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mjgway
08 Jul 12, 08:09
Firstly, before I begin my tangent I would like to say hello!

I was born to a Catholic family. They were never particularly devout, and often times they did many things that greatly contradicted the most fundamental concepts of the faith that they so passionately viewed themselves to be a part of. I was that kid who quickly adhered to the saying, "whatever can go wrong, will." As a focus of peer torment in school, it was difficult for me to maintain confidence both in myself and the possibility of goodness in humanity. I decided to steel myself against disappointment by expecting the very worst from people. Little did I know, my own attitude would become the very thing that brought the very worst into fruition.

My adolescent years were not special. In fact, watch any Lifetime feature about a brooding teenager with a troubled family and you'll likely get the gist of what they were like. Nonetheless, they shaped me. My life can be summed up as lesson after lesson--all of which I seemed to learn the hard way. I resented religion and those who followed it, and I blamed the vast majority for the mistakes of the radical few. I knew everything, as the average teenager always does. I hurt the people that I loved most dearly. I frothed at the mouth with hatred and intolerance, and although I fully intended to stop I had no idea how.

I can't say what actually birthed my interest in Buddhism. But when I began to research the teachings of Buddha, something clicked. The best way I can describe it is... that it was akin to reading the first sentence of a book that you just know that you are going to love.

I'm no Buddhist yet. There is so much to learn and I frankly have no idea where to begin. However, no matter how daunting the task feels, I want to do it. I want to become a Buddhist.

This isn't some drastic attempt to contradict my family one last time, or reclaim some piece of individuality. This, I believe, is the first step toward boxing up and sending off my inner demons. My journey toward expunging my grief has been a long and arduous one, and often I have felt as though every path I step foot on just so happens to be the wrong one.

This time, I think, things will be a little different. I am Mary, a slightly pretentious and entirely flabbergasted 18-year old girl from New England. I don't know where I am or where to go from here, ladies and gentlemen, but I hope that you can lend me a flashlight to illuminate whatever lies in store.

The Thinker
08 Jul 12, 08:15
Hi and welcome to BWB.

You have a strong history and you are only 18.
Hope you will enjoy this forum and that you will both ask question and find the answers your questions here.

With Metta

The thinker

Aloka
08 Jul 12, 08:16
Hi Mary,:wave:

Welcome to BWB !

Thank you for introducing yourself . If you have any questions for us feel free to ask them in the 'Discovering Buddha's Teachings' forum.


This might be helpful for a basic guide to Buddhism

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/guide.htm


with kind wishes

Aloka ;D

Element
08 Jul 12, 08:36
I'm no Buddhist yet. There is so much to learn and I frankly have no idea where to begin. However, no matter how daunting the task feels, I want to do it. I want to become a Buddhist.

This isn't some drastic attempt to contradict my family one last time, or reclaim some piece of individuality. This, I believe, is the first step toward boxing up and sending off my inner demons. My journey toward expunging my grief has been a long and arduous one, and often I have felt as though every path I step foot on just so happens to be the wrong one.

This time, I think, things will be a little different. I am Mary, a slightly pretentious and entirely flabbergasted 18-year old girl from New England. I don't know where I am or where to go from here, ladies and gentlemen, but I hope that you can lend me a flashlight to illuminate whatever lies in store.
welcome Mary, thank you for sharing your story with us

the Buddhist path starts with learning love; to love oneself with kindness & non-harm; to love others with kindness & non-harm

it is good to start by visiting a good Buddhist centre, to take in the vibes & listen to teachings, to experience if they resonate with you

you will know it is a 'good' Buddhist centre if it feels open, very friendly but not aggressive or pushy. the atmosphere will be light

the same as you, we do not all come from perfect families. most of us have had to work to consciously develop good qualities in our lives

you may think your life has been long but, to me, you are only 18 years old. you have the perfect time & opportunity to develop your life towards the happiness & well-being that you seek

Buddhism, as a path, offers clear guidence on the behaviours & attitudes of mind which bring real happiness & well-being

kind regards

element ;D

Ngagpa
08 Jul 12, 08:56
Hello,
18 years of age and looking at the Dharma.......that is fantastic!!!!!
Great advice above from Element.

welcome:hands:

londonerabroad
08 Jul 12, 08:56
The Tibetan Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche said "Samsara is the mind projected outwardly, lost in its projection. Nirvana is the mind turned inwardly, recognising its true nature." So it is really within you what lies in store - you must learn to look within for the answers. This means learning to meditate and to try and remain mindful of what is going on internally. You can start straight away by looking at some of the resources on this site. You will learn a lot here but you should also consider visiting a Buddhist center to get first hand instruction on how to meditate and what to study and how to adapt what you learn to your everyday life.

All the best to you Mary

Juju
08 Jul 12, 19:00
hello Mary!

New England is my favorite part of the states, so full of many forests, springs, animals, a WONDERFUL place to live, you can spend much time in the environment walking, or in deep meditation :)

it is good to meet & read you, i look forward to more...

nameste :heart:

woodscooter
08 Jul 12, 19:06
Hi mjgway,

Welcome to Buddhism Without Boundaries!

Woodscooter

Esho
08 Jul 12, 23:18
All the best to you, Mary!

Be welcome to BWB.

Thanks for sharing your story.

We are a learning community with very knowledgeable members here.

Please feel free to ask any questions at 'Discovering Buddha's Teachings' and give a look to the Study Link Section.

:flower:

dharmamom
20 Jul 12, 10:45
Welcome, Mary!
Thanks for sharing your story and hope you will find in Buddhism what you're looking for!
You're so young!

SwamiMike
20 Jul 12, 21:34
Hiya :)