Why did you choose Buddhism?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby hop.pala » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:31 am

mrbambocha wrote:Hi.
I would love to hear why you made your choice for Buddhism, to get some perspective.

Why did you choose Buddhism?
Why do you think it is the right path?



Because i have problem in my private life and help an buddha.Buddha say for my :"Jesus can not help "-say Buddha.And really.I was ateist and i go buddhist as i meet Buddha.I am not Buddha beliver,i am knover of Buddha admired shiddis.Buddha is an god,i know it,and not belive it ,i know that Buddha is god.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby tellyontellyon » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:27 pm

In my twenties I used to go out drinking quite a lot. One evening I hit this guy who I thought was going to hit me. I had an object in my hand and he suffered a fractured skull and went into a coma.
He was going to die and I was going to be charged with murder.... however, he woke up five days later.
when it eventually came to court I found out that he had suffered brain damage, he developed epilepsy and lost some mobility and his speech was affected.

I went to prison and found it very difficult. But while there I found a small orange book by Ajahn Sumedo. I didn't understand it that well, but I tried to do some sort of meditation in order to feel a bit less stressed as I felt I was loosing my mind. Fear, guilt, confusion, disorientation and paranoia got the better of me.
The story of how the monk was able to change his point of view gave me hope and helped me to hang on.

After I got out of prison I continued to find out more and got involved in psychotherapy and eventually became a psychotherapist myself. These days I follow a Karma Kagyu teacher.
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
― Søren Kierkegaard
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Punya » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:51 am

Not actually within the keeping of this thread but what an extraordinary story telly. One that sadly is being increasingly repeated in alcohol fuelled societies. My heart goes out to the mostly young men on both sides (and their families), who are involved. I'm glad you are finding ways to move on. :focus:
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby tellyontellyon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:19 am

Punya wrote:Not actually within the keeping of this thread.... :focus:


Sorry if I missed the point of the thread :emb: ... I'll have another go at answering your original question:

I chose Buddhism: partly because of a chance discovery of a book that didn't seem to fit in with all the other books that were around it. It appealed to me because I was in a difficult place in my life at the time and clutching for something that would help. The book described something practical that I could do to help me to cope and to calm down. The story of the monk in the book was comforting.

I thought it was the right path because: my experience of reading and trying to practice what was in that book and other Buddhist books I later came across, and also the teachers I have met have helped me and convinced me that Buddhism was the right path for me.
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Punya » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:40 am

Punya wrote:Not actually within the keeping of this thread but what an extraordinary story telly. One that sadly is being increasingly repeated in alcohol fuelled societies. My heart goes out to the mostly young men on both sides (and their families), who are involved. I'm glad you are finding ways to move on. :focus:


I'm very sorry telly. I meant that it wasn't in keeping with the thread for me to comment. It was sloppy of me to not make this clear. You can ask the moderators to delete your second post if you like.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby tellyontellyon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:06 am

[quote="Punya.[/quote]

Hiya... No worries, I misunderstand things easily! :rolleye:

No need to delete anything... we can just 'let it go' :smile:

And thanks for your kind words. I've seen some great stuff on the net about the benefit of introducing Buddhism into prisons. It is so much better to treat prisoners with humanity, and send them back into society in a more healthy state of mind than when they first went in. That helps everybody, not just the ex. convict.

The examples of figures like Milarepa, and also the story of Anguilamala are such great inspiration:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angulimala

Anyway, as you said... :focus:
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Sonrisa » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:33 am

I came again to Buddhism after deciding that I no longer wished to be a slave to the impulses of my own anger; because some person insulted me. Closely examining the Four Noble Truths, I found out that this clinging anger and trying to get back at those who hurt me IS a form of desire and thus an attachment that leads me to extreme suffering. Sometimes, you just have to say: enough is enough! I learned that regardless of the outside world and what others are doing, happiness is always in my heart and to look for it in there always. Now, I try my best not to be moved by others' insults because I cannot control others, only I can control myself and my internal responses. I know too well the pain of burning anger and make an effort to have compassion to those who come at me with admonishing remarks. Connecting with them in knowing the pain, helps me to have compassion toward them because I've been through it many times. It's not our fault others attempt to make us feel bad about ourselves just so they can feel better about themselves; when we do this, we are speaking from a source of pain. I never knew how to observe myself and I was amazed about what we can find out when we do.

Plus, the symbolism in the Buddhadharma is VERY rich. By looking at Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, I focused their qualities (compassion, wisdom, skillful means) and turned them inward, in that those same qualities of enlightened beings are also available within me too...everyone as a matter of fact!
Namo Amitabha
Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

May I continue to practice loving-kindness and compassion for sentient beings. May my friends and loved ones be free from suffering. May those who have hurt me also be free from suffering.

Hatred is like throwing cow dung at someone else. You get dirty first before throwing it to someone else.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:11 am

Sonrisa wrote:I came again to Buddhism after deciding that I no longer wished to be a slave to the impulses of my own anger; because some person insulted me. Closely examining the Four Noble Truths, I found out that this clinging anger and trying to get back at those who hurt me IS a form of desire and thus an attachment that leads me to extreme suffering.


That's why I went and found a Buddhist teacher! I figured out I was causing all my sufferings and I needed someone to help me figure out how to let go of my suffering. Welcome to the Dharmawheel :namaste:
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby foodcrazee » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:20 am

All reply is quite sometimes ago but still it is a good read of how peeps come about Buddhism.

For me, i was confused between Tao and Buddhism as both was practised in my family.

Learn a little about Islam when i was in a library and then went to Church 3 years later. Again, in my mind, why is the 3 religion Judaism, Christianity and Islam so alike yet different.

Then I was introduced to Buddhism via a Buddhist youth camp, not really into it as i wa too young.

The actual master that brought me back to Buddhism is my son. He was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Upon meeting a Master, he chanted and told us that my son brought this from his past life. So, i was introduced to Usnisa Vijaya Dharani mantra and took it from there. Its only been like 2 months or so and happy to see my son stronger now. Will keep up the chanting to help him and all that needs it.

Namo Di Zang Wang Pusa
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby philji » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:52 am

After around 20 years of practicing and not practicing within the Bhakti tradition of India and meditating within those traditions it just sort of happened naturally that I was drawn to Buddhism. Started practicing and meeting teachers and now 14 years later here I am.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Gwenn Dana » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:56 am

Hmm. I chose none. At times I did actively choose "none". That doesn´t mean I haven´t studied and tried to understand what´s behind. At that time you could say, it was probably more intellectual play, but it was still revealing getting beyond the words and grasping the meaning of the pictures used in some ancient texts. I´ve read the fundamentals on Buddhism 25 years back, and meditated as part of karate taining, and often times alone. Mostly Zen books at that time, but also on the 4 noble truths. But you could say, then followed 20 years of erratic searching.

Things changed dramatically as I started to play pool in tournaments. That´s a complex art, subtle strain in your body, caused by the mind, will have an enormous effect on your play. Even if your training and technique is decent, it will in some days ruin your game. On the other hand there are also moments where you experience "flow". Where everything seems to work and you don´t have to think, you just do. So folding in competition when I walked up to the table I at that time remembered the Bhagavad Gita (I know, that´s not a Buddhist text). But it told me you´ll need to get this mastered even in a "battle" situation, or all that theory is mere theory.

Then a couple of years of observation started. What happens in the body, what distracts, how does it distract, how does fear feel, what is anxiety, how does it stick, how do thoughts enter and distract you. Pool became my mirror. Then I decided firmly that I want to master that. Develop an understanding what is illusion, turn the senses inward, understand the faculty and let it come to rest. I came to realize that it is not only anger and frustration over a miss or an unlucky roll can ruin your game, but the joy of something that went particularly well can also. So my conclusion was to stay separate from both. It became a routine to approach the table with the intention of staying equanimous. Of course, that often did not work. I started countering negative emotions with positive ones, try to develop an attitude of just sitting here, loving the game and the situation, and with time more and more situations were no longer able to execute their pull as they had before. I also had a good Master to assist me with that (an established pool professional who pointed me at exactly that).

After that I noticed the same feelings arise and go in daily life, and I took my practice from the table to the other situations that I encounter. It works better or worse, but during the last two years it has gotten better and better. I´ve been going from wanting to win to just playing. I´ve particularly been searching for opponents and situations I know that have a potential to trigger defilements in me, let myself sink in and try to stay clear. Discussing Buddhism on an online Buddhist board does qualify as such, I´d suppose ;)

So what about Buddhism? When I read the sutras, or Books from Ajahn Sumedho or Daisetz Suzuki, that is a rather pleasant experience, since it usually is accompanied with a stream of "yes". I can find many of the stages I´veencountered described in there, and see the path works. Whenever I re-read certain original texts, a year later I could say I understood more of it. It helps sort the one or other experiences into a more complete reference frame, and look for what there was still to come. There are maybe some subtleties (when talking about whether word-and-form and consciousness mutually cause each other) where the texts offer different versions, where I from personal experience I would have to stick with one that describes it best. Maybe that´s fog, who knows. It doesn´t really matter to me as long as no defilements spawn on it. The cessation of them is my intention.

Would I have made these experiences without having read on Buddhism, Christianity, Raja Yoga, Vedanta? Who knows. In this instance it sure was part of that which my experience dependently arose on. So why not do some further reading and talk to people bout it. After all there is something, that really works and drastically sorts your view on many profane things in this world. "Am" I a Buddhist? I guess I have practiced disidentification far too long to say that. Or you could say, in a conventional sense, I am, among other things, also a Buddhist. I do no longer feel a need to search.

Am I thus a pool-tantrist, because I used my strong emotionality towards pool? Who knows :)

Best wishes
Gwenn
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Alfredo » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:35 pm

As a teenager I was attracted to various Eastern religions--to some extent through the lens of romantic Theosophical and New Age influences, which portray Tibet in particular as a mystical place. In my twenties, I travelled to Asia (various countries) on a kind of gap year, in the course of which I enrolled in a course at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, and took refuge. Why did I do it? It wasn't because I believed everything in it. I suppose I didn't want my connection to Tibetan Buddhism to end with the course, or my return home. The fact that I was dissatisfied with / alienated from my family religion was probably significant. In retrospect, perhaps my motivations were deficient.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:49 am

Gwenn Dana wrote:There are maybe some subtleties (when talking about whether word-and-form and consciousness mutually cause each other)....


FYI, 'nama' in nama-rupa, pertains not to mere verbal indicators, but as a broad classification of various psycho-physical factors, as succinctly described in this sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html

"And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form."


Nonconceptuality, takes on various roles and meanings in Buddhism, but nonconceptual states, absent of discriminative thoughts, are not an end in itself as this does not indicate the arising of insight according to the standards of Buddhism.
Many meditators know how to meditate,
But only a few know how to dismantle [mental clinging].
- Je Gyare
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Gwenn Dana » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:32 am

@lotus_bitch: Ah. What do you mean with insight?
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Lotus_Bitch » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:17 pm

Gwenn Dana wrote:@lotus_bitch: Ah. What do you mean with insight?


Dependent co-arising.
Many meditators know how to meditate,
But only a few know how to dismantle [mental clinging].
- Je Gyare
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Gwenn Dana » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:24 pm

Dear Lotus_Bitch,

thanks for stressing that point.

That names do not arise as the content of a separate soul cannot be pointed out enough.
That names do not exist independently from that which they denote, but arise from their becoming conscious and the thus arising cognition should be obvious from there.
That they themselves become conscious goes down the same road.

Yet that doesn´t mean conventionally ku/emptiness denotes the same as shiki/phenomena and not shiki denotes the same as ku. But something becomes quiet when shiki becomes ku.

Best wishes
Gwenn
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby pensum » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:32 pm

mrbambocha wrote:Hi.
Thanks alot for your answers.
I really like bhuddism from what Ive read so far. It really feels right. But one thing that is botthering me is that bhuddism doesnt believe in god. So Im kind of "afraid" of making a "mistake". What if there is a god? Everyone around me believes in a certain religion, everyone tells me that there is a god and if I dont believe in god I will go to hell etc. It kind of freaks me out and makes me afraid to commit to anything. Ive spoken with christians, muslims, hare krishna etc..and everyone has a point, but still I cannot make a decision.

What advice do you have for me?


Ah, you echo Woody Allen's "I'm a scared atheist." But no worries, if any God does exist i doubt that they care whether you believe in them or not, the important thing being openness, care, understanding and love. So if Buddhism encourages and helps you to develop those qualities then you can't really go wrong.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:29 pm

Boris in 'Love and Death' wrote:You know, if it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. I think that the worst you can say about him is that, basically, he's an underachiever.
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby pererin » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:36 am

Why have I chosen Buddhism?

Because in the end, I came to the realisation that suffering just isn't enough.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Shemmy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:45 pm

I chose it for many reasons, tho the clincher was simply having lived as a foreigner in Buddhist countries for nearly two decades (Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia) and being married to a Buddhist for 12 years.

Other reasons would be having an affinity for meditation as well as liking to philosophize and analyze a bit more than is warranted by most other traditions. It really is the antidote for the dryness and uselessness of most academic philosophizing and the flaky pointlessness of meditation for its own sake.

Probably not the best reason, but I probably can't deny the factor of having always been enthralled and stimulated by Buddhist art, literary style, architecture, aesthetics and other probably secondary cultural aspects.

The teachers that Buddhism produces seem leagues beyond those in other traditions in terms of their numbers and depth of insight. They are also easier to find and usually more willing to teach and share to boot.

That Buddhism makes a certain open endedness its cornerstone really makes it live and breathe and be readily suited to whoever engages it.

There are seemingly enough different approaches within Buddhism to make it all the more possible to find one that will be the most direct path/paths possible to enlightenment.

It helps us to learn to be more adult/responsible/pragmatic as to how we handle the insolvable problems/dilemnas of life without necessarily taking a moralistic this is right and that is wrong approach that so many religions and philosophies take. And at the same time it offers the most obviously effective means of transcending those problems.

It provides so many different types of tools and methods to develop the necessary insight for taking apart all of the things that make us suffer, such as an absolute real reality/self, a self-righteous stance, addictions, useless habits, good/bad criteria lists, and many others.

It is probably the most fully developed system in existence for manifesting the positive potentiality of our human life. to truly and effectively be helpful and compassionate people, to have a conduit and be a conduit for the infinity of conciousness and human awareness. Many aspects of Buddhism represent a profound example of the best qualities of human endeavor when taken as a whole.

I could go on answering this question for days! That said, there are also actually many aspects that put me off, but they are far outweighed by the jaw dropping seemingly infinite richness of Buddhist worlds.
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