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4 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2013 - 2:14PM #1
rideronthastorm
Posts: 9,223
They had a ceremony in 2nd Life for those of us who wanted to take the refuge and I did it. It was awesome. its a way of saying Im on the path now Im starting on this Zen path and Im committing msyelf to it taking refuge in Buddha and the Dharma and those who practice Zen......
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2013 - 9:54PM #2
Piobair_Paganach
Posts: 291

While I do not question your sincerity and resolve, I would point out that in the non-virtual world, Jukai, the formal ceremony where a Zen student takes refuge and receives the Precepts, is the culmination of two years of formal training and education.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 28, 2013 - 11:56PM #3
rideronthastorm
Posts: 9,223

Right well Im sure I wouldny fit itno that i only have a tiny bit of experience I didnt even know what it was I just showed up for a class and they told em what theyw ere doing and said all who want to take the refuge can. maybe they do it from a different point of view Im sure your right though i dont have very much experience for anything like that.Im not sure if our zen temples does it or nto its interesting though. Have you taken the refuge ina  ceremony as well then?

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2013 - 7:17AM #4
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 973

Aug 27, 2013 -- 2:14PM, rideronthastorm wrote:

They had a ceremony in 2nd Life for those of us who wanted to take the refuge and I did it. It was awesome. its a way of saying Im on the path now Im starting on this Zen path and Im committing msyelf to it taking refuge in Buddha and the Dharma and those who practice Zen......



Ridersofthestorm


As I am not a Zen Buddhist, I do not feel that I can improve on what you have posted.


Taking Refuge is a good place to start. May I wish you well with that.



zenbuddhisttemple.org/precept.html


The Meaning of Becoming Buddhist


The Buddhist journey begins by your being able to accept yourself the way you are, both bad and good. When you are able to accept yourself, you can trust and believe in yourself as a Dharma agent for change. When you can trust yourself, then you can help yourself and wake yourself up. If you can wake yourself up then you can help and wake up others. In the process you discover your Buddha nature and the Buddha nature of others, and realize that we are an interdependent and interrelated whole.




It seems to me that you have taken a step towards accepting yourself as you are by expressing the Volition to take refuge.


Volition is the Second Factor of the Eightfold Noble Path: Right Intention. This is sometimes translated as 'Right Thought'. But, Volition is Karma. By expressing the desire to take refuge and by the action of taking refuge, you have made yourself a very powerful karmic connection with the Dharma.


Most of my Buddhist practice has been in the Theravadin tradition. However, I was born with a hidden disability, mental health. I did not begin to understand this until my mid-thirties. By then, it had trashed my educational life at school and my adult working life, such as it had been.


I am very fortunate because I met with a qualified Buddhist Teacher who is also a clinical specialist by profession. I have been practising with her for 22 years. She has had but one mantra that she has repeated to me over and over again during this period:


"Your greatest problem is that you have no self-confidence. This problem has been exacerbated by your garrulous nature."


In other words, Motor-Mouth [Your Humble Narrator] was his own worst enemy. He had the  outward appearance of being confident but was dying inside. Counsellors all had the same treatment:


 "Put a smile on your face and get a job."


Never going to happen, no matter how hard I tried it always ended in failure: serial unemployment.


This Teaching changed my life and kept me on the Buddhist Path, indeed attracted me to Buddhism:


www.bodhicitta.net/Metta%20Sutra.htm


www.bodhicitta.net/index.htm


Today, I am still disabled and unable to have a career. But, I have been established as a Faith-Devotee of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Tradition, a person is said to have Faith if he or she believes in the Triple Gem and the Buddha's Enlightenment. This is not a blind belief. It is rooted in Right Understanding born from Direct Experience in Meditation, Buddhist Mental Training.


The Truth is not out there. Whatever you may find out there in the universe, you will also find within yourself. Whilst it is too late for me to have a career, I am no longer depressed about that for I have found the Dharma. And that truth was always within me, Buddha-nature. I just did not know that it was. My Preceptor [Teacher] has shown me the way.


[Doctrinally, Theravada Buddhism does not Teach anything about Buddha-nature. Instead, it teaches that it is the Nibbanic Peace that is within. We do not split hairs over this, my Precptor and I. We jsut use the stuff interchangeably and et on with the practical business of mental training for good mental and physical culture and health.]


But in all Schools of Buddhism, there is but only One Teacher, the Buddha. For without him there would be no Buddhism in this world. You have made the right decision to take refuge in Him.


When you are ready to meet with a Buddhist Teacher, you will not have to search for that Teacher, one will find you.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2013 - 7:45AM #5
Piobair_Paganach
Posts: 291

Have you taken the refuge ina  ceremony as well then?



Yes.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2013 - 10:33AM #6
rideronthastorm
Posts: 9,223

Aug 29, 2013 -- 7:17AM, Bhakta_glenn wrote:


Aug 27, 2013 -- 2:14PM, rideronthastorm wrote:

They had a ceremony in 2nd Life for those of us who wanted to take the refuge and I did it. It was awesome. its a way of saying Im on the path now Im starting on this Zen path and Im committing msyelf to it taking refuge in Buddha and the Dharma and those who practice Zen......



Ridersofthestorm


As I am not a Zen Buddhist, I do not feel that I can improve on what you have posted.


Taking Refuge is a good place to start. May I wish you well with that.



zenbuddhisttemple.org/precept.html


The Meaning of Becoming Buddhist


The Buddhist journey begins by your being able to accept yourself the way you are, both bad and good. When you are able to accept yourself, you can trust and believe in yourself as a Dharma agent for change. When you can trust yourself, then you can help yourself and wake yourself up. If you can wake yourself up then you can help and wake up others. In the process you discover your Buddha nature and the Buddha nature of others, and realize that we are an interdependent and interrelated whole.




It seems to me that you have taken a step towards accepting yourself as you are by expressing the Volition to take refuge.


Volition is the Second Factor of the Eightfold Noble Path: Right Intention. This is sometimes translated as 'Right Thought'. But, Volition is Karma. By expressing the desire to take refuge and by the action of taking refuge, you have made yourself a very powerful karmic connection with the Dharma.


Most of my Buddhist practice has been in the Theravadin tradition. However, I was born with a hidden disability, mental health. I did not begin to understand this until my mid-thirties. By then, it had trashed my educational life at school and my adult working life, such as it had been.


I am very fortunate because I met with a qualified Buddhist Teacher who is also a clinical specialist by profession. I have been practising with her for 22 years. She has had but one mantra that she has repeated to me over and over again during this period:


"Your greatest problem is that you have no self-confidence. This problem has been exacerbated by your garrulous nature."


In other words, Motor-Mouth [Your Humble Narrator] was his own worst enemy. He had the  outward appearance of being confident but was dying inside. Counsellors all had the same treatment:


 "Put a smile on your face and get a job."


Never going to happen, no matter how hard I tried it always ended in failure: serial unemployment.


This Teaching changed my life and kept me on the Buddhist Path, indeed attracted me to Buddhism:


www.bodhicitta.net/Metta%20Sutra.htm


www.bodhicitta.net/index.htm


Today, I am still disabled and unable to have a career. But, I have been established as a Faith-Devotee of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Tradition, a person is said to have Faith if he or she believes in the Triple Gem and the Buddha's Enlightenment. This is not a blind belief. It is rooted in Right Understanding born from Direct Experience in Meditation, Buddhist Mental Training.


The Truth is not out there. Whatever you may find out there in the universe, you will also find within yourself. Whilst it is too late for me to have a career, I am no longer depressed about that for I have found the Dharma. And that truth was always within me, Buddha-nature. I just did not know that it was. My Preceptor [Teacher] has shown me the way.


[Doctrinally, Theravada Buddhism does not Teach anything about Buddha-nature. Instead, it teaches that it is the Nibbanic Peace that is within. We do not split hairs over this, my Precptor and I. We jsut use the stuff interchangeably and et on with the practical business of mental training for good mental and physical culture and health.]


But in all Schools of Buddhism, there is but only One Teacher, the Buddha. For without him there would be no Buddhism in this world. You have made the right decision to take refuge in Him.


When you are ready to meet with a Buddhist Teacher, you will not have to search for that Teacher, one will find you.





Thankyou so much for that!WOW your an inspiration to me. Ive had too many obesity issues to be able to get a job but Im  on Weight Watchers diet and hope to get it off maybe go back to school and eventually work. But Ive often thought if I could just lose the weight and go to our Zen community and be involved on that level I could learn to be happy also with or without a career.


 Thankyou for your encouragement I appreciate it!


I have also thought about doing volunteer work instead, dont know if youve taken that rout at all or not but volunteering is good too.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2013 - 3:54PM #7
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 973

Obesity


I sympathise with your problem. But, this time last year, I was 17.5 stones in weight'


According to the UK Weight System. That works out at 245 pounds.  This morning, I weighed myself, and I am now 156 pounds. In the UK weight system, that is 11 Stones and 2 pounds. I still have a small fat stomach. And my rib cage has expanded to cope with all of the extra weight. But, I am now in the healthy weight range for my height.


Last August, I was out shopping in our local city centre with my wife. She went off somewhere on her own. I was waiting to meet her outside a Chinese Herbal Doctor's shop. In his window, there was a poster advertising that he had products which could help.


He sold me some Chinese Herbal Tea and Weight Loss Capsules, which were also made from Herbal Tea. They were quite expensive. But essentially, they provided me with a detoxification of my system and prevented me from feeling hungry. The Chinese Herbal Doctor advised me that in Traditional Chinese Health Care, Tea is used for its healing qualities and not as a beverage.


For what it is worth:


When we buy food, we make sure that the fat content is as low as possible. We make sure that the sugar content is as low as possible. As far as I am aware, too much sugar converts into Fat.


For breakfast, I was eating one bowl of Muesli. Instead of Tea or Coffee, I would have a cup of Hot Pure Lemon Juice Cordial. For Lunch, I would have one bowl of breakfast cereal, and nothing else. For my evening meal, I would have whatever my wife prepared.


Our simple rule of thumb was to try and finish a meal still feeling slightly hungry.


When the body is starved of too much food, it will take what it needs from the storage of fat that it already has. I have now finished with my diet.


I still have a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I no longer have the Pure Lemon Juice. One cup of this provided me with 75% of the Daily Vitamin C that I needed. For Lunch, I have one bowl of white rice, an apple and an orange. I have two Ryvitas


www.amazon.com/Ryvita-Whole-Grain-Crispb...


With Yeast Extract Marmite Spread. One either likes this stuff, or they hate it.


 www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=se...


On the positive side, I have no excess skin from when I was fat. I weigh myself every morning and night, without any clothes on. I am always heavier at night than in the morning.


Vital Statistics:


Shirt /collar size down from 18.5 inches to 15.5 inches.


Waist size down from 45 inches to 34 inches.


Chest size down from 50 inches to 38 inches.


Shoe size down from 10.5 to 9 [UK sizes]


Aftermath:


Small Pot Belly and some visible bones.


I have had to replace all of my clothes and shoes. Sometimes, I have had to replace certain things twice. I have bought replacement clothes form Outlets, or Clearance Sales. An Outlet is a place where one may buy more expensive clothes at a very reduced price because they are ‘clearance, or end-of-line’.


Caution


Over dieting can lead to Calcium Loss from the bones and Brittle Bone Disease for which there is no cure.


Be wary about buying Chinese Teas and Herbal Remedies online because it is difficult to know whether they are genuine or not. The person that I bought from has been in business for a very long time.


 But, I have used these products successfully:


www.lidadaidaihuamall.com/


www.nlslimming.com/product/great-impress...


Detoxification killed all of my cravings and addictions to things like chocolate, pototato crisps, bread, pototatoes, nuts. What we discovered with a lot of so-called slimming products and weight loss products is that they were laced with sugar. 


If these products seem expensive, may I make this suggestion:


One bowl of rice per day would prove to be very helpful  Breakfast Cereals are also very cheap, if one avoids all the fancy stuff. I used to eat between meals. We used to call it 'sly-munching' [of food]. If you feel hungry between meals, take a drink of water instead of eating or snacking on something. This makes the stomach feel like it is 'full'. 


Physical Exercises


I never did any. I am now 60 years of age. Last year, at the age of 59, I was acutely aware of the fact that I was unfit, and unhealthy. I did not want a heart attack. Also, my mental health disability has to be treated very seriously. I have spent the last 23 years learning how to slow my mind down. Exercising develops beta waves and makes me aggressive, too much adrenaline. I call this condition ‘A Visit from the Beastie Boys'.


And now, we make the complexity of all that you have read above go away:


Enter the Buddha:


If the mind is sick, the body will be sick.


Obesity is a form of physical sickness. But to treat it, one has to also treat the mind. Treat the mind first: Just accept yourself because you are the greatest friend you will ever have. If a person tells you that he or she loves you more than they love themself, they are telling lies. 


Offer Loving Kindness to yourself. You must do this before you can offer Loving Kindness to anyone else, even your loved ones.


If the mind is healthy, the body will also be healthy.


Metta Meditation is perhaps the most misunderstood Buddhist Meditation.


Why, because 'All anyone needs is Love. A lot of Buddhists that I have discussed this with seem to think that it is fluffy, weak, produces a kind-hearted fool.


Metta is not Personal Love. It is Selfless, Universal Love, Sacred Love, the Power of the Strong:


Hate restircts but Love releases.


Many years ago, I was in a Psychiatric Hospital. A young man came in covered in blood. He had tried to kill himself. He lived alone and could not take the loneliness anymore.


He would not leave the hospital ward. I was asked if I could persuade him to go out of the hospital for a walk. Wild horses could not have dragged him out of the ward.


Meanwhile, a young lady had been admitted to the hospital. She also lived alone. As I recall, she was suffering from severe depression.


These two began to hang out together. Within a couple of days, they were walking out of the hospital together. Within a week, they had discharged themselves and they went off to set up home together.


In my post above, I included a link for Metta Meditation. If you do nothing else in Buddhism, just try printing a copy of that off and keeping it by your bed. As you retire for the night, read it through silently three times.


Try this out for 12 months and then see if anything has changed.


In this way you are practising Buddhist Samatha Meditation, Tranquillity Meditation, applying Heart Care Meditation. Your Mind and Body have the power to heal themselves. This Metta Meditation is a complete practice of Buddhism that can take you all of the way to the realisation of Nirvana. In this, you have everything you need. You have no need of anything else.


 But this mantra may help with the development of a positive mental attitude:


"Every day, and in every way,


I am improving and getting better."


When I have used this, I usually have just recited it silently three times, daily in the mornings.


Whilst this is a Metta Meditation that you can actually do just by sitting at a computer:


www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiExMeJ_Dvc


One simply listens:


We call this Listening Mediation, my Buddhist Teacher and I.


We try not to expect too much too soon. With the development of Metta one is like an athlete training for the Olympic Games. But for us, it is far gentler than the Athlete. The point is that the beneficial effects of Metta Meditation are accumulative. When we begin, we are a little enervated, a little weak. But with the passing of Time and regular practice, we become stronger and our ability to relax increases and we can become a little more sympathetic towards our own failings and the failings of others.



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4 years ago  ::  Aug 29, 2013 - 5:32PM #8
rideronthastorm
Posts: 9,223

Thankyou thats a wonderful story.Congratulations on getting out of the mental ward.I will try those metta meditations along with my zen thankyou so much thats awesome.

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