The most simple approach to Buddhism

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
Thishumanlife
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The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Thishumanlife »

Hello. I have been browsing this forum and there is an abundance of amazing information and content. I have also spent the past 7 years reading about mindfulness, spirituality, Buddhism, meditation, etc. A very detailed in-depth read recently was “Why Buddhism is True.”

But at this point, I am longing for simplicity. What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.

Thank you!
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Kim O'Hara »

For me, the Five Precepts and the Divine Abidings are all that's necessary for living a better life. Remember them as often as possible, apply them as often as possible.
If you need motivation to do that, the Four Noble Truths are the theoretical background. And meditation is a bit the same in that it's useful for improved understanding but if you don't do any, you can still work with the Precepts and Divine Abidings. Ditto chanting and mantra practices.

YMMV, of course. For instance, Pure Land practice is different but I believe it's just as simple.

:namaste:
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seeker242
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by seeker242 »

Dhammapada 183. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

Sums it up pretty well :)
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
master of puppets
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by master of puppets »

You can get different answers from a buddhist tibetan, a zen master or from another section. İf you ask me (as a beginner) learn meditation and understand the practicing mind. At the same time read about Buddhism; explore and analyze.
Find your own tendency. And you'll see where to focus.

İn any case you have to practice. Zen approach always be the most simple, light and the shortest way for me. Direct point to the heart.

other than rituals.
Last edited by master of puppets on Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.
Regardless of whether one’s daily practice is a complicated hour-long ritual or simply bowing 3 times each morning to a picture of the Dalai Lama taped to your coffee maker, what makes it practice is consistency. Every practitioner who has ever attained realization, what they all share in common, was being consistent in their daily practice.

Consistency is simple, easy to understand, and easy to implement. To implement takes some discipline, which is the whole point, because the discipline of consistency is how your practice develops the transformative qualities you are looking for.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Archie2009
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Archie2009 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 4:20 pm
Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.
Regardless of whether one’s daily practice is a complicated hour-long ritual or simply bowing 3 times each morning to a picture of the Dalai Lama taped to your coffee maker, what makes it practice is consistency. Every practitioner who has ever attained realization, what they all share in common, was being consistent in their daily practice.

Consistency is simple, easy to understand, and easy to implement. To implement takes some discipline, which is the whole point, because the discipline of consistency is how your practice develops the transformative qualities you are looking for.
:good:
Best advice thus far.
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justsit
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by justsit »

Consistency made a huge difference in my life, for sure. After years of dabbling around in many different places, nothing in my life had really changed. I was tired of all of it, endless reading, videos, this thing for a few months, that thing for a few weeks, searching and searching.

I finally gave myself an ultimatum; let's see if this Buddhist thing really works. One half-hour on the meditation cushion (no breaks) every morning (before work and on weekends) for one month. If nothing had changed in my life after that time, I would give the whole Buddhist thing up.

So I sat. Before work, at 4:30AM, 8AM on the weekends. Thirty minutes, on a timer. Some days were beautiful, some days I cried, on one memorable day I literally stood up and jumped and yelled, but I stayed on that cushion for the full thirty every single day. It was pretty grueling, but I stayed with it.

At the end of thirty days, somehow something had shifted in my life. I couldn't have told you what had actually changed, but I felt more peaceful and clearer that I had in years. I found a dharma center about 1 1/2 hour drive from my house, and signed up for their series of weekend programs. It was difficult, no lie, but gave me a framework and direction. I met some serious practitioners, made connections with some excellent teachers, and finally took refuge.

Maybe what is "simple" differs for each of us, but even at this very basic level, it was consistent discipline that made the difference.
Kai lord
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Kai lord »

Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am But at this point, I am longing for simplicity. What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.
I don't know. Treat Buddhism like the way you will live your life from now on........ which is simple and direct but not easy to do.
master of puppets
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by master of puppets »

Kai lord wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:34 pm
Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am But at this point, I am longing for simplicity. What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.
I don't know. Treat Buddhism like the way you will live your life from now on........ which is simple and direct but not easy to do.
yes, I know that. mostly can not leave the branch you hold on daily life, you think you will fall.
Thishumanlife
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Thishumanlife »

justsit wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:25 pm Consistency made a huge difference in my life, for sure. After years of dabbling around in many different places, nothing in my life had really changed. I was tired of all of it, endless reading, videos, this thing for a few months, that thing for a few weeks, searching and searching.

I finally gave myself an ultimatum; let's see if this Buddhist thing really works. One half-hour on the meditation cushion (no breaks) every morning (before work and on weekends) for one month. If nothing had changed in my life after that time, I would give the whole Buddhist thing up.

So I sat. Before work, at 4:30AM, 8AM on the weekends. Thirty minutes, on a timer. Some days were beautiful, some days I cried, on one memorable day I literally stood up and jumped and yelled, but I stayed on that cushion for the full thirty every single day. It was pretty grueling, but I stayed with it.

At the end of thirty days, somehow something had shifted in my life. I couldn't have told you what had actually changed, but I felt more peaceful and clearer that I had in years. I found a dharma center about 1 1/2 hour drive from my house, and signed up for their series of weekend programs. It was difficult, no lie, but gave me a framework and direction. I met some serious practitioners, made connections with some excellent teachers, and finally took refuge.

Maybe what is "simple" differs for each of us, but even at this very basic level, it was consistent discipline that made the difference.
This is a great story, thank you. I think it is time I gave myself an ultimatum. Because I am where you were, constantly researching and reading about this stuff. But not practicing consistently. I just won’t make the commitment for some reason.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Thishumanlife wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 10:13 am This is a great story, thank you. I think it is time I gave myself an ultimatum. Because I am where you were, constantly researching and reading about this stuff. But not practicing consistently. I just won’t make the commitment for some reason.
Consistency can include variety. And if you are “constantly” researching and reading, then that already does sound pretty consistent!

Maybe what’s going on is that you’ve read and researched plenty, and now you want to take it to the next level so you aren’t just examining Buddhism as an outside observer, but actually “doing it”?

I can’t think of any Buddhist practice that doesn’t begin with focusing the mind, either with sitting meditation or with chanting. Sometimes both. So, I would begin there.

Concerning which type of buddhist practice is the simplest, that’s really more about what fits you.

But be clear about whether you mean “simple” or “easy”. Zen Buddhism is very simple in that it is not complicated the way Vajrayana Buddhism is, (with all sorts of visualization practices, various offerings, etc). But for some, the simplicity of Zen may be extremely challenging. Staring at a blank wall for a few hours doesn’t give your mind as much stuff to play with as imagining mandalas and reciting mantras.

And some people combine, or at least alternate between different various practices. Although this is generally not recommended for most students, it’s not uncommon. and if you’ve picked up useful stuff from all your reading and research and seem to have difficulty deciding ‘where to land’ then really, do what you feel you need for you .

My personal situation, if it helps, is that after years of reading and researching, my ‘formal’ introduction into Buddhism began by taking refuge with a Tibetan lama. Had it been a Zen roshi, then perhaps my main practice would be zen. But instead, it’s Vajrayana. At the same time, when the elaboration of Tibetan Buddhism starts to become too routine, just ‘going through the motions’ then I read zen writings, and sit outside listening to rain hitting rocks in the yard.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Natan
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Natan »

Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am Hello. I have been browsing this forum and there is an abundance of amazing information and content. I have also spent the past 7 years reading about mindfulness, spirituality, Buddhism, meditation, etc. A very detailed in-depth read recently was “Why Buddhism is True.”

But at this point, I am longing for simplicity. What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.

Thank you!
Atiyoga wins.
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Konchog Thogme Jampa
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Konchog Thogme Jampa »

Natan wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:26 pm
Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am Hello. I have been browsing this forum and there is an abundance of amazing information and content. I have also spent the past 7 years reading about mindfulness, spirituality, Buddhism, meditation, etc. A very detailed in-depth read recently was “Why Buddhism is True.”

But at this point, I am longing for simplicity. What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.

Thank you!
Atiyoga wins.
More simple than we can handle
4. From each and every dear companion we will part.
We will leave possessions for which we've strived so hard.
The body's guest house the guest, consciousness, will lose.
To renounce this life is what bodhisattvas do.

Om Mani Padme Hum

Some Classical Music I wrote:
https://geometriq.bandcamp.com/track/ ... ite-part-1

དཀོན་མཆོག་ཐོགས་མེད་འབྱམས་པ

Konchog Thogme Jampa
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明安 Myoan
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Bodhicitta expressed as a short sentence you can recall during the day. Lojong slogans are great for this.
Nembutsu works for me but everyone needs portable practices, ways to apply the teachings to the mundane, good and bad alike.
Namu Amida Butsu
Natan
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Natan »

Konchog Thogme Jampa wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:25 am
Natan wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:26 pm
Thishumanlife wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:26 am Hello. I have been browsing this forum and there is an abundance of amazing information and content. I have also spent the past 7 years reading about mindfulness, spirituality, Buddhism, meditation, etc. A very detailed in-depth read recently was “Why Buddhism is True.”

But at this point, I am longing for simplicity. What advice can you all share on how to approach Buddhism in the most simple way? Easy to understand and implement.

Thank you!
Atiyoga wins.
More simple than we can handle
Who's this "we?" you speak for? Hey, you can do it if you believe queue the Instagram motivational video... But really you just gotta believe. Not just... But mostly.
muni
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by muni »

I should not know. What is for A simple is it not for B.
Nature may be simple but our variety of complex habits resulting into suffering, not so.
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Konchog Thogme Jampa
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Konchog Thogme Jampa »

Natan wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:14 pm
Konchog Thogme Jampa wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:25 am
Natan wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:26 pm
Atiyoga wins.
More simple than we can handle
Who's this "we?" you speak for? Hey, you can do it if you believe queue the Instagram motivational video... But really you just gotta believe. Not just... But mostly.
No I don't it was an attempt at friendliness which I should know by now doesn't work on this site
4. From each and every dear companion we will part.
We will leave possessions for which we've strived so hard.
The body's guest house the guest, consciousness, will lose.
To renounce this life is what bodhisattvas do.

Om Mani Padme Hum

Some Classical Music I wrote:
https://geometriq.bandcamp.com/track/ ... ite-part-1

དཀོན་མཆོག་ཐོགས་མེད་འབྱམས་པ

Konchog Thogme Jampa
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justsit
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by justsit »

Konchog Thogme Jampa wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:31 pm ... it was an attempt at friendliness which I should know by now doesn't work on this site
:tongue:
Natan
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by Natan »

Konchog Thogme Jampa wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:31 pm
Natan wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:14 pm
Konchog Thogme Jampa wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:25 am

More simple than we can handle
Who's this "we?" you speak for? Hey, you can do it if you believe queue the Instagram motivational video... But really you just gotta believe. Not just... But mostly.
No I don't it was an attempt at friendliness which I should know by now doesn't work on this site
Awww. We can friends. I never had anyone introduce themselves that way. But you can handle what even has no handles.
White Lotus
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Re: The most simple approach to Buddhism

Post by White Lotus »

Just die to the feeling of self. Root it out. When it’s gone you will find suffering has gone and there is the tranquility of nature. Nature is nameless, formless, wordless, conceptless and yet in all things. We have called it shunyata, Ousia, many names and yet it is nameless. Not one not zero.

Just one thing: drop self.

Metta, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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