Experience with spreading the dharma to suffering familiy?

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Adam Frisoli, modified 11 Years ago.

Experience with spreading the dharma to suffering familiy?

Posts: 48 Join Date: 9/9/10 Recent Posts
Hi All,

I have fantasies of teaching the people in my families with real problems (addictions etc.) the dharma in hopes that it would be as helpful as them as it is to me.

Does anyone here have experience with this?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Experience with spreading the dharma to suffering familiy?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
So far, mor than half of my family-meditation interaction was bad. The good part was that I convinced my dad to do exercise every day (which ties in more or less indirectly with my tai chi practice). There was a bad part when I was in an A&P'ish evangelizing phase "this is THE ANSWER" sort of thing. I am much more cautious now, in fact my evengelization has been reduced to practically zero.

The worst part was because during dark night my friends could neither understand nor accept what I was going through, and all my efforts in explaining it made it even worst. Some of them felt they really couldn't be part of the solution, since any advice they could give me was inappropriate to the matter at hand (e.g. you need to go out more). It's understandable, since I claimed to be going through something they never heard of before. But then they refused to acknowledge the problem as such, or outright rejected my approach to trying to solve it, and thus undermined whichever comfort they could give by their presence.

My own advice to myself is: stay the hell away from evangelizing others until this thing has fulfilled it's promise, until I have stable attainments I can refer to.

I have since been tempted a number of times, but I refused to evangelize, even to people who were suffering very much by what obviously is dark night. The furthest I have gone was to recommend MCTB to someone, and then let them make their own mind about what they are experiencing. (For me it was clear after reading the dark night chapter: "this is the shit I'm going through!")
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Adam Frisoli, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Experience with spreading the dharma to suffering familiy?

Posts: 48 Join Date: 9/9/10 Recent Posts
Hey Bruno,

I have a family member who seems hell-bent on self-destruction, despite being old and having a child. I remember what it was like to be that far gone, and I've come a long way.

My who family is basically atheist and I really believe this has a lot to do with our troubles (for all religion's failings, it does seem to give people peace and inner strength).

I don't want anyone to become religious, but I was thinking that the solution I found for myself, Buddhism, would be a great way for this guy in particular and my family members in general to grow spiritually without needing to "submit" to the idea of a greater power.

Part of me feels the way you express here. I know how poorly the A&P evangelizing can go (tried that), but I was thinking of maybe trying something more sober and calculating.

Simple samatha meditation could work wonder for a guy like I describe. Even if he spent the rest of his life as a jhana junky he would be in a much better place than he is now.

I just can't accept that it's morally upright to watch people in your family destroy themselves and their family (including a young daughter) and do nothing about it, not when you feel that you may have answers that can help.

I understand exactly what you're saying, but I wonder if I could manage an approach that lands well.

I know one thing for sure though, and that is the fact that I am not ready for such a move yet. I have a long way to go. However, I do think that my extended retreat will put me in a much better place to help these lunatics.

Does anyone out there have anything to say about the dharma helping people recover not from suffering in the "dukkha" sense, not from existential suffering, but from really hardcore addiction, madness and self-destruction? Are there any good resources for this kind of info?

I will say that the guy in question once mentioned to me in an offhand way that he used to trip on acid, and that if he ever dropped now he would "FREAK out." I wonder if he crossed the A&P all those years ago and has been mired in the dark night ever since. What a horrible thought. To go your whole life without ever figuring out what is wrong with yourself and how to get help.

Of course, I don't think the guy has even been to a fucking shrink. And I don't think his wife has tried to get him to go. What is it with people that they're willing to accept such low standards for their own lives? Why are people so pathetic and insane (myself included)?
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J Groove, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Experience with spreading the dharma to suffering familiy?

Posts: 59 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Years ago, I took one of my family members to the dharma center I was participating in. She wasn't into it. I figured meditation just wan't her thing and kind of forgot about it. Well, we've had some bad stuff happen in our family and she's been suffering a lot. I've noticed that lately she's been quoting the Dalai Lama on her Facebook page. So maybe something about that experience stuck with her, but it wasn't the right time earlier in her life. I actually don't know if she's been practicing or not, but I guess my point is that it never hurts to try to skillfully introduce people to some of these ideas---so long as you stay mindful about not laying your trip on other people and feeling that what works for you should work for everyone else. Not to be preachy--I've been guilty of the A&P evangelizing myself.
While I'm no longer into integral, I heard a talk by this guy who uses Holosync to help people get off drugs and alcohol. Here's the Web site: http://integralrecovery.com/

There are recovery resources there. If a person's mind is in true chaos, it might be that much harder to sit. This guy's hypothesis is that Holosync acts as a kind of bridge to help people start down the path to recovery/awakening. Interestingly, there's a big controversy about whether Holosync can cause bad stuff to happen. My guess is that people cross the A&P with this thing and then hit the dark night but have no idea about the states and stages, just like the non-wired-up meditators out there. Something to keep in mind...

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