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  • Hi guys, my name is Hunter. i signed up today so i guess i count as a newbie =D Im 17 years old and im a girl... and i joined up to learn more about buddhism as i was to introduce it into my christian faith... they call it buddhist christan.. haha im not making it up hehe
  • 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
    Welcome all newbies, young and old. :)
  • LincLinc Site owner Detroit Moderator
    edited June 2012
    I always think the title says NEWSIES and then "I'm The King of New York" starts playing in my head...

    Welcome, all :)
  • Hello everyone. My name is François and I've been reading, studying and applying Buddhism in my life for fifteen years now. I read my first book on Buddhism in my late twenties and I've been hooked ever since. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and I especially look forward to learning from your Sangha. See you around the site.
  • Hello everyone.........Am from Mumbai.....Born Catholic was Atheist & now a Buddhist Atheist......Not many peepz here from my city I guess......
    Keep the dharmachakra spinning....:-)
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Stopping in to say hi. My name is Kim and I live in Minnesota. I'm happily married and have 3 son's, ages 15, 9 and 3. I have read much about different types of Buddhism but settled on Tibetan/Nyingma when a teacher from that lineage came to me. I took it as a sign and upon more reading, found Tibetan style to suit me best. We live in a very quiet part of the state, and enjoy the solitude and peace. It makes it much easier to meditate :D My family keeps me very busy and I love every second of it. I'm currently working hard on mindfulness when my children test my patience.
  • lotusbudslotusbuds Explorer

    My name is Violetta. New to the forum, my first post in fact. I'm 27, reside in Toronto, Ontario...Canada. I was baptised Catholic and grew up with that faith, although in a liberal family environment. I'm engaged to a Hindu. We have been together for just over 10 years now..since high school in fact. I have recently been doing some research on Buddhism after some life changing circumstances have occurred in the past year and half. Family members passing away, some hardships and after having witnessed some traditional religious ceremonies surrounding death (primarily Hindu), I have just received a dose of reality on how sheltered I've been when it comes to faith and religion. I barely practiced catholicism as it is.

    Anyways, a friend of mine at work introduced me to Buddhism via some casual conversations surrounding death/life/relationships. I'm hoping to get some more answers as from what I have learned so far, I respect this religion and would like for it to become a part of my life...that is, if I am ready for it. I have many questions and I don't know if this is the place to ask, but here it goes.

    1. Regarding relationships. Buddhism teaches us about detachment and learninig to let go. I am wondering how you all feel this impacts your own relationships with say, a spouse/boyfriend or girlfriend/significant other? Does this principle of detachment mean that we must love everyone equally? I cannot imagine loving a stranger in the same way and to the same degree that I love my fiance. Am I misunderstanding or misinterpretting? How has Buddhism affected your love relationships? I don't want Buddhism to isolate me from my fiance. I hope this aspect can be clarified?

    2. What does Buddhism teach us about God? Did Buddha ever reject the notion of God or did he teach us that whether God exists or not does not matter. Coming from a catholic background, I am finding it difficult to think that God does not exist. Is it possible to practice Buddhism but still believe that there is a higher power?

    3. What does Buddhism teach us about life after death? The idea of reincarnation. I am so confused by it. If Buddhism does not teach us that a soul or separate self exists, then what is being reincarnated? Are we still 'the same' when we are reincarnated or completely different people with nothing transferred from our previous life? If so, then what is transferred? (I apologize if I am using incorrect terminology. I figured this would be the most basic way for me to express my questions).

    4. Some schools of Buddhism believe in a pure land. Is this similar to a heaven? Still, other schools also teach about different realms. The hell realm, godly realm (if I recall correctly), ghost realm. I am also very confused about these teachings, as I was under the impression that ghosts/heaven/concept of God did not exist in Buddhism?

    5. I think I will leave this as my last question for now since this is already probably too much to ask! Why do certain ceremonies exist in Buddhism (ie: Tibetan ceremonies?) If Buddhism teaches us to detach ourselves from notions of self....things like cultural norms and traditions that might create a barrier and isolate us from others of say, another culture, then why do these traditions and ceremonies exist? Should Buddhism not be a universal religion that does not have ties to these sorts of wordly attachments?
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    It might be easier to put your questions into their own discussion for each, so they can be discussed easier by everyone. I'm fairly new to this too but I can explain what little I know.

    1. I wondered the same thing. But Buddhism is really about unhealthy attachments. It doesn't mean you shouldn't love the people special to you. It means you have to learn how not to be attached to them in an unhealthy manner that is detrimental to you and to them. I have found as I have gained better understanding that Buddhism immensely enhances my relationship with everyone. With my husband, with my children, with my parents and my family. Especially with the difficult people in my life who I have come to care for and be compassionate about when before all they did was irritate me. Nothing about Buddhism has ever made me feel isolated. My husband is Catholic, and it has caused no problems whatsoever in our lives. However, we do not have a Catholic marriage and we do not raise our children in Catholicism.

    2. I do not believe in God so I won't be much help here. As I understand in the type of Buddhism I study (Tibetan) there is no higher power. There is no one to seek approval or punishment from. You are accountable to yourself. I happen to like that about Buddhism. I was raised Lutheran but I rejected it when I was a fairly young kid. It just did not feel right to me.

    3. Rebirth and dying/death is kind of a large topic to discuss and definitely would benefit from starting a topic of it's own in the Buddhism for Beginners section. There is no soul in Buddhism (in the portion I study anyhow). it is about consciousness. The best way I've heard it explained is that all of consciousness is like the ocean, a big fluid pool. And when you are lucky enough to be reborn as a human, it's like being a wave on an ocean, you are always a part of the larger "ocean" of consciousness, and when you die you fade back into that pool. That's not the whole of it but the best I can explain. I'm sure someone will do a much better job than me! :D

    4. I won't be any help there, i don't understand the ghost/demon realms yet either.

    5. This is just totally my opinion and what I've gathered. The traditions and ceremonies are mostly reserved for those who seek monastic life. There are still precepts for lay people, but you do not have to participate in ceremonies to use the precepts or refuges etc in your life. Traditions do hold a place in our lives, and if they did not exist it would be very hard to pass down teachings the way they have been passed down. I think sticking hard and fast to rules from 2500 years ago isn't always the way to go, and in many traditions there is room to accompany more modern ways into those rules. But again most of the rules apply to monastics. I find a certain calm and peace in traditions, as long as they are done for the right reasons. I think that a lot of the things, if you look at the lists of monastic precepts of Bodhisatva vows, for example, to a lay person they probably seem very strict and difficult and even impossible. But the farther I go in my study, the more I realize that some of those things that seemed unlikely and impossible, aren't so impossible, and that if I could incorporate some of them in my life, it would move me in the direction I want to go towards an easier, simpler life. Attachments to those things that those "rules", vows, precepts "take away" is exactly what Buddhism is about. That being so attached to those things that you can't imagine life without them is what causes all our suffering.
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran
    @lotusbuds Welcome to the forum and good questions. This thread is really just for people to introduce themselves, you'd do better to create other threads to get your questions answered. They get asked often and lots of people here have good answers.
  • hi everyone. i'm deb from south florida. i am 47. i have one son and two stepsons. raised catholic. married to a very good & supportive man. i am a physical therapist assistant.

    i am just starting to explore buddhism and happened upon this site after a google search. i have been seeing a mental health counselor for anxiety and anger (both self-directed and others-directed). i recently weaned myself off of antidepressants and find myself struggling and looking for a new way to live life, hence - buddhism. i am hopeful... especially because this all seems to make sense to me in a very simple way (and nothing in my life ever seems simple!) so i am taking this as a positive sign. my counselor recommended a few books to me and the one that jumped out at me first and the one that i am currently reading is radical acceptance by tara brach. i just felt that i needed something "radical" because since quitting the meds i am truly feeling every emotion fully now and some of them are so overwhelming! i am struggling with mindful thinking but see the benefit.

    i am thoroughly enjoying this site and all of you. i appreciate that everyone has their own way of thinking but see that there is a genuine respect and openness here. i have a difficult time in groups so this is perfect for me. i feel like i am supposed to be here. hopefully the "why" will be answered as i learn more.

    my heart is open. i accept that i am not perfect. i just want to find peace and understanding.
  • lotusbudslotusbuds Explorer
    Thank you for the warm welcome. I will make use of the beginner's section to get some of those questions looked at by all of you :)
  • Hello All New to the Forum... I'm pretty new here as well. :)
  • Looks like this place keeps getting better and better!
  • Hello Everyone!

    I would like to say hi! and look forward to discussing and learning from all of you about Dhamma.

    I am Khmer and I have been a Buddhist all my life. I am growing and learning even though I have some established roots. I respect this community very much and I feel such a sense of love and compassion from all members based on the answers and comments I have read. There are so much openness and respect in here among members that is very inviting and I want to be a part of this community hoping that I can share my ideas and experiences and learn from your experiences as well pertaining to Buddhism as a whole.

    I want to say that I am a follower of two religions namely, Shakyamuni Buddhism and Maitreya Buddhism. Under Maitreya Buddhism is an umbrella for all religions. Though an adherant to both, I am still learning and have not quite learned anything much. I confess I have very little book knowledge and only turn to Scriptures when occasions demand for my further clarification and understanding. Mostly, I try to interpret my life experience by the 8-fold Path and conform my life with an objective for the ultimate liberation from suffering. I understand that there's idealism and then there is practice and should ultimately remember The Middle Way somehow in such practice.

    Under Maitreya Buddhism, I am discovering whole new territories and yet at the same time so familiar. Frankly speaking, though, Maitreya Buddhism has not arrived yet. It is an induction of Knowledge and or practice in Shakyamuni Buddhism leading to the succeeding Maitreya Buddhism to come.

    Anyway, I hope I have given you some information about me to go by as we will interact with each other in days to come. I have not quite familiarized myself with the forum, yet, and hope that I will do so as I continue to learn from all of you. Out of love, respect, and compassion, I look forward to meeting with you by our interactions via the discussion threads.

    Thank you!
  • @KhmerBuddhist Welcome!
  • Hi everyone! I just joined today. I will go by the somewhat unoriginal name of Grasshopper as a tribute to one of my favourite TV series of ages ago called Kung Fu. Growing up at home I adored this program. I have DVDs of it and okay it will never win any cinematography awards, but there is much love and wisdom in these tales of the Shaolin monk walking his path.

    There are some very knowledgeable people on this site and I too feel encouraged by the respectful, friendly, objective and helpful ethos.

    I was raised a Catholic, studied Philosophy and English Literature, and got more seriously interested in Buddhism after reading excerpts from a Buddhist Book on the Dharma, left in the bedside drawer of a Thailand Hotel. I liked it so much I asked reception if I could get one to take home with me, which I did, and 16 years later I still enjoy dipping into it for the peace it brings. I have added plenty of other spiritual books to the collection since then.

    In Buddhism, I tend toward the Theravada teachings as they focus largely on practice and a clear ethical pathway. I have been on two Soto Zen retreats but found it unsuitable to my nature I suppose. I also respect the Tibetan tradition and find it interesting yet also esoteric, complex and exotic.

    Best wishes,

  • Hi my name is Rob, from Perth Australia. I have been practising for 6 months now, I had a very challenging, suffering year last year. So as I was going thru why me, what had we done to deserve this (self pity), I came across this other web site on Budhism, and from that day on I've never looked back. I have been going to a local Budhist centre every Monday night for the past 3 months, the courses are so helpful in every way:)
  • I'm certainly a newbie since I joined today! My name is Howard and I'm from a place just outside of London, UK. I stumbled across this website whilst doing some personal research, thought it was really interesting and decided to join! I wouldn't even consider myself as a buddhist, more of a person who sees the buddha as a good figure to aspire to be like, his teachings sit well with me. I really don't like religion and needed to find something that helps me without bringing God into it, as far as I'm aware a lot of buddhists are essentially atheists too, a person can be both. Anyway that's a little bit about me, I look forward to this site very much :)
  • Hi I'm a newbie. I live outside of Olympia Washington. I have a friend that left our former faith who became a Buddhist. The amount of peace she found was inspiring. That was my first introduction. I started to read up on parenting when I had my first child and came across mindful parenting and it rekindled my interest. Let's say I'm not exactly practicing but I'm still seeking. I've read a lot on Buddhism and hope to learn more here
  • Good day I'm haruka it nice to meet all of you soo how to I start my journey
  • Hello! I'm new to this forum. I am a beginner Buddhist from Belfast, Northern Ireland (a place where the peaceful, calming influence of Buddhism is sorely needed!) I have always been interested in the Buddhist way, however it was a visit to the Mahayana Temple in New York City that really got me motivated to learn more. I am still very much learning, but I am finding that Buddhism is improving my life more and more every day - I'm loving it!
  • Hi to everybody! This is my first post, I'm from Spain, I live in a medium-size town. Due to a bitter, hard life I've lived, I've studied a lot of self-help books. Lately, my intellectual interest for Buddhism has grown, but in fact I'm an eclectic, so I'm searching for knowledge in a lot of sources. I believe in "something", not an old man with long white beard, but the image or the name isn't important. And Buddhism don't pronounce respect it, simply don't uses the concept. I hope we can share our experiences, questions and answers!
  • Hi there :-) im Sally (Sal please!), almost 24, indiana jones super-fan and i like reading in the bath. Ive always held strong morals which happen to coincide with the fundamentals of buddhism, so over the last year ive been exploring the 'religion' and learning as much as i can :-) i will be asking lots and lots of questions, and im sure many have been answered before so please bare with me, im curious and desperate to learn! Look forward to discussing with you all X
  • My name is Emerson and I'm 21 years old from California. I've been studying/practicing Buddhist ethics and techniques since around 2008. I'm still learning proper meditation techniques and trying to apply the knowledge into my busy schedule. I enjoy the different views on Buddhism by the various branches and the openness to all people (no matter sexual orientation, race, etc). Buddhism is one of the few " religions" that encourages the follower to dispute everything and allow the user to only apply what will benefit them, which is one of the fundamental reasons I continue to study it and love it! Thank you
  • ThePensumThePensum Explorer
    Oops. I just realized I made a new topic introducing myself, when I should have done so here.

    Anyway, Mark, 31yo, based in Sydney. Grew up in Perth. Recently got back from a few years in NYC.
  • CloudCloud Veteran

    I am new to this forum and just introducing myself. I am based in Sydney and while having read much Buddhist and Eastern-related texts over several years, along with other Western Philosophy, only now am I really attempting to practice fully, both through meditation, and day-to-day at work, or with friends and family. I am attending a class once a week.

    Look forward to reading insights on this forum.

    Kind regards,

    (There, now it's all here...)
  • Hi, I'm Rebecca and I'm new. I've been interested in Buddhism and spirituality for a few years though I was raised Christian. I just decided to make the leap and start practicing Buddhism and not just read about it.

    I was looking for a Buddhist discussion forum and this was the first one in English!

    I'm 23, happily married and we have a family of cats.

    I'm here mostly to ask questions, the first one being, how do I start a topic to ask a question? I'm on an iPad if that changes anything... Thanks!
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    There should be a "Start New Discussion" button above the categories listed to the right of the thread list. Of course having an iPad *might* change things... do you have the list of categories on the right?
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    @RebeccaS, If for some reason you don't have that button, I think this link will work also:
  • Got it, thank you!
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    Hi all - my name is Luke and I live in a small country town just outside Melbourne in Australia. I noticed there are quite a few Australians on this site! It's so interesting to see the diversity of people on here and how different everyone's background is.

    I have a wife and a 2 year old daughter (and another on the way).

    I grew up in a completely athiest environment (I have never been to any kind of church service in my life). I was actually brought up to believe that any form of religion was for the uneducated and weak! I am still undecided whether I consider buddhism a religion however.

    I discovered buddhism about a year ago and am fascinated by it. I spent the year before that with a psychiatrist dealing with some anxiety issues I had carried throughout life. That helped me a lot but I feel that buddhism has possibly helped me even more.

    Looking forward to having lots of discussions with you all. I have quite a few questions!
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    Hey to all our new members. :)
  • LoveWinsLoveWins Explorer
    Hello everyone... Im so glad I found this site. I am new to Buddhism. Like, REALLY new. Lol. A friend of mine introduced me to it a couple of months ago. I'm reading a book now called Mindfulness in plain English. It's a book on Vipassana meditation. I don't wanna say that I am "formerly" a Christian because this is all new for me, but I don't feel as connected to it as I used to. Alot of it just doesn't make sense. But I do have a question. What do Buddhists do in times of sadness when you just want to feel comforted. Last week I was in the middle of a horrible rain storm and was absolutely terrified. When I was practicing Christianity, I knew in these times I could say a prayer, or ask the holy ghost to offer me comfort. But as a new Buddhists, I didn't know what to do? Im also experiencing the breakup of a really long friendship. And again, I could use some comforting. And I don't mean the comfort of people , but a spiritual type of comfort. ya know?
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    I take comfort in the fact that it's temporary. Feeling bad doesn't last, and so getting too worked up about it is just piling suffering on top of suffering. That's just me though...
  • LoveWinsLoveWins Explorer
    And I guess while comfort feels good, it can also act as a shield against seeing things/situations as they really are. Comfort is just temporary too. Underneath temporary comfort still lies the suffering.. So may as well deal with it. Is that accurate?
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited July 2012
    You got it, nothing lasts. What we learn in Buddhism is that even happiness (as we understand it) is part of the cycle of Samsara. The want/need for happiness, the struggle to get it, the struggle to maintain it... but it doesn't last, so the desire for worldly happiness is itself part of the problem. Buddhism offers something better, a way out this cycle. We wouldn't even be struggling for happiness if we weren't suffering! We'd be at peace. This non-suffering is called Nirvana or enlightenment.

    When experiencing suffering, recognize its impermanence.
    When experiencing happiness, recognize its impermanence.

    The place to be is in the middle, not attaching to either extreme, releasing clinging.
    That's the Middle Way of the Buddha.

    And yes, we have to eventually deal with the causes of our suffering. We deal with it by recognizing the nature of existence (ever-changing, without fixed identity) and the cause of our suffering as grasping at this unstable reality. Recognizing inevitable change, accepting it in all things (including ourselves), leads to peace. The Path to bringing about this knowing, this wisdom, is the Noble Eightfold Path. Core Buddhism 101, that.

    There's more to be said, but that's the essence of suffering and its cessation. :)
  • LoveWinsLoveWins Explorer
    Thank you. Very beautifully put. I'm gonna navigate the site some more. I think I'm gonna like it here. ;0)
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited July 2012
    @LoveWins, Most welcome. I'd suggest a couple of Buddhist websites that have a lot of information on them. The first is which covers all traditions, and another is which is a good source for Pali Canon stuff, which is largely translated into English (and best of all the entire site is downloadable for offline viewing).
  • Hello,
    I’m a 45 year old male and I live near Lancaster in NW England. Married, no kids.

    I became interested in Buddhism several years ago when my CBT therapist realised I (as a scientist) was interested in the process and theories behind the therapy. She recommended several books including ‘Compassion’ by Prof. Paul Gilbert which explores the connections between Buddhist meditation and the processes involved in cognitive therapy. I can safely say that this book (and the therapy) changed my life.

    Why have I joined the forum? Well I’ve lurked for a while and I’ve been impressed. I also feel pretty isolated. Whilst my wife supports my Buddhist views she does not really share them to the same extent, though she is actually a more naturally compassionate person than me. I tried linking up with the local (NKT) Buddhist centre which was fine for a while but I became disturbed about the negative publicity surrounding NKT so distanced myself. I’m getting a little disillusioned by what seems to be sectarianism within Buddhism and hope this board (which seems very inclusive) can reverse that. In any case, I’m still to decide which Buddhist tradition suits me best. Part of me likes the idea of joining a group again but the more introverted part of me is wary of this – another reason to try a ‘virtual’ sangha first.

    I’m lucky enough to have a Buddhist meditation room at the university where I work but I’m finding meditation hard at the moment as I have stress-related tinnitus and the noise in my head is very distracting if I sit in a quiet room. Yet, ironically, I know that meditation would help me overcome it.

  • Hello my name is Remco. I am from Holland I am in to carpentry 36 years of age and last xmass I did follow a 10 day vipassana meditation course teached by S.N. Goenka .I believe the teachings are not Buddhist directed because they want to reach a bigger audience, a lot of people from different religions were represented to learn vipassana meditation ( I wish it was a mirror for society in general )I also have been to a Chinese temple in Amsterdam but I did feel more like a tourist there. Now after my ever going curiosity and search for the meaning of live I came to this forum to meet people and learn about Buddhism I still am a newbie if it comes to Buddhism so I hope to learn a lot about for instance meditation technics.

  • Hi @BigD I absolutely adore CBT, and a lot of the principles are very Buddhist in nature. It's one of the things that brought me here, too.

    Hi @remco my uncle lives in Holland :)
  • Hello to all the new members! Lots of new folks in here lately. Nice to see.
  • edited July 2012
    Hi, my name is Gavin (unusually I have registered under my own name and I'm not sure why) and I live in England.

    I first became interested in Buddhism some years ago when somebody (who didn't know what they were talking about) pointed out that they thought I was a Buddhist because of the way I lived my life. At the time I only briefly looked into it and thought it looked too much like hard work and dudn't think I had the time it. I continued to live my life following the rules I had set myself (for years I tried to live my life in what I thought was a 'good' way). I promise that's the last of the brackets.

    Recently I decided to take another look at Buddhism and after a lot of time reading about it have realised that it is the way I want to live my life and learn more, much more.

    I find all the different branches confusing and if anything I think I might be happier practicing alone with advice until i have learned more and then I can makeba choice. I didn't know which way to turn but have found myself here.
  • Hello peeps!

    I'm Emma and i'm from Leeds (W Yorkshire) :)

    I'm pretty new to Buddhism and started by simply reading articles online a couple months ago. I've now read a number of books and started regular meditation. So I guess joing this forum was the next step in learning all I can from like minded people.

    I love this site and have already taken note of so many posts and advice before even signing up :) So thank you to everyone and thanks for having me!
  • Hi everyone,
    I am Dushya from Delhi, India. I am a newbie here. I've been interested in Buddhist way of life for some time. However except for listening to some talks on compassion and positive human values by H. H. Dalai Lama I haven't been able to give much time to go into any detailed study of Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist point of view towards life and its problems. Anyway, I feel most of the content of Budhhism is already contained in H. H. Dalai Lama's talks. All that matters is that we learn to be good human beings and thus live with compassion, and mindfulness. This requires one to go into study of true nature of mind, and in this sense I feel Buddhism is more like a science, than religion; and this is one of the main reasons for which I like it.

    "Believe nothing, O monks, just because you have been told it, or it is commonly believed, or because it is traditional or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to and take as your guide.” : - Buddha

    Good day to all :)
  • edited July 2012
    HI! I'm TinLanterns :)

    So grateful to find a community of seekers on my middle pathway.
    I've been practicing Buddhism for 3.5 years now - I'd describe my approach as more from the Mahayana vantage than the Theravada, but i'm quite interested in all schools and philosophies. Looking forward to learning and growing amongst you all.


  • ZendoLord84ZendoLord84 Veteran
    edited July 2012
    No matter how long and/or hard I practise I will always be a newbie so...
    I'm a 28 year old fellow from The Netherlands,
    Some dude at some party thought I was a buddhist cause I was a non-drinker.
    I was 18 years old at the time.
    That moment, those words somehow got me into buddhism, being in generaly bored an fed-up with life.
    I've been on other forums and such, and for about two years on this one. In those two years+, i've been an IT-trouble shooter, business consultant, mail deliverer, salesman, spiritual-card-reader and nowadays I works as a security guard.
    In life, Buddha has been my one true compagnion along the road.
  • Hello everyone

    My name is Ralph, also a fresh newbie, I am 32 years old and father of 3 daughters and funny enough I'm also from the Netherlands like the person before me.

    I'm not completely new to Buddhism because I started studying the theory since I was 18, however I never practiced it until recently.
    You can read all you can about how to drive a car but if you never practice driving a car, you're a loosy driver.

    Some of my hobbies: Being creative with pen and paper, spending time with my kids, spending long walks in nature (hence the name Bushbuddhist) and practicing Wushu or Chinese martial arts.

    Glad to be a part of this, Ralph
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited July 2012
    Welcome all! We hope you find what you're looking for, and that we (the forum as a whole) can answer any questions you have.

    As always I like to recommend the website BuddhaNet for all kinds of information about Buddhism, with features like a Basic Buddhism Guide and Online Study Guide. That's just the tip of the iceberg, but a great place to start.

    BuddhaNet has scriptures, but I'd also recommend AccessToInsight for English translations of the Pali Canon. The cool thing about ATI is that the entire site is downloadable for offline viewing. It also has a Self-Guided Tour (though it's specifically Theravada).
  • Hello all.

    The name given at birth to me is Sean but since then I realized I am but One Life Form :)

    I've been studying Buddhism for a couple years now.

    I'm a recovering drug addict, been clean for over three and a half years. Before hitting bottom and placing myself in a rehab at the age of 17 I had no spiritual awakenings or practicing faith. It was in rehab that I had a spiritual awakening come to me in form of a cricket in the bathroom that I cleaned earlier that morning in the room that I stayed in.

    I admit that I was disgusted at first sight of the decent sized critter that I saw on the floor on way to take an afternoon shower.

    "A bug?!?!?!?!? I just cleaned this bathroom!"

    I grabbed some toilet paper and was going to kill it..

    then I heard it chirp.

    Right when I heard that noise I knew that I had nothing to worry about ever again and that I would be alright so long as I stayed on the path that I was on, which then all I knew it to be was staying clean and recovering from drug addiction.

    Today I understand that the cricket was an enlightened being helping unfold the sublime path within me.

    A sponsor and dear friend of mine that I connected with in Narcotics Anonymous was and is still a Buddhist. I knew nothing of Buddhism and asked him about it, if there is a book I can read or something.

    He kindly loaned me "Good Life, Good Death" by Kyabe Gelek Rinpoche.

    I read it very quick like and returned it promptly.

    He asked what I thought.

    "It was great!", I said.

    Since then I have read a great many different books and have attended Jewel Heart.. a Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, founded by Gelek Rinpoche, whose head quarters are in Ann Arbor, MI an hour away from where I used to live. I moved to Florida February of this year.

    Mahayana is the vehicle currently.

    I'm not very adept at much of anything but I am learning.

    The teachings I have contemplated over the years I've found to be true though at times I have tried to pretend that they werent and have found recently that it is all or nothing for me.

    Every time I would ignorantly try and "pretend" that reality is not as it is the teachings would work their way in deeper into my being,

    I've got no choice, no excuse, but to try and utilize this extraordinary opportunity I have and not squander any more time.

    I can handle the truth!.. today... some of it :P

    Thanks for having me. I look forward to being a part of.

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