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 Post subject: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Loves,

Would you post or link me to quotes/books/passages/sutras etc.that are very rudimentary and you'd say should be covered before I attempt to understand more advanced Mahayana teachings? I'm familiar and have quite a full understanding of the 4/8 and karmic teachings, but the matter/mind/emptiness divergence is still completely over my head.

:namaste:
Caroline

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Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:00 pm 
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there are tons of material on this site

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/index.html

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If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:49 pm 
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Posts: 1358
a thought came to my mind. that you might enjoy and like pema chodron's books very much. they are quite down to earth and deal alot with a buddhist approach to daily and everyday life and the challenges we all face. i liked her books very much. you can write pema chodron to amazon and you will find many books and you can choose to your likings.

i think her books could establish a healthy psychological foundation to deal with normal everyday life, and that would be a good foundation for life and further buddhist practice.

_________________
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm
Posts: 1358
and i would also suggest books by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

_________________
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm
Posts: 1358
and maybe after that or even before the all time classic. Shantideva - the way of the bodhisattva

_________________
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:27 am
Posts: 173
I'll second KonchokZoepa's recommendation of Pema Chodron. I think When Things Fall Apart (Pema Chodron) is one of the best books anyone interested in Buddhism can read. I also really liked "Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior" by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and "What Makes You Not A Buddhist" by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. Those are all great books really addressing how Buddhism applies deeply to all of life and the overall view, as opposed to a more technical or historical writing.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:39 pm 
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My all time favorite is Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, he's a controversial figure though, and his style is not for everyone, it seems like most love it or hate it. Follow these with The Way of Meditation and The Myth of Freedom IMO.

A really good introductory book on Mahayana Buddhism is The Heart of The Buddha's Teaching By Thich Nhat Hanh, I enjoyed it very much, and I think that many of his decisions to change around typical Buddhist terminology are probably very beneficial for someone who is new to the concepts. The book does a really good job of covering things like the 12 links, emptiness, and other concepts in a way that is more readable than anything i've read previously.

A Profound Mind by HHDL is also great in this vein, that was the first book I read that really gave me a better hold on Mahayana philosophy, if you are not used to reading that kind of stuff, then his explanation of the different "levels" of cittamatra, Mahdymika etc. might seem daunting, if you take your time and reread as needed though, it's pretty clear, the concepts themselves aren't exactly easy so you need to be patient with yourself in learning them. It's actually over everyone's head, that's why it's so central.

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Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Buddhism for westeners by ringu tulku. (maybe the title is different in english, i have it in spanish)


Last edited by TaTa on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 2327
Location: the Netherlands and India
I recommend "From Here to Enlightenment" for a readable but in-depth summary of the fundamental Mahayana path. The text is based on transcripts of a condensed commentary on the Lam Rim Chenmo that HH Dalai Lama gave at Lehigh University.


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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:26 pm 
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TaTa wrote:
Buddhism for westeners by ringu tulku. (maybe the title is different in english, i have it in spanish)

I think it's this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Path-Buddhahood-Teachings-Gampopas-LIBERATION/dp/1590300122/

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:49 pm 
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I personally like Conze's "Buddhism: Its Essence and Development" for a general orientation, although you should skip the section on Tantra since it is very outdated. If you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism, especially of the Nyingma or Kagyu variety, then I think Reginald Ray's "Indestructible Truth" is a very good place to start.

BTW, I think your signature is from the movie "Kama Sutra", not "Karma Sutra".

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:54 pm 
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All you need to do is wish for all beings to be happy and swear to use ethical means to make it happen. Slowly the mind becomes lighter and you can study the Heart Sutra.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:17 pm 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
BTW, I think your signature is from the movie "Kama Sutra", not "Karma Sutra".
Aha, yes, you are right! My mistake. I saw it was Elizabeth Kucinich's email signature and felt called to use. I think I'll find my own. :p

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:51 pm 
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I think "Essence of Buddhism" by Traleg Kyabgon is also quite good, from a Tibetan perspective again.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to start
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Posts: 85
Looks like you've already started! :thumbsup:

Its different from what you're asking for, but if you're open to learning from the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen tradition, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is a wonderful teacher and easy to get started by listening to his recordings. He's recorded hundreds of hours of his teachings. You can find his website at Lingmincha.org.
He's made a youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ligmincha/videos

For example, some favourites of mine are:
"Finding Refuge Within" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW9_4558qpQ
"Turning Pain Into the Path" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43ZpNYFMppc
"Awakening the Luminous Mind" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-WIqtSteZs



His simple teachings have been a great source of wisdom and comfort for me. I've been learning to accepting 'things as they are' and it's is not easy to do sometimes. Humans typically have aversion to things we don't like and attraction to things we wish to have. And it's a source of our own unhappiness. We make this unhappiness as we struggle (pushing the wheel of samsara) to find happiness in life. Becoming aware of 'the way things are' is important. Look directly at it as you meditate. As you meditate, thoughts become slow and empty and replaced by a sacred spaciousness (emptiness) within you. That space becomes a comfort and a refuge.

I've also found it difficult to understanding the teachings on emptiness (sunyata). There's been many good discussions about it here on the forums. Just ask on this forum and people will share! Here's something to get started with:


Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, "LIVING AN APPEARANCE-EMPTINESS LIFE"
Quote:
Since all phenomena, outer and inner, are dependently existent mere appearances,
They have no inherent nature, they are just appearance-emptiness.
If you know how they resemble dreams and illusions,
All comings and goings will be open and relaxed.
Since appearances of friends and enemies are dependently existent,
Both are appearance-emptiness, like rainbows, and if you know this,
That is called, “meditation on illusion.”
Within openness you will achieve inner peace


From Lam Rim Chen Mo:
Quote:
Likewise, the person lacks even a particle of intrinsic nature, but is the accumulator of karma and the experiencer of effects, and is produced in dependence upon earlier karma and afflictions. It is not a contradiction. Practice this thought and understand that it is like this in all such cases.


From Nagarjuna:
Quote:
Whatever arises dependently / Is explained as empty.
Thus dependent attribution / Is the middle way.
Since there is nothing whatever / That is not dependently existent,
For that reason there is nothing / Whatsoever that is not empty.


From the Dalai Lama (Quoting Tsongkhapa):
Quote:
"A coiled rope’s speckled color and coiling are similar to those of a snake, and when the rope is perceived in a dim area, the thought arises, ‘This is a snake.’ As for the rope, at that time when it is seen to be a snake, the collection and parts of the rope are not even in the slightest way a snake. Therefore, that snake is merely set up by conceptuality.”


May you find many blessings as you continue on your path! :namaste:


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