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.]
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Skywalker
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Skywalker » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:44 am

I have not chosen Buddhism, I haven't chose anything. I don't belong to Buddhism. I am my own captain and honor the truth anywhere I see it. The thing is, is that Buddhism has so much truth in it. It even teaches to be a light unto yourself and only accept the teachings if they make sense to you and they agree with your reasoning. So there is nothing for me to argue with regarding Buddhism.

I can argue with Christianity on many points, but the biggest one is the way Christianity chooses to motivate one to practice. "Do as I say or else...!" versus the Buddhist way of "Oh you don't want to suffer anymore? Here is a way out!" It goes deeper and is more insightful and less superstitious than Hindu yoga.

I especially love how Buddhism is a how-to manual. I love that it does away with useless beliefs. I love how there is no creator god. I love how no god can liberate anybody, you have to do it yourself. I love how the Buddha is not the "the only son of God" but somebody just like me who had incredible insight.

I love the artwork. I love the architecture. I love how it agrees with my reason and gives me the freedom to disagree, not that I do, but at least I have the freedom to be a light unto myself.
:namaste:

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mrbambocha
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby mrbambocha » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:38 am

Thanks alot for your help everyone!
Ive decided to give it a go and my first stop is a vipassana retreat.
I wish you all a lovely week!

CoreyNiles92
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby CoreyNiles92 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:15 am

It might sound cheesy, but I really didn't choose Buddhism, it chose me.

I was a drug addict, and at the end of my rope, my last days, I had accepted the possibility that I would more than likely soon be ending my life.

At the time I knew nothing about Buddhism, and thought it was a joke really and would ridicule anyone who followed Buddhism, as it seemed to be nonsense.
I was watching a video with my brother, a Sigur Ros music video which I've realized since was about mindfulness (which I had no idea of), then I stepped outside for a smoke afterwards, as I sat there I saw a wind come through causing the bush in front of me to dance, I watched it for a minute, and felt such a profound sense of calm and ease, I had no idea what it was, or why I had felt it. But in that moment I decided to quit smoking, drinking both alcohol and caffeine, quit drugs (I was an amphetamine addict), quit watchign porn, and started to meditate, I had no idea why any of it was happening, it seemed the universe was taking control of me to save my life. A month later, I had gotten to the point where my perception had changed to the point that I was feeling high all the time, everything was more vivid and intense, I saw more detail in things, and all the world became beautiful to me. I decided at that point to read a book on Buddhism (Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English), and found that all the changes I was noticing in my life were those of Buddhist ideals, I feel this is nothing short of a miracle, Buddhism would find me before I found it.

I recently fell out of mindfulness, as a gripping depression assosciated with loneliness consumed me, I allowed it for unknown reasons, but am returning back to mindfulness as I write this.

Not the most interesting story, but it is mine.

deepbluehum
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby deepbluehum » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:43 pm

Why did you choose Buddhism?

Suffering.

Why do you think it is the right path?

No more suffering.

Rakz
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Rakz » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:19 pm

The practicality and down to earth teachings of Buddha is what attracted me to Buddhism.

Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:52 am

CoreyNiles92 wrote:Not the most interesting story, but it is mine.


I thought it was interesting.

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Hickersonia
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Hickersonia » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:04 pm

I met Buddhism through Cambodian friends at work who, while not being particularly outspoken on religious issues, seemed "different." I poked and prodded them for information until I had enough to be inclined to start researching on my own.

As I read and applied ideas to my life, I noticed that I wasn't as frustrated with things anymore, or when I get angry, I didn't let it carry me away as much.

More importantly, I learned that controlling lust had real benefits and I didn't have to do it just because "God said so."

I don't think there was really an "ah ha!" moment so much as a gradual progress through the teachings at a very basic level and realization that each time I applied a new teaching to my life I felt less stress as a direct result. Ultimately, around Christmas 2011 (interesting timing) I decided that I was going to start referring to myself as a Buddhist, and with that I quit drinking and took the 5 Precepts. Haven't looked back since.

So, I guess I chose Buddhism because it offered refuge for me as opposed to whatever hodgepodge of beliefs, views, and god I had clung to previously.
Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

Nam mô A di đà Phật!

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Sherab Dorje
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:12 pm

CoreyNiles92 wrote:Not the most interesting story, but it is mine.
I think it is an excellent story! :twothumbsup:

I remember as a child flicking through a brand new encyclopedia my parents had brought for me (encyclopedias were fashionable back then since there was no interent (and/or Google) and I stumbled across a picture of the Buddhas face and a mudra from a Buddhist statue. My family was Greek Orthodox Christian and I was being educated at a Irish Catholic school (by monks) whilst living in an English Protestant colony (New Zealand), so I was pretty much into the Christian thing and actually wanted to become a priest.

Then along came adolsecence and I flipped over into Social/Green/Anarcho/Autonomist...

Buddhism was definitely the sane balance between the two insane extremes. It just made sense.
:namaste:
PS While we are on the topic of gurus, my guru can beat the crap out of your guru any day of the week!
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

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underthetree
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby underthetree » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:20 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
CoreyNiles92 wrote:Not the most interesting story, but it is mine.
I think it is an excellent story! :twothumbsup:

I remember as a child flicking through a brand new encyclopedia my parents had brought for me (encyclopedias were fashionable back then since there was no interent (and/or Google) and I stumbled across a picture of the Buddhas face and a mudra from a Buddhist statue. My family was Greek Orthodox Christian and I was being educated at a Irish Catholic school (by monks) whilst living in an English Protestant colony (New Zealand), so I was pretty much into the Christian thing and actually wanted to become a priest.

Then along came adolsecence and I flipped over into Social/Green/Anarcho/Autonomist...

Buddhism was definitely the sane balance between the two insane extremes. It just made sense.
:namaste:
PS While we are on the topic of gurus, my guru can beat the crap out of your guru any day of the week!


Ha! I wanted to be a Greek priest as well when I was little! Not for religious reasons, but I loved the beards and the hats and the chanting and the incense. My Greek wasn't good so I couldn't understand the liturgy, and that suited me fine. When I had to do the C of E thing with the English family I could understand the vicar but he made no sense to me, so I was pretty much an atheist from day one. Whenever I chant for my practice I still think of Hagia Sophia in London...

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Sherab Dorje
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:36 pm

underthetree wrote:...My Greek wasn't good so I couldn't understand the liturgy, and that suited me fine.
Even if your Greek was good you wouldn't really understand what they were saying coz the liturgy is in Byzantine Greek and not Modern Greek! You would have as much a chance of understanding Byzantine Greek as I would of understanding Olde English.
:namaste:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

Red Faced Buddha
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:25 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?


Well,because it makes sense for one.The Middle Way is pretty reasonable,you don't hear religious teachers telling people not to go to the extremes,and certainly not in 500 B.C.Second,it teaches that man is capable of reaching Nirvana without having to worship and pray to God,gods,etc.
On to your second question,yes I do think it is the right path.However,I don't think only Buddhist can reach Nirvana.Anyone who is kind,has right views,helps other people,etc. can find enlightenment and become a Buddha regardless of his religious views.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"

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Admin_PC
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Admin_PC » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:04 am

Met chinese buddhism and taoism through kung fu back in the mid 90s, about when i was starting to become disenchanted with catholicism (ironically, i was going through confirmation class at the time).
In college i tried to get more serious, picked up "Entering the Stream" a book where most flavors of buddhism are represented by their more prolific authors.
I wrote it off because I thought it was encouraging nihilistic robots - i guess I didn't get it.
On again off again relationship with Catholicism kept me looking around.
Spent a significant amount of time with Germanic Heathenism around 2004; but gave it up when i saw that whatever loose organization of practitioners popped up would immediately get infiltrated with white supremacists. In the end there just wasn't enough documentation left to practice and enough of an organization of practitioners to practice with.
Went back to Catholicism after a particularly bad breakup in 2006, found myself trying to make others happy, trying to live up to other peoples' expectations, found myself trying to get the girl back, and then found myself praying to God to punish her... realized that it just wasn't the right path for me...
Met my wife, who's a non-denominational Christian (parents are SGI) in 2007. Vacillated between the Catholicism my parents expected of me and her coffee-shop style Christianity for a while, not really being fed by either.
Tried to read the Bible a few times cover to cover before finally coming to the realization that the religion as a whole held absolutely nothing for me.

Last year sometime I found Joseph Campbell and Robert Thurman. Both are/were amazing speakers and I love listening to both of them.
Robert Thurman helped me realize that I was wrong in my initial assessment of Buddhism.
Meanwhile, I was training muay thai full time again and my coach is a pretty "devout" Theravadan from the Thai/Lao tradition.
Got sick with some staph infections this past June (still ongoing) and had a lot of time to read.
Picked up copies of the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, and a bunch of Buddhism books- also broke out the huge collection of Buddhist books I've accumulated through the years.
I changed gyms during a temporary lull in the infections and found a boxing coach who was active at a Vietnamese Tian Tai/Pureland/Thien temple.
Started attending the English services with him.

It kind of became a choice between Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism.
My monist tendencies drew me towards Advaita Vedanta, I think the Upanishads is a beautiful piece of literature that all monotheists should read.
In the end I found the teachings of Buddhism to be more profound, the instruction and practice in Buddhism to be much more available.
I like practicing at the Vietnamese temple, but I found that the speakers who really spoke to me were from the Tibetan Gelug tradition (Robert Thurman, Ven Thubten Chodron, Ven Robina Courtin, FPMT, etc).
A few weeks back I attended a teaching by Geshe Soepa at a student-lead Lam Rim group.
I really like the vibe I get from the Lam Rim folks.
I'm going back to Lam Rim class tomorrow in fact, and I've been looking forward to it all week.
I haven't taken precepts/vows yet, so I don't know if I've really "chosen" Buddhism, but I do plan on doing so in the near future.
I still plan on attending services at the Vietnamese temple, at least until I have to make a decision.
I think I'm finally done shopping around...
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

dzoki
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby dzoki » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:01 pm

I chose buddhism, because I felt that I need a support, a direction to my life. So when I was around 16 I started to read about different religions, especially their aproach to morality and ethics. I found Buddha´s five precepts to be the most sensible and natural system of ethics. Because precepts is something I myself would decide to take and I would decide freely, there was no angry god commanding me to do that or not do that. So I would be the only person responsible for what I do.
Plus I didn´t like the idea of God, or multiple gods (as creators, or apsects of creator), my whole family were at that time dialectic materialists - including grandparents on both sides, uncles, aunts, cousins etc. so I was brought up thinking how stupid all the people who believe in God were. Since Buddha said that there is no creator, I also liked this aspect.
Also example of Buddha as a person and teacher. I was and always am touched by his compassion and kindness and his wisdom in every situation. Kalamasutta was actualy one of the first texts I read and to this day I consider it one of the most importat teachings which sets Buddhadharma apart from all the other spiritual systems and religions. Once I read it I knew, that this is the teaching I want to follow.

I think Buddha´s teaching is a correct path for me, because aplying it gives me joy and a sense to my life. Everything in my life just confirms the truth of it, the impermanence, the grasping, the emotions, the arising of suffering, peace, hapiness, mindful presence - all of these things happen everyday, so there is not an instant where I would see that Buddha´s words were untrue.

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Zenshin 善心
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Zenshin 善心 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:59 pm

there are two ways to answer this question. the first way, i can tell you about my history and background and why i chose Buddhism.

but as a nembutsu-sha (and maybe this could apply to other traditions too, i don't know enough to say for sure) i feel it would be dangerously arrogant and presumptious of me to say "i chose Buddhism". rather, everything that has occured to me in this life has led me to this point right now. as such, i am entirely indebted to the love, support, guidance, compassion and teachings of those i have encountered throughout life. it's not 'self' but 'other' that led me to this path. all i can do is mouth the nembutsu with a heart full of joy and gratitude.

namandabu.
All beings since their first aspiration till the attainment of Buddhahood are sheltered under the guardianship of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who, responding to the requirements of the occasion, transform themselves and assume the actual forms of personality.

Thus for the sake of all beings Buddhas and Bodhisattvas become sometimes their parents, sometimes their wives and children, sometimes their kinsmen, sometimes their servants, sometimes their friends, sometimes their enemies, sometimes reveal themselves as devas or in some other forms.


- Ashvaghosa, The Awakening of Faith

oroka

TaTa
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby TaTa » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:12 am

I dont think i have choose it in the sense of peeking it up from a variety of religions. I was one of those persons who never asked him self the big questions, neither a religious kind of guy. I always thought that all the metaphysical stuff was bullshit and always view life in a materialistic way, only believing in what i can see.
One day for no reason i decided to search the word "buddhism" in wikipedia and it all made sense to me, i was impressed. About half a year later i borrow some books from a friends parents about buddhism and read them while on a 1 month solitary vacations. I decided to try meditation and beeing a pothead like i am i found it cool that i can get high without drugs. Of curse in very little time i realized that the potential of this was amazing and soon my whole view on life changed radically. I have been meditating for a couple of months and studying. The results came in no time and my life improved very quickly. It all feels really natural and im pretty sure that ill stay in this path my whole life.

ram peswani
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby ram peswani » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:05 am

I had hundreds of questions in my mind about God, purpose, evolution etc.
Reading and discussing could not answer these questions to my satisfaction.
So I chose meditation to get the answers.

Meditation started giving me answers and the end result is that I am totally hooked to Guatam Buddha. For me it is a true science of evolution. I have got all the answers. Also it gave me the method of right existence free from pain and miseries. And the best thing is that it has been giving me perfect results.

bosatsu86
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby bosatsu86 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:18 am

Buddhism takes a very realistic approach on life, tells us we are suffering, but teaches us the key to embracing that suffering and enjoying life for all of its beauty and imperfections. Like many others here, I was also raised in a Christian (Well, perhaps not exactly: Jehovah's Witness, who teach they are not Christian like many other faiths) and found in interacting with other adherents that there were few truly happy individuals in the organization. Most would smile and happily make small chat with everyone, but beneath the surface there was a sense of misery and resentment toward the faith. I certainly felt that way myself. After deciding it was not for me and quietly disconnecting from the faith, I spent years reading religious and spiritual literature, hoping to find something that would speak to me. In 2010, I came to Japan to study Japanese on an exchange and have remained here ever since. Being a largely Shinto-Buddhist society, I've had many opportunities to explore Buddhism. It's only been within the past year that I have truly began to practice Buddhism, so I am still very much an amateur, but I hope to explore the many wonderful resources on this board and connect with many of the fellow members here. :)

philji
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby philji » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:57 am

From age 18-40 plus involved with Hindu teachers, both devotional and advantage. This just seemed naturally in the direction of Buddhism. The final thing making me explore further is seeing the 17th Karmapa when he first came to Dharamsala at age 15 . I was impressed and wanted to know more.

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Door
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Door » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:09 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?


I chose Vipassana because I could immediately feel the benefit. I saw the underlying mechanism for the whole path. That when bad emotions are if I am aware and equanimous with them they pass, and when they pass in this manner they pass for good.

Now it wasn't always pleasant, in fact it can bring up a lot of suffering but that is how the emotions leave.

More importantly I went through the exact stages and experiences that the Buddhist texts describe, the jhanas and the nanas, aka stages of insight. I also have talked to others who have underwent the exact same thing.

There are many wonderful methods created by many saints and awakened people by which one can reach enlightenment. Yoga, the Advaita tradition, Dzogchen, ect. However, they pale in comparison to the techniques taught by the Buddha, ie Vipassana meditation derived straight from the Satiphattana Sutta, the foremost Sutta regarding meditation retreat.

Dhamma.org , Check it out

TRC
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby TRC » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:23 am

dukkha


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