New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

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stiener36
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New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by stiener36 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:25 pm

Good day everyone, as a rebellious teen I spent most of my teenage life debating the merits of Christianity and ultimately becoming an atheist. Now in my life I'm a year shy of 30 and once again questioning my own beliefs, souls, eternity, heaven, some of these things are similar, some make no sense, casting the belief of science over top does high light a few things that upon personal searching has lead me to Buddhism.

Even with science, what happens preposterously is limited to speculation but is simultaneously defined by the laws of conservation... which is kind of Buddhist in my personal opinion. And here I am, questioning myself trying to figure out where I am as a person, I don't follow the doctrine of Christianity and have sworn it off, but under the lens of science, Buddhism became a thing.

I don't know what to do, I don't know where to start, do I become Buddhist? If I so, where do I start? If I need guidance where do I turn? What is meditation, what is zen? What is this brave new world? I need some help and look forward to hearing for you folks.

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KeithA
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by KeithA » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:54 pm

stiener36 wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:25 pm
Good day everyone, as a rebellious teen I spent most of my teenage life debating the merits of Christianity and ultimately becoming an atheist. Now in my life I'm a year shy of 30 and once again questioning my own beliefs, souls, eternity, heaven, some of these things are similar, some make no sense, casting the belief of science over top does high light a few things that upon personal searching has lead me to Buddhism.

Even with science, what happens preposterously is limited to speculation but is simultaneously defined by the laws of conservation... which is kind of Buddhist in my personal opinion. And here I am, questioning myself trying to figure out where I am as a person, I don't follow the doctrine of Christianity and have sworn it off, but under the lens of science, Buddhism became a thing.

I don't know what to do, I don't know where to start, do I become Buddhist? If I so, where do I start? If I need guidance where do I turn? What is meditation, what is zen? What is this brave new world? I need some help and look forward to hearing for you folks.
I'd suggest you start with finding a Sangha. Hopefully, there are some nearby. Go to their intro/orientation and see what you think. Leave your opinion and ideas at the door and just pay attention. You will know pretty quickly if it is a group worth being with. If it isn't, try another one.

Most Buddhist's feel that finding the Dharma is rare thing. Practicing even less common. Good luck!

_/|\_

Keith

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weitsicht
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by weitsicht » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:17 pm

Welcome to the forum first of all, Keith. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introductions Section viewforum.php?f=10

It is always good to have questions and ponder about them. It is also good to see that through them you become someone different from who you previously were.

Pls be aware that Buddhism should not be mistaken as a religion. It is an approach to see things differently.

I learned very much through books and articles because the way people write is for most of them more balanced. As soon as you talk with someone, nonverbal communication and projections kick in.
This being said, the e-sangha and the publicised would cannot substitute everything. As Keith has already pointed out, a person to person meeting becomes indispensable. There are terms whose content is ineffable, hence the need for pointing-out.

Time allowed me to collect some links for a start.
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=26249
https://www.lionsroar.com/buddhism-nuts ... ls-dharma/
the Gatsal Newsletters on the six paramitas (or perfections) http://tenzinpalmo.com/jetsunma-tenzin- ... anscripts/
I also recommend "How to meditate" by Pema Chödrön

But you see from that selection that this recommendation - apart from the first - is biased towards Tibetan Buddhism already. So Enjoy, be brave and never stop judging for yourself :twothumbsup:
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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Javierfv1212
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by Javierfv1212 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:29 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:17 pm
Pls be aware that Buddhism should not be mistaken as a religion. It is an approach to see things differently.
Nonsense, Buddhism is clearly a religion. It's a unique and very different religion than others, especially monotheistic religions, but it is a religion.


stiener36, Welcome to dharmawheel, I get that you are currently in a state of confusion, but are seeking some guidance. It is hard without knowing you personally and knowing what you are struggling with individually to recommend a good introduction, there are many ways 'into' a tradition as you might imagine. At the moment, I can point you to reddit's r/Buddhism FAQ (frequently asked questions page) which has a lot of basic information and links to some basic literature.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Buddhism/wiki/faq


Perhaps you could expand on what is currently occupying your mind and what specific issues you are struggling with / seeking answers to?
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
~Padmasambhava

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed, clung to and considered truth by others.
Since they have already seen this dart to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.
-Kalaka sutta

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:07 pm

KeithA wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:54 pm
stiener36 wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:25 pm
Good day everyone, as a rebellious teen I spent most of my teenage life debating the merits of Christianity and ultimately becoming an atheist. Now in my life I'm a year shy of 30 and once again questioning my own beliefs, souls, eternity, heaven, some of these things are similar, some make no sense, casting the belief of science over top does high light a few things that upon personal searching has lead me to Buddhism.

Even with science, what happens preposterously is limited to speculation but is simultaneously defined by the laws of conservation... which is kind of Buddhist in my personal opinion. And here I am, questioning myself trying to figure out where I am as a person, I don't follow the doctrine of Christianity and have sworn it off, but under the lens of science, Buddhism became a thing.

I don't know what to do, I don't know where to start, do I become Buddhist? If I so, where do I start? If I need guidance where do I turn? What is meditation, what is zen? What is this brave new world? I need some help and look forward to hearing for you folks.
I'd suggest you start with finding a Sangha. Hopefully, there are some nearby. Go to their intro/orientation and see what you think. Leave your opinion and ideas at the door and just pay attention. You will know pretty quickly if it is a group worth being with. If it isn't, try another one.

Most Buddhist's feel that finding the Dharma is rare thing. Practicing even less common. Good luck!

_/|\_

Keith
I second all of this.

While you can do some study on your own, Buddhism is such a wide set of schools and approaches that if you don't start somewhere, like a local sangha, it can be hard to start anywhere at all.

Good luck to you. We're all rooting for you :)
namu amida butsu
OṂ  HRIYADHE  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  HRIDAYA  GARBHE / DZOLA  DHARMADHATU  GARBHE  /  SANG  HARANA  ĀYUḤ  SANGŚHODHAYA  /  PĀPAṂ  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  SAMENDRA  UṢHṆĪKHA  BIMALE  BIŚHUDDHE  SWĀHĀ

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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tellyontellyon
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by tellyontellyon » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:18 am

Hello and welcome,
On the question of Buddhism being a religion... well that depends on the practitioner. We traditionally say in Buddhism that there are 84000 teachings, which is just another way of saying that there are myriad ways of practicing.
To a person who likes a religious approach then Buddhism can be religious, to somebody who is more scientific, Buddhism can be a technology for clearing away the conditioning that stops us from seeing reality with clarity and wisdom.
So in that way there are as many Buddhisms as we need.
On the other hand, it is good to be challenged by our practice and not just adopt the approach that fits our current worldview. In fact, we need to confound our habitual way of looking at 'reality'.
Zen is a number of different approaches that focuses in on meditation, and sometimes contemplation of koans to flip us out of our conceptual minds into a bare experience of how things really are. It tends to avoid too much book learning, and so avoid getting trapped in intellectualising.

If you can find a group that would be great, or even a dharma centre that you could visit to get teachings.
Eventually you may decide to take refuge, that is a commitment to respect enlightened beings,to follow the Buddhist path and to adopt the five precepts, meaning no: killing, lying, sexual misconduct, stealing, or getting intoxicated with drink or drugs.
“To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

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kirtu
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by kirtu » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:24 pm

stiener36 wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:25 pm
I don't know what to do, I don't know where to start, do I become Buddhist? If I so, where do I start?
Do good.
Don't do evil.
Purify your mind.
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

Dharmapada 14:183
This is true for all forms of Buddhism but their will be different emphases within different schools of Buddhism.

“Do good” - always engage in positive, virtuous actions.
“Don’t do evil” - do nothing that will harm any being.
“Purify your mind” - train your mind to avoid harming beings and train in performing positive actions. Your mind is actually a sleeping Buddha. Meditation helps the sleeping Buddha to awaken.

There are many ways to train the mind. One of the ways is to consciously think of each person you meet as the most precious, dear person in the entire universe for whom you wish only good. This contemplation can help you develop loving-kindness very quickly. Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Garchen Rinpoche are two lamas (from many) who exemplify practice. This is also a Mahayana contemplation since you are engaged in this meditation using all beings you encounter as a object of meditation and you wish all beings well, focusing on developing love for them as a mother for an only child (this specific meditation can also be found in the Theravada tradition which is considered the single surviving school of the non-Mahayana tradition).

Ultimately the Mahayana school means that we dedicate our spiritual life for the attainment of Buddhahood (the complete awakening of the sleeping Buddha of our mind) in order to lead all beings everywhere to Buddhahood.

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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yan kong
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by yan kong » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:52 pm

Javierfv1212 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:29 pm
weitsicht wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:17 pm
Pls be aware that Buddhism should not be mistaken as a religion. It is an approach to see things differently.
Nonsense, Buddhism is clearly a religion. It's a unique and very different religion than others, especially monotheistic religions, but it is a religion.

I'd agree with this, it is and there's nothing wrong with that.

I'd look into books from learned authors on the four noble truths and go to some Dharma centers in your area if they're holding basic mediation courses or sessions. Be open minded.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

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Vasana
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Re: New to the idea, currently in a state of flux

Post by Vasana » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:45 pm

If you are scientifically minded, it may be worth discovering the scientific benefits of meditation and mindfullness. And also the scientific limits in understanding and explaining consciousness. Check outnAlan Wallace for compelling talks on this:

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Lecture 3 A Radically Empirical Approach to the Exploration of Consciousness - While modern cognitive science explores the mind primarily by way of its neural correlates and behavioral expressions, Buddhism presents a radically empirical approach by directly examining mental states and process. Such inquiry is based on the sophisticated development of attention and introspection and has yielded insight into three dimensions of consciousness.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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