Why is it so hard to practice outside of Buddhist institutions? I've been trying to do this for the last five years. I've been practicing Buddhism for 10 years: 5 years getting into Buddhism, and 5 years getting out.
But I still find it incredibly difficult, even scary, to do this on my own, 'with a little help from my friends', of course.
That need for what Glenn Wallace calls the Big Other--for affirmation, camaraderie--it's still there.
But yet, that's what the Buddha did.
@ShaunBartone I think it comes from a fear of the unknown. Of having no path. Nothing and no one to say, ‘that’s right, good job, you’re headed in the right direction.’ It’s a plunge into the unknown, the path less traveled. Yet that is exactly what the Buddha did. You have to trust yourself implicitly. As Krishnamurti said, it’s a path beyond the known, the guaranteed, the tried and true. It takes tremendous courage.
@ShaunBartone isn't the issue the loneliness? that's what most people run away from. that feeling of having nobody to share their experiences or the practice. I'm struggling with this for about one week now. I didn't seek to be alone, but I also don't want to be in company anymore just for the sake of company (when the company is not really fulfilling). so now I'm trying to be just here and sit with my loneliness. acceptance is the first step to healing.
@reto very true. It is the loneliness. We naturally want to share our experiences with people who understand. That’s why I started this instance, I guess.
I started getting depressed again because my ambitions were not met, and I had to stop meeting some people. But really behind the depression was sadness caused by loneliness. Now I just expose myself to the loneliness not trying to cover it up. I believe it's a ton of bad stuff that never had the chance to get conscious. This mess needs my attention and I'm there now for it. I believe it will sort itself out slowly.
I'm in a similar position myself.
I'm not a Buddhist, - I'm mainly informed by Advaita Vedanta & Kashmir Shaivism.
Sitting in Satsang - informally, without and appointed teacher or teaching as I've found to be really beneficially - it's also a blessing meet and hang with even one other on the same path.
In the end, we are left to face / welcome our own suffering.
Support sure does help though.
This is one the main benefits of 12 Step Fellowship & similar.
what I wonder is this: feeling lonely is suffering. now if you go to a group to get rid of that feeling then it's not really dealt with. wouldn't it be better to get free of loneliness instead? and it seems the only way to do it is when you're alone, because in a group you don't get the problem anymore.
I don't really have the time or energy to find dedicated groups, so have picked up and studied mainly-tao through books and my own contemplation. It's difficult to find a good taoist sage in Sussex 😁
That said, it's been helpful (essential?) to learn through a mix of people and settings. I take a mixed approach - various online forums (usually dip in and out temporarily), tai chi teachers (online and IRL), and friends with similar interests.
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