Hello Everyone - Dhamma Wheel

Hello Everyone

Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.
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Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:55 pm

Hello Everyone

Postby William » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:10 am

Hello everyone, my name is William and I'm from Richmond, Virginia.

A little background about myself, I was raised in a traditional Southern Baptist home with strict religious and moral values. As a teenager I became rebellious and basically looked for anything "unconventional" I could find. Like most teens, these were simple infatuations. One week I was a pagan, the next a Hindu, the folowing a LaVeyan Satanist, etc. None of these were earnest and it is safe to say it was a halmark of my immaturity. I briefly read about Buddhism and of course, touted its benefits for a while. I simply moved on to the next. Spirituality was, regrettably, a fad to me.

Once I got a little older, I began reading books by men like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and soon concluded that I had been entirely wrong about everything and was simply an atheist. I began reading more books and essays on science, philosophy, physics, etc. and had, for all intents and purposes, given up on the concept of religion.

I was reading a very long essay entitled which went on about the dangers of theistic religions. That was all well and good but it got me thinking about non-theistic religions. Were these detrimental to society and mankind? Could they be reconciled with science? Could one be a rational free-thinking individual and a spiritual, religious individual as well? This led me back to Buddhism and I began reading about its relation to science and was stunned. The Buddha's insistence on empiricism, as well as his promotion of free thought and his warnings against blind faith seemed completely counter to most other religions. His explanations of the origins of the universe seemed to match with my understanding of current scientific thought.

The quest to end suffering in one's life seemed to me to be the very purpose of our existence. Who likes to suffer? Why should we? Ultimately, I believe everyone seeks to minimize and end suffering in their life, although most are misguided as to how and inevitably end up in a vicious cycle. Kindness, caring, and universal compassion mixed with logic, empiricism and scientific fact seemed to me to be the ultimate expression of human spirituality and its effect on me was incredibly profound.

Theravada Buddhism, to me, made the most sense of the various traditions and schools as it is, in my understanding, closest to the original intent and meaning of the Buddha's teachings. The more "superstitious" and "mythical" elements seem to be missing and it seemed to call to me the most. I have been browsing and reading Dhammawheel for several days now and have decided to be a part of this wonderful resource.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this. I hope to get to know all of you soon.

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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby bodom » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:16 am

Great introduction William, welcome!

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo

With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Hello Everyone

Postby manas » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:39 am

Hi William,
I also welcome you here, despite my own 'conversion' to Buddhism still being a 'work in progress' - and I've been interested in it for 20 years - so there's definitely room (in this Path) for those who question (just about everything).

I've got some good news - it's a path of joy. Maybe that isn't emphasized enough, sometimes. As well as all the wonderful knowledge and insights in the Buddhist Teachings, remember that your heart should be unburdening itself, gradually; while slackness is not good, neither is over-straining. Loving-kindness to yourself is vital; take it from me, you will save alot of time, if you practice with kindness, as well as effort, from the beginning.

Ok, there's my little sermon for the day! welcome to DW

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:03 am

Greetings William,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.


Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:48 am

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel, William!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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