New to Buddhism

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WindSong
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:38 pm

New to Buddhism

Post by WindSong » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:47 pm

Hi all, my name is Doug. I'm 31 years old. My biggest fear is to be my true self in the presence of everyone. I usually only open up around people I'm comfortable with, so this makes for a stressful life.

I have been called "Buddhist"(before I became Buddhist) as a joke/insult due to my quiet nature and fear of being myself. I have just recently started the path to enlightenment. I am often afraid of saying/doing the wrong thing, and/or overlooking the right thing. I have been going to a Monastery in Richmond for a few days now, and today I went to one in Fairfield just to look around and was invited to stay for lunch. I never heard monks chanting until today, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but it was profound.

After lunch, I was looking at the shrine and felt a dark fear wash over me. I felt shame. But I had an inkling that this fear was some sort of obstacle. Maybe it was meant to show me that the path to enlightenment isn't always easy or understood. What is your take on this? I want to get outside opinions to learn others' points of view.

I've been occupying my time by studying Buddhism over the past week. I've called myself Buddhist for a year or so, but now I am committed. I had a deeply personal experience on my first visit to the temple in Richmond, which felt like pure contentment. I know that this is now my path. I've been listening to "Om Mani Padme Hum" chants most of the time I'm in my room. Even when I sleep. I have 115 days off of drugs and alcohol, and I have found eternal happiness that is more satisfying than any chemical I have consumed.

I am finding it somewhat difficult to find a school to adhere to, so I am open to all paths, going with what resonates with me. Am I wrong in doing this?

Namaste

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bodom
Posts: 6197
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by bodom » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:49 pm

Welcome Doug! I hope you find all that you need here on the forum.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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DNS
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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
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Re: New to Buddhism

Post by DNS » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:49 pm

Welcome to DW!

Glad to hear your recovery is going well.

:yingyang:

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Sam Vara
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:02 pm

Welcome Doug! :hello:

I'm glad to hear things are going better for you. Feelings of anxiety around new situations such as a monastery are quite common, so don't let it put you off! Just take things as they come, and look after your peace of mind.

Disciple
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by Disciple » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:14 pm

Welcome :buddha2:

WindSong
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by WindSong » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:17 pm

Thank you Bodom, Thank you DNS, thank you Sam Vara, thank you Disciple :namaste:

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retrofuturist
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Re: New to Buddhism

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:19 pm

Greetings Doug,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Mkoll
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:30 am

Hey Doug, welcome. Sounds like you're in the Bay Area. I highly recommend going up to Abhayagiri Monastery up north, especially if you can stay for a few days or longer. The abbot there is very kind, wise and experienced in answering all kinds of questions from folks, Buddhist, non-Buddhist or anything in between. If you go, see if you can be up there when he is present as he travels quite a bit.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

WindSong
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by WindSong » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:05 am

Thank you Retrofuturist and Mkoll. Mkoll thank you for the information. I just read up on the monastery and submitted a request. I hope I can get in this year. It would be such an honor to learn in depth for a few days about Buddhist traditions. :namaste:

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Mkoll
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Location: California

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by Mkoll » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:34 am

Glad to hear it, I'm sure they'll be able to accommodate you.

There's also Aloka Vihara monastery. I haven't been myself, but I've seen their abbess give a talk and she's inspiring.

If you're near Berkeley, some of the Abhayagiri monks come down on the first Tuesday of every month and some of the Aloka Vihara nuns come down on the 3rd Sunday to Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (at least when they're not on the winter retreat which is from January-March).
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

WindSong
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: New to Buddhism

Post by WindSong » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:02 am

Thank you Mkoll

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