Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
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 Post subject: Hello everyone
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:47 pm 

Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 3:28 pm
Posts: 1
Hi everyone

I am so glad I found this site.

A year ago some friends invited me to go to an SGI meeting. I had shared with them that I was seeking peace of mind. I was alienated from my birth religion (Judaism). I did not, and have not for many years, believed in the authoritarian god of Christianity, Judaism, Islam.

What I got out of SGI was the notion that many of my problems and my unhappiness really had their roots in how I perceived the world, and that did appeal to me - I have tried other approaches based on externalizing my problems and seeking happiness through material things, which ultimately proved unsuccessful.

However, while the SGI members I met were uniformly kind, and I never felt pressure from them on anything, there are things I did not like about SGI:

1. Constant harping on Ikeda's teachings, which I found uninspiring.
2. The Lotus Sutra is elevated as the highest teaching of the original Buddha, but it is never studied!
3. I never understood how chanting the title of the Sutra can do anything if one never reads it.
4. Preoccupation with chanting for material things.
5. I just don't like chanting!
6. I want to find some measure of peace and tranquility in my current life; I am not seeking anything else.
7. SGI talks about their commitment to peace, but they continue to attack other faith traditions.

I just don't know, given the many schools of Buddhism, where to start. I don't want another SGI experience.

Advice from anyone is of course appreciated.



 Post subject: Re: Hello everyone
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:38 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Posts: 5770
Hi Marshall,

Welcome to DharmaWheel! Here's a thread that might be of interest to you:


I wish you all the best in your path, wherever it leads you.

Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...


 Post subject: Re: Hello everyone
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:26 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm
Posts: 2106
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Welcome to Dharma Wheel!

You might find one of the more 'contemplative' Buddhist traditions better suited for you, i.e., vipassana (Theravada), Zen, Vajrayana where the focus is more on meditation, not chanting.

There are many JuBus (jew-boos) [Jewish-Buddhists] in Buddhism, mostly in the contemplative schools.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello everyone
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 10:36 pm 
Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Posts: 3037
Location: Olympia WA
If you want to read Sutra for yourself..i'd start chronologically with the Pali Canon and move forward. If you start with that it's easy to decide what you accept and reject as authoritative.

If you don't want to go that route and just want a good introduction to Mahayana Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of The Buddhas Teaching is a great book.

I personally also highly recommend Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, be warned that he was a controversial figure, but the book is IMO one the most valuable books to frame beginning a Buddhist practice with - I don't think I ever would have bothered trying if not for this book.

In addition, go check out some other Sanghas in person, maybe even make that a priority if you are interested..the right teacher(s) will do alot.

"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits

 Post subject: Re: Hello everyone
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 12:43 pm 

Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 12:41 pm
Posts: 3
Welcome you all . :zzz:

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