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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:05 am 
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as a child i had thoughts strong thoughts ....my first thoughts were around age 7 ( that i can recall) i was baptised catholic ,made communion however i refused to be confirmed into the church. from the age of 13 i read about every religion and non religion .buddhism fit it felt familiar the thoughts i had was a knowledge of some sort .in my early years i did not practice meaning outwardly no chanting did not have a shrine,did not read the texts but i did my best to create good karma .from 20 years old i was raising my family and working ...yoga and meditation became very strong presence in my life .at 37 my father past away .and that is what was the catalyst to starting a full buddhist way .i am 44 now ,when i reflect back i see that although i did not practice as i do now ,my life still shows that i was on the path the whole time i just was not mindful i struggled with how to balance and i attached to things /feelings/events that temporarily pulled me off the path or felt like they did .i found that once my children were away at college making their way etc .i could and did find the way back i could finally have a mindfull practice be a part of my day .it has been my most peaceful time in my life .

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keeping the mind in perfect tranquility and free from any attachment to appearances."
"So I say to you -
This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:"
"Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream."
"So is all conditioned existence to be seen."
Thus spoke Buddha.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:25 pm 
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denice wrote:


I relate to almost everything you've written here, Denice. It's a pleasure to make your virtual acquaintance.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:32 pm 
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thank you starglade i am happy to meet your vitual acquaintance as well

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keeping the mind in perfect tranquility and free from any attachment to appearances."
"So I say to you -
This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:"
"Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream."
"So is all conditioned existence to be seen."
Thus spoke Buddha.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Location: USA, Tucson
I can relate to much of what denice said also. Even at a very young age, I questioned things. As a young teenager, I started reading about different philosophies and religions. I was looking for answers, and even today am not sure why it was so important to me. I didn't find them in the religion I was brought up with. I found Buddhism and that was what I was looking for. I am still looking for the answers but am doing it through Buddhism.
:namaste:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Reading Bertrand Russell.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Could you elaborate, seraphim? I didn't know Bertrand Russell was into dharma. I can relate to many of the stories here - it was a disillusionment with the broken religion of my parents that set me searching from around age 12 into many different religions, philosophies, and systems of truth. It was the revelation of an undeniable universal truth, cropping up in more and less pure expression in mystical traditions around the world, that finally led me to Buddhism, which I considered and do consider, in its various vehicles and embodiments, the most profound of them all in elucidating the truth. Something of the rigorous logic of the Pali suttas, of the logic-breaking satori moments of the koans, of Nagarjuna's rigorous defense and proof of Buddhism's deepest philosophical principles, the fruits of Buddhist influence in poetry and art, of the Diamond Sutra and it's paradoxical negations and affirmations, of the real-life-mind transformation that meditative practice offered, all of which I felt a deep inner kinship and feeling of rightness and realness, that cemented it for me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:16 am 
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I was born into a Jewish family; the chosen people. I soon learned that we were chosen for discrimination / Antisemitism, so wanted to find the reasons for that. So I read history, studied other religions, dabbled with following other religions. I went to the promised land, literally, off to Israel for high school, to the land of milk and honey.

I soon learned that there was no milk and honey there either and also that the God of Israel led our people to the only place in the Middle East that does NOT have oil.

So I came back to the U.S. and in college studied philosophy and social sciences and also comparative religions on my own every chance I could get. Buddhism was the only one to make sense to me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:22 am 
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I had a course in college on Christian History and Russell's work was on the reading list, Buddhism was hinted on by his way of rejecting Christian dogma. Thats how I got started :meditate:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:43 am 
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Was brought up as a Buddhist since my family has been Buddhist. In Vietnam, Theravada and Mahayana live side by side. In fact, there is a Mahayana-Theravada traditon found about 100 years ago by a Vietnamese Patriarch Minh Dang Quang. In countries such as Vietnam, you will find monks standing in front of people's houses with containers to recieve food.

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NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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―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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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:29 am 
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Martial arts.

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nopalabhyate...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:47 pm 
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A local philosophy professor gave me three books when I was a teenager: Plato's Conversations with Socrates, Heaven's My Destination by Thornton Wilder, and Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. For whatever reason, that put the wheels in motion for me...

So, karma.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:09 am 
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started long time ago from being raised catholic, and not getting a sense of it was the right way so to speak.

looked at many other religions etc as i got older.

Dharma clicked the most out of all of them .

Even being raised to know their is a permanent self, When Bhante Aluth explained the aggregates, i saw what he was saying but did not have full understanding.

It made sense,
i think at that time i said things like, If this body is Me and is myself and is mine, why can't i control it like i can do with my tv or computer.

If i turn the computer or tv on or off , it goes on or off, but if i say to myself sleep mode activate i don't fall asleep with in a split second.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:03 pm 
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karate then Zen books and my dissatisfaction with other religions


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:04 am 
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The immediate conditions that pushed more toward the Dharma were 1 years ago:

1. Bad mescaline trip at indie music festival
2. Reading about psychology on the internet
3. Watching the "Chocolate Rain" youtube clip made think about god (used to be a athiest)
4. Got interested in philsophy and idea of metaphysics
5. Practicing "Pick up artist" techniques
6. googled the word "No religion" and brought up a link to a article feature Siddartha Gutama, hence creating curiosity toward Buddhism without bothering to
learn any of the philosophies
7. Read some pop culture book about Buddhism
8. My dad got me in contact with a well established temple and the venerable there pwnt my ego with powerful words
9. Started my learning and practice from there!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:05 am 
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In my case was a book about death and dealing with people dying (cant remember right now the name or author).

The author had strong affinities with buddhism. I got interested on his views and then i bought a book about buddhism (Buddha and His Teachings - a collection of many authors) and now here i am.

Oh! I forgot to say that i was tired and angry with Catholic curch, Jesus and God. In my point of view, if God was real, he would must be a liar and someone who loved sadic stuff (just look to the suffering of humans...) OR he was just a divine being with no powers. Thats what i believe now, God is just someone deserving our compassion. He needs Dharma. Really.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:04 pm 
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It's interesting to read everyone's experiences. I'll keep this brief even though I can tend to be long-winded.

Raised in a loose Protestant Christian family. Began questioning my religion and God when I was a young teen. I think my first encounter with Buddhism was through reading Kerouac. A girlfriend later bought Steve Hagen's introduction to Buddhism for me which I poured over several times. Also invested in Goddard's Bible and subsequently became stumped by the deep philosophy of the Surangama Sutra. Went off to college to study English and Asian Religions. Became friends with a professor who taught Buddhism - specfically Tibetan Buddhism. Around this time, my practice failed. I got too caught up in college life to make time for anything moral. Drifted into an on-again-off-again atheism/agnosticism. Sometimes I tried returning to Christianity. Began studying early Christianity in an attempt to refute it. Eventually discovered that I needed something to feel the void I was starting to notice inside of me, so I tried incorporating God into my life through various means and religions. Once I began to realize the truth of aging and death, I converted to Catholicism. My faith in it waxed and waned, though I was a better Catholic than I had been at anything else. My Catholicism was largely a social tool, though. While a Catholic, I got interested in things like Centering Prayer (which is essentially meditation) and the works of Thomas Merton which greatly reflected a Zen mindset. I never really forgot my early reading, and Buddhism had largely formed the backbone of my existentialist philosophy even if I failed to practice it. Over time, with more reading, I lost my faith in the Church, in the dogmas, and the Creed. I then considered God. God angered me because of his inconsistencies. Of course, while I now have not entirely ruled out the idea of a Supreme Being, I am positive nothing can be known about it, especially not through private or public revelation. I am also positive this Supreme Being lies at the center of the matrix of impermanence. I suppose I imagine a Trimurti-esque Being more than a Loving Father. In essence, I've left God behind in search of a different salvation, recognizing that the Supreme Being heeds no prayers, recognizes no victims, regards no accidents. I've returned the Dharma because it remains fundamentally true through winter, summer, heaven, hell, light and darkness.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:08 am 
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Reading the Asian-American Press about a Tibetan Nun (teenager), that died from the abuses received in a Chinese prison. My heart went out to her...as I read about her sky burial...I then went out to learn more about Tibetan culture and religion...bought the book : Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers.
Read it on & off for many years (6-7). I fell deeply in love with this culture and the teachings (Buddhism). Soon after found my teacher.

Also, when I was a little girl, I was mesmerized by a Buddhist statue my mother had...a black Buddha incense burner...that I use to stare at.


_/\_


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:22 am 
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The desert fathers,orthodox christian mysticism.
a drunk person.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:53 pm 
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It seems like Christianity has became a vehicle for bringing many homeboys to the Gate of the Dharma!!! :namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Many years ago I'd been reading Thomas Merton. He'd written, "Teach me to go to the country beyond words." I followed him east and found the Buddha Dharma.


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