SonOtheSouth wrote:I'm new to Buddhism, and not sure where to begin... or even where it would even fit in to my life as a christian. But what little I have read about it, it seems like something I need to learn more about and apply to my life in some way. I have read that Theravada Buddhism is the original, in which the Buddha taught the way to end suffering in one's life, and that it was not religious in any way. That he denied that he was in any way a deity, and neither denied or affirmed the existence of God. On the other hand my understanding is that Mahayana is a bit different in that it is this group that says prayers to Buddha or whatever. ( is this right ? forgive my ignorance on the subject ) As such, perhaps the teachings of the Theravada tradition are something that can help me in my own life.
I'm not sure how, or where to begin. But I do know that my life has been full of a great deal of suffering, mostly at the hands of my own mind, which I find impossible to control. It is this that I'm seeking to eliminate... Not really sure what the point of this post is, other than to just confirm that I have the above understanding correct, and to just get some advice on where to go from here.
First off, you're right that Theravada is very practical and does not see the Buddha as anything more than a human being, albeit a very wise and beautiful one.
The Buddha's methods of meditation are capable of helping anyone, Buddhist or not. The Christian mind and the Buddhist mind are no different; each one is filled with defilement and pain, and each one can clean it out!
You might enjoy this monk's introduction to meditation. It is very easy to do!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLvU7ppM ... B03E12F5A1
Otherwise, Mindfulness in Plain English
is a great resource as well.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.
Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.
His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti SuttaStuff I write about things.