Forum Replies Created
Yes, Stephen Batchelor’s work is good. I have his book but have not read it yet. But I will!
I think believing in reincarnation is a bridge too far for me. So is believing in a God such as in Christianity.
Hence secular buddhism appeals as it provides a very practical way to deal with life issues and hopefully helps me become a better person in this life.
3 days ago, I started listening to podcasts (when doing work around my home!) by Noah Rasheta in his website called Secular Buddhism . He may have founded his site after Stephen Batchelor but it does not matter. He does refer to Batchelor’s work a bit during his podcasts. Batchelor published his book “Buddhism without beliefs” in 1997. Anyway, Rasheta has a way of clarifying buddhist teachings to novices like me. In his website, you will find there is a section for people just starting out. In there are 5 wonderful podcasts. I have listened to all 5 and they are very helpful.
I think it is good for me to have a conceptual framework where I can build from. I am hoping that Rasheta’s 5 podcasts will provide that foundation for me.
One person who got me very interested in Buddhism is Robert Wright. He marries psychology with buddhism in a beautiful way. You can hear lots of his ideas via YouTube and also his book or course (free course in Coursera.) Like the others, Robert Wright does not believe in the supernatural aspects but uses buddhism to help others with life issues which, as you know, are often psychological.
Thank you for asking! Yes, things have been well. I am learning a lot about Buddhism. Came across some podcasts on Secular Buddhism and have been listening to them. Never waste a good crisis therefore it has been a time of contemplation and hopefully growth for me.
Thanks again Anita!
Yes, what you said about distress being like heavy, grey clouds is a good characterisation of why I often get stuck!
Thank you again for your support Anita and very kind offer to help. You are an amazing person!
Thank you again!
You have the wonderful gift of cutting out the noise and getting to the essence. Therefore your clarity is absolutely helpful.
When I get involved, it is often so hard to see the wood from the trees. I think I get too emotionally involved as well – and that clouds my judgement.
To answer your question – it is definitely not worth my time and effort – so I will divorce myself from involvement.
I really want to tell you that it has been truly helpful to be able to talk to someone like you Anita on this forum. Such a breath of fresh air – and you don’t prevaricate, you just get to the truth in a no-nonsense way. I have really benefited from your responses.
Thank you again for adding value to my life, and diligently hearing me out!
Thank you v much for your advice – again!
Yes, your understanding is correct – I also reduce my own personal expenses when I reduce the community expenses.
But very few people seem to care about it until they get the quarterly levies i.e. compulsory contributions that they need to make to top up the community fund. Then they come to me to ask why it has increased! And complain.
I think writing here and hearing from you have given me clarity. I think I am attached to the waste of money – and perhaps I should not put so much personal effort into saving the community funds when I am bearing a heavy cost for it personally (mentally, time, etc).
Thanks again Anita for your kind assistance always!
Thank you for your message again. We will just communicate on this forum going forward as it does a great job and allows others to learn from your wisdom.
In my first post, I shared about being a voluntary, unpaid member of the Strata Committe (“SC”) where I live. Just last night, in the midst of some personal crisis, I had a knock on the door and had a neighbour asking me to help her with the security gate to the garage. It was urgent as she could not move her car out. This happens too frequently – and in the past, I would do everything to help – sacrificing my own time, sleep and commitments. And then work past midnight to finish my own things.
Their expectation is that because I have helped in the past and am a member of the SC, it is my duty to help everyone – regardless. The rest of the SC dont’ help or don’t do much (I think quite wisely!) – therefore no one ever asks them. Instead, the neighbours come to me because they know that I will help them. Many of these people, I feel, are users. When I do need their help – usually to help someone else within the community – they are nowhere around or just refuse to assist.
I feel that their sense of entitlement – that I, DC, have to drop everything to help them whenever – has started to irritate me, exacerbated by the inappropriate conduct of other SC members and also owners.
The sense I get from them is that it is all about them, and they don’t really care about the effects on me or the community.
I tend to continue helping because if I don’t, then they would be inconvenienced and also perhaps they will incurr huge costs for the SC by engaging inappropriate tradespeople to do it for them. So, I continue to help.
I have started to wonder if my motivation (attachment?) to help them is also largely driven by this wanton waste of money and resources – they will call random tradespeople to get things sorted out – and then pass the huge, ridiculous bill to the SC to pay (out of the community funds which every resident contributes to). This happens frequently and after-hours call outs are very expensive in my country.
I wonder – should I just refuse to help in future and point them to other SC members – whom I know, would not want to help them? Should I just de-tach from this wanton use of community funds – and perhaps realise that my time is more valuable than the money I try to save for the community? And if yes to these questions, why am I so attached to all of that?
Dear Anita – sorry about causing you hurt. It is the last thing I want to do. You are so undeserving of that! I had a setback today in life. I cannot write now but will perhaps tomorrow or the day after when I get the chance after settling a few personal issues. Again, apologies for the distress and hurt caused Anita. I was always going to write later today before I went to bed.
Just did it. Thanks. You will get a message from me. Thank you again.
Hi Anita – Thank you again for our grace! Wonder, if there a way for us to exchange email addresses privately? I would like to keep in touch but unsure how to do it on this site.
Dear Anita – Thank you again for your beautiful response! You are indeed a gem!
I have learnt so much so THANK YOU. You have made such a positive difference.
I hope to meet you some day Anita. Such kindness!
Once again, thank you for your kindness and generosity with your time! No worries about my gender – I did not make it clear so you are right to assume that I am a man! 🙂 I would too, if I were you!
Hearing from you – those thoughtful and comprehensive advice – has given me an independent, realistic and clear perspective on my mother. And it has been tremendously helpful to have you validate my views.
It has been difficult for me – and yes, I do find myself making excuses for her inappropriate behaviour – just because… she is my mother. If she were someone’s mother, it would be so much easier to cut through the noise.
No one wants to think ill of their mother, however one needs to confront reality or, in this case, have reality presented to them. This is after decades! So, thank you so much Anita.
You have left me so much to ponder and work on. And I am very grateful – for your care, concern and help.
Why do you do this Anita? Why do you go into these forums and put in so much effort, time to help people like me? You are also unrelenting and unwavering in your support. Most people would give up. I am curious as there are very few gracious people like you on this planet.
I am so touched by your kindness Anita!
Dear Anita – please don’t feel any pressure to respond. Only respond when you feel you are able to or would like to. Please. You have already helped me out so much. Have a great evening!
Thank you for your meaningfully truthful message to me. You have this gift of clarity and getting to the guts of things. I really like that!
It is true that she could abuse us when we were kids as no one held her accountable. We were little and utterly vulnerable. No way to defend ourselves. Therefore easy for her to exploit within the walls of our house. Cane marks were hidden and I used to go to school with elastoplast in several parts of my arms to hide those bruises. She hit us to vent her anger – not to help us be better humans. Perhaps she did not understand how else to release her own frustration.
Yes, what love is – in the bible – was not what we received then, and neither is that what we receive now.
I think we continue to care for her – because of a sense of obligation and guilt. And also, forgiveness? Aren’t we meant to forgive someone?
My 2 siblings (brothers) are looking after my mother now. They are in the same country. My twin brother lives with her and deals with her everyday. I am the ony girl. And the youngest. Hence, hugely disappointing for my mum that I now live a life independent of her. And I have, in the past, told her what I thought about her abuse and affair with the married man. I could do this as leaving her – to study and work in another country – has enabled me to look more objectively at our childhood. It is hard to comprehend how selfish she was as a mother – to abuse her children the way she did, and then to allow a man to further abuse her children.
I have withdrawn “somewhat” emotionally from her since a few years ago after she did some unkind or cruel things to deliberately hurt me.
It was then that I delved deeper into this abusive narc thing. So, I am fortunate that I did that – and at least, called a moderate halt to her abuse, albeit temporarily. I grew!
The last time I visited her (about 2 years ago), she cooked me a fish knowing that I was allergic to it. She could have killed me. I was sick for a few days. I confronted her on that and she said that she “forgot” although a few days before that, she reminded me of my allergy to that very fish. I never know if she did that accidentally or deliberately. I am not in her head. My twin brother said that she never fed them that fish for years and it was only when I was back that she cooked that particular fish. The evidence points to her deliberately doing that – but maybe it was pure accident. It is utterly confusing Anita. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that?
It is hard to see my mother objectively – so many mixed emotions, early conditioning, and the tether to my other family members that I love.
Thank you again – v v much – for your care and kind advice! You are a saint!
Yes, you are right about what you said about injustice – thank you for correcting me!
Also, thank you for sharing with me your own experience with your abusive mother. I appreciate that v much!
I look forward to reading your thoughtful messages Anita despite how tough they are. They force me to reflect deeply while reliving my rocky experiences with my mother. You have really helped me probe into my childhood and its effects on the adult me. No one has ever cared so much! You are a truly kind and generous person!
Anita, what you have said is all so true. However I find it next to impossible to go no-contact with my mum. Sorry to disappoint. Instead, I think that I will write her messages to show that I still love her. She needs the assurances as she is now frail and elderly – and has health issues. She keeps wanting assurance from me that I still love her. She says that she prays for me every night and hopes that I return to being a Catholic – I was brought up as one but no longer believe.
Perhaps she does love me in her own selfish way. Or perhaps I really want to believe that. While there are tiny moments of love or kindness towards me, they are largely swamped by her abuse.
Each time she does the nasty on me, I would go no-contact and she would apologise. Although I realise that her apologies are her way of getting me back into her realm. And when I do, she starts being abusive again.
She is like that, perhaps because of her own childhood and biology. I don’t know that it is her fault. She is unaware and has this inflated and false sense of herself. Hence I want to be a little compassionate – while protecting myself from her abuse.
Given my now heightened sense of awareness (because of you!), I have my guard up and will be very calm and unemotional when I speak to her. Following on from what you wrote to me, I have been listening to a few videos/podcasts on narcs. They cannot change. They may not be bad people. They just can’t help being the way they are.
Thank you for your samurai story. I really like it – it is very pertinent for the issue I continually face.
As you summed up ” The samurai leaves the SC not out of anger or disappointment but because it is the correct action for the samurai to take. ”
Very grateful for your sharing with me the story and your wisdom – as you actively and patiently listen to my concerns.
I feel as if I have grown.
Really appreciate it Peter!