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guidance advice?

newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

Just wondering is it recommended that you have some guidance? A teacher, guru or Lama? If so, how do you find them?

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It is generally a good idea... You can explore the dharma on your own with just books but it helps a lot to have a teacher. The biggest problem is knowing which tradition you want to follow, Tibetan Buddhism is not the same as Zen which is different from Theravada. Just getting to know the different schools a bit is already quite an undertaking.

    But you can't really go far wrong with any school of Buddhism, just look at what centres are present close to you locally and start there.

    RuddyDuck9
  • Yes, check out what's available locally, ask around or google. The Buddhanet site has a world directory of Buddhist groups, but the site seems to be down at the moment.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @newlotus said:
    Just wondering is it recommended that you have some guidance? A teacher, guru or Lama? If so, how do you find them?

    If you find any, let me know. I have a closet full of them. Always glad to add to my collection. o:)
    Here is something that is suitable for everyone. Great fun for the unguided, misguided (that would be me), the new lost pema (lotus), the Google starved, the stray Rinpoche and lone Buddha ...

    Get that practice going ...
    http://opcoa.st/0STXT

    However let us think where to get a worthy teacher if you have no Buddha Cupboard ... mmm ...

    • Join forum :+1:
    • Ask :+1:
    • GO Buddha! :+1:

    you lucky, lucky person ... B)

    Here are two of my teachers ... 'The Gatekeepers' ... ignore the snail, don't know her ...

    No Buddha Butterflies were harmed for this posting ...

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    @Kerome - I have taken an interest in Tibetian buddhism.
    Thanks :)
    There is a centre. I just have to work up the nerve to go there now!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @newlotus said:
    @Kerome - I have taken an interest in Tibetian buddhism.
    Thanks :)
    There is a centre. I just have to work up the nerve to go there now!

    Why would you need to 'work up the nerve'...?
    You're not alone in professing this, by the way.... We have had many new members who state that there IS a centre they COULD visit, but that they're nervous/scared/worried/hesitant to visit it, because....

    Because, why?

    I really don't get this. Buddhism is one of the most friendly, neutral, forgiving, permissive religions going.
    When I discovered I lived fairly close to a Monastery, I couldn't wait to go there! I knew nothing about etiquette, "proper" behaviour or what would be expected of me. But I did some research, and went anyway!

    Please don't think I'm critical of you - I promise, I'm not! I just think fear, nerves or any worry are unfounded.... Just be yourself, go and be respectful. Nothing else is necessary.
    Every single Monk was born an ordinary boy. In many ways, they still are.

    Don't be nervous. Just be You.

    Jump in, and let go!

    RuddyDuck9
  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    Because I have anxiety issues and i don't like going places alone. But yes.....I will go anyway. There are some classes on that I will work into my schedule to :)

    RuddyDuck9Bunks
  • Well, let us know how you get on! I am sure it will be fine, Buddhists are quite normal, well mostly anyway. ;)

    SwaroopRuddyDuck9
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @newlotus said:
    Because I have anxiety issues and i don't like going places alone. But yes.....I will go anyway. There are some classes on that I will work into my schedule to :)

    I apologise if I sounded as if I was making light of your situation, I assure you I wasn't. But this hesitation is extremely common among newbies. I understand you have anxiety issues, and I'm sorry for that. Just to reassure you, you can calm them, with no fear or trepidation.... Be Still. Breathe, and take each moment, by moment.
    Be well.

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    Because I have anxiety issues and i don't like going places alone.

    Bravo! <3
    Understood. My sister has these to a clinical degree. Very debilitating.

    I wish you every success. The fact that you are going anyway is inspiring. Keep us informed. If they have classes that would be great. =)

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @newlotus -- You are quite right to be anxious about visiting a Buddhist center. Anyone knows that Buddhists are inveterate cannibals....

    More seriously, try imagining how you might feel if some newcomer arrived at a group you belonged to. How would you treat him/her?

    Oh ... and save me the wishbone. :)

    possibilitiesnewlotuslobster
  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    @newlotus welcome to NB! The closest center to me is over an hour away, but one of the monks there is a member on here, which makes it a bit easier to make the jump. That being said, the distance still keeps me away. It's not that awful far, but I tend to fall asleep at the wheel, which scares me on long trips, so I try to drag the hubs whenever I go on long trips. :wink: These are all forgivable offenses. I hope you find that we are correct in assuming that the folks at your local Sangha are happy to meet new folks on the path. I myself have not yet chosen a guru, nor have I met one. There is a theory that your guru will find you when you are ready. +metta+

    lobster
  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    @federica - i wasn't offended at all, was just explaining things a bit more.

    Thanks for the support everyone. Unfortunately I don't have time this week, but next week I shall go :)

    Just another question. If I am following Buddhism, meditation, 8 fold path, 4 noble truths and believe in it also does this make me Buddhist? My husband and I were just talking and he asked and I don't actually know....lol

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    I will say that as far as I would be concerned, with everything you're doing, it would be hard to NOT think of you as Buddhist...

    However, Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse explains in his book, what the 4 Dhamma Seals are:

    If you do not understand or believe that - All things are impermanent, All emotions are pain, All things have no inherent existence, and that Nirvana is beyond concepts, you have to have a closer look at what you study. Scrutiny of these 'Seals' will help root and establish the consideration of being Buddhist.

    The book is great.

    personRuddyDuck9
  • @newlotus said:

    Just another question. If I am following Buddhism, meditation, 8 fold path, 4 noble truths and believe in it also does this make me Buddhist? My husband and I were just talking and he asked and I don't actually know....lol

    Buddhist-in-training! ... perhaps ... Before taking refuge you might be classed or labled as an 'un-Buddhist' perhaps having the exalted and advanced status of Beginners Mind. Still working up to that myself ...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Usually the point at which you are said to be Buddhist is when you take refuge, by repeating the Triple Gem to a member of a sangha. Or that's how I understand it works officially. Whether you consider yourself a Buddhist is of course entirely up to you :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Adding to the ^^above^^, although that is viewed as being 'official', I personally went through a "private", home-made personal Refuge Ceremony, of my own creation and making, at home, quietly, by myself, and it actually felt more "credible and legitimate" than an 'official' one I underwent at a later date, at a temple!

    RuddyDuck9
  • ^^. Tee Hee. @federica you were lucky. I had to take private refuge. As a heretic and general purpose Buddhist trouble maker, I refused to have a dharma name selected by 'the management', so of course they rightly refused me refuge ... Also I was thrown out of YinYana Buddhism for starting it, as that goes against its principles ... :glasses:

    I am still an un-Buddhist. o:)

    ... and now back to official dharma ...

    newlotusKerome
  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    Interesting.....buddhist in training it is then! :P You guys are all rather funny.

    I am just realisinng how little I know about everything. I mean, I was just christened as a kid and thus considered baptist. Even though I had no belief or interest in religion.

    RuddyDuck9
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @newlotus said:...I am just realisinng how little I know about everything. ...

    Oh Lordy! You too?? What a coincidence!!

    lobsterBunksKundo
  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    yeah I know (knew) a number of religious christians who were very far from religious. (if that makes sense).

    RuddyDuck9
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    yeah I know (knew) a number of religious christians who were very far from religious. (if that makes sense).

    I know a few (virtually) too. And it's surprising how many of them have a creed that extends no further than "I believe in Jesus and God and have read a bit of the bible".

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer
    edited August 2016

    indeed. I more so got another view. The 'I'm christian and believe in God so I can do what ever I like to people and be forgiven'. Or 'I can treat people badly, confess my sins and then all is forgiven'. I know its a generalisation but my experiences from when I was younger showed me that saying you are religious really means nothing, its how you act and what you do that holds the meaning. Thats why I asked when you are a buddhist. Because I don't want to say I am something if I am not acting that way (if that makes sense).
    BTW.....a new friend is devoutly Christian and is the nicest, most giving person I have ever met :).

    lobsterpersonsilver
  • ShimShim Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    indeed. I more so got another view. The I'm christian and believe in God so I can do what ever I like to people and be forgiven. Or I can treat people badly, confess my sins and then all is forgiven. I however was (am) pretty sure thats not how it works people!

    People use whatever reason they want to treat others badly, it could as well be nihilism or individualism (or any religion). If they are unmindful and deluded by anger or greed they will find an excuse to act upon their urges, no matter what religion or philosophy they follow (if any). Christianity does offer a comfortable framework to do that, even on an institutional level, but even a Buddhist or a New Ager could justify their bad behaviour with a misunderstood dogma/purification practice if they really wanted to do so.

    RuddyDuck9
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @dhammachick and @Bunks are both Aussies who might be of some direction.

    I was really anxious and nervous, too. But I had hit a plateau in my meditation and my understanding on my own and seeing the retreat poster in my tiny town was like a gift sent to me. I found my teacher because he was the one who came here, basically. It is a wonderful connection and relationship. With him and his senior students. After that retreat, a group of locals set up a local sangha under our teacher's tutelage, and it has gone very well.

    I didn't know a single person signed up for the retreat. i was afraid just to call and sound dumb because I had no idea what to even say or ask. But I called. And the man who answered was nice as could be. I felt at ease within the group immediately, even though was nervous all the night before. I worried I would offend and do something improperly. I worried everyone else would know each other and I'd be the odd person out. I hardly slept. But I went. And it changed my life. The people in our sangha are some of my closest friends. They are my spiritual shoulders. We have a core group and we have others who come and go as they can, and then we have visitors. We are open and welcome to all and I think most people feel comfortable when they come to check things out. Try it. It really is worth it. The anxiety will be there, but it will pass. You will know when you find the right teacher, the right group of fellow students of the path. It'll feel like home. And the anxiety will be gone because you will be among friends.

    lobsterBunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Thanks @karasti

    Hi @newlotus - welcome!

    I attend a Tibetan Buddhist Centre near Melbourne - they are a lovely bunch of people. Feel free to reply or send me a private message if you want to chat about this!

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Hi @newlotus - I'm based in Sydney and have attended a Tibetan centre in Dulwich Hill in the inner west. PM me if you want to chat.

    Metta,
    _ /\ _

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    @newlotus said:
    indeed. I more so got another view. The 'I'm christian and believe in God so I can do what ever I like to people and be forgiven'. Or 'I can treat people badly, confess my sins and then all is forgiven'. I know its a generalisation but my experiences from when I was younger showed me that saying you are religious really means nothing, its how you act and what you do that holds the meaning. Thats why I asked when you are a buddhist. Because I don't want to say I am something if I am not acting that way (if that makes sense).
    BTW.....a new friend is devoutly Christian and is the nicest, most giving person I have ever met :).

    While I cannot say that I ever encountered any personal hostility or objection towards me, either ante- or post-Buddhist leanings, I know what you mean: Many Christians I encountered were the "I'm a definite, God-fearing, good, Jesus-abiding Christian (On Sundays and in church) but outside of Church it's every damned selfish free-thinker for himself!" Brigade...

    And yes, I know some really cool Christians, too...;)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2016

    @newlotus said:

    Just another question.If I am following Buddhism, meditation, 8 fold path, 4 noble truths and believe in it also does this make me Buddhist? My husband and I were just talking and he asked and I don't actually know....lol

    Short answer...No..... but this can easily be sorted by just sending me a cheque for $1000 ( this will cover a years Buddhist club membership fee) and I'll send you your Buddhist membership card along with a nice Buddhist club T shirt B) :wink: :lol:

    WalkerlobsterShimDairyLama
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited August 2016

    @Shoshin said:
    Short answer...No..... but this can easily be sorted by just sending me a cheque for $1000 ( this will cover a years Buddhist club membership fee) and I'll send you your Buddhist membership card along with a nice Buddhist club [T shirt]

    You can be a student of the Dairy Lama for a fraction of this price, membership comes with a years supply of Neapolitan ice-cream ( conditions apply ) and also Tescos Club-card points. :p

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    I would point out, @newlotus , that I am probably the only sane one here... however, I may have to resort to extreme tactics in order to understand and be understood...

    DairyLamalobsternewlotusRuddyDuck9
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It's all relative :) I like to think of myself as sane in my better moments

  • @Kerome said:
    I like to think of myself as sane in my better moments

    You must be crazy! :p I like to think of myself as a wer-lobster just to ensure no one including me thinks I am sane ... o:)

  • @federica said:
    I would point out, @newlotus , that I am probably the only sane one here... however, I may have to resort to extreme tactics in order to [understand and be understood...

    As they say, you don't have to be mad to work here, but it certainly helps. :p

    RuddyDuck9
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @federica said:
    (Watch it, @newlotus , this could be a scam... ask to see credentials, acreditations, referrals, testimonies, and above all, that curious little bump on the back of her neck which SHE claims is The Bddha's thumbprint, but we know is actually where her brother smacked her with a wet towel when she was 9.....)

    Be careful of scammers...Um very wise advice ...I couldn't agree more :)

    BTW Thanks for the $10,000 cheque( for membership fee which goes up by $1000 each year) which I hastily deposited into Shoshin's (not for prophet) Charity account....and also for having half a dozen of my 'machines' installed (the proceeds will also go to Shoshin's Charity) and how generous you have been in testing them for me...Your enlightenment certificate will be put in the post as soon as I receive the cheque...
    You're a real treasure :)

  • ^^. Another Buddhist success story. o:)

    ShoshinKundosilver
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    :wink: > @Namada said:

    Can definitely recommend Shoshin membership, has been a permanent member since 2008, my wallet has become much thinner , but who cares about money when you are transformed into a arahant with muscles. This is me, before and after :)

    I'm here to serve and aim to please...Just performing my Dharma duty @Namada just performing my Dharma duty...Like any good trustworthy Buddhist would do :wink:

    Namada
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @federica said:

    Why would you need to 'work up the nerve'...?
    You're not alone in professing this, by the way.... We have had many new members who state that there IS a centre they COULD visit, but that they're nervous/scared/worried/hesitant to visit it, because....

    Because, why?

    When I entered the first center that I tried, I was asked what school I was interested in. I told the woman that I had read a lot of Zen and Theravada. Whatever knowledge I had came from reading and so I had never heard the words pronounced before. I mispronounced Theravada. She rolled her eyes and said, "It's pronounced Theravada" with all the condescension she could muster. I thanked her and left. It was thirty years later I made it to NewBuddhist. Since coming here I have tried again with much better results.

    Still working on my aversion to not feeling stupid.

    ShoshinWalker
  • I mispronounced Theravada.

    In case anyone is wondering it is pronounced 'The Raver Duh!' and is my favourite dancing school :glasses:
    Thirty years from one zennith eye roll? These guys are powerful ... O.o

    As we become stiller in mind, body and spirit Buddha Nature awareness being, it is quite common to be aware of the power of our word, deed and intention. From this grows an awareness of compassion/humility. It is why we are kind (includes being wrathful if sufficiently skilful). Being stupid may be part of our repertoire of skilful dharma engagement. However that is NOT usually a skill set emphasised in dharma. Transparent honesty is normally the ideal.

    yagr
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @newlotus said:
    Just wondering is it recommended that you have some guidance? A teacher, guru or Lama? If so, how do you find them?

    Like Morpheus said to Neo in The Matrix, "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."

    On your own you can know the whole path, a good teacher will know which steps you should be taking at a given time.

    RuddyDuck9lobster
  • That cat looks really fed up. ;)

    RuddyDuck9
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:
    That cat looks really fed up. ;)

    'Fed up' is not the term I had in mind.... If ever there was a cat that believed itself infinitely superior to its owner....!

    BunksKundoRuddyDuck9
  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    You guys are all hilarious but I'm a little lost... lol
    So disappointed though :( I cant go to the class tomorrow. Oh well next week.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    We do go off at a tangent and get a bit bizarre at times....
    I'm sorry if your plans fell through...

    As you say, consider next week - and don't let anything put you off! Hope you're ok....

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    Not a problem it was amusing reading!
    Yeah, I slept all day today and did nothing productive lol. So need tomorrow morning to catch up on study.

    BunksKundo
  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    @yagr said:

    @federica said:

    Why would you need to 'work up the nerve'...?
    You're not alone in professing this, by the way.... We have had many new members who state that there IS a centre they COULD visit, but that they're nervous/scared/worried/hesitant to visit it, because....

    Because, why?

    When I entered the first center that I tried...She rolled her eyes and said, "It's pronounced Theravada" with all the condescension she could muster. I thanked her and left. It was thirty years later I made it to NewBuddhist. Since coming here I have tried again with much better results.

    Still working on my aversion to not feeling stupid.

    Learning something by reading is SO admirable. It shows gumption, drive, desire to succeed, hard-headedness, good work ethic, etc. I will never understand why teaching yourself through books is looked down upon or why snooty "holier than thou" attitudes have any place in ANY faith system.

    I think you're awesome.

    lobsterShimyagr
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