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Ask A Buddhist: Suicide and those left behind

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Ask A Buddhist: Suicide and those left behind

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By Ven. Thubten Samten

I want to die. The suffering I cannot take. Will the Buddha nature protect my three small children from harm?

There are situations in life when we experience the most painful mental suffering. One may doubt that one has the capacity to bear the suffering; history has demonstrated repeatedly that we have and can call forth great resiliency in the face of tremendous obstacles. We all have this kind of inner strength.

We are all deeply connected to all living beings and each individual’s actions of body, speech and mind have tremendous impact on others, often in ways we are unaware of.

The greatest gift you can give to your children is to model how to move through the pain and difficulties that come with living. It is our responsibility to care for ourselves and learn to grow self-compassion so that we can then reach out to all others and be of comfort to them.

Please act immediately and call the Suicide Prevention Line;
1-800-273-8255. There are skilled, compassionate people waiting for your call who are able to listen deeply to what you are currently experiencing. With their extensive experience, they can offer and direct you to the support that you are in great need of right now.

From the Buddhist point of view, when we make the determination take refuge for the rest of our lives in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, our understanding of what it means to have a precious human life grows and deepens over time. We come to embrace the challenges of cultivating our compassion and wisdom so that we can be of greater and greater benefit to all other living beings. This brings a natural joy and fortitude to the mind that can bear the difficulties that are part of living.

May you reach out today to the support line and to a supportive  group of friends who all care deeply about you and are wanting to support you in any way possible.

Ven. Thubten Samten

About Ven. Thubten Samten

Ven. Thubten Samten met her teacher, Ven. Thubten Chodron, in 1996 when the future Ven. Chonyi, took the future Ven. Samten to a Dharma talk at Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle. The talk on the kindness of others and the way it was presented is deeply etched in her mind. Four retreats with Ven. Chodron, eight months in India and Nepal studying the Dharma, one month of offering service at Sravasti Abbey, and a two month retreat at the Abbey in 1998 fueled the fire to ordain on Aug. 26, 2010.

Ven. Samten’s full ordination took place in Taiwan in March 2012, when she became the Abbey’s sixth bhikshuni.

Right after finishing a Bachelor of Music degree, Ven. Samten moved to Edmonton, Canada to pursue training as a corporeal mime artist. Five years later, a return to university to obtain a Bachelor of Education degree opened the door to becoming a music teacher for the Edmonton Public School board. Concurrently, Ven. Samten became a founding member and performer with Kita No Taiko, Alberta’s first Japanese drum group.

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