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Switch to Forum Live View I don't know how to save myself from this...
3 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2011 - 2:14PM #1
Robbo72
Posts: 5
I'm just a mentally disabled (not dumb, okay) guy who's really down on his luck. I turned to my brother and have just rented a room off of him. Logic is that since he offered AND set the price, he should have nothing to complain of, at least now. Not so. Him and his family treat me like some broke looser whom they can't stand having in their home? WT...?

I study Zen Buddhism and it states that only we can save ourselves... no one else. Okay, I never looked at my brother as "saving me." Helping me, yes. Now with all this oppression and tension I just feel totally ill-equipped to cope.

I luckily found a Zen priest who had posted here offering to talk - just what I needed. In actuality, the post was over a year old and turns out he's pretty busy now. Just my luck.

I don't know whether this is a "Goliath" test to see if I'm able to become "selfless," but I'd never imagined family treachery and humiliation would be involved.

I would really appreciate communication with knowledgeable people with possible creative answers 'cos I just don't believe he and I have the same goals.
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3 years ago  ::  Jul 18, 2011 - 4:43PM #2
Bob0
Posts: 485

Robbo:


What are your goals and what do you believe are his?


Wishing you small tranquil days,


Bob

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 19, 2011 - 10:13AM #3
Robbo72
Posts: 5

Thank you Bob for inquiring.


As for my brother and I: Things seemed just fine at first. He's involved in an intensive R.N. program at school and also recently had to get a weekend job. While his momentum was building up for this Fall semester (getting psyched, worried, etc.), I was bringing more spiritual ideas and vibes to the table. This is because it's what "I" have to work with... It's about all I have to work with so therefore it's at the forefront of my mind.


He's a somewhat spiritual guy himself (off-shoot of Hindu) which I respect. However, I actually think that he became angrily jealous that I don't have to deal with college and can immerse in my budding Buddha-hood. Well hey, you and I both know neither road is what you'd call easy, right? I mean, I'm learning without benefit of a teacher or sangha. Besides, he's a householder and family man so it's natural for him to pursue better earnings. Having said that, "choice" is all over that one... Myself, I don't think we "totally" plot our lives. I mean, I think we obviously have different capabilities, callings, and then there is that "universal tug." In a nutshell, he may fear I'll become spiritually advanced. But I don't fear he will become "medically" advanced or make much more money than me... We can't have it all.


Bob, I've been studying on "metta meditation" which I think is particularly significant. I'm doing my best to just understand their standpoint and show inward loving-kindness. Yet, there is only so much a mere mortal can take...

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 20, 2011 - 2:11AM #4
Bob0
Posts: 485
Robbo:


I have to confess I'm a little confused. I see phrases like "mentally
disabled," "down on my luck," "tension and oppression," family treachery and
humiliation," and he may fear I'll become spiritually advanced. But I don't fear
he will become "medically" advanced or make much more money than me." I feel we
are drifting on the surface of emotion.


What I've learned over time is that you can't reasonably take sides in
these one sided internet disputes.


So, I'll ask. If this is too personal or something that you feel
uncomfortable putting out over the internet I can certainly understand your
reluctance to answer.


When you say mentally disabled, what does this mean?


When you say, down on your luck, what does this mean?


What causes you to feel tension or oppression from your brother?


What do you see as family treachery and humiliation?


"Yet, there is only so much a mere mortal can take..." Once this statement
is accepted as fact our mind puts a limit on our metta. I don't think metta can
be bargained or negotiated, only offered. Of course I could be all wrong.


Whether you respond or not, I wish you well, with many small tranquil
days,


Bob

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2011 - 4:44PM #5
Robbo72
Posts: 5

Thanks for the response Bob. I suppose that although I'm trying to keep too much "emotion" out, it's what I'm dealing with, so it's hard to stay out.


I've got some personal issues, sure. So does he, but the difference is I'll own up to mine.


I will decline going into them because it becomes all too easy to blame me on that basis. Many people, already knowing this, bank on that and thus do as they will.


Thanks, I certainly don't want to limit metta.


robbo72

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2011 - 12:17PM #6
vacchagotta
Posts: 298

Jul 14, 2011 -- 2:14PM, Robbo72 wrote:

I'm just a mentally disabled (not dumb, okay) guy who's really down on his luck. I turned to my brother and have just rented a room off of him. Logic is that since he offered AND set the price, he should have nothing to complain of, at least now. Not so. Him and his family treat me like some broke looser whom they can't stand having in their home? WT...?

I study Zen Buddhism and it states that only we can save ourselves... no one else. Okay, I never looked at my brother as "saving me." Helping me, yes. Now with all this oppression and tension I just feel totally ill-equipped to cope.

I luckily found a Zen priest who had posted here offering to talk - just what I needed. In actuality, the post was over a year old and turns out he's pretty busy now. Just my luck.

I don't know whether this is a "Goliath" test to see if I'm able to become "selfless," but I'd never imagined family treachery and humiliation would be involved.

I would really appreciate communication with knowledgeable people with possible creative answers 'cos I just don't believe he and I have the same goals.


Robbo,


I hope my answer is not too simpleminded or misses the mark by too much.  If it is or does, compassionately disregard whatever of the following doesn't work for you.  Without having to go into details, it is clear that through a convergence of circumstances you had to turn to family for support.  Your brother generously offered you that support.   It seems clear, even if it truly isn't (I have no way of knowing), that at least right now the notion of you getting back on your own two feet and out of your brother's home in the near feature is not very probable. 


So, you're a member of their household whatever any party truly thinks of it.  You say you two don't have the same goals, but the common house you share is the easiest basis you have available to develop a spirit of cooperation and like-mindedness (metta).  So I would say a happy household is a seriously significant common goal you two share.  It's right there for the mining!


  One of the aspects of compassion is being able to imagine unselfishly another person's motivations and feelings.  Use this to think about your brother and his family's (which is your family!) huge responsibilities.  What I am trying to say is running a household while advancing a career in a addition carries with it a huge procession of worries and responsibilities, and what you can do as a new member of this household is decide to wholeheartedly contribute to the household in tangible ways --with your brother's consent in all things of course-- in ways that are fully possible for you and which they will immediately appreciate.  You stated you rent the room, so that is one contribution.  But it's not enough because it's sort of contractual. 


So to put what I am saying plainly, do as much of the chores around the house as possible.  Do extra for them.   Do all the dishes, clean the floors.  Paint what needs to be painted.  Dust.  Do laundry.  Clean the bathrooms.  Learn to cook a meal they enjoy and have it ready for them one day a week.  Do whatever they will let you do and do it exceptionally well, with a friendly smile and a happiness that comes from serving loved ones.  It seems you made clear you do not have a career goal you are working towards, and this is ok for the spiritual life, but it also means you have a lot of free time, which is a great opportunity to help out.  And, you have all the opportunity in the world to meditate while doing all these things --you are interested in Zen; Zen monks have to maintain their monasteries with all kinds of chores all the while pursuing their spiritual goals.  The nice thing about your situation as you said is you aren't really responsible for it all, you don't own the house.  It frees you up to do the chores happily and without worry. 



 Oh, and about that whole spirituality thing.  Make it a non-issue in the family, especially where you might tend to compare yourself and your brother and imagine jealousies between you.  There is little need to discuss it unless they want to --and believe me, they probably don't want to.  Don't preach, and be mindful enough to realize when you might be slipping into it.  That topic will just erode attitudes, trust me.  Just keep remembering that basic common goal of running the household smoothly.  All you need to communicate to them about your state of mind is that you want the situation to be happy, and the only way you need to communicate it is by a friendly affectionate helping hand.


I hope my suggestion might help you in some way!


in friendliess,


V.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2011 - 1:30PM #7
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
Without hoping to improve on Vaccha's excellent post, I just wanted to mention that sharing a home requires lots of generosity and good humor.
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3 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2011 - 10:33PM #8
Robbo72
Posts: 5

Ren and especially Vaccha: I really appreciate the input. I'm going to have to agree that you are correct, in most cases. I guess my social skills have eroded or am just not good with new territory like this... I'm so used to living solitary that maybe even my family skills are poor especially when I need to rely upon them... Okay.


It looks like I will be moving on, though. I think it's just inevitable and to force myself into staying for any reason would be ill-fated. I'm just not happy here, not really. I realize it's a very selfish time in my life (mm, when hasn't it sorta' been?). Maybe I'm just high maintanence even for myself to deal with. Still, I think that there is good prospect in a solitary life if you utilize your time well. I'm thinking that's what I need to get around to. Also, even though it appears I'll be living alone again, it doesn't mean I have to, or even should let myself slip into self-centeredness. I'm just thinking of the top of my head that this is mindfullness.


Thanks to you both.

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