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4 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2011 - 7:33PM #1
Posts: 2

the faith-o-meter guided me here...well this or liberal quaker or universal unitarian.  I'm totally lost.  fear death...have no spiritual center.  full of doubt.  Not even sure this is the correct path? 

How does one start in Buddhism?  Where does one go?  What is my point A?  What do I do now?  Does it even matter? 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2011 - 12:52AM #2
Posts: 485
Why don't you start with the whys if you can figure them out. Why do you fear death? Doubt of what?


Only you will know if Buddhism is right for you. Here is the heart of Buddhism. There is suffering. There is a cause of this suffering. This suffering can be extinguished. There are eight things that must be mastered to end your suffering. This is a big bite. Don't try to digest it all in one setting.

Does it matter? Hopefully before your journey down life's path is over you will know that answer.

Wishing you small tranquil days,

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2011 - 10:15AM #3
Posts: 2

Thank you for the reply. I will read that today. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2011 - 1:51PM #4
Posts: 1,809

Accept who and where you are.  This is the point of beginning.


Use the Intention that comes from the mind.  Use the Love that comes from the heart.  Use them in harmony -- this is the key to success.

With love,

Rev Dorris
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2011 - 10:46AM #5
Posts: 12,769

I agree with RevDorris.


What a perfect place to start!

I recall a witty saying: "If you don't know where you're going--you can't get lost!". 

Wonderful! Without bias or prejudice. Not fixated or brainwashed. Welcome!

You have the right mentality. Go find a teacher--or become one! 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2011 - 12:22PM #6
Posts: 1,338

Well said Karma, well said!

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3 years ago  ::  May 03, 2011 - 10:06AM #7
Posts: 572

Accept who and where you are.  This is the point of beginning.


Use  the Intention that comes from the mind.  Use the Love that comes from  the heart.  Use them in harmony -- this is the key to success.


Dont mean to burst any bubbles here but enlightenment can not be reached with quite apparent ideas alone such as the concept of love and the heart. The problem is that these principles mean different things to different people. Therefore these words alone are not potent enough to usher in the profound transformations within self, and one's environment (social / natural) that are necessary to eliminate the degree of negative karma that actually plagues all of mankind. While such sentiments clearly convey a starting point, one that people commonly discern as correct, true and filled with common sense, people also know instantly, or they should honestly be told as I am now, that even with such an awareness, the path ahead is arduous indeed and the greatest enemy is one's own befuddled state of mind. In fact, if the solution, as suggested is so obvious, then why is human society in such a dark state today?  If we consider the country of India for example, a country that has produced admirable spiritual leaders (or so it appears) going back three thousand years, we find a society today ridden within social turmoils. Even Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings were disolved into confusion as a result of lax practitioners and agresssive opponents. This is why even after entering the realm of Buddhist philosophy one must be rigorous in pursuing true and effective means, effective knowledge and insight in accordance with the times, peoples capacity, nature of society and sequence of philosophical developments. 

The doctrines of Buddhism consist of highly advanced principles that are polysemantic, comprehensive and subtle.  They are infused with deep awareness regarding the true nature of life and reality. Their ultimate goal is to manifest actual proof in one's life of both self and environment. But one needs to be rigorous and vigorous in asking pointed and effective questions,  resolving doubts and obtaining comprehensive insight just as we find within the dialogues held between the Buddha and his disciples recorded in the sutras.

A thorough review of Buddhist history indicates that the deepest questions have indeed been asked over the many centuries across various societies of differing conditions and philosophical traditions. The key principle societies through which Buddhist philosophy was unfolded to reveal its deepest fruits were through India, China and then Japan.  It is actually during the Chinese period that we find that the influx of sutras were all analyzed and organized from shallow to the most profound and systematized in an order which distinguishes Hinayana from Mahayana, Vajrayana ectcetra. The fruits of Chinese Buddhism wefe doubled back to India before they were transmitted to Tibet.  And it was actually during the Japanese period that the fruits of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism were distilled and applied so as to bring about effective transformations and an effective spiritually informed social order. For example, by the time of the 13th century Japan, over 18oo years after the Buddha's passing, Buddhist scholars were pondering such notions as suggested by the following remarks by Nichiren.

"The correct teaching of the time
can be propagated only by a person
of wisdom. This is why Shakyamuni
Buddha, after expounding all the
sutras, entrusted the Hinayana sutras to
Ananda and the Mahayana sutras to
Manjushri. Concerning the heart of the
Lotus Sutra, however, the Buddha refused
to transfer it to any of the voicehearers
[such as Ananda] or to bodhisattvas
such as Manjushri. The Buddha
instead summoned Bodhisattva Superior
Practices and entrusted it to him."

"Even if a person of wisdom who
embraces the correct teaching existed,
how could he propagate it without lay
believers who supported him? Shakyamuni
Buddha had the support of
Brahma and Shakra, who were his patrons
in heaven. From among the six
paths, the Buddha chose the worlds of
human and heavenly beings, and of
these two, he chose to be born among
human beings. Of all the places in the
major world system inhabited by human
beings, he appeared in the center,
the five regions of India, and within
the five regions he appeared in the kingdom of Magadha". - WND V1 pg752


The above passage is from a thought process whose goal seeks to address the most vexing issues plaguing mankind as understood in Buddhist philosophy. It derives from the concern that although people encounter the Buddhist philosophy from within their single lifetime, the goal (Buddhahood) and the means to attain that goal seem as elusive as trying to rope the wind itself. But human beings are so esconced by mystery that they are prone to accept far off ideals even on the basis of blind faith.  So they encounter various people of a worthy nature and they follow their lead simply because they appears wiser than them.

With this in mind, the important point to bear in mind is that concerning all the questions that any human being can muster up, each and every one of them have already been recorded in the Buddhist sutras and answers to these questions have already been provided by the Buddha.  

Among all the questions that could be asked by human beings, even the wisest among them, the most profoud of all questions concerns, what is the true cause for attaining Buddhahood in this, ones own living lifetime? This principle is known as "the attainment of Buddhahood in one's own present form".Another name for this principle is known as "the teaching of perfect endowment".  Such were and continue to be the kinds of "inner" dialogues held amongst Buddhist with the deepest of seeking minds.  Such encounters are rare indeed.

Since I dont see any evidence that the Buddhist practitioners here have any knowledge of these matters I am always scratching my head with bewilderment.  This is why the following advise should be heeded by all those who seek Buddhist wisdom.


"Those who have yet to attain the truth should
humble themselves before the highest
principle, which is comparable to heaven,
and feel abashed before all the sages.
Then they will be monks with a sense
of shame. When they manifest insight
and wisdom, then they will be true

"The Nirvana Sutra states: “If even a
good monk sees someone destroying
the teaching and disregards him, failing
to reproach him, to oust him, or to
punish him for his offense, then you
should realize that that monk is betraying
the Buddha’s teaching. But if he
ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches
him, or punishes him, then he
is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.”
You should etch deeply in your mind
the two words “see” and “disregard” in
the phrase “sees someone destroying
the teaching and disregards him, failing
to reproach him.” WND V1 pg 747

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3 years ago  ::  May 04, 2011 - 1:11PM #8
Posts: 1,809

"The secret of success is that you are really yourself, and when you are really yourself, you can encounter life in the present moment."

The Thich Nhat Hanh Collection page 44

"Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred.  In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane."

The Thich Nhat Hanh Collection page 27

"Simple practices ......... are very important.  They can change our civilization."

The Thich Nhat Hanh Collection page 47

With love,

Rev Dorris
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3 years ago  ::  May 15, 2011 - 6:30AM #9
Posts: 1,536

very sorry about your difficulties.


first of all, you can't conquer every problem at once.


So, just try to take things one thing at a time, one day at a time.  Patience gives peace.  And that peace conquers many problems.


All spiritual paths have various aspects.


We can, slowly and steadily work on those aspects.  As we do, we receive the various spiritual graces...whether peace, comfort, clarity, wisdom, purpose in life, etc. etc. etc.

Step one is simply to work on our physical health.  When we are in pain or in the various discomforts that the body can bring, it only makes our mind, emotional life and spiritual life that much worse.

So, take the annual physical, respond to anything the doctor says, eat well, sleep well, get the proper exercise.  Really and integrally attending to all that can help alleviate a host of problems.

Next, on the spiritual path, we should all be engaged in some form of charity work.  Doing volunteer work does many things for us.  It focues our mind and heart on caring for others, rather than just thinking about our own problems.  That alone can bring peace.  And, it certainly can bring purpose.  It may be hard to believe that, generally, life has purpose.  But if you are directly handing a bowl of soup to a hungry that moment, doubt leaves and purpose becomes directly clear.  So, doing volunteer work helps with that.  Doesn't have to be much...a couple of hours a week or a month.  But moving in that direction helps a great deal.

Then, beyond that, entering into some kind of relaxation practice can help calm the mind.  Once the mind is calm, it is easier for clarity and wisdom to enter the mind.  So, one can enter into direct relaxation exercises from something like Yoga...or simply engage in relaxing hiking, bird-watching, etc. etc. etc. 

So, that, I would say is the start.

If your mind is very unclear about what is true and what is not, sometimes the best way to resolve that is to just simply let the mind rest.  When the mind and emotions are calm and peaceful, truth has a way of making itself known. 

Truth is not an academic subject, that you prove or disprove by debate.  When you hand the bowl of soup to a hungry person and see the gratitude in their eyes...that is truth. 

When you take a nice walk in the woods and look at the beautiful sky and feel at peace...that is truth. 

Meditation and metaphysics come from truth, not from rhetoric, logic and all the kinds of spin games that people can play from one side or the other.  Meditation and metaphysics come when spin ends. 

Often, what is suggested for clarity is what is called "just sitting meditation"

Basically, you just sit in a chair for a few minutes each day.  No special form or anything, just sit there in quiet and let yourself be.  That helps teach the mind to simply relax.  And it becomes a real meditation.

If you want to read, I would suggest simply reading the Dhammapada...the words of the Buddha.


Here's one link to the Dhammapada:


The words are very simple and being a good person is more rewarding than being a bad person.  I wouldn't worry about complex metaphysics.  What is probably needed is just giving your mind a good long rest from all the crazy spin and lies in life, society, friends and relatives.  Once that all calms down and peace really enters you, then everything follows from that.

take care

best of luck






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3 years ago  ::  May 15, 2011 - 6:41AM #10
Posts: 34

Apr 18, 2011 -- 7:33PM, g85searching wrote:

the faith-o-meter guided me here...well this or liberal quaker or universal unitarian.  I'm totally lost.  fear death...have no spiritual center.  full of doubt.  Not even sure this is the correct path? 

How does one start in Buddhism?  Where does one go?  What is my point A?  What do I do now?  Does it even matter? 

i like be with people and talking.

My english is not good for moment. I am friendly girl age being 27

My county like Buddhism and people get unhappy also


best wishes from Belldandy


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