Can you help me to help someone?

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:52 pm

Hi friends, if you visit different forums please forgive this repeat as it's at another site.

I have a dear friend who is struggling with depression, relationship stress, unemployment, and other challenges. She's a smart, nice person and ex-Catholic. She's a little bit leery about religion. She wrote to me and said she's been referred by her therapist to practice mindfulness and meditation.

I'm posting this in the "Discovering Theravada" forum because I'd like advice as to how I could help her, as a beginner to meditation, without being overtly Buddhist about it. Though of course, I am Buddhist. But I want to be careful and not be preachy with her and it's hard for me to think of meditation outside of a Buddhist context.

Any thoughts or input?

Thank you
:namaste:

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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:57 pm

Try just waiting until she asks, what you tell her could also confuse her as she has someone qualified in a specific treatment method. one teacher at a time.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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kc2dpt
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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:01 pm

Ajahn Brahm has a book out called "Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond". The first few chapters deal with training the mind to stay in the present moment. I recall there isn't much overtly Buddhist about those chapters. Maybe give that a look and see if it would appeal to your friend.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:10 pm

Peter wrote:Ajahn Brahm has a book out called "Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond". The first few chapters deal with training the mind to stay in the present moment. I recall there isn't much overtly Buddhist about those chapters. Maybe give that a look and see if it would appeal to your friend.


Thanks Peter, I just got it at Amazon and it's being shipped to her. I hope it helps her. My friend always reads the books I send her.

Edited to add: She's not overly leery of religion; I sent her a wrist mala a few years ago and she still wears it every day. When I went on retreat last year she was totally fascinated about it.

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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Fede » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:40 pm

I posted this reply to you on "another Forum"..... ;)

Mindfulness meditation need not refer to any Buddhist theme.
All she has to do is be in the moment.

If she seeks guidance, tell her to simply sit and watch her breath, but not think about sitting watching her breath.
Just observe the action of her body, without thinking "My body is doing such-and-such"....
Just to feel her clothing against her skin, as she breathes in, and as she breathes out, without any commentary as to how her clothing feels against her skin, as she breathes in and as she breathes out....

MIndfulness meditation is being where you are right now.

Tell me what I have mentioned above that could be called "preaching Buddhism".


Hope this helps.

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Tex » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:43 pm

Stating the obvious, what about Ven. Gunaratana's Mindfulness In Plain English?

It's about Buddhist meditation, of course, but I don't feel that it's over-the-top about "Buddhism" at all. Most of the book is nuts-and-bolts basic mindfulness training, and if one wanted to focus on that while putting aside the "Buddhist" parts I don't see why s/he couldn't learn quite a bit from this book.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:53 am

Drolma,

Tell her you heard from someone here on the forum who pointed out that having everything she''s lacking: good job, loving spouse, etc still did not preclude the onset of dangerous depression. Then I suggest you point out that anyone trying to find information about meditation and mindfulness will, in very short order, come face-to-face with Buddhism. When this happens, suggest she ask herself if she can believe in the first noble truth. Then ask if she can understand how the second noble truth does ring with common sense. If she can buy into the first two on the basis of their intuitive merit, what's the harm in giving the third and fourth noble truths a fair hearing.

It worked for me.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:41 pm

Wonderful words from all, thanks so much :anjali:

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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby appicchato » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:57 pm

Tex wrote:Stating the obvious, what about Ven. Gunaratana's Mindfulness In Plain English?

It's about Buddhist meditation, of course, but I don't feel that it's over-the-top about "Buddhism" at all. Most of the book is nuts-and-bolts basic mindfulness training, and if one wanted to focus on that while putting aside the "Buddhist" parts I don't see why s/he couldn't learn quite a bit from this book.


Indeed...you, or she, can download it here...www.urbandharma.org/pdf/mindfulness_in_plain_english.pdf

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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Ben » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:08 pm

Hi Drolma

Something that might be useful is The Art of Living by William Hart. The work is based on the Dhamma discourses given during SN Goenka's ten-day vipassana course. The presentation is light on the 'Buddhism' and is designed for the complete newbie and those hesitant about adopting a new religion. It might be available elsewhere as a download, but if not, its at reasonable cost via pariyatti:
http://www.pariyatti.org/Bookstore/prod ... cfm?PC=742
When I attended my teacher's centre in India in 89/90 it was published there for the first time and I returned home with 20 copies which I gave away to friends and family.
Metta

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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:41 pm

Thank you Bhante and Ben! Bhante, I like that link a lot. I'm going to talk to her in the next couple of days and see how she's doing with that first book I got her. The more suggestions the better, I can keep sending her books and she'll keep reading them!

Thanks a lot,
Drolma

:anjali:

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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:36 pm

Greetings,

Ngawang Drolma wrote:The more suggestions the better


The Power of Mindfulness
An Inquiry into the Scope of Bare Attention and the Principal Sources of its Strength
by Nyanaponika Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el121.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Can you help me to help someone?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:08 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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