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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Post by Loz2212 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:48 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to here and also a complete novice to Buddhism. I am wanting to begin my quest for knowledge within Buddhism and practice it, but also I'm wanting to study it as well to see which one best suits me.

Can anyone advise me on some good websites or books that explain it as simple as possible?

I just feel overwhelmed by the different types and the meditation aspects etc. etc.



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Re: Buddhism?

Post by Clouds » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:50 am

Welcome. :D

Many good web resources are listed in this sticky http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=2984" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think the very first one Buddhanet.net has some good material especially for one new and just discovering what diversity there is in Buddhism.

The net resources for serious study have been dramatically growing in the last decade, as has transparency into Buddhism, Buddhist cultures, Buddhist practices, history, etc.

My advice is, remember to breathe :D

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by Mr. G » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:55 pm

Loz2212 wrote:
Can anyone advise me on some good websites or books that explain it as simple as possible?
Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition by Prof. Paul Williams
Vision of Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree by Prof. Roger Corless
  • How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Buddhism?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:46 pm

My first introduction to Buddhism was "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. It's not a didactic work, but it more gives you an outline of Buddhism and the framework to experience the various aspects it brings up, namely mindfulness meditation. This book changed my life :)

I also recommend "Being Nobody, Going Nowhere" by Ayya Khema. She has a very motherly and poignant style. I've found it to be more about the Buddhist way of thought than specifically "Buddhism is X, Y, Z". A very refreshing and wonderful read.

You may find that unlike other religions, most of your discovery in Buddhism will come from reading a hypothesis of sorts, then carrying out the experiment yourself and going, "Holy cow, that is the case and what about this other thing I caught a glimpse of?" then reading more about the other thing you got a hint of and so on. It's really a fascinating journey you're about to undertake :)

Best of luck to you :thumbsup:
Namo Amitābhāya

on hiatus since November 2017

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by Skydancer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:07 am

The following book introduced me to Buddhism. It's written in clear, concise, and easy-to-understand language:
Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction by Damien Keown
This accessible volume covers both the teachings of the Buddha and the integration of Buddhism into daily life. What are the distinctive features of Buddhism? What or who is the Buddha, and what are his teachings? How has Buddhist thought developed over the centuries, and how can contemporary dilemmas be faced from a Buddhist perspective? Words such as "karma" and "nirvana" have entered our vocabulary, but what do they really mean? Keown has taught Buddhism at an introductory level for many years, and in this book he provides a lively, challenging response to these frequently asked questions. Damien Keown is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Ethics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research interests centre on the study of contemporary moral problems from a Buddhist perspective.

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by maybay » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:39 am

Where are you coming from, what do you do?
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by Konchog1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:05 am

The Four Noble Truths by Geshe Tashi Tsering
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:17 pm

"What the Buddha Taught" Wapola Sri Rahula http://www.dhammaweb.net/books/Dr_Walpo ... Taught.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Short, clear and simple, covering all the basics, by a trusted and well known Buddhist academic.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by krodha » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:32 am

"Buddhism: The Religion Of No Religion" by Alan Watts has a pretty all encompassing overview when it comes to the fundamentals and the different schools and vehicles. He also has some good talks you can find online

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by ground » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:37 am

Loz2212 wrote:I just feel overwhelmed by the different types and the meditation aspects etc.
Feelings are impermanent.


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Re: Buddhism?

Post by White Lotus » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:26 pm

Loz, my old friend Laurent? surely there is only one Loz?!

theres some helpful material on this site.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.

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Re: Buddhism?

Post by muni » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:48 am

Study/listen as much as you can and then find a master; an advice from the Dalai Lama. Whether helpful or not...

These days in the overwhelming available choice the particular teachings must fit our ego and we enjoy samsara greatly with our personal buddhist teaching sticks.

In clinging to a buddhist tradition, language, culture; we remain with the right spoon is our hand, no way to ever taste the soup.

We can only deceive ourselves or follow our nose in honesty.
Buddha said all is empty like my brain.
Let’s make a selfie!

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