Becoming a Buddhist

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:26 pm

I struggle with the precept of not using intoxicants. Not because I believe they are necessary to a good life, but because I am unable to do everything I want and I must prioritize. Drinking in moderation may not be ideal, but it seems it would be wise to prioritize other things first, such as being a good mother. And ironically, if you believe me, allowing myself a glass of wine helps me handle the stress better. Yet I somehow feel I don't qualify as a buddhist unless I give up alcohol, coffee and come to think of it, meat. Am I being too dogmatic? If not, how should I go about things?
Angelic Fruitcake
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Pero » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:44 pm

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:Am I being too dogmatic?

Yes.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
Pero
 
Posts: 1797
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:14 pm

I agree with Pero, also as I understand it. As a practioner you need not take all 5 precepts. But the first two are important to consider taking. I may be mistaken though, if I am I know someone will correct me.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Seishin » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:31 pm

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:I struggle with the precept of not using intoxicants. Not because I believe they are necessary to a good life, but because I am unable to do everything I want and I must prioritize. Drinking in moderation may not be ideal, but it seems it would be wise to prioritize other things first, such as being a good mother. And ironically, if you believe me, allowing myself a glass of wine helps me handle the stress better. Yet I somehow feel I don't qualify as a buddhist unless I give up alcohol, coffee and come to think of it, meat. Am I being too dogmatic? If not, how should I go about things?



It all depends on what your teacher has taught you, what lineage you belong to and how you understand them. The precepts, as I understand them (and how it was taught to me) are training in order to refine you, to better your path toward enlightenment. The vows I took used the word "abstain", which means "to refrain by choice". How much alcohol you chose to drink is up to you, and the only judgement of how much is too much comes from peoples opinions, not from the sutras (unless you are a monk/nun), so you need to honestly ask you self what you feel is right. A lot of people have judgements of what a Buddhist is/isn't and most of it is just hot air. Just be honest with yourself and never be afraid to question things.

:smile:

On a side note, using alcohol to deal with stress is probably not the best. But that's just my opinion ;). I'm a father myself and I don't drink.

Gassho.
User avatar
Seishin
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:28 pm

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I don't have a teacher. I don't know where to begin in order to find one. I'm uncomfortable with new environments and especially new people and I don't know where to turn to fina a teacher I could trust. I don't know what to look for, so thus far I mainly study books myself. I've read some Tibetan buddhism, both popular and more academic, but zen is what appeals to me the most. I like reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and also Jon Kabat-Zinn. Initially I wanted to find a particular lineage to follow, but now it seems to me that would be a bad idea since I don't know nearly enough about the differences between them and even less about which ones I can find around here.

Wine is no way to cope with stress, I know. I've had a rough few years, but I'm constantly working on making things better for me and my kids. But I have less resources and more work than a lot of parents. I have Aspergers and ADHD myself, one of my sons has autism and ADD and I'm a single mother. I'm still in the process of finding a way to manage everything and finding a direction in life, rather than just surviving.
Angelic Fruitcake
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:42 pm

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:zen is what appeals to me the most. I like reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and also Jon Kabat-Zinn.


A very solid book with little fluff that you may enjoy:

The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions from a Modern Chinese Master by Venerable Yin-shun

Initially I wanted to find a particular lineage to follow, but now it seems to me that would be a bad idea since I don't know nearly enough about the differences between them and even less about which ones I can find around here.


The book "Vision of Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree" by Roger Corless can assist with understanding the differences.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Seishin » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:04 pm

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I don't have a teacher. I don't know where to begin in order to find one. I'm uncomfortable with new environments and especially new people and I don't know where to turn to fina a teacher I could trust. I don't know what to look for, so thus far I mainly study books myself. I've read some Tibetan buddhism, both popular and more academic, but zen is what appeals to me the most. I like reading the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and also Jon Kabat-Zinn. Initially I wanted to find a particular lineage to follow, but now it seems to me that would be a bad idea since I don't know nearly enough about the differences between them and even less about which ones I can find around here.

Wine is no way to cope with stress, I know. I've had a rough few years, but I'm constantly working on making things better for me and my kids. But I have less resources and more work than a lot of parents. I have Aspergers and ADHD myself, one of my sons has autism and ADD and I'm a single mother. I'm still in the process of finding a way to manage everything and finding a direction in life, rather than just surviving.


I'm sorry to hear of your circumstance and pray that you find the direction you need soon. Namo Amida Butsu :anjali:
User avatar
Seishin
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:06 pm

Thank you very much for the reading tips. Reading is very meditative for my shattered mind. I can always focus on text and it helps filter out the distortions. I found them both on my "local" :quoteunquote: internet bookstore so I'll order them pronto. Given what I've said before do you have any more reading ideas? I did read The Mind of Clover as well, and some older introductions to zen.
Angelic Fruitcake
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Angelic Fruitcake » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:08 pm

Seishin wrote:
I'm sorry to hear of your circumstance and pray that you find the direction you need soon. Namo Amida Butsu :anjali:


Thankyou. It's not all bad, I don't want to make it sound like I'm in that tight a spot. I just have a lot on my plate is all.
Angelic Fruitcake
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:05 pm

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:18 pm

Angelic Fruitcake wrote:Given what I've said before do you have any more reading ideas?


For an introductory work that is more academic, "Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition" by Prof. Paul Williams.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Becoming a Buddhist

Postby Mr. G » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:36 pm

    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Previous

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

>