Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.

Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby iiRenity » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:16 pm

Hi everyone,

My name is Serenity and I'm twenty-two (going onto twenty-three in a few weeks), living in Arkansas. There's not very many places in my area that teach on Buddhism and I thought I'd join so I could learn more. I hope that's alright. I'm guess what you could consider 'Agnostic'. I don't know what to believe or disbelieve about the afterlife and that is really torturous for me. I was raised in an area where Southern Baptism was the main religion and was taken to the extreme, so much so that it was a very hurtful and negative experience for me. Of course, I understand that not all are like this, but it made me realize my true lack of belief and faith. I've dealt with an overwhelming fear of death since I was 15 and the only time I have ever felt any measure of peace, or control, is when I started reading 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' by Sogyal Rinpoche. I still suffer with the fear, but realize that I feel much more... calm and at ease when I read into Buddhism and Zen teachings. My significant other is a Buddhist, so there's no lack of books in the house. I've wanted a place to learn more, and wish I had a teacher, but that's not likely for the area I live in.

I hope that was an okay introduction.
I really just want to find the inner peace in me that my mother named me for and stop living my life in fear and fog and confusion. Buddhism is the closest to clarity I've ever experienced but I'm at a loss as to where to start.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
iiRenity
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:02 pm

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby cooran » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:23 pm

Hi Serenity,

Welcome! :group: I think you may find our sister forum DharmaWheel fits in with what you have been interested in so far:

http://www.dharmawheel.net/

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7483
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby iiRenity » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:28 pm

Thank you, Chris! I very much appreciate it.
iiRenity
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:02 pm

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:34 pm

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

:yingyang:
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8008
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:52 pm

Hi Serenity,
Welcome to Dhammawheel!
At this point, don't worry about the afterlife. It's the present moment which requires our attention.
I look forward to getting to know you and your contributions.
Kind regards,
Ben.
"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


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16046
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby bodom » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:50 am

Welcome Serenity!

: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
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4600
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:06 am

:hello: :)
SarathW
 
Posts: 1973
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Hi! New to Buddhism (Sorta)

Postby Anagarika » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi Serenity:

You're just like a lot of intelligent people who have questions, and question the attitudes and beliefs of their society. You have the attitude of the scientist, who accepts little on faith, but is looking for evidence and reliable approaches to problems. The Buddha has been considered something akin to a scientist (Buddhism a 'science of mind'), and in fact many men and women of science have been attracted to Buddhism. Of course, intelligent people from all backgrounds have been attracted to the Dhamma's pragmatic and reliable teachings.

Many here on Dhamma Wheel are focused on the early actual teachings (Pali Canon based) of the Buddha. The sister site mentioned is more focused on later developments that arose from the Buddha's teachings, some of which changed substantially the teachings over time, or invented new teachings. If you'd like to get an understanding of the core foundational teachings of the Buddha, this site is a great place to read and explore, and share ideas.

As to the issue of your fear of death and anxieties over what occurs after death, I can advise only that you can take comfort in the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha was clear that his teachings were not to be taken as metaphysical, but practical and applicable to life and the science of the mind. However, part of his key teachings are founded on the interrelationships between our thoughts and actions, how our actions give rise to other actions and events, and how these actions give rise to the quality of our life and eventual rebirth. So much of the Buddha's teachings turn on these cause and effect concepts, and it is indisputable that the Buddha taught of the cycle of rebirth, including teaching of knowledge of his own rebirths before his awakening. So, as I understand it, the Buddha was very interested in teaching the science of mind and life, in this current round of life, but that this is tied very much to the rounds of rebirth that we will experience. Many of us here do have some trust in the idea that after our physical bodies die, we experience a transition of our "not-self" entity into a next life. There are some scientists that have done studies on rebirth, and while the subject is controversial, it is a concept that to many makes enormous sense. So, don't worry about what happens after we leave this skinbag. The Buddha didn't.

For me, this practice is more about science, and a measure of trust in what this great man was teaching, and how these teachings are being rediscovered and validated now 2600 years after his passing. You may note the quality of the men and women who identify as Buddhists, the many physicists and scientists that have found a home in Buddhism. In general, a lot of thoughtful, smart, wise and compassionate people identify with Buddhism.

So, welcome, Serenity. Make a pot of tea and stay a while. Dhamma Wheel is a fountain of information and shared ideas, and it is a site from which you can learn and share a lot. As for a place to start, see if this popular monk is a useful starting point for you, as he is for many: http://youtu.be/e7rFsrdtMM8 Take some time with these teachings of the Buddha, and see how your own practice evolves. I promise you that you will find peace, comfort, and a sense of extreme reliability in what this man Gotama taught 2600 years ago.
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 575
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm


Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests