Raised Strange

When I was seven, my father moved me to a tibetan buddhist monestary, in Barnett Vermont.   Karme Choling was an interesting place to grow up.   A building withsomewhere near a hundred adults, and rarely more than four children, including me.   All the adults were spiritual seekers, people who had moved outside the norm for this country, looking for something to believe, that fit what they felt was true.



They were all strange, and wonderful, in at least one way, if not all.   I learned, at 7, to play go.  I learned that a speed reader sometimes is reading a paragraph, and not a single word. I learned that you need not demolish a lovely rock, to build a living room, if you do not mind living with the rock.   I learned to quiet my mind, dismiss my thoughts as simply thoughts, andin the process learned how hard it is to reach true quiet, how many layers there are in that multitude.



I learned, also, how cruel the world can be to "outsiders", when I went to school every day, and had to run from the 15 year olds who felt it was their duty to harm me, because I lived in "that wierd place".   I learned that even the most inteligent, creative, flexible, good people can not defend themselves from true biggotry, when that same family would break glass across our driveway. . . And the true meaning of compassion, when that family's house burned down, and we at Karme Choling took up a collection, and brought them a check for thee thousand dollars, to help.   Sadly, less than a year later, I learned that compassion is often returned with agression, and rarely changes those who recieve it.



I learned that one need not believe in a god, to be moral.   I learned that oneneed not believe in hell to do right.   I learned that one need not believe in divine influence, to make the world a better place.



And since then I have learned that it is almost impossible to convince Christians, of almost any stripe, that Buddhism is a real religion. . . . They feel the need to give me theirs, and are confused when I tell them I prefer a religeon that believes in karma, to one that believes in salvation, and one that believes that even nonbelievers can walk the right path, to one that believes nonbelieves are doomed.
malthius411 malthius411
31-35, M
7 Responses Oct 6, 2006

through recent events in my life, i have been trying to become more 'spiritual' and am reading alot of books on faith. I am really enjoying this part of my learning......i would love to learn how to truly 'meditate'...my head gets so full of 'stuff'..and it gets soooo dusty in there ;p

I am very moved by your story --- have experienced that compassion is rejected by some people & met with aggression. Hope that one day those people who attacked will realize --- <br />
Meanwhile you are on a true path

I agree that many christians are not in fact followers of christ. sad really - because his teachings are much the same as your described learnings. snaps to your dad and Props to you for living what you learned.

I just wanted to say that there are some Christians out there, such as myself, with a compassionate heart and an open mind. Jesus of Nazareth was, in biblical actuality, much like Buddha of Lumbini (and Confucius of Qufu) in his' actions and words, and many "Christians", whether unknowingly or willfully, misrepresent his true teachings.

This is a beautiful thought, and thank you for sharing it. I am so glad that you are so compassionate and that all the bad experiences did not change you or move you away from Buddhism.

You sound very wise, I assume you got enlighted is that true?