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benthebuddhist
20 May 12, 01:14
I am pretty new to Buddhism and I don't exactly know which school I belong to. I think I would call myself a Tibetan Buddhist, but i'm not even sure what school that is. Can anyone help me clarify/decide this?! Thank you

Element
20 May 12, 01:16
hi ben

if you share what you are seeking from Buddhism, that may be helpful

regards :peace:

benthebuddhist
20 May 12, 01:44
At this point I don't even know. I seem to be getting lost in trying to choose which school is right for me. I guess what I really seek is liberation. Liberation from self, liberation from pleasure and pain. That sort of thing

Element
20 May 12, 01:48
generally, we who looked for liberation started our buddhism by practising meditation

for example, when i first was exposed to buddhism (when visiting a monastary as a tourist while traveling in Asia), i bought a book on meditation there and began practising it

so just visiting a dharma centre can be a useful starting point. if it does not resonate with you then try another dharma centre

:peace:

Aloka
21 May 12, 20:51
Hi Ben,

the Buddhanet worldwide search facility might come up with some groups in your area


http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/

monkey
21 May 12, 20:59
Hi Ben- I know how you feel, a friend recently asked my what school I belong to and I had no answer. I've since started reading more about the different traditions and trying to figure out which one I could follow. There are a few centers in my area but I just haven't found the time to visit one. Thanks for the question though, it's nice to know I'm not the only one :)

Rhysman
23 May 12, 21:11
Hi Ben,
I totally understand your issue. I have bounce around studying one "school" after another. I've also spent a small fortune on books, don't make that mistake. I would recommend that you use the internet to research various branches of Buddhism. Go to the areas on this site related to these branches and read the posts.

Find what you feel comfortable with. I found that I had to really dig deep into each school to decide how I felt about each one. I'm a bit of a rebellious person so Chan/Zen is where I have landed. Keep in mind though that most older Buddhist traditions are good. I would warn that there are some out there that I would avoid. I will not go into detail on this though. Do your research.

Hands Palm to Palm,
Rhysman

Abhaya
23 May 12, 22:46
I'm a bit of a rebellious person so Chan/Zen is where I have landed.

:up2:

Abhaya
23 May 12, 22:53
I am pretty new to Buddhism and I don't exactly know which school I belong to. I think I would call myself a Tibetan Buddhist, but i'm not even sure what school that is. Can anyone help me clarify/decide this?! Thank you

Hi Ben,

Tibetan Buddhism often strongly emphasizes the need for finding a teacher. If you're interested in Tibetan Buddhism, it is highly advisable to research their beliefs and see if they are truly compatible with your outlook, and then, as with in any other tradition, take the time to really get to know a community.

Interacting with a teacher and with a community of other Buddhist practitioners might help you learn a lot about yourself, your beliefs, and your goals. Doing some investigation of this type can shed new light on your practice and clear up some of your confusion.

There is only so much a person can get from books and videos. Making contact with others really puts what one has learned to the test. Good luck!

Abhaya

c-kat
16 Jun 12, 12:35
I am pretty new to Buddhism and I don't exactly know which school I belong to. I think I would call myself a Tibetan Buddhist, but i'm not even sure what school that is. Can anyone help me clarify/decide this?! Thank you

As someone who has hovered on the fringes of Buddhist thought for many years without taking the plunge, I am much like you in being confused about the differing schools and where do I belong in the mix.

My question to those who post here would be, do you feel there is a major benefit in carefully parsing each tradition for the one that fits?

Coming from a christian protestent background, I have, for all of my adult life considered myself a non-denominational person. There was never one denomination or another that offered the feeling of a truly comfortable fit. I guess you could say I'm more of a cafeteria type seeker. lol

My attraction to the Buddha has come through the reading of various authors and teachers who, I have no doubt, were adherents of different schools of thought and yet I learned something from each of them that resonated with me.

Is there an advantage I'm not seeing in becoming an acolyte of this, that or the other school?

Dave The Seeker
16 Jun 12, 13:05
Ben and c-kat, there are many schools of Buddhism and there may not actually be a "fit" for you.
But that doesn't mean anything really, there's no hard rule to "follow" this or that schools beliefs.

The teachings of The Buddha can be applied in anyones life. They are just really, the right way to live, in my opinion.

HHDL has said that these teachings can be applied to anyones life no matter what their religious system of beliefs is.
One doesn't have to take refuge to follow the teachings. As was said above, visit different Dharma Centers if you can, you may find one that "feels right". There are many great people out there who have knowledge and are able to explain things to you that one may not think to ask until in a conversation, off line. They may not be teachers, but elders in a community. And in my experience, they are more than willing to help you to understand the questions you have without saying "you have to be a member of ............ for me to answer you" or they may possibly say that to truly understand this, you should first study/read that.

With Metta

jason c
16 Jun 12, 13:05
As someone who has hovered on the fringes of Buddhist thought for many years without taking the plunge, I am much like you in being confused about the differing schools and where do I belong in the mix.

My question to those who post here would be, do you feel there is a major benefit in carefully parsing each tradition for the one that fits?

Coming from a christian protestent background, I have, for all of my adult life considered myself a non-denominational person. There was never one denomination or another that offered the feeling of a truly comfortable fit. I guess you could say I'm more of a cafeteria type seeker. lol

My attraction to the Buddha has come through the reading of various authors and teachers who, I have no doubt, were adherents of different schools of thought and yet I learned something from each of them that resonated with me.

Is there an advantage I'm not seeing in becoming an acolyte of this, that or the other school?

hey c-kat,
i too came from a christian background and it never agreed with me personally, when reading eckhart tolle, something inside me told me this is the truth, this led me to the teachings of the buddha, a friend told me to go to a tibetan temple but it was far from my home and i felt it would be to difficult to go back regularly, i'm very fortunate to have a theravaden meditation temple close to my home and proximity was my reason for choosing this practice. through the temple i met a few people that suggested goenka's residential courses, this is where i found my meditation practice. trust your instinct, it is your guide, remember the journey is the purpose of your life.
i've always liked this saying "when the student is ready the teacher will appear!"
kind regards,
jason

Ngagpa
16 Jun 12, 14:08
I think there is some very good advice here. This is just my personal perspective. One does not need to have a tradition or school to study and practice the fundamentals of Dharma. This said at some point you will need advice and guidance (we all do) A tendency in the west is to shop for Dharma like we do for clothes or food picking what excites us or appeals on a sensory level which is not always what is best for us! There are many destructive and counter productive pseudo-sanghas and teachers out there. Investigate, be mindful and enjoy the journey!

Thank you

Gnosis Cupitor
17 Jun 12, 17:04
Why do you need to be a particular school? I follow pretty much all of the traditions.

If what it teaches coincides with the Three Dharma Seals, Non-Self, Impermanence, Nirvana/Suffering, and science, then I will absorb it into my practice/ideology.

When it comes to Mythologies and the Supernatural, such as Gods and Demons, reincarnation/literal rebirth (My Opinion), etc, I discard that immediately, as it doesn't coincide with Impermanence (My opinion) and Science.

You can take many wonderful practices, teachings, etc, from every single tradition, to create your own. You don't need a school or tradition, with today's technology, because you can see everything, that every school has to offer, and incorporate it/absorb it into your own practice/school.


In a way, you could say those that follow or adhere strictly to one school of thought or the other, are attached.

Dave The Seeker
17 Jun 12, 18:08
at some point you will need advice and guidance (we all do)

Very true my friend, very true.


If what it teaches coincides with the Three Dharma Seals, Non-Self, Impermanence, Nirvana/Suffering, and science, then I will absorb it into my practice/ideology.

When it comes to Mythologies and the Supernatural, such as Gods and Demons, reincarnation/literal rebirth (My Opinion), etc, I discard that immediately, as it doesn't coincide with Impermanence (My opinion) and Science.

Not sure where science fits into the Three Dharma Seals. You seem to place science in very high regard, not a bad thing. But still it is no more factual than any other belief. Science can only try to prove what their theory is and since that is the only "acceptable answer" it is believed. Many times to later be changed to a "new belief" of an "acceptable answer".


You can take many wonderful practices, teachings, etc, from every single tradition, to create your own. You don't need a school or tradition, with today's technology, because you can see everything, that every school has to offer, and incorporate it/absorb it into your own practice/school.


In a way, you could say those that follow or adhere strictly to one school of thought or the other, are attached.

I guess many here are attached then, some to a specific school of Buddhism, some to??????????????

I've never really thought that Lamas and Gurus were "attached" to their school but..................


With Metta

anando
31 Jul 12, 19:46
Hello,
why should you belong to any group? You can do buddhist teacing all by yourself. Just have a long look int the Pali-Canon. Gotamo Budho said that his teaching is understandable by a man who has a good understanding. Do the Eightfold Path and the door to the beyond is open to you.
I reached all that can be reached by this way and it took me only forty years.

anando

andyrobyn
31 Jul 12, 22:32
Hi anando, I agree with your sentiment in that proclamation of any " should" is a red flag for me. Human beings are social creatures and many find it beneficial to belong to groups. In some traditions practices have evolved which involve transmissions of teachings from teacher to student and other practices - clearly these are not beneficial for all.

Brizzy
05 Aug 12, 13:17
I am pretty new to Buddhism and I don't exactly know which school I belong to. I think I would call myself a Tibetan Buddhist, but i'm not even sure what school that is. Can anyone help me clarify/decide this?! Thank you

Hi Ben,

One thing I have found is that whichever tradition you may or may not make your Dhamma path, you don't have to 'buy' into everything. If somebody pressed me hard enough I would have to admit that I am more Theravadin than anything. Yet within Theravada I would probably be seen as an heretical nut because I reject a large part of their teachings. The thing I am trying to say is that even within a tradition you could find yourself a teacher/teachers who are not really representative of that tradition as a whole but who speak directly to your heart.

In the end it is your journey and you have to be prepared to 'shop' around until you find what you believe are the Buddha's teachings. One bit of advice would be to remember what it was that first attracted you to Buddhism, for me it was the idea that the Buddha was a perfectly 'happy & saintly' person who gave practical teachings to help others realise what he had found. I know I have forgotten that aspect in the past and that is where I have usually allowed my 'practice' to suffer.

Metta

Brizzy

anando
05 Aug 12, 13:40
Hello,
the principle literature of buddhist teaching is the Pali-Canon. It consists of three books.
The third one , the dighanikayo is, i think the best. The first is for Theravada and the
second are the songs of nuns and monks. Read and meditate and reading will
enhane your meditation practice and your meditation practive will you make to understand more of the Pali-Canon.
You donĀ“t need to have a guru, because the teaching is understandable by itself from a
human that is able to understand. Gotamo Buddho was trying out all by himself.

anando

woodscooter
05 Aug 12, 17:00
A number of off-topic posts have been removed from this thread.

Before you post in any thread, it's always advisable to take a look at post #1, and ask yourself whether your intended post makes a contribution to the discussion, or not.

Woodscooter.

Ngagpa
06 Aug 12, 18:27
benthebuddhist,


I think I would call myself a Tibetan Buddhist, but i'm not even sure what school that is.

There is a brief and simple overview of the lineages here..

http://www.khandro.net/TibBud_cutting_the_cake.htm

I hope it is of some small use.

In Vajrayana Buddhism the teacher is very important and I would suggest spending some time 'checking them out!

A very excellent book that is used for preliminary practices and has a good guide on how to identify an authentic teacher is 'Words of my perfect teacher by Patrul Rinpoche.


With respect
:hands:

P.S I am sorry I should have pointed out that what many call Tibetan Buddhism actually encompasses in their entirety three vehicles The Theravada, The Mahayana and the Vajrayana. So the Mahayana contains the Theravada and the Vajrayana contains both the Theravada and the Mahayana. If you think of each as foundations that have been built upon, but which would fall down without the preceding one.....erm I hope that makes sense..:buddha:

Aloka
07 Aug 12, 10:12
I should have pointed out that what many call Tibetan Buddhism actually encompasses in their entirety three vehicles The Theravada, The Mahayana and the Vajrayana. So the Mahayana contains the Theravada and the Vajrayana contains both the Theravada and the Mahayana


As someone who changed to Theravada Forest Tradition from being a long-term Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, I'd like to mention that Theravada can sometimes be dismissed with the pejorative term 'Hinayana' in favour of what TB describes as a faster and superior path. From my own experience and opinion, I'd say this idea shouldn't be taken too seriously, nor should one necessarily assume that Tibetan Buddhism or Mahayana contains Theravada in its ''entirety''.

However, as this thread isn't the place to discuss it and I don't want to get involved in disputes, I'll say no more.

It's also worth noting that Benthebuddhist hasn't given us any feeback since 20th May and its now 7th August, so there's not a lot of point in continuing with the thread until he does.

:hands:

.

Ngagpa
07 Aug 12, 11:28
Hi Aloka,


I'd like to mention that Theravada can sometimes be dismissed with the pejorative term 'Hinayana' in favour of what TB describes as a faster and superior path. From my own experience and opinion, I'd say this idea shouldn't be taken too seriously, nor should one necessarily assume that Tibetan Buddhism or Mahayana contains Theravada in its ''entirety''.

I disagree should this therefore be a new thread?

:hands:

Aloka
07 Aug 12, 11:59
Hi Aloka,

I disagree should this therefore be a new thread?

:hands:

Yes I think it should definately be a new thread. General Buddhist Discussions would probably be a good place for members from all traditions to contribute.

I don't think I'll be adding to it myself right at this moment - I don't have time.

Have fun ;)

Note

I don't think there's much point in continuing with more posts this thread - because Ben hasn't been back since May.

Thanks