Why did you choose Buddhism?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]

Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Jainarayan » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:56 pm

Well, maybe it's time I came out of the closet and admitted I've left Hinduism behind and adopted Amitābha Pure Land. While I do believe in the Hindu deities, I don't think they are 'God'. I think they are supra-mundane beings, on a higher plane, in a different dimension than we are. In fact as far as a belief in God I'm back to what I was for a long time... an agnostic deist. It actually doesn't matter to me if there is a God or not, because I find dwelling on it to take away from the Three Jewels, 4NT and 8FP.

So why did I abandon Hinduism? I became increasingly disillusioned and focused on the rituals, dogma, and superstition of Hinduism (sorry to offend any Hindus present). If I wanted that, I'd have stayed Christian (sorry to offend any Christians present). So why Pure Land? Quite simply, it appeals to me. To be mindful of Amitābha Buddha and call on him for rebirth in Sukhāvatī, take refuge, and practice the Eightfold Path, Six Perfections and Five Precepts is easy-peasy, being the lazy schlub that I am. It's about living a way of life, not practicing a religion.
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flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Snovid » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:48 pm

Why did you choose Buddhism?


I do not know
I think Buddhism has chosen me ;)

I like Buddhism because it the latest discoveries of quantum physics
confirm the truth of the words of the Buddhas.

But I do not consider myself a Buddhist
I just enjoy Dzogchen, Bon and esoteric Tantra because my main interest is the mind
awareness and posthumous fate.
I am from Poland I use google translator I do not know English
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:56 pm

1) A convincing explanation of suffering, why it is, and how to end it.

2) Doubts I always had about materialist conceptions of the world

3) I used to always get this nagging "you are in a dream, dude" feeling, which I always brushed off, until discovering that in fact, there was something to those inclinations.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:09 pm

The more I read, the more impressed I was with it's logic. Nagarjuna's " Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way" really blew me away and I could never believe in anything but the Buddhist outlook after that.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:16 pm

Purely by accident.
I thought I was getting into nudism
but by the time I'd realized my mistake,
I had already taken refuge and it was too late to turn back.

(No, actually, I had always been drawn to it, even as a child. When I was in my 20's and finally had an opportunity to actually 'become' a Buddhist, I didn't hesitate. Many of the things buddhism teaches I had already thought about a lot when I was very young. Eventually, a chain of circumstances put me in contact with a great teacher, and I have always felt very fortunate for the opportunities I have had to practice and study).
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Punya » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:27 am

In my late teens I was definitely looking for something but the buddhist book I bought didn't convince me (there weren't a lot of good books commercially available at that time) and I then got on the whole career, marriage, children rollercoaster. A serious lack of good karma really.

Fast forward a couple of decades and I started looking again. This time what was being said in the books was resonating and even though I had some reservations about sexism (no, I'm not going there) it just kept pulling me in. I didn't say this in a previous thread but I think it was really Cave in the Snow that finally convinced me. From the beginning I kept metaphorically bumping into a particular teacher and years later I was finally able to fly interstate to see them teach. From the first moment I was hooked.

Why do I think it's the right path? I just know. It took me a couple of years identify as a buddhist but I've never wavered since.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby elf girl » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:21 am

My parents were both raised Catholic, and because of this I was raised secular :P

But because I was raised without religion, I feel I had a natural curiosity about it. Much of my family is very devoutly Christian, and I joined them a little for some exploration in my very young years. Nothing they said really made any sense, because I often have an analytical mind.

But when I happened upon Buddhism, everything just made sense. A religion that encourages people to question and experience their Truths for themselves! I'm still learning of course, but the deeper I go the more right things feel. Harmlessness, the causes of suffering, loving kindness... it all just speaks to me on a very personal level.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby theanarchist » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:39 pm

I believed in reincarnation before I came to buddhism.

Because it's the only religion that makes some sense and gives a reasonable explanation to why there is suffering in the world.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby dude » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:53 pm

Because the practice works.
I can see results in this life.
Oh and yeah because it's logical.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby hop.pala » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:31 am

mrbambocha wrote:Hi.
I would love to hear why you made your choice for Buddhism, to get some perspective.

Why did you choose Buddhism?
Why do you think it is the right path?



Because i have problem in my private life and help an buddha.Buddha say for my :"Jesus can not help "-say Buddha.And really.I was ateist and i go buddhist as i meet Buddha.I am not Buddha beliver,i am knover of Buddha admired shiddis.Buddha is an god,i know it,and not belive it ,i know that Buddha is god.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby tellyontellyon » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:27 pm

In my twenties I used to go out drinking quite a lot. One evening I hit this guy who I thought was going to hit me. I had an object in my hand and he suffered a fractured skull and went into a coma.
He was going to die and I was going to be charged with murder.... however, he woke up five days later.
when it eventually came to court I found out that he had suffered brain damage, he developed epilepsy and lost some mobility and his speech was affected.

I went to prison and found it very difficult. But while there I found a small orange book by Ajahn Sumedo. I didn't understand it that well, but I tried to do some sort of meditation in order to feel a bit less stressed as I felt I was loosing my mind. Fear, guilt, confusion, disorientation and paranoia got the better of me.
The story of how the monk was able to change his point of view gave me hope and helped me to hang on.

After I got out of prison I continued to find out more and got involved in psychotherapy and eventually became a psychotherapist myself. These days I follow a Karma Kagyu teacher.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Punya » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:51 am

Not actually within the keeping of this thread but what an extraordinary story telly. One that sadly is being increasingly repeated in alcohol fuelled societies. My heart goes out to the mostly young men on both sides (and their families), who are involved. I'm glad you are finding ways to move on. :focus:
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby tellyontellyon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:19 am

Punya wrote:Not actually within the keeping of this thread.... :focus:


Sorry if I missed the point of the thread :emb: ... I'll have another go at answering your original question:

I chose Buddhism: partly because of a chance discovery of a book that didn't seem to fit in with all the other books that were around it. It appealed to me because I was in a difficult place in my life at the time and clutching for something that would help. The book described something practical that I could do to help me to cope and to calm down. The story of the monk in the book was comforting.

I thought it was the right path because: my experience of reading and trying to practice what was in that book and other Buddhist books I later came across, and also the teachers I have met have helped me and convinced me that Buddhism was the right path for me.
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Punya » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:40 am

Punya wrote:Not actually within the keeping of this thread but what an extraordinary story telly. One that sadly is being increasingly repeated in alcohol fuelled societies. My heart goes out to the mostly young men on both sides (and their families), who are involved. I'm glad you are finding ways to move on. :focus:


I'm very sorry telly. I meant that it wasn't in keeping with the thread for me to comment. It was sloppy of me to not make this clear. You can ask the moderators to delete your second post if you like.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby tellyontellyon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:06 am

[quote="Punya.[/quote]

Hiya... No worries, I misunderstand things easily! :rolleye:

No need to delete anything... we can just 'let it go' :smile:

And thanks for your kind words. I've seen some great stuff on the net about the benefit of introducing Buddhism into prisons. It is so much better to treat prisoners with humanity, and send them back into society in a more healthy state of mind than when they first went in. That helps everybody, not just the ex. convict.

The examples of figures like Milarepa, and also the story of Anguilamala are such great inspiration:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angulimala

Anyway, as you said... :focus:
“Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Sonrisa » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:33 am

I came again to Buddhism after deciding that I no longer wished to be a slave to the impulses of my own anger; because some person insulted me. Closely examining the Four Noble Truths, I found out that this clinging anger and trying to get back at those who hurt me IS a form of desire and thus an attachment that leads me to extreme suffering. Sometimes, you just have to say: enough is enough! I learned that regardless of the outside world and what others are doing, happiness is always in my heart and to look for it in there always. Now, I try my best not to be moved by others' insults because I cannot control others, only I can control myself and my internal responses. I know too well the pain of burning anger and make an effort to have compassion to those who come at me with admonishing remarks. Connecting with them in knowing the pain, helps me to have compassion toward them because I've been through it many times. It's not our fault others attempt to make us feel bad about ourselves just so they can feel better about themselves; when we do this, we are speaking from a source of pain. I never knew how to observe myself and I was amazed about what we can find out when we do.

Plus, the symbolism in the Buddhadharma is VERY rich. By looking at Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, I focused their qualities (compassion, wisdom, skillful means) and turned them inward, in that those same qualities of enlightened beings are also available within me too...everyone as a matter of fact!
Namo Amitabha
Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

May I continue to practice loving-kindness and compassion for sentient beings. May my friends and loved ones be free from suffering. May those who have hurt me also be free from suffering.

Hatred is like throwing cow dung at someone else. You get dirty first before throwing it to someone else.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:11 am

Sonrisa wrote:I came again to Buddhism after deciding that I no longer wished to be a slave to the impulses of my own anger; because some person insulted me. Closely examining the Four Noble Truths, I found out that this clinging anger and trying to get back at those who hurt me IS a form of desire and thus an attachment that leads me to extreme suffering.


That's why I went and found a Buddhist teacher! I figured out I was causing all my sufferings and I needed someone to help me figure out how to let go of my suffering. Welcome to the Dharmawheel :namaste:
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby foodcrazee » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:20 am

All reply is quite sometimes ago but still it is a good read of how peeps come about Buddhism.

For me, i was confused between Tao and Buddhism as both was practised in my family.

Learn a little about Islam when i was in a library and then went to Church 3 years later. Again, in my mind, why is the 3 religion Judaism, Christianity and Islam so alike yet different.

Then I was introduced to Buddhism via a Buddhist youth camp, not really into it as i wa too young.

The actual master that brought me back to Buddhism is my son. He was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Upon meeting a Master, he chanted and told us that my son brought this from his past life. So, i was introduced to Usnisa Vijaya Dharani mantra and took it from there. Its only been like 2 months or so and happy to see my son stronger now. Will keep up the chanting to help him and all that needs it.

Namo Di Zang Wang Pusa
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby philji » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:52 am

After around 20 years of practicing and not practicing within the Bhakti tradition of India and meditating within those traditions it just sort of happened naturally that I was drawn to Buddhism. Started practicing and meeting teachers and now 14 years later here I am.
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Re: Why did you choose Buddhism?

Postby Kaccāni » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:56 am

Hmm. I chose none. At times I did actively choose "none". That doesn´t mean I haven´t studied and tried to understand what´s behind. At that time you could say, it was probably more intellectual play, but it was still revealing getting beyond the words and grasping the meaning of the pictures used in some ancient texts. I´ve read the fundamentals on Buddhism 25 years back, and meditated as part of karate taining, and often times alone. Mostly Zen books at that time, but also on the 4 noble truths. But you could say, then followed 20 years of erratic searching.

Things changed dramatically as I started to play pool in tournaments. That´s a complex art, subtle strain in your body, caused by the mind, will have an enormous effect on your play. Even if your training and technique is decent, it will in some days ruin your game. On the other hand there are also moments where you experience "flow". Where everything seems to work and you don´t have to think, you just do. So folding in competition when I walked up to the table I at that time remembered the Bhagavad Gita (I know, that´s not a Buddhist text). But it told me you´ll need to get this mastered even in a "battle" situation, or all that theory is mere theory.

Then a couple of years of observation started. What happens in the body, what distracts, how does it distract, how does fear feel, what is anxiety, how does it stick, how do thoughts enter and distract you. Pool became my mirror. Then I decided firmly that I want to master that. Develop an understanding what is illusion, turn the senses inward, understand the faculty and let it come to rest. I came to realize that it is not only anger and frustration over a miss or an unlucky roll can ruin your game, but the joy of something that went particularly well can also. So my conclusion was to stay separate from both. It became a routine to approach the table with the intention of staying equanimous. Of course, that often did not work. I started countering negative emotions with positive ones, try to develop an attitude of just sitting here, loving the game and the situation, and with time more and more situations were no longer able to execute their pull as they had before. I also had a good Master to assist me with that (an established pool professional who pointed me at exactly that).

After that I noticed the same feelings arise and go in daily life, and I took my practice from the table to the other situations that I encounter. It works better or worse, but during the last two years it has gotten better and better. I´ve been going from wanting to win to just playing. I´ve particularly been searching for opponents and situations I know that have a potential to trigger defilements in me, let myself sink in and try to stay clear. Discussing Buddhism on an online Buddhist board does qualify as such, I´d suppose ;)

So what about Buddhism? When I read the sutras, or Books from Ajahn Sumedho or Daisetz Suzuki, that is a rather pleasant experience, since it usually is accompanied with a stream of "yes". I can find many of the stages I´veencountered described in there, and see the path works. Whenever I re-read certain original texts, a year later I could say I understood more of it. It helps sort the one or other experiences into a more complete reference frame, and look for what there was still to come. There are maybe some subtleties (when talking about whether word-and-form and consciousness mutually cause each other) where the texts offer different versions, where I from personal experience I would have to stick with one that describes it best. Maybe that´s fog, who knows. It doesn´t really matter to me as long as no defilements spawn on it. The cessation of them is my intention.

Would I have made these experiences without having read on Buddhism, Christianity, Raja Yoga, Vedanta? Who knows. In this instance it sure was part of that which my experience dependently arose on. So why not do some further reading and talk to people bout it. After all there is something, that really works and drastically sorts your view on many profane things in this world. "Am" I a Buddhist? I guess I have practiced disidentification far too long to say that. Or you could say, in a conventional sense, I am, among other things, also a Buddhist. I do no longer feel a need to search.

Am I thus a pool-tantrist, because I used my strong emotionality towards pool? Who knows :)

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