I posted a few times at E-Sangha and then came across this forum by accident. I am a lay follower of the Buddha, living in Illinois in the U.S. At this time I am studying and practicing Theravada on my own. I am grateful for a forum like this.
One of the things that drew me to Theravada is that a surprising number of the core teachings are truths that anyone can observe right now: All compounded/ conditioned things are impermanent. They are subject to change. Whatever arises ceases. All compounded/ conditioned things are unsatisfactory (dukkha) in that temporary, finite things do not bring ultimate fulfillment, do not consistently conform to our wishes, and cause us pain if we cling to them when they cease. All things are not an independently-existing, immutable Self. Craving and attachment cause pain. Ill will is a form of suffering. Suffering and happiness arise in dependence upon causes and conditions. And so on…
I love the emphasis on verification in Theravada: that the Dhamma invites us to come and see (ehipassiko) for ourselves, that we can, in principle at least, come to know and see the truth of the full range of the original teachings directly by experience, that the Buddha challenged the monks to investigate him to see if he had really eradicated the defilements within his mind (MN 47), etc.
I look forward to conversing with you all.
P.S.: For those who don’t know: My username, sukhamanveti, is a quotation from verse 2 of the Pali Dhammapada: “happiness follows.” (“If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows like a shadow never departing.”)