Build Iowa’s First Buddhist Nunnery. Please click to go to the Indigogo site and
Build Iowa’s First Buddhist Nunnery. Please click to go to the Indigogo site and
2,555 years ago Buddha passed away leaving the disciples and the rest of the Sangha to remember his teachings and pass them along to the next generations. Very little has changed in the Sangha who carefully follows the Vinaya which are his guidelines of monastic conduct and instructed in his last bequest. They carried Buddha’s teachings (the Dharma) to various countries teaching and forming practice places for generations with a great deal of sacrifice and effort.
Recently in media by Buddhist orientated sites online and in print through Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and Shambala Sun much has been made about the national form that Buddhist followers should or as they assume will eventually take in the USA.
Their Protestantism of Buddhism or rather a sanitizing or erasing/rewriting of Buddha’s history and rejection of what they identify as irrelevant to modern Americans today. This means all the ethnic Buddhists from Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea, India, Tibet, Nepal, Indonesia, Phillipines, Malaysia or other American countries or Europe are to be cleansed and shunned from Americans or American Buddhists as it starts with white men who are protestants who already rejected the catholics because they have monks and nuns… or maybe they are jewish who didn’t like christians at all and or even those who prefer to embrace every oddball newly created religion and market it.
They are trying to dummy-down traditional Buddhism because they couldn’t figure out how to make it work for themselves. Now they are trying to keep it elite and promoting a new version or a rather a odd form of Japanese Buddhism; Wow, even to do that is to disparage the efforts of the Japanese Buddhists in our American history. But a recent picture in a news article features Japanese robed zen married clergy, a couple (women are nuns only in Japanese Buddhist tradition and not to hold priest roles like the men can opt for marriage or monk’s life) in a zendo. The writer asks “What’s an American Buddhist? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/whats-an-american-buddhist/2012/06/17/gJQAJCQrjV_blog.html
Well, it’s a circular article first stripping away the Triple Jewel. No Sangha, no ethnic trappings as they are not considered true or authentic enough to be Buddhist or relevant. Then at the very end it says careful least 900 years later the adherents reject the efforts of the fabled American Buddhists who magically created a new world order of Buddhists here.
One way to look at this question is through the example of practice. When done correctly, what Buddhist meditators refer to as “sitting”–whether following the vipassana or zazen (or other) approaches to sitting meditation–does not rely on ceremonial chanting and recitations and actions that typically surround collective meditation sessions. This is not to say such ceremonial activities normally performed in an ancient or modern Eastern language are not useful or helpful. This is only to say they are not a necessity for the gradual expansion of consciousness that is the result of regular meditation. If one accepts this basic premise, which can be supported by the sutras attributed to the Buddha, then the conclusion that North Americans could conceivably develop their own Buddhist tradition some day is perfectly rational, if not probable.
This is based on opinion and not on reality, meditation has always been taught as a method but not the exclusive one, the first thing Buddhists do worldwide is to take the Triple Refuge and 5 Precepts. The next thing they do is join in services that always recite sutras and repeat the Triple Jewel in refuge and action, join in volunteer work in the community and when it’s time and there is an opportunity they choose or not to sit on a cushion with the goal of being enlightened eventually. This provides the stable framework necessary before one sits on the cushions.
2,555 years the core of Buddhist practice has always been formed from the Triple Jewel, being carried and protected by the Sangha who observes the Vinaya. Also because people who come to Buddhism from new countries took the time to study Buddhism in it’s traditional form and upheld it, so the Buddhist culture developed as the Buddha instructed us Sangha who traveled to adapt to the countries conditions and culture with lots of variations in languages, practices and kept the core that is the Triple Jewel. The problem in the USA and in many parts of the world is that there is no one identified unified culture. We are a global society in the USA in reality, much of the myth the elitist create is not real and not reflecting the reality of the people in the USA. There is no one culture. There can be no one form of Buddhism defining the United States and that is really ok. The myth is there must be one form of Buddhism for each country, that’s the fakery being created by these elitists.
North American Buddhists are likely to create their own traditions and schools of thought, but they should do so with the awareness that they are forging a new Buddhist culture, not the ‘true’ Buddhist culture.
This is so strange that it is very insulting to North American Buddhists anywhere. There is no need to forge a new Buddhist culture at all. It does not work. People in history have tried and when they diverge from the Triple Jewel they are not Buddhist at all, their movements become perverted and vanish.
The worst kind of approach a Westerner would take is to accept wholeheartedly without question any practice offered from any teacher without investigating and studying the history and knowing the standard teachings of Buddha and his disciples. So ‘wholesale acceptance’ of Buddhism from the East is not likely the problem here. It is lack of acceptance and adaptability. Just the last two.
Also they seem to have a need to make their own piss in the snow, a male pre-occupation. That last bit is sadly the reason there is an effort by rags that call themselves the voice of American Buddhists or rather trying right now to lead the Buddhist movement with their money and media forming a horrific laughable council of teachers that fell on it’s face and nobody paid attention to it other than to point them out. Led by the protestant versions of Japanese Buddhism and fringe trend setting teachers and all their writers who make them money… virtually ignoring the Sangha “”(they had one show Bhikkhu Bodhi who got rightfully upset with them and whom they posted as somehow he misunderstood..or he mis-heard them and gee wasn’t that embarrassing for him to explode on them during the conference type post on their blog) on whose back they cruelly stepped on to reach their goal as King of the Mountain, they virtually stood and pissed on the the living Jewels, all the while laughing in the faces of those who donate and sacrifice to make Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Americas. This is soooo christian and not worthy of what is American today.
This sanitizing of Buddhism is wrong. It is a symptom of lack of effort and study of Buddha dharma. It’s rote repetition of wrong teachings based on fear of loss of their own leadership due to aging and somehow they must keep their flame alive and make a historical memory so their efforts don’t seem wasted to others. The fact of the matter is the hippies are old and their start into Buddhism was filled with false intentions, most are failed monks and they are damn mad that people did not support them when they were innocents in robes, so they formed their careers by damning the robes and those that wear them. All of them… look up the writers for yourself in the rags, tricycle, shambala sun, buddha dharma, the big 3 have featured all white… and all secular people claiming to be experts and leaders of Americans ‘cuz they failed to be monks.
They said they failed to be monks because they failed to get enough dana to do as they want to do (and become hits in their homelands). Instead they were ignored perhaps bored in their robes, fearing poverty and they lacked the balls to stick it out they left their robes because there is no money in them. Then these ex-monks damned repeatedly the very people who had virtuous roots that helped them succeed and go forth and being accepted.
Playing king of the mountain pushing off their competitors. They promoted themselves as experts saying they have really represented Americans cuz they can have sex and create families… and they want their kids to be able to participate fully in their activities in the zendo cuz they don’t feel welcome anyplace but where they want to go and meditate while they ignore how bored their kids are waiting for them and let their kids run around doing things unsupervised while they zone out in hippie bliss or their mental version of it.
I’m sorry this is not how Americans do things, they do things by hard work, patience and sticking things out enduring because they know what really works. This fad by elitists is misleading and harmful and it does NOT meet the needs of common folk and it’s common folk that need proper Triple Jewels not fads. They aren’t looking for trends while they work on the line or pack boxes into a truck, they are looking for a community that is stable, intelligent, active in the town, around the corner or even in the grocery…. but not at the expense of their own minds. That’s where traditional Vinaya Buddhism excels, it’s stable it has lots of variety and enough well trained Sangha of monks and nuns to be able to endure and offer Buddha dharma as requested without all the bangs and whistles of slick rags or media blitz… and we will be long enduring whether the elites want to come to us while we are busy meeting the needs of the community where we live and reside in the Americas in and out of temples. At my estimate we are well over 10,000 Sangha living in the USA alone and not all of us are ethnic imports from overseas but created, born and raised right here from every ethnic group that can be thought of here. Here are some Iowas some Califnornians, some Nova Scotians, some Germans, some Chinese, a few Texans, some Burmese, and a majority of whom are Midwestern people as common as you can get and their shenanigans while enjoying traditional Buddhist offerings.
When can we Sangha cry? How about what happens when we lose our parent or a child? We cry of course, but we also must carry on in our day and even some of us have to perform at the funeral like I had to and be at the reception and stay with my mom cuz the rest of the family couldn’t bear to, even they never came over cuz their own grief was too much.
How about when we have to suffer in our grief too? We suffer, we grieve but when that first person comes to us in tears, it’s almost a sure bet that our tears spill forth in remembrance. It should be shameful, but it really is not. We are humans too. We are supposed to let go of our attachments quickly and we do but we still have memories and cherish our loved ones too.
Nobody addressed the needs of those ordained who lived through 9/11 and had to carry on performing countless funerals, counsel grieving families, run their temples, but when they talked to me, they were angry with their grief was not being acknowledged at all. In fact, most of the clergy in churches had grief too not just in temples or mosques. They all were not acknowledged by the public because the need was so great, it really was. I was out there and saw it; I’ve never seen public grief on such as scale as I did in NYC. I learned a lot about it then, and about funerals where we were in and out in 30 to 6o mins depending on the family needs, no talking just in and out! So many sometimes we didn’t eat that day until 1 am. wow!
My recent encounter with a grieving Buddhist led me to this uncomfortable truth about myself. I was suddenly spilling tears with this dear person. I apologized, for (what…being unprofessional…please I’m walking the Path…sure we are supporting laity but we have a right to be human too). But my dear Buddhist friend just handed me a tissue and we shared our tears through the conversation on what to do and how to prepare, we drank tea and both of us inspite of our individual grief had come away with something better…two people who connected and I hope and pray when the funeral day comes that I keep it together for these dear Buddhists need more than a weeping nun to help them in their future hours of need.
Can you believe I blamed it on hormones, as my change of life has been in full erratic swing for a couple of years already! We all do our best, some of us are good at hiding our tears, in our rooms away from curious eyes or our Sangha and in our darkest hours when we most need our companions by our side in full on support and offering comfort. I from now on, will strive to be solid and if I tear up, I hope to quickly recover enough to be solid in my support for my future services at the side of my dear Buddhist friends.
You know we don’t hug but I was not going to let my dear Buddhist lady leave my home without a solid squeezer. If I could have I would have taken her home and put her to bed and watched over her that’s how much I care about comforting someone in grief. But you know as Sangha we are truly limited in how we comfort people in grief and as a mom I just wish that part of it would be less impersonal. Maybe one day I can figure out a dignified way to help people that would be acceptable in the East and the West. Right now I only know Iowa ways of cooking comfort food and providing a willing ear and support. My temple training works well for me and know I must apply it to meet the needs of my Buddhist families in this area. I wish for more wisdom!
Dad’s ashes in the brass urn with tiny navy stripe on it at the funeral home. And one picture of dad when he was alive. In the last 6 months before he died he lost so much weight he looked like his young self in that black and white picture and he marveled at it.
Characteristics of Emotionally Abused People
Characteristics of Emotionally Abused People
Also Known as Signs Of Emotional Abuse
On this page you will find several detailed and quite extensive lists compiled in different ways and by different people.
From our own work and from summaring the lists we can say that, in general, people who are being, or have repeatedly been, emotionally abused feel:
and responsible for the abusor’s feelings
Here are the the more detailed lists
List 1- Based on studies of Adult Children of Alcoholics
List 3 Based on Research on Narcisisstic Peronality Disorder
List 1 – Based on studies of Adult Children of Alcoholics
This list is from the work of Janet Geringer Woititz. She did her original work on adult children of alcoholics, but I believe her findings can be generalized to people who were emotionally abused in general. Certainly all children of alcoholics were emotionally abused.
- Can only guess at what healthy behavior is.
- Have trouble completing things
- Lie when they don’t need to. Lying might have been a survival tactic in the home. (She explains that perhaps the child learned from parents who lied to cover up problems or avoid conflict. Or simply to avoid harsh punishment, or to get needed attention. But as an adult, that tactic is no longer helpful.)
- Judge themselves without mercy.
- Have trouble accepting compliments.
- Often take responsibility for problems, but not successes.
- Or they go to the other extreme and refuse to take any responsibility for mistakes while trying to take credit for the work of others.
- Have trouble having fun since their childhoods were lost, stolen, repressed.
- Take themselves very seriously or not seriously at all.
- Have difficulty with intimate relationships.
- Expect others to just “know what they want.” (They can’t express it because they were so often disappointed as children that they learned to stop asking for things.)
- Over-react to things beyond their control.
- Constantly seek approval & affirmation.
- Feel different from others.
- Are extremely loyal, even when facing overwhelming evidence that their loyalty is undeserved.
- Are either super responsible or super irresponsible.
- Tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. (This impulsiveness leads to confusion, self-loathing, and loss of control over their environment. The result is they spend much energy blaming others, feeling victimized and cleaning up messes.)
She also makes this observation:
Intelligent people, through their ability to analyze, often realize things which are disconcerting, which others would not see. They also are often capable of feeling more deeply, both pain and joy.
Adapted from Struggle for Intimacy, by Janet Gerringer Woititz
List 2 Based on Recovery and Support Groups
- We have feelings of low self- esteem (This is a result of being criticized too often as children and teenagers.)
- We perpetuate these parental messages by judging ourselves and others harshly. We try to cover up our poor opinions of ourselves by being perfectionistic, controlling, contemptuous and gossipy.
- We tend to isolate ourselves out of fear and we feel often uneasy around other people, especially authority figures.
- We are desperate for love and approval and will do anything to make people like us. Not wanting to hurt others, we remain “loyal” in situations and relationships even when evidence indicates our loyalty is undeserved.
- We are afraid of losing others.
- We are afraid of being abandoned.
- It is difficult for us to “let go.”
- We are intimidated by angry people and personal criticism. This adds to our feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
- We continue to attract emotionally unavailable people with addictive personalities.
- We live life as victims, blaming others for our circumstances, and are attracted to other victims (and people with power) as friends and lovers. We confuse love with pity and tend to “love” people we can pity and rescue. And we confuse love with need.
- We are either super-responsible or super-irresponsible. We take responsibility for solving others’ problems or expect others to be responsible for solving ours. This enables us to avoid being responsible for our own lives and choices.
- We feel guilty when we stand up for ourselves or act in our own best interests. We give in to others’ needs and opinions instead of taking care of ourselves.
- We deny, minimize or repress our feelings as a result of our traumatic childhoods. We are unaware of the impact that our inability to identify and express our feelings has had on our adult lives.
- We are dependent personalities who are so terrified of rejection or abandonment that we tend to stay in situations or relationships that are harmful to us. Our fears and dependency stop us form ending unfulfilling relationships and prevent us from entering into fulfilling ones. Because we feel so unlovable it is difficult or impossible to believe anyone can really love us, and won’t eventually leave us once they see how “bad” we are.
- Denial, isolation, control, shame, and undeserved guilt are legacies from our family. As a result of these symptoms, we feel hopeless and helpless.
- We have difficulty with intimacy, security, trust, and commitment in our relationships. Lacking clearly defined personal limits and boundaries, we become enmeshed in our partner’s needs and emotions. We often become codependent.
- We tend to procrastinate and have difficulty following project through from beginning to end.
- We have a strong need to be in control. We overreact to change things over which we have no control.
Always apologizing for “never doing things right”
Trying to keep a low profile to avoid being noticed
Making up stories to others about the quality of your relationship with _____
Blaming yourself for never doing things well enough
Always feeling anxious when ____ is around, or even when thinking of them returning or showing up
Feeling guilty for “making” _____ feel the way they do
Always confused about _______’s sudden changes in behavior
Frequently exhausted from never knowing what might happen next
Feeling like you have to “walk on eggshells” to avoid causing disapproval, judgment, anger.
Coming home to find Dr. Jekyll and suddenly discovering Mr. Hyde, and never knowing what caused the change
Never completely trusting ______
Never feeling respected or equal in the relationship
Always worrying about their performance and behavior
Often wondering if it’s OK if they phone or meet with friends or family
Having to ask permission to do anything / IE being afraid to do things without permission
Not being allowed to get a job or to start to become financially indepedent
Being afraid to give your opinion
Never or almost never being able to win any argument
Often wondering what you did “wrong”
Often wondering whether you deserved to be punished or treated the way ____ treated you for something you did or didn’t do
xx not finished editing
Avoiding arguments at all costs
Always attempting to “try harder” to make things better
Chronically feeling empty
May periodically have suicidal thoughts
Wishing for “someday” when things will change, but someday never comes
After breaking up with their narcissistic partner, all they want to do is run back to them
Repeatedly making excuses for and forgiving their partner’s unacceptable behaviors, which continue to happen
Often wondering how they got into this situation to begin with
Always being told everything is their fault
Oftentimes feel humiliated by their partner
Constantly fearing abandonment by the partner, so “doing whatever it takes” to keep him
Doing things they are uncomfortable with because they feel pressured to do so
Compromising their values, needs, and beliefs because their partner wants them to
Discovering that the narcissist has frequently lied or misled them
Feeling like no one else could possibly love them
Believing they are not as important as their partner
Taking their partner’s advice, although their gut tells them not to
Feeling like they’re living a lie – that the outside world sees them one way, while the inner reality is definitely something entirely different
Feeling subservient or less-than their partner
Rarely feeling like their needs are being met or even acknowledged
Never doing anything unless their partner says it’s OK
Their friends tell them they are being abused, but they just can’t see it
Feeling like they are being parented – that they’re too immature or childish to be able to think on their own
Often wishing they would have never gotten into this mess to begin with and now don’t know how to get out
Frequently feeling numb or depressed
They no longer know who they really are
May end up looking like the “crazy one” in xx? the end xx check orig
Ven. Guan Cheng has a 22 video series about the Diamond Sutra on youtube. It’s in English and is done well for it does present the Chinese Buddhist view in a very clear useful way that we westerners can absolutely get and understand!
His Facebook photo set has his photos during his retreat time, he is the present abbot of IBS in Taiwan. He has given us the clearest explanation I have ever seen regarding details of how this process of transmission really works. It’s important to really get the correct teachings and from the correct teachers. In the USA we are woefully deluded by the newness of Buddhism, over-reaching for levels or attainments that we do not need or deserve. I am quoting his exact post that appears on the Facebook link. Let me know if it does not work. I only cut and pasted and hope for the best, I’m new to the blog world here.
於2008年，我蒙 本換老和尚慈悲親自傳授，禪門正法眼藏，臨濟正宗法脈。此法法脈源流源自於釋迦牟尼佛，祖祖印心相傳，直到近代虛雲老和尚→本煥老和尚→慧光 (第45代臨濟正宗傳人）。
2008, I received the transmission of the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye in the Noble Linji Ch’an Dharma Lineage with the compassion of my Master, Ch’an Master Ben Huan. This lineage of Dharma transmission trace all the way back to Sakyamuni Buddha. The ancient Masters have transmitted one after another until recent era to Ch’an Master Hsu Yun. Then the Dharma transmission is from: Venerable Master Hsu Yun→ Venerable Master Ben Huan→ Hueiguang (45th generation lineage holder of the Linji Ch’an).
In Chinese Buddhist tradition, there are 3 systems of transmission:
1. Tonsure system: a person become tonsured as a novice monastic under the Master’s school. He/she is given a Dharma name 法號 at the time of tonsure based on the Master’s lineage. This name is also called “the outer name 外號” because it is use by all people to address you. This name is used for life.
2. Ordination system: a novice will become fully ordained as a Bhikṣu monk/ Bhikṣuni nun with the Triple Platform Ordination (Observing the Śrāmanera, Bhikṣu and Bodhisattva precepts) . This ordination must be presided by 10 monks with at least 10 years of seniority with a pure practice in upholding the monastic precepts. In this ceremony, the 10 Masters represent the Triple Gem accepting the novice into the Sangha. At this time, another Dharma name 法名 is given. This name is also called “precept name 戒名 or inner name 內號” because it is use only by one’s Master. This name represents your precept lineage transmission.
3. Dharma transmission system: This system upholds the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye through the generations of transmission. This is the Mind to Mind seal of the Dharma that is beyond the scriptures. At this time, another Dharma name 法名 is given. This is also called “the inner name 內號” and use only by one’s Master. This name represents your Dharma lineage transmission. After receiving this name, one will use this name instead of the name received during precept ordination to write one’s Dharma name (Inner Name)(Outer Name). For example, my Dharma name is “Chang An Huei Guang 常安慧光”, where “Huei Guang” is my name given at tonsure and “Chang An” is given at Dharma transmission.
Therefore, these systems of transmission should not be ended.
It is customary to refer to one’s own tonsure Master as “Gracious Master”, precept Master as “Root Master” and Dharma transmission Master as “Venerable Master.” In Chinese Buddhism, these 3 systems are separate and are not performed by the same Masters. Moreover, due to the strong emphasis on the Dharma, when a person receives the Dharma transmission, he/she is recognized as that Ch’an Master’s Dharma son/daughter. Of course lay Buddhists may also receive this Dharma transmission, but there are very few incidences. Most of the monk/nun who received the transmission has already been tonsured and ordained by other Masters.
This is a follow up to the first article. Read what comments I have received and the original link to the article for more information in the previous post. I really want to emphasis this blog is just for readers information and it’s not too detailed for a reason people just need to read sutras/suttas to get their own minds purified, note in the first article a link is provided of a typical interaction between myself and Daisy who was reporting in unrelated replies to the article that she had experienced abuse at the hands of named guru. In explosive vulgar posts she relates the stories, in a monk’s blog. Bitterly accusing famous monks of crimes and when confronted by other posters she recants and moves on to other Sangha groups in different traditions. She sent a comment to me because she said she is not mentally ill. I never said she was, but had I linked the article to my blog becuase of it’s value as a realtime example of interaction between sangha (who she was demanding be held responsible solving her or others’s situations of abuse) and requests for help. I repeatedly asked her to seek professional counseling or therapy and visit with a pyschiatrist. It is apparent she needs some kind of help. It’s one thing to write stories and quite another to demand help while storytelling then later admit to fakery and claim she wasn’t abused and that she made it up and beside I must have misunderstood her. Then demand removal of her link here. I have no link to her specifically. I don’t have technical savvy to have one.
The title of the first post should have included those suffering abuse but since I just posted related posts about that very topic I didn’t add to the title specifically. The content had more information, and a summary of what I have seen in temples and dealt with as a Sangha member during these past 10 years.
It is useful to read blogs widely from Sangha, not all is sweetness and light nor is all doom and gloom, and hardly any try to teach those or to correct wrong views and provide enough encouragement for their progress on the path, as touchy as the mental illness is and equally touchy is the abuse issue we as adults need to face it; it’s there, not everyday but there what is outside the temple walls is inside the temple walls.
I am setting up rules in my blog to help those who tend to spout and do provide a little helpful information. I expect readers to seek resources on their own, plenty of online sutras and bookstores. I strongly believe people need to read widely from all storehouses of all traditions in order to understand themselves and also other people better, also include daily practices of morning and evening services, join and seek out groups to gather together in communities for ease of mind and friendships on the path, seek out sangha members to teach Buddha dharma and contribute generously to those in need of comfort, food, shelter and resources. And the big one, holding to the commonly accepted teachings of what is Buddhism as it was taught by Buddha.
That’s all. I have the same old boring advice to offer, take refuge and 5 precepts formally with a monstic Sangha so you can take the class to learn the Buddhist culture and have a moral framework in which to walk the path, read all available traditions sutras/suttas and their supporting commentaries by monks and nuns who are scholars, seek out dharma teachers and monastic Sangha for dharma talks, get involved in a good community of like-minded people, commit to dana with and be interested in the Buddhist culture that you find yourself in, learn a bit from it, it’s quite fun and enjoyable; strive everyday for regular daily recitations, take bitty breaks and do 12-15 mins of meditation; get out and join in life. Look forward to your days and be happy.