Buddhism changed my life! (Pris pt 2, Conversations with Kadampas)

… continued from part 1.

I’m no longer afraid!

Jas – Did you used to be this joyful?
(Conversations with Trisha often include belly laughs)
Pris – No! I used to live in fear. I’ve always been compassion-ate, but compassion comes effortlessly now.
Jas – What changed for you?
Pris – Now I use Dharma to look at the deeper issues. I’m no longer afraid! No matter what happens to me no-one can take that away from me.

“I’m a strong woman now”

These teachings are second to none. You know what? I apply these teachings and they really work, they really do. I can control my mind by looking at my attachments. For awhile I felt so lonely, because I realised that no-one really knew me.
Jas – Yeah, I was there last year. It makes you re-evaluate yourself and your friendships, doesn’t it.
Pris – Sure does. When you change, all your relationships change.
Jas – And now?
Pris – My experience has been a roller coaster! I started seeing a pattern of how I related to men. My relationships with men were based on fantasy rather than reality. Now I’m more realistic.

“The Dharma has shown me the true nature of love without attachment”

So now I’m getting deeper into the Dharma. I come to classes regularly. I’ve realised there’s nothing else. There’s no-where else to hide anymore, no-where else to go. This is it. There is nothing else. That made me feel lonely, and I’m working on this now. It’s very grounding and sobering.

Jas – That takes real courage.
Pris – Nothing’s gonna change unless I change my mind. That takes faith and effort. Part of me can’t be bothered ~ I just want somebody to be with. Sometimes I just wished I was dead. Then I stepped back, chilled out, and got more into Dharma.

Jas – How did that help?
Pris – The Dharma gave me structure. It stopped me falling into the abyss. Life became quite structured. Being with other Buddhists; trying to put the teachings into practice in my life; being receptive to the teachings… it all helped me to deal with my attachment and delusions, and distance me from the pain they cause.

Jas – How would you summarise what you’ve learnt so far?
Pris – It’s not other people who are the problem, it’s my mind. Realizing that has made such a big impact on my life. And the thing is, that with these realizations come wisdom.

~ Once you’ve got that wisdom you can’t go back, you can’t lose it.

About: Priscilla has been a massage therapist for 20 years. Her work includes deep tissue massage and hotstone massage. Pris practices at a clinic in Stonehouse, and does home visits around the local area. I know her from Amitabha Centre, Bristol, where we both attend classes.

Buddhism changed my life! (Pris pt 1, Conversations with Kadampas)

“Buddhism changed my life irrevocably,
to a better one “

Pris and I are in Gen Chönden’s Saturday class at Amitabha Centre, Bristol. She’s glowing with enthusiasm for Buddhism.

-_-

JasWhat do you like about being a Buddhist?
Pris – It changed my life irrevocably, to a better one. A happier, more peaceful one.
JasWow. What happened?
Pris –  I did a 10 day Vipassanā  retreat (Buddhist insight meditation). Full-on or what?! It took me 5 days to stop hyperventilating and sit still!
JasSo how did the retreat affect you?
Pris – I used to be angry and volatile. I spent my days living in fear. I was riddled with anxiety. It shaped my days. I was constantly feeling ill and drained. I had chronic fatigue because of it.

“I just stopped worrying”

JasAnd after the retreat?
Pris – I read Eckhart Tolle books, which I was really impressed by, and decided to go straight to the source – Buddhism. I just stopped worrying. I became free of pain. I get arthritis in my feet, and walking had become increasingly problematic. There was virtually nowhere in my body that didn’t ache with tension, because my mind was mad with anxiety. Within 2 weeks of starting to meditate seriously, I was experiencing happiness for no reason.

“I’d never felt happier in my whole life”

When I started practicing Dharma, I tried to turn my relationship around. I saw a huge gap there that I hadn’t seen or cared about before. I was more loving and compassionate now. He’s a lovely person, but it was too little too late. My marriage had been falling apart, and it wasn’t long before my husband left me. We agreed to separate – but I was still happy, because I’d let go of some of my big attachments. I knew I had to change my mind. I knew my husband couldn’t make me happy. He wasn’t a source of happiness, and I couldn’t blame him for my unhappiness. Reading Tolle  helped me realise that meditation was the answer. It was the only thing that made sense. I had strong faith, and my life was getting better.
A friend who knows me well, said “you’re like a completely different person.” He was looking at me in a confused, amused sort of way. I think before I always looked scared and unhappy. For the first time in my life people started calling me beautiful! (big laugh) I realised it was an inner thing.

…continued in part 2. 

About: Priscilla has been a massage therapist for 20 years. Her work includes deep tissue massage and hotstone massage. Pris practices at a clinic in Stonehouse, and does home visits around the local area.

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