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As a complete beginner to Buddhism, what steps should I follow to get closer to enlightenment?

Should I study Buddhism and meditate or should I move to a monastery?

I know that to attain nirvana, one must discard the desire of nirvana.

But one must work towards it in one way or another.

So, what are the actions required for one to get closer to nirvana?

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    Stong desire for Nibbana is needed and look of what the Buddha told, Nyom Divyansh Gupta: Into the Stream – Samana Johann Dec 21 '17 at 7:55
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Start keeping to the five precepts and do Satipattana meditation on a daily basis. Keep to 8 precepts on full moon days. Apart from that, study the Dhamma when you get free time.

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  1. Systematically work to identify and let go of attachments to opinions and generalizations, especially ones that stir emotions.

  2. Meditate. Just take a moment to sit down and sit, no need for instructions.

  3. Read some Buddhist books and think about them. Try to see how they map to your day-to-day life.

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To attain Nirvana, yes, discard the desire for Nirvana & everything else, as the meditation master says from 4:32 in this video called 'Ajahn Chah - Mindful Way'.

Ideally, to practice to know or attain Nirvana, a person should live in a meditation monastery for a dedicated period of at least one year so they are free from worldly burdens.

To get closer to Nirvana, harmlessness is the most important action, particularly in relation to sex. If there is not Right View about sex, the five hindrances to Nirvana will be difficult to overcome.

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Does the desire for Awakening get in the way of Awakening?

The Buddha's doctrine of kamma takes the fact of skillful action, which can be observed on the ordinary sensory level, and gives it an importance that, for a person pursuing the Buddhist goal, must be accepted on faith. According to this doctrine, skillful action is not simply one factor out of many contributing to happiness: it is the primary factor. It does not lead simply to happiness within the dimensions of time and the present: if developed to the ultimate level of refinement, it can lead to an Awakening totally released from those dimensions. These assertions cannot be proven prior to an experience of that Awakening, but they must be accepted as working hypotheses in the effort to develop the skillfulness needed for Awakening. This paradox — which lies at the heart of the act of taking refuge in the Triple Gem — explains why the serious pursuit of the Buddhist path is a sustained act of faith that can become truly firm and verified only with the first glimpse of Awakening, called stream-entry. It also explains why a strong desire to gain release from the stress and suffering inherent in conditioned existence is needed for such a pursuit, for without that desire it is very difficult to break through this paradox with the necessary leap of faith.

Wings to Awakening

Not to assist with fools but associate with the wise, this is the first and highest blessing and protection torward liberation and freedom of suffering, for this world, the next and beyound.

Kalyāṇamittādivaggo: Good companionship and others

"With regard to external factors, I don't envision any other single factor like friendship with admirable people as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who is a friend with admirable people abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful."

Avoid fools and association with them, those no shame in doing evil and spread unskillfulness like poision!

The practice of Dhamma goes against our habits, the truth goes against our desires, so there is difficulty in the practice. Some things which we understand as wrong may be right, while the things we take to be right may be wrong. Why is this? Because our minds are in darkness, we don't clearly see the Truth. We don't really know anything and so are fooled by people's lies. They point out what is right as being wrong and we believe it; that which is wrong, they say is right, and we believe that. This is because we are not yet our own masters. Our moods lie to us constantly. We shouldn't take this mind and its opinions as our guide, because it doesn't know the truth. (Ajahn Chah, A Taste of Freedom

And his teacher about fools:

The Lord Buddha taught that his Dhamma, when placed in the heart of an ordinary run-of-the-mill person, is bound to be thoroughly corrupted, but if placed in the heart of a Noble One, it is bound to be genuinely pure & authentic, something that at the same time can be neither effaced nor obscured.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purpose or other low wordily gains by means of trade and exchange.]

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