October 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm #43760SarahParticipant
Thanks for taking the time to read my post…Im pretty new to this and Ive been feeling a void for the longest time… I recently moved to my home country and its taken a toll of me and its got me questioning everything now that Ive been by myself so much. I was in a relationship but we are currently ending things, and i find myself even more alone. With no ffriends, little family, and only work keeping me busy I feel incomplete and just going through the motions.
I want to get in touch with myself and better my own life and make myself happy but Im so lost on where to start and what to do, all help is appreciated, thank you 🙂October 15, 2013 at 7:17 am #43815Petite sourisParticipant
Hi Sarah. I am struggling with this too although I am not able to physically remove myself to start fresh as much as I want to. Know that you are not alone in feeling like this.
What I find helps is using technology in keeping in touch with old friends for the familiar support. Joining a class (yoga is great) where everyone is new helps in making new friends. Exercise lifts the mood and helps in feeling and sleeping better. a responsive pet (not a fish please) provides a lot of love too. Volunteering also provides perspective, a sense of purpose and compassion. Finally starting stuff that you have been putting off like writing that novel or painting is a wonderful way of fulfilling your interests and gives a sense of accomplishment. Watching motivational clips and uplifting books help keep the negative away. If you are religious, prayer can bring comfort and the church community can lend a sense of belonging.
What I find is that at the end of the day, we really need to find peace within ourselves and this will take time. It can be a lonely journey at times but we will emerge better. Hang in there.October 25, 2013 at 9:29 am #44348babylaughterParticipant
Sarah, if work is all that’s keeping you busy, it’s time to start some new hobbies! Pick something fun and enjoy! You will find friends in no time when exploring the hobby! Also, call your friends and family for support. Take time to grieve the ending of your old life and celebrate the beginning of a new life.November 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm #45390
Simple Math ?
I am way more than sure you all know the answer to my question but being a mere novice I wish to ask: If life merely revolves and we all come back again after death, given the ever increasing number of people on this planet, how does it work that ‘new’ lives are created ? ie: if say 10 people died yesterday and say 12 born today, where did the extra 2 lives come from ?
Thanks for being patient with me,
GaryNovember 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm #45391MattParticipant
If two people get together and love each other…
Just kidding of course. Consider that perhaps what you’re wondering is often answered by “soul ages” such as “new souls” and “old souls” and so forth. Perhaps its not just the bodies that reproduce. Buddha discouraged people from thinking of individual souls, however. It creates a habit of eternalism, which strengthens the perception of permanence. Past and future lives may be fun to fantasize about, but here and now has plenty to tend!
MattNovember 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm #45393
Thanks Matt, but I’m not sufficiently advanced in these matters to understand what you are saying.
Can you re-fire it at me in another way ?
GaryNovember 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm #45395MattParticipant
I’ll certainly try! The idea of “soul” in Buddhism is generally regarded as “no abiding self” or “no individual soul”. Some interpret it as nothing beyond the physical, some as one energy field that isn’t individuated. It really depends on the person you’re asking. My personal view is that before and after death, our spirit is part of a whole. During our lives, that spirit is contained within us, and is itself unaltered. Much like liquid filling a cup is not changed in substance just because of the container, spirit is not changed by filling a body. To address the whole “cycles of lives” and increasing population, I see it as the number of cups expanding, so the net amount of spirit incarnating is increasing, but the river seems endless to me.
The reason this isnt something I spend much time looking at is because there are people all around us who are suffering, and I’d rather look at that. That’s a personal choice, but is also similar to what the Buddha chose. He (or one of his students, I forget off hand) described it like a house on fire. When you wake up and realize the house is on fire, you grab the most important things. Children, pets, memory boxes, etc. So when we develop spiritually, or cultivate our wisdom, perhaps we see that the world is full of suffering people… people missing the joy and beauty that is all around them, stuck in cycles of lamentation, hatred and delusion. My teacher described it like walking through a beautiful garden and jumping at shadows.
So some find it more helpful to aim there… pouring compassion and offering our attention in that direction, because “spirit or no spirit” is more acedemic. What to do with the time we have seems more important. How to cultivate stability. How to nourish ourselves and others. How to find mutual satisfaction. How to overcome habit. And so forth. Things that increase the light and love within the world… tangibly, directly. That’s not to say people who search for answers to soul-nosoul are wrong to do so… if their heart calls them to look, there is probably something for them to find there that will help them on their way.
Does that make more sense? If not, perhaps consider asking for clarity with a little more information about what it is that is confusing or you are curious about rather than just “try again?”. 🙂
MattNovember 17, 2013 at 4:50 am #45396
I have your new reply and I feel the “liquid filling many cups” etc. analogy is indeed helpful.
GaryNovember 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm #45962Temple GreeneParticipant
wow, elegant work, matt. thank you.March 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm #52432JParticipant
This is my first time actually reaching out for some sort of connection with others who also are exploring a new concepts or expanding their ways of thought. I am completely new to this and and fearful that I don’t even know where to start or what I’m actually seeking. I have read lightly on Buddha teachings and concepts and feel that there is something here for me but I’m not sure how to identify what I need or what I want. Where I live does not have a local public ally known support system to allow me to learn about Buddhas teachings, but the information I have found is encouraging That I find a teacher, I feel I am left with using the internet but the reading I have done caution people not to use the internet blindly.
I am a very structured person who appreciates a start point and steps or instructions on how to reach my goal so to me I feel lost as to how to begin my journey. Lately I have felt very lost, not sure I want my job anymore because it’s so stressful, not sure about what I feel about people in general, not sure I can commit to being the type of mom And wife I think I am supposed to be, not sure if I’m just settling into life because of an expectation that I do. I even question what I actually do for enjoyment is for my enjoyment or do I do,it because I have an ulterior motive behind it of meeting a goal ( frisbee= exercise, home renovation designing = stress because I don’t know anything about trades and structure etc… I wonder if I’ve lost myself or even know myself. I am really lost, I feel that my mind is racing and I try to calm it but then boom !… Life’s obligations converge on me simultaneously and then I set my needs to the side to serve my responsibilities.