Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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lazy
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Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by lazy » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:49 pm

Hello Dharma Wheel! Amithaba :bow:

Basically, my question is, what are the most important things that I need to know, in your opinion? What resources and practices have been the most effective for you?

I have been cultivating for about three years. I have been upholding the 5 precepts for over a year, and have also made up several more precepts of my own; I am very thoughtful in regards to my conduct. The sangha I am involved with is the DRBA, and being part of this community has certainly fostered my cultivation. It sometimes seems that my concept of what Buddhism is differs from those around me, although I'm sure this is at least partially related to the fact that the sangha in my area is mostly Chinese -- while I speak only English -- so stuff is getting lost in translation. I have been meditating at an average of probably once per week for about a year and a half. I can sit in full lotus comfortably for about 40 minutes, and for another 20 minutes in discomfort before quitting. I have very recently started reciting mantras and the Buddhas name more seriously, as I have observed how effectual it can be if I am able to recite single-mindedly.

I really don't have any questions, I don't think that there's anything to ask, I think that I'm heading in the right direction and that I need to simply focus on practicing. Practicing things like precepts, giving, meditation, recitation, patience. But at the same time, there's always more to learn. I'm constantly realizing that there's more to learn; continually discovering things that were totally unknown to me. So, because of that, I'm asking this general question, because maybe some of you can share some things that have been really excellent for you that I have never heard of. Books, techniques, retreats, whatever. There's nothing I'm wondering or confused about, but that doesn't mean there isn't lots I don't know and could benefit from.

I should also mention that my goal isn't enlightenment, my goal is to have the best effect, to leave the best footprint with my life. Also, as I browse through the DW message boards, I am totally lost in a sea of esoteric terminology, so maybe some sort of breif overview on all the different traditions and stuff would be nice, because I'm not even sure what Mahayana and Theraveda mean, although I have heard the words used countless times.

That should be enough about me to give you something to work with. Don't hesitate ask me questions to gauge my interest!

Amithaba :bow:

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LastLegend
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by LastLegend » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:24 pm

You should study the concept of dependent origination.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

lazy
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by lazy » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:40 pm

LastLegend wrote:You should study the concept of dependent origination.
Could you elaborate? I think I know what you're talking about but I'm really reading between the lines here.

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Mkoll
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:37 pm

lazy wrote:I can sit in full lotus comfortably for about 40 minutes, and for another 20 minutes in discomfort before quitting.
That's excellent. I'm jealous. :tongue:
lazy wrote:Also, as I browse through the DW message boards, I am totally lost in a sea of esoteric terminology, so maybe some sort of breif overview on all the different traditions and stuff would be nice, because I'm not even sure what Mahayana and Theraveda mean, although I have heard the words used countless times.
Dharma Wheel is focused on Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhism and the sister site, Dhamma Wheel, is focused on Theravada Buddhism. I recommend checking out the resource thread on this site and this one on the sister site. You could also read one or more "introduction to Buddhism" type books. I'd highly suggest getting your information from multiple sources so you can get a more birds-eye view of Buddhism. Spend some time doing some research and you'll be able to answer most of your questions on your own.

All the best!
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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seeker242
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by seeker242 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:51 pm

What resources and practices have been the most effective for you?
Doing meditation consistently... every... single... day. :smile: A solid, steady and daily meditation practice has been more effective than anything else, by far!

:anjali:
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!

lazy
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by lazy » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:10 pm

seeker242 wrote:
What resources and practices have been the most effective for you?
Doing meditation consistently... every... single... day. :smile: A solid, steady and daily meditation practice has been more effective than anything else, by far!

:anjali:
Ah, you're so diligent!

:bow:

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kirtu
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by kirtu » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:13 pm

The absolute most basic teaching of the Buddha is:

Dhammapada 183
To cease from evil,
to do good,
and to purify the mind yourself,
this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.
It can be said that everything basically flows from this teaching. Shakyamuni Buddha taught nonstop for over 40 years after his enlightenment so he taught quite a lot.

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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Sönam
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by Sönam » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:25 pm

The basic, the 1st message :

The existence of suffering,
The origin of suffering (it includes the dependent origination)
The cessation of suffering
The path that leads to the cessation of suffering

That's the complete message of Buddha Shakyamuni ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

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Sönam
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by Sönam » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:01 am

lazy wrote:...

Also, as I browse through the DW message boards, I am totally lost in a sea of esoteric terminology, so maybe some sort of breif overview on all the different traditions and stuff would be nice, because I'm not even sure what Mahayana and Theraveda mean, although I have heard the words used countless times.

That should be enough about me to give you something to work with. Don't hesitate ask me questions to gauge my interest!

Amithaba :bow:
Buddhism is (also) something to be studied, not to receive quick answers to spasmodic questions ... and certainly not on a forum.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

lazy
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:42 pm

Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by lazy » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:55 am

Sönam wrote:
Buddhism is (also) something to be studied, not to receive quick answers to spasmodic questions ... and certainly not on a forum.

Sönam
I agree that practice is the most important.

However, in the few days that I've been on here it seems like everyone knows a ton of stuff and I don't know anything. So, by telling everyone what my base of knowledge is, perhaps they will be like "oh, do you know about this? this is a really essential thing, imo, perhaps you haven't heard of it yet because you're a noob" and I'll be like "cool thanks."

I'm an english speaking introvert in a chinese sangha, I don't really talk to people, I'm pretty out of the loop. I heard the name Empty Cloud for the first time two weeks ago.

I thought that General Dharma>Exploring Buddhism was a good place for my spasmodic question.

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Sönam
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by Sönam » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:25 am

lazy wrote:
Sönam wrote:
Buddhism is (also) something to be studied, not to receive quick answers to spasmodic questions ... and certainly not on a forum.

Sönam
I agree that practice is the most important.

However, in the few days that I've been on here it seems like everyone knows a ton of stuff and I don't know anything. So, by telling everyone what my base of knowledge is, perhaps they will be like "oh, do you know about this? this is a really essential thing, imo, perhaps you haven't heard of it yet because you're a noob" and I'll be like "cool thanks."

I'm an english speaking introvert in a chinese sangha, I don't really talk to people, I'm pretty out of the loop. I heard the name Empty Cloud for the first time two weeks ago.

I thought that General Dharma>Exploring Buddhism was a good place for my spasmodic question.
Do not interpret my answer as being aggressive ... perhaps a bit straight. But effort, what is produced by oneself, is very important ... it accumulates merits who lead to a better understanding, who lead to enlightenment.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

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Dan74
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Re: Question: Fundamentals of Buddhism

Post by Dan74 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:53 am

Hi Lazy,

Since Master Hsu Yun is the founder of the school you are attending (he was the teacher or Master Hsuan Hua), why not read his teachings:

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... _Words.pdf

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