Author Topic: Learning from being alone  (Read 3092 times)

Samsara Addict

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Learning from being alone
« on: October 30, 2008, 08:38:34 PM »
I'm on my own now after a ten year relationship ended about 6 months ago. I'm doing okay. Now that the pain associated with the break up has subsided I'm more peaceful now than i've been in many years. I wondered if anyone could recommend a good book or some other resource about the benefits of being alone and the spiritual or personal lessons that can be learned from it.

With metta and gratitude.

Derek

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: Learning from being alone
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 03:21:45 PM »
Dear Derek,

I would recommend that instead of reading you immerse yourself headlong into ever deepening practice, using all the extra time not being in a relationship gives you.

Reading a book does not need to be a part of this. I am not being facetious. I am being dead serious. The answers you seek are within and nowhere else.

Why waste precious time reading someone else's "thoughts" about the subject? Spend that valuable time being alone and finding out who is actually at home to be alone and what it's all about. Don't read about learning about being alone. Be alone.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 03:22:45 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Samsara Addict

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Re: Learning from being alone
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 05:59:45 PM »
Dear Matthew,

Thanks. I guess deep down I know this is true.

I'm at a crossroads. Part of me wants to explore deeper and another part fears where that might take me. My journey into buddhism and meditation has already taken me far way from the beliefs and values of my parents, my friends and my culture. At times this has lead me to feel misunderstood.

I have had glimpses of freedom in that I have been witness to  my internal personal narrative without being identified with it and i've watched from the somewhere in the back of my mind as my hands wash themselves apparently without my will. In the moment these experiences were not scary in fact they were just the opposite, it felt calm, cool and liberating. Only after did I worry about what I might be leaving behind if I continued with the practice. I have thought that embarking further could result in me giving up my career which I worked so hard to get in the first place. I worry that the closer I come to the truth the more unconventional my outlook the more likely it seems that  I will never have the life I imagined and hoped I'd have such as a loving wife and children. I fear giving up my identity.

Lately, I've spent more time reading about the dhamma than practicing it and I think this is because of the fears I've just said. I'm confused and I know some of what I've said is irrational. Nonetheless I feel its been helpful just writing this.

With best wishes

Derek 

Flipasso

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Re: Learning from being alone
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 11:02:53 PM »
Hi there Derek!
I think you're needing something more in the lines of a socially engaged spiritual life. I think it's a very meaningful way of living, in some cases more than the monastry.

Hope it helps.

Samsara Addict

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Re: Learning from being alone
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2008, 11:47:46 PM »
Thanks Flipasso,

I think i'll buy the book.

By the way. I wouldn't give up my career for the monestery. I doubt I'd fit in. I guess some monesteries may be different but my experience so far has led me to think that the hierarchical structure, religiousity and ritual would begin to grate on me after a while. I was meaning leaving my career to live and work within a vipassana community along the lines of Insight Meditation Society in the US or Gaia House in the UK.

With best wishes and thanks.

Derek :)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Learning from being alone
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 06:31:58 AM »
Why waste precious time reading someone else's "thoughts" about the subject? Spend that valuable time being alone and finding out who is actually at home to be alone and what it's all about. Don't read about learning about being alone. Be alone.

I'm at a crossroads. Part of me wants to explore deeper and another part fears where that might take me.

Yes. That part that fears deeper change is called ego and it knows what you are up to when you sit. Identifying with ego on this issue makes a mockery of your previous efforts. Mara assailed the Buddha, Mara is this inner manifestation in all of us that dooes not want enlightenment or progress.

I think you're needing something more in the lines of a socially engaged spiritual life. I think it's a very meaningful way of living, in some cases more than the monastry.

Thanks Flipasso, I think i'll buy the book.

FlipAsso ... I have a bone to pick with you ... lool .. five minutes after I put Derek off books you have him reading again !!!! Same principal applies: Better to go and spend a month in an intentional meditative community THAN TO READ SOMEONE ELSE'S WORDS ABOUT IT!!!

:)

Matthew
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 06:36:03 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Stefan

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Re: Learning from being alone
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 10:50:52 AM »
I would recommend that instead of reading you immerse yourself headlong into ever deepening practice, using all the extra time not being in a relationship gives you.

I'll sign that. A handful of experience is more helpful than ten trucks full of best literature.

With Metta, Stefan

(But on the other hand, I needed a truck full of books to even start to look for own experience. Some of us westerners are like that, unfortunately.)
anicca

 

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