Looking for Buddhism

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Looking for Buddhism

Postby maitreya31 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:26 pm

I'm searching for the Dharma . I studied the Pali Nikayas . I will search for a Zen master . What Mahayana sutras should I study before begin my practice?
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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby ground » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:30 am

First you should know that studying is practice. The proper attitude and concentration with which one studies should not be neglected.
As far as Mahayana sutras are concerned I can give no advice. Because I started with Lamrim, listened to teachers, studied commentaries about sutra and tantra and then re-turned to the Lamrim and - in addition - turned to the sutta pitaka. The sutta pitaka has been completely obscure to me in the beginning but I feel that this has changed after my voyage.

Kind regards
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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby plwk » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:49 am

As far as I have known, there's are Sutras read and studied in Ch'an but in Zen, which normally is associated with the Japanese Buddhist Tradition and its affiliates, they may have a different approach and one place I know you can get sound advice would be ZFI
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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby Inge » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:22 am

maitreya31 wrote:I'm searching for the Dharma . I studied the Pali Nikayas . I will search for a Zen master . What Mahayana sutras should I study before begin my practice?

I'm certainly in no position to say what you should study. The first sutra I read was the Shurangama Sutra. According to what I have read this is also the sutra that the chan master Hsuan Hua suggests to study first.

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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby Jikan » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:47 pm

To get a start in Mahayana, I would recommend two brief books that offer expansive teachings: the Awakening of Faith, and Santideva's Guide.

Keep the aspiration in your heart to find a teacher and keep your eyes open...
Great River Tendai Sangha: a Tendai Buddhist community in Alexandria, Virginia, USA (near Washington, DC):


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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby Astus » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:54 pm

A recommended reading list at the Mountains and Rivers Order. That is for a modern American Zen community. If you want to study for Chinese, Korean or some other forms of Zen the list can change significantly.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby LastLegend » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:28 pm

Diamond Sutra

―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Looking for Buddhism

Postby Kyosan » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:23 am

Like TMingyur said, you don't have to wait before starting to practice. In fact, the sutras are more meaningful if you are practicing and reading them at the same time. Here are some important sutras in Zen Buddhism:

Platform Sutra
Diamond Sutra
Surangama Sutra
Heart Sutra
Lankavatara Sutra

All of these sutras are available online.
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