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how to simplify buddhism for beginners and advance participants

what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?i'll start.the study aspect.study and reflect.go slow.about practice. do--your best--and be.practice the art of balance or middle way to counteract of possible tendency toward perfection.

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Comments

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited January 7

    Do not hurt any sentient being either by body, speech or mind.

    Carlitapaulyso
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Nothing whatsoever should be clung to.

    Carlitapaulyso
  • 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

    "I come to teach suffering and the end of suffering". Then clarify 'suffering'. That should keep us busy for a while.

    paulyso
  • 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

    I think we must also appreciate that beginners will always ask the same questions, and advanced participants will search elsewhere for different answers.

    So we must cultivate patience and understanding for those who seem to ask the same, old same-old questions - because for them, it will be new - and realise that we do not have all the answers. And probably, never will have, for those who are well on their way and further along the path.

    Stubbing our feet on stones still happens, no matter where we are....

    paulysokarasti
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    how to simplify buddhism for beginners and advance participants

    Um for Beginners study The Four Noble Truths & Eightfold Path
    and for the Advanced continue studying The Four Noble Truths & Eightfold Path

    It can't get any simpler than that.... :)

    After all The Buddha did say "Ehipassiko"...See for yourselves

    paulyso
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 7

    @paulyso said:
    what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?i'll start.the study aspect.study and reflect.go slow.about practice. do--your best--and be.practice the art of balance or middle way to counteract of possible tendency toward perfection.

    The 8-fold path has a threefold formulation which is morality, meditation and wisdom. That seems like a good summary of what Buddhist practice involves. There are others, of course, it depends which school one is practising in.

    I also think it is useful for beginners to be involved in a real-life sangha if at all possible, relying on the internet isn't ideal.

    Hozanpaulyso
  • @Kerome said:
    Nothing whatsoever should be clung to.

    That's more like a result of practice, not something I would tell a beginner to "do".

  • @Shoshin said:
    After all The Buddha did say "Ehipassiko"...See for yourselves

    Sure, but there are many Buddhist schools, and so there are many methods for doing that.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Do not hurt any sentient being either by body, speech or mind.

    good advise,be kind to ourselve and others .the buddha said we deserve metta or love.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Nothing whatsoever should be clung to.

    good advise to let things go.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @federica said:
    "I come to teach suffering and the end of suffering". Then clarify 'suffering'. That should keep us busy for a while.

    great advise ,identify our "personal"dukkha and work on it.

    silver
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @federica said:
    I think we must also appreciate that beginners will always ask the same questions, and advanced participants will search elsewhere for different answers.

    So we must cultivate patience and understanding for those who seem to ask the same, old same-old questions - because for them, it will be new - and realise that we do not have all the answers. And probably, never will have, for those who are well on their way and further along the path.

    Stubbing our feet on stones still happens, no matter where we are....

    great advise be patient with ourselves and others,and be aware we all in it together.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    how to simplify buddhism for beginners and advance participants

    Um for Beginners study The Four Noble Truths & Eightfold Path
    and for the Advanced continue studying The Four Noble Truths & Eightfold Path

    It can't get any simpler than that.... :)

    After all The Buddha did say "Ehipassiko"...See for yourselves

    good advise continue to learn and grow ,there is something new to explore for ourselves.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    Beginner - Start with the 4 Noble Truths and Eightfold Path and put aside for now any teachings that seem to contradict it.

    Learn to find the middle way between any extremes before getting too deep into teachings of emptiness or any beliefs.

    Remember that conjecture is not advised so don't cling to any incomplete conclusions.

    Advanced - Don't get complacent. Remember that there are a few ways to come at this stuff and you can still learn a thing or two.

    paulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @paulyso said:
    what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?i'll start.the study aspect.study and reflect.go slow.about practice. do--your best--and be.practice the art of balance or middle way to counteract of possible tendency toward perfection.

    The 8-fold path has a threefold formulation which is morality, meditation and wisdom. That seems like a good summary of what Buddhist practice involves. There are others, of course, it depends which school one is practising in.

    I also think it is useful for beginners to be involved in a real-life sangha if at all possible, relying on the internet isn't ideal.

    good advise seek person to person interaction with those in the path.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @David said:
    Beginner - Start with the 4 Noble Truths and Eightfold Path and put aside for now any teachings that seem to contradict it.

    Learn to find the middle way between any extremes before getting too deep into teachings of emptiness or any beliefs.

    Remember that conjecture is not advised so don't cling to any incomplete conclusions.

    Advanced - Don't get complacent. Remember that there are a few ways to come at this stuff and you can still learn a thing or two.

    wonderful advise.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    thank you all so much.i appreciate the advises.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited January 7

    Beginner: Meditate every day. =)

    Dhammapada Verse 282: Indeed, wisdom is born of meditation; without meditation wisdom is lost. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss of wisdom, one should conduct oneself so that wisdom may increase.

    Advanced: Meditate every day. =)

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

    "Better your own truth, however weak, than the truth of another, however noble."

    paulysoSnakeskin
  • CarlitaCarlita Beat the Devil out of it United States Veteran

    @paulyso said:
    what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?i'll start.the study aspect.study and reflect.go slow.about practice. do--your best--and be.practice the art of balance or middle way to counteract of possible tendency toward perfection.

    Id say develop a meditation routine. I started with that in Zen before going deeper into pali studies since the sutras are more spreadout than the suttas. Understanding who The Buddha is and the goal. I wouldnt go through topics like emptiness. Non arrachment can be simplified.

    paulyso
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited January 7

    For beginners: Listen to and read Dhamma talks/books from ajahn chah and other good teachers, from there you will learn mindfullness and can also establish a daily meditation routine.

    For advanced practioners: Remember beginners mind

    paulyso
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 7

    Do the Buddhist practice (priority) that intuitively feels right to you.

    It might change from time to time so be open.

    If you are looking for a particular needle (in a presumable hay stack) you might first learn what area it is in. Then what land marks are near it. Then that it is by a particular tree. Then finally that it is under a certain rock. And then with your own hand and eyes you lift the rock and search in the dirt for the needle.

    paulyso
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?

    When studying the 4NTs & 8FP ...Dukkha happens...(Colloquially speaking Shit Happens) .... don't give up...

    paulysosilver
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @seeker242 said:
    Beginner: Meditate every day. =)

    Dhammapada Verse 282: Indeed, wisdom is born of meditation; without meditation wisdom is lost. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss of wisdom, one should conduct oneself so that wisdom may increase.

    Advanced: Meditate every day. =)

    good advise.ive also heard,the advise find your center.it maybe a meditative component to center the mind-body for clarity and wisdom.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    "Better your own truth, however weak, than the truth of another, however noble."

    wonderful! trust our practice and experiences.only we know ourselves.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Carlita said:

    @paulyso said:
    what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?i'll start.the study aspect.study and reflect.go slow.about practice. do--your best--and be.practice the art of balance or middle way to counteract of possible tendency toward perfection.

    Id say develop a meditation routine. I started with that in Zen before going deeper into pali studies since the sutras are more spreadout than the suttas. Understanding who The Buddha is and the goal. I wouldnt go through topics like emptiness. Non arrachment can be simplified.

    great advise.find your groove in meditation and aware the difference of suttas and sutras.so the advise is good,find what resonnate.and maybe handle what you can
    chew.

    Carlita
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    good point,carry on carry on.reminds me of saying,before woke,chop wood;after woke chop wood.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Namada said:
    For beginners: Listen to and read Dhamma talks/books from ajahn chah and other good teachers, from there you will learn mindfullness and can also establish a daily meditation routine.

    For advanced practioners: Remember beginners mind

    good advise be open and receptive to dhamma or dharma.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    Do the Buddhist practice (priority) that intuitively feels right to you.

    It might change from time to time so be open.

    If you are looking for a particular needle (in a presumable hay stack) you might first learn what area it is in. Then what land marks are near it. Then that it is by a particular tree. Then finally that it is under a certain rock. And then with your own hand and eyes you lift the rock and search in the dirt for the needle.

    wonderful. trust our dharma-heart with our core principles
    .the buddha said let the dharma be our lamp

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    what ways can we give simple advise to those new to buddhism?

    When studying the 4NTs & 8FP ...Dukkha happens...(Colloquially speaking Shit Happens) .... don't give up...

    yep,expect the the unexpected in our dharma life--but persivere,for each day is a refresh renewed beginnings.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    thank you .im very happy and learning as we go along. wonderful advises.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @paulyso
    One of the biggest problems for many new (and not so new) practitioners is "remembering" to implement the Dharma, in other words put what been learnt/studied into everyday practice, especially when a crises hits...Hence why it is important to have a good grasp on mindfulness or "sati" as it is known in Pali ...

    The Pali term "sati" also means "to remember". ...go figure :)

    paulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    shoshin,that is valuable advise,when life test us to remember the teaching and discipline even if to breath in and out.wow can so relate.our practice is our habit and we can retrieve back when things get tough.thank you for that reminder.

    Shoshin
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @paulyso, the division of theory and practice simplifies it for me. I think beneficial to both novice and expert is the theory of conditionality and the practice of guarding the senses. Conceptually, conditionality is as simple as the basic formula: when this, that; when not this, not that. Experientially, the practice of guarding the senses reveals it.

    "On seeing a form with the eye, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. On hearing a sound with the ear... On smelling an odor with the nose... On tasting a flavor with the tongue... On touching a tactile sensation with the body... On cognizing an idea with the intellect, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. Endowed with this noble restraint over the sense faculties, he is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless.

    -- MN 60 (Under the heading of “Sense restraint”)

    I emphasized the last phrase, because it’s accessible and beneficial to both beginner and advanced. For the beginner, experiencing it demonstrates the efficacy of contemplative practices found within Buddhism and thereby encourages and builds confidence. At more advanced stages, there’s a few reasons why it’s beneficial. First, it never gets old, just better. Second, descriptions of the gradual training, such as the one in MN 60 cited above, include it as a prerequisite skill of jhana. Lastly, it’s foundational to the more advanced satipatthana practice of contemplating the senses, as in this translation of the Satipatthana Sutta, under the heading "3. The Six Internal and External Sense Bases", with a convenient footnote (24) about the “fetters” mentioned in the description.

    paulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    snakeskin thank you for putting it in simple terms about the approach of conditionality.theory and practice go hand in hand.so the advise,think before you act develops wise approach to life.

    and to me its timely about sense door we can choose what is allowed in our physical--brain--media.so the advise--from saraputra--select wisely in brain nutriment.its like we are what we feed.thank you snakeskin,helpful advise,dont grasp at the senses.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. HHDL

    If everyone in the world simply practiced that, even a little bit more often, we'd live in a different world. If we taught our kids this, we'd also live in a different world. It is useful and helpful no matter how beginner or how advanced you are. If you can't engage your community, take care of your family, spend time with your friends, care for your home and planet...all with kindness, then it doesn't matter how well you think you understand and can debate any sutra. You might understand the ins and outs of dukkha and samsara, but if you are purposely creating more of it, for others or yourself, then what's the point?

    More advanced:
    May I be a guard for those who are protectorless,
    A guide for those who journey on the road.
    For those who wish to cross the water,
    May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

    May I be an isle for those who yearn for land,
    A lamp for those who long for light;
    For all who need a resting place, a bed;
    For those who need a servant, may I be their slave.

    Bonus: If you do well in this area then you are pretty much in line with the core of every religion out there, and if it turns out God/Allah etc is real, you'll probably be on his good side even if you don't know the story of how Jesus was born :lol:

    paulysolobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    thank you karasti.heart felt advise.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    reminds me of the advise,refrain fom bad do good and ,as federica suggest to ease our mind,meditatively empty the content of our mind.sorta like a detoxe.maybe the advise to take it easy helps our wellbeing.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

    • Thich Nhat Hanh
    paulyso
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 9

    @Snakeskin said:
    -- MN 60 (Under the heading of “Sense restraint”)
    Lastly, it’s foundational to the more advanced satipatthana practice of contemplating the senses, as in this translation of the Satipatthana Sutta, under the heading "3. The Six Internal and External Sense Bases", with a convenient footnote (24) about the “fetters” mentioned in the description.

    I think it works best the other way round. The initial stage is noticing what arises at the sense bases ( fourth frame of satipatthana ) and how it affects us, that provides a clearer basis for sense restraint and the application of Right Effort.

    Snakeskin
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran
    edited January 9

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Snakeskin said:
    -- MN 60 (Under the heading of “Sense restraint”)
    Lastly, it’s foundational to the more advanced satipatthana practice of contemplating the senses, as in this translation of the Satipatthana Sutta, under the heading "3. The Six Internal and External Sense Bases", with a convenient footnote (24) about the “fetters” mentioned in the description.

    I think it works best the other way round. The initial stage is noticing what arises at the sense bases ( fourth frame of satipatthana ) and how it affects us, that provides a clearer basis for sense restraint and the application of Right Effort.

    I see the logic, so I’d say the practices are less sequential and more mutually supportive, like that hand-washing simile illustrating the relationship between ethical conduct and wisdom. Still, I’d also say guarding the senses is simpler than the initial stages of contemplating them, because it doesn’t require observing organs, objects or fetters, which would of course strengthen the practice of guarding.

    Guarding the senses is the first Buddhist, contemplative practice I learned. The technique was to verbally label the sense experience as “thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting.” It didn’t require any understanding, insight or effort beyond passively noting sense experience. It was not-grasping, while developing sense discernment. As you noted, noticing is necessary for contemplating them, but the not-grasping itself guards against invasion by unwholesome states. Without a receptivity born of the deeper understandings of a more advanced practitioner, not grasping at sense experience alone wouldn’t necessarily lead to knowing the arising, abandoning and prevention of fetters that would strengthen the practice. It does, however, lead to an equanimity and blamelessness accessible to anyone, beginner or advanced, who doesn’t grasp at sense experience.

    paulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

    • Thich Nhat Hanh

    good simple advise,be present through breath.sometimes difficult for me.but good reminder.kinda like be center--through breath as an object,as snakeskin suggest--and be in the present.wonderful advise to calm and clear the brain.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    how to simplify buddhism for beginners and advance participants

    Become more aware of the law of cause & effect

    Karma works in mysterious ways (says one vibrating karmic bundle of energy flux to the other :) ) For every action there's a reaction."Cause >Condition>Effect

    Karma's what brought us to the Dharma ...Karma will either keep us practising the Dharma or repel us ... ... Seek (the Dharma) and you will find..."Nothing Special" just practical down to earth advice which if taken onboard will greatly improve the karmic patterns that govern one quality of life and the lives of those who one interacts with...

    It won't happen overnight...but it will happen :).

    paulysoCarlita
  • 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 January 10

    @Shoshin said: For every action there's a reaction. "Cause >Condition>Effect

    Actually, the correct formula (Newton's 3rd Law of Motion) states that "For every Action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

    And I think in a way, even that is correct. I cannot think of any situation where Action (Kamma) doesn't have a fair dose of both 'Good' and 'bad' consequence. Yes, Good actions beget good consequences, but something, somewhere, will experience a 'downside'.

    I think that knowing and understanding this, will give us an added perspective with which to consider what we choose to think/say/do....

    lobsterpaulysoSnakeskin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 9

    Yes true ...Good Bad Right Wrong....It's all relative.... relatively speaking ;) ...

    However when I posted the above, I had music on my mind, a song popped into my head ...the lyrics in one of Bob Marley's songs :)

  • Interesting point from @federica

    The awake do not as largely as possible act from karma but without motivation and consequence. They are in highest essence actionless, unborn, invisible. This explains how the highly realised are:

    • humble
    • accomodating
    • service providers not users

    These are the people to look out for if you are not too busy with self noise. Knew that calm would come in useful ... o:)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Yes true ...Good Bad Right Wrong....It's all relative.... relatively speaking ;) ...

    However when I posted the above, I had music on my mind, a song popped into my head ...the lyrics in one of Bob Marley's songs :)

    We could do with more popular spiritually aware singers like Bob Marley...

    paulysoShoshin
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Veteran
    edited January 10

    @Snakeskin said:
    Guarding the senses is the first Buddhist, contemplative practice I learned. The technique was to verbally label the sense experience as “thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting.” It didn’t require any understanding, insight or effort beyond passively noting sense experience.

    Sure, I do that regularly myself. I refer to it as "bare attention", a bare noting of what arises at the sense-bases.

    paulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    how to simplify buddhism for beginners and advance participants

    Become more aware of the law of cause & effect

    Karma works in mysterious ways (says one vibrating karmic bundle of energy flux to the other :) ) For every action there's a reaction."Cause >Condition>Effect

    Karma's what brought us to the Dharma ...Karma will either keep us practising the Dharma or repel us ... ... Seek (the Dharma) and you will find..."Nothing Special" just practical down to earth advice which if taken onboard will greatly improve the karmic patterns that govern one quality of life and the lives of those who one interacts with...

    It won't happen overnight...but it will happen :).

    good advise,make wise choices in our actions.and be aware as shoshin,points out ,action produces a result be it positive ,neutral,or negative. when we become more aware we can respond better to action or karma.so the buddhist advise,learn to respond rather react,is helpful to possible negative states.

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