I feel so welcome :] Thank you all so much! I started with "Buddhism for Beginners" by Ven. Thubten Chodron. That just erupted to a whole new set of questions. So, I'm taking to a journal and going to try working it out that way.
Thanks! I saw your post and that's what I decided to do was to keep studying.
Nila, Dave, and Greg:
These are things I'm hoping to do very soon! I stumbled on a network for Michigan Buddhist Temples, many which are in surrounding cities. So it's a Greyhound bus away, but I have to get funds in order first :]
As for where I'm at right now. Theravada is more conservative I'm reading and Mahayana (and the branches within this tradition) adds a bit more including deities, focusing more on mediation in some practices. I think that's the biggest thing I'm having a hard time with because I would rather stick to more traditional teachings that Buddha offered because I'm kind of put off by the thought of deities being "added" (please take no offense) and that just could be that I haven't learned more about it, so I can't really judge. At the same time, with Theravada, I don't believe in that distinction between the lay devotee and the Monk/Nun because I believe everyone should have the chance to aide others in the teachings of Buddha and I don't think I could put devotion in ordination to become a Nun. So, I'm still in the middle between that.
And yes, Greg I want to see a teacher by the end of this year. I just want to get myself ready for that moment :]
Thanks for the welcome
I've found a bit of books to start reading, but I'll definitely use the forums as a source as well ^_^