Why did you choose Buddhism?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Alfredo
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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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Lotus_Bitch
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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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Kaccāni
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Kaccāni » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:32 am

@lotus_bitch: Ah. What do you mean with insight?
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

Lotus_Bitch
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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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Kaccāni
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Kaccāni » 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
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

pensum
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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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dzogchungpa
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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.
The truly undisturbed mind is not a private experience; it is more "public". - Dza Kilung Rinpoche

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pererin
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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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Shemmy
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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.

Belincia
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Belincia » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:18 pm

What made me choose Buddhism? Compassion, non-violence, possibility of liberation.
I very much like how reason and faith are not mutually exclusive in Buddhism, but rather strengthening each others.

I believe I have practiced dharma in earlier lives already, or at least been connected to it, since I had strong tendencies to many dharma-related things already before I learned about Buddhism.
The radiant compassion of Lamas was a very important thing to experience. Without those living examples I might have not committed myself to this path. The important thing about dharma is that it is not just words, but it's alive.

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Challenge23
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Challenge23 » Fri May 09, 2014 9:45 pm

Well, in a nutshell, I was in a really dark place a number of years ago and was becoming someone I didn't want to become. Unfortunately the religion of my birth as well as the religion of my preference didn't really have a logical set path that would end in me being able to get out of that dark place and become a better person. Buddhism had exactly such a path.
IN THIS BOOK IT IS SPOKEN OF THE SEPHIROTH & THE PATHS, OF SPIRITS & CONJURATIONS, OF GODS, SPHERES, PLANES & MANY OTHER THINGS WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT EXIST. IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER THEY EXIST OR NOT. BY DOING CERTAIN THINGS CERTAIN RESULTS FOLLOW; STUDENTS ARE MOST EARNESTLY WARNED AGAINST ATTRIBUTING OBJECTIVE REALITY OR PHILOSOPHICAL VALIDITY TO ANY OF THEM.

Wagner, Eric; Wilson, Robert Anton (2004-12-01). An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson (Kindle Locations 1626-1629). New Falcon Publications. Kindle Edition., quoting from Alister Crowley

DCDDM228
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby DCDDM228 » Mon May 12, 2014 5:58 pm

I was raised Catholic but left it when I was 16. I was an atheist for years and then slowly became more open to spiritual beliefs that didn't revolve around blatant god worship. Buddhism felt comfortable, normal, and healthy as a way to develop mindfulness, awareness, and happiness in my life.

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SentientPyramid
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby SentientPyramid » Wed May 21, 2014 4:53 pm

For whatever reason, I've always been attracted to Buddhism since my early teens. The first memory that really strikes me is when for a ceramics class, while I probably should have made a mug or an ashtray, a recumbent meditator with a single tail of hair was a stronger inspiration. I kept and cherished that glazed clay blob and often erected ad hoc shrines around it, often populated with action figures and a bleached rodent skull (it seemed appropriate at the time). At one point, I took up Thelemic and Chaos magick, so I thought dedicating the clay figure to a special spot in a nearby forest was the thing to do. When I cam back to it a few months later, the glaze paint that had endured ten years of handling had gone completely white.

Although I haven't seriously practiced until this past two months, the lectures of Alan Watts and Jiddu Krishnamurti's books were on my daily rotation for a few years. Of course I tried meditating, but my instructions came from Barnes and Nobles, so that practice would be sporadic at best for a while.
I'd wager through that and being inspired to step back and reflect on things added a measure of depth to my view; but for lack of discipline and a tendency towards stress led me to waver hard into depression, so there would be times when the Dhamma seemed like advice for anyone but me.

As far as later interactions with the Dhamma, I find it more than coincidental that the one year I go to grad school, is the one year that the Dalai Lama decides to visit for three days. I attended all the functions I could, but my mind was far too poisoned and distracted to really appreciate it.

Recently, though, I made the decision to pursue the Dhamma as much as I can, and now that I have started going to teachings in Arcata, CA, I'm beginning to feel confident that I can do more. A combination of study and morning prayers have gotten me on a track and pace that feels right and sometimes I notice the difference.

denny
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby denny » Fri May 23, 2014 6:16 pm

Hi all.

About 3 years ago I had a (my only ever) spiritual experience. Eager to investigate this experience I began to read, starting with C. Yung. Near the time my reading was addressing his views about Buddhism I heard that a Tibetan Lama, by the name of Losang Samten, was coming to our area and I was able to meet him briefly and he impressed me deeply (I began to learn about Compassion). My search for answers has never strayed from Buddhism past this point although the path of my study reminds me of a blind bull in a china shop.

:namaste:

Crazywisdom
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Crazywisdom » Fri May 23, 2014 11:27 pm

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?


I found dependent origination to be brilliant.
I say we go back the same way we came. -Mad Max

Shamati
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Shamati » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:22 pm

I always had a fondness of buddhism ever since I first heard about it as a child in religious studies at school. The photos of the monks & temples in Thailand, Tibet or Japan fascinated me and the way the for noble truths are laid out as an explanation for the human condition was always very attractive to me because it's very realistic and with the 8-fold path it's a completely practical approach.
In My grown life I've been very interested in the western hermetic tradition but buddhism is a living tradition and with the very practical approach I think it's more likely to actually 'get things done'. I love the fact that vajrayana contains yoga teachings too and have things in common with the indian tradition but with the very practical buddhist perspective. That's why I think specifically vajrayana buddhism is the most attractive of all religions and that buddhism in general is a religion that is uniquely relevant in todays world because of its practicality and it's almost medicinal formulation of the for noble truths.

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TaxiDriver
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby TaxiDriver » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:07 pm

It's like looking at the sky and wondering why I picked this particular sky to look at.
Travis: "I don't know. That's about the dumbest thing I ever heard."
Wizard: "It's not Bertrand Russell. But what do you want? I'm a cabbie!"

Ghid
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Ghid » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:38 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?


I´m sixteen, so I'm likelly not a good source of guidance.

From what little I know of Buddhism, anyone can follow the Dharma. It does not require anyone to chose one over another.

Ghid :namaste:

Ghid
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Ghid » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:43 pm

Ghid wrote:
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?


I´m sixteen, so I'm likelly not a good source of guidance.

From what little I know of Buddhism, anyone can follow the Dharma. It does not require anyone to chose one over another.

Ghid :namaste:


And according to Dr Snyder in his book of Buddhist lists, "In Asia it is quite common for one person to have two, three, or more religions."

Thundering Cloud
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Thundering Cloud » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:05 am

Like others have mentioned, faith-based religion did not work for me. As much as I sometimes wanted to believe in Christian teachings, the bottom line was that I honestly didn't. I was a nihilist for awhile, and that was for me a truly dismal outlook on life. I had been exposed to Buddhism several times, but it didn't "click" with me until I had a kind of realization one day. I came to a greater appreciation of the gravity of the fact that there is actually no such thing as direct experience -- that all of my experience is colored by the concepts, beliefs, and other heuristics I rely on to make said experience comprehensible to me (this applies even to sensory perception -- just ask your local neurologist or prestidigitator), and furthermore that these conceptual models of reality were built myself from the ground up, throughout my lifetime. With this in mind, it makes sense that clinging to a particular idea -- having a strong conviction in an ultimate belief or being unable to see past a given concept -- actually limits my ability to understand. As I allow fixed beliefs and concepts to accumulate and reinforce one another, I become increasingly closed-minded, only able to see the world through that lens. Recognizing this, I was able to examine the beliefs and concepts -- some of which were very automatic / implicit -- that lead me to the dismal nihilistic view of existence that I'd had. I was able to put those ideas under the proverbial microscope and gradually see why I was compelled to have such faith in them, and then to meaningfully entertain the implications of their being incorrect or at best oversimplified. As I went about this, I saw first a possibility and then a growing probability that I was caught in a "thicket of views," effectively snagged by ideas I could not easily let go of which prevented me from recognizing anything other than a cold and indifferent universe.

That was the beginning, for me. I still consider myself very new to Buddhism, but many other aspects have since fallen into place. I do not so much "choose" it, per se, rather it continues to earn my vote of confidence. I hope all of that made sense, I realize it was a lot to explain. :emb: Good luck in your journey.


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