Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture

Invisible visablity and I thought I was the only one who grew up that way! :( Now I know of many, many others!!!

 

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Description unavailable (Photo credit: Maja_Larsson)
National Geographic Magazine (1948) ... My 16-... National Geographic Magazine (1948) … My 16-year-old daughter wants to get her driver’s license! ….item 2.. Help! My family makes me explode with anger. — Please give me some advice! (February 10, 2012 / 17 Shevat 5772) … (Photo credit: marsmet542)
Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician (with hi...
Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician (with his first granddaughter, Susannah) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did a google search on invisible visability, and guess what lots of books and lots of blogs from women came up, just similar to me. Hmmm..   All were devalued, unwanted by their mothers and probably once I read more their fathers too.

Wow!  What is with those parents of the 40s, 50s, and 60s! Bad parenting all round?! Why? They were cherished as a generation.  What changed their minds?

Was it Dr. Spock?  Drugs!? what…??

I have nothing to add to their words, except one thing.  You get over it.  You get on with your life.  And you don’t have regrets.  If you do it right, your mom has no regrets.  This is true compassion if you practice Buddhism you will get me.  Being invisible just gets you more freedom.  It gives you the authority to make all your choices in life and really see they are truly your choices.

In my case growing up unwanted didn’t even enter my mind as such a possibility   It came when mom confessed to me that was the case a few months after Dad died.  But it sure explained a lot! I got it.  I didn’t miss it.  I don’t mind it!  I never got angry, never needed to.

I had bliss in not having all the facts. I see now it’s made me more aware, more caring than the rest of the clan, less obstructed by emotional self-whipping that they engage in and less prone to addictive behavior that they have.  Lucky me!!!!!

I am truly happy at 52 realizing that hell, it don’t matter one bit!  I made choices all my life for my well being  that’s what you get when you are unwanted by your mom and dad.  That’s the first gift of freedom, personal responsibility for your own well being!  You raised yourself! Some areas of my life are mysteries like having to make small talk with small groups, making relationships work in the moment like power networking for livelihood and survival.  I’d just like to say it’s really not all that necessary to live a good life, it is more peaceful when you don’t have to keep a scorecard.

I feel sorry for those keeping angry about it, harboring the hate from neglect or abuse.  I can’t because I didn’t feel it, it was abuse an emotional type, but really I CHOOSE to forgive and forget it.  I love my life as it is, I’ll continue to adapt, accept, and move on when things happen or I happen to it.  Either way it’s so good!

English: Benjamin Spock, Miami Book Fair Inter...
English: Benjamin Spock, Miami Book Fair International, 1989 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, Sangha Relationships

Mentally ill sufferers cannot find a “cure” in Buddhism

My wife reading in bed. And it wasn't because ...
My wife reading in bed. And it wasn’t because she was trying to get to sleep. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Buddhism
Buddhism (Photo credit: shapour bahrami)
English: Image for mental health stubs, uses t...
English: Image for mental health stubs, uses two psych images – psychiatry (medicine) and psychology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trazodone
Trazodone (Photo credit: Divine Harvester)
Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mind training is certainly beneficial but if the person cannot make their own effort outside the temple or retreat place it cannot be beneficial. Too many times in the USA people turn to Buddhist centers or temples for “cures” for their very serious mental health problems and go away devastated when they cannot benefit outside after the retreat or service. 

The truth is that the mental illness must be addressed first, for many that means medicine. The psychiatric world in the United States has in the past met the needs of the mentally ill with therapy and behavioral therapy. But alas, the person’s insurances will only pay for 10 sessions a year or for the lifetime. That along with medicines has proven stability. Because of the insurance company policies it forced a change so that now, psychiatrists only rely on medicine not therapy. 

The second problem is the choice entirely of the mentally unwell. They often stop therapy first not because of insurance but because they want to slip “out of it”. They are addicted to the state of being unwell. They stop progressing deliberately. And because in most cases by our rights for health choices are protected by law parents, spouses, and friends cannot force them to continue the beneficial treatment. This happens in every case I have seen personally. The person makes a deliberate choice to return to the unwell state and refuses to go to therapy or in many cases take medicines. So they slide down into chaos and they love it. It’s true and seems unbelievable. 

I am a twin of a sister who has history of depression (she hid it until we were forced to deal with her breaks from reality in psychotic episodes requiring hospitalizations for month at least 3 to 6 times a year) and repeated suicides (3 big life threatening attempts a year), now she is in a nursing home – she attempted suicide and had a stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side of her body due to overdose of Trazodone.   http://www.livestrong.com/article/83762-side-effects-trazodone-overdose/  My twin sister is the one on your left in the coat and white sneakers sshe had been through 3 years of psychotic breaks and repeated hospitalizations at that point the stroke happens later in 2007.

She was a prescription abuser a former nurse who knew exactly how to work the system to her benefit. She would be hospitalized doing really great, then get released and continue therapy for 1 week or 2 weeks and stop and slide downward so fast it was scary. No reasoning, no pleading, no rescuing, no logic to it, just her choice to slide down.

I am a bhikshuni, it took me years to get what was going on with her, because I was her twin and I was easy to fool because I was used to her behavior. I was always copying her in world outlook and caused myself unnecessary grief when I reasoned the same way due to the fact I didn’t know her history. I tell you, something you must not apply as cure like our Buddhist training. It’s for our each and every one of us to use to relieve our suffering and correct our own thinking is gradual process, not a therapy. I had to figure my sister out myself… parents hid her problems from me. I had to unlearn unheathly thinking. It took me quite awhile and now I am very happy to be me without all that learned unhealthy thinking. Because I had my truths: I am happy always, I see the world as positive place, I see others as my support, I see me as worthy, I see my faults and know I can correct them, my goals are changing and support my life satisfaction

I do not suffer from depression or mental illness when my sister started having breaks with reality, I ran to the doctor for evaluation and worry about myself becoming unwell and raising my daughter. I was reassured by the doctor and received counseling to get over my stress, because I had to rescue her many times and was a single mom with a 4 year old newly separated from my husband and hurting from that myself. They said I was handling myself beautifully. I would wait until the house was quiet and cry from the stress (they said I needed that and not to repress it). Almost every night. Until time took care of me. I got over it because I had moved on.

 

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chan - authentic Masters words, Chinese culture, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Translation Resources, Vinaya

Build Iowa’s First Nunnery

 

Build the first Iowa Buddhist nunnery

Build the first Iowa Buddhist nunnery. The need to train in English is what has been missing for 160 years of Buddhist history in the United States.  This place will meet the needs of residents of this state interested in Buddhist study. The nunnery monastics will provide traditional services, cultural, educational, and practical training for those interested in Buddhism.

To understand Buddhism in the USA you need Sangha that speak English.  To train you need to be able to ask detailed or receive detailed instructions in order to progress or you are the perpetual visitor with no real depth.  You are limited by language or can’t access masters of higher levels to grow.  Even you may never know who the Elders are that are talented, capable dharma masters famous in their temples for being teachers but they live in obscurity to most in the USA.  Personal contact with robed Sangha is lacking for most interested in Buddhism and greatly needed.  Temples in the East coast or West coast have some limited English programs but all are ethnic funded and full training is better in their own language, clearer, higher level of instructions and attainments by laity is very possible but not if you don’t know their language.  This is a significant obstacle to your practice in Buddhism.

The first Bhikshuni fully trained and ordained has arrived in Iowa.  This is a good first step for Iowa.  Ven. Hong Yang is an Iowan and a woman fully ordained in the Dharmagupta lineage of the Bhikshuni Sangha in Taiwan.

A cool history this Iowan.  She was tonsured at Xi Fang Temple, Brookyn, NY. She left home resolved on 9/11/2001.  She decided to stay in XFT helping in NYC, many needed to recover their spirits.  She working with and trained as a sramaneri alongside the other temple’s masters.  She is a 11 year English-Chinese translator of the Taishio Tripitaka which is in Chinese. She has published 5 books, 3 volumes translating the standardized daily recitations in the Chinese Buddhist temples into English and one rare translation of the Bao Hua Mountain monk Ven. JiXian De Qing.  The translation project will continue in the nunnery.  She and others will offer training to those interested in becoming translators.  Also she is in charge of a historical documentary film  of Buddhism in the USA is currently underway digitizing material from actual Buddhist monks and nuns who reside in the USA as they offer it documenting what has never been documented called “Sangha Walks”.  See more about this on www.sanghawalks.org

Iowans are savvy to Buddhist trends but lack access to reliable dharma masters in traditional Buddhism.  Due to the increased awareness of Buddhism and most often one of its famous methods is meditation a decision has been made to create a stable place right here to learn about Buddhism. We need a stable place so many dharma teachers can come and teach about Buddhism.  A variety of masters offering training in different schools will improve access to higher level reputable traditional teachers.  The teachers invited to come here are from the Vinaya Sangha; they must hold full precepts and be properly trained.  In order to attract them to our place, it needs to be set up first properly.  If prayers alone can motivate the Dalai Lama to come to Iowa like he did last year then it’s quite the timely to fulfill his instructions to us residing monks and nuns to become leaders of Buddhism in Iowa.  A broad base and open respectful minds will be the cornerstone of the visiting public to this new nunnery.

Iowans are proud of their history.  The historical significance to note here is of being the first nunnery that is Buddhist, second to that is the protected training environment for women and thirdly that English be the primary spoken and service language.  So that the members of the public that asks for, learns well, practices and brings back benefits to their community by enjoying traditional services, counseling, mental health services, meditation, classes, cultural events art and cultural events.

Iowans are by their very nature generous and curious.  Donate if you want to make your historical mark right now!  Be proud to be sponsor and make  your mark in Iowa history and add to Buddhist US history in our Sangha Walks project that will also flourish in a permanent collection online and media.  Care about yourself enough to create merit and virtue, benefit all aspects of your life and reduce the karmic cause and effect of negative seeds sprouting in their due time when you contribute selflessly.

What We Need & What You Get

We are open to a house, or commercial building or land purchase.  We recognize it requires more money for remodel or building on the space.  We wish to keep it minimal but safe.  Green but efficient use of space, growing fruits and vegetables, but technology embraced in media.  We are wishing to create a healthy and secure environment for you and your family to enjoy your studies and classes at our nunnery:

We need at least $40,000 total funding.  We at least need a down payment of $3000 plus 6 months operating expenses of $18,000.  We may need remodeling funds including the purchase of new appliances or major repairs up to $20,000.  Basic utilities run about $200 a month, food needs around $300 per month.   Core living costs are covered also we need liability insurance of $5,000 to cover public events to meet legal requirements and codes.

The rewards for Indiegogo:  There are very traditional Buddhist rewards offered.  The malas and the Jade were brought from Taiwan from very traditional Buddhist family store.   Most temples sell them for basic food or medicine needs. The ones offered here are the personal purchase made by Ven. Hong Yang during her training and ordination.  This means the good karma of her training and ordination has a ripple effect that is passed on in good intentions to anyone who buys or donates or receives on of these!  See the rewards for details.

All funds raised in excess of this project if not needed must be dispersed as the Vinaya guides us. The basic 4 requisites of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine are all that Buddhist monks and nuns require.  Woman have the hardest time in Buddhism to receive even the 4 requisites after they become nuns so this funding source is also greatly needed and appreciated so priority will go to this group out of compassion for the need is great. May your good karma of your generous act increase and grow 10-fold throughout your life and those of your family’s.

The Impact in Iowa and the Mid-West

Stability is made when a place to practice is also available that is basic in comfort and accessible to all who study Buddhism from traditional teachers known as the Sangha, the robed ones.  Mind training is an individual effort but training is offered in a group setting that also can give one the advantage of feeling and being emotionally and socially supported.

Build Iowa’s First Nunnery

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Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chan - authentic Masters words, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Dharma Talks, On the Path

Buddhism and mental Health

Buddhism is not meant for mental health applications. There are simply not enough numbers throughout it’s history of over 2,555 years to warrant any claims that it does.

What gets focused on recently is that fact that benefits of Buddhist practice if one is totally embracing all that they can of Buddhist life and culture can be seen as benefiting those with mental health problems.

Buddhism is for well people.

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture

Dharma Teaching in the West – dying and loss

Teaching dharma in the West needs to be redefined. It is seen clearly that the Buddha had different ways to approach teaching others to learn to stop their suffering themselves.

The mustard seed story

A very sad story about a mother’s grief over her dead child. She was so distraught she would carry the child’s dead body around and beg anyone she thought that could help her resurrect her child to do so. Town people where so upset and probably so tired of seeing her with her dead child around town that it caused her further problems.

She still grieved and did not accept her child’s death.

I have seen people make their dead child’s bedrooms into shrines, even those mothers who could not even accept their children growing up. They wast their lives grieving while the child grows and marries and has their own family! If a child is lost the grief is always there, but it lessens in time.

The Buddha was approached by the frantic woman and offered her a chance to learn for herself what the impact of death has on everyone. He said he would help her if she would collect a mustard seed from anyone who did not experience death in their family. So off she went knocking on doors, and then found the truth.

Was she cured? I do hope so. The lesson Buddha wanted her to learn is that death comes to everyone, it is best to sympathize with others therefore practicing compassion than to wallow in grief so disastrously great that it becomes your life focus.

I am blunt with friends and family who grieve too much. It’s because I’ve seen so much mental imbalance when that grief is held on so tightly that one cannot function in normal society anymore. I tell them outright, do you want to choose to grieve so much that your mind becomes imbalanced and mentally ill? Or do you want to be compassionate and care about more people who may need your help in their grieve time.

I relate my own story with loss, my recent one was dad. It’s always bad when you lose a parent, and then when you lose the remaining parent. That grief I have yet to experience.

Well how to prepare people to accept death and release from the loss they deeply experience? You give it time. You listen as often as they wish to connect with you and encourage them each time to look forward to their days and not live in the memories of the past.

Posted in Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships

Monastics and their adult children talk

Sometimes it’s harder when you are a monastic with your own adult children. Today, I engaged my daughter in what I thought was support when she faced a disappointment. She didn’t want to tell me fearing I would scold but I didn’t so she did herself about herself! So I tried to stop her, then she after calming down decided I was right. I said you know we Buddhists recite things 3 times and in the hopes we remember it once. Then she said maybe she could take up some training. I replied you already had lots of training in my tonsure temple, can you see now how to use what you really know? She said yes she could! And really… this type of conversation was much better than when she was younger and defensive with guilt or imagining what her mom would say (mom is really fair minded… but kid didn’t accept me that way!) She would have bitten my head off for hour or so and been angry for a long time after! Now we just ended a nice talk and she got a better understanding from herself about herself and has not undertaken the mental beating she used too on her own self. Yayyaay! I feel much more like a good monastic and a good mom too boot!!!

It’s really been fun to have been a part of raising her.  She is the first person I really got feedback from all through her life that really improved how I communicated to others!  What a treasure! I am so looking forward to her adult years and yes, she probably won’t be around me much and that’s ok! I have lots of friends to meet and when she feels she has time and resources we will get together and visit as often as she would like to!

I am so glad I had her and very happy she can stand being around me as long as she has! 😛

I am so proud of her, you know I became a nun only after her permission was given. And what was better she was able to visit me and travel back and forth to see me as I progressed in my tonsure training and watched me as monastic grow in my robes over these years.  What a treasure, I am so glad I did not cut her off from me like others have done to their families and some who had kids.  I decided early on for her sake and my families that I would not go to a place to live that would demand such service to their membership at the expense of my own family or country people.  I feel it’s so important to stay in the context of our Western culture and be tolerant of our unique mix of countries and lifestyles.  And that means still living in purity and keeping Vinaya precepts and our foundation received during our tonsure training.  It has been rewarding to see my daughter change herself without even being Buddhist (she says she is not decided about anything yet religious which is fine, as Buddhists we do not convert just teach when asked and in context of the situation we are in.  Okay! Done for now.  Need to sew and repair robes and the pile of hand sewing is too big so need to get on it too.