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jeremy-r
30 Nov 10, 14:55
Hello everyone. I'm in a huge transition in my life and my spirituality is just now coming together. My beliefs: I DON"T believe in a God. I DO believe in human compassion, morals and ethics, and that there is some unseen driving force out there that is bigger than me. In the past year I have gotten into meditation also. I want to learn more about meditation, Buddhism, and Taoism. There is so much to learn and quit frankly I'm overwhelmed. I'm pretty sure I'm in the right spot. Please throw anything at me that you believe would be useful. Thanks. I should also say I'm new to forums and not sure if I'm doing things right. ;D

Aloka
30 Nov 10, 15:14
Hi Jeremy-r, welcome, its good to hear from you !

Can I suggest that you read the pinned topics in Buddhism for Beginners, starting with "What is Buddhism" ?

There's a Buddhist meditation video series in our Study Links section which you might find helpful, as well as links to other resources too.

If you have any questions for the group that you want to ask in the Beginners forum, or topics that you'd like to start, please go ahead.


I should also say I'm new to forums and not sure if I'm doing things right.

Don't worry Jeremy, we'll explain things gently if you get anything wrong. ;)

With kind wishes,

Dazzle :hands:

jeremy-r
30 Nov 10, 16:09
Thanks Dazzle. I went through those when I first logged on. It's a lot of the stuff that I've come across in other places. It's funny that how I always dealt with things is a big part of Buddhism. I would accept things and move on because I don't like the feelings they generate. Which sounds like that leads to good Karma. In turn more good things happen but my mind really does cloud up and I grasp the happy feelings and I get let down, then I let go. It's a vicious cycle. How can I enjoy the happy feelings and allow them to be there but not let it cloud my judgement? Another question, should I have to remind myself to be mindfull? I was surprised to see in "What is Buddhism" that reading about it is confusing. Now I know why I feel so overwhelmed with it.

Aloka
30 Nov 10, 16:55
How can I enjoy the happy feelings and allow them to be there but not let it cloud my judgement

Feelings come and go and are impermanent. I think that when we are able to just relax into the present moment and lighten up in general, we create a little spaciousness to be able to deal with situations more effectively as they arise.


Another question, should I have to remind myself to be mindfull?

My answer to that would be yes. To me mindfulness is being aware of my thoughts, emotions and actions as they are occuring, and being fully present in each moment. That doesn't always happen naturally for me, so I have to remind myself about present moment awareness from time to time.

jeremy-r
30 Nov 10, 17:23
Hmmmmm. So embrace the memory over the feeling? Is mindfulness as second nature enlightenment? How much of Buddhism is literal and how much is left to personal interpretation? I'm sorry, I have millions of questions.

clw_uk
30 Nov 10, 19:31
Hmmmmm. So embrace the memory over the feeling?

If your refering to mindfulness its not really memory as such just the first moment of being aware of something


Is mindfulness as second nature enlightenment?

Well enlightenment simply means the Buddha awoke to the nature of dukkha, cause, cessation and path

Mindfulness (sati) is constantly there since you are aware right now. The trick is learning to "sink" into mindfulness

This can be helped brought about via understanding the Four Noble Truths


How much of Buddhism is literal and how much is left to personal interpretation?

Problem with saying something is "literal" and another thing is "interpretation" is that it sounda a little dogmatic. The Buddhist way is to hear, test and see


I'm sorry, I have millions of questions.

Dont apologise ask anything you want





(edited to create first quote box)

jeremy-r
30 Nov 10, 21:18
I need some help with the four noble truths. My understanding is that happiness comes from controlling (for the lack of a better word) lifes suffering. There is so much information out there. I'm not promoting anything but most of my knowledge has come from the books; Mindfulness in Plain English, Buddhism for Beginners, The Dhammapada, and I use the website thebigview.com. Do you recommend any other books or sites?

clw_uk
30 Nov 10, 21:29
I would strongly recommend

Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree - Ajahn Buddhadasa


You can find it on amazon, doesnt cost to much and it gets to the heart of what Buddhism is all about


As for the Four Noble Truths - Dukkha (stress, suffering, dissatisfaction) comes from wanting things to be different


When I sit in meditation for a long time then cramp appears. If I "want" the cramp to go away then there is dukkha. However If I accept the cramp is there and see it as it is, just a physical sensation that is impermanent, dukkha and not self, then the dukkha "dies" and there is ease



Now the first noble truth is there is dukkha, which can be summed up as clinging to the aggregates (body, feeling, perception, thoughts etc and counsciousness)

So for example if there is clinging to the body there will be dukkha if there is cramp

the cause of dukkha is ignorance which leads to craving and attachment - We are ignorant that the aggregates are impermanent, dukkha and not self and so we grasp them which leads to the situation above

The cessation of dukkha is the cessation of craving - By seeing/experiencing the impermanence, dukkha and not-self of the aggregates then you will naturally not crave and cling to them and so no dukkha will arise


The way to cessation of dukkha is the Noble Eight Fold Path - Practice this and it leads to full understanding of the three marks and so the fading away of ignorance, craving and attachment and freedom from all dukkha, i.e. nibbana


Hope that was helpful

KoolAid900
01 Dec 10, 03:18
Hi Jeremy, If you are interested in the Tao you may want to check out:

www.thetaobums.com (http://www.thetaobums.com).

in addition to this board. There are some spiritual seekers, Taoists, and other interested in Tao, BuddhaDharma, and exploring new things.. and a lot of other things I suppose. I personally am pursuing BuddhaDharma primarily, this is because of the structure and many masters I have met. Even so, Tao has really helped me to balance my Buddhist practice in a lot of areas and I personally consider to be extremely similar in essence. But harder to get direct guidance...

Anyhoo, I wish you good fortune with your quest. Sounds like you already have some grounding in your values and what you are looking for, so that is definitely useful :)

Aloka
01 Dec 10, 05:27
I was under the impression that Taoists believed in a soul, immortals, deities and ancestor worship which is very different to core Buddha Dharma. I would have thought therefore that if one was intending to be a serious practitioner that it would have been better to understand one properly to avoid confusion rather than trying to mix and match and practice then both at the same time.

If one is just learning about them for intellectual study purposes of course, then it doesn't matter.

Anyway ,this is the Buddhism for Beginners forum. If anyone wants to further discuss Tao in comparison to Buddhism it should be done in our Comparative Religion forum and not in this one, thanks.

:hands:

KoolAid900
01 Dec 10, 14:36
Sure enough, sorry for the distraction, just wanted him to know it was out there ;)

Aloka
03 Dec 10, 00:47
Do you recommend any other books or sites?

Lots of info to be found at the sites mentioned here:

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/forum/index.php?topic=3030.0

and at the other sites in the Study Links section.