Learning Buddhism

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Animamia
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Learning Buddhism

Postby Animamia » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:17 pm

Hello everyone.

I am from the UK and have been reading a little about Buddhism. I am rather overwhelmed by the amount of information available on the internet, all of it seems conflicting and complicated. I am just wondering if someone can give me some advice on a reliable place to start. There are also no places of worship as far as I know in my city, is this necessary or could I worship at home if I choose? Any help would be appreciated, thank you! x

Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:59 pm

I think this is a great resource, and I also have the link to my favorite author.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

Ajaan Sumedho has a large, well-respected sangha centered in the UK.
http://www.buddhanet.net/masters/sumedho.htm

If you feel the desire to find a sangha (community), I would suggest keep looking. If nothing else, try to start your own study group. If you really can't find a sangha, it is OK to practice on your own, but then you will have to remember patience (with yourself and others), be careful, and be curious. Don't accept the easy answer.

Since you mention feeling confused and conflicted by the various teachings, I recommend reading this sutta, the Kalama Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

You mentioned worship, so if you are looking for some more ritual, here are some wonderful chants. Don't be overwhelmed. Start with the morning chant and take it in bite sized peices.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... nting.html

Finally, do not hesitate to ask questions on this forum. While I have seen people made to look like fools for claiming to have some sort of knowledge or expertise on this website, I have never seen anybody treated with anything less than loving compassion for asking an honest question about difficulties in practicing the path laid out by the Buddha. That being said, make your questions as specific as possible so that we may be of the most help.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:27 pm

If you have time on your hands, these people lead meditation retreats. I'm giving you the link to centers in the UK. I have never been, but I am scheduled to go in March. Many people on this forum have a great deal of experience with these retreats. These retreats are free (donations only) and supposedly appropriate for beginners if you want to get a jumpstart on meditation practice.

http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/eu/uk.shtml
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:46 pm

“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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bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby bodom » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:25 pm

Welcome Animamia!

:anjali:
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


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Aloka
Posts: 5517
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Aloka » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:33 pm

Welcome Animamia,

I live in the UK too! As well as the resources already mentioned you can listen to Dhamma talks and get free books here:



I would also recommend that perhaps sometime in the future you organise a visit/stay at one of the Theravada Forest Tradition monasteries in the UK.

Amaravati website is here:

and Chithurst is here:


with kind wishes,

Aloka :)

User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:48 am


Animamia
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Animamia » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:46 pm

Thank you so much for your helpful responses. I think I am more inclined towards the Theravada school. I admit I have not had much time to spend reading and learning, but I do have a few more questions that I don't seem to be able to find the answers to, or I don't understand from the information I have found.

1. If I wanted to become Buddhist, how would I go about it? Is there any kind of "initiation" equivalent to being baptised or such? Also, at what stage would I be ready to do so. I obviously have much learning to do, but do I have to know all I can know before I can take the step of becoming a Buddhist? How much time should I spend learning also? I am currently a mature student with 2 children studying biology at university, which takes up a great deal of my time.
2. The only Sanghas I can find near me practice Zen and Kadampa, which are forms is Mahayana if I am not mistaken. Would I be able to attend these if I followed Theravada Buddhism?
3. I like to wear some make-up, take care of my appearance etc. How would this fit in with Buddhism? I have read somewhere that acts of self-indulgence like this are frowned upon. Also vegetarianism and things like this I am unsure of.


Thank you in advance for reading! Jo x

Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:56 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Animamia
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: Learning Buddhism

Postby Animamia » Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:44 pm

Thank you kindly Scott, that is indeed very helpful. I have been very mindful of my day to day activities and have found myself approaching previously stressful situations with a new attitude after the small amount of reading I have done. I won't post anymore questions for now until I have had chance to learn and practice more.

Regards, Jo :)


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