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bellclaire



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-05-07

PostSubject: introduction   Mon May 09, 2011 1:28 am

Hi Everyone.
I am a long time lay Buddhist, 20 or so yrs. I have a son & a daughter, both young adults. I am 58 yrs. and married to someone without religious inclinations. I was not brought up with any religious education guided by my parents. I instead decided to attend various Christian churches beginning when I was 5 yrs. old. My parents were both alcoholics so I could wander free on Sunday mornings. I wandered first into a United Church. I loved Sunday School! I liked to colour Biblical themes and to hear the stories.
My joy came to an abrupt stop though. One Sunday morning my Sunday School teacher
asked, "Stand up anyone here who have never done anything wrong in their lives?"
I stood up. Then my Sunday School teacher said, "You are doing something wrong right now! You are lying!" I remember the heat rising from my neck to my face, a burning feeling of indignation. I sat down and ceased to colour or listen. When it was time to go,
the teacher stood by the door as always, handing out the weekly childrens' bulletin.
I refused to take it from her hand and just walked by. I never looked back.
I was only 5 and I did not have any sense of guilt; I thought I was a pretty good kid, as far as kids go.

The next church I found in the neighbourhood was a Baptist church. I have memories of why I left each church. I left the Baptists, then the Anglicans, then the Evangelical, non-denomination churches, then the Unitarians & then the Unity Church. When a young adult, I attended a couple Quaker services and liked them. Their church was too far away for me to commit to attending. Finally, after a time in the spiritual wilderness, a long time, (10 yrs.) I found my way to a Buddhist priory and learned zazen meditation from a kindly priest. I have no personal complaints about him. He was patient, never said a harsh word to me. I was happy with the meditation but not interested much in Sunday services so I attended twice weekly, sometimes once, for meditation, tea & class.
I was not interested in retreats or going to Shasta Abbey. I have nothing against retreats; I went to a couple but it did not feel right for me. I would use the analogy of a shoe not fitting; when the shoe did not fit, I would not wear it. My feet are very tender!

Then I began to feel uncomfortable with the direction my local priory was moving.
I quit attending. Sure feels like a familiar pattern! Oh well, here I am again.

It is not so bad, after all I found this Forum. I have been staying away from religion for the most part. For some reason I have an attraction to the Catholic church which does not make much sense in the way I do not share their politics, views on women or gender issues such as gay & lesbians, abortion, and euthenasia. I have resisted the temptation to become a Catholic so far. I think I might just yearn to belong somewhere, to find a consistant practice with others. I hesitated to say anything re. my attraction to Catholicism as I realize some people have had horrendous experiences in this church.
The mystical aspect, the quiet kneeling prayer and music, holy water and crossing oneself all feel natural to me. Maybe there is such a thing as a karmic memory; I do not know.

So, I could introduce myself from here to Kingdom come but for now this is enough.
Thanks to all who participate here! I have found comfort and inspiration reading the many posts here. I feel a little less alone, just a wee bit. Bye, Claire
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Isan
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Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Mon May 09, 2011 10:32 am

Claire,

Glad to see you are finally able to log in and introduce yourself - welcome! Many of us have stories similar to yours. By the way I was raised Catholic and would not recommend it for all the reasons you've already pointed out. I've reached a point where I'm content to have a solitary practice, which has the advantage of being defined by no one other than myself. That way the shoe most always fits and when it doesn't I don't have far to look for the reasons why. Too often churches/religious communities involve compromises that just aren't acceptable.

Enjoy the forum. You may find that it meets some of the need for "Sangha" without the control issues.
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mstrathern
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Posts : 602
Join date : 2010-11-14
Age : 74
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Mon May 09, 2011 11:58 am

Hi Clare, welcome, glad you made it here. My advice if you need it is either to practice on your own, though that has it's own dangers and disadvantages, and keep in touch with others through forums and the blogoshpere. Or find a group that you find congenial and realise that they are all human too, with as many foibles as you and me, just different ones. Though you seem to have been well capable of taking care of yourself since the age of five!
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Howard

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Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Mon May 09, 2011 12:57 pm

Hello Clare

& welcome

I hope this can be a forum that allows the tenderest feet a place to dance in the shoes of your choice.

Cheers
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http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
Hisoka



Posts : 18
Join date : 2010-10-17

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Wed May 11, 2011 6:12 pm

Hi Clare,

I understand fully where you are coming from with the Catholic thing as I was a Catholic convert (before Buddhism) and still find myself very attracted to them on so many levels - my problem however (and it's pretty big one!!!) is that I don't believe in God and even less in the whole "Christ" thing. Also you mentioned the Quakers - I was a Quaker for 16 years and I have also found there is a peculiar "connect" between them and Catholicism (i.e. Quakers becoming Catholic and vice versa) and of course there is well documented "connect" between Catholicism and Zen, particularly, though not exclusively, with the Jesuits who have quite a number of Zen Masters in their ranks. It is funny old thing this spiritual stuff but with these three I have come to the conclusion that the most likely common denominator is that of contemplation/mysticism. I used to see my spiritual promiscuity as a fault (as did others!) but now it troubles me less - instead of being desperate to find "the truth" I'm just enjoying the journey which at the moment is an eclectic mix of Buddhism, Druidism and a bit of Native American spirituality! Take care and enjoy yours.
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bellclaire



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-05-07

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Thu May 12, 2011 5:05 am

Hi Hisoka,
(Phew! Sigh of relief) Good to know I'm not entirely abnormal re. me being a Buddhist attracted to Catholicism. I didn't know there was this connection btwn. Buddhists, Catholics and Quakers. Joking aside, I admit I knew something, (not a lot) about the Buddhist/Catholic connection because I read a book titled, "The Unexpected Way: On Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism" by Paul Williams.

I've been afraid to mention this to even good friends, my leanings towards Catholicism. I believe in God but not an anthromorphic being in the sky, not like Greek Gods. If I were asked what I meant by God, I would lead them on a magical mystery tour where I'd probably get lost....Do I even know where I'm going? One thing about Buddhism, it sure has taught me humility. I am but a lowly lay Buddhist.

It's late at night & I fear I might be getting a tad on the silly side. Bye for now, Claire
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Hisoka



Posts : 18
Join date : 2010-10-17

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Sun May 15, 2011 12:55 pm

Hi again Claire - sorry for the slight delay in getting back to you. I've sent you a private message as I didn't feel that a discussion about Quakerism, Catholicism and Buddhism was particular relevant to this forum.
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cmpnwtr

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Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Mon May 16, 2011 2:44 am

Claire, in the context of sharing our spiritual history I find that any discussion about our search in that it involves the spiritual paradigms from which we have learned can be entirely relevant to this forum. It is not unusual that some might find the mystical dimension of Roman Catholic liturgy, for example, entirely resonant for someone who has a serious interest in Buddhist meditation. Thank you for sharing your history. For myself I also have a solitary meditation practice at this point. That practice has a grounding in 40 plus years of daily sitting so I do feel some confidence in it. There is a great saying from the Desert Fathers and Mothers in the Christian tradition, about a devotee who seeks out one of the hermit elders, named Abba Moses. He says to Abba Moses, "Give me a word of salvation, please." Abba Moses says, "Go sit in your (monk's) cell, and your cell will teach you everything." (Apothegmata)
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Hisoka



Posts : 18
Join date : 2010-10-17

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Tue May 17, 2011 12:22 pm

cmpnwtr wrote:
Claire, in the context of sharing our spiritual history I find that any discussion about our search in that it involves the spiritual paradigms from which we have learned can be entirely relevant to this forum. It is not unusual that some might find the mystical dimension of Roman Catholic liturgy, for example, entirely resonant for someone who has a serious interest in Buddhist meditation.

Maybe I wasn't clear when I said about something being "not being relevant" to this forum. To clarify, I wanted to share some things with Claire that were more personal than what I would generally share on the forum. I'm also aware that this is an "introduction" thread, so maybe not the place to go into anything in depth.

With regard to your story about Abba Moses - quite by co-incidence on another forum I use, someone uses that line as their signature and yesterday I asked him where it came from. It reminds me of something one of the OBC monks said once along the lines of it had taken her 30yrs of being a monk to realise she hadn't needed to be a monk at all.
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cmpnwtr

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Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Tue May 17, 2011 3:22 pm

@ Hisoka

Thanks for the clarification and for the resonance on the Abba Moses story.
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PostSubject: Re: introduction   Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:39 pm

Hi,
My name is Melissa Daisy from Canada.
I want to join in this forum to learn more knowledge and have more friends.
Look forward to being a part of this community.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: introduction   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:39 pm

Melissa Daisy, what a great name I love it.
I have been fleetingly to Canada, My mum was born there near Vancouver , Howard tells me it is well to do there now, her family were early settlers and were given a land for fighting in the first war. My grandad died at 31 as a result of gassing in the trenches in Europe. The ranch would be long gone. I went to Toronto, and passed one of the lakes to Niagara,then down to New York .
It is big and vast, i live in Cornwall UK where it is small and tiny, we feud with our neighboring villages and we do not feel we are English. In other words we are a funny lot.
I hope you settle in fine here, and make some comments that may make us realize we have it all wrong anyway,as we listen in to what you say.
take care and please feel welcome
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