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Here is a collection of different personal stories of the Buddhist Path in contemporary Norway.

My path to Buddhism – Thai food as a path to spiritual understanding

Just like many other events in life, my path to Buddhism was also a result of coincidences. I have been excited about Thai food ever since I had my first taste of it. Near where I live there are two Thai restaurants, and both have very nice owners and incredibly delicious food. My excitement with Thai cuisine would in time prove to become an indirect path to Buddhism. After the initial spur of interest arose, more profound assessments of my own values and beliefs followed. I will come back to that later…



From faith in God to Atheism to Buddhism

As a child, I was involved with the Salvation Army. I remember I often experienced a sense of divine bliss during prayer sessions, and I felt deeply religious. But when I passed 10 or 12, I became aware of all the conflict, war and suffering in the world, so I lost the faith that there was a kind God behind all this. As I got older I kept asking questions to try to find the true purpose to human life, but no one I knew could give me any answers that made sense to me…



It changed my life

A few traumatic situations arose during my youth, and soon I discovered alcohol and drugs to be a way to deal with the suffering I experienced, and my addictions developed to the point that I was smoking or drinking something every single day. There came a point in a particularly dark period of my life where I felt absolutely hopeless and even the alcohol didn’t make me feel better anymore, and I looked up at the stars and found myself asking: “Is this all there is for me in life? Is there nothing more than smoking, drinking and chasing women? There must be something beyond all this. Suppose I try something completely different than what I’ve been doing.”…



Anagarika Jonatan’s story

This is the story about how I quite suddenly came to leave the comforts of my life with a career and girlfriend in order to ordain as an anagārika in the Thai Forest Tradition. Aj. Kalyāno encouraged me to write down my story in order to help to explain what a monastery is meant for, and how it can be helpful to others having similar experiences as me….



Good in the beginning; hard in the middle; good in the end

When I was 18 I stumbled over a book by the Dalai Lama (The Art of Happiness), and was deeply struck by his message of compassion, and suggestion that what we all really search for is inner happiness. I was puzzled that nobody had told me these things before – as they seemed so important and meaningful, yet obvious once stated. A marked shift in my life happened, from pining to help the world to realizing I had little to offer if I didn’t even yet hold the key to my own happiness. …



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