Triratna Young Buddhists

News from the New Young Buddhists Group starting in Ipswich

Posted by Singhamati on Sun, 16 November, 2014 - 14:18
Singhamati's picture
Singhamati
Hiya! My name is Jemma Gates and I am on the team of the Young Persons Group which is starting up in Ipswich and I wanted to take this opportunity to share abit about my journey and tell you more about our group in Ipswich. So here goes:

I started to come along to the Ipswich Buddhist Centre in 2011 and I became a Mitra in November 2012. The meditations, rituals and retreats I really connected with and I thought how do I take my practice further and deeper? Then I hit a wall. My meditations were coming up against several barriers. I was experiencing anxiety in my personal life and that was having an effect on my health. I stopped meditating for a while. I would go through stages of meditating but then I would stop and I felt that I could not discuss this with anyone. Even to members of the sangha who I knew quite well but I thought I was being ‘silly’ with these doubts in my mind. I felt like I was just experiencing the same negative mental states over and over. I wanted to share my experiences but did not know who to. Most people of the sangha were older than me and had children and I felt at the time they would not understand. I know this is just a story that I tell myself. The mind is a funny thing!

I was introduced to the Young Persons Group at Colchester Buddhist Centre by a friend from the Ipswich Buddhist Centre. I instantly felt that I was in a safe and secure environment where I could explain my doubts and fears. It was so reassuring that people all around the same age were or had experienced the same types of anxiety and doubts. I found it exhilarating to discuss mediation and the dharma but the key for me was how we can relate it to our everyday lives.

How can we be ethical and mindful when there are so many distractions? What happens when friendships come and go? When is the best time to meditate?

These are just some of the questions that we have covered at the Colchester Buddhist Centre. I have been so grateful for this group as it has helped me to develop friendships and also I have learnt to not to take myself so seriously. It does not always work but it is a work in progress!

I am constantly inspired by people’s determination and courage from this group. If someone gives an example of something that they have achieved or overcome this really inspires me. As soon as I leave I am filled with determination, positivity and compassion.
I have attended Colchester, Norwich Buddhist Centres for Young Persons Events and I have also been on retreat with the Cambridge Buddhist Centre. What I have learnt is that most of us are experiencing the same things.

Problems with relationships, work and family and the fear and anxiety that we want to take our practice further. Will we lose people that are closest to us?

I have always wanted to set up a Young Persons group in Ipswich so when I heard that Carumani was helping to set it up I was overjoyed! There are a lot of young people that go to Newcomers night on a Wednesday but there was nothing the rest of the week. I think if this group had been around when I first started going to the centre I would have jumped at the chance to attend it.

Carumani was clear from the start that she wanted young people to run it and I wanted to help out. After the first initial meeting I was filled with enthusiasm and I knew I wanted to be involved. We just had to get people to come! I think with younger people social media has a key role to play. This is how we communicate with people and let them know when the meetings are happening. I find social media incredibly useful and you can post inspiring pictures or any anxieties or doubts you are having with your meditation.

As I have attended young person’s events before I wanted to keep the same structure as I think it works really well. A short meditation followed by short talk and discussion. Also the afternoon will have tea and biscuits supplied! We are just about to embark on our second group meeting, which meets at the Ipswich Buddhist Centre, the first Saturday of the month 1pm- 3pm. Meditation starts at 1pm and with an inspiring talk by Michael Smith who has just completed his second fundraiser for the Karuna Appeal. It is an opportunity not to be missed!
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