Hello from Ohio!

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Benjamin
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Hello from Ohio!

Postby Benjamin » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:10 am

Greetings Everyone,

It has been a couple weeks since I have actively been reading this forum on a regular basis, but I have known of dhammawheel for almost two years. I'd like to take a (hopefully) quick moment to explain.

In my rather typical western upbringing, I grew up in an Evangelical Christian household that we can say took their religion seriously. Even though our church had a 'rock band' and not an organ, it still felt quite forced to me and unreasonable. I attribute this to the fact that my parents chose this religion, and then rather unknowing of the consequences, forced it on me and my sister. I do not intend to make it seem all bad, as it wasn't, but now that I am in college my parents have at least partially accepted my lack of faith in Christian theology.

This unsatisfactoriness (Dukkha, one might say) with the answers of Christianity led me on a bit of searching. My journey was a bit long, as I didn't find the beauty of the Dhamma right away. I actually began with an interest in Islam, for its theology was more reasonable and it still contained elements of my Christian faith. I learnt some arabic and studied the Qur'an for several months, but ultimately theological issues like everlasting hell got in the way over time. I was left, however, with some lovely knowledge of an area of the world quite misunderstood these days.

After studying Islam, I was introduced to Buddhism briefly and this is where my initial meeting with dhammawheel happened as well. I was very impressed with the wisdom here, but ultimately was too immature to fully grasp some of the teachings like anatta at the time. If only I had read some Thanissaro Bhikku back then, I might have saved my self some time!

Nevertheless, I went on to read some of the philosophical works of Shri Adi Shankaracharya and the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. This proved to be initially helpful, as its view of God was more in line with my own philosophy. You can see the trend from Christianity's anthropomorphic God, to Islam's "too great to be described" formless creator, to the more subtle Brahman of the Upanishads. Again, this was initially very beneficial, but Philosophy took importance over actual practice as it often does with the western mind, and I became stagnant.

Luckily however, I was able to rediscover Buddhism several months ago, This time without much confusion. As you now know, I am intent on focusing on walking the Eightfold Path, not just reading or philosophizing about it. All of the regular contributors at dhammawheel have helped me greatly in the past several months, and for that I thank you. I hope to see you around!

Kind regards,
:anjali:
Benjamin
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha

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Ben
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:19 am

Hi Benjamin and welcome to Dhamma wheel!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel Benjamin!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:59 pm

:hello:
Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!
:popcorn:

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cooran
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby cooran » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:55 am

Welcome to DhammaWheel! :group:

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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bodom
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby bodom » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:17 pm

Welcome Benjamin!

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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retrofuturist
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:29 pm

Greetings Benjamin,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha2:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Hickersonia
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Re: Hello from Ohio!

Postby Hickersonia » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:04 am

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

It is nice to meet another fellow Ohioan. :) May you find peace, friend!
Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."


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