You can tell the beginners because they are so deadly serious about their new-found "Buddhisim".
A lot of the things mentioned already come ....in my opinion....from one source.
That is the "I am" ego attitude they show.
Like "I am":
+ meditating a whole (insert number here) hours every week.
+ spending (insert number here) hours a week studying the writings/teachings of (insert name here)
+ and "I am" a "follower" of (insert name here) who is my personal teacher.
and so on.
But the most important thing the new comers have to learn...and to be fair most eventually do learn....is that their experience in finding "Buddhisim" is not a unique experience. They need to unlearn that "I am" ego attitude regarding being a "Buddhist".
They need to understand they are not the first people to go there, others have been there before them.
Usually, they do....but sometimes not before they make a fool of themselves in their new found enthusiasim.
I think we've all been there before ourselves....at least I was.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach