Author Topic: Hi y'all!  (Read 115 times)

Offline Retaco

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Hi y'all!
« on: November 19, 2017, 04:07:15 pm »
I'm a person interested in buddhism. I've read several books on the topic, mainly allan watts and stephen bachelor and I became intrigued by it. I've always liked philosophy, specially the questions regarding the self and the meaning of what we do, existentialism is a school of philosophy that I really enjoy, so it's normal that I have been drawn towards buddhism. Trying to understand a little more I watched a university course on buddhism (if someone is interested, search for  TTC Video - Buddhism in your favourite torrent search engine) and a PBS documentary. Both things helped me to understand a bit more, but I knew that no matter how many books I read, how many videos I watch or how many lectures I hear I woudn't understand 100% what's all about if I don't practice it.

So the last couple of months I've tried to meditate, and I say tried because I have no clue of what I'm doing. My "meditation routine" is to sit down legs crossed for half an hour counting breaths with my eyes almost closed. If a thought crosses my mind I try to acknoledge it and try to move on, if I cannot move on I begin to focus hard on my breath once again. Of course what happens most of the time is that I keep rushing betwwen thoughts and ideas, which I have no clue if it is supposed to be like this or I'm doing it completely wrong.

With all that said, how one "goes deeper"? I guess the answer will be: find a teacher, but there are several problems with that. There aren't that many buddhist in my country (Spain), the nearest buddhist centre is affiliated with a group that has a very polemic reputation, to put it kindly, and the next one is 150 km away (100 milles more or lees).

Anyhow, this is getting too long, so TL;DR: I just wanna say hi! :D
What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards. If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself. Thus, there is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it. Man simply is. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills, and as he conceives himself after already existing – as he wills to be after that leap towards existence. Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Hi y'all!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 05:52:31 am »
Welcome!

If you don't have access to a teacher or a practise group near you, then continue doing what you are doing: reading and meditating.  Alan Watts and Stephen Batchelor are good introductions to BUddhism, but they are not necessarily represenational.  Watts was an Anglican with an interest in Buddhism and Batchelor is best known for removing beliefs from Buddhism.  So neither is/was a typical Buddhist.   Read as widely as you can.  Where possible, read translations of the sutras as well as commentaries.

Your meditation sounds like it is going fine.  Your description sounds exactly right.  Your mind will rush around: that is normal.  What is good is that you are aware of what it is doing.  That awareness is the true goal of meditation, not some kind of artificial stillness.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

Offline Retaco

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Re: Hi y'all!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 11:35:14 am »
Thanks KathyLauren for that information, I apreciate it kindly :D
What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards. If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself. Thus, there is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it. Man simply is. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills, and as he conceives himself after already existing – as he wills to be after that leap towards existence. Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism.

Offline Pixie

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Re: Hi y'all!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 01:23:41 pm »
Hi Retaco,

This Buddhist meditation series with Ajahn Jayasaro on YouTube might be helpful, the videos are very short so you won't get overwhelmed!

This one is the introduction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd7a9Ur2x0o

Best wishes,


Pixie _/|\_

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

 


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