What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

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paradox524
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What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by paradox524 »

What life circumstances got you interested in the path?

And what's your biggest frustration with it?
tkp67
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by tkp67 »

wanting to eliminate the suffering of others (although I do doubt there was a subliminal desire to eliminate my own suffering and my attachment to the suffering of others such as the ones I love) and to seek wisdom outside of my known influences.

The greatest challenge to this is me.
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Aemilius
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by Aemilius »

Good question.Congratulations for that!
In my early teens and childhood there were difficult questions about the world and existence in general. Like the suffering of animals, why there are disabled people, what happens when you die, etc.. I believed in science quite strongly, and so I sought answers to these questions from parapsychology and alternative science. I read Raymond Moody's book Out of the Body (experiences), that came out in early 1970's, and other works of that kind. In University library I found scientific journals about brain research and about dream research etc.. They were heavy scientific reading material, and as such rather dry and boring after awhile. It is actually a rather long story, but meditation seemed to promise results sooner than any science in that field would bring about in the coming 200 or more years. I had no time to wait for such a miracle taking place in science, quite simply.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
DharmaN00b
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by DharmaN00b »

Once upon a time I picked up a copy of the B.S. guide to buddhism and used this material to help someone who was going through a hard time. Roll on a few years and we both got into better shape and started the good habit of regular meditation.

Biggest challenge is losing the ignorance. Those were happy times but they're not, and they're not easy to let go of.
Jesse
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by Jesse »

I always had an interest in Spirituality; and I always enjoyed Buddhist ideas, and concepts when I ran into them. Early on I'd say it was mainly Alan Watts; then from there I'd say the main things that 'brought' me to the path were, a few people on this forum a very long time ago, combined with visiting a Thai Forest Tradition Watt; where one of the monks taught me the basics of meditation; and allowed me to sit with them during their evening meditation session. The monk's kindness definitely lead me toward studying Buddhism; from there I bought some books from Thich Nhat Hanh, and a few other authors; and that was that.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Ultimately, I think it must have been a connection in a previous life.
My first "experience" was when I was two or three years old, watching a cartoon produced at Terrytoons (Mighty Mouse, et.al.)studios, on TV called Hashimoto Mouse, about a mouse in Japan, who always had a philosophical (zen) approach to dealing with the "Honorable Pussycat".
It all seemed so familiar to me. And every time I saw anything even slightly derivative of Buddhist culture (the pagoda on the side of the Chinese takeout box) it always almost felt like some kind of clue. It was like, "yes...I know this from somewhere".
There were many other circumstances over the years that all pointed in the same direction. It has always felt like coming back to something familiar. When I finally met a lama I had no hesitation about taking refuge.

My biggest challenge right now, I think, is not having enough time for uninterrupted practice, not having access to teachers, and recently being diagnosed with a disease which might very well mean only having a few years left to practice.
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Be kindness
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Ayu
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by Ayu »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:14 am ...
My biggest challenge right now, I think, is not having enough time for uninterrupted practice, not having access to teachers, and recently being diagnosed with a disease which might very well mean only having a few years left to practice. ...
:namaste: Be safe and protected. Best wishes.

I second this "connection from previous life" theory and I heard it many times when people told how they met the dharma.
In my case, I was a sad teenager somehow. Never really fitting in. Thinking about what, how and why life exists was my habit. When I was fourteen I invented my own theory about fate: how someone acts depends on where he's born and what happened to him. I didn't believe in good or bad people anymore but rather in circumstances... From this view I found it easy to pardon everybody.
38 years later I saw in front of a bookstore a basket with cheap books. A red book attracted my attention. Nice red. Title: "Compassion & Love", Jeffrey Hopkins explaining Buddhism. Interesting.
When I read it I was baffled. My own secret thoughts were printed there. Never met something like this before. That was my birth to the Buddhist path this lifetime.

My biggest challenge I don't know. Challenges are coming and going. I think, compared to the pain of the whole world, I live a very easy life right now. I'm upset when someone disparages me while other people on this planet suffer quite differnt hardships. They starve to death, see their babies die, see their spouses being killed, their houses burned, their fields destroyed... In short, we live in a small happy bubble while the world around us is running brutally mad.

That's why although I know many frustrations I do not feel they are very important.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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WesleyP
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by WesleyP »

I like to learn ~about~ and ~think of~ the Buddhadharma.
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weitsicht
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by weitsicht »

I was in a situation in life at age 34 when I realized I needed to break through mind's habitual patterns. MBSR showed me how to meditate. And I immediately knew, that's a copy and I needed to go for "the real" thing.

When I was at age 23 in Sikkim, nothing whatsoever rang the bell.

I have a theory of "everything at its time"

@PadmaVonSamba my sincere wishes too _/\_
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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Ayu
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by Ayu »

weitsicht wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:11 am ...
I have a theory of "everything at its time".
...
A good saying.

I was always wondering: why I had to go through all those pesonal dramas in my life before meeting the Buddhadharma?
I assumed it was due to bad karma and wrong wishes in lifetimes before. But at the end nobody knows. Maybe I met the Buddhist path as soon as possible and maybe this shows best karma. Maybe it is only a matter of perspective.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

I am not sure really. I was kinda weird as a child, always tense and anxious and I always asked myself weird questions about life and death and developed a habbit of maladaptive daydreaming. I also kinda always wanted to be a priest. Then when I was 16 my father had a stroke and a day or two later grandma (his mother) died of a heart attack. That was quite a shocking experience. For the first time really seeing the impermanence.

At that time I have started to read about hinduism and hare krishna as it was what made most sense to me. As a person growing up in a western society the idea of religion without god didn't make sense to me. However, hinduism nor hare krishna could not satisfy me. There were no "real deal" teachers, traditions and lineages seemed weird and practices were not structured enough or were just about one mantra. It didn't fit my taste. So I read the only buddhis book we had at home, Lama Ole Nydahl's Buddha and Love. After years of thinking buddhism was weird I gave it a proper chance and I liked it. I read more from him and later on I read even other authors and it all made perfect sense.

I connected with the local Dzogchen Community after reading Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche's books and "practiced" with that sangha for few years. However, due to many personal problems there was no real practice to talk about. And it seems I really didn't connect with the teachings. Then I had my first online initiation with Garchen Rinpoche and few years after that found Drikung Sangha near me and well it clicked. I even had the luck to meet HE in person. :twothumbsup: (okay now I am bragging).

But as others have said the connection goes to way back in god knows which life. And I rejoice for it.
---

@PadmaVonSamba I am sorry to hear that. I hope you will get better have a long life and in the worst case get to the pure lands. Om Mani Padme Hung
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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seeker242
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by seeker242 »

What life circumstances got you interested in the path?
Dukkha. Not the dramatic kind but just a general dissatisfaction with things in general.
And what's your biggest frustration with it?
No frustration with the dharma, the dharma is perfect. :meditate:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
Void65
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by Void65 »

Originally I was taught about Buddhism at university in a module called Mind in Context. Then I worked with a Dr from Sri Lanka who told me about a local Theravadan Forest Hermitage. It was only during a major breakdown in 1996 that I started to attend the hermitage and to read more about it. Since then I have dipped in and out of practice,

My primary motivation for practice is Dukkha.
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PeterC
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by PeterC »

I was curious about it, so sought out a zen group that practiced near me, turned up one day for a dharma talk and asked how I could learn about the dharma. The monk said, we will be sitting in ten minutes' time, you should join us. My biggest challenge is consistency of practice - ultimately serious application of correct teachings is the only thing that matters, if you do that, everything else follows.
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well wisher
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by well wisher »

What has brought me to the Buddha-dharma: My own parents & older family members (like father/mother & grandmother) when I was young!
Being borned in Taiwan, and indoctrinated very early on to cultural Buddhism, received my precept in a temple around age 2, before I was schooled or can remember things properly. Seems I have very close affinity to Chan / Zen paths, being happy to sit in meditation even when I was young.
So I also concur with the "past-life" connection theory that several others above stated as well, maybe quite unfortunately.
(I am blaming myself for choosing to be borned in this Saha human world full of sufferings, instead of a Buddha's pureland with a fully enlightened living Buddha available to teach directly).

But after careful retrospective analysis and review, I still think Buddhist path is still the best fit for me, and there are many reasons that kept me to this path.
The Buddhist religion is one of the most straight-forward honest & peaceful & prudent path there is, in this world, unlike many other heavenly god/deity based religions which espouses violence/wars or conquering others in the name of their almighty holy god(s)...
Oops sorry I was getting off track there, better keep on topic and avoid disparaging others too much in the right speech, eh? ;)

@PadmaVonSamba: I also wish you a healthy long life so you may continue to impart your wisdom on this forum. I would be curious about your age, but I do not want to insist on being overly-probing or nosy.

- Wishing all sentient beings well, and full liberation away from all Samsaric suffering & Samsaric cycles of life and death,
well wisher
LoveFromColorado
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Re: What brought you to the dharma & what's your biggest challenge?

Post by LoveFromColorado »

I personally think I was brought to the dharma from a connection in a previous life. I have long been frustrated with a search for a spiritual teacher which eventually led to a vision in which I saw in a former life that I was either a monk or a student and that my chocolate lab (in my current life) was a close and dear friend. I also saw my teacher and received reassurance from him(her) that he(she) is still pursuing the both of us from life to life.

No, this was not drug induced :)

I was born into a very conservative Christian family but "knew" the dharma long before I encountered it. When I began my own study of spirituality, I quickly gravitated towards Buddhism and have ended up finding that Chan Buddhism and Taoism are where I am being "pulled" so to speak. These teachings are almost intuitive to me like I have read them before (surprise surprise).

Still searching for my teacher and I am not convinced he(she) is currently in a material existence in this world although I could be wrong. Time will tell.

My greatest struggle? Consistent practice :)
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