so i'm thinking about becoming a buddhist, and i've given this months of serious consideration...
any other buddhists around here?
and if there are, do you have any advice?
i dont know much about buddhism, sounds interseting...
Never be afraid to stand up for whats right. If you lose your values, you've lost yourself, so dont let someone change you into someone you arnt. Don't be afraid of the punishment, Rejoyce in the freedom that let to it.
My spiritual path has a good deal of Buddhism in it. I guess, at this point, I'm just wary of joining any organized religion (although many people consider Buddhism a philosophy more than a religion).
I mean, this month alone I'm going to three days with the Dalai Lama (two days of teaching on an ancient Tibetan text, and one day of a more general public talk), and possible going to a lecture on "A Course in Miracles" by Marianne Williamson, so I run the gamut. (Ooops, just checked, I already have Kaiser Chiefs tickets for the same night at the course in Miracles event, so can't go.)
I've been reading a lot of Wayne Dyer, who seems to treat all of the great teachers as available to you, and you can just make your own mix tape from the whole library, rather than adhering to one set of rules. That sat much better with me than defining myself as any one thing anymore.
But, the closest what I'm doing comes to anything it comes to Buddhism.
I would suggest getting Wayne Dyer's Inspiration, and checking that out, too.
"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.
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Damn. Kaiser Chiefs. I'm jealous!
" . . . The sun does not shine upon this fair earth to meet frowning eyes, depend upon it." Charles Dickens
well i love the temples!
I used to be Buddhist. For like, 3 years. It's pretty cool. And it makes lots of sense. I'm totaly for it. I think you shan't be dissapointed. lol.
Courage is contagious... be strong, and soon you won't be standing alone.
I'm trying it--I have a book that serves as basic introduction and so far I'm liking it.
As I've grown up, my mother has raised me as a Theravada Buddhist... she's from Thailand and I'm a mutt, so I visit the temples and such every once in a while, make offerings to the monks and so on.
There are two things you must understand: The first is that Buddhism is very divided between the eastern practitioners, who grew up with it and have it very ingrained into their lives (mostly people in Asia and weirdos like me) and the western practitioners, who are mostly people who have found Buddhism in their later lives. There is a lot of resentment between the two groups, but there are mediators trying to work past it. So... I dunno. Lots of Thais laugh when a farang (foreigner) comes to a temple for anything other than tourist-y purposes. There ARE real temples in the US with monks and everything, but they are few and far between. I'd be careful of any book about Buddhism that was written by a farang, but that's just me. I guess my cultural bias is showing a bit here... sorry! =)
The second thing that you must understand is that Buddhism is very incompatible with the average American lifestyle. We are taught to excel for ourselves, take pride in our work, and gain possessions throughout our lives. Buddhism is all about being humble and not having attachments to material things, because of course the whole point is transcend worldly things. Monks, who devote their time to the religion, own only the mats they sleep on, the bowls they eat from, and the clothes on their backs. The ones who devote their whole lives to it never marry, kind of like the Jedi. It's a very meager way of living, and honestly, it doesn't appeal to me. I'm a bad Buddhist.
Anyways, I think the spiritual part is very beneficial to people, but the philosophy behind Buddhism is a little outdated in the modern world. Whatever. If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Sorry for the essay!
Sidera cadentia somnos suadent.
I've been Buddhist for a year, and I love it. One of the things religion, like knowledge, sets out to do is to give meaning to life. The big ol' B has certainly done that for me.
When I first started, I got most of my information from internet articles. They gave plenty of good generalizations about Buddhism, but nothing specific. Nothing about living day to day life. Dharma talks do a much better job of this; if you've got a good speaker, they're the most amazing things to listen to. I don't know if you have a sangha near you or not...I don't. I get dharma talks from zencast.org. I subscribe to the zencast podcast, too. They're GREAT. I've learned so much from all of their wonderful talks. Gil Fronsdal is a stud, lol. I learned a lot from a book called It's Up To You, as well.
"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
But not the same kind as these other Oasians. I'm a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. I am happy to share anything you'd like to know about it with you, although I've only been practicing for about 10 months. The circumstances surrounding my joining the practice and the results of the practice are just too amazing to ignore. And the people, the phenomenal people I've met through the practice and even the people I've met since I've been practicing who are not Buddhists are amazing, but these people are so full of life and do such amazing things.
What PeanutGallery has said about temple Buddhism is sort of true, that it's hard for Westerners to fully understand and embrace Buddhism, but that is true of any Eastern culture, religion, or tradition. Eastern philosophy is just so fundamentally different than any Western philosophy. They are collectivist we are individualist, etc, etc. The difference between temple Buddhism and Nichiren Buddhism, though, is that Nichiren Buddhism is much more universal in its principles and it's practice is also fairly universal, in that there is not special place that you have to go in order to practice because your practice begins in you.
There's a lot more too it, and like I said I'm happy to share with you, pm me if you like. I think it's great that you're exploring your spiritual and philisophical options.
If you are not getting confirmation e-mails from Oasis to complete your membership, don't hesitate to e-mail jeff at oasismag dot com. Be sure to include your username.