alot of choices to make

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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alot of choices to make

Post by featherhead » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:53 pm

let me begin with a little background, as this is my 1st post. i was given thich nhat hanh's "heart of the buddha's teaching" as a gift about 6 months ago. i had no real knowledge of buddhism, or even any interest in it, but i decided to read it anyway. well, as it turns out, i couldn't put it down. i loved what it said and felt it really spoke to me. i began reading and studying as much as i could. for whatever reason, my search led me down the theravada path. i started reading the pali cannon and i read "mindfullness in plain english" and began a meditation practice that led me recently to a 10-day goenka retreat, which i left after day 5. i'm not here to poo-poo goenka or his "followers", but i got a very bad vibe from the retreat. since then i have found myself, for many different reasons, questioning the theravada school of thought. i'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, i'm just saying i'm beginning to think it is just not for me. when i first read TNH'S book, it made me feel "happy", but after spending alot of time over at your sister site "dhammawheel" i got the impression they look at "happiness" as something to be avoided. that just doesn't speak to me.
which brings me now here.
at the suggestion of a few friends, one who is into soto zen and another who is into kwan um zen, i have decided to see if somewhere on the "other side" of buddhism is where my path leads me.
there are so many choices to make. so many different forms of what we call "buddhism". so my 1st question is one i'm sure you've all heard a thousand times - can you suggest a good book (i like hard-copy instead of web-sites. a little old-fashioned, i know, but i like to read books) that would give me a good look at the different types of buddhism, what the major differences between them are, etc.?
i plan to re-read TNH's book again, because that book is what got me interested and excited in the first place, but i really want to jump right into this "search" i'm on with some new books.
thank you.
still searching.... still searching.....

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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:58 am

Re: alot of choices to make

Post by AlexanderS » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:36 pm

If you have an interest in Vayjarana buddhism, I can recommend 'A beginners guide to Tibetan Buddhism" by Bruce Newman. Also, 'The monk and the philosopher' and "The quantum and the lotus" by Mathieu Ricard are very good.

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Dechen Norbu
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Re: alot of choices to make

Post by Dechen Norbu » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:16 pm

First of all, welcome to our board!

Perhaps you would care to tell us if you're looking for a generalist book, to give you an overall idea first, or if you want to dig in the theoretical subjects with more depth. I would recommend first trying some general books. That would help to define your priorities when you decide to study with more depth.

I'll recommend the following:

DHARMA PATHS, by Khenpo Karthar.

A brief description:
Since its initial publication, Dharma Paths has quietly gained a reputation as one of the most useful introductory texts on Tibetan Buddhism. Assuming no prior background or knowledge of Buddhist terminology, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche presents Buddhist ways of working with anxiety and frustration, the nature and development of love and compassion, and the profound methods of the vajrayana. The Four Noble Truths, taking refuge, and the Stages of the Path are concisely explained, and clear instructions for shamatha ("calm abiding") meditation are provided. Question-and-answer sections follow each chapter, anticipating common problems and addressing them in a direct, accessible style.

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In this site you have a wealth of books you may find interesting.
It's worth a good search.

Best wishes and welcome, once again! :thumbsup:

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