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Switch to Forum Live View Looking for personal direction
6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2011 - 12:15PM #1
Movingout
Posts: 5
I feel a very strong urge to find answers at this point in my life.

I've come to believe that most religion exists as a poltiical force that plays upon human fears in order to accomplish a worldly goal.  I don't want to join with a group of people in order to dictate what's right or wrong for others. I don't want power.

I simply want to find peace, reflect peace, and help others in whatever way I can.  But I do believe I need a structured process for reaching that goal. There are too many distractions and not enough wisdom to accomplish much alone. I can do the "helping others" part, but without peace I find myself worn out and angry.

So I'm looking... and asking. I took a "beliefs" quiz and it led me here. A 98% match to my personal beliefs.

Could Theravada Buddhism help me?


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6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2011 - 9:49PM #2
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
Hi, and welcome.

The results of a belief quiz just help narrow down your search. I don't think any quiz can tell you the one religion that is right for you.

Here's a link to an introductory article on Theravada.
link -> theravada article

I hope this gives you a little bit of useful information. :-)
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 12:54AM #3
Movingout
Posts: 5

I've spent some time reading the texts and although the concepts (broadly speaking) make sense, the unfamiliar terminology is almost overwhelming. Each paragraph contains reference to a word or a precise concept that's totally foreign to me - so I find myself with 8 different browser tabs opened, trying to cross-reference... like putting a gigantic jigsaw puzzle together.


From what I've gathered in this short time, I can see practices that would certainly help in getting rid of thoughts that distract.


I can explain the situation that caused me to stop thinking about finding answers and start actively looking for answers.. my big brother died earlier this summer. It was slow and painful for him - and so painful for our elderly parents. I was with him as much as I could be, trying to make sure he was well cared for and comfortable. Ten days before he died, I lost my job because I was taking too much time away to be with him. The hospital made many mistakes. He was disabled already and had very little material wealth and I saw with my own eyes that he was given less attention and less consideration than others who were in a better financial state.  I am so angry over this... so disillusioned by what I learned in that process. 


This week, my dad was sick and was hospitalized - and I recognized that my anger over my brother's experience is getting in the way of my attempt to simply _be there_ for my dad. My mind is on the anger and distrust instead of my dad.  I can see the consequences and I know I need to find a way to resolve those feelings, but I don't know how to let it go. 


I feel as though we (humans) have our priorities so messed up. Money rules everything - and the value of a person's life can be counted in coin. I wish I could change that, but I know I can't... so maybe I can change myself.


What I've read in the link you gave me shows that there are ways that I could refocus and  maybe put the anger aside. I want to find real peace. Not birds singing and cloudless days - but peace in understanding why life is as it is.  


It'll take a lot more reading in order to understand if this is a good path for me. At the very least it's a healthy way to occupy my mind while I'm trying not to stew in anger.


 


 


 

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 5:33AM #4
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 973

Aug 26, 2011 -- 12:54AM, Movingout wrote:


I've spent some time reading the texts and although the concepts (broadly speaking) make sense, the unfamiliar terminology is almost overwhelming. Each paragraph contains reference to a word or a precise concept that's totally foreign to me - so I find myself with 8 different browser tabs opened, trying to cross-reference... like putting a gigantic jigsaw puzzle together.


From what I've gathered in this short time, I can see practices that would certainly help in getting rid of thoughts that distract.


I can explain the situation that caused me to stop thinking about finding answers and start actively looking for answers.. my big brother died earlier this summer. It was slow and painful for him - and so painful for our elderly parents. I was with him as much as I could be, trying to make sure he was well cared for and comfortable. Ten days before he died, I lost my job because I was taking too much time away to be with him. The hospital made many mistakes. He was disabled already and had very little material wealth and I saw with my own eyes that he was given less attention and less consideration than others who were in a better financial state.  I am so angry over this... so disillusioned by what I learned in that process. 


This week, my dad was sick and was hospitalized - and I recognized that my anger over my brother's experience is getting in the way of my attempt to simply _be there_ for my dad. My mind is on the anger and distrust instead of my dad.  I can see the consequences and I know I need to find a way to resolve those feelings, but I don't know how to let it go. 


I feel as though we (humans) have our priorities so messed up. Money rules everything - and the value of a person's life can be counted in coin. I wish I could change that, but I know I can't... so maybe I can change myself.


What I've read in the link you gave me shows that there are ways that I could refocus and  maybe put the anger aside. I want to find real peace. Not birds singing and cloudless days - but peace in understanding why life is as it is.  


It'll take a lot more reading in order to understand if this is a good path for me. At the very least it's a healthy way to occupy my mind while I'm trying not to stew in anger.




Moving Out


I have been involved with Theravada Buddhism since 1991, under qualified supervision


from my local Vihara [Temple].


In acordance with the training that I have been given:


From the perspective of Theravada Buddhism the whole of the Buddhist Path begins


with a Study of the Singala Sutta:


Singala Sutta


www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala8.h...


Comments on the Salient Points of the Singala Sutta


www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala.ht...


Buddhist Dictionary and Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines


www.budsas.org/ebud/bud-dict/dic_idx.htm


To harmonise any wisdom gleaned from study and practice, one is


also advised to carry out Metta Meditation:


THE METTA SUTTA


www.bodhicitta.net/Metta%20Sutra.htm


Metta
The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love
by
Acharya Buddharakkhita

www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/budd...


The Harmony of Tranquillity, Wisdom and Metta will help develop a more


rounded understanding of the Buddha's Teaching. At least, that is how I have


been taught.


Whilst it is good to study and read, if required or desired, it is also beneficial


to listen to Dhamma Talks:


www.satipanya.org.uk/index.php?page=audi...


Metta Meditation


www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5JAVk3Qwi8


 

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 7:07AM #5
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 973

Moving Out


I forgot to include a guide ot the pronunciation of Pali:



The Pali Alphabet
and its Pronunciation

www.bps.lk/olib/wh/img/palipron.html


Pāli Pronunciation

www.aimwell.org/Help/Pali/pali.html

An Elementary Pali Course

www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/ele_pali.pdf



 

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 10:54AM #6
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
Hi MO,

I'm sorry I posted a link to an article that is difficult to understand. Unfortunately, I don't know of anything simpler I can post a link to that gives an overview of Theravada. Feel free to ask questions.

When my mother was dying, we were able to care for her at home. I can understand how you would feel if you thought your brother was getting poorer care than other patients at the hospital. I hope things go well for your father.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 5:58PM #7
Movingout
Posts: 5

Aug 26, 2011 -- 5:33AM, Bhakta_glenn wrote:

Aug 26, 2011 -- 12:54AM, Movingout wrote:


I've spent some time reading the texts and although the concepts (broadly speaking) make sense, the unfamiliar terminology is almost overwhelming. Each paragraph contains reference to a word or a precise concept that's totally foreign to me - so I find myself with 8 different browser tabs opened, trying to cross-reference... like putting a gigantic jigsaw puzzle together.


From what I've gathered in this short time, I can see practices that would certainly help in getting rid of thoughts that distract.


I can explain the situation that caused me to stop thinking about finding answers and start actively looking for answers.. my big brother died earlier this summer. It was slow and painful for him - and so painful for our elderly parents. I was with him as much as I could be, trying to make sure he was well cared for and comfortable. Ten days before he died, I lost my job because I was taking too much time away to be with him. The hospital made many mistakes. He was disabled already and had very little material wealth and I saw with my own eyes that he was given less attention and less consideration than others who were in a better financial state.  I am so angry over this... so disillusioned by what I learned in that process. 


This week, my dad was sick and was hospitalized - and I recognized that my anger over my brother's experience is getting in the way of my attempt to simply _be there_ for my dad. My mind is on the anger and distrust instead of my dad.  I can see the consequences and I know I need to find a way to resolve those feelings, but I don't know how to let it go. 


I feel as though we (humans) have our priorities so messed up. Money rules everything - and the value of a person's life can be counted in coin. I wish I could change that, but I know I can't... so maybe I can change myself.


What I've read in the link you gave me shows that there are ways that I could refocus and  maybe put the anger aside. I want to find real peace. Not birds singing and cloudless days - but peace in understanding why life is as it is.  


It'll take a lot more reading in order to understand if this is a good path for me. At the very least it's a healthy way to occupy my mind while I'm trying not to stew in anger.




Moving Out


I have been involved with Theravada Buddhism since 1991, under qualified supervision


from my local Vihara [Temple].


In acordance with the training that I have been given:


From the perspective of Theravada Buddhism the whole of the Buddhist Path begins


with a Study of the Singala Sutta:


Singala Sutta


www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala8.h...


Comments on the Salient Points of the Singala Sutta


www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala.ht...


Buddhist Dictionary and Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines


www.budsas.org/ebud/bud-dict/dic_idx.htm


To harmonise any wisdom gleaned from study and practice, one is


also advised to carry out Metta Meditation:


THE METTA SUTTA


www.bodhicitta.net/Metta%20Sutra.htm


Metta
The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love
by
Acharya Buddharakkhita

www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/budd...


The Harmony of Tranquillity, Wisdom and Metta will help develop a more


rounded understanding of the Buddha's Teaching. At least, that is how I have


been taught.


Whilst it is good to study and read, if required or desired, it is also beneficial


to listen to Dhamma Talks:


www.satipanya.org.uk/index.php?page=audi...


Metta Meditation


www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5JAVk3Qwi8


 


Thank you Bhakta_glenn - I've read through the Singala Sutta. It's good to have a starting point. Nothing in this text is a conflict for me - all is good advice.  The Six Directions make it easier to focus on each aspect of your life and those in your life for a moment and helps to bring all those aspects together into one.  I'm very clear on the Defilements and what can instigate an evil act. We see those factors in play all around us. There it touches on the anger and fear that's been gnawing at me. I wouldn't be moved to an outright evil act but still, those feelings are keeping me from doing my best and will lead to regret if I don't release them.


Much of the advice given is the same advice my parents gave me and I've found it to be very true. I've managed to live without violence my whole life in large part because I've been careful about who I associate with.  But also because I was lucky to have good examples in my parents. I've tried to be a good example to my two children and they have grown into very good adults.


I smoke - but very seldom drink (a glass of wine a few times a year), never gamble, and don't enjoy the frenetic atmosphere of bars and clubs... never have.  How can you enjoy a conversation with someone who is not likely to remember what was said the next day?


I notice that all advice is spoken as if given to a man. Is this only because of the circumstances of the story or would advice be different for a woman?  Seems to me that there might be additional consequences applied to a woman, but otherwise it all fits very well regardless of gender.


My parents raised me Catholic but they also allowed me access to other religions. Growing up in the U.S. midwest, there was no access to religion or philosophy other than various forms of Christianity. As I've grown I've learned bits and pieces of other ways of life, but not enough to consider making it my way of life. I formally rejected Christianity 20 years ago when I saw how internal and external politics were defiling the message. I also felt the conflict between Christian faith and science couldn't be resolved. At first I called myself an Atheist. Then as I found myself looking for answers to some big questions I realized that I don't know what to believe.  I do believe that morality continues to exist in the absence of religion, right and wrong is not dependent upon a dogma - but I'm not able to make peace with the world without some direction.


The piece of advice from my dad that sticks most in my mind is this: "You should live your life so that each morning when you look into the mirror and look yourself in the eye you are happy with what you see."  He told me that when I was in my early teens - and I use it very often. It's helped me to think before acting.


I'll continue with the links you provided. The Metta Meditation is beautiful. That in itself helps. Such simple yet profound sentiments. Thank you.

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2011 - 6:03PM #8
Movingout
Posts: 5

Aug 26, 2011 -- 10:54AM, RenGalskap wrote:

Hi MO,

I'm sorry I posted a link to an article that is difficult to understand. Unfortunately, I don't know of anything simpler I can post a link to that gives an overview of Theravada. Feel free to ask questions.

When my mother was dying, we were able to care for her at home. I can understand how you would feel if you thought your brother was getting poorer care than other patients at the hospital. I hope things go well for your father.


Hi RenGalskap,


No need to apologize. It was just a bit overwhelming for me. I still very much appreciate your help.


 

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2011 - 3:33AM #9
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 973

Moving Out


Thank you for your reply.


I am happy that you are able to make use of the information supplied.


With regard to learning about Buddhism, just give yourself time. Leave yourself with something to learn tomorrow. On a daily basis, it may help to be content with small chunks of digestible information.


For a person just beginning with Buddhism, Metta Meditation may simplify  a lot of things.


Buddhism deploys meditation as a means for mental development. Initially and for as long as one wants, Metta Meditation is a very powerful means to simplifying practice. If one has no Teacher, then a daily reading of the Metta Sutta and a period of Listening Meditation will help establish a practice.


It is quite all right just to sit at a computer and listen to the Metta song, which is actaully a Metta Meditation, on Loving Kindess. the audio Dhamma Talks from Satipanya offer a Free Foundation Course in Buddhism and Guided Meditation, which may be carried out at the computer.


 


 

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2011 - 8:23AM #10
Movingout
Posts: 5

Aug 27, 2011 -- 3:33AM, Bhakta_glenn wrote:

Moving Out


Thank you for your reply.


I am happy that you are able to make use of the information supplied.


With regard to learning about Buddhism, just give yourself time. Leave yourself with something to learn tomorrow. On a daily basis, it may help to be content with small chunks of digestible information.


For a person just beginning with Buddhism, Metta Meditation may simplify  a lot of things.


Buddhism deploys meditation as a means for mental development. Initially and for as long as one wants, Metta Meditation is a very powerful means to simplifying practice. If one has no Teacher, then a daily reading of the Metta Sutta and a period of Listening Meditation will help establish a practice.


It is quite all right just to sit at a computer and listen to the Metta song, which is actaully a Metta Meditation, on Loving Kindess. the audio Dhamma Talks from Satripanya offer a Foundation course in Buddhism and Guided Meditation, which may be carried out at the computer.


 


 


Good morning Bhakta_glenn,


I woke this morning feeling stressed because my mom asked me to drive her around to do some errands and I really just want her to be with my dad. So I listened to the Metta song - and read the Metta Sutta. It was like resetting my mind.


This morning my focus is to give my mom what she needs so she can feel more peaceful. She's been through so much. If I can do that, I know I'll find more peace myself. Then, when we're done with the errands we'll go to be with dad with cheerful hearts and less stress.


When I think of the Metta Meditation, I picture a pebble tossed in the water. I can choose a target, and see the ripples move outward... it's a soothing image.  I can do what I need to do without burden so my mom feels that she's not a burden. She can carry that happiness to my dad, and my dad can use that to strengthen and heal himself.


The ripples from that pebble reach out to those in the path of the hurricane on our eastern coast - and everyone who is facing their own personal storm.


Thank you for handing me that pebble.


I hope you have a beautiful day. :)

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