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9 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2008 - 10:55AM #1
vra
Posts: 7,467
I have a feeling that some of you came out of a different religious tradition than Buddhism.  If so, which tradition did you come out of, why did you do as such, and what especially attracted you to Buddhism?  As some of you may remember, I'm Jewish but I tend to more drift in the direction of dharma than halacha (Jewish law).

One final note.  Because I have to use a library computer because I'm at my place up north, there's numerous glitches that I have run across attempting to post here and, as a matter of fact, I'm not even certain this post will actually show up.  I tried yesterday to respond to your contributions on my vegetarian post, but it didn't take.  Today I tried again, and it worked.  Go figger!  So have patience with me please.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2008 - 11:11AM #2
Engyo
Posts: 138
Hi, Vra -

I was raised in Christian Science, but not virulently.  By this I mean that we went to doctors, etc., during the week.

I found too many contradictions in Christianity, and drifted away in my later teens. 

I wasn't searching for anything in particular, but a friend introduced me to Buddhism.  Since belief wasn't a requirement, I decided to test it.  Lo and behold, over two and a half decades later I'm still practicing.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2008 - 4:35PM #3
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
I was raised Presbyterian. I was exposed to other Christian denominatins, including Baptist Bible camp one summer. I can't remember ever having any real belief in God. The Zen Buddhism I encountered originally was non-theistic and dealt with things I was concerned about.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 9:28AM #4
vra
Posts: 7,467
Thanks for your responses. 

Even though I taught several semesters of comparative religions about 30 years ago, my understanding of Buddhism was superficial at best.  I really didn't get going that strongly into it until 1999 when I was in Israel and had brought along the book "The Jew and the Lotus", which dealt with the true story of several Jews who had meetings with the Dalai Lama at his request.  These series of meetings eventually led to the Jewish Renewal movement that my synagogue and I have been involved with for about half a dozen years. 

As Jews, we can often be very much within ourselves, and that has had both positive and negative consequences historically.  Jewish Renewal is an attempt to study, understand, and appreciate the religious and philosophical diversity of other faiths.  As for myself, I have especially been influenced by the monk Matthieu Ricard, who assists HHDL with translating his works into French.  Ricard's explanation as to why it's so difficult philosophically to believe in a creator-god I found to be very impressive, and it helped to push me over the edge.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 10:11AM #5
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799
Personally, I was raised both Episcopalian and Catholic - having a parent in each Church. But I was also raised to have an both a curiosity and an appreciation for all races, ethnicities and creeds.... I'd first read the Analects of Confucius when I was 12, and books on Taoism at about the same age.

Still, I didn't come to Buddhism until about 2003 or 2004. Having been profoundly traumatized by a Christian Terrorist (yes, they do exist in the U.S.A.) and also by Sept. 11th, I was looking for a religion that truly reveres life and peace in practice, and not just words. I was looking for Ahimsa. I was also looking for wisdom wrapped in profound simplicity, and much less dogmatism. In Buddhism, I've found everything I was looking for.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 10:34AM #6
Pthalo
Posts: 464
[QUOTE=Chiyo;706311]Personally, I was raised both Episcopalian and Catholic - having a parent in each Church. But I was also raised to have an both a curiosity and an appreciation for all races, ethnicities and creeds.... I'd first read the Analects of Confucius when I was 12, and books on Taoism at about the same age.

Still, I didn't come to Buddhism until about 2003 or 2004. Having been profoundly traumatized by a Christian Terrorist (yes, they do exist in the U.S.A.) and also by Sept. 11th, I was looking for a religion that truly reveres life and peace in practice, and not just words. I was looking for Ahimsa. I was also looking for wisdom wrapped in profound simplicity, and much less dogmatism. In Buddhism, I've found everything I was looking for.[/QUOTE]

My past and reasons for arriving at Buddhism are  almost identical with Chiyo's. After a trip to Nepal in 2001  I joined a temple and began my practice on 9/11 when I bought a Buddha and set up a shrine.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 9:28AM #7
vra
Posts: 7,467
Thanks for your responses. 

Even though I taught several semesters of comparative religions about 30 years ago, my understanding of Buddhism was superficial at best.  I really didn't get going that strongly into it until 1999 when I was in Israel and had brought along the book "The Jew and the Lotus", which dealt with the true story of several Jews who had meetings with the Dalai Lama at his request.  These series of meetings eventually led to the Jewish Renewal movement that my synagogue and I have been involved with for about half a dozen years. 

As Jews, we can often be very much within ourselves, and that has had both positive and negative consequences historically.  Jewish Renewal is an attempt to study, understand, and appreciate the religious and philosophical diversity of other faiths.  As for myself, I have especially been influenced by the monk Matthieu Ricard, who assists HHDL with translating his works into French.  Ricard's explanation as to why it's so difficult philosophically to believe in a creator-god I found to be very impressive, and it helped to push me over the edge.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 10:11AM #8
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799
Personally, I was raised both Episcopalian and Catholic - having a parent in each Church. But I was also raised to have an both a curiosity and an appreciation for all races, ethnicities and creeds.... I'd first read the Analects of Confucius when I was 12, and books on Taoism at about the same age.

Still, I didn't come to Buddhism until about 2003 or 2004. Having been profoundly traumatized by a Christian Terrorist (yes, they do exist in the U.S.A.) and also by Sept. 11th, I was looking for a religion that truly reveres life and peace in practice, and not just words. I was looking for Ahimsa. I was also looking for wisdom wrapped in profound simplicity, and much less dogmatism. In Buddhism, I've found everything I was looking for.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 21, 2008 - 10:34AM #9
Pthalo
Posts: 464
[QUOTE=Chiyo;706311]Personally, I was raised both Episcopalian and Catholic - having a parent in each Church. But I was also raised to have an both a curiosity and an appreciation for all races, ethnicities and creeds.... I'd first read the Analects of Confucius when I was 12, and books on Taoism at about the same age.

Still, I didn't come to Buddhism until about 2003 or 2004. Having been profoundly traumatized by a Christian Terrorist (yes, they do exist in the U.S.A.) and also by Sept. 11th, I was looking for a religion that truly reveres life and peace in practice, and not just words. I was looking for Ahimsa. I was also looking for wisdom wrapped in profound simplicity, and much less dogmatism. In Buddhism, I've found everything I was looking for.[/QUOTE]

My past and reasons for arriving at Buddhism are  almost identical with Chiyo's. After a trip to Nepal in 2001  I joined a temple and began my practice on 9/11 when I bought a Buddha and set up a shrine.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 22, 2008 - 8:22AM #10
lookingforinsight
Posts: 587
I was previously Catholic ... and not at all lukewarm about it either. However, as I got older, I found the questions that I have about life just weren't really being addressed in Christianity. (Mainly questions about the nature of identity, causal relationships, and how thought processes affect our sense of well-being.)

Having always be interested in meditation and previously an avid reader of the Christian mystics, I stumbled across a book on vipassana meditation. That was my introduction to Buddhism. And I was delighted to find that Buddhism actually addresses the kinds of questions about life that I ponder.

That's it in a nutshell. I didn't leave Christianity because of hurt or anger. I basically just grew away from it.
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