Topic: Is anyone else an atheist with BC besides me?

Forum: Life After Breast Cancer — Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Jan 18, 2008 03:39PM

Posted on: Jan 18, 2008 03:39PM

thedudess wrote:

Hi I am newly diagnosed and I know alot of people rely on their faith for support and find great peace with that, however I am a atheist and was wondering if anyone else here was also.

thanks

Dx 1/7/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 14, 2011 08:28PM socallisa wrote:

Glad to hear that Caerus

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Mar 14, 2011 10:24PM luv_gardening wrote:

Lisa, I also travelled all round Europe, also visited Morocco, Singapore and the Canary Islands.  If only I had your photographic talents I could have some lovely photo's to show.

It's never too late to travel, it's worth it even on the smallest budget. 

Dx 7/2/2009, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 14, 2011 10:47PM - edited Mar 15, 2011 10:17AM by maya2

I too have traveled a great deal and usually spent a few months to several years living in the various countries (not sure) and continents (6) I chose to explore. I can't seem to stay for long. I'm considering moving again. I've mostly recovered (as much as you can) from having BC and losing my husband. My feet feel the need to wander again.

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Mar 15, 2011 04:51AM flannelette wrote:

Wow - all you travellers! I've been mostly tied to a few spots in southern Ontario - where i can report - my first snowdrop is in bud and about to bloom! no robins yet..  yesterday afternoon I spent hours scraping the deck in a t-shit and bare feet after we shoved off the last of the snow - march 15? - must be a record for deck-scraping.

sheila - I like what you had to say about enlightenment and religions. I once met an enlightened man - at a dharma centre. he was a Canadian who had gone to the east in the 50s, probably with monks of the Theravada tradition, later travelled, was recognized by one of the Karmapas of Tibet  and crowned.

I was at a retreat centre he'd established here. he was scathing, on the topic of ego - I'd known nothing about that topic till then - I kept trying to hide behind the person in front of me - but I did receive an empowerment. I was actually there as a volunteer cook while I was studying Mahayana Buddhism at university - the whole thing burned me out, trying to cook and do puja for Green Tara and driving to dharma talks, which I actually love -but I was scared, found the "religious" part - pujas, too weird. But understand all that better, now. I was told by my teacher at school, who knew  him, that he would challenge me in whatever way I needed it. he challenged me, all right. the foundations of my ego began to shake. I had to leave. Still, I am so glad and will forever remember that empowerment. Hopfully a seed was planted in me. so when i began reading Eckahrt Tolle, right away, I began to 'get" it. the ego. And all that Namgyal rinpoche (the enlightened man)  had to say came flooding back, and made sense.So, understandably, extending metta to youir enemies is very, very hard. chipping away at the old ego block.

Notself - so when you say you practice Buddhism as a moral philosophy, you don't involve yourself with notions of karma, rebirth etc.? You stick to the arrowroot cookie as opposed to the super duper oreo cookie with whipped cream on top (Tibetan) - as my teacher used to say? what about Buddha nature? maybe i should be on the Buddhist thread for this...sorry for going on.

hey we might reach 40F today - we're havin' a heat wave!

Dx 7/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/29/2008 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 9/30/2008 CEF Radiation Therapy 1/9/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2009 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/19/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Dx 7/20/2012, 0/6 nodes
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Mar 15, 2011 05:51AM luv_gardening wrote:

Oh I can imagine having your ego challenged... stomach wrenching.  It's amazing how desperately we cling to our image of our self even though it's totally false.  We can be devastated because something happens that doesn't even touch us physically, such as an insult or falling out with someone.

I first came across 'The Power of Now' as I browsed in a book shop.  I had no idea what it was about or who wrote it but as I read a page or two at random I felt weak at the knees and a strong desire to sit down even though I was still clueless about what he was saying.  I thought, "he's going to want me to meditate and I don't have time for that." But I had no choice except to buy it.  It opened my eyes and my heart.

I'm not into karma etc either.  I like to keep it simple. 

Dx 7/2/2009, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2011 06:06AM luv_gardening wrote:

Ha ha, I just realised, you said, "he was scathing, on the topic of ego."  I find it amusing that those who say they are without an ego still get angry. (Laughing at him, not you).  Isn't ego just another story?  I think it's possible to get to a stage where we love everyone and everything; ego, death, violence.  If we can love our enemy then we can't say they are doing something 'bad'.  Love and acceptance of all is my ultimate goal but I have so far to go and that's OK.  I accept where I am now. 
Dx 7/2/2009, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2011 07:41AM ananda8 wrote:

flannelette,

I don't believe in rebirth.  There has never been a clear explanation in the suttas about what is reborn.  I have good company in my lack of belief.  Ananda, the Buddha's closest disciple, did not believe in rebirth either.  There is a poem in the Commentaries that comes close to explaining that there is no eternal 'self' or a rebirth of a specific 'self'.  It talks about the rebirth of phenomena.  I interpret that as something like the Law of Conservation of Energy.  Here is the poem. I find it both beautiful and comforting when I contemplate my own death.

"Mere suffering is, not any sufferer is found
The deeds exist, but no performer of the deeds:
Nibbana is, but not the man that enters it,
The path is, but no wanderer is to be seen.

No doer of the deeds is found,
No one who ever reaps their fruits,
Empty phenomena roll on,
This view alone is right and true.

No god, no Brahma, may be called,
The maker of this wheel of life,
Empty phenomena roll on,
Dependent on conditions all."

- Visuddhimagga XIX

Karma is a different story.  The word means action and in the current usage also the result of action.  Anyone can look at the decisions made in life and see the results.  Good decisions had good results; bad decisions had bad results.  Easy Peasy. 

Since I don't believe in rebirth, the karma carryover into the next life or from previous lives is also problematic.  The Buddha was a man of his times.  Granted he was a genius in figuring out how the mind works and how one can eliminate suffering through the control of the mind, but he was still a product of the religious culture surrounding him. 

It is possible that he taught within the religious framework to people who would not otherwise understand his point or to scare them into moral action.  He never answered the questions, "Is there a self? Is there no self?"  He only explained that this or that is not self and that no conditioned thing existed independent of change.  It is possible that he didn't have the language to explain all that he figured out.  Just as we have difficulty in explaining what it means to have a diagnosis of cancer. Language has always been a problem in communicating extremely complex ideas.

The phrase "buddha nature" does not appear in the suttas that I read.  It only appears in Mahayana sutras.  The idea of having an ideal state which became some how muddy and needs to be cleaned sounds a great deal like original sin.  Perhaps I don't understand what is meant by 'buddha nature'. The cause of suffering, as it is explained in the oldest teachings, is ignorance, aversion, and clinging.

Sheila,

I don't understand what you mean by saying "If we can love our enemy then we can't say they are doing something 'bad'."   Could you clarify this for me? 

I think that we can love our enemies and feel compassion for them while still understanding that their actions are 'bad'. 

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
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Mar 15, 2011 08:21AM - edited Mar 15, 2011 08:24AM by socallisa

UP, UP AND AWAY IN MY BEAUTIFUL BALLOON

EDITED, OOPS THE PHOTO WASN'T VERY GOOD..

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Mar 15, 2011 08:22AM socallisa wrote:

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Mar 15, 2011 09:00AM ananda8 wrote:

Was the picture taken in San Diego County or in Clovis, New Mexico?  I would love to take a balloon ride some day.

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

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