Pema Chodron "Why I became a Buddhist"

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by Rafiki, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

  2. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    are most welcome Jam!

    I still want to become a nun but I don't think they'd take my dog. I love the way Ani Pema laughs at herself for rushing off and becoming a nun!

    And, I love the way she never pretends to be anything other than deeply human and profoundly ordinary. Like His Holiness and his simple Buddhist monk line. They mean it, too. It brings me such comfort when I struggle as I am now. They struggle sometimes, too.

    I love them. This makes me think that one of their gifts to us is the love we feel for them. Because of this I can still write...

    I love.

    with peace to you, dear Jamster,
  3. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    Thanks Rafiki. I too felt an immediate warmth when I saw her and listened to her story. I get that feeling when I am around deeply spiritual people, the Dali Lama being another.

    It's as if they are in this world, but not quite as fully as most of us are. They are able to view a different reality.

    I have only considered being a nun when I was very young and very desperate. I am way to selfish.

    love to all
  4. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    That's what non-attachment looks like. We can all achieve it. It's mindful non attachment - being here now, fully in the moment, untroubled by things which are not happening and aware that everything we consider reality is a creation of our perceptions. It's being grounded only in compassion.

    If we want to have that understanding, they will teach us. It's not anything supernatural. I love that!

    Wanting to be a nun can be a very selfish desire. I very selfishly want to be a nun. I want to go live with other women who love to practice the Dharma. I want to have that community and support and freedom. My desire is very selfish, indeed. My inability to achieve it is just what I need to let go of my attachment to a way out other than through.

    I think you'd also enjoy what she has to say about troublemakers. It's so useful! I'll post.

    Peace out,

  5. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member
  6. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    This is life at Gampo Abbey - monks, nuns, Ani Pema... but no dogs. (That's ok, may he live to be 35!)

    Who wouldn't want this?!


  7. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    wanted to become a nun when i was younger. But i think Im too fond of worldly life now to give
    it up.

    Also Im too used to doing things my way...which may not sit well in a disciplined atmosphere
    like a nunnery. Where one is not free to come and go at ones will.

    Lifes pitfalls have made me slightly distrustful, I feel if i dont get along with another nun, how will I remove myself from that place? I know nuns are human too and i might not like some of them.

    As a layperson I have the freedom to avoid people who make me unhappy.


    I read this piece on the back of a menu at a vegetarian restaurant which is part of a bookstore which also sells new age stuff like incense, candles, herbs.

    If you want to serve your family, you have to forget yourself.

    If you want to serve your country you have to forget your family.

    If you want to serve the world, you have to forget your country.

    This text was attributed to Lord Buddha...but i didnt find it on google.

    However, The Buddha, Jesus and other wise ones probably knew of this; that to dedicate
    ones self to a cause involved sacrificing on another level.

  8. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I still read your marvelous posts on the porch! You are such a good writer and your vivid, yet economical, descriptions of life make me long for places east. You stand outside a little stall in torrential rain and I so want to be there! And, of course, I want to be there with you - giggling!

    Did you look at the vid. of Ani Pema's Monastery. It's so beautiful and there is so much time dedicated to waking up! But, my little sentient being, Boober, needs me so here I stay, grateful for the gift of his sweet soul. Later...

    I have had so much time in my life to be in the world and to do things my way. Much more my way, I think, than you have had. You have been a devoted mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, DIL... ... ... ...

    I spent years feeding my voracious ego. The more weak and fragile it is, the more it consumes. I would welcome time spent extinguishing it. I'm very conscious now of a need to prepare for death. Not in any sad or morbid way but in terms of vanquishing fear, learning peace and trying my very best to become just a little bit better than I was when I started. It's a big job.

    You do all these things every day in your life. You may think you would leave if you did not like a certain nun but you do not leave your extended family when they try your patience. You keep going in your deeply compassionate, wise way. If I became a nun, I would only be trying to catch up to you.

    Ah well, I may not be able to become a nun, just now, but I can still work on extinguishing my big fat ego every day and I have the Dharma to guide me.

    Did you see the Pema video about "Troublemakers"? So true! So useful in life no matter who the "troublemakers" are.

    Big waves of appreciation for everything you are ~ ~ ~


  9. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member


    You and a big fat ego? Somehow cant imagine that You are a gentle
    Soul who will not hurt a fly if you can help it..what you call feeding
    Your ego..I call nourishing yourself…as is the right of every soul
    Who comes into being..otherwise how will we find out who we
    Are and what we really want?

    Ive not seen the video of the monastery yet, been rather rushed
    For time, either that, or flat with exhaustion, lol. But I will.
    I thought Ani Pema gives the impression of a warm Earth
    Mother to whom one can go when one is wounded and she
    Will soothe and comfort you by her loving presence, and she
    Will joke with you at the same time…haha..thats what I felt,
    That she has a great sense of humour too.

    I did appreciate the torrents of water falling about everywhere
    Although I wished it hadn’t been drenching me quite so thoroughly.
    Im sure if you had been there with me we would both have been
    Laughing and having fun….at the wretched soakedness of it all!

    Hmm a thought just struck me..if you became a nun, even if you
    Didn’t conform to the outer requirements of a nun you already
    Have the essence of how a nun should actually know
    How to love, and how to feel for others and how to remain gentle
    At all times, or most of the times.

    Take care

    God Bless
  10. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    As always, your overestimate my progress, but you do it so lovingly that it makes me want to be what you think I am. Thank you!

    As I read your message, I thought that I would like to stand on top of a hill, on my tippy toes, and wave to you! Do you suppose if I did that you'd see this crazy blonde/gray woman waving you love?

    May you have love, health and energy aplenty!

    Your fan,
  11. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    Rafiki after watching those videos I decided I WOULD like to live there and be among such serene people.

    And talk about ego reduction! It is hard to let go of wanting things to go our way. To try to force our will on other people and situations. I am working on this too. Letting things happen as they will and accepting the outcome.

    It is freeing. It is a relief to know that things will turn out as they will no matter how I push or try to manipulate.

    It sounds like we are working on the same things. And yes, end of life issues are coming to me also. I ask myself how I want to live the years I have left, what can I do differently now.

    love and peace to all of us,
  12. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Yes, it would be very nice to be among serene and happy people. Of course, they are people!

    It does sound like we are working on the same things. The tyrannical ego is at the heart of so many of our woes.

    There is a lovely Quaker hymn that I have posted here before, Simple Gifts, that really captures the freedom that comes when we are not in the grip of the ego. It's beautiful... here's a version I found very recently by Judy Collins.

    So, this Buddhist quietly sings a Quaker hymn, as a walking meditation, when she takes the dog down the street.

    I think all of life is a preparation for death but we do not understand that until we reach the mid point. I think preparing for death is simply really attending to what is important in life - am I loving, am I kind, am I patient... and finding that the answer to all of those things, for most of us - certainly me!!!, is I could be more loving, more kind, more patient... just knowing that I can improve, even a little, makes me feel so much better. I can stop running away from how terrible I think I am and just do my best to improve.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your time with Pema! I love her sooooo much because she is soooo human! No excuses for the rest of us who are human, too... but then, no excuses are needed, human, with all our flaws, is just fine.

    with love and peace
  13. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I am a Christian and you will find Christians and others of all faiths and beliefs on many posts of other faiths and beliefs here BEING RESPECTFUL OF OTHER FAITHS AND BELIEFS. We all realized that it was disrespectful and hurtful when those of other faiths and beliefs came on the post of another faith/belief and posted that their faith/belief was better, etc. or posted like you have. We gave this respect to each other because we risked losing this board if we did not give that respect to others.

    If you do not agree with the other religion or do not like the other religion, do not post on their thread. This is the second post you had made that was disrespectful on this same thread. I thought you had learned already from your first post and you removing it.

    Please read the first thread by Moderator Jorge, and we risk losing this board unless we can get along. [This Message was Edited on 09/21/2009]
  14. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I suspect that I owe you thanks. I haven't had computer access for weeks so missed someting, I'm sure.

    Thank you for standing up for me. I really appreciate it and it does not surprise me at all that you would do so. You are a woman of integrity.

    Thank you,
  15. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Dear kind Rafiki. No thanks are necessary. We are all so close on this board that we act so often as one and all have developed such great respect for one another. I think that is a wonderful accomplishment we should all be proud of. I actually wait for posts from all faiths because it helps me learn and stretch in my understanding. When one of us is disrespected, all of us are disrespected.

    Peace and love be to you and all here.
  16. vivian53

    vivian53 Member

    I appreciate you message also TwoCats, and agree. A respectful bond has been formed here and it is something to be proud of. We are diverse group of people with differing religious/ spiritual beliefs who are able to learn from each other, and truly benefit from our differences..

    Thanks for speaking up, it seems as if the problem has been solved with education.

    peace and love,