where do I start?

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where do I start?

Postby jango » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:37 am

Hi,

The amount of information on this forum is overwhelming; it's great but I would like some guidance before I get completely lost.

First, some information about myself. I come from a conservative Christian background (Orthodoxy) but have always held less that conservative views in certain aspects. Most of this differences were in how Christianity was practiced. I always felt the need to be first kind, then right but in my own congregation it was usually opposite, e.g. if you do something wrong during the service, you would usually be told off by someone in congregation. Not uncommon for Orthodoxy, but painful for me to see. I am not great in Theology and have spent around 4 years in my parish before I grew completely disenchanted by the religion. At the same time, my views evolved to something I can only guess is more close to Buddhism than to anything else. Currently, I am on a quest to verifying this, but I have little idea of where to start.

I was first introduced to Buddhism through the works of Ajahn Brahm, mostly through his video talks and podcasts and it stunned how close many of his views are to my heart. I have also recently attended a Zen Buddhism centre in Toronto, Ontario.

[b]Now to the meat of the question: what do I need to learn to start practicing Theravada Buddhism by myself? I have not found any congregations around Toronto. Do I give idea and give Zen a shot? Or can I get away by learning some theoretical aspects and then visit Theravada places of practice infrequently and work on practical aspects by myself?[\b]

I am especially concerned about meditation, since this seems to be something that takes some showing to learn. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thank you,
J.
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Re: where do I start?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:03 am

This is a good introduction to buddhism: What the Buddha Thaught

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books11/Bhan ... Taught.pdf

This is probably the best introduction to meditation: Mindfulness in Plain English

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/mindfuln ... nglish.pdf
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: where do I start?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:03 am

:hello:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

:buddha2:

Check out the Theravada Resource guide right here on DW:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3012

You can always meditate at home or at the Zen center you have found. There are Theravada temples in Toronto too, but if you like the Zen group, once you close your eyes in Buddhist meditation it doesn't matter if you're doing shikantaza or vipassana.
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Re: where do I start?

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:07 am

GReetings Jango and welcome.
By all means, check out the introductory resources thread in the Discovering Theravada sub-forum.

Here are the results from Buddhanet's worldwide directory:

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/search.ph ... =theravada
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: where do I start?

Postby jango » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:33 am

David N. Snyder wrote::hello:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

:buddha2:

Check out the Theravada Resource guide right here on DW:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3012

You can always meditate at home or at the Zen center you have found. There are Theravada temples in Toronto too, but if you like the Zen group, once you close your eyes in Buddhist meditation it doesn't matter if you're doing shikantaza or vipassana.


Thank you! Can you point me to the Theravada temples in Toronto? I was not able to find any. My concern is that Zen sensei at the workshop said something among the lines of importance of picking one tradition and sticking to it vs. hopping around. True or not I still want to explore Theravada too, especially since it's writings of a Theravada monk that got me interested in Buddhism.

Thanks,
J.
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Re: where do I start?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:59 am

See the link Ben provided above, plus also this one:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ry:Toronto
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Re: where do I start?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:18 am

jango wrote:Thank you! Can you point me to the Theravada temples in Toronto? I was not able to find any. My concern is that Zen sensei at the workshop said something among the lines of importance of picking one tradition and sticking to it vs. hopping around. True or not I still want to explore Theravada too, especially since it's writings of a Theravada monk that got me interested in Buddhism.

Thanks,
J.


http://www.theravadabuddhistcommunity.o ... t-tbc.html

They are under the guidance of Ajahn Viradhammo, who is a very good monk.

The Toronto Mahavihara looks good as well.

A quick internet search also shows a "Burma Buddhist Association of Ontario" in Toronto, but they don't have a website. Check that out maybe?

I wish you the best in your search.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: where do I start?

Postby jango » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:02 pm

Thank you for the information guys, I will start looking more into links posted and places mentioned!
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Re: where do I start?

Postby sudath » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:26 am

jango wrote:Hi,

The amount of information on this forum is overwhelming; it's great but I would like some guidance before I get completely lost.

First, some information about myself. I come from a conservative Christian background (Orthodoxy) but have always held less that conservative views in certain aspects. Most of this differences were in how Christianity was practiced. I always felt the need to be first kind, then right but in my own congregation it was usually opposite, e.g. if you do something wrong during the service, you would usually be told off by someone in congregation. Not uncommon for Orthodoxy, but painful for me to see. I am not great in Theology and have spent around 4 years in my parish before I grew completely disenchanted by the religion. At the same time, my views evolved to something I can only guess is more close to Buddhism than to anything else. Currently, I am on a quest to verifying this, but I have little idea of where to start.

I was first introduced to Buddhism through the works of Ajahn Brahm, mostly through his video talks and podcasts and it stunned how close many of his views are to my heart. I have also recently attended a Zen Buddhism centre in Toronto, Ontario.

[b]Now to the meat of the question: what do I need to learn to start practicing Theravada Buddhism by myself? I have not found any congregations around Toronto. Do I give idea and give Zen a shot? Or can I get away by learning some theoretical aspects and then visit Theravada places of practice infrequently and work on practical aspects by myself?[\b]

I am especially concerned about meditation, since this seems to be something that takes some showing to learn. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thank you,
J.


Hi Jungo,

You could try Mahamena Monastry in Toronto. This monastry follows Sri Lankan Theravadian tradition. Details below:

Mahamevna Bhavana Asapuwa

11175 Kennedy Road , Markham , Ontario , L6C 1P2 Canada

Tel: (905) 927 7117

Thanks..
Sudath
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Re: where do I start?

Postby tanhakhaya » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:07 pm

Thank you! Can you point me to the Theravada temples in Toronto? I was not able to find any. My concern is that Zen sensei at the workshop said something among the lines of importance of picking one tradition and sticking to it vs. hopping around. True or not I still want to explore Theravada too, especially since it's writings of a Theravada monk that got me interested in Buddhism.

Thanks,
J.

Another place in Toronto, particularly if you're new to the practice and would like a good learning environment, is the Spring Rain Sangha. I know a number of people who attend regularly and find it very helpful for their practice. It's also an easy place to just go and sit in on a session to check it out for yourself.

http://springrainsangha.com/

Best wishes.
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