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New member looking for guidance - Dhamma Wheel

New member looking for guidance

Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.
otherright
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:38 am

New member looking for guidance

Postby otherright » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:19 pm

Hello everyone. I thought I’d introduce myself and share why I’m here, and what brought me here.

I am a lifelong student of philosophy and religion having majored in it in college. Oddly enough, though out my studies, I only brushed against Buddhism academically. The bulk of my studies were refined to Classical Hellenism and Epistemology in philosophy and Christianity in my religious studies.

Years ago, I came to the epiphany that the reason why I’d consumed so many volumes on Christian theological doctrine was not because I believed, but that I didn’t believe, and was forcing myself to try and maintain a dogma that no longer supported my views.

I began a study in Higher and Lower criticisms and very quickly, the very core of my writings and lectures fell to pieces. So I took another path, one that led me to start a serious research for a book on aspects of human spirituality without dogmatic structures. This led to extended periods of isolation and reflection on the nature of man and the role of religion. I was searching for a faceless religion. I was looking for how science says it works.

About six months ago, while researching I came across a book on the science of Buddhism. It contained about ninety percent of what I’d been observing through my studies. There really is no going back now. I’ve never seen anything more clearly in my life.

So, for about six months now, I’ve been reading Buddhist texts, trying to find what it means to me. It took some time for me to take this step, but now I am ready. I have reached a point where I am seeking the like-minded, where I am looking for direction, and need help.

That is why I have come here, to embrace this new philosophy and to be near those who can help guide me. I hope to find that here. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any suggestions on where to start?

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:28 pm

Greetings otherright and welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
Thank you for your very informative introduction.
I suggest you start at the 'discovering theravada' forum we have here and thumb through some of the discussions before looking at some of the others in General Theravada, Theravada in the Modern World.
As far as external resources are concerned, you may wish to look at some of the translations of the Buddha's discourses. My favourites would be the Bhikkhu Bodhi translations of the Majjhima Nikaya (Middle Length Discourses), and the Samyutta Nikaya (Connected discourses) which are available via Wisdom publications or your local academic library. There maybe online/electronic versions...
As far as a 'practice' oriented context, I recommend that you begin with 'The Heart of Buddhist Meditation' by Nyanaponika Thera and 'Satipatthana: the direct route to Realization' by Analayo Bhikkhu. And if you have time to do a residential retreat of a week or longer, then I also recommend that as a means of getting established in the practice. I'm happy to recommend a retreat if that is something you are interested in.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby bodom » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:30 pm

Welcome otherright!

Here's an excellent place to start:

Introductory resources

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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retrofuturist
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Greetings,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha2:

To complement the good advice from Ben & Bodom above, the suttas in the Sutta Pitaka are all good, though some will have more or less relevance to you at any particular point in time, given your knowledge, experiences, experiences, current challenges and disposition.... but I guess that's true of all scripture.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Khalil Bodhi
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Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:17 am

Welcome to DW!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:
My Practice Blog:

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daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby daverupa » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:39 am


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SeekingDharma
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby SeekingDharma » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:12 am

Greetings, otherright! I am curious, what is the title of the book that inspired you? :)

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Kim OHara
Posts: 4346
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:39 am

Welcome, otherright.
While reading your intro, I was reminded very strongly of a lecture by Metzinger which was mentioned here a little while ago. I think you will like it:

:namaste:
Kim

David2
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby David2 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:49 am


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Modus.Ponens
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:38 am
Location: Gallifrey

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:19 am

Hello and welcome.

I recomend reading "In the Buddha's words", an anthology of the scriptures by Bhikkhu Bodhi, before diving into the Nikayas themselves.

I hope you'll find here what you're looking for.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:26 am


otherright
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:38 am

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby otherright » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:20 am

The Quantum and the Lotus.

I'd been reading everything I could get my hands on with Stevenson and Tucker's research, Hagelin, and Penrose and Hameroff. I was trying to piece it all together to see how it may work physically (or Quantum physically as it were). I would then use it to build a primer. It wasn't exact, but it was very close, so close, I dropped everything I was doing and starting reading Buddhism, and haven't stopped yet. What I've gleaned from that book, in addition to others that I've read, are dead on with how it seems to work, at least how it can be inferred to work.

I still have a long way to go, even more so now. I'd love to pose some questions on here for people's consideration. To get their perspectives on certain issues.

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Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:37 am

a primer for what?
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

otherright
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:38 am

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby otherright » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:51 am

A primer for how "It" works. For example: Is consciousness an emergent property of a larger interconnected "mind?" Is it a result of quantum entanglement? I really think Buddhism has the answer to these questions.

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retrofuturist
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:55 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

otherright
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:38 am

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby otherright » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:37 am

Great story. Good wisdom in it. But what it tells me is that you don't think I should worry about such things. Ignoring a problem does not negate the problem. It does not offer the piece of mind that at least coming to terms with it would. In the story it is related that the Buddha has only shared so much with the monks and not all. How then would ever expect to be a Buddha without perfect understanding? I don't have to know the "all" of it, but I do have to know enough to get a solid piece of mind from it. I don't think it is enough to say 'I chose not to be attached to this issue,' and expect it to go away. For me, these issues are something that have been central to me, to who I am and what I do. If I can find piece of mind from it, perhaps I can help other like-minded find piece of mind as well.

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retrofuturist
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:05 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Reductor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Reductor » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:08 am

They have been central to who you are and what you do.

In other words they are matters of conceit and craving... The very matters that the buddha taught on in length. Perhaps you see the solution of your unrest in getting an answer to your inquiry, but do you KNOW for certain that the answers you seek will resolve your turmoil?

You can't know for certain.

You only suppose. Hope.

Yet what if you never get the answer you seek? Do you think seeking forever is desirable. Worse, what if you find the answer, but continue to be dissatisfied?

Questions are boundless, as you can see. The trick is asking the right ones.

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Kim OHara
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:11 am


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Dhammabodhi
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: New Delhi, India

Re: New member looking for guidance

Postby Dhammabodhi » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:57 am

"Take rest, take rest."-S.N.Goenka


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