Post by retrofuturist on Dec 29, 2008 17:57:09 GMT 10
I got into Buddhism though a friend who is with the FWBO, so I started reading a few books, articles, suttas and so on and the Theravada stuff just seemed more plausible to me. That's pretty much all my initial assessment was based on... occam's razor, what seems most likely to represent what the Buddha taught.
Post by jcsuperstar on Dec 29, 2008 19:49:01 GMT 10
i had been practicing zen for 5 years under a Japanese priest and had decided to go to Nepal to teach English to Tibetan refugees, well, fighting broke out with the Maoists and they recommended that Americans not go there, so i stayed in bangkok and ended up living at Wat Mahathat. i also started reading the works of Buddhadasa.... when i came back to the states i started attending a Thai Wat...
Post by dhammanando on Dec 30, 2008 1:05:21 GMT 10
The first Buddhist book that I read was Christmas Humphreys' The Wisdom of Buddhism, an anthology of the teachings from various Buddhist schools. The selections from the Pali Suttas were the only part that I could understand and it was these that awakened an interest in the Dhamma. Nonetheless I didn't immediately become a Theravadin Buddhist, just a generic one.
For the next couple of years I sat with a local Soto Zen group —it was at that time the only Buddhist group to be found in my hometown— and occasionally made trips to London to listen to talks by various teachers at the London Buddhist Society, and to Chithurst Forest Monastery (Ajahn Sumedho's first monastery in the UK) to hobnob with the bhikkhus there.
It happened that at one point I became quite an enthusiast for the writings of Sangharakshita, the founder of the FWBO. Although he himself is a Mahayana-centred eclectic, in his Survey of Buddhism he makes some comment to the effect that until one has read the whole of the Pali Sutta Pitaka one hasn't even begun to understand Buddhism. Taking this assertion to heart, I immediately went to my local hippy bookshop and ordered I.B. Horner's translation of the Majjhima Nikaya. And the rest is history.
Post by appicchato on Dec 30, 2008 21:37:09 GMT 10
Coming to Thailand in the mid seventies immediately presented me with an opportunity to delve deeper into Buddhism...I picked up some books (What the Buddha Taught (Walpola Rahula), Handbook for Mankind (Buddhadasa Bhikkhu), Buddhism Explained (Khantipalo Mills)), and subsequently had the urge to make a pilgrimage to Lumbini, the Buddha's birthplace...it's been a gradual process, but one I'm grateful to have been exposed to, and receptive to also...
I do believe it when it is said that one is fortunate to come into contact with the Dhamma...
I think it would be more accurate to say that it tapped on my shoulder and discovered me. That is to say, I had been practising (more or less) a Theravadan way of Buddhism for some time, before I realised it. A few sharp smacks on the back of the metaphorical head, from well-meaning instructors set me right, and the rest, as they say is history.