Unable to find a spiritual community that fulfills me

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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I am a 31 year old woman who left Christianity on September 24th 2022 due to frustration and abuse from that religion. I live in a rural town where there is no Buddhist temple. I tried to join a virtual community of Tibetans but feel like I am begging for crumbs there. I find myself keep begging to speak to a lama and almost never getting a response. This situation is causing me problems with my mental health. My doctor advised me to find a spiritual community that I feel comfortable with. However I am having great difficulties here in the USA finding a community that is compassionate and accepting of my spiritual needs and disabilities. I do attend regular meditation classes virtually but it’s not a full blown spiritual community and doesn’t fulfill my needs completely. There is nobody to ask questions or for spiritual guidance there. I have tried to find local communities in a big city 60 miles away but having great difficulty. Unfortunately the nearest Buddhist temples to my area are 60 miles away. I also have autism and having difficulty finding a spiritual teacher who can be compassionate and understanding of my disabilities and spiritual needs. I have had many people make promises and don’t keep them. I have decided that Zen Buddhism is where I want to be but have been rejected by many communities. I do have a Japanese Buddhist altar in my home and practice in my bedroom. I feel I must move to Japan to find a community because I feel I’m begging for crumbs here in the USA. I have asked zen communities here to teach me so I can get precept ceremony done and not making any progress. What can one do? If this situation doesn’t improve I feel I must move to Japan to get some community to accept me.</p>


    Dear Kiersten:

    In your four threads, you shared that you are a 31-year-old woman, that you left Christianity a year ago, and you are now a Buddhist (interested in Zen Buddhism) who lives in a rural USA town, 60 miles away from the nearest Buddhist temples; a woman in need of spiritual guidance and a spiritual community that will compassionately accept your spiritual needs and disabilities (autism and “other serious physical and mental problems”). You have a Japanese Buddhist altar in your home and you regularly attend virtual meditation classes.

    Your mother is and has been narcissistic and abusive, a woman “who shows no empathy or compassion” for you. You wish to end all contact with her, but she pays your rent and contact therefore is necessary.  You limit your contact with her to email and occasional phone calls only. You hope to attend college and secure a job for yourself sometime in the future, when your health stabilizes. When you are financially able to support yourself, then you will end contact with her.

    You are thinking about leaving the US and living in another country where the cost of living is lower, where Christianity is not the norm,  and where a supportive, Buddhist spiritual community is available for you, perhaps in Japan.

    Currently you do not have any friends or any type of support system, and you are  “unable to make and keep friends”.

    You don’t trust people because you have “endured a lot of mental abuse from family, former friends, ex partners, and medical professionals… have trust issues with other people due to the emotional abuse… have had many people make promises and don’t keep them”.

    My input today: I have been a regular, daily participant here, in these forums since May of 2015 (with a break of 6 months, Feb-Aug 2023). I am not a Buddhist (nor am I a Christian or a member of any other religion), but I believe in some Buddhist principles and I am still trying to live by then. I am inviting you to be my friend here, in the context of these forums. I will be empathetic and compassionate with you. If you respond to me, I will reply further. If you don’t respond to me- that’s okay with me because I would like you to feel comfortable with whatever choice you make. It is very important that you make your own choices whenever, wherever possible, and that you have a measure of peace of mind as you make your choices.



    i prefer to have no spiritual community, also have no people contesting my beliefs. i don’t share them in daily life, and thus i get the best of both worlds, the material, and my own peace of mind. it’s very nice doing tantric practices that for thousands of years would have gotten one killed as a sorceror for the chanting and so on. so much nicer to not have to explain.  also even among a close community everyone interprets the teachings differently. better to grow at ones own pace. also feel no envy at those who seem more evolved.

    -=light in extension=-


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    [/quote] November 23, 2023


    Dear Kiersten

    How are you?  did you manage to find a community with which that you feel nourished & cared for?

    I watch the BBC talks by Sravasti Abbey on you tube. Even though they are thousands of miles away their talks are informative & inspiring and they also do online courses which I found very enjoyable & relatable.



    Nothing better than to have someone next to you to give you help, strength and encouragement to move forward in your journey. Well, other than to have a great teacher.

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