on embracing my Buddha-nature

A survivor's search for inner peace and healing


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something has changed…

Something has changed inside of me. And I don’t know how.

Maybe it is the fact that I have been meditating on compassion. And that many mornings I start my day with the intention to become compassionate, or more compassionate.

Actually, to just become compassionate, because I feel I have lost all compassion.

Which is very frustrating.

But something has changed inside of me. Over the course of the past two days, I have amazed my self.

I have helped two people.

The first is someone who hurt me pretty badly when I was a child–my mother.

My mother has changed over the course of the past couple of years. And I am trying to see beyond all that she was and did in the past, to now where she has changed. She has not apologized, nor do I think she ever will. But she has changed.

So I have tried to look past that as of late, and just be in my relationship with her. And a couple of days ago, I helped her fix her computer. Since I was successful, she has not stopped raving about the wonderful thing I did for her. She has even told all of her friends what I did for her. But that was not my intention, to hear of her bragging about what I did for her.

I just know what a pain it can be when my own computer is not working. I guess you would call that empathy.

Yesterday, I was playing piano at my VA hospital while I was waiting for an appointment. As I was playing, an old man, a veteran, came into the chapel to listen to me play. He said he was waiting for someone. He was in pajamas, with a id band on his wrist, so I knew he was a patient.

What I did not realize at that time was the fact that he was in a confused state. It was only after about 15 minutes, when he got up and started to go through a back door that is only used by maintenance. I don’t know what is back there, but nothing good for an old man to get into, I would imagine.

After asking him where he was going, it was obvious to me, his state of confusion. I was able to guide him down the hall to the chaplain’s office, and Father Joe helped him find his way back to his “home”. I am glad, because I imagined my own grandfather, who developed alzheimers before he passed. And just as I would not want my grandfather to be hurt by wandering lost and getting into something dangerous, I would not want this old veteran to do so either.

I do have to say, with some surprise, that it felt good to help both of those people. But at the same time, it felt strange.

It feels unnatural, and so contradicts the way I have been lately. The anger I have felt. The lack of compassion that has been me. The frustration I have felt that I have not been able to feel compassion and have only been blinded emotionally by anger.

So, something has changed inside of me. I certainly hope that that kind of change keeps happening inside of me, deep inside the core of who I am.

This is a positive, and progress, which I am very happy for. However, I still have a long way to go.

Namaste


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thoughts and questions…

I am watching/semi watching Groundhog Day right now. Basically, I’m busy doing some cleaning and getting ready for my day tomorrow, so I have the movie on for background noise. I’ve seen it countless dozens of times. I happen to like it.

As I’m watching, a question pops into my head.

The part of the movie that has always gotten to me was the part where Phil tries to save the homeless man, who ends up dying. At the beginning of the movie, the homeless man is seen as nothing more than a beggar.

But I got to thinking, and then questioning.

What if it was me, passing a homeless person on the street. A person who had his/her hand out for some money. I would have two choices.

Choice one: I refuse to give the man money, and he dies later that night.

But what about choice two. I give the homeless man some money. What if my giving him money gives him at least one day’s reprieve from death.

But what if he dies that night, anyway?

Can my actions make a difference in this world, even if it is only with one single person?

I know that if I refuse to give the man money, that I have made no difference in his life, in any way. Whether he lives or dies. But if I give him money? If he lives? Does that mean that the money I gave him made a difference? And if he dies anyway?

Does that mean I made no difference?

I don’t know.

I sat thinking about the scenario for a while. I think that, if I gave the homeless man money and he died anyway, that doesn’t necessarily mean I made no difference. Yes, he may have died, but I think that my act of kindness would have an impact on him, even if it was his last day on this earth.

Which makes me think that when I look at a homeless person, I can’t just automatically assume that any amount of money I give him/her, no matter how small, won’t make an impact.

I am learning. I have a long way to go.

Namaste


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a realization….

Today I avoided someone, a friend, who I usually see every Tuesday morning. I avoided her because she “annoys me” sometimes.

It was the wrong thing to do.

I did spend some time in meditation instead. Meditation helps me deal with my PTSD. And I needed to center my self. So I went to the oratory, which is close to the chapel at my VA hospital, and I meditated.

It helped me a great deal.

There really is something to be said for meditation for me. Besides it helping to center me, meditation also brings clarity to me. I find it amazing. There are times when I am not focused on a problem I am having, but through meditation, I see the problem clearer, as well as sometimes a possible solution or an answer.

After meditating this morning, I came to a realization. There is nothing wrong with my friend who I avoided. My friend is, as always, simply being herself. No, the problem this morning was me. It was my perception of her, how I chose to see her. The problem was inside of me, what was inside of me. Through meditation, I was able to step back, and realize that her “annoying me” is only how I choose to react to the way she is. Which is unfair to her.

Because she is, and has for some time been, a dear friend of mine.

And what does all of this say about me?

It says I am making progress. I have come a long way to the point where I am today, where I can get my self to actually meditate. Where I can step back from a situation. Where I can actually see what it is about my self that I need to work on.

And it also says that I have a long way to go.

Namaste


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meaning…

I think that we as humans can only be fulfilled if we find a purpose, a meaning, for ourselves in this world. And I think that for every human, that purpose is different.

At least that is how I feel for my self.

But I feel as though I am, and my life is, slowly moving toward realizing what it is that will fulfill me and give my life meaning. And when I have realized it, I will have to act.

I’m not sure what my future holds, but for once I think I am looking forward to it with anticipation.

Namaste


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speaking with responsibility…

One thing I have been learning as I heal, is letting my voice be heard. Learning how to speak, how to use my voice.

Trauma can become a very nasty, deep hidden secret. One that is never spoken about. Whether because of shame, or fear of retribution, or fear for one’s safety. Your voice can become silenced.

That is how it was with me. The deep seated shame I have felt I am just starting to try and come to terms with. The fact that I was threatened by the man who raped me was always there, always in the foreground. Always right there, on my mind.

But never on my lips.

I never spoke of the trauma until 2008, and I was raped in 1989. That is a mighty long time to be silent. That is a mighty long time to have no voice.

While I am learning how to speak my mind and let my voice be heard in regards to being raped, I am also learning how to use my voice in regards to what I feel is right, and wrong, both with myself, and in this world.

Today I encountered a post in one of the groups I belong to on Facebook. And I quickly became both saddened and angry at all of the derogatory comments being made about the young woman in the picture that was posted. She has a shaven head, tattoos, and was wearing a tank top and thick black rimmed glasses.

I did speak my mind, and voiced my opinion about the comments being made. I was quickly cut down.

But I firmly hold to the belief that I should never judge a book by it’s cover, that I should try walking a mile in someone else’s shoes before I come to a judgment about them, and that I should remember that everyone has a story.

I will continue to stand by those things, they are much more than mere statements or sayings to me. Heaven forbid I ever become as ugly as those who were so judgmental about that woman because of the way she looked.

As I study Buddhism, I find that I am becoming more aware. More aware of my self, of me. More aware of the world around me. And more aware that I must act and speak with responsibility.

Namaste


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coming back…

I just realized, I’ve been away from here for way too long. It is easy for me to get caught up in the work I am doing in therapy. Not only emotionally caught up, but also physically.

I have been exhausted.

One thing I can feel good about is that I haven’t been away from meditation, deep breathing, my yoga therapy, and my study of Buddhism. At least with those I have kept moving forward.

I think my healing depends on me moving forward with those.

I am hoping to get back to my writing here, because writing helps me to expand the way I think, the way I learn and, the way I heal.

Namaste


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it’s a start….

And I may add to this list. But this is a start to what I want my day to be, each day, today…

study the lives of those in whom you find inspiration
listen to what they have to say
spend quiet time each day
breathe
listen to your inner voice
listen to the universe
learn one thing each day
read
find what manner of spirituality feeds your soul
practice your spirituality
start your day with a good intention
practice compassion, or learn how to
live by actions, not words
never give up

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