This is my very first posting in this forum.
I came across Buddhism quite late in life. I'm 61 now and have been 'exposed' to the Buddha-dhamma for just 15 months. Before that, I was an agnostic for many years because I was unable to understand how there could be an all powerful, compassionate god on one hand and a mass of pain and suffering on the other. Personally, I just could not put these two things together. Please note, I say this with no disrespect to the beliefs of others. Buddhism cleared the way for coming back to a "religion", a "religion" I can place my confidence in. Buddhism has made me see that the germ of the arising of dukkha (suffering) and the cessation thereof both lie within "ourselves" or should I say the Five Aggregates; and that there is no external power that produces the arising and cessation of dukkha. If I'm asked why I chose Buddhism, this would perhaps be the first of many reasons.
My confidence in the Buddha-dhamma is such that I have been able to make progress in my practice despite there being no Theravada Sangha in the region where I live, not even any Theravada Buddhists to meet, and to talk to, in person. The credit and merit for my progress thus far must go to the dedicated people who bring us the Dhamma books and provide Buddhist websites on the internet. The kind friends on Buddhist forums are my "online Sangha" and they have helped me tremendously. I thank the owners, administrators, moderators and members for allowing me to join this forum.
With kind regards,