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Impact!


Dear Friends of the Sangha,

Each of us have to varying degrees been impacted by the dharma. Here are my key shameful impacts:

  • All my early impacts came from watching kung fu movies and reading the discredited Lobsang Rampa books :3
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_the_Buddha_Taught My uncle had this book and I read it many times
  • Visiting two Theravadin monasteries/temples, Chithurst in Sussex and Buddhapadipa in Wimbledon

These along with reading library books were my key influences. What early impact motivated your interest?

elcra1goKeromeJeffreypaulysoadamcrossley

Comments

  • elcra1goelcra1go Edinburgh, Scotland Explorer

    I think one of the first times I read about Buddhism was after hearing italian footballer, Roberto Baggio was a Buddhist. This would have been very early in the 1990s... Everytime I read an article in 'Match' or 'Shoot' magazine- or when commentators spoke about him, they would usually add that he was a Buddhist.
    On reading about Buddhism then, I thought 'Cool'- they sound like a nice bunch. I did not know it was something I could practice or become a part of... just kinda grasped it came from the East and that they believed in peace, compassion, a thing called karma and rebirth- which was news to me coz I was going to Heaven...

    Forward a number of years and Thich Nhat Hanh, Henepola Gunaratana and HH the Dalai Lama continue to shape and impact my life more than anyone I have actually met.

    KeromeBunksJeffreypaulyso
  • 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

    People here will very well know my introduction to Buddhism came courtesy of my Italian Rc mother...however, the study of Shiatsu and, alongside it, Qi Gong, further added and deepened my desire and curiosity to pursue the practice in greater detail and depth...

    elcra1goBunksJeffreypaulyso
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    nice! buddha palm for the win.i enjoyed the movie ....kung-fu hutsle.

    grew up culturealy buddhist.-theravadian.my family would host monks for meal and bless our house ceremony.didn't get really serious as a lay practitioner until 2005ish.

    BunksJeffrey
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited August 20

    I came to Buddhism through Osho, I was listening to his The Book of Nothing lecture series on Tseng’can’s Hsin Hsin Ming poem on mp3’s and found myself wondering what more there was to Buddhism rather than the small pieces that were commented on. So I decided to dig deeper and go and see for myself.

    This was only about 3 years ago, although from hippy parents I picked up various influences including a bit of Buddhism. I remember chanting the gauchami’s (refuge vow in Pali) aged 13 during our stay in America.

    Since my turn into Buddhism proper I’ve connected with a local Tibetan Gelug temple, where I’ve done a long course, read many books, watched many lectures, and found it has added to my life in ways I couldn’t have expected when I started. Many thanks especially to Thich Nhat Hanh and HHDL.

    I also enjoyed Kung Fu Hustle, I have the dvd (bad Kerome, attached to his dvd’s).

    elcra1goJeffreypaulyso
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @elcra1go said:
    I think one of the first times I read about Buddhism was after hearing italian footballer, Roberto Baggio was a Buddhist. This would have been very early in the 1990s...

    Ah the divine ponytail... he was a fine footballer, very creative.

    elcra1go
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    What early impact motivated your interest?

    Dukkha (Suffering>Unsatisfactoriness )....
    And Karma did the rest :)

    paulysolobster
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @elcra1go said:
    I think one of the first times I read about Buddhism was after hearing italian footballer, Roberto Baggio was a Buddhist. This would have been very early in the 1990s...

    Ah the divine ponytail... he was a fine footballer, very creative.

    And not bad on the eyes either. Just saying.....

    elcra1gokando
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I first learnt about Buddhism from my mother. She studied philosophy at University as part of her Egyptology degree. Then we studied Buddhism at school in Year 11 in our GRE (General Religious Studies) classes. After I finished high school, I started looking into different spiritual paths and settled on Wicca. But I never lost my love for Buddhism and always read about the Dharma. When I went through my divorce, it was Buddhism that I turned to. Starting out with Mindfulness Meditation, then Mala meditations - The Green Tara and the Jewel in the lotus. As I got older and distanced myself from the Pagan Community (which was no mean feat as I was well known after almost 15 years), I turned to embrace Buddhism along with the path of my mother's ancestors (Judaism. I'd been raised Catholic). And over the past decade I've gotten to the point where Buddhism just makes sense and is more prevalent in my day to day life. It's also helped me face facts about myself and take responsibility for everything in my life.

    🙏🙏🙏

    lobsterelcra1gopaulysokando
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited August 21

    I read the Tao te Ching in highschool and found it very interesting and moving. Later I wrote a 5 page paper about Zen Buddhism and really got into doing a good job because I had just had a B minus on a paper about Krishna in Art History East/West. I also had a Chinese culture class to meet 'diversity' requirement and in addition to literature, music, history, we read and talked about Confucious, Taoism (read the Chuang Tzu), and Buddhism. I recall the vinegar drinkers painting. I had also read Jack Kerouac books much earlier in high school and I was kind of interested in the alternative society which back then was 'alternative' music to me and so I liked to read about hipsters/bohemians in Kerouac's time and Buddhism actually is mentioned frequently in those books.

    So then I had some strange experiences of downs and then ups following an experience with unrequited love/obssession and some of those ups and downs changed my experience like becoming emotional over a song on the radio of the bus "I can see clearly now the rain has gone" and someone saying good morning to me jogging and I had these bright colors experiences that I wanted to hang onto. I never managed to hang onto them but I wanted to know what they meant so I got into meditating and reading Buddhism. I also had wicked depressed states that the meditation helped with in the sense of the sitting and relief standing up did not belong to the pattern of the depression so I enjoyed that.

    lobsterelcra1gopaulysokando
  • When I was a 16-year old stoner I was looking for a way to get high cheap, and tried meditation, next to pagan spell casting (lol)

    When traveling the world I saw someone meditate by the beach.

    The movie fight club and the matrix.

    Tai chi practise

    Bunkselcra1gopaulyso
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I read a book called the Art of Happiness that features interviews between Howard Cutler and HHDL. Blew me away!

    The rest (as they say) is history...

    lobsterpaulysokando
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Gosh ‘Fight Club’? - was it the nihilism and delusion, the gross sense of alienation? Was it 'inspiration' by running from the dark side of human nature?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Interesting that everyone’s early influences and turning points are so eclectic, it doesn’t seem to take much to influence a mind that is already tending in that direction.

    lobsteradamcrossleyBunksperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 21

    @Kerome yes I found the variety of starting points interesting ... B)
    https://thoughtsofanewbuddhist.blogspot.com

    The sense of decorum and calm, even though from sila, intrigued me. When we first start, I feel we are all superficial. I would be wary of fanatical followers of anything. It is the gradual appreciation of the nature, goal and means of Dharma that eventually becomes apparent.

    I also feel that I was after inner peace initially. Calm and well being ...

    Begin. Continue.

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    For me, what made me realise that I had really found something here was the sense of coming home that I had when I first started reading Buddhism. It felt very familiar, very natural, as if I had experienced it before.

    kandoadamcrossleyBunks
  • ShimShim Veteran

    Seeing all that mystified stuff about Tibet when I was a kid.

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    My early spiritual interest was roused by reading 'the devil rides out' by Dennis Wheatley, which I found in the school library! (I have serious doubts about the school librarian although I never actually caught her chalking a pentagram or leading a goat in a suspicious fashion) it got me interested in Yoga, although not for very pure reasons >:)

  • Reading Thomas Merton’s “Zen and the Birds of Appetite” as a young teen was my first offramp roadsign as a quizzical altar boy.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Explorer
    edited September 6

    Reading the life of Tenzin Palmo in Cave in the Snow was my first real “I’m a Buddhist” moment. It took about six months to be sure enough to tell my partner and close friends. I still don’t advertise it much.

    Alongside Tenzin Palmo was Gary Snyder, the American poet. His zenny poems were a big influence on me. I felt validated to take my love of nature seriously, since the academic world I was in at the time was very dismissive of what they called “nature poetry”. Since reading Gary Snyder, I’ve reconnected with the natural world in a very meaningful (to me) way.

    Would anyone else think of “nature” as a particularly Buddhist concern? Or as a pointer towards Buddhism in some way?

    @lobster Interesting that you mentioned Buddhapadipa in Wimbledon. I found a brief visit there to be very inspiring. I’d love to attend one of their ceremonies or mindfulness days.

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 7

    Would anyone else think of “nature” as a particularly Buddhist concern? Or as a pointer towards Buddhism in some way?

    No environment. No Buddhism.
    I feel other earth religions are more concerned with Gaia ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecospirituality

    Nature is awake. Nature is Buddha.

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    Nature is awake, narure is Buddha, I would call this my core belief. I gravitated toward zen because of the poetry, ancient and modern, for me at any rate this is its heart. But then Han Shan was a Daoist and Saigyo pure land. As always enigmas abound.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    Would anyone else think of “nature” as a particularly Buddhist concern? Or as a pointer towards Buddhism in some way?

    I think in a way Buddhism did pioneer some of the attitudes towards being environmentally friendly. I recall in the scriptures coming across references towards being kind to man and animals, especially in the context of not killing, which in the time of the Buddha would have been unusual. The doctrine of reincarnation would have had something to do with it.

    But you would have to keep in mind that attitudes towards nature were very different up until very recently. As late as the 19th century there were trapping and hunting expeditions, seal clubbing expeditions, whaling fleets which killed thousands of whales, gatherings at which many thousands of bison were killed on the American plains and so on. Nature was something to be exploited, not protected.

    Over the ages these attitudes would have shifted... early on there would have been hunting, with snares and bow and arrow, later on it would have become more formalised in Europe where nobles had ‘hunting rights’ to certain woods, and during the Industrial revolution it became more mechanised.

    person
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    As a kid I was naturally attracted to the popular images of the martial arts and other snippets of Asian life. In my early 20s dukkha came knocking and I turned to a tai chi class I suppose for some sense of purpose and peace. After that I tumbled down the rabbit hole of yoga, new age stuff, hindu meditation, crop circles, eventually being recommended to attend the teachings of some newly arrived Tibetan monks and a Geshe. I liked what I heard and had that new convert intense sort of interest. After a few years the teacher went back to India and the remaining monks moved further away. I fell away from a dedicated practice in the absence of a reliable teacher and meeting place. At the same time the internet was becoming a thing and there was so much interesting stuff to do there. So for about a decade I thought of myself as Buddhist and tried to be a generally good person but didn't do much in the way of practice or study. Eventually the mental suffering became intolerable and I started drifting back to practice and away from my attachments. I then had a life threatening accident that really helped shove me back into practice, that was 10 years ago now.

    I returned to my Tibetan base but very slowly came to realize that I had become more skeptical and more secular over my time away and eventually came to the conclusion that there was just too much discord there for me to be able to commit in the way that I felt I wanted to. A year and a half ago I began attending a western Theravada group and found much relief from the issues I was having with TB, only to find that there were things about that didn't agree with me either. So, I'm coming to grips with the fact that there probably isn't a perfect fit out there and as someone who is very uncomfortable with conformity just need to learn to be comfortable with the feeling of not fitting in if I want the benefits of a spiritual community.

    KeromelobsterJeffreykando
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 7

    The short version: Having depression and anger issues, I was looking for something I thought could help, so I bought a couple of books by the Dalai Lama, Gelek Rinpoche, and Lama Surya Das. Then I discovered a Thai Theravada temple near my house and started learning meditation with my first teacher, Ajahn Chuen. And my love for Buddhism was solidified by reading Food for the Heart by Ajahn Chah, the Middle-length Discourses of the Buddha, and the teachings of Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

    lobsterJeffreyadamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 8

    Fascinating.

    The early connections ...
    Like @Jason one of my issues is anger. How to quell those monkey level demons? Picnics!
    I like to feed demons my anger. They iz so hungry ... o:)

    When I make someone happy, it makes me happy. There’s the reward.
    When I make someone miserable, it makes me miserable. There’s the punishment.
    Don’t create heaven or hell; just open your heart.

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/13661/hell-realms-debate

    personkando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran
    edited September 8

    @person said: ...So, I'm coming to grips with the fact that there probably isn't a perfect fit out there and as someone who is very uncomfortable with conformity just need to learn to be comfortable with the feeling of not fitting in if I want the benefits of a spiritual community.

    Relate strongly to this @person, as someone who has never really fit in anywhere, except art collages, I am finding it difficult to find any community out there, my trips to zendos have been uniformly disastrous with added giggling, as I cannot get to grips with the bowing and the robes, also most of my fellows were blokes and very tall and the rooms were small, and to be honest I felt a bit overwhelmed!

    person
  • When I move this autumn I will be near a Zen group for the first time, and I do want to go. I’m trying not to have too many expectations, but it’s hard. It’s like when you try a new practice: part of you hopes, no matter what your brain says, that this practice will be THE ONE, and goodbye to sadness, stress, frustration. But it’s never like that, is it?

  • 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

    Not if you don't let it, no.
    The whole point is not to expect something to do it for you.

    If you place your expectations on an outside influence, you will ALWAYS be disappointed.

    The Mind-set should be for you to be determined to make the best of it you can, and find your own way through any method or influence, to mould it to your practice and process.
    You use the Practice as a tool, not as a solution.

    personlobsterkandoJeffrey
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    When I move this autumn I will be near a Zen group for the first time, and I do want to go. I’m trying not to have too many expectations, but it’s hard. It’s like when you try a new practice: part of you hopes, no matter what your brain says, that this practice will be THE ONE, and goodbye to sadness, stress, frustration. But it’s never like that, is it?

    Group dynamics always create an interesting experience if nothing else! I wish you luck with your zendo @adamcrossley, I just need to find one with a larger meditation room and some shorter zennists :)

  • @adamcrossley said:
    When I move this autumn I will be near a Zen group for the first time, and I do want to go. I’m trying not to have too many expectations, but it’s hard. It’s like when you try a new practice: part of you hopes, no matter what your brain says, that this practice will be THE ONE, and goodbye to sadness, stress, frustration. But it’s never like that, is it?

    Tee hee.

    Whatever we bring to the zendo, we ideally leave ... Whoever leaves is never ideal ... In this sense Buddhism has integrity ... a disappointing 'religion' ... real? ... too bad ...

    Is it always like that?

    Tee hee.

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