How Should A Beginner Proceed

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How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby CalBudd » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:42 am

How should a beginner approach Theravada? I have no teacher. My only resource is the internet. I have read the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, Anattalakkhana Sutta from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ and few books on Theravada Buddhism which are available in pdf form at http://www.buddhanet.net/

What is my next step? To go on reading the Suttas? When I meditate do I have to think of the meaning of Suttas or just meditate?

Also how do I know if I am getting somewhere or I am just spinning my wheels ( I have no teacher so I have no way to verify if I am actually on right path )

:anjali:
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby Martin Po » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:49 pm

I think you have to read Dhammapada verses and also somethink about Eightfold Path. The book of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about Eightfold Path (Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path ) is magnificient.

Metta, and welcome.
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:35 pm

Practice mindfulness of breathing

Just focus on the senseation of breathing in and then out, follow the breath in and out

If you find it hard to keep focused on the breath then try using the mantra Buddho, that is on inhilation mentally say "budd" and on the out breath say "ho"

if you get distracted, be aware of it and then return to the breath


In general life I would say be mindful, try being aware of how you react to things etc try to be aware of dukkha. The Buddha didnt teach to just believe but to experience, so try seeing if dukkha is real (that is dont seek it but observe it when it arises).


Try following the 5 precepts as well, see if they make your life better or worse :smile:
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:36 pm

Oh and carry on reading the Suttas


These links may help as well

http://www.amaravati.org/documents/the_ ... 00int.html


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby daverupa » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:44 pm

www.palicanon.org

Read the Majjhima Nikaya; see what jumps out at you and makes sense, see what seems difficult or confusing. Find some Buddhists around you, and look among them and others for good friends who support being inquisitive and calm.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:46 pm

daverupa wrote:http://www.palicanon.org

Read the Majjhima Nikaya; see what jumps out at you and makes sense, see what seems difficult or confusing. Find some Buddhists around you, and look among them and others for good friends who support being inquisitive and calm.


Wow thanks for the link

I've been looking for links to the Vinaya for ages lol


:namaste:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby reflection » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:00 pm

If you like reading suttas, I'd continue doing it. If you don't, leave it at least for a while as it is not necessary. More important is to follow the 5 precepts and practice meditation. Meditation is not thinking about the suttas or about anything at all, really.

Here is a good video introduction to meditation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd7a9Ur2 ... 9E7E2740DB

I think it is also adressed in the video series, but you can know if you are progressing if you become more kind and peaceful.

Have fun!

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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby CalBudd » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:58 am

About 50 days have passed since I asked the question. As a beginning Buddhist, I am following the 5 precepts completely and reading Suttas and books on Buddhism when I can. I am slightly ( no not slightly but more than slightly ) restless person. There are also some financial and job worries etc like everyone else has. This has hampered with my meditation practice as all have suggested. ( I am restless due to the worries; normally I am not restless ).

I am able to put in maybe 10 - 15 minutes day. But I am abiding by the five precepts and following the Dhamma " do good deeds, do no bad deeds, purify your heart ". If the stressful situation I am in eases up a little bit ( and workload ) I will be able to put in more time in meditation.

But I am in it ( like others ) for the long haul. I understand it may take years for conditions to become conducive, so that I can pursue the perfect Buddhist life of meditation and Sutta study in a rigorous manner.

:anjali:
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby flibbertigibbet » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:03 pm

Glad to hear it's working out for you :)

Obviously you're not a complete beginner now, but I can recommend this book to get a good grounding in the suttas and the philosophy: http://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Words-Ant ... 0861714911

I'm sure you're also doing this, but I'd suggest watching videos on youtube of teachers like Ajahn Brahm and Ajahn Nyanadhammo. I don't really have access to a Buddhist community where I am, and they've become almost surrogate teachers for me.

There's loads more general things I could say, but my main bit of advice is don't underestimate the power of right thought. As a true beginner I focused on right speech, right action etc, and I guess I had the feeling that right thought wasn't "as important" as it affected no one but myself.

But I noticed that I tended to blurt things out I didn't want to, no matter how hard I tried to bottle them up.

I've only just realised that the 8 fold path really is all intertwined. Using right view and right thought in combination nips wrong speech in the bud and means that you aren't bottling anything up at all - you've cut it off at the source.

Hope some of these ramblings help!
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Re: How Should A Beginner Proceed

Postby Kamran » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:28 pm

"Mindfulness in Plain English" is an essential beginner resource.

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/mindfuln ... nglish.pdf

Thanissaro Bikhu's 10 min Dhamma Talks provide motivation:

www.dhammatalks.org
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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