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Buddhism

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Julie Marie:
If you know me you would never call me a Buddhist but I have been reading books on Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy for more than a year now.  The first book I read was "Buddhism, Plain and Simple".  I was reluctant at first because I had images in my head of men in robes walking around chanting.  But just like anything else, if you don't open yourself to knowledge you'll forever have your head in the sand.

As I read the book I found myself thinking, "This sounds like a belief system that's designed for TGs."  It's a very logical approach to life and, if you follow the basic premise of it, accepting others for who they are is one of the more important practices a Buddhist follows.

From what I've learned, followers of Buddhism care more about your inner self than what you look like, how successful you are or how popular you are.  They see life for exactly what it is and don't put a spin on it, not theirs or anyone else's.  When a person comes up to you and says your shoelaces are untied, it doesn't mean you're a dummy or they noticed something you missed or that you're just like a little kid and need to be told something as obvious as that.  It just means your shoelaces are untied, nothing more.

Apply that to being TG and instead of seeing a man dressed as a woman or a woman dressed as a man, they simply see a person who has clothes on.  While their attire may say something about them, they pass no judgement on it.  You are who you are.

A lot of the inner peace I have achieved has come from the lessons I have learned and applying them to my life.  If someone tells me I'm wrong I don't take that as a challenge to prove I'm right.  It just tells me they disagree with me.  There is no effect on me, the person.  I am still the same.  When someone tells me I'm nuts for transitioning, I know they disagree with my decision and I recognize they have their opinions and, just like me, they have a right to their opinions.  Their opinion has no effect on me.

My children distancing themselves from me was at first devastating.  This ate away at me incessantly.  It was a cancer in my soul and I anguished about all the time.  Once I opened my eyes I realized this has no bearing on me and who I am  They are just misinformed and at some time in their lives they will understand.  If that never happens then it never happens.  While I would love for them to be an active part of my life, I hold no ill will towards them nor do I beat myself up about my decision nor do I anguish about it any more.  It just is what it is. 

Another aspect I like about Buddhism is disassociating oneself from Ego.  Ego is the reason we take things personally.  And when we take things personally, other things get stirred up and before you know it we are a bundle of stressed out nerves.  Wanting to rid myself of that feeling is one reason I've adopted some of the teachings of Buddha.  This has lead to an inner peace I have never known.  I won't go back to my old way of thinking anymore than I'll go back to living life as a man.  I like living in peace.

In its strictest sense Buddhism certainly isn't for everyone.  But in a general sense I feel there's something everyone can adopt from Buddhism that will make their life better.  It certainly has mine.

Julie

Kate:

--- Quote from: Julie Marie on December 10, 2006, 09:35:25 pm ---In its strictest sense Buddhism certainly isn't for everyone.  But in a general sense I feel there's something everyone can adopt from Buddhism that will make their life better.  It certainly has mine.

--- End quote ---

I stumbled upon Zen a few decades ago. God, what a cruel fate for an overthinker like me, lol... I twisted and turned for years, squirmed and cursed, threw the books against the wall, decided it was a bunch of BS, hated them more for it all, bought more books...

And one day, walking from my office to the CAD room, someone said something to me. I don't remember what. Doesn't matter. But something inside me broke, and I couldn't stop laughing, lol...

And I STILL haven't... ;)

tinkerbell:
You're right, Julie.  Most of the buddhist beliefs can actually be applied to transsexualism.  In fact, I guess you could say that gender therapy focuses mainly on some of the famous buddhist quotes like these: 

"Emptiness is infact form when we forget the self. There's nothing in the universe *other* than ourself. Nothing to compare, name, or identify. When it's the only thing there is, how can we talk about it??"
 
"When you expect something, when you aim at something, right there you dilute your energy; you split your energy, you split your attention and it becomes more than the place of yin and yang. You do not only divide, but you create the problem"

"Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves."

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose'


I personally love this one from Taizan Maezumi:

"Just live that life. It doesn't matter whether it is life or hell, life of the hungry ghost, life of the animal, it's okay; just live that life, see. And as a matter of fact no other way. Where you stand, where you are, that's what your life is right there, regardless of how painful it is or how enjoyable it is. That's what it is".




tinkerbell :icon_chick:
 

Elizabeth:
Hey Julie,

While I am not particularly religious, I also have investigated Buddism and found the same thing as you. I agree with your post and have found my way to forgive those who have failed to understand me or who have wronged me. My self worth no longer comes from the outside world, but from within. Only I can make myself happy and only I know what that is. No one can pretend to know better than me what is right for me.

I will not go back to living as a man because it makes me unhappy, I know I have tried. I have forgiven those who have wronged me and I will find my own way, whatever that turns out to be.

Love always,
Elizabeth

Kate:

--- Quote from: Elizabeth on December 10, 2006, 11:02:15 pm ---While I am not particularly religious...

--- End quote ---

The neat thing about Zen Buddhism in particular is that it's not really a religion - at least not in the western sense of the word, with holy texts full of rules and events you have to memorize, priests who interpret God's will for you, and stuff like that. It's... DIFFERENT. You could actually "practice" zen while remaining a christian (though "practicing" zen isn't really zen... but... yea). And yet, I've always said that if you take a really, REALLY big pot, throw in ALL the world's religions, and boil it for like... centuries.... once all the fat and icky stuff have boiled away, you'd have this one little gem left down there... Zen.

Or actually, with zen, I guess it'd be empty. Or not empty, just not something there. Of course there's nothing to be not there, so maybe there's no pot either... or religions...

To be honest, there's actually no such thing as Zen... nevermind...

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