Hello from the Philadelphia area

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larrydevlin1770
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Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby larrydevlin1770 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:20 pm

Hello everyone!

I have been meditating for about 15 years. About 4 years ago, after a decade of attempts to become more comfortable in my childhood religion, I realized that I am an agnostic/atheist. I could no longer countenance trying to make this square peg fit in the round hole of my "homechurch" dogma.

I sorely missed the spriritual life however. I did some looking and began attending a few Buddhist events. I tried out different paths and did some reading. I realized that the suttas I read in the Pali canon resontated strongly with my rational approach to sprirituality.

I have since tried to find a "home group" in metro Phila. There are a lot of Zen centers here, and a few Tibetan centers. The only Theravada organizations here are Cambodian and Vietnamese temples with few English speakers. The spiritual directors and monks are very busy helping their communities (southeast Asian immigrants) and following the monastic life, and seem to have little interest (or training?) in teaching serious Western lay students.

I have joined a Tibetan center run by the longtime personal attendant to the Dalai Lama. He is an excellent teacher and the Sangha seems very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. The center proclaims that they are "nondenominational," but there is a heavy "Vajryana" flavor. I am not a Tibetan Buddhist at heart. The teachings seem at times very far removed from the philosophy and ethos of the Pali canon. I am not comfortable summoning up "gods" and chanting inscrutable texts in foreign languages holds no charms for me. I am more pragmatic than this.

I am looking for support and community from Western followers of the Buddha. I am seeking guidance in following the eight-fold noble path within a modern Western context. I seek the bare-bones Buddhist path--abandoning the three poisons, cultivating virtues, and training the mind.

I am also looking for advice on daily practice. Can I do more than sit on the cushion, be kind, and read suttas? Is there a collection of practices I can add to my "quiet time?"

Sorry for the long-winded introduction. I am glad to be here!

Larry D. Blackwood, NJ (about 25 minutes from Philadelphia).

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mikenz66
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:28 pm

Welcome Larry!

I am also looking for advice on daily practice. Can I do more than sit on the cushion, be kind, and read suttas? Is there a collection of practices I can add to my "quiet time?"

There is a lot of information on this site, but not always easy to find.

Try looking at the results of this search: https://www.google.co.th/search?q=site: ... S:official

:anjali:
Mike

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Mkoll
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:29 am

Hello and welcome to the forum!

:hello:
Peace,
James

larrydevlin1770
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby larrydevlin1770 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:04 pm

Thanks, Mike!!!

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cooran
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:25 pm

Welcome, Larry! :group:
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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bodom
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby bodom » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:45 pm

Welcome!

:anjali:
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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David N. Snyder
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:32 am

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

:meditate:

Nicolas
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby Nicolas » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:59 am

Larry,

buddhanet.info's World Buddhist Directory shows some results for Pennsylvania+Theravada: it would seem that the Philadelphia Meditation Center in Havertown PA is the closest to where you live.

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Ben
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Re: Hello from the Philadelphia area

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:15 pm

Hi Larry and welcome to DW!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com


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