Thread: Two Questions

  1. #1

    Two Questions

    Dear friends,

    !. Which Buddhist tradition did you choose to study and practice ...and why?

    2. Have you ever had any doubts about your choice?

  2. #2
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
    Nova Scotia
    When I started, nearly 40 years ago, I think the closest fit for me probably would have been Zen. But there wasn't a Zen group there. There was a Tibetan group, so that is where I went, and have mostly stayed. That group was Gelugpa, but most of my experience since then has been in the Karma Kagyu tradition.

    Having said which, I don't really consider myself an adherent of any of those traditions. I consider myself a non-denominational Mahayanist.

    Any doubts about my choice of tradition have, if anything, decreased. The more experience I get, the more convinced I am that all the Buddhist teachings lead to the same place. I don't believe that there is any real contradiction among them. Apparent contradictions are, I believe, the result if misunderstandings.

    It is more important to pick one and stick with it than it is to pick the "right" one. The right one is whichever one you can stick with.

    Om mani padme hum

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
    Under the Bodhi Tree
    I have chosen the Theravada tradition, mainly the Thai Forest Tradition because it is the closest to what the Buddha taught, and no , I haven´t had any doubts about my choice.

  4. #4
    Forums Member
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    Mar 2017
    1. I didn't choose any to study or practice. My 'in' to Buddhism was only after years of experimenting with meditation practices as a way of changing how I perceived the world. To my great surprise they also brought about changes in me. Buddhism offered answers to questions I didn't know I had, but there were answers in every tradition, so why stick with one?

    2. I've never regretted my approach to investigating the key elements of Buddhism by bringing them into my practice, wherever they arose.

  5. #5
    Forums Member ancientbuddhism's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Dividing the past 37 years, the first 20 was with a Korean Chogye tradition of what Ven. Seo Kyung-Bo considered “Zen”. After that I transitioned to Theravāda to approach Nikāyan Buddhism. All of this is normal for those of us in the missionary outback of Buddhism in the “West” – whatever that is. Since leaving Zen I consider the Buddha as ācariya and find his guidance through the original teachings of the Pitāka Nikāyas.

  6. #6
    Forums Member
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    Feb 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    My life as a Buddhist began after reading a book outlining the basics of many religions. I don't even remember the name of the book; but when you can't continue your walk because your eyes are filled with tears, then you know you've found something wonderful. To this day, I'm not sure what that was, but resisting it was unthinkable.

    After that, I looked at zen, but did not have the temperament, or discipline. I went from temple to temple, and eventually came across a Theravadin monk by the name of Kovida, a very wise man, who set me dead straight on the path. I am eternally grateful to him.

    After that I joined the Jodo Shinshu sect, and stayed there for about 15 years, not because I feel an affinity with their teachings, but because I liked the people and the senseis, and felt at home there. They gave me my name (Shinnen). However, Theravadin, and more recently zen, have my heart.

    I was in a discussion group, until about 5 years ago, but left because of scheduling conflicts. I am now looking again, and that's why I'm here.

    Doubts? I can't imagine it. I may change as I grow, but Theravadin is probably what I relate to best. Having said that, zen does seem to cut right though to the heart of the matter, in many instances.

    ...... john
    Last edited by shinnen; 12 Feb 19 at 23:40.

  7. #7
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
    Hi, Aloka.

    Seems like this thread gets repeated due to many similar questions, mostly from new arrivals seeking information in hopes of finding their way into/onto their individual paths.

    So, my entry into Buddhist practice began in S. Vietnam in November of 1963, while serving in the U.S. military in the city of Hue, VN. I arrived south of Hue in Danang, S. VN the day after President JFK's assassination.

    It was Master Tich Nhat Hanh's teachings, but most importantly, selfless actions in S. VN which first inspired me to investigate Buddhist practice.

    After leaving S. Vietnam a year later for Japan I investigated another Buddhist group, Nichiren, Soka Gakkai, which was more of a political organization it seemed, than an organized Buddhist sangha.

    A Year later I returned to the United States, where I spent time at The Rochester Zen Center, in New York :

    in a meditation group and studying the writings of Tich Nhat Hanh with a group called "The Blooming Lilac Sangha."

    From there I migrated to a Laosian Theravadin group where I studied The Pali Canon / Tipi Taka, and eventually wound up working for Venerable / Bhikkhu Samahita of Ceylon/ Sri Lanka: as an English Editor.

    Several years later I began investigating the configuration of Sectarian Buddhism, and have been resting here till this date.


    Happy St. Valentines Day to all:
    Last edited by Olderon; 13 Feb 19 at 20:58.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2017
    Hello Kathy, I have only been practicing for about 10 years. Pretty much all of that time, it's been in the Karma Kagyu tradition. However, the recent debacle within Shambhala and other schools has left me cold. I have been considering Zen, but all that chanting and the koans just confuse me.

    I am intrigued by your comment that you consider yourself a "non-denominational Mahayanist." Would you explain a bit about what this means to you, e.g., what practices and what teachings?

    Thank you,

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