Becoming a Buddhist

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by Renegade Angel, May 15, 2011.

  1. So I've been reading up on Buddhism and Buddhist philosophies and ways of thinking, etc and I feel like this may be a good path for me. I'm not too big on religions and all that, I just want to follow and learn and practice a peaceful way of life without a bunch of rules and judgements behind it...

    Buddhism seems to me like something very deep and spiritual, something that brings inner peace and wisdom, things that I strive to have in life. I've felt lost and unsure, and devoid of meaning for life and I no longer want that! All I want is a life of contentment and peace. So I've been researching this for a bit now but it's pretty unfamiliar to me. I've been raised christian for so long it's hard for me to change out some of my thinking!

    But I think I want to try Buddhism. How can I really deeply learn this and become a Buddhist? Where can I go? I'm a little nervous and unsure about this. It's a big step for me coming from my background, but I'm totally open to this 100%.

    Anyone Buddhist blades out there, your opinions are welcome too.
     
  2. Find a local Buddhist temple in your area, call them up and see if you can get a tour or something. Maybe talk with someone there. I did this in high school on a class trip to two temples. First one was kind of like a normal looking church inside, and our class just sat down with "Reverend Bob" (not sure if they;re called reverends, but that;s what we were told to call him haha) and talked about Buddhism. Very interesting stuff.

    Second temple was a lot more of a culture shock. It was all female Buddhists, shaved heads, were vegetarians/vegans, and mainly just pray throughout the day.

    Regardless, you should be able to just go to a temple and talk to people. That's the best way to see if it's something for you.
     
  3. Coming from Christianity you must remember not to atuomatically agree with everything you read or hear about Buddhism. Only agree with the philosophies if agrees with your own personal logic.
     
  4. #4 TesseLated, May 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2011
    I have found these teachings/way of life to be extremely helpful. Read anything you can by him, imo.


    The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

    *one note...the fifth one, if you smoke, may be the hardest to follow....but no one is perfect...haha
     
  5. Something else I wanted to add: The Buddhist reverend I talked to basically said Buddhism isn't so much a religion, but a view on life. The great thing about Buddhism is that you can kind of pick and choose which values and outlooks you agree with. Obviously many Buddhists follow all of them, but there is no punishment for not "following one of the rules", like there is in many religions. So suppose on that list of 14 you found 9 that you agree with/subscribe to. That's fine, you won't be ostracized or anything by Buddhists.
     
  6. There's a ton of info on the internet...do research, and remember the key principle: Do not accept anything that is said by another, not even the buddha, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense. The buddha said that, although it is not a direct quote.

    Buddhanet.net has a lot of info. Imo the deepest and most enlightening buddhist sutras are the diamond sutra and the heart sutra. These, however, are considered to be very deep and difficult to understand, but it just requres a certain amount of openness and wisdom. This can be developed through meditation and the like. I would also read the Tao Te Ching, it is a taoist book but it is great, and in fact Zen Buddhism is in many ways a hybrid of buddhism and taoism, and it is the movement which is probably closest to what I am. So definitely do some research on Zen, which is what Thich Nhat Hanh is who made the fourteen mindfulness trainings.(er...I think the guy above me was linking TNH's stuff...I didn't click the link...lol) Also, I love discussing all this stuff with people and helping people learn, so feel free to ask me any questions you have or talk to me about whatever.
     
  7. I'll definitely be looking into everything you guys mentioned! Really encouraging, thanks! I'm just gonna read and study everything I can for a good while and try and find a temple to go to once I'm ready :)
     
  8. As has been mentioned, I would look into the various sutras, as well as the Dhammapada, and the Tao Te Ching, just to get an idea of Buddhist philosophy, and perhaps read some Alan Watts books since he takes a lot of the more confusing eastern philosophical ideas and rephrases them in ways condusive to the western thought process.


    Also, start doing some breathing meditations, and some thought observation, as meditation is central to any form of buddhism.


    Buddhism is a great choice by the way.... I can almost guarantee the quality of your life will increase 100% once you start getting into it.
     
  9. Poor choice. I'm not trying to insult you, that's just my opinion.
     
  10. #12 Renegade Angel, May 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
    Explain?
     
  11. i saw a show on him recently. lol, hash smoker....
     
  12. Who in this world is more content than a buddhist? Good choice :)
     
  13. #15 Renegade Angel, May 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
    Thanks :)
    I'm just waiting for this guy to explain.
     
  14. Renegade, if you could find the time and will, this article is worth reading thoroughly. Force yourself if you have to.

    Killing the Buddha
     
  15. don't get confused about something like renunciation

    Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away.
    Aitken Roshi

    :)
     
  16. Many buddhists, once they have truly grasped what the buddha spoke of, ceased to call themselves buddhist, or at least so strongly associate themselves with buddhism.
     
  17. Man, it's hard to find a decent temple around here. You gotta pay to learn about Buddhism? WTF? Arent there communities that teach this stuff for free?
     

  18. There's sooooo much information online. That, along with meditation, and incorporating your developments and that which you learn into your life, will be good. You can get more involved with a community of buddhists when the time is right. For now, do what you can :)
     

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