Where do I start?

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LuisR
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Where do I start?

Post by LuisR » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am

Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.

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passel
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by passel » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:35 am

Zen
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

Yuren
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by Yuren » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:49 pm

LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am
Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.
There are certain paths that do not require to have a personal relationship with a teacher.
Pure Land comes to mind.
It will seem 'silly' at first glance but you will understand its profundity the more you study it.
When I said "does not require a teacher", I mean it in a specific sense.
I was introduced to Pure Land by a priest in Japan.
So perhaps it's a bit 'unjust' for me to say that it does not require meeting a teacher.
I had many teachers. I still do.
What I meant with 'does not require' is, it does not require a Guru-disciple relationship like Tibetan, Zen, etc.
This is also one of its appeals, to me, because in this age there are many "wolves in sheep clothing" and "false prophets".
https://www.ymba.org/books/buddhism-wis ... -pure-land
You can start there to get an overview.
This is the most popular form of Buddhism practiced in the world today.

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Emmet
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by Emmet » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:26 pm

Don't get too intimidated by the "vastness" of the Dharma. Simply put; abstaining from all evil, practicing what is good, and clarifying the mind is the teaching of all the Buddhas. The best possible suggestion which I can offer to you is to join a local sangha. There is absolutely nothing in books or on the Internet which could possibly help you more. Sangha is one of the Three Treasures of Buddhism for very good reasons.
In the unfortunate event that joining a sangha is simply not logistically possible, this is how I was taught:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GSMRUl9UPo
And this was the instruction manual:
https://sanfranciscozencenter.blob.core ... azengi.pdf
The best, most accessible, easily understood, and least inscrutable books that I know of for beginners are "Taking the Path of Zen", and "Mind of Clover", by Robert Aitken roshi.

LuisR
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by LuisR » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:01 am

Thanks for the replies I appreciate it. :namaste:

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weitsicht
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by weitsicht » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:48 am

Hi Luis,
welcome to Dharmawheel.

Depends a bit whether you have knowledge about Buddhism or not.
Mahayana as a fresh start is not so good, you need to know some basics like path of liberation, five poisons, six paramitas, the essence of bodhisattva, four seals etc.

Usually the obtainment of further understanding and the trying out of teachers go along with each other. So many things are online nowadays, such a treasure.

I recommend you check out the following teachers, see for their teaching styles, and whether they resonate with you
Alan Wallace Alanwallace.org
Ken McLeod unfetteredmind.org
James Low simplybeing.co.uk
Mingyur Rinpoche tergar.org
you find teachings on the Ganges Mahamudra by Garchen Rinpoche on youtube, so precious
and many others

Settle yourself in an undistracted environment. Do some breathing and awareness before and after you watch a course. Take notes, rethink. Let the messages be massaged into you. Watch your thoughts whilst doing it and you will profit most.
Don't choose the one who is for free, don't avoid expenses where necessary.
Put quality over quantity.
Find appreciation on meditation.

Ken McLeod doesn't cease recommending "Zen Mind Beginner's Mind"

Disclaimer: this is more the dzogchen side of recommendation. Should you be primarily interested in guru yoga / visualizations / yidam practise, there is no way around beginning and accomplishing the ngondro with a guru or your choice I would say.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:39 pm

LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am
Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.
Start looking at your itentions in yourself, then try to find youself. lol.

A teacher that transmits the Mahayana how-to-do is a boost on us, like a catalyst is to a chemical reaction. And is inspiring.

And over anything, have fun!
what are you doing

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Empty Desire
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by Empty Desire » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:38 am

LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am
Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.
You can definitely practice Pure Land and Recite The Buddha's Name.
No Beginning, No End, Just Mind......

Attachment's True Face is Aversion....

Motova
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by Motova » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:02 am

LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am
Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.
Pure Land. Buddha Amitabha.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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kirtu
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by kirtu » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:50 am

Dhammapada Chapter 14
183. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
So it depends on what you are attracted to within the vast array of the Buddha's teachings and methods to end suffering, to refrain from doing negative things, to engage in positive behaviors and to purify one's mind.

Depending on where you live there may be a great deal to select from (this would be true in very major world cities - in less cosmopolitan places there may be little to choose from).

Have you read the biography of the Buddha? Here is a video bio.




Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Aryjna
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:48 pm

This text is often considered to most important Mahayana text to study, in Tibetan schools at least: https://studybuddhism.com/en/tibetan-bu ... a-behavior

Along with this commentary: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nectar-Manjush ... 1590306996

LuisR
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by LuisR » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:24 pm

Thank you for the replies.

shagrath
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by shagrath » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:27 pm

For going deep into Mahayana I would recommend Living by Vow and Realising Genjo Koan written by Shohaku Okumura, The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi and Master Dogen's Shobogenzo by Gudo Nishijima and Chodo Cross.

And I would also recommend reading in that particular order, because of complexity of thoughts.

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Where do I start?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:50 pm

LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am
Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.
LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:15 am
Mahayana teachings are so vast, it is hard to know where to start. Any recommendations?

Do I need a teacher or are there any paths I can study on my own? I ask that, not because I don't want a teacher but because they are hard to find where I live.
Tashi delek,

Bodhisattva / byang chub sems dpa is the member of this Noble Path.

The core of Mahayana is Compassion and Wisdom.
Who abandons Compassion is no longer a member of the Bodhisattva Path / Mahayana.
That means also not anymore member of the Path of Tantra and Dzogchen.


The 3 Jewels of Mahayana who are venerated are:

- Manushri for developing this Wisdom
- Chenrezig for the developing of Compassion
- Vajrapani for the protection as a Bodhisattva


One starts first studying

- 4 Noble Truths / 8 fold Path / 12 links of interdependent origination ( Pratiyasamudpada)
- Madyamika - Further must one understand the 16 / 18 / 20 forms of Emptiness / Shunyata
- The 2 Truths
- Yogachara / Asangha
- Sutras - Heart Sutra



As meditation is practised:

Vipassana and Shamata / Lhaktong and Shinay



Popular pujas are:

- Chenrezig
- Manjushri
- Tara
- Medicine Buddha



Best wishes for your practise.
The best meditation is no meditation

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