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Switch to Forum Live View Various means of entering the path?
9 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2009 - 2:53AM #1
Wiscidea
Posts: 2,319
Hello.

I heard a bit of advice and I wonder what others think about the matter.

Suppose someone is having trouble meditating, but they are interested in other Buddhist teachings and practices. Some might suggest hunkering down and focusing on learning to meditate... work hard to break through the barrier! But at least one Buddhist teacher has another suggestion. He said classical Buddhism did not put meditation first... Westerners are putting the cart before the horse. It is better to start one's Buddhist practice by following other teachings. For example, one might try to be generous. As one incorporates more and more Buddhists principles into their life, meditation naturally and inevitably follows.

What do you think?

Is meditation necessarily the first step?

If not, where would you suggest someone start?

I realize each person is different. I'm just wondering what has worked for various people and, perhaps, how events unfolded.

This probably came up in other threads, indirectly if not directly, but wanted to start a thread focused solely on various means of setting out on the Buddhist path. I hope it does not become a debate, but becomes and remains a list of helpful suggestions.

Thank you.
"Some people claim that there's a woman to blame. But I know it's my own damn fault."

Jimmy Buffet (Margaritaville)
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2009 - 11:25AM #2
snowmelt
Posts: 12

wiscidea wrote:

Hello.

I heard a bit of advice and I wonder what others think about the matter.

Suppose someone is having trouble meditating, but they are interested in other Buddhist teachings and practices. Some might suggest hunkering down and focusing on learning to meditate... work hard to break through the barrier! But at least one Buddhist teacher has another suggestion. He said classical Buddhism did not put meditation first... Westerners are putting the cart before the horse. It is better to start one's Buddhist practice by following other teachings. For example, one might try to be generous. As one incorporates more and more Buddhists principles into their life, meditation naturally and inevitably follows.

What do you think?

Is meditation necessarily the first step?

If not, where would you suggest someone start?

I realize each person is different. I'm just wondering what has worked for various people and, perhaps, how events unfolded.

This probably came up in other threads, indirectly if not directly, but wanted to start a thread focused solely on various means of setting out on the Buddhist path. I hope it does not become a debate, but becomes and remains a list of helpful suggestions.

Thank you.


Based on my own experience, I say that *any* contact with the Dhamma can be beneficial. I have read a tremendous amount, I have discussed hugely, I have listened to many hundreds of Dhamma talks and sutta study mp3s. I have meditated, but inconsistently. Yet, I have made what seems to me tremendous progress. I believe that there will come a time when I will want to meditate so much that there will be no willpower involved; it will be as easy as deciding to eat a delicious dessert used to be (but with no pangs of conscience). Until then, I feel no need to force it. I hope I have understood your question properly. With loving-kindness, Andrew

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