mental connections to ideas, words, people, places, events (Christmas?), songs ... it's a long list. And some are connections you don't want to break, anyway - you like people you only ever saw in church, for instance, or your favourite hymn really does have a great tune.
So ... don't stress too much about cutting all the links, but look at them as they arise and see how and why they are important. Just doing that will loosen them.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 2112
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Minobu » Mon May 21, 2018 5:39 am

I'll never understand the bitterness towards Christianity. Is it the ideals or the fanatics that claim the religion to be what it is for so many.

As a buddhist I hope to see the place where we step away from the harm done by fanatical zealots who miss the point anyway...

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1552
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed May 30, 2018 10:00 am

Minobu wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:39 am
I'll never understand the bitterness towards Christianity. Is it the ideals or the fanatics that claim the religion to be what it is for so many.

As a buddhist I hope to see the place where we step away from the harm done by fanatical zealots who miss the point anyway...
There is nothing more anti than an ex.

There is also intellectual conceit: "If *I* left Christianity it was obviously because I had a thorough grasp of it."

There is also just not liking it. They way someone might not like Sprite and prefer Mountain Dew.

No one said we have to "like" every religion or ideology we come across.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.

吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 2112
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by Minobu » Wed May 30, 2018 5:24 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:00 am
Minobu wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:39 am
I'll never understand the bitterness towards Christianity. Is it the ideals or the fanatics that claim the religion to be what it is for so many.

As a buddhist I hope to see the place where we step away from the harm done by fanatical zealots who miss the point anyway...
There is nothing more anti than an ex.
I could write volumes on ex-wives and ex girlfriends...lol..
but it should not have to be that way..
I went back to christianity and if i had not ...i would not be able to grasp the whole original enlightenment thing, or the concept everything is sourced from MyoHo Renge Kyo...

then of course the similarity between God the Creator and Original enlightenment ...although one needs to be enlightened to understand that Buddha does not create....

The Holy Spirit and We are living in the Palm of Buddha Vairocana

Buddha Manifested on earth and Jesus Christ

the similarity is there...not exactly the same thing...but for us common mortals both teachings point to something we should be aware of...the trilogies are not exactly so different...they point to and share a similar theme..

There is also intellectual conceit: "If *I* left Christianity it was obviously because I had a thorough grasp of it."
interesting angle...
There is also just not liking it. They way someone might not like Sprite and prefer Mountain Dew.
but that does not address the bitternes
No one said we have to "like" every religion or ideology we come across.
but if one believes in there is something and a group of sentients who wish to save us or liberate us or protect us...then the idea of different times different teachings...different cultures , different levels of evolution...is taken in account and given to sentients or placed in their lives through inspiration and enlightened beings....get my drift....we don't have to" like " but maybe thinking of why they are here, their value in creating good karma...at least respect for them should be given some reign.

dude
Posts: 612
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Why do some people find it hard to let go of the religion they grew up with?

Post by dude » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:04 pm

Yes, that's exactly what you should do : just keep up with daily gongyo and study. There's no need to worry much about ties to a previous faith. One senior leader I know used to tell guests at meetings " You don't have to give up your current religion, just add this one to it."
Christianity and Buddhism are very different philosophies and the approach to competing belief systems is different too. A lot of (not all) Christians are exclusive about it ("We're right and all else is wrong"). Buddhism says that other philosophies serve the purpose of cultivating people's capacity for understanding and in fact serve as a preparatory method to understanding Buddhism.
The Daishonin was indeed hard nosed in his criticism of other sects, but his writings deal with the misunderstanding of the teachings and outright corruption he saw in the Buddhists of his day. He also said that teachings other than Buddhism should be studied and understood.

Post Reply

Return to “Nichiren”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bois de Santal and 15 guests