How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

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bcol01
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How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by bcol01 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:27 pm

Every so often, I slip away from the practice of the Dharma and start to move back towards the faith that I grew up with, which I no longer believe and have a lot of issues and doubts with. This is constantly becoming an obstacle for me in my daily Buddhist practice and I'm just wondering, has anyone else out there had a hard time breaking away from the religion that they grew up with? How did you finally break Free?

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Admin_PC
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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:02 pm

For me, the issue that kept bringing me back to the faith that I grew up with was a sense of obligation to my family. My folks' expectations always made me feel worthless about trying to leave the faith and explore something else. It wasn't until I made one final, serious attempt at studying the faith, and coming to the certain conclusion that there was nothing there for me that I could finally break free. It helped having found in Buddhism a teaching that spoke to me on a level that nothing else had before and left me with no doubts.

Do you think it's a case where you still have some doubts with Buddhism?
Do you think it's a case where you could be persuaded to go back to your old faith?

In both cases, further research into both might help. Sometimes these things just take time.
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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by Miroku » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:08 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Every so often, I slip away from the practice of the Dharma and start to move back towards the faith that I grew up with, which I no longer believe and have a lot of issues and doubts with. This is constantly becoming an obstacle for me in my daily Buddhist practice and I'm just wondering, has anyone else out there had a hard time breaking away from the religion that they grew up with? How did you finally break Free?
Sure ofc. From time to time I wish I were jewish or catholic (despite being born into an "atheist" family). Buddhism is not a faith really. You have to take the teachings and use it to test it. Through testing it your confidence will grow. The easiest way is to take basic 4 nobel truths and really contemplate them. Take your own life as an example and analyse if it fits. I know it probably is not with Nichiren line of thinking but you could try 4 thoughts that turn the mind from samsara. Great to meditate on those.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

narhwal90
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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:33 pm

Nichiren fully accepts the 4NT, N.Shu incorporates the Bodhisattva Vow in their shogaigyo practice.

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Queequeg
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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:04 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Every so often, I slip away from the practice of the Dharma and start to move back towards the faith that I grew up with, which I no longer believe and have a lot of issues and doubts with. This is constantly becoming an obstacle for me in my daily Buddhist practice and I'm just wondering, has anyone else out there had a hard time breaking away from the religion that they grew up with? How did you finally break Free?
PorkChop's advice is good. This is an intellectual way to approach it - analysis, critique, reasoning. But even after we may have come to an intellectual conclusion, the thoughts, words and deeds that preceded this moment all are inscribed deeply in our minds and cutting off their continuing effects is not possible. These actions will perpetuate without end. What we can do is take action, in thought, words and deed, to change the course of life from this moment. We can take the present culmination of past acts and open them to reveal that they were all the Buddha path; you may have heard of Turning Poison into Medicine. Through present practice, the past is revealed to be the present foundation for our practice. The past could not have turned out any other way than it has - this present moment of Dharma Practice, and all of that past frames this present practice.

The past faith brought you to this moment. It is an indispensable and critical to your continued Dharma practice. But how is this explanation actualized in practice?

This is part of what Daimoku practice addresses.

We're all inculcated with false ideas (pardon the Buddhist chauvinism, but we are in a Buddhist forum), mistaken apprehensions, etc. etc. Daimoku practice, the actual act of saying it over and over, causes the Saddharma to be deeply planted in the mind, opening the past as the Buddhist path, and ensures that one continues on the Buddhist path.

I would not worry so much about breaking free. The past is inescapable. You are free in this moment to continue on the Buddha path. Obstacles and distractions are just that. Daimoku is the tether that will keep you on the path through the storm of conflicting thoughts and doubts.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Anders
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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by Anders » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:43 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Every so often, I slip away from the practice of the Dharma and start to move back towards the faith that I grew up with, which I no longer believe and have a lot of issues and doubts with. This is constantly becoming an obstacle for me in my daily Buddhist practice and I'm just wondering, has anyone else out there had a hard time breaking away from the religion that they grew up with? How did you finally break Free?
Your relationship with your former religion sounds mainly emotional. In such a case, I would ask myself what kind of unfulfilled need it is filling and if I there is a way to meet that without distancing yourself from your Buddhist practice.

Perhaps there is a way to have a relationship with your former religion that might soothe that need without compromising your practice.

Buddhism isn't a jealous lover. It's permissible to do a bit of light flirting, especially if you have clear vision of what you are doing it for. If it is just about the feeling of affiliation, then that's nothing that need impact your view or practice.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:53 am

Well, what you resist persists..as long as you feel drawn to run away from your thoughts towards it, you will continue to feel drawn to it. Paradoxical as it is, that's my guess. So may be that you have to come to terms with your karmic connection to your old faith, and the thoughts that come with it, in order to move on. You gotta not want to be free in order to be free, all that jazz, stereotypical as it sounds.
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Re: How do I stop feeling drawn back to the beliefs that I grew up with?

Post by dude » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:52 am

Because you grew up with it, it will always be a part of your life. One friend of mine who was a devoted practitioner of Buddhism used to say "I'm 90% Catholic and 10% Buddhist."
My recommendation is study. The Lotus Sutra, the Gosho or both. Carry out your practice with a seeking mind and the "true aspect" will reveal itself.

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