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 How We Heal

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Posts : 144
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 65
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: How We Heal   Sun May 01, 2011 11:57 am

It is accurate to say, I think, that most of the active participants in this forum have been one-time members of the OBC and have left that organization in varying degrees of pain, disillusionment and confusion. Many, though not all, have been monks of that Order. Most, it seems, left quite some time ago, with fewer of us having left within the past three to five years, or more recently.

I am one of the more recent ones. I am coming up for air in the present. I am grateful for the anger diminishing but in its place there is more ability to see my own culpability in the process, my own neurosis contributing to the separation. I realize now that I didn't have to leave, that I chose it. And I no longer expect the OBC to fix what was broken.

I miss, sometimes fiercely, the active spiritual life I had that entranced and uplifted me. All my life I have needed a spiritual life in order to take a full breath, to participate with any meaning in my own story and now, at least for now, it is gone. My shrine in dusty, my meditation chair has clothes piled up on it. I put down books or magazines that have a touch of Zen in them (and so many do nowadays, it's so flavor-of-the-month) in hurried distaste. It's called aversion I suppose.

It is encouraging to hear others with more time under their belts say that they were "a basket case for several years" after leaving the Order. They too seem to suggest that there was a period of darkness where little or no spiritual life could be approached. I wonder if any of those who have weathered that storm and come out the other side would be willing to say how they managed it?
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Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-03-10
Age : 78
Location : Buckingham,U.K.

PostSubject: Re: How We Heal   Sun May 01, 2011 12:36 pm

Dear Polly,
In my own case I fell in love at about the same time I became interested in Zen and the O.B.C. After some time I became very confused with the info. coming out of Shasta which my husband was prepared to accept but I was not. This resulted in my leaving Buddhism for many years although my spouse remained and became a Lay Minister.
I became very tied up and confused between our personal relationship and jealousy of the time my fella spent "doing" Buddhism and believe me,that was very unpleasant.
It has taken me many years to untangle this knot and I would encourage you to have more faith in the "Cosmic Buddha" than I did.
Sometimes one can just turn around from ones habitual mind set and Lo! the problems and pain can melt away...with Gassho..Lesley
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Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: How We Heal   Sun May 01, 2011 2:16 pm


You've described it very well. I am one of the more recent "cases", things did not work for me any longer where I was "training", but a large part of me will forever grieve for something that had been so dear to me, so close, that I miss so fiercely and that will always remain "unsettled" somehow. The questions remain, questions such as, how much of this was my fault, why didn't I do this, or that, why did I not see clearly earlier, were my thoughts questionable, was it the situation, my situation, my perceptions, their actions or non actions, and perhaps a little bit of all of the above, yet we have to do the next thing from where our past actions have put us into just this very position, we are in now and act from that position. That is all we can do and try to do the very best we know how. Where there is deep spiritual suffering, there is also deep recognition of the oneness of all things, and when you become aware of this you begin to understand what love really means and what letting go means too, however that presents itsself in your life. Nothing is wasted, nothing lost. Keep going Polly, there is no mistake, we will be just fine.

With a bow


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Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 64
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: How We Heal   Sun May 01, 2011 11:28 pm

Hey Polly
This may not be very helpful because much of my difficulty was from my time involving the OBC but not much after that.. and because my rejection of the OBC never extended to my meditative practise.

The darkness I experienced came from the years of trying to reconcile the difference between the OBC organizational teachings and their actions.
The darkness evolved from the difference between the OBC that helped me find meditative truth and the organization that had so much difficulty living it. That and the dreaded dawning awareness that the OBC actions that hurt others were actually my responsibility so long as I continued to support them. I never blamed specific monks so much as the group mind conditioning that permitted the poor behavour. That was a darkness that just slowly grew right up to the moment I left..

My experience toward the end was of great sadness for it seemed inevitable that something I had spent most of my life loving was the same thing I was going to have to walk away from. My leaving took the form and excuse of an extended private retreat that I think is ongoing.

I knew that my leaving would result in a shunning just as I had shunned those who had left before me but finding myself outside of the OBC cocoon mostly resulted in nothing but elation and freedom. My wings just unfolded once they were untangled from the countless idiocies and spiritual soap operas that I had involved myself in for too long.

So my darkness was mostly experienced within the OBC embrace followed by a great lightness upon leaving.

I think that the truths one finds within a practise can not be separated from the people that share in them and they always remain a part of your spiritual family.
Estranged spiritual family stuff has been a pretty common pain theme on this forum.

Two slightly bizarre things that I remember helping me with the spiritual/social /shunning change and upheaval after leaving were...

-Meditatively remaining in the present moment which excludes nothing and therefore left little room for missing anything. (Some would rightfully say this is more akin to Gedo Zen or concentration over meditation...but when I found my mind pining for the fiord's, it worked for me)

-Reminding myself that while past ritual /devotional/ meditative & religious involvements can be missed, a simple present nano second of full on openness will trump it every time.

While attention to meditation has been my strength it probably arises from my knowledge of how little it takes to push me off my mental tricycle. What is your strength?

Cheers as usual
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Posts : 144
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 65
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: Re: How We Heal   Mon May 02, 2011 2:41 pm

Thanks, kind friends. It was a very personal question, I know, and I didn't mean to make a thread about helping me but rather how we helped and are helping ourselves. But you have helped me.

Lesley, your situation sounds really confusing and difficult and I am glad that you sound at peace now about it. " ...more faith in the Cosmic Buddha"...of course. Otherwise I am judging the experience, tying it to "bad" instead of just respecting that it was painful. If I do that then I can't have what Howard described as "great lightness". What a splendid idea. As are Brigitte's affirmation that "there is no mistake...we will be just fine."

That openness that you speak of, Howard, is my primary...I don't know, hope for myself, I guess. And oddly enough the lightness you speak of seems to be something one can perhaps choose. Why not? It delights me that one can take a circumstance and change one's attitude about it entirely, can choose not to see oneself as a victim but free instead. I suppose that could be a strength. We can choose to let go and move forward with positivity. My greatest strength would be my devotional nature, which will end up, if I allow it, bringing me back to my meditation seat.

Thank you again, bows to all, Polly
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