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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:25 PM

How to begin?

I have been interested in Buddhism as such for quite a long time. I was wondering if there were anyone on the board who could help me in researching the general tenets of Buddhism. Recently, I have been doing a lot of meditation as a way of recovering from depression (that does sound puerile I know) and due to it's strong association with Buddhism, I want to know more about it.
Can anyone help?

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply How to begin? (Original post)
ballaratocker Nov 2012 OP
SoapBox Nov 2012 #1
byeya Nov 2012 #2
Shankapotomus Nov 2012 #3
marasinghe Nov 2012 #4

Response to ballaratocker (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:57 AM

1. I will be looking forward to what folks here have to say...

I would say that I'm in about the same "boat".

But...and this is not really an excuse but, I'm using it as such...my life is frantic and stuff to do all the time...and I care give...and, on and on and on.

At this time, I have to do give and take with my time.

I have hopes to some day to truly be able to focus on Buddhism.

Best of luck.

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Response to ballaratocker (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:42 AM

2. Do you have access to, or interest in, a Buddhist congregation? If so that would be one way to


start. Go and say you're new and want to learn, you will be made to feel welcome.

If you are like many in North America, then you're solitary and have to rely on books. To get an overview of Buddhism - there are several lineages and permutations within these - then a book like A Buddhist Bible by Goddard is still a good overview of Buddhism. It's available and cheap used on eBay and not too expensive at new book dealers.

I would not recommend you begin with a Tibetan tradition or Rinzai Zen because I think you need a teacher(s) for them but Soto Zen a solitary person can comprehend and practice.

The first thing, I think, is to get an feel for the diversity and pick a school that you think fits your personality and situation. Second, read and reread the Buddhist Eightfold Path and begin modifying your life to conform to the extent you are able. Doing this will make your meditation more productive in my opinon.

Remember, Buddhism is something you do as much or more then something you believe and it's perfectly OK to switch from one tradition if you don't feel you are making sufficient progress.

I wish you all the best and hope you quickly find a suitable tradition.

[There are several books written for Westerners about Buddhism so the one I mentioned is just one of many and probably is no longer the best one but it's fairly comprehensive.]

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Response to ballaratocker (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:27 AM

4. i'd suggest going through the different threads on this group, for a start.

you'll find quite a bit of information & links.

and: no - meditation as a help towards recovery from depression, is not puerile.
it is a fairly common practice these days (have it from my daughter, who's a psychiatrist.)

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