[Question] I am interested in Buddhism, and I have been combing through the sidebar links, but I'm still lost.
I am mostly confused on the different sects of Buddhism. All of the books I have been looking at seem to focus heavily on one of the sects, but I just want to general guide to Buddhism. I see most of you think that a lot of people who "practice Buddhism" pick and choose what to believe. I don't want to do that. I just want to learn. And I swear I have been looking through all of the links provided.
Main question: Books that give a general idea of what Buddhism is and what it means to be a Buddhist?submitted by amorsemper
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I submitted a question yesterday, which raised even more questions. I have read all evening yesterday, but I can't find much of an answer.
It's on the topic of Anatta/Anatman (not-self). I understand that all phenomena are conditioned and only occur because something else occured. For instance, I can guess that, when I go and take a coffee break at work, that I'm doing that because of
Impulses from my body (sitting for long time)
Memories (out of habit)
Beliefs (coffee is good)
Knowledge (caffeine gives a boost)
I understand that while this may seem like a conscious decision, that it is in fact more unconscious due to all the processes that came before it. So I get the concept that there now is a craving for coffee due to other things.
Now, about the last point: knowledge. I'm adding knowledge to a library of knowledge to which I have access. I can tap from this resource in a way my friend cannot, for he has access to another library of knowledge. Every one of us has access to his or her own library of knowledge.
Even if I would not call this knowledge 'mine', you can't deny that it is unique to me. It's not mine, but I am the only one who can access it.
How does Buddhism deal with this? How should I see this?submitted by europefood
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I think I've achieved enlightenment without any fundamental understanding of budism, or even the word enlightenment, PLEASE READ PLEASE
Ok I'll try and condense this.
I've been through trying times.
Dad killing himself Diagnosis with diabetes at young age Epilepsy at young age
I was super smart as a kid with a super active imagination, then as we most do, through high school I became the sum of myself and all of the people around me.
I'm currently on a trip around AMERICA with my friend, and without any input from other people, without constant use of technology, WITH BEING IN NATURE, WITH TALKING TO OTHERS, WITH BEING
I'm realising that everything is connected.
Love is a word Word = Love
Pink is a colour
Pink CAN = Love
All you need is love is a song about love
All you need is love is sound about love
Sound about love = love
word=love colour=love sound=love
LOVE is a feeling word colour sound
You know what love is without having a word for love. LOVE IS A FEELING
this MEANS that MEANING is all that matters.
WORDS,SOUND,VISION + whatever else
CAN TAKE ON ANY FORM OR MEANING
REALISE EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED
I cross my heart I have come to these conclusions on my own. I have studied bits of pieces from lots of discipline. I play numerous instruments, enjoy maths, science psychology, communication, art, expression in general.
and converted it to
but i've realised its
Someone please give me any sort of response on this.
I had a vague idea of what enlightenment is, and I thought to search it just now and the definition seems to EXACTLY fit what Im experiencing. Im realising you can think in colours. you can think in sound. you can think in lines. its all up to you. everything is within everyone's grasp.submitted by bytematter
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The title is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll see if I can help specify what exactly I'm looking for.
I've been learning about mindfulness and meditation on and off for a while now, and a concept I've seen every now and then is when someone meditates/cultivates for long enough they begin to recognize that their consciousness/self-awareness (I can't remember the proper terms, sorry) is a separate entity from their physical, mental, and sensory self. The only problem is I can't remember where I exactly read about this or the specific word(s) for it, and now that I'm trying to learn more about it I can't find a place to begin.
Is anyone here familiar with or recognize what I'm talking about, and could you link me to sources where I can learn more?submitted by overpoweredginger
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I am having a hard time accepting things as they are in the present moment. This is because I always feel the weight of time bearing down on me.
For example: I've been lonely my entire life. I try to let go and accept this condition as it is in the present moment. But time anxiety always creeps up on me and reminds me that my youth is rapidly fleeing and that it becomes exponentially harder to find people to be with as you age. It's so hard to accept things in the present moment because I feel like I'm wasting time.
I'm afraid that one day I'll be elderly and look back on my lonely youth and realize now it's too late to do anything about it.
Please help me understand how to get past this.
May you all be well!submitted by transcendingtime1
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"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form [feeling , perception, fabrication, consciousness] by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form [feeling, perception, fabrication, consciousness], Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea.
When this was said, the wanderer Vacchagotta said to the Blessed One:
"Master Gotama, it is as if there were a great sala tree not far from a village or town: From inconstancy, its branches and leaves would wear away, its bark would wear away, its sapwood would wear away, so that on a later occasion — divested of branches, leaves, bark, & sapwood — it would stand as pure heartwood. In the same way, Master Gotama's words are divested of branches, leaves, bark, & sapwood and stand as pure heartwood.submitted by C-xC-s
Who Are You? My name is Peter.
If you went to Nicaragua, you’d be called Pedro. Are Pedro and Peter one person or two? One, because I am only who I am.
Are you a name? No, of course not.
Then who are you? I am a man.
You mean you are not a woman? No. I mean that I am a man.
But you are only a man because you are not a woman. Who are you? I am an Englishman.
If you went to Japan, would you be a Japanese man? No.
Why? Because I was born in England and I speak English.
If you had been born in England but raised in China, would you be Chinese or English? I would be English.
Oh, then, you are not a person, rather you are a country. Who are you? I am the grandson of a famous Arctic explorer. He returned from the North Pole with a frozen polar bear in the hull of his ship.
And which do you think you are defined by more, your grandfather or the polar bear? How could I be defined by my family? I’m just me.
Then you are more like a polar bear? No. I am an intelligent, accomplished man. That’s what everyone says.
Now, let me see: you are Peter who is intelligent and accomplished and special because your grandfather was a famous Arctic explorer. What else sets you apart? My youngest daughter is a world-class gymnast and my mother died when I was a child.
Ah, you are Peter the tragic, Peter the successful. Which would you say is the real you: a motherless son or the father of a successful daughter? Both are within me.
Where? What do you mean?
When you say they are within you, are they closer to your head or your toes? Closer to my heart.
It’s a feeling? Yes.
How big is it? I’m not sure.
What colour is it? It doesn’t have a colour.
A form? No.
But it’s inside you? Yes.
If we cut open your heart, could we see it? I don’t suppose so.
Then where is it? I don’t know.
Are you sure it is inside you? Where else could it be?
Come here. Look in the mirror. Do you see intelligence? grandfather? accomplishment? gymnast? No.
Do you see English? No.
Do you see Peter? I don’t know.
Good. Now we can begin. Who are you?submitted by loukcuf
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For a long time now I have been very interested in learning more about Buddhism. I was raised a Christian but no longer claim that faith. For a number of years I was agnostic. But in the last few years of my life I've been studying off and on about Buddhism. However now I feel this intense urge to learn more.
My approach so far has been to read a few free e-books, read articles on line and so on. Lately I've discovered Alan Watts and his lectures and have been listening to those. But my approach has been un-guided. So as a budding Buddhist, where do I start? I know about the 4 Noble Truths and 8 Fold Path. But a lot of the terminology (which can be hard to pronounce) trips me up. I feel like there's so much to learn and I just don't know where to begin.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.submitted by Temetka
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Buddhism emphasizes focusing on the present moment, rather than the past or future. Is there any philosophy which emphasizes instead looking at all moments(past, present and future) to regain a sense of perspective?
I know Buddhism emphasizes mindfulness and focusing on the present to escape the pain and turmoil and that often results from focusing on the past or future.
However, I've found that when caught in a cycle of focusing on the past or future, it's equally helpful to think of each day as just one out of potentially thousands that you'll live. In other words, instead of focusing on just on the present moment, reminding myself that this moment is just one of almost countless is really helps to put any sort of pain or turmoil into perspective.
For me this perspective also seems to be response to life's challenges than Buddhism, because I sometimes feel that Buddhism emphasis on the present is too strong and almost escapist and limiting.
The Buddhist advice to focus on the present seems to be akin to telling someone to only look at the ground near their feet each day, so that they won't see/care about the danger around them in the world.
What about if instead people were told to imagine they were high in the atmosphere and could see 1000 miles in every direction. This way they would see the relative insignificance of any pain in their life. This makes a lot of sense to me because the pain a lot of people have in their seems to because they are associating more personal importance to events and the pain these events cause than is warranted when viewed from a more encompassing perspective. So shouldn't the solution be to emphasize and teach people to take a larger perspective, than to just teach them to try to accept but then ignore the pain?submitted by MrEngleman
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Hi, am new here. Am 40, born a Buddhist and knows very little of the religion beyond the rituals. Only started to learn more about Buddhist teachings of late.
Do Buddhists believe in heaven? My understanding is that after one dies, one is born again, whether in the human, animal or ghostly realms. The cessation of rebirth is Nirvana, right? Is that Buddhist heaven?submitted by kumhor
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I don't know if this belongs here but I wanted to share it.
My son is 3 years old, and is going through that phase where everything is being tested, every limit, every word, literally everything. We just finished putting him to bed, and while we played in the bath, everything was fine. While we brushed our teeth, everything was fine. As we picked out our stories for the night, everything was fine. He was content until the moment the stories were done and the lights went out. Then it was like DEFCON 5. The temper tantrum and screaming and kicking and full blown 3 year old freak out once his door was closed.
"This again," I said to myself, as the bedtime routine has been this for over a week now. How we have been dealing with it is laying in there with him until he calms down, and we lay until he starts to doze off, and sneak out. This OBVIOUSLY is not working.
So I opened the door, and sat on his bed, and as he screamed that he wanted to sleep in mommy and daddy's room, I told him that I wanted to show him something, and in between cries, and gasps of air after nearly hyperventilating , he asked what it was. I asked him, "who is out on the shelf in the living room? (One of our Buddhas, whom he has been asking/ very aware of since he was able to speak and hold conversations). Again, between gasps of air, and crying, he told me Buddha. "That's right," I said, "and Buddha has taught me something very important, to help me when I am upset, or sad, or angry, just like you are now. Do you want me to show you what he taught me?"
At this point the screaming and freaking out had stopped, as my 3 year old was now VERY interested in what the 14" lava rock statue of a man in our living room could have possible taught his dad. He looked at me, with that confused puppy, tilted head look, and said "what?"
"It is called, mindful breathing." I told him. "I will show you how to do it." We breathed in through our nose, (like smelling a beautiful flower, I told him), and then out through our mouth, (like when we blow a dandelion). I told him that whenever daddy is upset,I do this and I feel so much better afterwards, and as we breathed together, in and out, I kept repeating, "I breathe in, I breathe out, I breathe in, I breathe out". After 2-3 minutes of this, he was calm, and laying with his eyes closed. I kept breathing until I noticed that he was asleep.
I stood up to leave, and the bed moving must have woken him, cause I looked and his eyes were open, staring at me. "Uh oh, he's awake again," I thought as I prepared myself for another freak out. But nothing, there was just silence. Then I heard a deep breath in, and a deep exhale, "I love you daddy" he said, and he closed his eyes to go back to sleep.
With the exception of my son asking us "who that is" pointing at the statues and figures of Buddha through out the home, I have never actually had an opportunity to help him using a lesson from Buddhism, as I always felt that he was too young to grasp it. Today I learned something as valuable as he did.
I just wanted to share this, as I am extremely proud of my boy, and very grateful to have had the opportunity arise to share that moment with him.submitted by BIGpapa_duds
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