Feeling out of touch with people

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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Digity
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Feeling out of touch with people

Post by Digity »

Ever since I've tried to take my practice more seriously I've felt a bit more out of touch with the people around me. A good example is giving up alcohol and the negative reaction that's gotten. I've also tried to open up more to the people around me about my interest in meditation, but I feel like they can't relate and some probably think I'm being silly. I felt like my sister was kind of mocking me about it...stuff like that makes me want to just keep this stuff to myself. It's disheartening when you put more effort into the practice and feel less supported.

I know these teachings go against the grain and ulimately I place the Dhamma above all else. So, I'll never compromise my beliefs to appease others. Anyway, can you relate and if so, how have you coped with this?
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cooran
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by cooran »

Hello Digity,,

I think many of us can relate to your experience. I found the best thing was not to discuss things too much unless with fellow Buddhists or meditators etc. Over time, you will have more friends with similar way of life - but it can be a little difficult and lonely to begin with.

With metta
Chris
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retrofuturist
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Digity,
Digity wrote:I know these teachings go against the grain and ulimately I place the Dhamma above all else. So, I'll never compromise my beliefs to appease others. Anyway, can you relate and if so, how have you coped with this?
You may find that as you become more assured in the world and grow as a person in the Dhamma, that people will come to see that your personal confidence, happiness and worth is independent of the praise and support of others.

Ironically at that point in time, when you least need the support and encouragement of others, you may find that is precisely when you're most surround by it, because people start to recognise and appreciate the results of your practice, as distinct from the unfulfilled intention which they are currently skeptical of.

It's a journey... so enjoy the journey. You seem assured of the truth and efficacy of the Dhamma, so trust in it to guide you through.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Virgo
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by Virgo »

Hi,

I think what the above two people said is wise.
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SarathW
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by SarathW »

I think what the above three people said is wise :)
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manas
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by manas »

Digity wrote:Ever since I've tried to take my practice more seriously I've felt a bit more out of touch with the people around me. A good example is giving up alcohol and the negative reaction that's gotten. I've also tried to open up more to the people around me about my interest in meditation, but I feel like they can't relate and some probably think I'm being silly. I felt like my sister was kind of mocking me about it...stuff like that makes me want to just keep this stuff to myself. It's disheartening when you put more effort into the practice and feel less supported.

I know these teachings go against the grain and ulimately I place the Dhamma above all else. So, I'll never compromise my beliefs to appease others. Anyway, can you relate and if so, how have you coped with this?
Hi.Digity
i.dont.have.many.friends.or.acquaintances
but.the.ones.i.do.have
dont.give.a.damn.about
whether.i.drink.alcohol.or.not
and.they.are.not.even.Buddhist!
i.think.you.are.just.hanging.out
with.the.wrong.crowd
as.the.saying.goes

As.for.your.sister
along.with.the.other.multitudes.of.people
who.are.just.not.interested.in.Dhamma
i.dont.understand.why.you.let.this.bother.you.
this.is.normal.
this.Teaching.as.you.pointed.out
is.subtle.and.goes.against.the.grain
of.worldliness
so.of.course.most.people
either.wont.listen,wont.try.it.
or.simply.dont.care
why.is.that.a.problem.for.you?
just.leave.them.be
you.can.go.your.way
they.can.go.theirs

I.can.relate,Digity
its.just.that.i.gave.up.long.ago
expecting.anyone.around.me
to.appreciate.what.im.striving.for
ive.trained.myself.to.no.longer.care
so.much.about.what.others.think
some.people.like.me
some.dislike.me
and.most.are.indifferent
but.out.of.all.of.these
almost.none.of.them.know
that.I.practice.the.Dhamma!
and.ive.learned.that.its.best
not.to.try.to.force.it.on.them
because.this.usually.just
turns.people.off
which.is.not.the.result
we.are.striving.for!

if.someone.enquires.about.Dhamma
then.i.share.what.i.can
try.to.point.them.to.resources
that.can.help
and.offer.help.personally
but.this.hardly.ever.happens.

If.you.want.more.physical.support
in.Dhamma.practice
you.will.simply.have.to.seek.out
either.an.accessible.temple,
monastery.or.lay.Dhamma.discussion.group
(or.maybe.you.could.start.one.up!)
that.way.you.will.be.hanging.out.with.a.crowd
who.will.also.be.abstaining.from.alcohol
and.will.be.striving.to.realise.the.Dhamma

metta
:anjali:
To the Buddha-refuge i go; to the Dhamma-refuge i go; to the Sangha-refuge i go.
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ground
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by ground »

Feelings of loneliness and/or alienation are conditioned too. Work on the conditions. Metta and/or compassion practice may be appropriate :sage:
mogg
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by mogg »

This is a 'lonely path'. At the end of the day, you have to give up everyone: your friends, family, even 'yourself'. Remember what we are trying to accomplish here: unbinding, complete cessation...of everything!

Its a path of seclusion and renunciation...may as well start now :)

With metta
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kmath
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by kmath »

mogg wrote:ely path'. At the end of the day, you have to give up everyone: your friends, family, even 'yourself'. Remember what we are trying to accomplish here: unbinding, complete cessation...of everything!

Its a path of seclusion and renunciation...may as well start now

With metta
Yes but keep in mind too that "spiritual friends are the whole of the holy life." The best advice is to try to make friends with other Buddhists. That way you can practice and be happy!
dhammapal
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by dhammapal »

kmath wrote:
mogg wrote:ely path'. At the end of the day, you have to give up everyone: your friends, family, even 'yourself'. Remember what we are trying to accomplish here: unbinding, complete cessation...of everything!

Its a path of seclusion and renunciation...may as well start now

With metta
Yes but keep in mind too that "spiritual friends are the whole of the holy life." The best advice is to try to make friends with other Buddhists. That way you can practice and be happy!
According to the Buddha having a good friend is the whole of the holy life, but that can just mean a brief instruction followed by long periods in seclusion. Thinking in this way makes me feel less lonely, that actually I do have enough friends to progress on the path.

With metta / dhammapal.
Toph
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by Toph »

I can relate. My mom says that meditation is evil, and threatened me if I meditate, so I had to keep my life a secret from my family(sisters are non-accepting as well). With friends, I live in a deep christian area, I find most people aren't interested in dhamma, and that's okay. I'm not sure how pervasive the non-acceptance is in your family, but it may help to see them as unable to understand due to their own place in life, and accept them for what they are able to give if anything at all. Some people aren't ready to accept dhamma, and may be harmful to one's relationship to share, by causing unnecessary frustration or whatnot.

Sometimes, obstacles are opportunities in disguise, how has the lonely path helped you? For example, I was eventually shunned by my family, but in reality they never accepted me, which ended up granting me the freedom to full express myself anyway I see fit rather than hide, I can relax and be myself. Also, it helps to find that point inside yourself, so that you don't need to lean on another for support, it can be liberating although a difficult journey. Sometimes the path is lonely, but then one reaches the point past that loneliness and sees the unity under it all.

Also, like the others have said, it helps to find niche friends, ones who may not understand dhamma but other aspects you can enjoy to discuss together. Letting go of how one wants a relationship goes can help alot too.
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corrine
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by corrine »

I would suggest that you seek friends through doing what you can to help others. Volunteer in a hospital, nursing home, animal shelter, library or ? and you will encounter others who wish to make a positive difference in the world. These may turn out to be positive friendships. I do not think that it is necessary to share your beliefs or practices with others. You need to do what you believe to be the right thing. The approval or support of others should not be a factor. Neither should you hide who you are. It is simply a matter of having friends with whom you share some positive goal. You do not have to be a mirror image of your friends nor do they have to be just like you.

I assume you are on this path because it is the right path for you. That is all that matters. Try letting go of the need for anyone's approval. Just enjoy the company of those who share your values in some area. Your spiritual path really is no one else's business. Find strength in what you know to be right. Just keep moving forward, doing your best in the moment in which you find yourself. The rest is unimportant.

corrine
5heaps
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by 5heaps »

Digity wrote:Anyway, can you relate and if so, how have you coped with this?
the answer to this is the same as the answer to how parents should behave with their kids: kids dont listen to anything you have to say to them, they will just watch and copy what you do.

if people see amazing changes in you they will want to copy you, and they will ask you of their own volition. until then "remain like an elephant in the forest" ie. cool laid back and enjoying peace and quiet. perhaps figure out how to sneak a fake duplicate bottle of non-alcohol with you so it just looks like youre drinking, if you really insist on remaining with partying people. personally i would check out yoga studios/centres...there are often high class wealthy young people there worth spending time with, who actually view clean living as a positive thing. its also good to not spend time with the same group of people--socialize in different places every time you go out. its way better than hanging out with the same plebs.
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Digity
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Re: Feeling out of touch with people

Post by Digity »

I have distanced myself more and more from my old crowd of friends and I'm trying to develop better friendships. I have no regrets about distancing myself...if anything, I feel a lot better about it. I think I'm just becoming more discerning and aware of people's character and I began to realize that I no longer wished to hang out with the people I was with. I feel like my standards are higher now and I want to be around more kind and encouraging people.

Anyway, the replies here were helpful. I'm no longer going to worry about what others think, etc, etc. I'm just going to let the practice be my guide and follow my gut. Whenever I do these two things they usually don't lead me astray.
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