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 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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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.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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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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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.
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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:
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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.
Thank you for parking my Trojan Horse in your city.
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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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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!"
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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:
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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."
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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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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Ghid » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:42 am

Buddhism caught my attention because I learned about Aristotle. The book I read, Aristotle for Everybody by Mortimer Adler, said that Aristotle thought the world is like it appears, which sounded like the First Step in which Buddha says that we should see the world as it is.

But after I have thought about it, I think the two ideas are different. Knowing what is because I see it is not the same as knowing what I see is what is. Calling a thing was it is different than a thing being what it is because I call it.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Sherab » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:12 am

I did not choose Buddhism.

When I was in primary 3, my teacher in one of the history lessons, taught that Buddhist monks would carry broom to sweep the path ahead of them as they walked so as not to step on even an insect. As a result, I thought that the religion was rather silly and never bothered about it anymore.

That is, until many years later, when I was in my late thirties, I was researching the topic life after death and wondered what Buddhism has to say about the topic. So I went to a bookstore and picked up a book by Christmas Humphries called The Wisdom of Buddhism. In it were a number of quotations that I could not make any sense of. I did not believe that I was that stupid (pride of course) and thought that by reading the quotations in their context that I will be able to understand what was being said. So I ended up buying one sutta/sutra after another and reading them.

The rest as they said is history.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby RedFox » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:59 pm

I chose it after a friend of mine told me he practiced Buddhism.
I was curious what people who worshiped the jolly fat man that you rub his stomach for luck believed.

After reading the 4 noble truths for the first time I felt instantly connected with it. It just made sense to me.
That simple...it made sense
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Ghid » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:47 am

RedFox wrote:I chose it after a friend of mine told me he practiced Buddhism.
I was curious what people who worshiped the jolly fat man that you rub his stomach for luck believed.

After reading the 4 noble truths for the first time I felt instantly connected with it. It just made sense to me.
That simple...it made sense


Hi,

I'm trying to learn about Buddhism. I'm a sixteen year old high school student, and I'm nervous about asking people questions because I wonder if some questions might be impolite. So if my question is inappropriate, I apologize in advance.

I’m asking because for a long time, I thought that pain and suffering were different words for the same thing. Even now, I think that I’m not clear about it.

After you learned about the Four Noble Truths, did you understand the difference between pain and suffering?

Ghid
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby avisitor » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:43 am

Ghid wrote:Hi,
I'm trying to learn about Buddhism. I'm a sixteen year old high school student, and I'm nervous about asking people questions because I wonder if some questions might be impolite. So if my question is inappropriate, I apologize in advance.
I’m asking because for a long time, I thought that pain and suffering were different words for the same thing. Even now, I think that I’m not clear about it.
After you learned about the Four Noble Truths, did you understand the difference between pain and suffering?
Ghid

Hello sixteen year old high school girl who asks the adults in her Jewish family about Buddhism,
(there is no attack here. Just stating what I believe is true about Ghid)

So what is in Buddhism that draws people to it?
I believe that Buddha found the truth about life or original nature or enlightenment.
And that enlightenment isn't only for him. But, everyone who tries .. already has Buddha nature in them.
So enlightenment is possible for others. So we can learn the truth for ourselves.

No, I didn't understand, after reading about the four noble truths for the first time, what the difference was between pain and suffering
That understanding took a little more learning and practice sitting in meditation.
For me, pain is what hurts and suffering is what normally goes on in the mind as one feels pain.
If there was a choice between feeling, crying and thinking about the pain
Or, feeling the pain, and moving onto something else
I would think that the second choice involved less suffering.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Ghid » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:29 am

avisitor wrote:
Ghid wrote:Hi,
I'm trying to learn about Buddhism. I'm a sixteen year old high school student, and I'm nervous about asking people questions because I wonder if some questions might be impolite. So if my question is inappropriate, I apologize in advance.
I’m asking because for a long time, I thought that pain and suffering were different words for the same thing. Even now, I think that I’m not clear about it.
After you learned about the Four Noble Truths, did you understand the difference between pain and suffering?
Ghid

Hello sixteen year old high school girl who asks the adults in her Jewish family about Buddhism,
(there is no attack here. Just stating what I believe is true about Ghid)

So what is in Buddhism that draws people to it?
I believe that Buddha found the truth about life or original nature or enlightenment.
And that enlightenment isn't only for him. But, everyone who tries .. already has Buddha nature in them.
So enlightenment is possible for others. So we can learn the truth for ourselves.

No, I didn't understand, after reading about the four noble truths for the first time, what the difference was between pain and suffering
That understanding took a little more learning and practice sitting in meditation.
For me, pain is what hurts and suffering is what normally goes on in the mind as one feels pain.
If there was a choice between feeling, crying and thinking about the pain
Or, feeling the pain, and moving onto something else
I would think that the second choice involved less suffering.


Just in case anyone really cares, my family is Irish Italian Catholic, and my boyfriend's family is Jewish. My birth mother was very likely an Ifugao headhunter. I am really embarrassed that I so completely missunderstood about the nature of suffering. Thank you very much, for explaining.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby uan » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:31 am

Ghid wrote:Just in case anyone really cares, my family is Irish Italian Catholic, and my boyfriend's family is Jewish. My birth mother was very likely an Ifugao headhunter. I am really embarrassed that I so completely missunderstood about the nature of suffering. Thank you very much, for explaining.


thank you for sharing, it's very humanizing - you're not just a random poster, but a real person and that's refreshing on any forum! :)

And there is zero reason to be embarrassed by misunderstanding anything. We are all learning, and short of being enlightened, at some point we all are misunderstanding something.

:anjali:
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby avisitor » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:39 am

Ghid wrote:[Just in case anyone really cares, my family is Irish Italian Catholic, and my boyfriend's family is Jewish. My birth mother was very likely an Ifugao headhunter. I am really embarrassed that I so completely missunderstood about the nature of suffering. Thank you very much, for explaining.

I am sorry. My mistake. Your family is Irish Italian Catholic.
Which makes me ask, Coming from such strong roots, how did you get interested in Buddhism??

Anyway, you should never be embarrassed to ask questions.
Please, don't be afraid to ask.
People here want to answer any questions you may have about Buddhism.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Ghid » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:12 pm

[quote="avisitor
… Coming from such strong roots, how did you get interested in Buddhism?[/quote]
Last edited by Ghid on Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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