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Is there a specific reason why you got on the buddhist/spiritual path?

Many people say they were introduced to buddhism etc etc , but was there a specific that you ended up on the spiritual path??

I love buddhism and everything about it, the people, monks, temples, robes, paintings, (japanese art) meditation, the quotes, books, documentaries etc etc.... But i honestly forget 'why' i ended up being spiritual..

What about you?

Comments

  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    Well, I'm no longer fully Buddhist (I consider myself more of a Hindu), but I remember my moms friends Japanese mom was a Buddhist and I would visit her house a lot. Eventually, when I started college, I remembered visiting her home and started researching on Buddhism.

    I guess that was the start to how I ended up where I currently am.
    zenmystedhammachick
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    Well when I learnt about it deeply for the first time it made a big impression on me but then kind of forgot about it for a while, then remembered it and realised that there was a non-theistic approach to spirituality which matched my views and gave it ago and have stuck with it for the best part of a year.
    zenmystedhammachick
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    DaftChris said:

    Well, I'm no longer fully Buddhist (I consider myself more of a Hindu), but I remember my moms friends Japanese mom was a Buddhist and I would visit her house a lot. Eventually, when I started college, I remembered visiting her home and started researching on Buddhism.

    I guess that was the start to how I ended up where I currently am.

    Thanks for answering.

    Can i ask, what (if anything in particular) has hinduism 'got' that Buddhism hasnt? What do you prefere about it? Any specifics?
  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    zenmyste said:

    DaftChris said:

    Well, I'm no longer fully Buddhist (I consider myself more of a Hindu), but I remember my moms friends Japanese mom was a Buddhist and I would visit her house a lot. Eventually, when I started college, I remembered visiting her home and started researching on Buddhism.

    I guess that was the start to how I ended up where I currently am.

    Thanks for answering.

    Can i ask, what (if anything in particular) has hinduism 'got' that Buddhism hasnt? What do you prefere about it? Any specifics?
    Buddhism is my philosophy, but Hinduism is my spiritual guide. It emotionally resonates with me more than Buddhism does; while Buddhism is more intellectually fundamental.


    zenmyste
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    zenmyste said:

    But i honestly forget 'why' i ended up being spiritual..

    What about you?

    If I end up 'being spiritual', that will be the end of being spiritual.

    [ahem] in the spirit of the question . . .
    I realized that my cultural norm (acquisitive materialism, competitive status attainment) leads to no guaranteed 'happy place'.
    The answer is very simple, I have nothing better to do . . . until then . . .
    OM MANI PEME HUM HRIH

    :clap:
    JeffreyChekarmablues
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    I had to think about this one for a little bit before I was sure of my answer. Ever since I was a young kid, I was searching for peace, for myself. I found it in a lot of places, but when I went to church, I was told that I needed to get it from God via Jesus and our pastors. But that never felt right to me. My dad rarely went to church and when I asked why, he said because he found God in nature, so that is where he went instead. That made sense to me but I didn't know what to do with it. When I was in college, I took a world religions class, and Buddhism brought a strong reaction in me, but I was turned off by how it was described in my text as life is suffering and you will just have to suffer, and you should do good things for people but if you do them and feel good because of it, you're doing it wrong. It sent me running, even though the general premise was interesting. Eventually I wandered my way into Paganism, because of the comment my dad had made earlier, but the rituals and new agey-ness of it just never rang true for me. When I ran into Buddhism again, thanks to my son's interest, I finally started reading some recommended books on it and I found it could give me that peace I was looking for in myself and my life (and those around me). So, the peace is what I was after, and it is what I found in Buddhism. Not that Buddhism has it to give, but it gave me a solid way (that works for me) to find it and put it into practice, and it's worked amazingly well.
    zenmyste
  • What about you, @zenmyste?
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    fivebells said:

    What about you, @zenmyste?

    Like i said, i cant really remember how or why i ended up being a spiritual person.. But i do remember the first time i visited thailand and the simplicity and stillness that the people had (not just the monks) was unbelievable...

    I had never seen anything like it...
    And i was instantly into buddhism!

    However, there was obviously a reason 'why' i went to thailand in the first place and its this that i cannot remember why!?!

    I remember wanting to go to thailand because everyone told me it was an inspirational country.. (And i did need some inspirational)

    (If im being honest, (i dont talk about it much) but i 'think' i became spiritual after I lost the Love of my life at a very young age.. (We were 14)
    Everyone thought we were too young to be 'in love' etc etc.. But even now nearly 15 years later - something still feels 'missing' - and ive never been 'sure' exactly what it is!!!!

    But buddhism has helped me with impermanence and zen has helped me to 'accept what is, and just BE...... :-)
    karmablues
  • For me, there are plenty of reasons, not just one. But a common thread that did eventually lead me to Buddhism which I can definitely trace back to around 1994 is what I see as the inadequacy of language to define "reality." But this inability due to some sort of supernatural realm "beyond." A teacup is just as mysterious as a mystical experience, all of it ungraspable by language in any final, objective sense. Ironically, it was through my love of poetry that made me recognise that words have to sometimes be used in magical ways in order to express something that can't be expressed at all. It was in 1994 that also I fell in love with what Wittgenstein said: "The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is." Intuitively, this made sense to me.

    In allowing ourselves to believe too much in language and concepts in an absolute way is the epistemological error that leads to much suffering. And I know these thoughts all stem from my experience in the very fundamentalist Church of Christ--and also the "objectivist" epistemology of Ayn Rand (aside from the obvious fact that Rand was an atheist, it should not be surprising that fundamentalists and Ayn Rand have a lot in common). I've seen first hand what this kind of ideological thinking can do to people (myself included) and it is all based on epistemological hubris.

    None of this is to say that language is therefore "bad" somehow. But a fervent belief in its ability to define reality is a mistake that can only lead to suffering. And its an impoverished way to engage with the world entirely filtered through concepts--confusing words with the world. Its as if words are too slow to catch up with the flow of time. I've experienced once (years before I began practising Buddhism) a moment where language dropped away and all I can say is this nonsense: time cannot be encountered without silence, without wordlessness. It sounds like jibberish I know. At which point I feel like Richard Dreyfuss, saying "This means something!" hahaha

    image
    lobsterBeejkarmablues
  • BeejBeej Human Being Veteran
    @riverflow- yes, but is awesome jibberish. :)
    riverflowlobsterkarmablues
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    zenmyste said:

    fivebells said:

    What about you, @zenmyste?

    Like i said, i cant really remember how or why i ended up being a spiritual person.. But i do remember the first time i visited thailand and the simplicity and stillness that the people had (not just the monks) was unbelievable...

    I had never seen anything like it...
    And i was instantly into buddhism!

    However, there was obviously a reason 'why' i went to thailand in the first place and its this that i cannot remember why!?!

    I remember wanting to go to thailand because everyone told me it was an inspirational country.. (And i did need some inspirational)

    (If im being honest, (i dont talk about it much) but i 'think' i became spiritual after I lost the Love of my life at a very young age.. (We were 14)
    Everyone thought we were too young to be 'in love' etc etc.. But even now nearly 15 years later - something still feels 'missing' - and ive never been 'sure' exactly what it is!!!!

    But buddhism has helped me with impermanence and zen has helped me to 'accept what is, and just BE...... :-)
    Interesting! I know exactly what you mean about your experience in Thailand.

    karmablues
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    This means something!
    Mindful mash.
    I look forward to my mashing meditation that you have inspired . . .
    BeejChe
  • Lazy_eyeLazy_eye Veteran
    It's all John Cage's fault. I was interested in avant-garde music as a teenager and read his book "Silence", which contains many Zen stories.

    After that, I went on to study English literature and creative writing. Buddhism is the unofficial religion of most university English departments, or at least it can seem that way. Then I traveled a bit in East Asia and saw some lovely temples.

    None of this amounted to a particularly deep engagement with the Dharma. But over the past decade or so, after I became a parent and also made the shocking discovery that I'm getting old, the "great matter of life and death" has become more pressing.
    riverflow
  • Lazy_eye said:

    After that, I went on to study English literature and creative writing. Buddhism is the unofficial religion of most university English departments, or at least it can seem that way.

    Yep. That was where I had my first (somewhat superficial) exposure to Zen and also Wittgenstein when I frequented a lot of creative writing workshops in the mid 90s too.
    Lazy_eye
  • Lazy_eyeLazy_eye Veteran
    Hmm. Maybe we've met? Which workshops did you frequent? :)
  • Northeast Louisiana University (aka University of Louisiana at Monroe). Attended many of Bill Ryan's workshops (even though technically I was not an enrolled student). That was around 1994-97. I did a few local readings of my poetry during that time in Monroe too...
  • Lazy_eyeLazy_eye Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Ah ok...never made it to Monroe, but I was in Mississippi for a spell around 1990-92. Not so far away. Missed you by a couple of years, it seems!
    riverflow
  • zenmyste said:

    (If im being honest, (i dont talk about it much) but i 'think' i became spiritual after I lost the Love of my life at a very young age.. (We were 14)
    Everyone thought we were too young to be 'in love' etc etc.. But even now nearly 15 years later - something still feels 'missing' - and ive never been 'sure' exactly what it is!!!!

    Ah, yeah, my practice leveled up after my Mum died a couple of years ago.
    riverflowzenmyste
  • BeejBeej Human Being Veteran
    i came to Buddhism backwards. i started meditating first as a means of getting in touch with something that i already knew was there, but it was burried under a lot of conditioned behavior and response. i started reading buddhist stuff after insight smashed some of those conditioned viewpoints. i guess you could say i was just looking for a structured way to describe my experience, because i wanted to be able to relate it to people. so i dabble in some buddhism from time to time and use it as a tool (or a raft), but i dont identify myself as a buddhist. i identify myself as a human being. still trying to figure out how to relate my experince though....... hehehe. :)
    riverflowJeffrey
  • BeejBeej Human Being Veteran
    edited May 2013
    @Invincible_summer- i have also had similar upstream swimming problems that you mentioned. i was the ever ever-forceful square peg, banging away. Never could get it to fit into that round hole. :banghead:

    eventually, i stopped banging. well, most of the time, anyways. :om:
    Invincible_summerriverflow
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    i am a Hindu and i struck spirituality by accident (though not a physical accident).
    lobsterChekarmablues
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