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Buddhism

I've searched through the forum to find something on Buddhism but have only found it mentioned in other threads so thought I'd start one.

I am becoming increasingly interested in Buddhism, having come to it via mindfulness meditation. I've been using mindfulness as a means of helping me to deal wih stress for the past 5 years or so and have found it very effective. I went on a retreat (not Buddhist, but one of the teachers was), and started looking at how I was using meditation as a means of preventing something bad from happening (ie becoming stressed and unwell), rather than using it in a more postive way. I read up more of it's origins - in Buddhism - and have found that some of the teachings interested me. I've been to the London Buddhist Centre a few times but as It's a 3-4 hour round trip it's not a regular thing. So I've been reading various books on the subject, alongside continuing meditation. Reading is good but discussion can help too.





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  • edited December 2018
    The London Buddhist Centre is run by "Triratna" who used to be the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order". Their basic meditation teaching is good, their teachings beyond that are quite different from "traditional" schools of teaching and are one man's take on what he learned as a western monk in India.

    There are many different forms of buddhism, but two main strands: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada is more focussed on change through monastic meditation and following the teachings closely (based on pali and some sanskrit sources - the oldest records there are for the oral teachings). Mahayana includes the later schools which have changed depending on where and when they have been practiced. Mahayana would include the most popular "exports" to the west: Zen, and the various forms of Tibetan Buddhism and is very focused on the idea of the Boddhisatva - a being who strives to become more compassionate - to the extent of vowing to devote themselves to the cessation of suffering of all beings.

    Some useful resources:

    https://dharmaseed.org/

    https://dharmanet.org/

    https://gaiahouse.co.uk/

    I've been to Gaia house a few times and a 3 day retreat is a great way to get started or to deepen your practice in a really nice supportive environment.

    My fave books are

    Mindfulness in Plain English,

    Zen Mind Beginners Mind.

    What makes you not a buddhist - (really funny)

    and I have found Pema Chodron really useful in difficult times.





  • Although not a Buddhist, I have a deep interest in the philosophy.

    I'll post my thoughts when I have a bit more time.
  • The London Buddhist Centre is run by "Triratna" who used to be the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order". Their basic meditation teaching is good, their teachings beyond that are quite different from "traditional" schools of teaching and are one man's take on what he learned as a western monk in India.

    There are many different forms of buddhism, but two main strands: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada is more focussed on change through monastic meditation and following the teachings closely (based on pali and some sanskrit sources - the oldest records there are for the oral teachings). Mahayana includes the later schools which are vaired depending on wherethey have been practiced. Mahayana would include the most popular "exports" to the west: Zen, and the various forms of Tibetan Buddhism and is very focussed on the idea of the Boddhisatva - a being who strives to become more compassionate and engaed with the suffering of others.

    Some useful resources:

    https://dharmaseed.org/

    https://dharmanet.org/

    https://gaiahouse.co.uk/

    I've been to Gaia house a few times and a 3 day retreat is a great way to get started or to deepen your practice in a really nice supportive environment.

    My fave books are

    Mindfulness in Plain English,

    Zen Mind Beginners Mind.

    What makes you not a buddhist - (really funny)

    and I have found Pema Chodron really useful in difficult times.





    Thank you, that's really helpful.

    The retreats I've been on are at Sharpham- near Gaia House. They're good, but not introduced as Buddhist even though they are sometimes lead by Buddhists. It these teachers that I've found most useful. I must try Gaia House.

    I've not read any of those books - so thank you for the recommendations. I have read some of Pema Chodron and love the way she writes.
  • Was it the Barn? Those retreats are great too. At Gaia you literally spend most of your day in sitting or walking meditation and in silence...it can take some getting used to but I never want to leave when it comes to the last day.
  • Was it the Barn? Those retreats are great too. At Gaia you literally spend most of your day in sitting or walking meditation and in silence...it can take some getting used to but I never want to leave when it comes to the last day.

    It was in the house. Very plush, almost spa like. One day is spent in silence, but I would have liked longer. For me it cuts out the need to make small talk with the others. One aspect of Buddism I find difficult is the teaching on relationships with others. I've sort of assumed kindness to all - but I don't know how to deal with difficult people then.
  • edited December 2018

    Was it the Barn? Those retreats are great too. At Gaia you literally spend most of your day in sitting or walking meditation and in silence...it can take some getting used to but I never want to leave when it comes to the last day.

    It was in the house. Very plush, almost spa like. One day is spent in silence, but I would have liked longer. For me it cuts out the need to make small talk with the others. One aspect of Buddism I find difficult is the teaching on relationships with others. I've sort of assumed kindness to all - but I don't know how to deal with difficult people then.
    I feel the same - I love the silence and as you say avoid the need to make small talk. I can be quite anti social so to be in a place where not speaking to others is acceptable is great.

    See if you can get hold of "Don't bite the hook" - audiobook by Pema C. All about that. Theres a teaching that buddha was supposed to have given to some villagers who were local businessmen and traders in India. "How should we react when we are insulted or abused?" "You are all family men. What do you do when a man comes to you with a gift which you do not want?" "We decline the gift graciously and say 'I do not need this gift. Take it home to enjoy yourself or with your family' " "Just so. And when a man gives you the gift of his abuse repond in the same way: 'I do not want this gift. Take it home to enjoy yourself or with your family' ".

    Easier said than done and I "bite the hook" all the time (not least on this forum :smile: ) but occasionally I remember and avoid adding to the conflict in my own life, at least.
  • edited February 14
    I've searched through the forum to find something on Buddhism but have only found it mentioned in other threads so thought I'd start one.

    I am becoming increasingly interested in Buddhism, having come to it via mindfulness meditation. I've been using mindfulness as a means of helping me to deal wih stress for the past 5 years or so and have found it very effective. I went on a retreat (not Buddhist, but one of the teachers was), and started looking at how I was using meditation as a means of preventing something bad from happening (ie becoming stressed and unwell), rather than using it in a more postive way. I read up more of it's origins - in Buddhism - and have found that some of the teachings interested me. I've been to the London Buddhist Centre a few times but as It's a 3-4 hour round trip it's not a regular thing. So I've been reading various books on the subject, alongside continuing meditation. Reading is good but discussion can help too.

    You need to talk to two_sheds.....he was a devout Buddhist...........aghem
  • Was it the Barn? Those retreats are great too. At Gaia you literally spend most of your day in sitting or walking meditation and in silence...it can take some getting used to but I never want to leave when it comes to the last day.

    It was in the house. Very plush, almost spa like. One day is spent in silence, but I would have liked longer. For me it cuts out the need to make small talk with the others. One aspect of Buddism I find difficult is the teaching on relationships with others. I've sort of assumed kindness to all - but I don't know how to deal with difficult people then.
    See if you can get hold of "Don't bite the hook" - audiobook by Pema C. All about that. Theres a teaching that buddha was supposed to have given to some villagers who were local businessmen and traders in India. "How should we react when we are insulted or abused?" "You are all family men. What do you do when a man comes to you with a gift which you do not want?" "We decline the gift graciously and say 'I do not need this gift. Take it home to enjoy yourself or with your family' " "Just so. And when a man gives you the gift of his abuse repond in the same way: 'I do not want this gift. Take it home to enjoy yourself or with your family' ".

    Easier said than done and I "bite the hook" all the time (not least on this forum :smile: ) but occasionally I remember and avoid adding to the conflict in my own life, at least.
    Thank you! Have never tried an audio book so a first for me. Will get hold of it.
  • Was it the Barn? Those retreats are great too. At Gaia you literally spend most of your day in sitting or walking meditation and in silence...it can take some getting used to but I never want to leave when it comes to the last day.

    It was in the house. Very plush, almost spa like. One day is spent in silence, but I would have liked longer. For me it cuts out the need to make small talk with the others. One aspect of Buddism I find difficult is the teaching on relationships with others. I've sort of assumed kindness to all - but I don't know how to deal with difficult people then.
    See if you can get hold of "Don't bite the hook" - audiobook by Pema C. All about that. Theres a teaching that buddha was supposed to have given to some villagers who were local businessmen and traders in India. "How should we react when we are insulted or abused?" "You are all family men. What do you do when a man comes to you with a gift which you do not want?" "We decline the gift graciously and say 'I do not need this gift. Take it home to enjoy yourself or with your family' " "Just so. And when a man gives you the gift of his abuse repond in the same way: 'I do not want this gift. Take it home to enjoy yourself or with your family' ".

    Easier said than done and I "bite the hook" all the time (not least on this forum :smile: ) but occasionally I remember and avoid adding to the conflict in my own life, at least.
    Thank you! Have never tried an audio book so a first for me. Will get hold of it.
    PMd you.
  • There was a good documentary that came out last year about Plum village retreat in France called Walk With Me, worth checking out
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  • Serious question.

    I am wondering how buddhists would deal with Roland. I am guessing with peaceful protests and compassion towards him.

  • I have a feeling that EVEN Buddhists would want to kick his gnarled old ball bags back to whence they came from!
  • Having visited Bod Gaya where Buddha found enlightenment I came away a trifle confused regarding Buddhism. 
    In principle I find it completely makes sense. Whilst sat around the actual tree he was supposed to have found nirvana I felt a wonderful calmness and fulfillment. 
    But then you walk around and there are dozens of temples built by different Buddhist countries all trying to ‘out Buddhist’ each other. Each one with a bigger gold Buddha. And it just reminds me that even this has lost its path. 
    If you want to practice Buddhism, just do it. 
    Good luck lovely lady xx

  • The shoalin monks look handy in a fight. 
  • Having visited Bod Gaya where Buddha found enlightenment I came away a trifle confused regarding Buddhism. 
    In principle I find it completely makes sense. Whilst sat around the actual tree he was supposed to have found nirvana I felt a wonderful calmness and fulfillment. 
    But then you walk around and there are dozens of temples built by different Buddhist countries all trying to ‘out Buddhist’ each other. Each one with a bigger gold Buddha. And it just reminds me that even this has lost its path. 
    If you want to practice Buddhism, just do it. 
    Good luck lovely lady xx

    It's pretty crazy when you see Monks in China walking around in Air Max calling people on their brand new iPhone.


  • The London Buddhist Centre is run by "Triratna" who used to be the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order". Their basic meditation teaching is good, their teachings beyond that are quite different from "traditional" schools of teaching and are one man's take on what he learned as a western monk in India. There are many different forms of buddhism, but two main strands: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada is more focussed on change through monastic meditation and following the teachings closely (based on pali and some sanskrit sources - the oldest records there are for the oral teachings). Mahayana includes the later schools which have changed depending on where and when they have been practiced. Mahayana would include the most popular "exports" to the west: Zen, and the various forms of Tibetan Buddhism and is very focused on the idea of the Boddhisatva - a being who strives to become more compassionate - to the extent of vowing to devote themselves to the cessation of suffering of all beings. Some useful resources: https://dharmaseed.org/ https://dharmanet.org/ https://gaiahouse.co.uk/ I've been to Gaia house a few times and a 3 day retreat is a great way to get started or to deepen your practice in a really nice supportive environment. My fave books are Mindfulness in Plain English, Zen Mind Beginners Mind. What makes you not a buddhist - (really funny) and I have found Pema Chodron really useful in difficult times.
    I recall wearing out this track on my Steely Dan album.  I always thought the song title was a bit odd and the lyrics plain daft, they certainly left me quite unenlightened.  For me Bodhisattva was (and forever will be) all about that fantastic jazzy guitar. 

    I'm gonna sell my house in town
    And I'll be there to shine in your Japan
    To sparkle in your China, yes I'll be there
    Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva  

  • Having visited Bod Gaya where Buddha found enlightenment I came away a trifle confused regarding Buddhism. 
    In principle I find it completely makes sense. Whilst sat around the actual tree he was supposed to have found nirvana I felt a wonderful calmness and fulfillment. 
    But then you walk around and there are dozens of temples built by different Buddhist countries all trying to ‘out Buddhist’ each other. Each one with a bigger gold Buddha. And it just reminds me that even this has lost its path. 
    If you want to practice Buddhism, just do it. 
    Good luck lovely lady xx

    As an Agnostic by day and Atheist by night I have always looked and wondered at all religions, but alway come back to the fact they are money making machines and look no further than the Vatican.

    The Buddhist approach is different in that they say life is full of shite but it's how you deal with it and not to "want". This is totally alien to the western mindset where wanting is the reason to get out of bed in the morning.
    Tai chi is a great discipline and I was introduced to it when overwork and stress led me to mindfulness. Difficult for me as i'm non stop with a very cluttered mind, but at least it led to some inner peace and calmness.

    I agree KBslittlesis it does seem that some places try to outdo each other with their Budda display which is the polar opposite to the message !

    Buddhism lite may be best for most of us, to find our own inner peace so we can handle the over bearing demands on our brains in the 21st century.
  • I've searched through the forum to find something on Buddhism but have only found it mentioned in other threads so thought I'd start one. I am becoming increasingly interested in Buddhism, having come to it via mindfulness meditation. I've been using mindfulness as a means of helping me to deal wih stress for the past 5 years or so and have found it very effective. I went on a retreat (not Buddhist, but one of the teachers was), and started looking at how I was using meditation as a means of preventing something bad from happening (ie becoming stressed and unwell), rather than using it in a more postive way. I read up more of it's origins - in Buddhism - and have found that some of the teachings interested me. I've been to the London Buddhist Centre a few times but as It's a 3-4 hour round trip it's not a regular thing. So I've been reading various books on the subject, alongside continuing meditation. Reading is good but discussion can help too.
    Arsenetatters, there is no problem in cherry picking what works for you, mindfulness meditation in a small group or on your own listening to a CD can get you in the zone.
    Clarity of mind and acceptance of the up and downs of life.

    There is no path to happiness,
    happiness is the path.

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  • Having visited Bod Gaya where Buddha found enlightenment I came away a trifle confused regarding Buddhism. 
    In principle I find it completely makes sense. Whilst sat around the actual tree he was supposed to have found nirvana I felt a wonderful calmness and fulfillment. 
    But then you walk around and there are dozens of temples built by different Buddhist countries all trying to ‘out Buddhist’ each other. Each one with a bigger gold Buddha. And it just reminds me that even this has lost its path. 
    If you want to practice Buddhism, just do it. 
    Good luck lovely lady xx

    Since starting this thread I’ve found a group that is much nearer than the London Buddhist Centre. It’s not as grand! Rather than 2 dedicated shrine rooms at the LBC our group have to have a ‘portable ‘ shrine. Someone brings an old table and a small Buddha!
  • Whats all the Bhuddists take on whats going on in Myanmar ? It seems totally contradictory to the general belief. 
  • Anyone had any experience with Nichiren Buddhism?
  • I’m not a practicer of Buddhism, but today I actually visited the Big Buddha statue in Phuket, Thailand. One of the most impressive pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen.
  • Good luck to you arsene.  Glad it’s making you happy
  • hawksmoor said:
    Anyone had any experience with Nichiren Buddhism?

    Is that the nam myoho renge Kyo bods? 

  • vff said:
    Whats all the Bhuddists take on whats going on in Myanmar ? It seems totally contradictory to the general belief. 
    Not just Myanmar unfortunately. 
    I fear it’s like any religion. Some just have to take it to the extreme. 

    We have a retreat here in West Cork if you fancy that & them come & hug some goats to complete your mindfulness xxxx
  • I think I should add that it's not just about meditating or going to the LBC or whatever venue you choose a few times a week.

    It's also about getting involved. It's about reading and practising the Dharma, trying to adapt it to ones life, particularly in our me me me, consumerist/materialist society and to break free from craving and being part of the Sangha can help with that.
  • But if you are in a retreat meditating in silence, can you still use your phone to keep up with the takeover thread? 
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Roland Out!