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I see spirituality as a journey, part of life, directed by a deep impulse to sometimes seek the spiritual life and let your intuition guide you. My stops along the way have been Christianity and Anthroposophy in early youth, Osho a little later, then a long period of non-denominational Agnosticism, re-finding Osho and then Buddhism.
My education made me a poet-scientist-engineer, and I believe in those principles, and Buddhism is a very good fit for that, and also seductive because I'm a sucker for things that allow me to follow a path and make progress... in a way that's what is causing me some difficulty in letting go of the scholarly attitude of Gelug-school Tibetan Buddhism, since progress is often easy, you just read another book and broaden your understanding.
So perhaps I'm not a permanent resident yet, three years is relatively short acquaintance on the scale of lifetimes, but Buddhism did to a certain extent feel like coming home.
I'd like to think I can give my son the balance of religious education at home and show him there are other ways, giving him the ability to choose his own path in the future. I think if he didn't go to that school he would be brought up atheist.
If you feel it is important that your son is brought up knowing the values of morals and ethics, then perhaps you might want to consider this...
Personally I'd choose humanist or anthroposophical schooling for young children, and a sound scientific basis for older ones. I'd avoid any overt Christian schooling because it's a profoundly illogical system full of magical thinking and taught authorities which one is supposed to just accept.
Why send your son to a Christian school when you know that at home you're going to have to give a different narrative, countering the ideas which he is taught there?
I think what matters here is intent. If you collect firearms with the intent of never using them, I would think the karmic consequence would be minimal. Ultimately Buddhism allows you a freedom of action, with the awareness that some things are more damaging than others.
But I do think that you would do well to examine the roots of your hobby and feeling for the warriors of years past. You may find that your motivations aren't entirely logical from a Buddhist perspective.
Lol, well I picked the Gelug Tibetan Buddhists because they are close by, and not expensive. I'm quite widely read and informed - have tried a lot of stuff from YouTube and books - so you could say I've left the basics behind, and I did know the 'basics course' was a rather advanced and studious basics course. But I think it was a good thing to take on, exactly because it went into quite a bit of depth.
But things like the 5 precepts and a good chunk of the Eightfold Path came for free with my lifestyle and personality. So I can start to focus on some of the things where I am not so strong, like the exact techniques of meditation.
I don't think I'm over-reaching, but I have reached the end of the beginning
So I have been following a Tibetan Buddhist course and while I was reading up on the notes on the Tantra section we have recently done I was doing a little googling... for example Kriya Tantra seems to be a term used in the Nyingma school, where they divide the lore into 3's, as well as a term in the Gelug school where my course comes from and they use divisions into 4's. The whole Wikipedia page redirects to Outer Tantras based on a Nyingma narrative.
How can anyone keep it all straight? My head nearly exploded. I mean if you study from books I guess it is simple, you just get books from just your tradition and hope it is mostly consistent, but any kind of Internet-supported study is going to run into these kinds of difficulties. You end up becoming a scholar of Buddhism, while my whole approach to the religion to date is kind of based on cherry-picking books and teachings from what I can find.
Have you all reached a point where you had to commit to a school or even a specific teacher and say, "this is where I get my stuff?" And learn mostly from books and teaching sessions thereafter?
OP, what stage are you at with your Buddhism? Are you past the introductory stage? This sounds like much too much info, too detailed. It sounds more like something that would come up in an advanced university course on TB. How do people keep it straight? Nobody even goes there--learning the hair-splitting differences between the sects, and all. It sounds like you've wandered off into a tangent, and are getting overwhelmed.
I'm just finishing off my exploration of the basics. I feel I have a good grip on the overview of the core concepts and categories, largely thanks to the basics course I have been following at the Tibetan Gelug centre nearby over the past year and a half, and TNH's book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. The course took a quite rigorous, scholastic approach, which was quite a contrast with some other sources.
What are you looking for, for reading material? Have you committed to a sect or school yet? Are you in a TB tradition? If so, read books relevant to that tradition. Those should get into philosophical topics relevant to that tradition, rather than a comparison between sects. Have you received the Lam Rim teachings yet? If not, that would be a good place to start. Those are fundamental to all 4 sects. It's a lot of material; normally it takes 6 months to a year of weekly teachings to cover it all. That should keep you busy.
I'm currently considering where to go for further development, and perhaps a teacher. I've not committed to a sect or school as yet.
Starting on a Tibetan Lam Rim would certainly take some time, and "keep me busy". But I would like things to get more practical rather than more scholastic. Developing further mindfulness and concentration, and learning to meditate more effectively would be nice. We will have to see what's available locally... luckily Amsterdam is not far away, and as a cosmopolitan city with several million people there is a pretty broad choice there.
Up to now I've become more aware of the various states my mind is in, when just awake, when reading or writing, when watching tv and even some insight into what it does while sleeping. But there is much further still to go in terms of awareness. And I'm running into limitations, it is like spreading too little butter on too much toast... when I try to stay aware of more things I lose focus on some of them.