To my Readers,
My name is Zack. I’m an twenty-five year old aspiring writer, and a new student to the practice of Buddhism. The purpose of my blog is to write about Buddhism, my personal practice, the general Life lessons I learn along the way. Allow me to give you a brief version of how I came to practice Buddhism.
I grew up in a traditional Judeo-Christian home, where the Bible was judge, jury, and executioner. As a young child, I never fully accepted my parents’ religion. The idea of God presented to me was that of an angry old man in the clouds who waited to drag me to the abyss whenever I messed up. Needless to say, my young mind rebelled against such notions. I could not accept ideas like sin, guilt, heaven and hell, and other tenets of Christianity. This caused an enormous amount of conflict between my parents and me. Religion in my home was used as a weapon to inflict judgment, guilt, and shame. I struggled with identity for most of my childhood and teenage years, and briefly with my sexuality. I was often deeply depressed, but didn’t dare show it. The turmoil I felt inside manifested as anger, bitterness, and resentment.
Flash forward to the spring I turned twenty-one. On my own for the very first time, I found myself in financial trouble, while battling depression inside a very toxic relationship with my girlfriend at the time. Religion was out of the question, and yet I knew I needed….something…in my Life. I turned to yoga, and began teaching myself the postures at home. My exploration of yoga lead me to meditation, which I began to practice as well. A voracious reader, I began to devour books on meditation. Author or style didn’t matter, I read whatever I could get my hands on. My exploration of mediation led me to books on Buddhism. The values of peace, kindness, harmony, and non-aggression that Buddhism presented were fascinating to me. I began to wonder if maybe Buddhism wasn’t the “something” I had been missing for so long.
I spent four years wondering. I researched multiple schools of Buddhism, including Zen, Theravada, and Mahayana. I went through many ups and downs during that time, battled depression, and learned many Life lessons, some of them the hard way. But after four long years of waiting and wondering, I made my decision, and took refuge with a teacher this weekend.
I do not claim to have any answers in Life. If anything, I have more questions than answers. My intent in creating this blog is not to turn my readers into Buddhists, or to tell others how to live their lives. That’s not my place. All I can do is share my experiences with the world, in the hopes that what I write might help at least one person to rise above the mud in their lives and bloom into the lotus they were born to be.
Rise Like A Lotus.