Beginner questions I have about Buddhism? - Dhamma Wheel

Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

Postby MrLearner » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:40 pm

Hello everyone,

Here are some beginner questions I have.

1) The thing with buddhism is when I read about it I can so understand it is the truth. For example I completely understand craving leads to more suffering. But I still crave for things. What do u call this? I mean I know what it is saying is true, but I still do it? How does meditation make you truly understand this

2) The thing I don't like about mediation is that there is no way to track your progress? I don't know much about this but is Jahna a way to track your progress. Has anyone here attained any Jahna, because if someone has it would convince me that meditation works.

3) If some one does no mediation, but carries on his daily day today activities with total awareness of the present moment and follows eight fold path. Can that person lead to nibbana without meditation?

4) If you do lot of good karma, would that lead you to nibbana?

5) After reading about Buddhism, I have a become a bit depressed. It is nothing to do with buddhism, it is amazing but i think I understood some of the concepts wrong, hence I'm here. I understand that at the end life is suffering. But now I find life a bit meaningless. I don't even feel like having fun because at the end life if just suffering?
Are we not meant to have fun in life if following buddhism?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help :)

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Re: Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

Postby santa100 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:18 pm

1) You probably already read about Ignorance and because we have not destroyed ignorance, we still crave for things. Just like a chain smoker who's clearly aware that smoking is not good for his health and yet he still smokes! Meditation basically builds up the strength to help putting your understanding into practice. Without it, one can talks the talk but won't be able to walk the walk.

2) The litmus tests of your progress in meditation are pretty concrete and straightforward: are you able to see a decrease in greed, hatred, and delusion? Are you still easily agitated from things that disturb you? Are you still easily lusting after things that attract you? Do you still experiencing torpor or drowsiness during sitting? etc..

3) You probably already read about the Eightfold Noble Path: Right Concentration is also need to be cultivated beside Right Mindfulness. And actually the two will need to work closely together with the rest of the other six items of the Path

4) Good kamma alone won't be enough to lead to Nibbana (see #3 above)

5) A common misunderstanding about Buddhism is that one'll stop having fun in life. Quite the opposite, by cultivating virtues, meditation, and wisdom, one can attain the kind of "fun" that's far more superior to all the worldly fun which is fleeting and unsatisfactory..

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Re: Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:35 pm

Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

Postby reflection » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi there!

Venerable Pesala gave a good reply, but let me just add my thoughts:

1. This truth works on so many levels, it's hard to explain. First you'll get an idea of what it's about, then you get more and more feeling and appreciation for it. Meditation helps on many levels.
2. In general you can track your progress by the amount of peace you receive from meditation. The more peace you receive, the deeper the meditation. People will probably not be claiming any attainments here, but you shouldn't get your inspiration from external things anyway. :)
3. I'd say no. The path is the eightfold path, which includes meditation.
4. Again, all eight path factors need to be practiced.
5. Of course you can have fun, but ideally you shouldn't attach to it. Some of these feelings are natural, but with time can disappear leaving peace instead.

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Re: Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

Postby MrLearner » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:17 pm

Thanks for all the replies everyone :) I will think about what has been said and get back if there are more confusions.

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Re: Beginner questions I have about Buddhism?

Postby Taijitu » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:26 pm
Unfettered at last, a traveling monk,
I pass the old Zen barrier.
Mine is a traceless stream-and-cloud life,
Of these mountains, which shall be my home?
Manan (1591-1654)

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