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May have to go to this local supermarket instead
Where I live most people go to the supermarket instead of church on a Sunday morning.
Praise the Lord Tesco!
For me some powerful meditative experiences over the years, the strongest ones were outdoors, sitting on the top of hills.
Also hearing the Heart Sutra for the first time, both profound and beautiful.
I have found chanting can be useful to develop concentration, but also to develop a particular quality of mind.
Here is something from Brad Warner, who is a Soto Zen teacher. However there are a number of Zen schools, and I'm not sure how representative this view is.
"The Myth of Rebirth
A guy named James wrote to me and asked:
“Could you explain rebirth to me like I’m five. I’ve never been able to grasp a knowledge of this.”
I answered him thusly; Rebirth is a myth that some Buddhists believe in. It might be loosely based on fact. But it might just be a fantasy.
I used the word myth to define the Buddhist idea of rebirth. These days a lot of people use the word myth as a synonym for falsehood. But that’s not the proper meaning of the word. A myth is a way of explaining something for which there is no good literal explanation. A myth is not necessarily false. But it doesn’t have to accord with fact.
A myth is not untrue because it fails to accord with fact. It can be true but not in the way scientific explanations or histories are true. A myth can be true without being factual.
But it’s important that we don’t believe in our myths in the same way we believe in science and history."
@Kerome said: 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?
I spent a long time exploring different Buddhist schools, and it can be a confusing and frustrating process. At times nobody seems to agree about anything, and there is much to be taken on trust. On the other hand I have found it useful to get a sense of the big picture, and to understand that Buddhism is very diverse and pluralistic, much like Hinduism.
I found Tibetan Buddhism too complicated, with too many bells and whistles, and talking in Clingon Tibetan was rather weird. I found Zen Buddhism too cryptic, and at times rather pretentious. I didn't like the Mahayana obsession with size, or the Vajyrana obsession with speed, and I got bored with the self-promoting rhetoric from some of these schools.
Theravada was a reasonable compromise for me, and these days I have a very simple approach to practice, it is just satipatthana.