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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Buddhism

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2018, 02:45 PM
OEN34 OEN34 is offline
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Beginning Buddhism

Hi,

Lately I'm more and more interested in looking into Buddhism. I'm not trying to run before I can walk and suggesting I'm going to convert, but I have a feeling internally to research it.

I'm a complete and utter newbie. I have always naturally meditated using a 'no mind' style if you will, observing thoughts, and I am a really keen practitioner of utilising this approach throughout the day no matter where I am - always remaining as present as possible and observing thoughts that come and go without clutching on to them.

I have read some of the works of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharashi and really enjoy and try to adapt their approach, to give you an idea of the way I function. This has all been done naturally without a purposeful aim towards Buddhism, but a real interest has a hold on me to investigate the faith in more detail.

Where do I start? Seriously? Is there a good book to read that covers the basic fundamentals?

Is it best to start by learning the basic terminology and their meanings, like Arhat, Bodhisattva, Dharma etc then move towards reading about the schools?

So many questions!

All advice and help appreciated, thank you
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2018, 03:05 PM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OEN34
Hi,

Lately I'm more and more interested in looking into Buddhism. I'm not trying to run before I can walk and suggesting I'm going to convert, but I have a feeling internally to research it.

I'm a complete and utter newbie. I have always naturally meditated using a 'no mind' style if you will, observing thoughts, and I am a really keen practitioner of utilising this approach throughout the day no matter where I am - always remaining as present as possible and observing thoughts that come and go without clutching on to them.

I have read some of the works of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharashi and really enjoy and try to adapt their approach, to give you an idea of the way I function. This has all been done naturally without a purposeful aim towards Buddhism, but a real interest has a hold on me to investigate the faith in more detail.

Where do I start? Seriously? Is there a good book to read that covers the basic fundamentals?

Is it best to start by learning the basic terminology and their meanings, like Arhat, Bodhisattva, Dharma etc then move towards reading about the schools?

So many questions!

All advice and help appreciated, thank you



' Buddhism For Dummies' is a good book to start with, very easy to read, it will give you a basic understanding then you can move on if you choose
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2018, 03:07 PM
Eelco Eelco is offline
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Well. I do like a book called mastering the core teachings of the buddha by daniel ingram. You can find it for free on line. Its a pretty pragmatic approach. But then i feel guatama buddha was a pragmatist.

For a slightly gentler approach culadasa's the mind illuminated gives a good overview of the practise.

With love
Eelco
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2018, 03:48 PM
SaturninePluto SaturninePluto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OEN34
Hi,

Lately I'm more and more interested in looking into Buddhism. I'm not trying to run before I can walk and suggesting I'm going to convert, but I have a feeling internally to research it.

I'm a complete and utter newbie. I have always naturally meditated using a 'no mind' style if you will, observing thoughts, and I am a really keen practitioner of utilising this approach throughout the day no matter where I am - always remaining as present as possible and observing thoughts that come and go without clutching on to them.

I have read some of the works of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharashi and really enjoy and try to adapt their approach, to give you an idea of the way I function. This has all been done naturally without a purposeful aim towards Buddhism, but a real interest has a hold on me to investigate the faith in more detail.

Where do I start? Seriously? Is there a good book to read that covers the basic fundamentals?

Is it best to start by learning the basic terminology and their meanings, like Arhat, Bodhisattva, Dharma etc then move towards reading about the schools?

So many questions!

All advice and help appreciated, thank you

I like you have taken more of an interest of Buddhism these days. Actually I have previously had an interest years ago but have had interests in many different faiths and have practiced and learned of others first, and now have come back around.

What I find interesting that you have said is where you say you have practiced a natural form of Buddhist meditation, and have practiced in your own way, sort of intuitively.

I have experienced something similar that I haven't recognized until I read on what interests me, which is Japanese Zen.

I have been practicing sitting meditation for years not knowing where my form of meditation came from, or what it was called. I knew it was a Buddhist form, only because of the way Buddhists describe how they meditate, but did not know exactly which form.

That isn't all, while researching my most recent interest- Japanese Zen, I came upon information of this Altar placed within Japanese homes, called Butsudan. I read about it as I found it very interesting. Then I got curious to see what a Butsudan looks like so I googled images of it. It looks like the way I have my own Altar set up. I have had this Altar set up for a while for the form of paganism I practice. It is a furniture piece with a cabinet with glass doors atop and set to the far back of the furniture piece table top space. The altar I have been using already looks exactly the way a Butsudan is set up within the home, except it isn't a Butsudan itself- genuine Butsudans are incredibly expensive.

What I suggest is you consider the suggestions already offered here, but also if you see a book you find interest in on Buddhism and it calls to you specifically, do not be afraid to answer the call.

Also wanted to state I feel what you have been doing already is also fine, research what you have interest in learning.

I do not see a wrong or right way of learning, speaking personally here.

I have not asked for book suggestions for myself, as I am already reading what I have interest in, or close to it. I am reading a book/text called Shobogenzo.

All my best to you.

Blessings and luck.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2018, 05:53 PM
OEN34 OEN34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky123
' Buddhism For Dummies' is a good book to start with, very easy to read, it will give you a basic understanding then you can move on if you choose

A-ha, I stumbled across this on Amazon yesterday, actually!

Thanks for the recommendation
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2018, 05:54 PM
OEN34 OEN34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsquotl
Well. I do like a book called mastering the core teachings of the buddha by daniel ingram. You can find it for free on line. Its a pretty pragmatic approach. But then i feel guatama buddha was a pragmatist.

For a slightly gentler approach culadasa's the mind illuminated gives a good overview of the practise.

With love
Eelco

Great stuff, thanks a lot!

''The Mind Illuminated'' might be a better option for now.

Appreciate the help
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2018, 06:07 PM
OEN34 OEN34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturninePluto
I like you have taken more of an interest of Buddhism these days. Actually I have previously had an interest years ago but have had interests in many different faiths and have practiced and learned of others first, and now have come back around.

What I find interesting that you have said is where you say you have practiced a natural form of Buddhist meditation, and have practiced in your own way, sort of intuitively.

I have experienced something similar that I haven't recognized until I read on what interests me, which is Japanese Zen.

I have been practicing sitting meditation for years not knowing where my form of meditation came from, or what it was called. I knew it was a Buddhist form, only because of the way Buddhists describe how they meditate, but did not know exactly which form.

That isn't all, while researching my most recent interest- Japanese Zen, I came upon information of this Altar placed within Japanese homes, called Butsudan. I read about it as I found it very interesting. Then I got curious to see what a Butsudan looks like so I googled images of it. It looks like the way I have my own Altar set up. I have had this Altar set up for a while for the form of paganism I practice. It is a furniture piece with a cabinet with glass doors atop and set to the far back of the furniture piece table top space. The altar I have been using already looks exactly the way a Butsudan is set up within the home, except it isn't a Butsudan itself- genuine Butsudans are incredibly expensive.

What I suggest is you consider the suggestions already offered here, but also if you see a book you find interest in on Buddhism and it calls to you specifically, do not be afraid to answer the call.

Also wanted to state I feel what you have been doing already is also fine, research what you have interest in learning.

I do not see a wrong or right way of learning, speaking personally here.

I have not asked for book suggestions for myself, as I am already reading what I have interest in, or close to it. I am reading a book/text called Shobogenzo.

All my best to you.

Blessings and luck.

Thanks for the reply and advice

I'm a Catholic by trade, but I've never practiced or in fact preached it throughout my entire life. Got sent to Catholic schools as an infant then that followed suit when it was time for high school.

It's interesting you've looked at different faiths; I suppose that's what some see spirituality as - broadening your knowledge and seeing how other faiths work etc. All very interesting.

Yes, the meditation! Well, when I first started a couple of years ago I did a lot of guided meditation for a while, but then fell out of love with it. I did a bit of reading online and tried 'mindfulness' - observing thoughts - and stuck with it ever since. I don't follow breath or focus on anything, and during a session I can go what seems a while without any thoughts at all, although obviously there are days when the mind is very active.

But yes, I too didn't really know what it was called, and I was listening to a podcast last week which was totally unrelated to meditation or spirituality, but the person mentioned 'no mind meditation' so I looked it up and it's exactly what I do. There's probably countless definitions of that type of meditation, I just didn't know the name of it

I actually read a post of yours yesterday where you mentioned zazen meditation so I looked it up. Had a good read of that, too.

The butsudan is really interesting to read about. Obviously it was a calling to set up in your home as it all fits perfectly into place doesn't it

I'll get ordering a book and get learning. I don't want to run before I can walk, and it seems silly delving into the deep end not having a clue what I'm reading if it's intense stuff, whereas if I get a basic overview and understanding of it I should naturally follow on from there.
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  #8  
Old 13-02-2018, 12:18 AM
Clover Clover is offline
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Hi OEN34,

A decent read I recommend for beginners is a book called, "Awakening the Buddha Within" by Lama Surya Das. Its a simple read with a lot of basics but unlike other intro books, this one has a little more heart I feel. The book has been well received by critics and book readers alike. Personally, I feel the study is not for at this time as my area of exploration is focused elsewhere in this period of my life. Hence, I agree with an earlier comment to just explore the basics with a simple intro source and see if it calls you in to study further..

Do you live near any Buddha temples? Sometimes it helps to aquatint yourself with a group or visit a temple and acquaint yourself with staff and feel the environment, maybe you'll feel a pull or calling from the environment to explore further. Here where I live in Florida they have a few Buddha temples and areas of worship It's always fascinating to see them


I found this thread to be useful and rich with resources. It was interesting to browse though it..

Good luck and happy surfing

Cloves
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  #9  
Old 13-02-2018, 07:44 AM
happy soul happy soul is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 345
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OEN34
Hi,

Lately I'm more and more interested in looking into Buddhism. I'm not trying to run before I can walk and suggesting I'm going to convert, but I have a feeling internally to research it.

I'm a complete and utter newbie. I have always naturally meditated using a 'no mind' style if you will, observing thoughts, and I am a really keen practitioner of utilising this approach throughout the day no matter where I am - always remaining as present as possible and observing thoughts that come and go without clutching on to them.

I have read some of the works of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharashi and really enjoy and try to adapt their approach, to give you an idea of the way I function. This has all been done naturally without a purposeful aim towards Buddhism, but a real interest has a hold on me to investigate the faith in more detail.

Where do I start? Seriously? Is there a good book to read that covers the basic fundamentals?

Is it best to start by learning the basic terminology and their meanings, like Arhat, Bodhisattva, Dharma etc then move towards reading about the schools?

So many questions!

All advice and help appreciated, thank you

You seem to have a kind of natural higher consciousness - you're in touch with your 'Buddha nature'. It speaks loudly through your elegance and manner of communicating. I imagine you'll be very successful in spiritual endeavors, as you already have been with meditation. Integrity and self-honesty are an understated key to success imo. And extreme humility is necessary also.

Anyway, the following authors are excellent: Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, The Dalai Lama, Chogyam Trungpa, and Pema Chodron.

ALL of these individuals are (or at one point were) Buddhist monks or nuns, and each have written many books.
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  #10  
Old 13-02-2018, 02:43 PM
OEN34 OEN34 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: England
Posts: 265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clover
Hi OEN34,

A decent read I recommend for beginners is a book called, "Awakening the Buddha Within" by Lama Surya Das. Its a simple read with a lot of basics but unlike other intro books, this one has a little more heart I feel. The book has been well received by critics and book readers alike. Personally, I feel the study is not for at this time as my area of exploration is focused elsewhere in this period of my life. Hence, I agree with an earlier comment to just explore the basics with a simple intro source and see if it calls you in to study further..

Do you live near any Buddha temples? Sometimes it helps to aquatint yourself with a group or visit a temple and acquaint yourself with staff and feel the environment, maybe you'll feel a pull or calling from the environment to explore further. Here where I live in Florida they have a few Buddha temples and areas of worship It's always fascinating to see them


I found this thread to be useful and rich with resources. It was interesting to browse though it..

Good luck and happy surfing

Cloves

Thanks for the information, I appreciate it.

There's a small Buddhist centre in my town. A friend of mine has been before and said it is quite decent. They focus on a meditation and a topic that week, so it might be worth going along to that. All is welcome so it's not a hardcore Buddhist crew who go, apparently.

There is also a big centre around 45 miles from my town which offers everything from daily meditation to courses and retreats. I'll keep an eye on that place, too. This will offer more knowledge and insight compared to the small one in my town.

Thanks for the link, too! I'll have a read of that
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