Thread: Young practitioners in an unsupportive environment?

  1. #1
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    Young practitioners in an unsupportive environment?

    Hi
    I'm 21 and really intensely into the dharma.
    I'm wondering if there are any other young people out there that are the same way and are perhaps facing some of the struggles that I face. I would love to know what you do to deal with them as I find it quite hard.

    I find that within the Sangha I am the youngest by a huge margin (about 20 years). I don't live in the same city as the bulk of the sangha of my lineage but I did for a few months. I found that often I felt quite lonely without people my age to talk with. Sometimes I feel that we just need that connection with people of our age group.

    I have spent the last 6 months living back in my old city with the same group of friends that I had before I got into the dharma. None of them are into it at all and their social pass times are drinking, smoking weed, watching movies etc... Humour that is always belittling others... I hate to be that person on the outside and if I mention why I don't participate from a dharma viewpoint it just bums them out.

    I don't like to hang out with a group of drunk people because I don't interact with them in a wholesome way, no good conversation arises. I also don't like drinking because it's pure heedlessness.
    There's also not a lot of support for meditation. Nobody to practice with and nobody to encourage me or anybody who cares if I have let my practice slip for a week or so...

    Just wondering how other young people find a way to function in the 'real world' and still live the dharma

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Forums Member fletcher's Avatar
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    Dan,

    This may help you http://www.wkup.org

    Best wishes
    Gary

  3. #3
    I have spent the last 6 months living back in my old city with the same group of friends that I had before I got into the dharma. None of them are into it at all ...
    Hi dan,

    Have you tried the Buddhanet World Buddhist Directory to search for a group in or near to your city ? Sometimes small local Buddhist meditation groups are added to it as well as Buddhist centres, monasteries and temples.

    http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/index.php

    Kind regards,

    Aloka

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    Forums Member peacemonger84's Avatar
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    Dan, even though I will be 30 tomorrow, I do understand what you mean by not wanting to participate in other activities. I just started my path on Buddhism, so I cannot help too much, but I was always the one who was "wise beyond her years." I know its hard to not hang out with your peers but if the only thing you have in common is a number, then I wouldn't hang around them. The others have made wonderful suggestions. I'm not sure if you are in college, but sometime they will have Buddhist support groups that meet weekly on campus. Most of them could be closer to your age. Or maybe start one up? Just some thoughts. I do hope this helps a little.

    ~Andee~

  5. #5
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan248 View Post
    Just wondering how other young people find a way to function in the 'real world' and still live the dharma.
    hi Dan

    in my experience, it is not easy. when I was 22 years old, although not influenced by religion or Buddhism, I gave up sex, drugs & rock-n-roll. this resulted in me not being particularly interested in my friends & they not being particularly interested in me. even my best friend did not invite me to his wedding. even girls who like you abandon you when they learn you won't have sex with them

    however, for me, there was a great growth in strength, confidence, clarity & purpose (in knowing I was doing the right thing by abandoning harmful activities) during that period, despite the social alienation. eventually, when I found the Dhamma, my mind was ready for it.

    Dhamma will always have some aspect of being solitary path.

    Kind regards

    Element

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    Thanks for your advice and suggestions everyone :)

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