I do not know a lot about Buddhism. For a few years already I have a interest in Buddhism practise and can associate with their way of thinking about suffering and compassion. I were brought up as a Christian and although I believe in God I have reservations about Christianity.
At the moment I'm struggling with issues in my life and is at a point where I want to start practising the Buddhist path of finding meaning for my life. I battle with meditation and although I am reading everthing I can put my hands on, I don't know how and where to start my path. Unfortunately I live in Mozambique, a third world country in Africa and don't have excess to a lot of books and workshops and retreat centres. I can only rely on the internet for help. I'm a South African citizen, Afrikaans speaking woman of 53. Is there some one that can help me?
Buddhism is a broad area of teachings and practices. So I am here to introduce to you something that I practice. I practice Pure Land Buddhism. It is nothing more than chanting/reciting/saying/repeating NAMO AMITABHA either out loud or in your head depending on your preference. After a couple months of practice, you will notice changes from the inside of you and on the outside appearance as well. Personally, the method that I use is listening myself saying NAMO AMITABHA in my head. This method helps me focus. Some people find it works better to say it out loud when they are alone in their privacy.
Pure Land is not fancy other than just practice like I mentioned above with A VOW TO BE REBORN IN PURE LAND OF AMITABHA AND PURE FAITH IN AMITABHA. So 1) FAITH 2)VOW 3)PRACTICE. These 3 areas are the core teachings of Pure Land. As a beginner, you will have to wrestle with intruding thoughts and over time you will be more focused. So experiment to see which method works for you. As I mentioned above the method that I use is listening to myself saying NAMO AMITABHA in my head. Another method that I know of that works for beginners is say NAMO AMITBAHA as fast as you can about 10 times or more for morning, afternoon, evening, before bed time, or any time. This method works better if you do it out loud in your privacy. This might sound simple to be true, but not that simple because you will have to wrestle with intruding thoughts. But trust me, if you really practice the results will show.
Again the areas of teachings above I mentioned are very important. Can't stress it enough.
Here are websites that you can read:http://www.amtbweb.org/tenrecitationmethod.htmlhttp://www.quangduc.com/English/pureland/index.htmlhttp://www.tinhthuquan.com/PhapAmEnglish/english.htm
This is all you need for now. Come back ask questions and post your experience.