Buddhist….and human

the path of learning, being, and growth


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have you eaten well today?…

As of late I had a conversation with someone about my diet. Specifically, the question was posed to me, “what do you eat?” It did not take me long to realize that the question was posed out of frustration for the fact that the person was not getting his/her way in the conversation we were having.

My first reaction was to go on the defense, and to send the person a huge laundry list of every single thing I eat.

Today, I feel differently. Today, I will not be sending that list.

I have given much thought to my diet. To each meal I eat. To what I take in to my body as nourishment.

The Buddha encouraged his followers to eat mindfully. To eat in moderation.

My severe IBS encourages me to eat specific items, and to not eat specific items.

My practice on my path encourages me to be vegetarian, because I will be taking the vows to not kill. That includes all sentient beings, down to the earth worm, down to the ant. Therefore, I must not eat meat, flesh, or any living thing that no longer lives. Someone may ask me, what about buying your meat at the store? You have not directly killed the animal that once lived. However, by eating meat bought at a store, it is me supporting the meat industry. If everyone refused to buy meat, there would be no industry.

I know, pretty far flung.

But there is something else, something that is vitally important to my diet. There is another meal that I must be choosy in partaking.

If I choose to let darkness in. If I choose to listen to gossip. If I choose to be influenced to bad thoughts of others. If I choose to not practice.

If I choose to feel glee over the fact that someone is depressed, simply because they have wronged me. If what I choose to study does not in some way help me further down my path.

As much as food is important for my physical health, and well being, what I let in to my mind, the influences and people I let in to my life….those are just as important to my journey, my spiritual well being, and who I am as a Buddhist.

I cannot strengthen my practice and continue down my path if I let toxins in to my body, whether in the form of food, or any other form.

Ask me about the meal I have taken. But ask me, have you eaten well today, with my well being in mind, instead of what do you eat, out of disdain.

Walk with peace

Karma Pema Zangmo

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I think…

After today, I think that some in my life will never truly understand my calling.  

I love my father.  But inside of a card I received from him, his hopes are that this coming year I am able to find what makes me happy….

Enough said.  

I have been really sick.   Finally went to ER.  I have the flu.  

Lovely.

I was reading on advice for practicing when sick.  Something about sickness purifying the person of bad karma.  

I shall have to investigate.  

May you walk with peace

Karma Pema Zangmo


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growth brings change…

Again, I have changed the title of my blog.  This new title may stay for quite some time.

Having taken my refuge vow, I have now embarked on learning, developing some kind of discipline, learning and strengthening my practice.  And, most importantly, attempting to work through and eliminate my kleshas.

I am finding, in this process, exactly how human I am.

And exactly how much strength it takes to tackle those kleshas which keep me from journeying further down my path.  Obstacles to be removed, through diligence of practice.   And discipline.

I AM a work in progress.

May you walk with peace.

Karma Pema Zangmo


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the sound of loneliness….

In the course of preparing to take refuge, I did a good amount of reading.  One of the pieces I read was written by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, called The Decision to Become a Buddhist.

In the course of the article he wrote, he mentions aloneness, and also, loneliness.

“The ceremony (of taking refuge) cuts the line that connects the ship to the anchor; it marks the beginning of an odyssey of loneliness.”

“The participation of the preceptor is a kind of guarantee that you will not be getting back into the question of security as such, that you will continue to acknowledge your aloneness and work on yourself without leaning on anyone.”

“you belong to a tradition of loneliness where people work together.”

Now, when aloneness, and loneliness, are presented in those terms, it doesn’t sound all that scary, not like the loneliness I felt as a child was scary.  It doesn’t sound like doom, like the end of a good life.  It doesn’t sound, to me, like I am condemned to a life of being totally cut off from all other sentient beings.

But still….

Until last night, I didn’t really feel that sense of loneliness.  It has been about a month and a half since I took refuge.  And, going in to the ceremony, and having read the article I am speaking of, I have had a sense of preparedness for this feeling of aloneness or loneliness.

My sangha had a holiday party.  It was fun.

I felt a loneliness like I’ve never felt before.

Like I said, I experienced some pretty scary loneliness as a child.  But that was more of a feeling of being isolated, on the outside, with no friends, and lonely.

Yesterday, I was with all of my brothers and sisters.  Laughing.  Having a good time.  Enjoying good food.  Petting guinea pigs.

But at the same time, I was sitting in loneliness.

See, I realized that the path I am on varies slightly from the paths of every other member of my sangha.

I realized that the path I am on may be similar to the path my lama chose, but at the same time, it is very different.  I realized that the path I am on, only I can travel that path, and I must do it alone.

What I like about the aloneness, is that I must do the work for myself.  No one else can walk me down my path.  No one but me.

That is very freeing.

And now I know what the sound of loneliness is.

Walk with peace.

Karma Pema Zangmo


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tired but learning….

I have intended to write here daily, or at least every other day.  Lately, however, my life has been so hectic that when I have down time, I am very tired.   I must get in to the doctor and try to find out what is with my fatigue.

I had something of a brush or close call, over the past two weeks.  I had a spot removed from my face after it changed shape size and color.  Being that there is a huge history of melanomas and two blood relatives who developed brain cancer while having spots like mine on their faces, I had my spot removed and biopsied.

It was benign, but a type of mole that is historical for turning malignant.   Wow.

My mother is the one who urged me to have it removed.  I have thanked her.  I can’t say with certainty that I would have had it removed.

In thinking about it, and it really floored me into much thought, I asked my lama a question.  If we as Buddhists had any specific practice to send out my good fortune in a way to help other sentient beings.

In reply, he told me he wants me to start preliminary practices, a step on my path to become a Buddhist nun.

Something this past week really clicked on inside of me, and my practice has become stronger.  Hard to describe the exact way, but I feel it inside of me.  And I feel it outside of my body too.  My behavior toward others has changed drastically for the better, too.

Learning is good.  I should be learning and growing every day, and need to remember to listen to the universe.

And my lama, too, or course.

Namaste….and walk with peace

Karma Pema Zangmo

 


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growing up in Buddhism….

I have been studying Buddhism for almost 4 years.

I have been with my Sangha now for a couple of months.

Since I started studying, and now, on a more accelerated basis, I feel like I have done a lot of growing.

There is a maturity to me that I have noticed, inside of me.  There is also a maturity to me that others who have known me for years have also noticed.

I have always, to a certain extent, felt like a little girl.  Through everything that I have experienced in my life, even through giving birth to my beautiful daughter.

And, remarkably, even through being raped.

But beyond all of that, I have always felt there was an immaturity to my thinking.

And as I wrote the title to this post, growing up, I mean that since I have been studying Buddhism, since I embraced Buddhism as my path, and since I took refuge, I feel like I have finally reached a maturity that I always felt lacking inside of me.

Maybe part of that feeling has to do with taking some really hard looks at myself, and with working on me, on the inside, working on how I relate with others, and being extremely mindful of my words, thoughts, and actions.  I think that those show a maturity that is something that is just not grasped in youth.

Yes, I have much more growing to do.  There is more maturity that I am sure will cultivate inside of me.

And all of that leaves me, in my newfound maturity, with a childlike giddiness.

Namaste

Karma Pema Zangmo