New here, seeking some advice

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New here, seeking some advice

Postby AMSproductions » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:48 pm

Hello one and all! I have recently been reading quite a bit about the Buddha and his teachings, and about Buddhism in general. I'm not sure yet if it's really for me, but I'm hoping this forum can teach me much more. There's so much information online I don't know where to start! I've read about the three gems and the Eightfold Path, and much more but I feel like my grasp is only so-so due to the vast amount of resources. Having no temple or major following near my home doesn't help much. So, if anyone here has any advice of where to start for someone considering this lifestyle, I'd greatly appreciate any help. I don't know if this information helps at all, but I was baptized Catholic at an early age but quickly learned that it was NOT for me. I've spent a lot of time avoiding religion because of what I've seen carried out in the name of "God"; then, as I began to hear and see more about Buddhism I realized there is a wonderful and kind group of people that just want kindness and positivity- not just for themselves, but for all beings. I'm rambling, sorry. any direction you guys can offer will be appreciated!
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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby reflection » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:57 pm

Hi! Welcome to the forum. :clap:

I can agree there is so much information, for a beginner it can be overwhelming. Also, just like in christianity, there are various traditions in Buddhism. Those have a lot in common, but there are some slight differences. You don't have to choose any, many people feel connected with multiple traditions.

Anyway, for me -and many others- the Buddhist path stands or falls with meditation. It is the key to understanding ourselves and others. And with this understanding, kindness and compassion can grow. I would suggest you find a good book and/or possibly a teacher or group to learn meditation. A good free online book can be found here:
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html
It also has a nice introduction on what meditation is and isn't.

You can also practice meditation without the rest of the Buddhist path, but I personally would recommend looking into the five precepts also. They are practices (not rules) buddhists try to apply in everyday life. These can really support your practice and your entire life. Read more about them for example here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Precepts

Also, when a precept says 'abstain from stealing' this also means doing the opposite of stealing, so giving things. Same for the other precepts :)


All of this will get you started, but will also be the basis for the rest of your life. Deeper teachings can always come later, if you feel like it. But without a solid base they aren't really effective.

I hope you can find what you are looking for in Buddhism, and/or in meditation. :thumbsup:


With kindness,
Reflection
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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:29 pm

reflection wrote:when a precept says 'abstain from stealing' this also means doing the opposite of stealing, so giving things. Same for the other precepts :)
For clarification, we don't mean 'abstain from giving', we mean 'generously give', and so on for the other precepts (just clearing up the ambiguity)
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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:38 pm

Hi and welcome aboard
I am sure you will find your way around and there are some very good threads with advice for reading matterial for begginers to focus your attention :)
Mawkish1983 wrote:
reflection wrote:when a precept says 'abstain from stealing' this also means doing the opposite of stealing, so giving things. Same for the other precepts :)
For clarification, we don't mean 'abstain from giving', we mean 'generously give', and so on for the other precepts (just clearing up the ambiguity)

I didn't read reflection say abstain from giving :tongue:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:48 am

Greetings and welcome!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby Yana » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:00 am

Hi!!no no your not rambling ahaha!it's okay...yeah welcome i'm new too and i found a lot of useful information in this forum ..everyones also been really helpful!so Welcome! :hello:
Life is preparing for Death
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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:03 am

AMSproductions wrote:Hello one and all! I have recently been reading quite a bit about the Buddha and his teachings, and about Buddhism in general. I'm not sure yet if it's really for me, but I'm hoping this forum can teach me much more. There's so much information online I don't know where to start! I've read about the three gems and the Eightfold Path, and much more but I feel like my grasp is only so-so due to the vast amount of resources. Having no temple or major following near my home doesn't help much. So, if anyone here has any advice of where to start for someone considering this lifestyle, I'd greatly appreciate any help. I don't know if this information helps at all, but I was baptized Catholic at an early age but quickly learned that it was NOT for me. I've spent a lot of time avoiding religion because of what I've seen carried out in the name of "God"; then, as I began to hear and see more about Buddhism I realized there is a wonderful and kind group of people that just want kindness and positivity- not just for themselves, but for all beings. I'm rambling, sorry. any direction you guys can offer will be appreciated!

You should read the Dhammapada first and foremost. I'd say it's probably the most beloved Theravada scripture.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/damapada.pdf

Otherwise, I can't recommend enough What the Buddha Taught by Bhante Rapola Wahula and The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh. They are perfect introductions to the subject, although be warned that Thich Nhat Hanh's will be far more of a Zen approach than Wahula's traditional Theravada.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/basic-guide.htm is also a great collection of simple articles to get acquainted with the subject. Really Buddhanet.net in general is an awesome resource.

For meditation, try Mindfulness in Plain English by the Venerable Henepola Gunaratana. Otherwise: http://www.vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm

I would recommend reading just a bit about Buddhism to understand the basic things, mainly the three marks of existence, the four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, and the five precepts and then plunging straight into meditation. Too many people get bogged down in intellectual stuff and forget that it's all about mindfulness and meditation.

Finally, the greatest single resource is In the Buddha's Words by the Venerable Bhikku Bodhi. The ISBN is 0861714911and if you read the entire thing, you will come out with a knowledge of Buddhism sufficient to maintain a meditation practice for a lifetime.

I also came from a Christian background and I would definitely encourage you to take a look at the teachings of lord Buddha. They lead to peace, joy, and freedom from suffering :)
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: New here, seeking some advice

Postby bodom » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:08 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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Re: New here, seeking some advice

Postby Tyler » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Welcome AMSproductions

:smile:
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