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Anyone interested in Buddhism?

(42 Posts)
Reenypip Thu 16-Feb-12 20:45:49

Since I've had life threatening illnesses and have developed multiple chronic health problems, my views of life changed.
I came across Buddhism one day out of the blue. I think it was the topic of mindfulness, and if I had a bad thought, they said to me to recognise and accept it, and just let it pass by. And also if washing dishes concentrate on doing that, how does it feel, etc. same as eating, the taste, the smell, texture. And just do that one thing.
I then decided to buy a book on Buddhism to find out more about it, and my interest has grown from their.
My motto for life is to live now in the moment. The past is gone and can't change it but can learn from it, and the future is yet to come, anything could happen. So live right now. Life is so precious.
Most people take the most basic smallest things for granted. But they are the most important.
I'm thinking of going to a local Buddhist centre sometime to find out more and meet others interested in the same thing.

Anyone have an interest in Buddhism? How did it come about?

FlamingoBingo Fri 17-Feb-12 10:13:29

Yes, I am very interested in the Eastern religions (although don't like the word 'religion' because of the connotations it carries thanks to patriarchal, power-based religions). I definitely take a lot of inspiration for my own spiritual path from Buddhist teachings.

I hope you write here about your journey exploring Buddhism!

floatinglotus Fri 17-Feb-12 10:29:43

Hi, me too.

My story is very similar to yours, I first encountered Buddhism almost 2 yrs ago through reading about mindfulness in the context of dealing with serious health problems. It was so different to what I had heard of before that I was very intrigued, started meditating and did some more research on Buddhist teachings. The more I read, the more it made sense.

I don't go to a local group yet, but I've been on a retreat and have just gotten back into sitting regularly. I've really found it life changing- my instinct is to run as far away from anxiety & difficult emotions as possible, but practicing meditation is teaching me how to stay present & not run away from my body and mind. I'm also working on developing compassion, as it is so key to cultivating the healthy mind states which lead to non attachment.

So yes, I think I'm ready to call myself a Buddhist now smile

WisteriaWoman Fri 17-Feb-12 19:51:51

Hi,
Sorry to hear about your health problems. I can understand why you find Buddhism so attractive. Personally, I find buddhism teachings really interesting and useful and life is so much better when I regularly meditate.

My favourite book (recommended on to me by another MNer)is "Buddhism for Mothers" by Sarah Napthali. Her advice is shop around regarding which Buddhist group you want to join as there are so many. Find something that suits you and suits your timetable.

I'm going to go to see Thich Naht Hanh on his next tour of the UK in March (He's big on mindfulness if you haven't heard of him before)
www.mindfulnessretreats.org.uk/

I've also recently started an online mindfulness course (free!) which is amazing: sites.google.com/site/mindfulnessonlinecourse/Home
You download guided meditations and they are amazing IMO

Metta
WW

TherapeuticVino Sat 18-Feb-12 18:19:02

I'm just starting to learn about it too. I've found the more I read the more I identify with it. I have a 10 year old with OCD and much of her therapy is based around living in the moment and really feeling and experiencing the here and now, so we are reading some books on mindfulness together. I think some meditation might really help her but am unsure where to start...

I'll be looking at the links further up - thank you!

cockneydad Sun 19-Feb-12 19:35:33

Hi all - I'm a buddhist too - I sit with the samatha trust (lay thai buddhist organisation). I have been a committed buddhist for about 18 months - before that I had dabbled a bit on and off for a number of years. I initially got interested in buddhism via taoism as a former tai chi player.

I have a chronic back problem and mindfulness does help that and most other things too !

OP - I would advise finding a group to meditate / hang out with, there are many in the UK, so of there is more than one place near you, you might want to check out a couple. Buddhism comes in many flavours and it sometimes takes people a while to find out what suits them. If you need any help finding somewhere, there is a good world directory on buddhanet. Let me know if you need any help.

Reenypip Mon 20-Feb-12 21:28:00

Does anyone have a favourite book on Buddhism/meditation etc?

I know, it's going to be more learning through experience and meditating.

I have on my iPhone, some Buddhism apps and meditation, and nature sounds of all sorts including running water, birds and chanting.

cockneydad Tue 21-Feb-12 07:21:56

Hi Reeny - there are loads of good books out there, like all things, what one person thinks is great, another will not be too bothered about. Some of the ones I have found particularly useful are: 'Being Nobody, Going Nowhere' by Ayya Khema; 'Buddhism,plain and simple' by Steve Hagan; The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. 'What the Buddha Taught' by Walpola Rahula is a classic textbook on buddhism. There is a wealth of free material on buddhanet.net as well - lots of free ebooks. Also, accesstoinsight.org has a lot of English translations of the suttas - the oldest teachers of the buddha. These are probably a little more suitable for those a bit further along in their practice as they are long and often quite complex. However, one that is worth a look at some stage is the anapana sati sutta (mindfulness of breathing)http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html. This is the basis of most variations on meditation involving the breath which is found in just about every type of buddhism.

TheCunningStunt Tue 21-Feb-12 07:30:18

Buddhism for mothers is an excellent book. It really changed the way I parent.

Like you, I a, sort of at the start of my journey, and not really sure where to take it next. My nearest centre closed down so I have no access to it locally.
I am currently reading Modern Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. It's a bit tough going at times but very good.

I get confused by the different types blush

cockneydad Tue 21-Feb-12 09:53:21

Hi cunning - the different flavours of buddhism can be quite confusing! The core concepts, ultimately are: developing mindfulness, both in formal meditation and everyday life; and letting go of negative thought patterns.

There are essentially two main schools of buddhism: theravada and mahayana and within mahayana there are sub-groups like zen, tibetan (or 'tantric') and a range of others. In terms of practice, the main differences are that some schools of tibetan buddhism use a lot of symbols, complex visualizations and mantras part of meditation. Theravada and zen focus on awareness of breathing and 'watching the mind' during meditation (which you also find in tibetan schools too!) - the monastics tend to chant a lot as well, but not the same way as the tibetans. Although there are some academic differences and different sutras/suttas, most of the differences are cultural, given that buddhism moved from india/nepal into other parts of asia and now the west.

I wouldn't worry too much at this stage, you will find what is right for you. The key thing is developing mindfulness and getting some 'cushion time'

TheCunningStunt Tue 21-Feb-12 10:23:19

Thankyou!...

WisteriaWoman Sat 25-Feb-12 20:17:44

Have just found out that Sarah Napthali (author of Buddhism for Mothers) has recently had another book published " Buddhism for Parents on the Go". Brilliant - just like all her other books and handbag sized! What could be better??
smile

cockneydad Mon 27-Feb-12 12:04:36

Sounds interesting Wisteria - I haven't read any of her books yet !

blapbird Wed 11-Apr-12 23:16:04

An excellent book by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is Transform Your Life, amazing book smile

Reenypip Sun 06-May-12 23:07:45

I've just finished reading the book recommend by others on here, Buddhism for mothers. A great read and will be sharing this with my friends.

Reenypip Sun 06-May-12 23:09:17

Does anyone know of any online support to talk / chat with others who are more experienced Buddhists, who could help guide me?

CatPower Mon 07-May-12 21:22:48

Just sticking my tuppence worth in here to say I'm also really interested in Buddhism and mindfulness. I'm also dealing with chronic pain (related to a lifelong hip condition) and bad depression, and was introduced to mindfulness and meditation at the end of one of my group therapy sessions (yet another reason why I love the NHS!). Those five minutes of peace and just concentrating on my breathing helped more than the rest of the two hour session, and cemented my interest in Buddhism. I'm just about to buy "Buddhism for Mothers", and I've had a copy of an introduction to Buddhism from the "Teach Yourself" series kicking about my bookshelves for a while - time to get reading it I think!

WisteriaWoman Wed 09-May-12 17:36:24

So pleased you like BUddhism for Mothers. I really like BUddhism for Parents on the Go - it made me laugh out loud.
A simple way of getting into the habit of meditation and mindfulness is to use the www.Getsomeheadspace.com website course and app.

Reenypip Thu 10-May-12 08:38:07

Hi wisteria woman, thanks for the link, very helpful.
How old is your child / children?
My 'baby' well not so much baby any more, turned 1 at the end of April.

Ismeyes Sat 12-May-12 20:24:16

I'm just getting interested and I'm thinking of going on a beginners retreat day. I'm still not too sure what is attracting me to it, but I need to slooooowwww down.

oscarsmumm Mon 14-May-12 16:32:30

Hi,

I am a regular lurker around these pages and after a few years of practicising the LOA and being interested in living a more serene life, I have decided to document my journey in a blog. I would be great if you could subscribe and share your experiences/offer suggestions for posts etc. It would be great to share this journey with other like-minded people :-) :-)

thesoulsanctum.blogspot.co.uk

NorfolkNChance Mon 14-May-12 16:34:30

Hi

I'm just starting on my Buddhist journey and am following Soka Gakki Buddhism, very early days at the moment but it's an exciting journey.

CatPower Mon 14-May-12 17:41:36

Just googling Soka Gakki Buddhism, NorfolkNChance. What is it like? How are you feeling it affect you (if at all)? Sorry if I'm being nosy, just keen to learn and get some knowledge.

NorfolkNChance Tue 15-May-12 10:17:59

It's a lay Buddhism based on Nichiren. It originated in Japan. I like it because it's not strict, it's very relaxed and the gongyo is a beautiful chant to focus the mind. SGI have local branches all over the country.

Reenypip Tue 15-May-12 13:48:07

How did you choose a type of Buddhism best suited to you? Did you go to a few different groups and continued with the one that was for you, that felt right.

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