Hello

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Hello

Postby Bhavana » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:52 pm

Hello.

While I am not necessarily new to buddhism, I am new to serious pursuit.

I'm an artist, a graduate nurse getting ready to take state boards, animal lover and activist, and a somewhat negative person at times. I want to clean up my life - both spiritually and materially. I've always been attracted to the principles and teachings of buddhism, and over the past few years have attended dharma talks and sunday services at a beautiful Zen monastery in my area - but strangely, the place is "cold"....they go through all the motions there, but I felt no sense of warmth or spirituality. I gave up for a while, and was busy with school, but several months ago I bought a tarot deck, "The Buddha Tarot" by Robert Place. Not necessarily a deck for reading, but good for meditation and self reflection. Then my mother gave me a book: "Blue Jean Buddha" - reflections on life from young buddhists. These two small things inspired me to get back on this road.

I would like to start practicing by myself at home, and am in the process of cleaning up my house, getting rid of all the CRAP that has piled up over the years. I find it very hard to relax or concentrate in a cluttered environment. I do yoga as well, and would like to be able to do that at home too - because at this point, I cannot afford classes at a yoga center. It's very hard to let go of some of the things I have, so the cleaning out process is taking some time. It isn't one of those "Well, I'll do that after I do that" sort of thing - but my environment is a mess. It needs to be dealt with before I can do anything at home - which is where I spend most of my time.

I am here because I may need advice, direction, support. At this point, I am not sure I have much to offer. I would also like to meet like minded people, and others like myself.

Thank you!
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Re: Hello

Postby Tara » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:07 pm

Hi Bhavana, :smile:

Welcome to Dharma Wheel.

Regards,
Tara

**********************************************************
Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

**********************************************************
from Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

Mors certa — hora incerta
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Re: Hello

Postby Mr. G » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:08 pm

Bhavana wrote:I am here because I may need advice, direction, support. At this point, I am not sure I have much to offer. I would also like to meet like minded people, and others like myself.

Thank you!


Welcome Bhavana. Let us know if you need assistance with introductory readings or finding a center by you.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Hello

Postby Bhavana » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:56 pm

Mr. G wrote:
Bhavana wrote:I am here because I may need advice, direction, support. At this point, I am not sure I have much to offer. I would also like to meet like minded people, and others like myself.

Thank you!


Welcome Bhavana. Let us know if you need assistance with introductory readings or finding a center by you.


yes, I would love suggestions on readings. As for centers in my area, I mentioned the one that I know of in my first post - it's very close to me, in a beautiful setting - but I just don't "feel" any connection with the people there. There is also a unitarian church in my general area that welcomes buddhists - but I have heard the place has become an attraction for anyone with "out there" and sometimes whacko ideas to go and find a platform. I haven't been there yet myself. I think the best place in my area is the local yoga center. I just walk in the door there and feel better. Maybe I am too susceptible to energy in environments?

But yes, any reading suggestions would be welcomed. There is such a wealth of material out there, it is hard to know which is the best. Thanks!
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Re: Hello

Postby Mr. G » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:19 pm

My personal introductory reading reccomendations:

Vision of Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree by Prof. Roger Corless - Gives a fundamental understanding of Buddhism and covers the range of traditions from Theravada to Chan, Pure Land and Vajrayana. A minor negative is his Dzoghcen section is not very good. A very readable book that's written by an academic.

Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition by Prof. Paul Williams - Another introductory book that is a bit dry, but good for beginners.

I'm sure other members here will provide their own favorites.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Hello

Postby Jikan » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:15 pm

Hi Bhavana,

Welcome to the board.
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Re: Hello

Postby Adamantine » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:20 am

One of these is a great intro: they are both pretty much an identical book, the first one has a few more pages and the second one you can get cheaper.. but the contents seem to be almost identical, so just choose one or the other.


http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Primordial-Nature-Khenchen-Palden/dp/1559392495/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313040335&sr=1-2

Image


http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Path-Practical-Tradition-Buddhism/dp/1559393556/ref=pd_sim_b_1

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Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Hello

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:59 am

:hi:

Welcome to Dharma Wheel!

:buddha1:
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Re: Hello

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:13 am

I recommend this wonderful, short, and free intro to Buddhism: http://www.justbegood.net/Downloads/e-books/Buddhism%20For%20The%20Modern%20Skeptic%201_1.pdf

As for Yoga just use google. Learn the Sun Salutation first, be sure to stretch, and take it easy.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Hello

Postby Thug4lyfe » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:41 am

Buddhism in every step series

http://blpusa.com/category/buddhism-in- ... tep/page/5

Free bite sized PDF booklets on every aspects of Buddhism, with examples like:

"The four nobel truth, the essence of Buddhism"
"Buddhism and psychology"
"The wheel rebirth"
"A Buddhist approach to management"
"The Buddhist perspective on women's right"

etc etc
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Re: Hello

Postby Bhavana » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:44 pm

Konchog1 wrote:I recommend this wonderful, short, and free intro to Buddhism: http://www.justbegood.net/Downloads/e-books/Buddhism%20For%20The%20Modern%20Skeptic%201_1.pdf

As for Yoga just use google. Learn the Sun Salutation first, be sure to stretch, and take it easy.


I have been doing yoga for a while now - I think it's funny that i HATED the Sun Salutation at first - really hated it and didn't see the point - but once I did, I found that nothing makes me feel better. We have a really great yoga center here in my town, a beautiful place with a wonderful atmosphere. Just walking in the door is an experience.

Thank you everyone for all of the suggestions and readings. I don't have a lot of money right now, most of what I read has to be online - and when I go to the bookstore, the number of books on buddhism can be confusing, there are just too many and I can't tell the difference between the good and the bad. I really wish I could meet other buddhists in my area, I think that that would be helpful as well.
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Re: Hello

Postby Jikan » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:35 pm

Hi Bhavana,

Well, here's a free resource that might be of interest: http://www.tendai.eu/82.html it's an online class you can do at your own pace.

Where are you in the world, roughly? we may be able to connect you to some of the local Buddhist fauna
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Re: Hello

Postby Bhavana » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:14 pm

Jikan wrote:Hi Bhavana,

Well, here's a free resource that might be of interest: http://www.tendai.eu/82.html it's an online class you can do at your own pace.

Where are you in the world, roughly? we may be able to connect you to some of the local Buddhist fauna


thanks for the class link - I am in southern New Jersey
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Re: Hello

Postby justsit » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:35 pm

There's a center in Howell, NJ, very traditional Tibetan Gelugpa. Also there's KTCNJ, a Karma Kagyu center in Shamong, has many Chinese members but also does programs in English. If you're within commuting distance of Philly, there's an active Shambhala Center, and a Nalandabodhi center in Media as well.

Some of these websites need updating but the contact info should be OK.

Best wishes,
Justsit
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Re: Hello

Postby Bhavana » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:32 pm

justsit wrote:There's a center in Howell, NJ, very traditional Tibetan Gelugpa. Also there's KTCNJ, a Karma Kagyu center in Shamong, has many Chinese members but also does programs in English. If you're within commuting distance of Philly, there's an active Shambhala Center, and a Nalandabodhi center in Media as well.

Some of these websites need updating but the contact info should be OK.

Best wishes,
Justsit


I am within a stone's throw of Shamong, yet have never heard of KTCNJ. I am surprised you did not mention the Pine Winds Zen Monastery, also in Shamong. I have been there, though, several times, but found it to be a somewhat cold environment. I am within driving distance of Philadelphia - but I don't like to go there, the crowds and the traffic stress me out. Thank you for your suggestions/links, I will check them all out.
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