It's better to be a Buddha than to be a Buddhist...
I've been fortunate enough to have a family that's been tolerant, if not always supportive, of my various spiritual disciplines. After we got past the initial questions like "so...do you go into a trance, or what?", things settled down.
They'll keep religious disagreements mum for the most part, but they won't go out of their way to cook me a vegetarian meal when I come to visit. This is a perfectly tolerable balance and I'm glad my support network is so understanding.
I'm not sure why you deleted your original post, Gregor? I didn't think that there was anything offensive about it.
Some of my family members are very devout Christians. They are very supportive of my meditation practice, because they think it is beneficial to my health. But we've never talked about Buddhism as a religion. I think they'd really rather not know, and I don't see any point in making a big issue of it.
My Mom attends an enormous church employing (I think) at least 10 pastors. She's boycotting the guy who says that meditation is evil because it leaves the mind vulnerable to demonic possession - he had warnings about Yoga as well, which I think my Mom took kind of personally.
My own family long ago ostracised me for not following their fictional Christian God, and for marrying a Japanese - whom they consider children of Satan. So much for love and understanding from Christians.
Most of my family have not even seen my son, because he is a "half-breed of Satan's children."
Christianity, for reasons unimportant here, has often been the justification for the worst of fear-filled malice between family members, between nations, etc. I can't apologize for all Christians, but I am sorry your family so misunderstood and misused this belief and so wounded you.
If a Christian clergy can be any use in your healing... firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shamans and magicians can't be of any help, thanks anyhow. Healing comes from within not from external superstitions.Originally Posted by Don Niederfrank
Gregor, thank you.
From within, yes, but not in isolation.
But I'm probably more of symbol/respresentative of that past evil than a facillitator of anything better.
I very much understand. When I was deeply into Tibetan Buddhism, I may as well have been an axe murderer as far as my fundamentalist Christian parents were concerned. I also remember my dad making a very raciest remark about the Japanese girlfriend I had in college. So much for love everyone as Jesus would've. I guess it's love everyone so long as they believe exactly what you believe, and btw, they also have to go to the same denomination as you do or they're all going to hell. They've never seen their grandson either, and at this point never will.
I'm very lucky, though, in that my wife is very supportive of my practice. I didn't ship my zafu and zabuton when we moved from America, and she bought me new ones when I started sitting again! She's never sat a day in her life, but for the most part just naturally possesses many of the fruits of zazen. Sometimes I really think I married a Boddhisattva!