Hello everyone, I recently stumbled on this subreddit and I have learnt quite a lot about Buddhism from you guys. My relationship with Buddhism is very different because I was born in Singapore where "mainstream" Buddhism is highly integrated with various aspects of Taoism so you see a lot of rites and rituals that may sometimes seem bizarre to outsiders. Assuming that a lot of you are not from Asia, I am interested to know your experiences with Buddhism and how you were introduced to it. Thank you.submitted by Beyond_Hunter
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Link tags, they help us find stuff, they help us avoid stuff. They give us information that helps us categorize.
Our tags for links have been around for a while. What does the community want for tags? What does the community not want? Let us know here.submitted by Fire_Elemental
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I recently finished my first year of college. I took a class on Buddhism where we learned a bit about the practice and also learned to meditate. We went to an event called the Day of Mindfulness where many people gathered in a church and we had a speaker and we meditated all day (this is simplifying it), and I really truly enjoyed the experience. Looking back, I feel like that room was where I longed to be all my life. It was the perfect weather on a fall day-- a bit stormy, misty, cloudy. The church was a magnificent in it's simplicity. Every fantasy I have ever had about being welcomed and happy and cozy existed in that room, although I didn't realize it at the time.
This last year, I also used LSD about 4-5 times. I wasn't doing it to figure out life like some people do, it was just for recreation at the beginning. However, after I started using and strengthened my friendships with people that used along with me, I went through a sort of existential crisis. I started questioning everything, trying to figure out what in life is of actual importance, etc. Just trying to figure everything out. I felt as though I had lived my years thus far completely clueless. I didn't know what I was doing with myself. The only way I can think to describe my mentality was lost.
Since I realized how I was hurting my well-being, I have stopped using and do not plan on trying it again. I have found that some people in my position begin to use more psychedelics to "fix" their state. I don't want to fall into that trap, because I believe that anything I might gain or learn is not true. It will have been achieved through cheating, in a way.
So, I ask you, have you ever felt what I have described? I have since gathered myself together and come out of the feeling of crisis, and I feel more calm. I don't necessarily regret using LSD, I simply want to find answers to the questions that I have because of it.
If you have been in my position (even if you have not, I would still love your advice!), did you find that Buddhism provided you of some relief to the feeling I described?
Also, I understand that this is a very supportive and understanding subreddit. Still, I would like to acknowledge that I recognize that drug use is not the way to seek answers in life, or whatever enlightenment may be. I know that it was not a smart way to begin my journey, and I recognize that I sound immature because of what I did (trust me, I feel that way too). I would love to hear about any of your experiences with practice, and where/why you started.submitted by NoisyBubbles
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"...there comes a point where you realize that you can have goodwill for people, but they’re not happy. You can have compassion for them, and they still don’t get released from their suffering. You can have appreciation for their happiness, but they abuse
Every evening before we meditate, we chant the four sublime attitudes: goodwill—“May all living beings be happy”; compassion—“May they all be free from stress and pain”; appreciation—“May they not lose the happiness they’ve found.” And then there’s equanimity.
Instead of saying, “All living beings can just go to hell, I don’t care,” the chant says, “All living beings are the owners of their actions, heirs to their actions.”
Exactly how is that thought related to equanimity? Notice that it comes last in the list. In other words, you first cultivate goodwill, compassion, and appreciation. But then there comes a point where you realize that you can have goodwill for people but they’re not happy. You can have compassion for them and they still don’t get released from their suffering. You can have appreciation for their happiness, but they abuse it. They abuse their power, they abuse their wealth. You begin to realize that there’s only so much you can do, not only for other people but also for yourself...
You have to live realistically within those limitations. You can push them a bit, you can push the envelope to see how much you can work for your own happiness and for that of others, but there comes a point where the envelope pushes back. You realize that you can only do so much at any given time. You can do only so much with the energy, the talents you have. So the appropriate response is to put aside the areas where you can’t help or can’t make a difference, so that you can focus on the areas where you can.Vimutti
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To All,I found this article on the Heart Sutra. Would you know of any other readings to elaborate more on this? It would be greatly appreciated.
It hardly needs to be said that the Heart Sutra is one of the most popular and influential Mahayana sutras. And it is certainly the shortest of any text called a “sutra.” Kukai, the founder of Japanese Shingon, wrote “while brief it is essential, and though concise it is profound.” Kukai maintained that the sutra encompassed all the Buddha’s teachings, or at least, all those in the Mahayana canon, a view shared by a more contemporary teacher, the Korean Jogye Seon master, Seung Sahn:
<“The Heart Sutra has only two hundred seventy Chinese characters, yet it contains all of Mahayana Buddhism’s teaching. Inside this sutra is the essence of the Diamond Sutra, the Avatamsaka-sutra, and the Lotus Sutra. It contains the meaning of all the eighty-four thousand sutras.”
More from Heart Sutra: The Heart Within The Heartsubmitted by michellerosado
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We discern all the time; Pleasure from pain, beauty from ugliness, noble from worthless, etc. However, the important distinctions that many of us do not spend time thinking about is wisdom from non-wisdom, and compassion from non-compassion.
When you choose to discern wisdom and compassion, that is a step in the right direction.
However, after we see what the wise or compassionate action is, we sometimes stop and think:
Is this convenient for me?
It will be very painful for me.
Maybe I'm wrong.
And a plethora of other excuses.
Sometimes, we end up not doing the wise or compassionate thing. Those excuses are the tools of Mara.
If you have properly discerned a wise or compassionate action that is worthy to pursue, you should put aside all fretting and go through with it.submitted by obliviron
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A lot of people ask questions about enlightenment but the answer is not that if you ARE enlightened you don't know. That's silly and defeats the whole point of the quest because how do you know when you "are done"?
There are specific signs and abilities gained from the tremendous effort it took to penetrate to the heart of reality, that heart which is connected to all wisdoms, samadhis, and powers.
Please refer to the following links, especially the last: http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/tp/awarenesses.htm http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level2_lamrim/initial_scope/safe_direction/thirty_excellent_signs_major_marks_.html http://www.meditationexpert.com/life-wisdom/l_are_you_enlightened.htm
I would appreciate any other sutta-based links in answer to this question for future questioners.submitted by megamorphg
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For the past 2 or 3 months, I've been trying to get back on track with my meditation practice and I think that just recently I've found the root of all my problems. It's like I've been trying to get two wires to connect and sometimes there's a few sparks, but there's no connection going on, no electricity flowing through and therefore no lightbulb.
I used to be pretty intense in practice, with breathing meditation, metta, mindfulness, etc. etc. and when it came to the time whenever school was about to end, I couldn't figure out any way to modify my practice (although I had numerous opportunities, I just couldn't wrap my mind around it) to fit my declining energy level. School, my own mental and emotional health problems, and my parents' recent divorce were all taking a huge toll on my energy reserves.
I was hesitant to put down my practice because I know the benefits of meditation and maybe at some point I was attached to those benefits and experiences, although a more wholesome thing to "attach" yourself to it was still a negative influence that barricaded me from dropping my practice.
So eventually I did, and then my parents' divorce took a huge turn for the worse and so did my energy. While it was still stressful to deal with that situation it was a lot less intense as it was before since I started going to therapy and didn't have the overbearing weight of school and exams above my head.
But to get to the point, I've been trying to fit meditation into my life ever since my energy level started to recover and it seemed like I had just been lazing around for the longest while. I knew the negative influences I had been exposed to for the past 2 months or so had put some damage into my morality and the physical and mental habits I had made for myself.
All this time, like I explained in the "lightbulb" analogy, there had been little sparks of focus and will to practice, but I didn't know what was keeping me back from really achieving what I was looking for. In the end, it turned out that my real problem was that I was living in the past, looking towards the experiences I had with meditation in the past and trying to re-create those experiences out of thin air. Does it make sense to try to recreate the exact experience and feeling of riding a rollercoaster? While it might be very similar and precise, you are still not on the rollercoaster and will return to not being on the rollercoaster.
So in the middle of relaxing in bed and trying to observe my emotions, thoughts, and the tension in my muscles again, I had a sudden thought hit me like a train. "Michael! You've been so focused on what you've been and what you want to live up to, that you aren't focused on your values, morals, and practices!"
When you are focused on anything than what you should be focused on, whether it's a hollow image of what you're trying to focus on, or a bunch of hypothetical events or ways things could go wrong, you will not be doing what you normally would do if you were in those experiences of the past.
Keep your mind focused on the present moment and on what's appropriate outside of it, and remember the wisdoms that you've learned along the path, or the wisdoms you've just begun to learn. Knowledge and practice are two equally important values of learning that support each other!submitted by kazoodles
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i am a long time practitioner but new to the texts. it looks like none of them are actually the buddha's own words. the earliest one looks like the pali cannon, which came some 400 years after the buddha died?
nobody wrote anything down while the buddha was alive? the buddha didnt write anything down? people just passed it down verbally for 400 years and everybody understood it the exact same say so nothing was changed or lost over time? really?submitted by cchandleriv
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I will be starting my second semester in school soon and as it approaches I am becoming more anxious and stressed out about things, mostly my sex life and getting good grades.
These are both things that I feel to some degree j have little control over and cause me much embarrassment when asked about, it doesn't feel good at all. Is there a way I can change this energy into positive energy to help myself?submitted by Androidover
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