I am seriously considering going on a 1-week retreat this summer, somewhere in June or August. I think it will be a very intense but joyful week for me and I am already looking out for it.
What I am looking for is daily meditation, preferably in nature, maybe combined with physical labor or lectures on Buddhism. I am just a novice, so I do not think I would like to do this retreat with a specific 'school' of Buddhims.
Do you have any recommendations for me? I live in the Netherlands and am a student, so the cost aspect is relevant for me, but I would not mind spending a couple of hundred euros on something as important as this.
Regards, Dylansubmitted by DodoStek
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Just some background. I've been meditating for about three months, I've been following this subreddit for the same amount of time and I am halfway through reading 'The Heart of Buddha's Teachings' by Thich Nhat Hahn. All in all, I feel empowered by Buddhism and especially meditation and I am investigating it further.
The concepts of karma (universal cause-and-effect) and anatta (the absence of self) do not seem to promote the belief in a free will. If we are part of samsara and everything is connected, nothing is detachable from the rest, can there be a center of consciousness where decisions are made? Can we truly affect our path in life?
What does Buddha and Buddhism teach us about this? And how does it affect your perception of reality?submitted by DodoStek
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Just posing a question, and wondering how many others go along with this. I read some things from the Buddha that seem strange. Either far too aggressive or uptight for an enlightened person, or just overall questionable and really far out. Some it also seems very unrealistic. I think that Thich Nhat Hanh does a really good job of making Buddhism friendly and accessible to western people. It just doesn't have the same bite that would otherwise drive people away from the teaching. It's much gentler, which I think is actually much better. Perhaps Thich Nhat Hanh is a modern day Buddha, who can approach things with a fresh perspective that best addresses the world that exists today. Not 4000 years ago.
Thoughts?submitted by JonathanRothe
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I've seen conflicting posts about what to do with certain thoughts deemed negative, like anger, jealous, greed etc.
Some say to let go of them, and others say to look deeper into the root of it and grasp a better understanding of why. Are these both right? Or is one less right than the other?
Personally, I feel as if looking and discerning the reasons why would be more correct, but I do not know enough about Buddhism yet to make that claim.submitted by The_Mantis_
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What am I in terms of Buddhism if my goal of researching Buddhism is not to reach enlightenment but to live a better life?
I have studied Buddhism in school and it was very interesting to me. I revisited that interest and re read "What the Buddha taught" by Walpola Rahula. I am unaware as to why I keep researching/ studying Buddhism and applying it, but I do know it is not to reach enlightenment because that is the main goal. Is this how many people feel? is this looked down upon? I use the knowledge to lead a better life but enlightenment doesn't interest me. Thanks
(If anyone has any book suggestions similar to what the Buddha taught I'd love to know)submitted by E_J_H
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I am a novice.
However, I just had a thought. The media purposely makes people see things in either 'extremes' or 'black and white' - everything is good or bad, anti-abortion or pro-abortion, or whatever.
No wonder people don't often realize that everything is circumstantial.
Right and wrong are just concepts, right?submitted by polkadotgirl
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Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's writing is clearer:
"Our basic nature is in no way different from that of a buddha. It’s like pure space, which, whether it is obscured by clouds or is a cloudless and clear sky, remains the same in its basic, essential nature. But if you pretend that your nature is already enlightened and don’t progress along the path of removing the obscurations, then your enlightened nature doesn’t become realized. Therefore, we must truly consider what is actual, what the facts are. Do we have obscurations or not? If you see that there still are obscurations, there is no way to avoid having to remove them by gathering the two accumulations.
If our nature wasn’t already enlightened, we couldn’t awaken to it no matter how hard we tried. Buddha nature cannot be fabricated. Our nature is primordially enlightened, but at present our ordinary body, speech and discursive thinking obscures it. The nature of our mind, buddha nature, is like space itself, but it is space obscured by clouds. The whole point of Dharma practice is to remove the clouds and allow the actualization of what already is – the awakened state of mind, the buddha nature. The nature of our mind is primordially pure, primordially enlightened. The way to remove our two obscurations is to train in conditioned virtue and the unconditioned training in original wakefulness – the two accumulations.
We awaken to enlightenment by recognizing and fully realizing the primordially pure essence already present as our nature. That’s how to be an awakened buddha. Even though the enlightened state is actually already present, imagining or forming a thought-construct of enlightenment doesn’t make you enlightened. It’s the same as when you are really hungry and you look at a plate of food and try to imagine what it taste like. Does it work to then imagine, “Mmmmm, I’m eating the food, I’m no longer hungry.” You can think this for a very long time – forever, in fact – but it still doesn’t dispel your hunger. Once you actually put the food in your mouth, it tastes delicious, and your hunger is satiated. It’s the same with experience. Experience only occurs in a direct way, in practical reality, not through a theory about taste. If your meditation practice is merely an exercise in imagining and keeping something in mind, it is only a theory, and not direct experience." "Vajrayana tells us that the nature of mind of all beings is covered by two obscurations. One is called 'the emotional obscuration' — desire, anger, and dullness. The second, the 'cognitive obscuration', is the subtle holding onto subject, object and and interaction, in which awareness strays into dualistic clinging. These two types of obscuration need to be dissolved and purified. This is accomplished by gathering the two accumulations -- the accumulation of merit and the accumulation of wisdom, the training in original wakefulness. By gathering the two accumulations we unfold the two types of supreme knowledge -- the knowledge that perceives whatever possibly exists and the knowledge that perceives the nature as it is."submitted by WhiteLotusSociety
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Redditation is an online meditation group on Google+ using video hangouts. The group has grown to nearly 200 people and this week we have the privilege of having Bikkhu Bhante Sathi host one of our events. We hope you'll join...
Bhante Sathi is a monk (bikkhu) in the Theravada tradition. He was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka and his spiritual interests began in his early teenage years. He was ordained as a novice monk at age 19 and received his training under Wattegama Dhammawasa Maha Thera at Sri Subhodaramaya International Bikkhu Center in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He received higher ordination after three years of Bhikku education and practice. In Sri Lanka as a fully ordained monk, he taught meditation and counseled people with many walks of life, using Buddhist teachings (Damma).
In September 1999, Bhante Sathi traveled to the United States from Sri Lanka, to teach and practice at the Great Lakes Buddhist Vihara in Southfield, Michigan. As a resident monk at the Great Lakes Buddhist Vihara he traveled around the United States and Canada teaching meditation, conducting meditation retreats and sharing Dhamma by accepting invitations, received mainly from locals who were interested in meditation.
Bhante Sathi was invited to share his knowledge of Buddhist teachings and in meditation by Minnesota residents in 2003. Bhante Sathi has stayed in Minnesota ever since, traveling frequently between Chanhassen, the Twin Cities area, Northfield, Stillwater and Mankato sharing Dhamma and teaching meditation. He taught extensively, conducted retreats and continues to do so throughout the year in other parts of Minnesota as well.
Bhante Sathi has a particular interest in what is common to all traditions and all schools of Buddhism, particularly regarding the practice of meditation. Since establishing himself in Minnesota, Bhante dreamed of opening a meditation center where people of all traditions could come together and practice Dhamma and meditation. With this long-term goal in mind, he established The Triple Gem of the North, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the practice and teaching of meditation and Dhamma.submitted by Redditation_Online
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Let's discuss them!
I didn't realize the hold that expectations have had in my life until this retreat I'm returning home from now. My last retreat went wonderfully and I expected to have the same results or pick up where I left off last time. Each day passed and I'd think "this is it, today's the day" and after every day I thought maybe the next day and I'd build even more expectation. Finally today, during our second to last sit I realized there was no way I'd return to the experience I had before and I was in denial of the emotions, upset that I was upset, rather than happy, on the last day...
I decided not to hide this and just accepted the dissatisfaction, but it wore me down the rest of the day, still not fully accepting the truth of where I was.
It wasn't until a few minutes ago that I was able to take a step back and see reality clearly and with acceptance. What I learned from this retreat was unexpected, but perhaps even more useful for life than insights I had last time. Now I can see how expectations can occur around from little things to conserably big life issues, and that each moment is spontaneous and out of our control. So the way in which living without expectations is possible is to begin noticing it moment to moment.
My mind has created so many stories on how results SHOULD be, how people SHOULD respond, SHOULD view me or me them. I've been a slave to these stories! But in a moment at the bus station the pain of dissapointment lifted and a sense of freedom took it's place. :)
My question to you is, how have expectations affected your practice? Your life? If you haven't yet experienced that, what are your expectations?
Edit: Accidentally a wordsubmitted by Kkristenn
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Hi, new to Buddhism, have a question relating to the use of CBD, the non-psychoactive drug in marijuana
I've had depression, anxiety, and OCD ever since i hit puberty and was diagnosed with depersonalization disorder as a result. I recently turned 18 and am on an ssri because of these disorders. I also got my recommendation for marijuana recently as i live in california, but I use it purely for medical purposes. I buy the cannabanoid, which is non-psychoactive, known as CBD. It reduces my anxiety A LOT more than the ssri, but I wanna know what /r/Buddhism thinks. I recently broke up with my girlfriend who ended up being emotionally abuse to me so I could follow the path. Is it wrong of me as a buddhist to continue taking the CBD?submitted by DullDieHard
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We Are Already Enlightened
The Chan tradition does not usually refer to steps or stages. Its central teaching is that we are intrinsically awake; our mind is originally without abiding, fixations, and vexations, and its nature is without divisions and stages.
This is the basis of the Chan view of sudden enlightenment. If our mind’s nature were not already free, that would imply we could become enlightened only after we practiced, which is not so. If it’s possible to gain enlightenment, then it’s possible to lose it as well.
Consider a room, which is naturally spacious. However we organize the furniture in the room will not affect its intrinsic spaciousness. We can put up walls to divide the room, but they are temporary.
And whether we leave the room clean or cluttered and messy, it won’t affect its natural spaciousness. Mind is also intrinsically spacious. Although we can get caught up in our desires and aversions, our true nature is not affected by those vexations. We are inherently free.
In the Chan tradition, therefore, practice is not about producing enlightenment. You might wonder, “Then what am I doing here, practicing?” Because practice does help clean up the “furniture” in the “room.”
By not attaching to your thoughts, you remove the furniture, so to speak. And once your mind is clean, instead of fixating on the chairs, tables, and so on, you see its spaciousness. Then you can let the furniture be or rearrange it any way you want—not for yourself, but for the benefit of others in the room.submitted by WhiteLotusSociety
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I actually got into Buddhism by listening to the ideas of Elliot Hulse, a fitness and advice youtube channel, currently ive been reading through a number of texts including the Dhammapada. My problem with this education is the constant talk of reincarnation and multiple worlds. I interpret a lot of the "heaven and hell" worlds to the state of mind a person is in. With regards to reincarnation, I don't confirm or deny the possibility of the afterlife and anything pre or post death. I do this because I think it is a waste of breath to talk about things that are way above our understanding, plus at the end of it all we really haven't accomplished anything. TL:DR I have disagreements with the reincarnation and multiple clouds or worlds idea. I wan't buddhism to help me improve my life and remove suffering, but I can't bring myself to accept every idea that is thrown at me. Nor do i think i should do that.submitted by t-rexsyndrome
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Questions regarding buddha's reluctancy to permit women to renounce their home and enter the homeless state.
I was reading a book, The Teachings of Buddha, by Narada Mahathera. It is a pretty great book and I am enjoying it.
Today, I came across a part where Mah? Paj?pati Gotami wanted to renounce her home and enter the homeless state under the doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the Tath?gata.
But buddha straight away refused that saying: “Enough, O Gotami, let it not please you that women should be allowed to do so.”. She could not convince him in anyway and later was convinced by ?nanda in only one condition that every nun should follow the Eight Chief Rules. And those rules are in a little...oppressive, isn't the correct word because it is far from oppressive but lets just say, monks have a little bit more rights in the sangha than the nuns. I like to think buddhism does no discrimination between anyone so I am a little curious, as to why he said that?
Also he says,“If, ?nanda, women had not received permission to renounce the world and enter the homeless state under the doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the Tath?gata, the Holy Life would have lasted long and the Sublime Dhamma would have survived for thousand years. But since women have entered this homeless state, the Holy Life would not last long and the Sublime Dhamma would now remain only for five hundred years.” What is the reason for this statement?
I am just curious. Any answers would be appreciated. Forgive me, if I perceived something way opposite to its actual meaning. Thank you.submitted by Amus3_m3
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Hello /r/Buddhism. I’m here to share a story of the drugs that got me so heavily interested in philosophy and Buddhism in particular, but also destroyed my career at the hands of the law. I’m a 19 year old American male and a long time (5-6 year) potsmoker. As I became more enthusiastic about drugs and learned about darknet markets, I began buying psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms and experimenting with my friends. Through this experimentation, I have become more of a big-picture thinker, and I’ve come to see myself within all beings. Thus, I have become extremely fascinated with Buddhism. I just finished my Freshman year of college on really bad terms. I got busted for using and selling study drugs and will possibly be hit with an LSD trafficking charge on top of that. Somehow the college let me finish my exams but has now recommended me for expulsion, and it seems that there is little hope left.
I was a pre-med student in a particularly difficult major this year and didn’t do as well as I had hoped, and not even close to good enough for medical schools. Partly to blame, I’m sure, was my daily use of marijuana as well as the love affair I had with amphetamines, which I became dependent on for studying. I also spent way too much time working on my “transactions” and not enough on study.
Now it seems that, even if I can stay out of jail, I will be kicked out of college, and in the very best case scenario, I could go to a regional campus of another college and try to start again. But all that’s happened to me makes me want to renounce society and go become a monk instead. This is something that I had been thinking about all year, but I thought that I may as well just continue with school first.
The point is, I don’t feel ready to get back into school. I don’t know if it’s plausible for me to leave it all on hold and just dive into Buddhism for a year, especially with the highly probable probation sentence that I will be serving.
What do you recommend that I do? If I can travel to a monastery and stay for a year or two, I would love to do that. If not, I don’t know how well I’ll do coming back into school, and I don’t want to end up living at my parents’ house working at some shitty fast food joint. I want to go and find myself; I think it will help me in deciding where to go moving forward, be it monkhood or back to society and possibly college.
And with that, I send a bit of metta to all of you.submitted by Oddandatodds
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