corboy is a blessing to this site
Date: September 17, 2003 09:10PM
This spoke volumes to me:
"As best I can say, the atmosphere of true Zen practice is incompatible with manipulation--it supports your insight and helps you wake up--it wont put you under.
Every time I try to do sitting meditation I am always a little reluctant. I take that as a good sign, because thats how I knew it is challenging me.
If I loved sitting meditation and found it easy and pleasant to do, I would suspect I was using it to hide from my own shit."
I searched and considered many paths both within and outside of Buddhism for about four years. I've been a practicing meditator for about two years now and have sort of settled on Soto Zen Buddhism as what feels most like home. There are no Soto groups anywhere close to me, so I am practicing on my own. There is a Rinzai Sangha and a Tibetan one within driving distance, but I've been very hesitant to even "check them out". I had an experience as a child with a destructive church, so I am sensitive to undue influence, which is why I had such a traumatic response when my boyfriend came home from his LGAT. I think that has affected me seeking out a teacher in the past, even though I saw the benefit of one, and now that is even more in the forefront of my mind.
When we were struggling with my boyfriend’s Harmony experience, I was a complete wreck, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, and couldn’t stop crying. My therapist called it a "trauma response" and I'd say that was pretty accurate. Of course I couldn't sit either. Just the thought of trying would freak me out. Now that I've read the extensive information of the dangers of trance, I'm a bit afraid of it, even in my own hands. However, I miss my practice, and have begun again, but the stress of this situation is still very much with me, and it has greatly affected my peace of mind.
I was pretty freaked out by the elements of Zen that are incorporated into LGATS. I really doubted what I believed for a while, until I talked to a friend of mine that explained that they took a bit of good to make themselves seem legitimate, then twisted it to serve their own purpose.
I really want to move forward, and think that this "drama" may eventually make me a better Buddhist (I definitely need to work on my compassion, as I had recurring dreams of hurting the people at Harmony!) and a better person. Sometimes I wish I weren't so wary of "authority figures", while also realizing that wariness has served me well.
Thank you for your insight, I'm off to sit.