Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Initiation?

ElauderdElauderd MS, USA New

Im very interested in Buddhism and have been researching for a little while now, but I dont really have access to local centers since there arent any nearby. The closest are hours away. Is there any sort of initiation? And if so, is it required to be done at a Buddhist temple/center or can it be done alone? (Also, what are some good resources to study/learn about the different sects or groups of Buddhism or Buddhism in general?)

Comments

  • 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

    @Elauderd, just to give some additional information:

    None of the above is a stringent requirement. You don't have to do any of it, if you don't want to. Do it when you want to. When it feels right. Not because you think you should, or you think you have to.
    The right time for you, may be in a week. Or it could feel right ten months down the line. Or a few years.
    It took me quite a while of studying, reading, researching, chatting, discussing, debating and learning, before I decided to commit myself to this path.
    But get this: if you lead a life adhering to the principles and teachings of Buddhism, and take on board what you learn, implement and live it, then you are as Buddhist as anyone could be, without all of the above.
    Recitation of Refuge in the Triple Gem is something we've all learnt to do. Heck, we can recite it in our sleep. I do so, daily. Twice. Once in the morning when I rise, and last thing at night.
    The point is, Buddhism doesn't judge you. Buddhism isn't holding anything over you. Buddhism is about adopting a different mind-set and re-learning things about the world, and about yourself in the world.
    So while Ritual is admirable - we all need it, because even outside Buddhism, our lives are often run to rituals - nobody is going to wag a finger at you, admonish you or tap their foot in your direction, arms crossed, with that "and what do you think you're doing?" look.... ;)
    Buddhism is here for you.
    Not the other way round.

    Welcome. Enjoy. Relax.

    Bunkslobsteradamcrossley
  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    @Elauderd said:
    Im very interested in Buddhism and have been researching for a little while now, but I dont really have access to local centers since there arent any nearby. The closest are hours away. Is there any sort of initiation? And if so, is it required to be done at a Buddhist temple/center or can it be done alone? (Also, what are some good resources to study/learn about the different sects or groups of Buddhism or Buddhism in general?)

    Hello @Elauderd sorry about your distance problem. Nevertheless i would try to find a teacher and take refuge with the teacher in the presence of the sangha. Becoming a Buddhist is a big commitment, if done properly. It's best to acknowledge to your self and others in a formal ceremony that you are ready to become a Buddhist by taking the refuge vows. In my opinion, one is not a Buddhist until the refuge vows have been taken.

    It is good not to rush into things, on the other hand Buddha's Dharma is the truth about our human condition as an experience, not simply as a code to learn and follow. The sooner one gets busy on the path to that experience the better.

    I would think you could learn about Buddhist sects and Buddhism on the net. When choosing i would strongly advise a sect that emphasizes the sitting practice of meditation. Buddhism is about understanding the nature of mind first and foremost and in order to do that you will have to spend some time with mind in meditation. Good Luck.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    The traditional "initiation" is taking refuge. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refuge_(Buddhism)

    Normally coupled with the 5 precept vows. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Precepts

    If the centers are far away, a lot of people just make the one trip to the center to take the vows. The ceremony is often coupled with a retreat where you would attend the retreat and take vows after.

    It can be done at home but it's considered more powerful if it's done with sangha as sangha, is itself, one of the 3 refuges.

    What I would do is do it at home and then when you have the opportunity to travel to a center, do it at the center also. =)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited May 11

    One thing I would add about choosing a school of Buddhism: ask about their practices for initiations and retreats. Some directions, such as the Tibetan Vajrayana, require initiations at various points before you progress in the lore, and other schools, such as that of the Dagpo Rinpoche, require that you do a study course with a monk and even pass an examination before doing retreats.

    If you’re a bit isolated, doing these things may become difficult, and while they may not seem to matter at first, you may find that later on in your path you want to do retreats or access advanced teachings :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Elauderd said:
    Im very interested in Buddhism and have been researching for a little while now, but I dont really have access to local centers since there arent any nearby. The closest are hours away. Is there any sort of initiation? And if so, is it required to be done at a Buddhist temple/center or can it be done alone? (Also, what are some good resources to study/learn about the different sects or groups of Buddhism or Buddhism in general?)

    Try The Four Noble Truths

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

    At the risk of repetition and the ever-present self promotion, here is a one-page cheat sheet I once wrote for a young Christian woman who visited the small temple here as a means of learning what she called "tolerance." Whether she ever learned tolerance or not I haven't got a clue.

                                                         **BUDDHISM**
    

    The truth of Buddhism does not come from a book. It does not come from a temple. It does not come from someone else. It is not written on a piece of paper. The truth of Buddhism comes from the individual effort to investigate, verify and actualize a clear understanding of this life.

    Shakyamuni Buddha, the man most often referred to as the founder of Buddhism, was born on the border of India and Nepal in about 565 BC. He attained what is sometimes called enlightenment at 35 and preached until his death at 80. Many schools of Buddhism sprang from his teachings … in India, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan among others. Uncertain estimates put Buddhist numbers at about 350 million worldwide.

    All Buddhist schools agree on at least two things:

    1. THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS: These are observations about the world around us.

    The Four Noble Truths are:

    *** 1. There is suffering (dukkha – the uncertainties, dissatisfactions and doubts that life can dish up); 2. There is a cause of suffering; 3. There is an end to suffering; 4. There is a way to end suffering.

    1. THE EIGHTFOLD PATH: These are the tools suggested as most useful when seeking out a truly peaceful life in a changing world.

    The Eightfold Path is:

    *** 1. Right View 2. Right Intention 3. Right Speech 4. Right Action 5. Right Livelihood 6. Right Effort 7. Right Mindfulness 8. Right Concentration.

    The word "right" is sometimes translated as "complete." A “complete” effort is thorough-going and whole-hearted. Nothing is held back. Buddhism is not a threat-based persuasion: You won’t go to heaven (right) if you practice it and you won’t go to hell (wrong) if you don’t. But honesty is required -- complete honesty.

    The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path carry with them the verifiable observation that everything in life changes. There is nothing that does not change. Joy turns to sorrow, love turns to anger, birth turns to death, and the family car always gets a flat. All Buddhist schools agree on such things, but how they approach them may vary.

    But as the Dalai Lama put it once, "Everyone wants to be happy." And that is probably as good a summary of Buddhism as any.

    Kundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    @Elauderd said:
    Im very interested in Buddhism and have been researching for a little while now, but I dont really have access to local centers since there arent any nearby. The closest are hours away. Is there any sort of initiation? And if so, is it required to be done at a Buddhist temple/center or can it be done alone? (Also, what are some good resources to study/learn about the different sects or groups of Buddhism or Buddhism in general?)

    Try The Four Noble Truths

    Or you could try Access To Insight’s introduction to Buddhism, called A Path to Freedom:

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/index.html

    It follows the Buddha’s gradual instruction method, to lead you more gently towards not clinging to things, which is the point behind a lot of Buddhist instruction.

    Kundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The 4NTs &8FP (from what I gather) are the treads that run through/connects any Dharma talks given by teachers from different schools.... Hence why I personally found that studying various versions of the 4NTs &8FP from the different schools, helps 'me' when listening to Dharma talks given by teachers from different schools of thought ....In other words having a sound understanding helps to connect the dots ...so to speak :) This is what works for me, so may or may not be suitable for others......But they eventually will still need to learn about them in more detail if they want to come to grips with the Buddha Dharma...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Elauderd said:
    Is there any sort of initiation?

    In time you can take daily refuge/ignition/initiations to your hearts content.

    I suggest you chill/meditate as best you can and become a Dudeist Priest for now ... or not
    http://dudeism.com

  • ElauderdElauderd MS, USA New

    @lobster Thank you! What would be a good way to take refuge daily? Is it something I would recite to myself, or something a bit more internal and thought based? (Or, for example, would it be something I focused on or recited through meditation each day.)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 15

    <3

    Every day, in every way, I am becoming Buddhalier and Buddhalier ...
    http://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/page/correspondence-course-2

    or

    I take refuge in the Buddha.
    I take refuge in the Dharma.
    I take refuge in the Sangha.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refuge_(Buddhism)

    Prostrations can be an excellent start to seated practice ...
    See how you get on with sitting quietly to develop insight into how noisy your mind really is ...
    https://cundi.weebly.com/meditation.html

Sign In or Register to comment.