Growing Up With Buddhism

By Trilby Goouch
Blogs Editor

I was born and raised in Lawrence Park, Toronto. I went to a local public school, wore Gap Kids clothing, rode a scooter and played with Barbies. But I also grew up with Sanskrit chants, stories of the Hindu gods and familiar smells of incense permeating my home.
My parents practice Buddhism and Siddha Yoga, so while my friends went to Sunday school, I accompanied my Mum to her weekly yoga Satsang, where she and her fellow yogis followed a Guru. I also joined my Dad in his weekly Dharma at a downtown Buddhist temple.
Neither of my parents practice in a religious sense; they take the teachings and apply them to everyday life, which resulted in me growing up in a very spiritual household.
I always looked forward to visiting Little India in Toronto for some mango lassis and new silk saris outfits, both of which are traditional in Hindu culture. I knew parts of the Guru Gita off by heart, and I frequently made my way down to our meditation room to attempt to clear my mind.
To my younger self, the Buddhist temple felt like a palace. The monks and nuns had a calming demeanour about them that I was really drawn to.
In retrospect, picturing my seven-year-old self sitting crossed legged and trying to meditate is amusing, yet I know it’s had a positive impact on my growth.
The teachings were simple enough that I was able to grasp the concepts and recognize them in my own life: be compassionate, don’t be attached as suffering comes from attachment and wish others great happiness. What this meant for my younger self was that if I did poorly on a test, I was able to remember that I was upset because I was attached, which eased my anxiety. When I got angry with my sister my Dad gently reminded me to be compassionate — advice that always diffused the situation.

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