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Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.
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dharmatheway84
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Good morning everybody.

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Good morning to the dhammawheel.com community!

My name is Michael and I am both interested in learning about Buddhism and in becoming Buddhist myself. I reside in Central Florida, of the USA, I am 36 years old and I am of European ancestry.

My journey began just about a month ago while I was receiving some inpatient medical treatment. During my stay, my roommate out of the blue offered a book for me to read, "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chödrön. By the time I had read part way through the second chapter the content resonated with my current beliefs and with where I am in my life and I guess one could say this prompted a spiritual awakening in me. By the time I had finished the book, I knew I had been called to Buddhism.

In the year leading up to now I have been casually entertaining the idea of adopting a faith and was considering Catholicism as I have learned a good bit about that faith from my family. I was actually raised Protestant. Nonetheless, neither of these faiths align well with my beliefs.

While I was enthusiastic for a time about my Protestant faith as an older child, I did not feel any spiritual calling to the aforementioned, Catholicism or any other faith until just this past month when I rediscovered Buddhism.
I say "rediscovered" because when I was in middle school I was fascinated for a time by the Buddha and I now feel that it is possible I was being led to Buddhism as a child, I just did not realize it. Since January, I have acquired as much knowledge as I can about everything Buddhism, through books and online sources.

I would like to continue to learn more about my new faith as well as to find some in-person spiritual direction. As such, I plan to visit a few local Buddhist temples and find out how to become a part of the community. I also intend to find out how to formally convert to Buddhism.

I joined dhammawheel.com so I can become part of an online community of fellow Buddhists. I would like to learn as much as possible, and at some point help others learn about and discuss Buddhism and how it relates to every aspect of the Buddhist's life.

Thank you for reading and I am glad to now be a part of this online Buddhist community.

-Michael
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retrofuturist
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Michael,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
coconut
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by coconut »

Hi welcome,

If you want to understand the story of the Buddha, you can start with - "In the Buddha's words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi - https://www.amazon.com/Bhikkhu-Bodhi/dp/0861714911

Here is a good intro pdf on the importance on the earliest teachings - https://vbgnet.org/Articles/Liberation- ... vuddho.pdf

Good luck
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Thank you for the warm welcome Paul!

coconut, thank you for saying hi. I will be sure to order In the Buddha's words. In-fact, I think this book is on my watch list on eBay already. I went ahead and saved that PDF file, I will read it over later today (or begin to do so depending on its length).

In beginning with Buddhism, I have found the amount of information a bit overwhelming, so it is nice to receive some recommendations on where to start. There must be tens of thousands of books out there related to Buddhism. I would like to start by reading those specifically recommended to me as well as with the Pali Canon. I assume the contents of the Pali Canon are the "heart" of Buddhist teachings and would be like reading the Christian Bible for Christians(?).

I'm not even sure which sect to look into and perhaps I should just learn as much as I can, then make an informed decision later on or simply see if at some point I feel led in a certain direction either based on what I have read or through the guidance of the community.

-Michael
Chew SK
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by Chew SK »

Welcome to the Path and may you attain the Bliss and Blessings in this Spiritual Journey
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Thank you Chew SK.

One of several ways Buddhism immediately captured my interest and made sense to me is as follows. I think it is well put in the encyclopedia's entry on Buddhism, which was the only other source of information I had on Buddhism while in treatment, other than the book, When Things Fall Apart. The former explained that in Buddhism, one uses the psychic mechanism to avoid suffering.

I interpret this to mean the teaches of the Buddha train you to view your circumstances in such as way that they don't cause suffering and this really appeals to me. Further the Pema Chöndön book explains that essentially, suffering should be welcomed and that suffering builds character in a person. So in this way it can be a life philosophy rather than a theistic religion, but I will probably end up believing in the divinity of the Buddha.

Pema Chöndön also has (to my noob self at least) an excellent explanation of how to meditate. I have not done so yet and thought I might wait until I attend a service at a temple and am able to observe first hand how it is done.

Does anyone in Central Florida (I am in the Orlando area) have any recommendations on Temples? Any particular individuals to reach out to in this area for spiritual guidance? Thank you.

-Michael
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DNS
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by DNS »

Welcome to DW!

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DNS
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by DNS »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:12 pm Does anyone in Central Florida (I am in the Orlando area) have any recommendations on Temples? Any particular individuals to reach out to in this area for spiritual guidance? Thank you.
I haven't been here yet, but not too far from you in Kissimmee, is a temple with a Maha Bodhi replica, looks beautiful.

https://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?ti ... _Dhammaram
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Thank you DNS, I am planning on checking out the Wat Florida Dhammaram either tomorrow or Saturday. I sent them an email asking for a good time to stop by. You are right, it is beautiful. That architecture is astounding. I can't wait to spend some time there and meet a few of the monks and perhaps the Abbot. The weather should be lovely the next few days.

Being into Horticulture, I will be interested to see if they have planted a Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) on site. It would be special if they grew one from a cutting taken from the Maha Bodhi Temple and planted it at the Wat Florida Dhammaram to honor The Buddha.

Here is a photo of my little Bodhi tree.
IMG_20210209_165800_3_33.jpg


-Michael
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I paid another visit to the Wat Florida Dhammaram and we attended the 1pm service (I am bad with time management, so we were late, but at least we made it to the last half!).

Afterwards, I spoke with the Abbot and will be looking to schedule an hour with him to learn more. So I am excited about that.

I also inquired about volunteer opportunities as I enjoy gardening and the Wat Florida Dhammaram has an extensive garden and another helping hand couldn't hurt.

-Michael
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by Ceisiwr »

dharmatheway84 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:05 pm Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I paid another visit to the Wat Florida Dhammaram and we attended the 1pm service (I am bad with time management, so we were late, but at least we made it to the last half!).

Afterwards, I spoke with the Abbot and will be looking to schedule an hour with him to learn more. So I am excited about that.

I also inquired about volunteer opportunities as I enjoy gardening and the Wat Florida Dhammaram has an extensive garden and another helping hand couldn't hurt.

-Michael
This is good news :thumbsup:
"Because of attachment to doctrines one approaches and refutes,
For those unattached, how can they dispute?
Not because self or no-self are said to be true,
He has only shaken off all harmful views."


Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta
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bodom
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by bodom »

Welcome!

:anjali:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
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dharmatheway84
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by dharmatheway84 »

Thank you Ceisiwr and bodom! I am glad to be a part of the community and in the process of learning more! :popcorn: :reading: :buddha1: :anjali:

-Michael
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StrivingforMonkhood
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by StrivingforMonkhood »

May you fulfill your deepest wish for happiness. :anjali:

Peace and enlightenment.
May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness

We are already Buddha
SarathW
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Re: Good morning everybody.

Post by SarathW »

:hello:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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