Author Topic: New to Buddhism  (Read 461 times)

Offline Xavier7155

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New to Buddhism
« on: July 23, 2016, 02:23:40 pm »
Hello,
I am a 26 year old teacher who lives in the United States. I grew up in a southern baptist style home. Every Sunday in church the pastor would run up and down the aisles shouting, screaming and turning red. He spoke of eternal damnation if we did not follow the Bible. Growing up and even in college I often felt "dirty" or "bad" because I was doing things and believing in things that contradicted what I had been told my entire life. Shortly after getting married I decided that I was tired of living a life where I feared death and damnation due to my "sins" on Earth. I felt like the church I grew up in and the religion I knew promoted hate and small mindedness. While the majority of the people were nice people, the beliefs and some of the stuff that was said did not sit right with me.

About a year ago I began looking into different religions and philosophical belief systems. Through my research I came to the conclusion that Buddhism was something that I was interested and shared many of their same viewpoints. After reading some basic literature on The Eightfold Path, I felt like Buddhism was speaking to me. Recently, I began reading, Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen.

I am really interested in learning more about Buddhism. Do any other posters have suggestions on where to look or what books I should read next? Also, I am very interested in joining a Buddhism community or attending meditation center in order to gain a better understanding. Would you suggest waiting before partaking in such endeavors until I understand Buddhism in a deeper manner? Sorry for the long winded intro.

Offline Dianet

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Re: New to Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2016, 04:40:09 am »
Hello and welcome,

If you  have a Buddhist community near you, I would say you have nothing to lose by visiting in person soon. Many of the freesangha folks simply do not have any nearby opportunities to do so. In my case the nearest live dharma talks are over an hour's drive away.

That said, there are a wide variety of Buddhist communities as different belief systems have evolved. If you are lucky enough to have some practitioners close to you, hopefully they will be practicing in a way that reflects your personal beliefs. For example, I feel most closely aligned with Theravada, somewhat less with Mahayana or Zen, and somewhat uncomfortable with Pure Land groups.

Good luck to you,

Diane

Offline ECS

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Re: New to Buddhism
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 06:01:50 am »
In my current mind , Buddhism is something no one including Mr Siddharta himself will ever know simply Buddhism is not knowledge.......in my current mind , Buddhism is the natural process of all existence regardless living or non-living travelling naturally back into original state before existence , the sate of nothingness .

In my current mind , for human Buddhism is the natural process one will realize his existence and the cause of his existence that is emotion .......so as one awaken to this realization , he will no longer holds the mind and as he travel into this path , all desire/love/greed/fear/greed/ego etc will gradually and naturally forgotten/reduced into a condition of no emotion ( emptiness ) and further into the original state of nothingness - The Buddha .

I try to describe " Buddhism" from my own realization with the following 2 example :-

1. If you fall into a river and getting out from the water is never an option .... so if you choose to swim against the current or away from current , regardless what is your choice is you are just suffering of fatigue as you will always end up in the sea .... but if you choose to swim with the current and you swim as fast and as hard as you can towards the sea ... still you will just suffering of fatigue as you will never find the sea ... there is no sea ... the sea is you ...Buddhism is the natural process of realization not determination of the knowledge that you hold ....

so the more you read , the more you gain knowledge from the text you read , the more you hold on to what ever you read , you will just create more emotion of desire / love / greed / ego / pride / fear / worry etc and as your emotion will increase ... as emotion increase , you will travel longer journey in realizing it and suffering is the nature of this path .

2. One day , one man met the greatest Buddhism master of the world and tell him "  Can I be Buddha ? '.........
    and the master reply "      Sure ......"
    The man said " how ? "
    The master reply " If you really want to be Buddha , a white line will appear and you follow that white line , as you walk you will find many item ... so collect it , the more item you collected , the greater chances you will become Buddha "

So one day ., the man found the white line and he follow it ... as he walk he found item as what the Buddhism Master described ... so he collect it and carry with him , as he walk more and more item collected ...... and he becoming more and more confident , more and more happy , more and more worry someone will steal the item from him ... his love / his desire / his ego / his worry / his pride continue to increase as more and more item being collected .... but in the same time , he feel the burden carrying the item and also carrying his emotion of fear / worry / ego / love / desire ... as he travel , his suffering increases as his emotion increases .....
and up to a point , his eyes move and look around ... he notice the are white lines all over the place .....and he realize he is actually the white line itself.......he realize all he is alone , no one around him ... all this while he is alone in the journey of his choice , of his will in his world ..........as he awaken to this , all his desire / love / fear / worry / ego / greed etc is decreasing ....the white line became blur.......and slowly disappearing .......he stop...as the is no longer will to travel.....

So in my current mind , Buddhism is realization of " your want".... is realization of your desire , your love , your will etc not something you will gain .......

I hope to debate with any Buddhism Master for my own learning lesson .

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: New to Buddhism
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2016, 11:57:41 am »
I am really interested in learning more about Buddhism. Do any other posters have suggestions on where to look or what books I should read next? Also, I am very interested in joining a Buddhism community or attending meditation center in order to gain a better understanding. Would you suggest waiting before partaking in such endeavors until I understand Buddhism in a deeper manner? Sorry for the long winded intro.


The Buddhanet site is a good general resource: http://www.buddhanet.net/

They also have a directory of Buddhist groups, enter your location on the right-hand side: http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/
Not all groups list themselves on that site, but the groups who are should know what else is going on in their local area.  You can also make enquiries locally. It's fine to explore different groups and there is no need to make any early commitments.

It's good to get face-to-face instruction on meditation, but there are also lots of talks on Youtube - one of my favourites is Ajahn Brahm.
Simple breathing meditation is a good way to start, just paying attention to the bodily sensation of breathing.  Thoughts will arise, but each time just gently return attention to the breath.


 


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