New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

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Butrfly_Nirvana
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New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:47 pm

Hello! I'm a 27yo stay home mom and while I'm living in the Bible Belt (Oklahoma), I have recently decided to stop allowing other people to make me feel guilty about not being a "good Christian"....I tried my best, but I just never really fit in. Then I realized that I didn't fit in, because I wasn't being honest about my beliefs. After some soul searching and research I found Theravada Buddhism to be my 'home' in a manner of speaking. While I am very new to all of this, I've been reading a lot, and for the first time I feel like it's right within me. I can't tell you the hours I've wasted trying to conform to Christianity, going through all the steps the church asked of me, and all the hours of endless reading only to be left more confused--nothing but feelings of doubt, and well, I guess disbelief! I'm sure that people outside my home are eventually going to try to 'save me', but after doing some reading, I feel prepared for that. I now feel like I have been empowered to be free from all those 'threats and promises' of another religion. I have never been more at peace in all my life. I don't feel awkward anymore, and I feel like I fit in now...which is a great feeling to find!

Sorry this is a bit long, but that's the back story on me. I look forward to becoming a part of this site! In the town I live in there are about 20 churches, all centered around Christianity in one form or another, but I've yet to find any Buddhists like me... But maybe they will start to surface as I seek them out! So until then, I may be on here quite often to connect with like minded people!

Oh, and before I forget, I do struggle with the pronunciation of some of the words, so if anyone has found a website or other resource that can help me that would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for taking time to read this! I look forward to getting to know you all, and learning more about Buddhism! :namaste:

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bodom
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by bodom » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:55 pm

Welcome! Im so glad you found your way here.

:anjali:
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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DNS
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by DNS » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:16 pm

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote: In the town I live in there are about 20 churches, all centered around Christianity in one form or another, but I've yet to find any Buddhists like me... But maybe they will start to surface as I seek them out! So until then, I may be on here quite often to connect with like minded people!
:hello:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

Welcome to your Buddhist community!

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Ben
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Ben » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:17 pm

Hi Butrfly_Nirvana
Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
I hope you find here some good companionship and a little bit of wisdom!
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:52 pm

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Oh, and before I forget, I do struggle with the pronunciation of some of the words, so if anyone has found a website or other resource that can help me that would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome aboard. You have come to a friendly forum.

You can find a few Pāli words with the pronunciation on my web page, and some Chanting of Paritta Suttas (Protection Discourses)

You will find a lot of useful resources in the Buddhanet Library, and all sorts of chanting.
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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retrofuturist
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:56 pm

Greetings,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel, and I hope the message I sent you was of some use.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Cittasanto
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:12 am

Hi & welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
Sure we will see each other here, I am a stay at home Dhamma-bum who only got one front tooth for Christmas (teach me not to bite my nails)

This is from the Amaravati chanting book
Pāli is the original scriptural language of Theravāda Buddhism. It was a spoken language, closely related to Sanskrit, with no written script of its own. As written forms have emerged, they have been in the letterings of other languages (e.g., Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Burmese, Thai, Roman). Thus the Roman lettering used here is pronounced just as one would expect, with the following clarifications.

Vowels are of two types:

Short Long
a as in about ā as in father
i as in hit ī as in machine
u as in put ū as in rule
e as in grey
o as in more

Exception: e and o change to short sounds in syllables ending in consonants. They are then pronounced as in "get" and "ox."

Consonants are mostly as one would expect, with a few additional rules:
c as in ancient (like ch but unaspirated)
ṃ, ṅ as ng in sang
ñ as ny in canyon
v rather softer than the English v; near w

bh, ch, dh, ḍh, gh, jh, kh, ph, th, ṭh
These two-lettered notations with h denote an aspirated, airy sound, distinct from the hard, crisp sound of the single consonant. They should be considered as one unit. However, the other combinations with h, i.e., lh, mh, ñh, and vh, do count as two consonants.

Examples:
th as t in tongue. Never pronounced as in the.
ph as p in palate. Never pronounced as in photo.
ḍ, ḍh, ḷ, ṇ, ṭ, ṭh

These retroflex consonants have no English equivalents. They are sounded by curling the tip of the tongue back against the palate.

Full-length syllables contain long vowels (ā, ī, ū, e, o) or end with ṃ or having ended in a consonant, are followed by a syllable beginning with a consonant (e.g., mag•ga, hon•ti, Bud•dha).
Remember that bh, dh, etc. count as single consonants. (Therefore am•hā•kaṃ, but sa•dham•maṃ, not sad•ham•maṃ.)
Half-length syllables end in short vowels.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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withoutcolour
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by withoutcolour » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:23 am

Welcome welcome!
:group:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

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Monkey Mind
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Monkey Mind » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:11 am

<--- Survived the Bible Belt. Welcome.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

notself
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by notself » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:46 am

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Hello! I'm a 27yo stay home mom and while I'm living in the Bible Belt (Oklahoma), I have recently decided to stop allowing other people to make me feel guilty about not being a "good Christian"....I tried my best, but I just never really fit in. Then I realized that I didn't fit in, because I wasn't being honest about my beliefs. After some soul searching and research I found Theravada Buddhism to be my 'home' in a manner of speaking. While I am very new to all of this, I've been reading a lot, and for the first time I feel like it's right within me. I can't tell you the hours I've wasted trying to conform to Christianity, going through all the steps the church asked of me, and all the hours of endless reading only to be left more confused--nothing but feelings of doubt, and well, I guess disbelief! I'm sure that people outside my home are eventually going to try to 'save me', but after doing some reading, I feel prepared for that. I now feel like I have been empowered to be free from all those 'threats and promises' of another religion. I have never been more at peace in all my life. I don't feel awkward anymore, and I feel like I fit in now...which is a great feeling to find!

Sorry this is a bit long, but that's the back story on me. I look forward to becoming a part of this site! In the town I live in there are about 20 churches, all centered around Christianity in one form or another, but I've yet to find any Buddhists like me... But maybe they will start to surface as I seek them out! So until then, I may be on here quite often to connect with like minded people!

Oh, and before I forget, I do struggle with the pronunciation of some of the words, so if anyone has found a website or other resource that can help me that would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for taking time to read this! I look forward to getting to know you all, and learning more about Buddhism! :namaste:
b
I have a similar back story and also live in the Bible Belt, Arkansas. For those of you who may not know about the Bible Belt, it most of the southern section of the USA. The predominate religion is evangelical Christian and the predominate sect is Baptist. It is ultra conservative in religion and politics. Avatar is considered too sexy for many families. :shrug:

I am the only Buddhist in my area and I have been looking for years. The local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship even ran an add in the newspaper saying Buddhists welcome. They did so on my behalf. It was so sweet of them. I recommend that you visit your local UU if you have one. This way when people ask you if you have a church you can tell them you do. People in the Bible Belt are always trying to increase membership in their particular church, so they actively recruit other Christians to join them. The question, "Do you have a church?" is part of this recruitment.

Good luck in your search. :smile: Welcome to the board.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:20 am

Hello Butrfly,

I lived in Mississippi for a period in my life so I can completely understand the problem(s) you're facing. But you have stumbled upon Dhamma Wheel so you're already in better shape. It might be hard to find local Buddhists but keep searching, studying and practicing and things will begin to come together. I wish you continued happiness and success! Be well!

Mike
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by AdvaitaJ » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:28 am

Butrfly_Nirvana,

Welcome! I'm not from the bible belt, but I have spent considerable time there. Being surrounded by well-intentioned evangelical Christians can be difficult and I don't envy you your situation. :spy:

:anjali: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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Butrfly_Nirvana
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Butrfly_Nirvana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:28 pm

Wow! Thank you all SO much for welcoming! I am truly glad to have found this site! Thank you for the pronunciation help as well!

One of the greatest things I found while researching Buddhism is how to respond to those 'imposing' their religion on me. To share it is one thing, but when you refuse politely and they still try to coerce you, it is then imposing.

I am sure I will come to find this place as a place of refuge and support when people start trying to 'save my soul'! lol

"Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on someone else." That speaks volumes to me...

Anyways, thank you all for the support and welcome! Looking forward to making my way around the boards!

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Bozworth
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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Bozworth » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:12 am

Oy! I survived the Bible Belt too... Mississippi born and raised.

I find that a simple, unapologetic "Nah, I don't believe in that stuff," stops the eager-to-convert in their tracks. They may not like you for it, but that's their issue (probably stirs up insecurity in their own beliefs). I've also been "testified" to (unsolicitedly) about how great it's working out for them. A simple "good for you" is as much of a response as you should give (if any at all), then quickly evade or change the subject. Never feed the monkey.

Anyways, welcome. This site should be a good resource for you.

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Re: New to Buddhism...stuck in the Bible Belt

Post by Fede » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:37 pm

Bozworth wrote:Oy! I survived the Bible Belt too... Mississippi born and raised.

I find that a simple, unapologetic "Nah, I don't believe in that stuff," stops the eager-to-convert in their tracks. They may not like you for it, but that's their issue (probably stirs up insecurity in their own beliefs). I've also been "testified" to (unsolicitedly) about how great it's working out for them. A simple "good for you" is as much of a response as you should give (if any at all), then quickly evade or change the subject. Never feed the monkey.

Anyways, welcome. This site should be a good resource for you.
One reply that never fails to shut them up, if you like, is "well, I'm so glad you've found something that really works for you! Well done!"

There's actually very little they can say to that...
Once, some 'door-knockers' told me they'd pray for me, and I thanked them for their kindness. "...I guess every little helps... tell you what, I'll chant some mantras for you too....!"

This made them recoil in horror, and they asked me not to.
"Oh... well, tell me now... will you still be praying for me, though?"
"Oh yes of course we shall...!"
"Well that's mighty kind. In that case, you can't blame me for reciprocating!"

Actually, this has only happened once....in most cases, actually, these folk are a mighty nice bunch. They're only doing what they believe they have been told to do.
But my first comment to them, usually leaves them wondering what to say next.....

Welcome to the forum! :hello:

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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