Confused Buddhist

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Confused Buddhist

Postby Greg_the_poet » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:12 pm

Hi there, I didn't realise there was a Mahayana site as well as a Theravada one, which I'm signed up to already. I've put the title of confused Buddhist because I honestly don't know which path I wish to follow. I first practised Tibetan (Kagyu) but found it far too intense, I then tried Zen which speaks to me the most but I find Zazen really difficult to do. I'm now dabbling in Theravada because I love the meditations Samadha and Vipassana as they are eyes closed meditations and I enjoy doing them. However Theravada seems too conservative for me and relies too heavily on the pali canon which I'm not really that interested in. So in conclusion I prefer Theravada meditations but prefer Zen philosophy.

Any help? :)
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby purple rose » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:20 pm

Hi Greg_the_poet, :smile:

Welcome to Dharma Wheel.

Regards,
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:16 pm

Perhaps you will soon have a look at dzogchen.
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby edearl » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:14 pm

Over 2500 years of Buddhism has produced many schools, which complicates ones decision...good hunting. I hope you find a school and teacher that suits your needs. My study of Buddhism began only a week ago, and I find the mass of literature nearly overwhelming, but patience and persistence can prevail. As a total novice, I find there are many things about Buddhism that I find compelling, some confusing, and some unattractive. Although, I must to keep an open mind and learn more before making any final decisions. People have urged me to find a mentor, but IMO rushing to a decision can lead to a poor choice.

I was reared a fundamentalist Christian, but early in life expunged beliefs in favor of reason; thus, I became an agnostic (almost atheist), because logic cannot prove or disprove the existence of a god or gods. Belief systems such as Christianity have both good and bad aspects. The good things have sometimes led to humanities greatest achievements, and the bad things have led to its worst tragedies...Jonestown, The Nazi Holocaust, and The Crusades to name a few. Whenever someone says, "Believe me," my fight or flight response engages, and my immediate (maybe incorrect) thought is, "Whatever this person has to say must be irrational."

A little over 2000 years of Christianity has enchanted people of all kinds, including the practical, prodigal, political, poetic and psychotic. No doubt, Buddhism has enticed the same spectrum of humanity from typical to atypical. Thus, I examine Buddhist literature carefully and skeptically. After all, the first tenet of the Eightfold Path is the Right Way---see the world as it is, not as it appears to be. To achieve the Right Way, one must keep an open mind. Thus, while reading Buddhist literature the Right Way means to me that I must keep an open mind and not expect anything or hope anything. Perhaps there will be a school for me, perhaps not. Perhaps there will be a teacher for me, perhaps not.

On the other hand, the things I already know about Buddhism are awesomely good, including that it teaches the Right Way, Middle Way, and non violence. It would be easy to ignore the Right Way and to expect and hope for more great things from Buddhism; why? For me, the Right Way to Buddhism includes patience and persistence, yet achieving enlightenment is a powerful magnet that pulls against patience and persistence. While alive, one often finds things pull this way and that, but such conflicts need not cause suffering.

Perhaps your confusion is due to having insufficient information, and your being eager to make a decision; perhaps something else. I recommend you contemplatively meditate about your confusion to determine its causes and plan a way out of your confusion. For example, if you need additional information read Buddhist literature, and if you are too eager, meditate to calm your mind.

:namaste:
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby Will » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:10 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:Hi there, I didn't realise there was a Mahayana site as well as a Theravada one, which I'm signed up to already. I've put the title of confused Buddhist because I honestly don't know which path I wish to follow. I first practised Tibetan (Kagyu) but found it far too intense, I then tried Zen which speaks to me the most but I find Zazen really difficult to do. I'm now dabbling in Theravada because I love the meditations Samadha and Vipassana as they are eyes closed meditations and I enjoy doing them. However Theravada seems too conservative for me and relies too heavily on the pali canon which I'm not really that interested in. So in conclusion I prefer Theravada meditations but prefer Zen philosophy.

Any help? :)


The advantage (or problem) of Western Buddhists is all the choices we have of schools & lineages. So there is nothing to be done, except to continue exploring. But do not drop or pick some Dharma path just to relieve your confusion. Ignorance & craving are basic flaws we humans have and the result of the mixture is good old confusion.

However, if this dabbling has been going on for several years, then pick one and learn to tolerate any flaws you notice in the temple folk, doctrines, teachers etc.

If you have been considering Buddhism for only months or a year or two, then just plod onward.

I am assuming you have taken formal refuge in the Three Jewels... if you have not, taking Refuge will clear away much of the confusion and a decision will be easier and quicker coming.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby Thug4lyfe » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:17 am

Why don't you try out "Humanistic Buddhism" under the Fo Guang Shan order?
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby Kyosan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:50 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:Hi there, I didn't realise there was a Mahayana site as well as a Theravada one, which I'm signed up to already. I've put the title of confused Buddhist because I honestly don't know which path I wish to follow. I first practised Tibetan (Kagyu) but found it far too intense, I then tried Zen which speaks to me the most but I find Zazen really difficult to do. I'm now dabbling in Theravada because I love the meditations Samadha and Vipassana as they are eyes closed meditations and I enjoy doing them. However Theravada seems too conservative for me and relies too heavily on the pali canon which I'm not really that interested in. So in conclusion I prefer Theravada meditations but prefer Zen philosophy.

Any help? :)

If you like the Zen philosophy, I suggest you stick with that. You can practice any type of meditation that works for you. Maybe mindfully count from 1 to 10 or mindfully observe your breath.
:namaste:
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby Kare » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:05 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:Hi there, I didn't realise there was a Mahayana site as well as a Theravada one, which I'm signed up to already. I've put the title of confused Buddhist because I honestly don't know which path I wish to follow. I first practised Tibetan (Kagyu) but found it far too intense, I then tried Zen which speaks to me the most but I find Zazen really difficult to do. I'm now dabbling in Theravada because I love the meditations Samadha and Vipassana as they are eyes closed meditations and I enjoy doing them. However Theravada seems too conservative for me and relies too heavily on the pali canon which I'm not really that interested in. So in conclusion I prefer Theravada meditations but prefer Zen philosophy.

Any help? :)


Have you checked out Thich Nhat Hanh? He is a Vietnamese teacher who teaches a mix of Theravada and Zen that perhaps would be the "right" one for you.
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:33 am

Greetings,

Kare wrote:Have you checked out Thich Nhat Hanh? He is a Vietnamese teacher who teaches a mix of Theravada and Zen that perhaps would be the "right" one for you.

Good call. Ajahn Chah also comes to mind as a teacher well regarded in Zen circles...

Selections: http://www.hsuyun.org/chan/en/features/ ... nchah.html
More Teachings: http://muddywaterzen.blogspot.com/2010/ ... -chah.html

Anyway, welcome to Dharma Wheel!

:buddha1:

Maitri,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby Tenso » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:31 am

Whatever you choose in the end, put all your heart and mind into it. That's the only way you'll get anywhere. I was also like you at one going back and forth with traditions until I discovered the Pure Land path and have been stuck to it ever since.
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Re: Confused Buddhist

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:44 am

deepbluehum wrote:Perhaps you will soon have a look at dzogchen.


http://www.snowlionpub.com/html/product_8864.html

:reading:

Confusion Dawns As Wisdom:
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