Being led to the path, my path to Buddhism.


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Buddha

Almost immediately after writing my last manuscript I started thinking about what to write next. I had a few ideas about what it would be about and what I wanted to say. The thing that startled me the most was the confidence I felt. Since I my eighth birthday when my parents marriage started to fall apart I have not had confidence in myself. Whether this is from my parents divorce, my father’s treatment of me or if there is more to it I am not sure.

Around my twentieth year I started looking for something. Trying to discover who I was and why I am here. My quest took me to things I never imagined. I looked into Wicca, Islam, Satanism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The latter of these drawing me in. When I discovered the teachings of the Buddha and every school of thought in Buddhism I knew nothing about who Buddha was, what it was about or whether I wanted to follow a religion or religious philosophy at all.

My childhood consisted of the LDS (Mormon) religion for the most part, that had to do with living in Utah. I remember going to church with my parents, it is one of my youngest memories. I remember the first time my father took us to an Assembly of God church and we saw a women speak in tongues. It is something my sisters laughed at, I was too young to understand what was going on and as every child I did what my parents did.

After their divorce I remember going to church very rarely only when I knew my mom or dad were feeling guilty about something. It was around this time I started to get asked what religion I was I told them I didn’t know. Everyone laughed at that answer, even though it was the truth. Growing up non-Mormon in Utah sucks. Not so much for the teasing, I got teased for worse things than religion in school. It was more the things I could not do because of not following the Mormon faith.

In my twentieth year, probably before that I started to look at religion, because I believe that everyone needs a faith/spirituality/belief/or Non-belief. I also studied every text of religions I could find, I have not read them in a long time and have no reason to do so anymore. I was at a bookstore in those times reading the religion sections and found myself looking at Eastern Religions more often than anything else.

I read “Awakening the Buddha Within” by Lama Surya Das and felt after reading that, the path was laid in front of me. There was an experience the first time I meditated that I have tried to equal since. A moment where I felt everything slip away and I saw only me sitting on the floor meditating. It was my moment of clarity, and I was only twenty-one. The only way I can describe it to someone is the way a Christian describes being saved by god or Jesus Christ.

My beliefs and Buddhism came to me when I needed them most. I was trying to find why I was here, who I was and even the thought of “if” I deserved life here at all came to me. The last twelve years since starting the path I have stepped off sometime for reasons I don’t understand and possibly never will. I am now on the path and have begun meditating again and I have discovered when I meditate my mind is more focused on my writing and everything feels better when I write it.

I am more calm than I was when Buddhism found me. I have the confidence I lost when my parents divorced, something I never believed I would get back. I have grown past my childhood and things that happened to me then. They are still there they always will be. I can change the way they make me feel about who I am. Becoming who I am now took a lot of steps. But each step is a new one on my path and I will gladly continue taking them.

Bri

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One Response to Being led to the path, my path to Buddhism.

  1. Lari says:

    I started following your twitter and got to your website from there. But I stumbled upon this post and can relate somewhat to your journey. I was raised mormon, attended BYU, and discovered that I didn’t truly believe in anything I was ingrained to believe from childhood. I looked into a lot of different things as well, among them Druidry. Since then I’ve become more secular and would consider myself a non-dualist pantheist or sexed up atheist. I also really like zen buddhist thought. I enjoyed reading your spiritual journey. Anyways, I live with my husband who also is an artist! 🙂

    I also like to write dark stories now and then, so I will add your blog to my blogroll and I am interested in your progress with your work.

    Take Care,

    Lari

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