On Becoming A Buddhist.

Hitomi (@kidvisions) 9 years, 6 months ago

Some people can live without religion, either embrace atheism or simply be spiritual but not religious.
For me, it has always been a struggle. I was born in a Muslim family, and I live in a Muslim society, but I have become convinced three years ago that Islam is not for me, at least not as a personal religion (I have learned to embrace the Islamic culture as part of my identity but not necessarily part of my faith)
I don’t know if anyone feels the same way as me, but I feel the need to follow a certain religion. I don’t know, I feel that it gives sense to many things I do. I have been thinking a lot about becoming a Buddhist lately, but I don’t know…
Is there any Buddhist converts here? Has anyone thought about becoming a Buddhist?

** The only problem is that I don’t like “categorization” or the idea of “becoming this or that category”… What do you guys think?

May 27, 2012 at 1:29 am
Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

nobody interested?

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MultiDimensionalOmniThinker (1) (@wesfranchise) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@kidvisions, Do what feels right to you. Religions have been and will continue to be a huge passion of mine. There are many truths to many of them, and, unfortunately, there also many fallacies to most, if not all, of them the moment man becomes involved. We’re the (potential) faults. We’re the (potential) fallacies. So, once our hands touch and manipulate the Divine (or however you wish to call it), it’s prone to corruption. “To thine own self be true.” -Polonius

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Hannah (18) (@born2tap) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I know exactally how you feel! I was born in a jewish family, and I always knew that it was not for me. Then, in about seventh grade, we started learning about other religions in school. Buddhism seemed perfect! But, like you, I was a bit skeptical. So I went home and told my mom about it and she happened to be very into buddhism as well, so she gave me a ton of books on it! I fell in love with it instantly. For me, it was everything I was looking for: morals and values that are not based on fear, but happiness, a philosophy without the need to “believe” anything, and a great community of people! Unfortunately, (and you seem to have a similar problem here) I am the only teen buddhist I know of in my area. I am surrounded by born again Christians mostly. I find it very hard to find a sense of community, but there are such things as online teen buddhist sanghas which are basically just a place where buddhists teens come together to discuss buddhist topics and ideas and stuff. I have yet to find one…but maybe you can! Also, there is a great book if you are a teen looking into buddhism called “Buddha in your backpack”. It’s a little silly at first, but that was the book that really got me going. I obviously think it is a fantastic idea for you to look into it (you don’t even have to ‘convert’ or call yourself buddhist. I still have a hard time saying I am), and even if you decide it isn’t right for you, at least you are closer to finding the one that is! But before you really commit, I would say read more about it. Meditate (and know why you need to). Talk to other buddhists. And if you feel really brave, go to a retreat (I just went to my first one a few months ago and it was so great to meet other buddhists- and even monks! But of course, I was the youngest one there…). Then if you feel that the philosophy is rewarding to you, follow it not because you feel like it would be good, but because you know it is. I hope my mini novel here has helped you…if you need anything else just let me know! I would love to hear what you decide!

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cheeky (76) (@cheeky) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

As a semi-recent Buddhist convert, i would highly reccomend it. After having a transformative spiritual experience, it was made apparent to me that finding some sort of spiritual discipline may help align my life with a higher purpose and understanding.

First, i would not even say Buddhism is a religion, its more like a philosophy. A philosophy that prizes self improvement through the stilling of the mind. Studying Buddhism has helped me uncover ignorant views in every facet of my life. It has contributed to an overall feeling of peace that I have found no comparison.

Buddhism is the science of the human mind through awareness. Monks have studied every facet of the mind for thousands openly share its inner workings to assist every human find happiness and enlightenment. The wisdom cultivated through this understanding is something everyone should check out. If self improvement, compulsion control, peace, knowledge and wisdom are your goals, look no further!

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ianr (1) (@dadorian) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@kidvisions, I think the important thing is to not stop looking. I have found a great deal of meaning and understanding from the teachings of the Buddha so would encourage you to continue down that path.I am not sure conversion is aterm that fits well with Buddhist teachings which is probably why I have kept at it. good luck :)

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BSpankalicious (0) (@elamgirl) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I became interested in Nichren Daishonin Buddhism 10 years ago. A friend taught me how to chant and study the teachings, but at the same time I was not sure if it was for me.I was stradling the fence between Christianity and Buddhism. The more I chanted the more I was empowered. This is the Higher Power of my choice.My lifelong partner is Muslim, but he’s ok with my choice.

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Hannah (18) (@born2tap) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

Also, the great thing about Buddhism is you don’t have to be exclusive. Many people practice buddhism while still being Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. Buddhism is about being happy. So practice what you want as long as it makes you happy. :)

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Hitomi (67) (@kidvisions) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@wesfranchise, Thank you for your post! I am reading life of Pi and your post reminded me of it! :)

@born2tap, I have already done meditation, and I’ve read things on Buddhism but it’s true it’s not enough! What I know is I really need to follow a spiritual path and right now the only one I trust is Buddhism.

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Sean D Stevens (155) (@thelaughingfool) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@born2tap, agreed. I consider myself a Buddhist even though I think the Buddha got a lot of things wrong. I don’t believe that the end all meaning of life is suffering. I tend to think of the meaning as struggle (and yes, there is a difference). Just because we live in a world a finite resources and have to fight to survive doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. But that’s my path to enlightenment. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Hannah (18) (@born2tap) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@thelaughingfool, that is really interesting! I have never heard that before but will look into it. It’s really great that you don’t agree with everything. It proves that you are not just blindly following something because you agree with most of it. The best people doubt everything.

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Euro (7) (@intellectualblasphemy) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I’ve been full on Buddhism practices since November 2011, It’s been great.
It all started one day with a deep spiritual awakening, before that I was an atheist who didn’t believe in the spirit and all that, but all that changed when I became one with the universe and at some point during that experience it became apparent that Buddhism was the way I needed to follow. Don’t regret a bit of it.

@thelaughingfool, I’ve heard that before and it’s a common misunderstanding caused by translation, my school of Buddhism comes from the Tibet and they always laugh when someone asks them that question, but what the Buddha meant is that when your happiness depends on impermanent things, suffering will be inevitable (eventually). And there’s more to it than that, but for the sake of keeping it short I recommend you to go to a Buddhist center to get your doubts cleared, and meanwhile search on Google for common Buddhist misunderstandings.
Also for those interested and those who’d like to know if there is a Buddhist center near your city just go here http://www.diamondway-buddhism.org/default.asp?col=05&t=global.htm

I’d also like to mention that in my opinion the Buddha was right about everything, so far I haven’t heard one thing that made me doubt the teachings, and I did, it was something like the friend here @thelaughingfool, It was merely a misunderstanding, and all that keeping in mind that I’m a very logic and questioning person by nature.
Peace and hope it helps.

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Hannah (18) (@born2tap) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I agree with you there. It seems to make sense.

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Hannah (18) (@born2tap) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

The misunderstanding part, I mean. Although Buddha seems to make sense, too! :)

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Adam Smith (113) (@adamsmith) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I practice Zen Buddhism, and have been more lucid in the last year or so than I have my entire life. I wouldn’t say that I am happier, though, and I will explain why. Buddhism allows one to attain a state of neutrality and free one’s self from karmic bonds both good and bad. This means that as a Buddhist, you are not supposed to be a “good” person or a “bad” person, but a person of wisdom and compassion. Compassion and goodness are two different things. Good cannot exist without bad, so to be a good person is to avoid being bad, which is in itself a desire. Seeking happiness is just as harmful as seeking sadness. None of this really makes sense until one has a self-transcendent experience and realizes the futility of a dualistic mindset. Buddhism truly is a path of liberation, but it is not a religion. In a funny sort of way, Buddhism is essentially the practice of being aware of your breath. All of the other stuff (emptiness, ego-death, nirvana) comes a result of this. Meditation ultimately brings you to a moment of clarity where the entire Universe lands in front of your lap and you realize that there is no such thing as religion, or any other word for that matter. There are just trees and birds flying around, a high pitch ringing in your ears, and some aches in your body. None of this has to do with worshiping anything or prayer or other delusional stuff. There’s just now.

I prefer the school of Zen because it is very simple and pays very little attention to tradition and ritual. It is so simple, and also very humorous. Zen masters will often say things that make absolutely no sense to show the student how enlightenment comes from the (monkey) mind breaking down and quitting. When asked to explain Buddhism, I tell people, “Buddhism is purple.” Hehe. I know where you’re coming from when you say that you need a religion. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household and was raised to believe that the entire Bible was the inerrant word of Yahweh. (Spoiler alert: it isn’t) So when I took some mushrooms and snapped out of the 19 year old spell that was cast on me I was in need of an alternative spiritual practice. Thus, Buddhism.

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Euro (7) (@intellectualblasphemy) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@adamsmith, Zen is also a beautiful school of Buddhism, anything that makes you be more alive is beautiful.
Maybe you need more meditation, and you’ll get to the point that spontaneous moments of happiness and laughter comes out of nowhere (by the fact that you are alive and in the now) and you make everyone around you smile and laugh.
And congrats on getting out of the spell, may you find bliss
I remembered this video btw, it’s just like I was saying.

To everyone: please spread the word anytime you see someone has a misunderstanding with what Buddhism teaches, because those teachings, if well understood, can change your life forever to things so great you never imagined. Thanks.

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Adam Smith (113) (@adamsmith) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@intellectualblasphemy, there’s always room for improvement :)

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