My name is Ashton, im 18, and i live in Texas. Iv been interested in converting for about a year or so now but im having trouble figuring out how to start. In September of 2010 ill be enlisting in the US army and im a little scared on how I should approach becoming Buddhist while im in the army. Im still in high school so u can just imagine how easy it must be for me ha. but if u could get back to me and plz show me a path on starting i would greatly appreciate the help. :]
Firstly thank you for writing to me. It is always such an honour to get messages such as yours from people around the world. It is quite a humbelling experience.
My advice to you is to listen to your heart, if you feel that this practice is something that helps you then presue it.
I am sure in the army there are people that are athiest, buddhist, jewish and other faiths. Buddhism will be no different.
But to be buddhist you need 3 things.
Firstly strong faith - This is faith in your self, your life, your family and your humanity and faith that you will have absolute victory in every thing you do.
Secondly practice - Chanting daily will raise your life state and help you cope with the heavy emotional and physical work you will undergo as you build your self up in the army. You can chant in the toilet quietly to your self, you can chant loudly in your room if noone is around, you can chant loudly in your room if there ARE people around and you feel comfortable, or you can chant in your head. It doesnt really matter how you do it but what matters is that you do it every day. Chanting connects you to your enlightend self.
It isnt easy and it wont be easy, but if you push forward you will succeed and you will recieve great benfit from this.
Lastly and most importantly is study - It is vital that you learn every day, even if it is just one line about what buddhism is about, the teachings and wisdom of the lotus sutra. Leanring more about how this practice can help you achieve unshakable happiness is key to your strength.
When you put your hands together and you chant, you are making a vow to your self that you are the one driving your life. You let go of blame and you focus on your own human revolution!
Be strong, chant an hour a day, ready books and ask questions. Never be embarrssed of yoru faith.
You are at the center of your religion and you have the power to change anything in your life.
Chant for security, happiness and success and the happiness of all humanity
Go well friend and feel free to ask me any more questions.
i am sorry it took me so long to get back to you.
All the best
Saturday, 28 November 2009
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