Greetings from California

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Greetings from California

Postby etile » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:12 am

Ello everyone!

I've been interested in Buddhism for about a decade, but in a very casual way. Reading books, musing about the philosophy, etc. Now I want to be a little more committed. I have no Sangha nearby that I can take refuge in, so I was hoping to use this forum as a surrogate. Here are some facts about me:

I'm 25, male, and reside in the Golden State. I've been interested in Buddhism every since I read Herman Hesse's Siddhartha as a freshman in high school.

I've been fortunate enough to take introductory classes about Buddhist philosophy and poetry at Stanford University, where I received a B.A. in Psychology.

Despite the above facts, I feel horribly ignorant. Sometimes I think this is good, because it keeps my mind open, but other times it makes me feel directionless and unprepared.

I've studied a few religions/philosophies in the past few years, and Buddhism is the one that resonates most strongly with me. There are a few things I don't like about it, and much, much more that I don't understand. My goal is to ask questions, and hopefully come to like/understand what I do not. And if that is not possibly, then to settle on a personal version of Buddhism that I am comfortable with, one that can give me peace.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:58 am

Welcome etile! :group:

I hope you enjoy your experience on Dhamma Wheel.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:20 pm

Welcome etile!

- Bodom
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:40 pm

Welcome etile!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:10 pm

Hi, Etile.

It's wonderful to have you on the forum. I also am in the Golden State, was initially inspired by Siddhartha in high school. The story you outlined really resonate with me. There is only one problem with your post:

etile wrote:...one that can give me peace.


You will have to find peace for yourself. However, Buddhism is a wonderful map.

Metta - May you find peace,
Scott
:anjali:
Disciples, this I declare to you: All conditioned things are subject to disintegration – strive on untiringly for your liberation.

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby etile » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:15 am

Hey, thank you all for the warm welcome so far!

Haha, Buckwheat, I agree completely with what you said. I'm sure that is one of many, many little mistakes I will make. I'm glad to meet someone else who was inspired by Siddhartha!

For the longest time, I've noticed that when talking about Buddhist philosophy, you have to be REALLY careful with how you communicate. Small phrasings that normally wouldn't cause much of a stir can have deep implications when you're dealing with such a profound array of themes.

Sadly, I can sometimes play it rather fast and loose with grammar. We'll see how many times it comes back to bite me.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:24 am

Greetings etile and welcome to Dhamma Wheel.
Many of us have read Siddartha. You may actually come across a thread or two which critique's Hesse's vision of Buddhism as expressed in Siddhartha.
But I hope DW represents more to you than just that and that you find here some inspiration and companionship on the path.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:38 am

Haha, sorry I did that on the opening post. :embarassed: It's great to have you here. :thanks:

:anjali:
Disciples, this I declare to you: All conditioned things are subject to disintegration – strive on untiringly for your liberation.

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby etile » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:04 am

To Buckwheat: No worries, man!

Ben wrote:Greetings etile and welcome to Dhamma Wheel.
Many of us have read Siddartha. You may actually come across a thread or two which critique's Hesse's vision of Buddhism as expressed in Siddhartha.
But I hope DW represents more to you than just that and that you find here some inspiration and companionship on the path.
kind regards,

Ben

Ooo, I might have to poke around and see if I can find those threads. I know that Hesse comes from a cultural background that was immensely different than what he was writing about, and it would be cool to see someone pick apart his work. Even if his views are wrong, though, I think it has helped many people deal with various problems and worries.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Noah » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:07 am

Welcome!
I thought there were MANY more Buddhists in Cali than where I live (Atlanta). Good luck finding "peace" or any of the other intangible :P We are all seekers here so, I think, good company for the search!
I have studied many aspects of Buddhism and LOVE to share my understanding for the benefit of others and myself. I am nothing but a seeker but, here to discuss ideas!

Noah
Evil is caused by and is the cause of future suffering, abandon at all costs! Cultivate virtuous qualities and live the happy life! Just as all wise human endeavors, from Physics to Philosophy, approach the Dhamma; be fearless in your reverence for it- The time for the True Law is yet to dawn in the west!! :D
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:16 am

I just caught that the op said there is no sangha nearby... maybe not close enough for weekly visits, but I can't think of a place in Cali that's more than a few hours from some sort of sangha. It might be worth monthly or quarterly visits just to have some face to face contact with a monk or two. I don' want to press you to be too specific on a public forum, but what area are you in? I am about to move to the stix myself and I will be an hour from the nearest sangha. That will be rough after being so close for so long. It could of course be worse.
Disciples, this I declare to you: All conditioned things are subject to disintegration – strive on untiringly for your liberation.

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Noah » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:35 am

I live in Atlanta, Ga. There is a Tibetan temple downtown (Deprung Loseling) that is very active and open to lay followers with multiple activities per week open to public. There are also many Zen centers (Happy Science!) that offer weekly teachings and group meditations in zazen tradition. Also, quite a few Theravada tradition groups that meet weekly for group meditations and one downtown that offers 1 day "retreats" all day on Sat. or Sun. :)

The more I look into it, the more I see an active and large Buddhist community here, I am sure you can find like-minded individuals anywhere you look :)

Noah
Evil is caused by and is the cause of future suffering, abandon at all costs! Cultivate virtuous qualities and live the happy life! Just as all wise human endeavors, from Physics to Philosophy, approach the Dhamma; be fearless in your reverence for it- The time for the True Law is yet to dawn in the west!! :D
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:11 am

Noah,
I apologise for not clarifying my question was for etile. I assume etile is not near a large city and there are large swaths of california that are probably hard to find a sangha within an hour or two. But if one can travel a few hours once in a while there should be something unless you were in bishop or modoc then your pretty much on your own planet. This really is a fascinatingly large and diverse state. but yes in big cities there are usually several options.
Disciples, this I declare to you: All conditioned things are subject to disintegration – strive on untiringly for your liberation.

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Greetings from California

Postby vidar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:16 am

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel etile!!! :hello:
All the world is on fire, All the world is burning, All the world is ablaze, All the world is quaking. That which does not quake or blaze, That to which worldlings do not resort, Where there is no place for Mara:That is where my mind delights. (SN 5.7)

By degrees, little by little,
from moment to moment,
the wise purify themselves,
as a smith purifies silver.
—Dhammapada 239
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