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Buddhism
A reddit for all kinds of Buddhist teachings
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Questions from a beginner

August 2, 2015 - 6:43pm

I've been interested in Buddhism a lot lately and there are some questions that, despite my efforts, I couldn't get answered.

  1. Buddha said to not accept anything just because he said it, but a lot of buddhist concepts develop from the belief on samsara. The same can be said about taking refuge and the refuge vows (more specifically, the treatment given to images of Buddha, honoring his birthday and so on) This all seems outright like blind faith. Even more so when considering that the ultimate nature of all things is vacuity. What's the point, actually?

  2. It is said that the Buddhist path is a joyful one, but the realization of dukkha (specially when considering the suffering of others) has actually put me in a lot of sorrow. How to deal with this?

  3. What is the Zen school, actually? The more I read about it, the more confused I get. It seems to me that Zen doesn't even believe in a 'final' enlightenment, and their meditation is summed up to 'sitting down and doing nothing'.

  4. I got myself started by buying two books by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, of the New Kadampa Tradition. Now, I know of their feud with the Dalai Lama and that they're not quite well seen by other schools of Buddhism. I would like to know your personal opinion on the matter.

Please forgive me if I said something wrong. I don't mean to be disrespectful in any way, those are all sincere questions. Also, English is not my native tongue. Thank you in advance.

submitted by prinzrhaegar
[link] [14 comments]

Relationship with Nature

August 2, 2015 - 4:55pm

Hey everyone, I'm doing a quick questionnaire based on Man's relationship with nature. I decided to choose the Buddhist relation and compare it to the American View. How would you guys view the Buddhist relationship with nature in relation to the American view? Thanks.

submitted by jama2250
[link] [6 comments]

A chance to do a good dharma and save hundreds of lives

August 2, 2015 - 3:53pm

Hey guys, you may or may not have come across it in the news, Myanmar (known as Burma) is currently suffering from one of the worst disasters in the history of the country. over 150,000 have lost their houses, belongings and plantations to the torrential flood. The government is trying to help but there simply aren't enough resources to cover that many people. Hundred thousands of Women, children and elderlies have been driven out of their houses with nothing to eat, no where to go, no food, no meds. The more fortunates are trying their best to help but in this time of urgent need even a little contribution will go a long way. The rain isn't over yet and these people are at the risk of diseases from lack of shelter, food and clean water.

Even if you can spare just $5 dollars it could possibly feed a family of 3 for 4-5 days. For reference, a pack of instant noodle in the country cost around 30 pence a pack.

If you have a little change to spare, please help yourself to good karma. Here is the link to the gofund me page:

http://www.gofundme.com/8g6puzs7q4

Another one: http://www.gofundme.com/3ue6s6en4

Here is Indiegogo:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/aid-for-myanmar-flood-victims

Thank you

submitted by kshatriiya
[link] [2 comments]

Where is this canoe metaphor from?

August 2, 2015 - 2:11pm

I was listening to a podcast of Ajahn Brahm. He used the following metaphor and attributed it to Zen. Paraphrasing, "Life is like paddling a canoe across a lake. A person who lives a full duration life gets to the middle of the lake, then the canoe capsizes and the person drowns. When a child dies, that is like mourning that a person drowned right next to the shore instead of in the middle of the lake".

Does anyone know the origin or source of this metaphor?

submitted by sooneday
[link] [2 comments]

Antidepressants and Buddhism

August 2, 2015 - 2:11pm

Hey guys, new poster here. Any thoughts on whether or not the Buddhist path can be walked while taking anti depressants? I was on them for 4 years but felt like they could be blocking off a connection between me and the deeper Self during meditation.

I've been off them for a year, exercise regularly and meditate but I'm still "depressed" 60 percent of my day. I don't want to go back on them because I feel like that is giving up, and that my spiritual practice will be built on a weak, false foundation.

I'm a 25 year old man, and I need some feedback. Thanks everyone.

submitted by weirdhealth
[link] [29 comments]

Need help!

August 2, 2015 - 1:55pm

My problem is kinda complicating but i go to you guys because you are the most emphatethic people on reddit.

young, male, Im in the stage in my life that Testosterone is very important, and my doctors have told me i have to low T. they blame it on stress. So the stress hormone cortisol and the hormone testosterone work against each other. i have had depressions and bad anexity since i have been 8 (now 15), I have tried ways to reduce stress and i found meditation, breath exercises and such.

NOW heres the important part, i just cant. I struggle with meditating,

Now this isnt just that i cant hold focus, my breathing is fucked up.

When i try to meditate, it randomly stops, fidgets, fidgets alot. My stomach makes random moves left and right, inwards and outwards, uncontrollably, so its Hard to control, and when i don't control it, i either dont breath or it just keeps on fighting and fidgeting. This making me even more stressed cus i cant meditate. Please help i want to fix this so badly.

Is this some condition, i've tried meditating before but then it never happened (that was also the greatest time of my life)

submitted by prixer
[link] [3 comments]

Any Book Recommendations for learning about Tibetan Buddhism?

August 2, 2015 - 11:51am

I don't really know much about Tibetan Buddhism, so I'm looking for introductory books on the subject, not on specific practices, but to get a general understanding of that tradition.

I have "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation," but it seems pretty advanced and intimidating, so I'm going to leave that on the shelf for now.

submitted by _Subscript_
[link] [25 comments]

The Lego of Samsara

August 2, 2015 - 11:48am

How may I do a visit abroad for my Buddhist growth?

August 2, 2015 - 11:03am

How can I take a trip to a country for a retreat or helping me along the path? I have a large interest in Taiwan Zen Buddhism with an emphasis in metta and socially engage Buddhism such as Dharma Drum Mountain. I cannot find a local thing so I'm interested in going to help me grow. I see a lot of people post things like "I'm in India" or "I meditated and studied in Nepal" and I have no idea how they do it or get there beyond having the money to get there (which I don't have). So are you guys just rich or are you being sponsored or what?

submitted by The_Dukkhanator
[link] [5 comments]

Did Buddhists in South Asia ever wear turbans, holy threads, or bangles?

August 2, 2015 - 10:06am

In sibling religions, like Jainism, Sikhism, and Hinduism, some of the peoples wear turbans and bangles (like Sikhs), and Brahmins in Hinduism wear threads. I believe that Theravada Buddhists from Sri Lanka wear threads, but my source could be wrong.

Do any Buddhist people - from the ancient past in Afghanistan to the modern era - wear turbans, holy threads, or bangles?

submitted by iamtheeggman91
[link] [12 comments]

Is such a thing as a geeky monk possible?

August 2, 2015 - 6:28am

So on the geekier side of Korean-speaking Internets, there is a celebrity who happens to be a monk. And a huge otaku.

He draws parody comics about the Buddha's teachings and it's pretty evident that he is a huge geek. The variety of subjects he's into is phenomenal.

I really commend what he does, because he makes the unlikeliest of people read about Buddhist teachings in a way they enjoy. But whenever he posts a comic, people often say he is a hypocrite for obsessing over anime and manga.

Well, is he? I can sorta see that geeky hobbies are pursuing illusionary and temporary satisfaction. But are ordained monks forbidden from having such "unseeming" hobbies?

Genuinely curious and would likr to hear from more informed people.

submitted by szp
[link] [31 comments]

Doesn't the Tibetan Buddhist notion that certain people can choose how and even to what parents they are reborn support transmigration of souls which the Buddha did not believe?

August 2, 2015 - 6:11am

I don't know much at all about the Tibetan Buddhist tradition but as I've attempted to educate myself, it seems like (at least according to the Dalai Lama), if you can potentially choose your parents, you are an eternal soul that is simply going to live in a new body. Can someone with a better understanding explain?

submitted by harlotmuffin
[link] [14 comments]

Reading suggestion after 'mindfulness in plain english'

August 2, 2015 - 5:25am

(Quick preamble to say that I've looked at the book list, and even https://www.reddit.com/r/Buddhism/comments/cn570/i_just_finished_reading_mindfulness_in_plain/, which seems to be the very question I'm asking. Still hoping to get some specific advice here.)

I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, Mindfulness in Plain English, as so many others have. I'm looking for other books in a similar style. That is, other pragmatic guides to vipassana/mindfulness/meditation written in clear and simple prose.

An obvious follow up work is "Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English", but I don't think I'm ready for that given that the author says the book is for people who "are now ready to take the next step—beyond mindfulness". I'm still very much a beginner.

Does anyone have a good recommendation of a pragmatic book on concentration/mindfulness/meditation written in a similarly non-academic style?

submitted by DrEarthquakes
[link] [19 comments]

How can I develop love for myself?

August 2, 2015 - 4:56am

I had somewhat of a watershed moment in meditation this week. I was experimenting with lovingkindness meditation and reading about some of the techniques of Tonglen.

To make a long story short, I was having a very hard time cultivating any sense of compassion or good will toward anyone who I knew well enough to know some of their flaws or weaknesses. When I tried to imagine some act of kindness they had committed I quickly dismissed it as self-interested or began thinking about their flaws. As I reflected on this I realized that I felt the same way about myself (that I was not worthy of love) because of even the smallest of my weaknesses or vices. I believe I adopted and developed this disposition from a young age, as I come from a family and faith tradition (a cult, really) that makes very little room for difference, individuality, or forgiveness. Even now, I truly believe that if most of the people I cared about knew certain facts about my vices and/or beliefs, they would fight with me, worry about me, or distance themselves from me. I have a lifetime of experience that confirms this. I have thus lived much of my life hiding basic truths about myself in shame, and I believe that I have not been able to love and forgive myself for this reason.

I realize now that if I could bring myself to love myself, I would be making a serious change toward loving and accepting others, in spite of their flaws. I would also be directly addressing many of the anxieties and fears I have long held and struggled against.

What can I do to cultivate love and acceptance for myself? Thank you in advance.

submitted by winndixiebagofmoney
[link] [8 comments]

Gifts given at the proper time bear the greatest fruit. Here the Buddha describes five such occasions. [Often chanted by monks as a blessing after receiving food or other offerings.]

August 2, 2015 - 4:50am

"There are these five seasonable gifts. Which five? One gives to a newcomer. One gives to one going away. One gives to one who is ill. One gives in time of famine. One sets the first fruits of field & orchard in front of those who are virtuous. These are the five seasonable gifts."

In the proper season they give — those with discernment, responsive, free from stinginess. Having been given in proper season, with hearts inspired by the Noble Ones — straightened, Such — their offering bears an abundance. Those who rejoice in that gift or give assistance, they, too, have a share of the merit, and the offering isn't depleted by that So, with an unhesitant mind, one should give where the gift bears great fruit. Merit is what establishes living beings in the next life.

-AN 5.36

submitted by numbersev
[link] [2 comments]

I experienced first hand the effects of mindfulness and meditation

August 2, 2015 - 2:44am

Last month, I spent four weeks in a monastery in Nepal and took two courses on Buddhism. The biggest takeaway for me was mindfulness. By being mindful of my actions and breaking down my emotional responses, I was much less anxious, angry and pessimistic. After coming back, I continued to meditate every morning. I continued to experience the beneficial effects.

Until last week. I stopped meditating for about ten days. I was travelling so it was difficult to meditate everyday and I was lazy too. I can feel the effects now. My old anxiety came back, I got angry and made someone upset and my outlook became more pessimistic. I started meditating again yesterday morning.

If anything, this experience has clearly demonstrated to me the beneficial effects of mindfulness. Now, I just need to keep meditating everyday and I can become a better person. Just felt like sharing.

submitted by not_a_theorist
[link] [14 comments]