just some questions

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just some questions

Postby gaiamori » Thu May 27, 2010 10:20 pm

Hello everyone, I have been passionate about Buddhism specifically Theravada Buddhism and of course would like to discuss it with other people that have the same interest. I do not know many people that know very much about Buddhism, so I have not had much insight on it besides on the many books I own and online research I have done.
I guess overall I am wondering what the most important things you have all learned have been. I have never registered on a discussion website, so I am not sure how to go about it, and I am sorry if I am not formulating my questions properly. Just try to place yourself in the place of how you felt when you first began your journey into Buddhism.
Specifically, any suggestion in how I may learn more on Buddhism. It is not easy to find a Lama to teach this information to me.
Sorry for the sporadic post. Overall, any information you have, I would love to hear;/ Thanks :)

Namaste.
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Re: just some questions

Postby Goofaholix » Thu May 27, 2010 10:41 pm

For a start you won't learn Theravada Buddhism from a Lama.

In brief what I have learned is that the thoughts and emotions I experience are not me and therefore I don't need to be controlled by them, nor do I need to let them escalate into something worse. I've learned to stop trying to extract happiness from things external to me and instead to take refuge in awareness, that it's not important what I experience but what is important is to maintain a balanced awareness of the flow of experience itself.

I've learned this is a very time consuming path and you need to commit a lot of time to meditation retreats to get the most out of it, but it's worth it.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: just some questions

Postby gaiamori » Thu May 27, 2010 11:07 pm

Thank you for your reply. I have spent much time in meditation and have seen much progress in the quality of my thoughts during and post meditating.
I know that there is no exact "right way" to meditate, that we must do what works best for us, but do you have any suggestions in enhancing my meditation experience?
I have looked around my city for Buddhist centers that offer such retreats, unfortunately I am moving to a different country in a few weeks, so I will need to wait until I go there. In the mean time, I want to continue on my own personal meditation practice.

another question I have, is that I feel very hazy and unclear in the difference between the three "schools" of Buddhism; Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan Buddhism.
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Re: just some questions

Postby Ben » Thu May 27, 2010 11:42 pm

Hi gaiamori
Its going to be almost impossible for anyone to give you meaningful advice with regards to your meditation practice unless we know what it is you are practicing and the provenance of the particular method you are using. Its best to get advice from a co-practitioner within the same meditative style who is a bit more experienced unless your questions are of a more general nature. If on the other hand you have access to a teacher who teaches what you are practicing - even better.

With regards to the differences between Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahayana
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajrayana

They will be a good place to start.
kind regards

Ben
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saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: just some questions

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 28, 2010 12:41 am

If you let us jknow where you are moving to we might be able to suggest some places near where you will be living.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: just some questions

Postby gaiamori » Fri May 28, 2010 1:02 am

I will be moving to Florence, Italy. I have been browsing on BuddhaNet for monasteries and centers near by, and have contacted a few of them thus far.
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Re: just some questions

Postby Dan74 » Fri May 28, 2010 1:23 am

The best way to find out about the different traditions is to go to different temples/ centres, attend talks, do induction courses and sit retreats. You see the theoretical descriptions are hard to understand and in practice many of those points are either irrelevant or only become relevant much later. In practice also we generally learn under the guidance of a teacher and the specific personality, approach and level of insight of this teacher is in my opinion more important than the specific school (as long as it is a legitimate school and not a strange cult of some sort).

So I suggest to go and do some leg work. Then if specific questions arise (especially about Theravada) this is a good place to ask.
_/|\_
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Re: just some questions

Postby gaiamori » Fri May 28, 2010 2:13 am

Thank you kindly for your input.
How would one go about finding a teacher?? Does one merely go to a monastery or a center and ask one for guidance?
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Re: just some questions

Postby Dan74 » Fri May 28, 2010 2:19 am

You are welcome!

Usually these places have events - talks, meditation, retreats, inductions, etc. Going to some of those is a good start.
_/|\_
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Re: just some questions

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 28, 2010 2:20 am

gaiamori wrote:I will be moving to Florence, Italy. I have been browsing on BuddhaNet for monasteries and centers near by, and have contacted a few of them thus far.


I'm jealous.

I can definately recommend this monastery http://santacittarama.altervista.org/e_index.htm

From there I'm sure they would be able to recommend other teachers retreats, or options locally.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: just some questions

Postby gaiamori » Fri May 28, 2010 2:44 am

Thank you all so much for your help. It is wonderful being able to talk to people with similar beliefs as myself, especially since most people my age are not very willing to even discuss the options of a different lifestyle.
How has your experience been in living by this lifestyle in a Western society?? I have been reading a book that specifically talks about how one may "awaken their inner Buddha" so to speak, in a Western society.
Any points on it?

:namaste:
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Re: just some questions

Postby Dan74 » Fri May 28, 2010 3:18 am

gaiamori wrote:Thank you all so much for your help. It is wonderful being able to talk to people with similar beliefs as myself, especially since most people my age are not very willing to even discuss the options of a different lifestyle.
How has your experience been in living by this lifestyle in a Western society?? I have been reading a book that specifically talks about how one may "awaken their inner Buddha" so to speak, in a Western society.
Any points on it?

:namaste:


It's been an incredible gift!

It is easy to get swept away by the currents of wanting and fear and totally lose sight of what truly matters. Practice transforms the world!
_/|\_
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Re: just some questions

Postby Nibbida » Mon May 31, 2010 2:26 am

gaiamori wrote:I will be moving to Florence, Italy. I have been browsing on BuddhaNet for monasteries and centers near by, and have contacted a few of them thus far.


In Italy, there is a vipassana teacher named Corrado Pensa. He travels to the US to give courses and talks, but he is based in Rome at the Association for Mindfulness Meditation (Associazione di Meditazione di Consapevolezza, AMECO)
http://digilander.libero.it/Ameco/

There is also a Theravada monastery in Italy (Who knew?), outside of Rome, which is probably about 2.5-3 hours from Florence:
http://santacittarama.altervista.org/e_index.htm

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