15

For most people God is a dualistic concept. Meaning, for a typical person the unspoken assumption is: "I am here and God is over there". So when I think about God, when I speak to God -- I inevitably imagine some power outside of myself. It is in this power that I place hope for good life and for salvation; it is this power that I blame for unfairness etc. ...


15

There isn't exactly one short Buddhist bible (see Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?). The Tripitaka is the Pali canon, possibly the earliest (or at least, among the earliest) of the surviving Buddhist literature. It has three parts, and of these three the Sutta Pitaka is the most relevant (to us). You can read it (or at least begin to read it) online. Web ...


14

Rather simplified, somewhat caricatured presentation based on my own very limited knowledge: Nyingma - "the old (translation) tradition", based on prehistoric transmissions of B into Tibet as early as 8th century. Characterized by loose "democratic" organization (until the exile each monastery was independent, with no central figurehead a-la Dalai Lama) and ...


13

I am a Tibetan Buddhist, and have been for about 50 years. I don't really know if I can help with that question - but maybe so. Here are some things that might of use to a beginner. Learn to develop loving-kindness towards everything and everyone in the past, present and future, without exception. Recognise that Karma is action - the cause – (NOT the ...


11

For Theravada and some Mahayana traditions becoming a lay Buddhist is as simple as taking refuge in the Triple Gem of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and taking the 5 precepts. This is usually at a ceremony and "given" by the monks however the true taking of refuge is something done in the mind, not recited or given. You are in short taking refuge, showing ...


11

First, some canonical background: According to the Acintita Sutta, speculating on the origin of the cosmos or similar topics will lead one to confusion i.e. it cannot be understood. According to the Cula-Malunkyavada Sutta in the Parable of the Poisoned Arrow, the speculation of the origin of cosmos or suffering or similar topics is not useful, because the ...


10

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak." "As you say, lord," the monks responded. The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] ...


9

Welcome to the site. "What is a good place to begin?" That's a good question and a broad one. Perhaps I should start by saying that there are different schools of Buddhism (e.g. older and newer), perhaps as much variation in Buddhism as there is in Christianity. One place to begin could be with a popular book by a modern author: for example something ...


8

I want to know what Siddhartha taught. Well yes, don't we all want to know that. :-) Though it may seem a bitter pill to swallow. :-/ Some Wikipedia articles FYI: Early Buddhism includes a timeline showing the "where and when" of the various schools Pre-sectarian Buddhism is an article about "the Buddhism of the Buddha himself". You might not find it ...


8

Okay, okay... I'll do my own homework. Here's a one page summary of Buddhism (adapted from Wikipedia) directed towards newcomers to Buddhism. Please comment with suggestions, etc. What is Buddhism? Buddhism is a nontheistic religion or philosophy (Sanskrit: dharma; Pali: dhamma) that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices ...


7

Find and join a sangha (buddhist community) that you are comfortable with. Talking to the community to understand what and how they practice buddhism. Accustom the practices based on what you can comfortably do for the moment. Never forcing yourself to the extreme, e.g. immediately become a vegetarian, practice 1 hour sitting meditation daily, spend the ...


7

To put it succinctly you need to rub two pieces of wood long enough to get fire. Likewise you need to meditate continuously for some stretch of time to see results. As Goenka says "Continuity of practice is the secret of success".


7

The way Trungpa Rinpoche explained metta, you must start with yourself. Sit and love yourself, respect yourself, give yourself a break - until you feel a relief. This may take days, weeks, or months - do not rush. The goal is to recover your sense of your own basic goodness, your fundamental sanity. Often we judge others because we are strict to ourselves. ...


7

I would recommend: In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi (alternate download link) Art of Living by William Hart


7

The Buddhist concept is not no self but non self or not self. What this means is there nothing that can be taken as self. There is no permanent unchanging core or soul, there is nothing which you command and control absolutely, there is nothing that an external agency (e.g. God) commands and controls. Identity view is considering your 5 Aggregates as self, ...


7

Great question. There are many things but if i could only choose only one thing; i would advice to be more friendly, polite, tolerant and to avoid confrontational speech whilst learning in general. I wish i had enough wisdom to be more tactful, restrained & diplomatic. The controversies, theory and practical aspects of the teaching one can figure out but ...


6

For completeness, there isn't one Buddhism, there are many Buddhisms. The other questions already address the Buddhisms with either no god or no interesting and relevant gods. By a process of fascinating evolution, Buddhism evolved from early Buddhism, which arguable didn't care or want take a stand on gods or their lack there of, to one that said Gods ...


6

I higly reccomend H. H. The Dalai Lama's "How to See Yourself as You Really Are". A wonderful and easy to read introducion to Buddhist philosophy and practice. His Holiness is mahayana, but this book gives a very general introduction. I also reccomend his "The Art of Happiness", for a book more specifically on happiness.


6

Most of the time people live most of their lives without changing contexts too much. For the mind, living in the same context gives a sense of security. It also makes us dumb and highly vulnerable. Once we believe in a context and objectify it, it becomes reality for us. At the end of the day, this is why we die. When you start playing with your context by ...


6

The terror is likely caused by the clinging to wrong view of the self. Who was the unknown species? Why did it look so strange? Was it because you, like everybody, already greatly cling to an idea of what you are and this new mindful approach to experiencing what you are, can show you something that is real but alien to your normal way of experiencing ...


6

At a Theravada monastery: You have to be familiar with taking refuge in the Triple Gem and taking of the five precepts: http://refuge.sirimangalo.org/ Remove shoes and hats when you enter the monastery. Wear conservative clothing. White color clothes are more appropreate. Avoid shouting, idle chatter and laughter(can smile when appropriate) while you are ...


6

I would recommend you to listen to sermons and learn from a teacher rather than trying to learn from books. Because one can easily misinterpret what's in the texts. Try starting with this video wiki page. Also go through these Dhammapada videos. And here's a booklet on meditation.


6

You don't have to believe in rebirth. Rebirth concept in Buddhism is not as simple as simple as reincarnation anyway. It's actually better if you don't hold any blind beliefs in Buddhism since it is a find-out-for-yourself kind of religion, i.e. when you reach the proper stage you will have the insights. It all starts from working on the trainings for ...


6

As a white male I am well aware that I am privileged That's as may be. Nevertheless I think that "cultural appropriation" is a relatively modern obsession: that it has become fashionable for "holier-than-thou" people in college to fuss about it; but sfaik other people are less likely to think that way (to see or preconceive it as a concern). I suppose if ...


6

First question, if I am beginning on this path, which books would you recommend I read? That is, a book which has all the teachings of the Buddha/ philosophies. There's more than one school of Buddhism (see e.g. "Theravada" and "Mahayana") so that's slightly difficult to answer. I recommend the answers to these topics (which are asking about the Pali ...


5

Buddhism is often symbolized by a wheel; the Wheel of Dhamma or Dharma. The circular nature of the symbol is also representative of how people progress along the path of Buddhism; it's a circular progression. With each time around, your understanding grows so you may find if you re-read books, you get even more out of them in subsequent readings. Begin ...


5

Q.What is gained by learning Vipassana meditation in long retreats? A. You get to observe your mind and body. By observing sensations arising in your mind and body and knowing that it is impermanent, you learn not to react to it as you did in the past. So, as you practice the art of non reaction to your sensation, slowly then you become free from all ...


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