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Thread: Am I still a buddhist?

  1. #1

    Am I still a buddhist?

    Hi. I haven't been around as of late. I think this will be a long post, for me at least so sorry about that. I haven't been participating probably the last 5 years, maybe more I've been barely active. Life has a certain way to keep you busy and make you lose your way.
    For those of you who dont know me I've been at treeleaf since 2008 i think. And i've seen it grow from maybe 30 people to what it is today. At one point the amount of messages just overwhelmed me and i started reading less and less. When i joined i was a student in nursing school. 24 years old and single. I am now 36, married. i have 3 boys ages 7, 6 and and a year and a half. I work in the O.R. i live in Israel (but hopefully will be moving to the US soon with my family). i guess Life does take a toll on you and i came to realize a few days ago that i have neglected my practice not only in this sangha as a member but in my life as well. I still sit each day and havent missed a day in over 4 years (even if it is only couple of minutes if I'm short on time). But i don't do much else. I didn't take jukai for years, i haven't been doing ango because i just cant find the time. I haven't done a retreat in many years becuase of the same reason, ive tried once but seeing my wife struggling with 2 kids (before the 3rd was born) made me stop after 1 day and help her. I began lying again. Mostly at work were i realized poeple dont care about you. Especially the boss they just need you to fill the holes and don't give a shit about your personal life. So you sometimes have to be untruthful if you need a day of to take care of family or personal business. It always surprises me how little compassion there is for each other from people who are supposed to be the most compassionate. I get angry and throw tantrums and lose my temper sometimes when i fight with my wife and yell horrible things like wanting a divorce (god knows how my puts up with me). I do try to control myself and be a better husband and try to change and i do think that having practiced for years helps me see my thought patterns and control myself and learn how to fight without it having to be a be all or end all kind of fight (i grew up in a family that is very explosive and i do try to change). I started smoking weed for recreational purposes. I do it only during the evenings when the kids are asleep and i am done with all my chores and responsibilities. And only after sitting zazen. I do it about 3-4 times a week. Sometimes more sometimes less depending on my work schedule, so it won't ever interfere with my life in any way. I will never let my kids see me like that nor would i let it ever interfere with my job or other responsibilities.
    I try to be a good person but i am sure that sometimes i can be an asshole to some. Basically i wonder , Am I still a buddhist? Or am i just a guy who meditates?

    Gassho.
    D.
    Sat today.
    Last edited by Dojin; 10-16-2020 at 02:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Hi Dojin,

    I was just thinking about you the other day! Three boys! Mazeltov!

    Well, first, you are a nurse, so whatever you are doing, you are helping more people each day in some way than most of us ever get a chance! Bodhisattva work, even if you are a sometimes frustrated Bodhisattva!

    And have not missed a day of Zazen in 4 years! Maybe better than me!

    Okay, you lose your temper sometimes. We try to avoid that, but you are still a "Buddhist" ... just a sometimes angry one. Practice ever starts anew from now, here, today.

    Sometimes work makes you tell a fib to spend time with the family and such? Well, if you need to, it is not a good thing, but not the worst thing. I think reflection, and realizing you were forced to do it, would cover such a situation where you did it for precious time with your children and wife. I don't know anyone who has not "called in sick," even in a monastery sometimes. Small thing, the reason is understandable, not like robbing a bank. Even in the Buddha's time, reflection and your feeling some remorse about doing so cleans it up. Say "Three Hail Mary's," (oh, sorry, wrong religion ), make a small donation to charity, be extra kind to your patients tomorrow, and I think that will help too. (We will be reflecting on the Precept about seeking Honesty, in a few weeks again).

    On smoking weed, these days, I will say that if it is in moderation, not interfering with your life duties, not an addiction, not during Zazen itself ... it is not that different from how Japanese Buddhists commonly allow themselves a beer in moderation.

    (Maybe I am not so strict).

    I try to be a good person but i am sure that sometimes i can be an asshole to some. Basically i wonder , Am I still a buddhist? Or am i just a guy who meditates?
    You are still sitting, still concerned about being good, a dad, husband and nurse with stresses. So, you are a Buddhist. Maybe an "Asshole Buddhist" sometimes, but still a Buddhist! I kid, I kid).

    By the way, you maybe have joined us for Jukai 5 or 6 times over the years? More than about anyone. You are welcome to join in this year too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-16-2020 at 04:20 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Thanks. I do feel that i have learned 1 thing though. Take things as they are. I am very cynical and complain alot mostly about the job and the human interaction with people who i work with. I would even go so far as to say i bitch and moan a lot. But i do accept it. This is what is. Try to change what you can. But mostly acceptance. To me this is the most important lesson I've learned from zazen. Life flows never stopping. Whether we like it or not we are always in the river. And i accept that. I might not like it. But it is what it is.
    I do feel like i procrastinate too much. And i ain't doing a good enough job as a buddhist, human being, husband, father. I guess i feel i need 36 hours per day.
    I did do the jukai 5 or 6 times i think.
    I remember once i was the only one with a working microphone so i was the designated speaker. I think it was the 2nd jukai. Must be 10 years ago at least. How time flies... 🤔
    I would love to join the jukai again this year. probably should. but i feel that i would be faking it without putting the time and effort to study for it.

    Gassho.
    Dojin.

  4. #4
    שלום שלום! אני חושב שאתה בודהיסט.

    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dojin View Post
    Thanks. I do feel that i have learned 1 thing though. Take things as they are. I am very cynical and complain alot mostly about the job and the human interaction with people who i work with. I would even go so far as to say i bitch and moan a lot. But i do accept it. This is what is. Try to change what you can. But mostly acceptance. To me this is the most important lesson I've learned from zazen. Life flows never stopping. Whether we like it or not we are always in the river. And i accept that. I might not like it. But it is what it is.
    I do feel like i procrastinate too much. And i ain't doing a good enough job as a buddhist, human being, husband, father. I guess i feel i need 36 hours per day.
    I did do the jukai 5 or 6 times i think.
    I remember once i was the only one with a working microphone so i was the designated speaker. I think it was the 2nd jukai. Must be 10 years ago at least. How time flies... ��
    I would love to join the jukai again this year. probably should. but i feel that i would be faking it without putting the time and effort to study for it.

    Gassho.
    Dojin.
    Thank you for sharing your journey Dojin

    There was a time, before discovering zazen, when I was doing lot of antipasanti meditation. As I have a family and full time job (not as meaningful and stressful as yours ) I also felt that I don't have enough opportunities and time to juggle everything and go deeper in my practice. Everything was disconnected, disjointed with constant pressure that stuff needs to be done and I don't have time for myself. I dreamt of escaping it all and going for a long retreat. Then something happened one day during an ordinary breakfast routine and chores, suddenly I realised "what if this is it? What if happiness doesn't get better that this? What if" my" time is this, exactly what I'm doing right now, and I don't need to rush anymore (though still needed to be quick)?
    You know the feeling when you come home after a long day? Or when you take a first drag of your joint?
    You don't need 36 hours, that feeling of arrival, of letting go is possible in every given hour of your life, whatever you do, wherever you are, you are at Home.

    People like you, with family and doing social service inspire me.

    Sorry for going over 3 sentences.
    Gassho
    Sat

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Dojin,



    On smoking weed, these days, I will say that if it is in moderation, not interfering with your life duties, not an addiction, not during Zazen itself ... it is not that different from how Japanese Buddhists commonly allow themselves a beer in moderation.

    (Maybe I am not so strict).





    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    I remember Dalai Lama saying "you can have a drink, but don't get drunk!"
    Slippery slope though to know when the need for relaxation turns into addiction. There are many high functioning and successful addicts.

    Gassho
    Sat

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dojin View Post
    I do feel like i procrastinate too much. And i ain't doing a good enough job as a buddhist, human being, husband, father. I guess i feel i need 36 hours per day.
    I did do the jukai 5 or 6 times i think.
    Good seeing you Dojin!

    [From the Genjokoan:] When the Dharma has not yet fully penetrated body and mind, one thinks one is already filled with it. When the Dharma fills body and mind, one thinks something is [still] lacking.
    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  8. #8
    Hi Dojin;

    Good to see you back here and I see you are getting all good advice. All of life is our temple, thank you for your practice.

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  9. #9
    Hi Dojin,

    It is wonderful to see and hear from you again! You are human first - healthcare provider, buddhist, husband, father, etc. not second; but, simultaneously. We keep falling, getting back up, working, goofing off, getting angry, apologizing - all together, all human, all Buddhist.

    It sounds like you are trying, practicing and acknowledging where and what you could be doing better - thank you for sharing.

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei
    satoday/lah

  10. #10
    Glad to meet you, friend!
    🙏🏼SatToday lah
    Quote Originally Posted by Dojin View Post
    Hi. I haven't been around as of late. I think this will be a long post, for me at least so sorry about that. I haven't been participating probably the last 5 years, maybe more I've been barely active. Life has a certain way to keep you busy and make you lose your way.
    For those of you who dont know me I've been at treeleaf since 2008 i think. And i've seen it grow from maybe 30 people to what it is today. At one point the amount of messages just overwhelmed me and i started reading less and less. When i joined i was a student in nursing school. 24 years old and single. I am now 36, married. i have 3 boys ages 7, 6 and and a year and a half. I work in the O.R. i live in Israel (but hopefully will be moving to the US soon with my family). i guess Life does take a toll on you and i came to realize a few days ago that i have neglected my practice not only in this sangha as a member but in my life as well. I still sit each day and havent missed a day in over 4 years (even if it is only couple of minutes if I'm short on time). But i don't do much else. I didn't take jukai for years, i haven't been doing ango because i just cant find the time. I haven't done a retreat in many years becuase of the same reason, ive tried once but seeing my wife struggling with 2 kids (before the 3rd was born) made me stop after 1 day and help her. I began lying again. Mostly at work were i realized poeple dont care about you. Especially the boss they just need you to fill the holes and don't give a shit about your personal life. So you sometimes have to be untruthful if you need a day of to take care of family or personal business. It always surprises me how little compassion there is for each other from people who are supposed to be the most compassionate. I get angry and throw tantrums and lose my temper sometimes when i fight with my wife and yell horrible things like wanting a divorce (god knows how my puts up with me). I do try to control myself and be a better husband and try to change and i do think that having practiced for years helps me see my thought patterns and control myself and learn how to fight without it having to be a be all or end all kind of fight (i grew up in a family that is very explosive and i do try to change). I started smoking weed for recreational purposes. I do it only during the evenings when the kids are asleep and i am done with all my chores and responsibilities. And only after sitting zazen. I do it about 3-4 times a week. Sometimes more sometimes less depending on my work schedule, so it won't ever interfere with my life in any way. I will never let my kids see me like that nor would i let it ever interfere with my job or other responsibilities.
    I try to be a good person but i am sure that sometimes i can be an asshole to some. Basically i wonder , Am I still a buddhist? Or am i just a guy who meditates?

    Gassho.
    D.
    Sat today.
    Jake

    -------------------------
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  11. #11
    Some wise folks above.

    I would love to join the jukai again this year. probably should. but i feel that i would be faking it without putting the time and effort to study for it.
    No, no. At this point it is how you live it, and that starts now. As Ania and Jinmei said, "We keep falling, getting back up, working, goofing off, getting angry, apologizing - all together, all human, all Buddhist." Never perfect, always trying to be a little better.

    You know this famous Japanese saying, "“Nana korobi, ya oki” ... "Fall down 7 times, get up 8 times." (That's what's written next to the Bodhidharma doll here) ... So, take Jukai 6 times, take it 7 times ...


    Of course, we try not to fall too far ... kill someone, rob a bank ... but little falls, we roll up, reflect, atone, apologize, make amends, start again.

    (Sorry for running a little long. I will reflect, and try better next time.)

    Gassho, J

    STLah


    PS -
    שלום שלום! אני חושב שאתה בודהיסט.
    Jishin! I didn't know you could write Tibetan!

    (It actually says, "Hello, you are a Buddhist!")
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-18-2020 at 12:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I knew what it meant, not because I speak Hebrew, but because of Google. (My family was so liberal, they served shrimp cocktails at my briss, and the rabbi at my never completed bar mitvah suggested I could just read from phonetic cue cards).

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14

  15. #15
    I know that it is the 9th Grave precept that Iím remiss in. So all the time (a lot of the time) Iím working on the precept of anger. I sometimes am not so mindful of the others. Ango allows me to study fo Jukai and practice Ango. I in January and the proceeding fall I studied, and reviewed 10 precepts. I felt comfortable undertaking the Precepts again. I did find formal Jukai necessary. Excuse length
    Gassho
    sat/lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The object of practice is not transcendence but transformation, yet ultimately we must transcend ourselves. (Elucidation of Dogen) in HOW TO RAISE AN OX

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