inastateofdecay wrote:OK, first of all I'm sorry that my first introduction on here is one for a cry for help. But I have in the past few days felt very tearful and I am not sure what to do anymore.
I've been 'into' Buddhism ever since I found out what it was 4 or 5 years ago. I've meditated, been on retreat, read countless books, listened to even more podcasts. More so, I have made improvements to my life and others with what I have learned. I know, that deep in my heart I want to practice it on a serious basis. However, my personal circumstances don't help right now.
I'm a single parent to two beautiful kids. I work and I'm also doing a degree part time. That aside, if I didn't have children, I know that I wouldn't be here, but would dedicate myself to the path in a monastery, where I could really focus. I get really upset sometimes as I find myself wishing for my kids to be older so I can take this path. I feel trapped. I'd never abandon my children and it almost feels like a cross to bear sometimes. I feel so overwhelmed by aloneness. What's worse is that I know I should embrace it. But I cant, I wish I had someone I could talk too.
The trigger for this episode, is that I don't feel I have any friends, family or loved ones that understand any of this. Sometimes I look at my 'normal' friends and they appear so happy. But the further into this I go and read and comprehend, the more I feel alienated from the society I was born into. There is no Buddhist community where I live for many, many miles. I do not have a teacher. I feel completely overwhelmed.
I'm so tearful. I feel like I should go to my doctor, perhaps I am suffering from depression but I know pills are not an answer. He wont understand some of the concepts I will outline to him. Has anyone else felt the restriction of their path, the alienation from people, the hopelessness of their situation?
Thank you for reading this.
I think I know where you re coming from (to some extent) and I used to feel the same way.
But the Buddhism that I have been taught, encourages us to take responsibility and practice within the confines of our particular situation.
These confines are really mind-made. My teacher who has been a nun for some 30 years now, has told me once (when I was telling her of very similar concerns to yours above) - "in a monastery it is about mind and in a house with the family it is about mind." Where we are is where we practice and if we face our situation squarely, we can begin to truly commit to the practice now
It is easy to think that somewhere else it is better and it is also easy for a single parent to feel trapped. I share my tasks with my partner who works hard and is brilliant at keeping us all organised. And even so it does sometimes feel like it's all too much.
But this is where practice comes in. In facing up to our responsibilities, in facing reality as it is rather than as we may wish it to be, and making the most of it now.
Of course it is easier said than done and like anything else, we make some small steps in the right directions and over time this can make a world of difference. And sometimes we do need some extra support, whether in the form of friends or indeed therapy if necessary.
And then when the time is right (and you will know when it is right) you can ordain. From what I've heard people who practice well as householders make great monastics and people who don't, don't last.
Aversion is a great hindrance on the path, the Buddha taught. And if you are a committed parent, cultivating aversion to this commitment and all it entails is harming your practice. But recognizing and letting go of it is helping it. Then you can facing your situation as it is and see countless opportunities for practice within your daily life.
All the best!!!