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Mon Apr 24, 2017, 12:11 AM

The Compassion Files: Introduction

Last edited Mon Apr 24, 2017, 12:50 AM - Edit history (1)

I don't know a lot about Buddhism, but I've read some books on the subject and I've got more on the way. I would really like to go to a temple, but I live in a small town that doesn't have one. I also work a crazy schedule. The nearest temple is about 50 miles away, but the distance wouldn't be a big problem if it weren't for the crazy work schedule. They don't have scheduled services at any time I'd be able to go.

But, like I said, I've done some reading and I know that one of the core values of Buddhism is lovingkindness. Buddhists believe that everyone should be treated with respect and love. That doesn't mean that Buddhists are pushovers- respect and love for everyone includes yourself.

I've also been reading about Hinduism and they have similar ideas about how we should treat each other. Ram Dass is a good place for westerners to look for an introduction to Hinduism. I credit him with helping me to open up my heart. I'm still struggling with it as you will see, but the lock is undone and the door is open a little.

So I've decided to start a series of posts about compassion. I'm going to draw from my own experience in my daily life for the most part. Ram Dass says that stuff is all grist for the mill of spiritual awakening. There are lessons and insights in everything that we do in our daily lives if we are able to quiet down enough inside to look for them and perceive them. That's what I'm going to try to do, and I'm hoping that we can help each other open up our hearts.

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Reply The Compassion Files: Introduction (Original post)
Tobin S. Apr 2017 OP
grantcart Apr 2017 #1
Tobin S. Apr 2017 #2
safeinOhio Apr 2017 #3

Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Mon Apr 24, 2017, 12:26 AM

1. Good luck

I don't know where you live and I don't know what your schedule is but if you could ever get a long weekend or a week off I recommend Wat Metta in Escondido (San Diego).

You can bring a sleeping bag and stay for free and practice meditation and get all the Buddhist materials in English you want. What makes this monastery so unusual is that all of the monks are American. The abbot, Phra Jeff, lived in Thailand for 20 years. Its a very disciplined temple. For example a novice monk must show their intent by living in a tent for a year (San Diego has moderate temperature) before being accepted as a Monk.

http://www.watmetta.org/

The Buddhist teacher that makes the most sense to me (and avoids all of the superstition that is often attached to local Buddhist sects) is Bhikkhu (teacher) Buddhadasa (pronounced Buddhatat) and would encourage you to read anything you can get.

http://www.buddhadasa.nalanda.org.br/100-years/

Namaste

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Response to grantcart (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 24, 2017, 12:49 AM

2. Thanks, grantcart.

I live in Indiana so San Diego is a no-can-do for me. But I appreciate the suggestion. I'll check out the teacher.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Mon Apr 24, 2017, 03:07 AM

3. I suggest to start with just two words....

Be nice.
Very simple, but not easy.

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