Kona wrote:I have considered myself a Buddhist for many years. I have read a great number of books on the subject and I think that I have a good basic understanding of the Buddha's teaching. My problem now is finding personal guidance.
The person who introduced me to Buddhism many years ago was a Zen monk. I have ben attending a local Zen center for regular meditation practice. I asked the monk in charge of the center to explain his idea of Zen to me, and he said that it is like a "short cut" to nirvana. He also said that it is good to keep a questioning mind and to never lose the feeling of not knowing.
Maybe it's just my western upbringing, but my "not knowing" mind is not satisfied by being told to keep "not knowing." In all of my reading of what the Buddha taught, he gave great and practical advice to those who were seeking it, but he never suggested that the average person just sit or chant for hours or days on end as a means to a "short cut."
I want to learn, but one can only read so many books. I am wary of taking a college type of class because I don't want to read text books or memorize dates and names and vocabulary terms. I want to embrace Buddhism and bring it into my life.
Can anyone suggest a course of action for me? Are there temples or centers that offer more than just the chance to sit quietly? I live in Las Vegas, and a simple Google search shows me that there are plenty of places here in town, but is there a better way to go about it than just visiting a different temple every week and hoping to stumble upon a good match for me? For lack of any better ideas, my next action will be to join a local Meet Up group and see what that has to offer. At least it will probably give me a chance to meet like-minded people and see what they would do in my situation.
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