In need of a mentor.

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In need of a mentor.

Postby echograph » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:10 pm

I am a 24 year old artist/designer. I have been interested in and greatly respected Buddhist teachings since my early ages.
I have a Persian upbringing. But not a traditional one. My family always put its focus on being a better human than following a religion.

I have been battling psychological damages done in childhood. Dealing with scars of sexual abuse, has brought me anxiety
and depression. Killed my motivation, and slowly taking away my creativity.

I understand that problems of this nature are healed from within. Therefore im in search of someone who can
teach me the basics of finding inner peace, fighting urges, and finding a pure soul. I need a mentor in the
art of self realization and free me from my material attachments and heal my scared soul.

I would greatly appreciate any recommendations. Books, articles, websites. I dont have a lot of money so i cant afford to purchase any books.
but online sources serve just fine.

but what would really make a difference is an actual person to talk to and learn from.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:17 pm

Hi, echograph, and welcome to DW.
You should fing a lot of good resources here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148
echograph wrote:but what would really make a difference is an actual person to talk to and learn from.

I'm not volunteering for that role, but if that's what you want most, then you need to at least give a general idea of where you are - country/timezone.
Or you can find nearby Buddhist centres on Buddhanet - http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/.

:namaste:
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:21 pm

HI echograph,

Although I'm not a teacher nor mentor I would be more than happy to discuss the Dhamma with you via PM or email if you're more comfortable in those formats. Still, I suggest you take the time to speak with the many wise, knowledgeable and kind people here. We even a few a few monks who post regularly and could offer you sage advice. Metta! :heart:

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-Dhp. 183

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http://greatergood.com
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:22 pm

Hi, You may wish you have a look around the site as there are some threads pinned in certain areas or come up frequently which would be useful for you and are free of charge! I am not the best at finding the links and I am sure there will be others capable of pooling together good introductory resourses.

If you give a rough idea of where you live (Country, Provence, city....) this may asist members pointing you to a good or at least known teacher in your localish area, although any help you require on specific questions there is a good pool of practitioners here to learn from, some of us are more knowledgable in some areas than others so the biggest problem you have here is knowing who is more reliable or trustworthy in what they are saying, and the writen word does not always convey fully what is there are sometimes things can be added on which are not present!
but I am sure if you stick around long enough you will learn who to trust for advice in the different areas and who to trust for pointing to who is more in line with the dhamma!

best regards in your endeavor!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"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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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby santa100 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:51 pm

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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby echograph » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:22 am

Thank you very much, all of you, for your words :)
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby befriend » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:28 am

Tara Brach at her own website or her talks on trauma and how to heal at dharmaseed.org. she has a lot of stuff on healing.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby Kamran » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:47 am

Hi echograph, I am Persian, too.

Thanissaro Bikhus talks at dhammatalks.org. is almost like having a personal meditation teacher, since much of what he says I have experienced during meditation and it seems as if he were speaking directly to me :)
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby drifting cloud » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:31 am

Kamran wrote:Hi echograph, I am Persian, too.

Thanissaro Bikhus talks at dhammatalks.org. is almost like having a personal meditation teacher, since much of what he says I have experienced during meditation and it seems as if he were speaking directly to me :)


Yes, I am in a very remote part of the world without much in the way of Dhammic resources and I find Thanissaro Bhikku's talks and guidance to be invaluable. Here are some web resources with talks that's he given:

http://www.dhammatalks.org/
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/16/

Ecograph, since you also mentioned childhood trauma, I would also like to recommend that in addition to dhamma practice you look into some type of therapy - depending on your location, you may even be able to find a therapist who can incorporate Buddhist practice into their therapy. I have a friend who had similar experiences (childhood sexual abuse, etc) and was greatly helped through hypnotherapy. The hypnotherapist they went to was also a practitioner of Tibetan Vajrayana, and was able to incorporate Buddhist practice into the healing process. Hypnotherapy works directly with the unconscious mind and can help with psychological issues. Since undertaking meditation can sometimes cause these issues to arise, it might be a good idea to address them via therapy concurrently with Dhamma practice.

Best wishes to you on your journey, I am certain you can overcome anything that has happened in your past. Much Metta to you. :heart:
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby waimengwan » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:01 pm

Echograph,

My teacher was abused when young, abandoned by natural mother, and a host of other issues and one point when Rinpoche became a monk his guru asked him to apologize to his step mother. Though he felt reservation about that he followed his guru's advice and now he knows why he needs to forgive people who hurt him so he can move on and be a good monk that does not carry a baggage.

These are some of Rinpoche's bio if you are interested
http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-ri ... ory/family

The Promise talks bout rinpoche's life struggles until he became a monk. If you are interested in this book it looks like this.
http://www.kechara.com/publications/new ... e-promise/

I would say if we understand karma, we know there is no one to blame but ourselves , we have created the causes for us to be harmed. it is not an easy thing to face up to but all things that harm us must have a cause. And if we know that we are not born an innocent bay that helps too that puts things in perspectives. Also Rinpoche once said, if u fall down you dont stay down u get up and move on.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby drifting cloud » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:28 pm

Hello Waimengwan,

waimengwan wrote:I would say if we understand karma, we know there is no one to blame but ourselves , we have created the causes for us to be harmed.n.


With the deepest of respect to you and your teacher, I think this is an immense distortion of the teaching of karma. I think this amounts to blaming the victims of abuse, and is basically akin to kicking somebody when they are down. Are you seriously proposing that a child who is molested by their parents "has no one to blame but themselves"?

If so, this strikes me as monstrous. It also strikes me as nihilistic, since if we are all ultimately responsible for what happens to us, why should we bother to help other people? After all, they must have deserved whatever happened to them....

It is true that the Buddha taught that everything has a cause. Not all causes are the result of karma, however. The conclusions you seem to be implying are again, monstrous, and distortions of the Dhamma.

I realize this post is straying off topic. But I think it is important to respond to your points, because first of all your insensitive comments may very well turn somebody who is suffering away from the Buddhist path. Secondly and more importantly, it is extremely insensitive and lacking in compassion.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby echograph » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:04 am

drifting cloud wrote:Hello Waimengwan,

waimengwan wrote:I would say if we understand karma, we know there is no one to blame but ourselves , we have created the causes for us to be harmed.n.


With the deepest of respect to you and your teacher, I think this is an immense distortion of the teaching of karma. I think this amounts to blaming the victims of abuse, and is basically akin to kicking somebody when they are down. Are you seriously proposing that a child who is molested by their parents "has no one to blame but themselves"?

If so, this strikes me as monstrous. It also strikes me as nihilistic, since if we are all ultimately responsible for what happens to us, why should we bother to help other people? After all, they must have deserved whatever happened to them....

It is true that the Buddha taught that everything has a cause. Not all causes are the result of karma, however. The conclusions you seem to be implying are again, monstrous, and distortions of the Dhamma.

I realize this post is straying off topic. But I think it is important to respond to your points, because first of all your insensitive comments may very well turn somebody who is suffering away from the Buddhist path. Secondly and more importantly, it is extremely insensitive and lacking in compassion.


that is so true. what he said about Karma scared me. made me feel amazingly helpless. and i kept thinking, what could a child possibly do to deserve sexual abuse. Yes, there was a cause. the cause was the evil nature of that man. I dont keep baggage, I forgive but can never forget. it took me so long to forgive him. i used to want to go find him, and kill him, so he couldnt hurt anyone else. but my views changed, i realized that hate only hurts me. the problem is the effects the abuse had on my subconscious, it ruined my youth, it prevented good memories to be made, it made me an anxious, and depressed person living a love-less life with no hope in humanity. now, if you say Karma says I had it coming, and i did something to deserve it. maybe im looking in the wrong place for help. because the Karma you just described sounds irrational and illogical. inhumane and blindly mean. How is that supposed to help? what can i possibly have done as a 10 year old innocent boy to deserve to be raped? how did Karma function here? sir, i may be ignorant about the teachings. but that doesnt mean I lack logic. please, i beg you, put yourself in my position, then read your post. you have no idea how much that upset me. please think about what you write and how it might sound. and if you really believe thats how Karma works, im truly sorry for you.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby waimengwan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:21 am

Drifting Cloud - Then are you saying things can happen to me not due to karma ?

Let say I am raped when I am an adult, so that is because the perpertrator wanted to rape me and there is no karma at all involved. And I merely presented the opportunity for the person to take action against me?

Maybe there might be some random factors not due to karma 99% is due to we had the karma to experience those actions.

Are you saying that if we don't have the karma to die in an accident, still an accident can happen to us does that make sense. it sounds harsh, but we are in a safe environment, test the idea to see if we understand it better.

If I am born let say retarded, that is not due to karma, that is due to my parents not taking of me? If am born as an animal where did the cause of that come from?

Actually no one innocent, not even babies sorry to say. If you knew that the baby was was abused was also an abuser in a previous life how would u think now? I am not blaming anybody, if you plant an apple tree you cannot get an orange, if u have abused others in the past, do you expect that you will not be abused now?

I am not trying to be insensitive but if I am wrong please correct me. Thanks. With the deepest respects.

Can we be harmed if we have not harmed others? If we can when does karma come into play?
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby santa100 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:14 pm

Unfortunately, for one who doesn't believe in kamma, all the injustices in life will seems even more unbearable. Look at those Nazis mass murderers who escaped to Argentina, enjoyed luxurious life, and passed away at a ripe old age. Evil dictators like Stalin, Kim Il Sung never had to pay for the horrific crimes they commited against their own people. They lived like kings until their last breath. How about all those Wall Street fat cats who're making billions of dollars just by laying off people and manipulating the market? Some have enough cash to purchase an entire island and still have a lot left so their kids, grand kids, great great grand kids to continue their luxurious life without having to work to earn it. The list can go on forever. So, if everything was just mere chance or coincidence, then life would be a boundless ocean of injustice. Finally, a belief in kamma is in no way to imply one will give up trying. Quite the opposite, by fully aware that thru one's own action, one is in complete control of his/her future destiny, one would try even harder to abstain from all unwholesome states of body, speech, and mind and try to build a better future for oneself through one's own wholesome striving and effort..
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby waimengwan » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:34 am

Santa100 - What I have read about Karma is that it is infallible, all actions no matter big or small is captured in our subtle consciousness. Our mind is like a camera, what u capture will result in what will be developed.
As long as there is karma seeds it can sprout and germinate out. A small action can lead to a big result good or bad. Even after many aeons the seeds of karma can germinate when the right conditions are present.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby echograph » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:38 am

So lets say that I was an abuser in the past life. and I had the rape coming and deserved it. Since I have no memory of the past life, and in the next one I will have no memory
of this one, where is the lesson to be learned? where is the point that was made? Lets assume that Karma at play is paying me back for what I have done in the past life, Its making my life a living hell, giving me nightmares, robbed me of my childhood, took away my trust in humanity, made me resent sex, and never showed me love. What point does that make? where is the progress when all that happened was leaving a wound that takes a lifetime to heal? Where is the lesson to be learned?
I have read every major holy book cover-to-cover in 2 languages, they sound irrational, mean, and control masses by creating fear in god. While Karma, sounds like a force on its own, blindly functioning like a machine. Honestly burning in the Muslim or the Christian hell sounds A LOT better than the Karma at play, at least you know what you did and why you are suffering.

Blind belief is Blind belief. Sweeping generalizations and sprinkling punishment and reward around like candy. That sounds AS ignorant, blind, controlling and out-dated as any other faith. This was the ONLY time i asked for help and I was made to be the bad guy. Now tell me, what is karma is going to do to you for making me feel this way and obviously misrepresenting it. I guess you have to wait till the next life to be punished, and you will never know why you are being punished.

You know what this sounds like, a contributing/enabling factor for the cast system to function. a system of control and blind belief.
Thank you for showing me the true face of it. I was about to fall for it out of desperation.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby whynotme » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:01 am

santa100 wrote:Unfortunately, for one who doesn't believe in kamma, all the injustices in life will seems even more unbearable. Look at those Nazis mass murderers who escaped to Argentina, enjoyed luxurious life, and passed away at a ripe old age. Evil dictators like Stalin, Kim Il Sung never had to pay for the horrific crimes they commited against their own people. They lived like kings until their last breath. How about all those Wall Street fat cats who're making billions of dollars just by laying off people and manipulating the market? Some have enough cash to purchase an entire island and still have a lot left so their kids, grand kids, great great grand kids to continue their luxurious life without having to work to earn it. The list can go on forever. So, if everything was just mere chance or coincidence, then life would be a boundless ocean of injustice. Finally, a belief in kamma is in no way to imply one will give up trying. Quite the opposite, by fully aware that thru one's own action, one is in complete control of his/her future destiny, one would try even harder to abstain from all unwholesome states of body, speech, and mind and try to build a better future for oneself through one's own wholesome striving and effort..

Ah, well said. We are very lucky under the teaching of a Buddha.
Secondly and more importantly, it is extremely insensitive and lacking in compassion.

I don't think it lacks compassion when refer to kamma. Quite the opposite, if you belive in the kamma you know everyone can fall into its trap, because it is very complex, small actions can lead to big suffering and vice versa, so your have compassion for everyone, both victim and perpetrator. And you know that blame the victim's kamma or leave them alone will lead you to suffering, so it is basically wrong. Knowing the kamma isn't for blaming others.

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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby whynotme » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:16 am

echograph wrote:So lets say that I was an abuser in the past life. and I had the rape coming and deserved it. Since I have no memory of the past life, and in the next one I will have no memory
of this one, where is the lesson to be learned? where is the point that was made? Lets assume that Karma at play is paying me back for what I have done in the past life, Its making my life a living hell, giving me nightmares, robbed me of my childhood, took away my trust in humanity, made me resent sex, and never showed me love. What point does that make? where is the progress when all that happened was leaving a wound that takes a lifetime to heal? Where is the lesson to be learned?
I have read every major holy book cover-to-cover in 2 languages, they sound irrational, mean, and control masses by creating fear in god. While Karma, sounds like a force on its own, blindly functioning like a machine. Honestly burning in the Muslim or the Christian hell sounds A LOT better than the Karma at play, at least you know what you did and why you are suffering.

Blind belief is Blind belief. Sweeping generalizations and sprinkling punishment and reward around like candy. That sounds AS ignorant, blind, controlling and out-dated as any other faith. This was the ONLY time i asked for help and I was made to be the bad guy. Now tell me, what is karma is going to do to you for making me feel this way and obviously misrepresenting it. I guess you have to wait till the next life to be punished, and you will never know why you are being punished.

You know what this sounds like, a contributing/enabling factor for the cast system to function. a system of control and blind belief.
Thank you for showing me the true face of it. I was about to fall for it out of desperation.

I don't think anyone here make you feel sad on purpose.

Honestly Christian can't explain your pain, is it God will? God want you suffering? To teach you something?

You may have some pain, big pain, but I think everyone here already have some problems in their lives and we all have to face it. Kama isn't on purpose, so the learning here is life is extremely dangerous, like a battlefield, if you don't have the skills you will be get killed or suffering. Believe me, I have sufferings and I accepted that I may have been a bad guy in the past, its normally for all of us been a bad guy in the past, even the Buddha, so we are not blame you on purpose, we are just merely point out a fact (in our faith).

You don't know how lucky you are when you have suffering while there is a Buddha and his teaching, because you may know how dangerous life is and you have chance to fix it all. I think most of us hope u best wishes and inner peace.

Regards.
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby echograph » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:42 am

I dont think anyone is trying to make me feel sad on purpose.
And im fully aware that human has made this world a battlefield.

All I want is this one simple answer: What is Karma? The police force of the universe? revenge squad? peace keeper? Whatever Karma is, it sound extremely irrational to punish a soul for what it has done in its past life, without the soul knowing what it did that was so terrible. I would accept that if there was a lesson to be learned.

This is like sedating a criminal with Rohypnol so he wont remember what he did, then when sober, imprison him without an explanation. Just tell him that you have committed a crime that you have no recollection of and we wont tell you what the crime was, but now here is your punishment. and by the way, when you are being punished, we are going to give you some more Rohypnol so you wont remember the punishment either. in this case, replace Rohypnol with reincarnation.

Sorry but what you are describing is highly irrational. If you truly believe in that, you are living in hell. a Rohypnol induced hell. :shrug:
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Re: In need of a mentor.

Postby Dan74 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:53 am

Kamma, as I understand it, is simply the fact that actions have consequences. Nothing more, nothing less.

Not everything bad that happens to us is due to some past fault of ours though thinking like this does work for some people and helps them avoid blaming and hateful thoughts.

It is not something apart from the world, over and above it, but just the law of causation. As far as post-mortem kamma is concerned, perhaps this becomes clear once we understand the nature of self/selves but it's not something one should worry about too much I think.

One way is to trust the Buddha and the teachers and take what we do very seriously because there are always consequences even if in the next life. The other is to put it aside and observe that whether or not one is punished externally for unwholesome actions, by their very nature they disturb and pollute the mind and result is unwholesome consequences for the doer, regardless of post-mortem rebirth.

Buddhism after all is a practice and teachings are relevant so far as their inform, inspire and direct our practice, not for their own sake.
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