Hello - I think I may have just found myself

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Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by Thomdharma » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:36 pm

Hi all,

Im new to the forum here so I thought it only right that I introduce myself and why I am here.

Im 39 years old and my life has been one hell of a ride. I grew up in a happy home until I was 8 years of ago. At 8 years old my parents split up because my father had an affair. My mother ( a deeply insecure person) met a man not long after my parents split. This man was a criminal with anger issues and he used to beat my mother on a regular basis. My mother has mental health issues and it is even clear to this day that her lack of mental equilibrium caused her to make some bad decisions regarding life partners and she took to alcohol as a form of respite from her normal default mind set. The alcohol ruled my mothers life, she couldn't cope with basic parenting and as children me and my brothers were "dragged up, not brought up"

As the eldest child I took the brunt of a lot of the emotional pain of our upbringing and its nurturing created a broken, insecure and sick child that became the man. I remember when I was 17 I took an interest in Eastern philosophy and was drawn to Buddhism. I was drawn to its promise of Inner peace. The problem was I liked the idea and read plenty of books and clung to it without practising. I now know that I used the eightfold path as a form of comfort. I didn't like who I was and if I was a good Buddhist, I was a good person rather than a piece of crap. By reading the books I sought respite from the dangerous world that my mother moulded for me. When I was 21 myself and my wife started going out on the club scene. The Buddhism faded into the irrelevance as I found a new interest in drugs. I remember the first time I took an 'E' everything made sense, the flush of serotonin in my system made me complete. I found peace and happiness. of course it was short lived and I soon got involved in addictive drugs like cocaine. I developed a habit and messed myself up. I spent the next 12 years going through an uncontrolled hellish existence. I was on the brink of suicide. The debt, job losses, anxiety all became too much. I went to NA meetings but I couldn't accept I was an addict. I believed I was more than an addict. How could this be all I am! I accepted I had a problem but I couldn't live with the fact I was a slave to this miserable existence called addiction.

I believed that the addiction was a symptom of a neurotic mind that can be cured. I felt the answers were inside of me. Despite this, my addictive behaviour continued but I also spent a lot of time refusing to accept there wasn't an answer and spent a lot of time looking for it.

A false hope-

One day on the internet I came across a documentary on a plant called Iboga. This plant helps people come off drugs by putting them under a trance like state and allows the user to experience the contents of their subconscious mind from a perspective where the painful emotion is not attached to the experience. From a neurological point of view Iboga resets a vast number of receptors in the brain to a pre addictive state. It is not a magic bullet, it gives the person a window of time to make changes in their life without craving. The active secondary chemical in Iboga, nori-bogaine, only sits on the receptor site for a couple of months. Lessons are learned from the experience. It was also during this time that I learned about other healing plants like ayahuasca and mushrooms.

I have a lot of respect for the plants and I genuinely believe that they have a lot of therapeutic potential. However, they are not the answer! I found the experience always allowed me to feel whole again for a period of time but over time I also found out that the paradise they offer is another delusion and they just become another crutch. Whenever I felt unwell or out of balance the answer was to partake in ceremony. I also think that the beauty these substances offer can make this world look really pale and it becomes easy to become ungrateful for the beauty that is in front of our eyes. The one thing I will always appreciate about these plants is that they gave me the opportunity to become a witness to my own mind and to understand that there is something greater hidden behind the constructs of the EGO.

I think it was Alan Watts that once said about psychedelics " Once you get the message, hang up the phone"

I think I have got the message now. It dawned on me that my problem was that I could not accept suffering. I have always lived in fear of the world and seen it as a dark threatening place. Clearly my childhood has created this program in my subconscious. I also understand that I have to accept my "shadow self" The parts of me that I am ashamed of or I feel that my parents or society as a whole would be ashamed of. I don't have to indulge in these but if i am aware of them I can work with them and manage them. By suppressing my shadow self I am only hurting my self.

I had a light bulb moment a few months ago reading Bhikkhu Bodhis - Noble Eightfold Path

I realised that I don't let go and I can't accept things as they are. The eightfold path is true medicine. I am finding that by reading and practising the path I am a much happier person and I don't need anything. I have stopped searching and feel very content. It is a beautiful thing to say " this will pass" when I undertake mental hardship. It is also a beautiful experience to examine these thoughts and feelings with a kind curiosity. The impermanent nature of things is very reassuring. I know that if I meditate I am more aware, if I am more aware I can catch myself when I fall into delusion. I know that when I read I am reinforcing the importance of the medicine.

I believe that meditation softens the Ego in a gradual way that is without negative consequence. Psychedelic plants hit the ego hard and that can sometimes increase the delusion sometimes to the point of psychosis. The decision I make now is an easier once than I could have made years ago.

With suffering comes strength and I am eternally grateful for all the suffering I have received because I wouldn't be the person I am now without it.

Suffering exists ;-)

Metta to you all


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Re: Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:55 pm

Welcome Thom. Your life experience shares some similarities with mine.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta

'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by bodom » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:30 pm

Welcome and thank you for the great introduction. You pretty much told my story. I struggled with substance abuse issues for 20 years of my life. I found Buddhism while looking for an answer to it and I havent looked back since. I hope you find this place to be as valuable as I do for continued support on the path.

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Re: Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by Mkoll » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:45 am

Welcome Thom and thanks for sharing so candidly.
I think it was Alan Watts that once said about psychedelics " Once you get the message, hang up the phone"
Alan Watts wrote:"Psychedelic experience is only a glimpse of genuine mystical insight, but a glimpse which can be matured and deepened by the various ways of meditation in which drugs are no longer necessary or useful. If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen..."
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by DC2R » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:12 pm

Welcome! The Noble Eightfold Path can indeed be seen as a medicine that the Buddha prescribed. It is not enough to only know about the medicine; one must use it as well.
"May the blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha always be firmly established in your hearts." ―Ajahn Chah

Quick resources: http://txti.es/theravada

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Re: Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by DNS » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:39 pm

Interesting bio. Thanks for sharing that. Welcome to DW!


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Re: Hello - I think I may have just found myself

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:56 pm

After many years of half-hearted practice I only started to see transformation when Alanon told me I needed to get serious about some kind of spiritual practice. Its very interesting to me how many people, Christians and otherwise, end up with a profoundly different experience of spirituality by way of some kind of 12 step program, whether they stay in program or not. In my case the craving was emotional, habits long nurtured and reinforced- subtle to see and a delicate business to get out and stay out of. I think the only thing that saved me from being an alcoholic is that booze never made me feel comfortable.

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