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I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:46 pm
by OneWayOut
Hey,

I'm from France and since a few months I'm going to this weekly Triratna Buddhist Community. Well I can't go every week but I go whenever I can.

I became intrested in Buddhism, when I started to learn about the practice of mindfullness and the fact that thoughts and emotions are nothing more than just thoughts and emotions. (simply put)
Realising that I don't have to run from my own fears or other uncomfortable feelings and that I can face them without any judgement, has been a real eye-opener.

I'm 21 now and recently I really started to realise how much I run away from myself.On days I don't have school or work, I get up, put some music on, sit behind the computer. I realise I don't have anything to do on the computer. Put the computer away, after a while start to feel uncomfortable, put some music on. After a while I put the computer back on and here we go again.

I'm not into gaming or other computer stuff, I like to learn so I read a lot on the computer. But in 6 or 12 months I'm moving out from my parents house and I'm preparing myself to a life without any computer, tv or other mind numbing stuff. I'm getting better at it, it used to be so hard for me but now I'm able to meditate for 20-30min in one session. And everyday I give myself this "1 hour no distraction-time" where I just meditate and do some form of yoga. Some days I do one 1-hour session and some days 2 or more. My goal is to increase it slowly.

At the Triratna Buddhist Community. I learned 3 different forms of meditation: The Bodyscan, Awareness of the Breathing and loving-kindness meditation. At home I usually do the first 2. I try to keep it as simple as possible.

Still, I have some question for you guys. The Triratna Buddhist Community I attend is in my humble opinion a good one, everyone seems nice and the teacher seems like a good person and down to earth. Also he keeps everything really simple which is good for me now.

The course I attend is an introduction course and we basically learn about one of the 3 meditation forms every week. It's free, but we can give dana if we want. Which is a sign of good intentions for me. After a few sessions we can attend the other Sangha, which is for the more experienced ones and is more Buddhism than the course I attend now. Now it's more about Mindfullness which is only a part of Buddhism.

So being intrested in also joining the other Sanga I started to read about the Triratna Buddhist Community yesterday and seems like it doesn't really have a good reputation especially his founder. It has made me a bit suspicious honestly. Can you guys give me some insight about this?

Metta

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:34 pm
by LonesomeYogurt
Without accusing anyone of anything, I would recommend that you try and find a more grounded, conservative branch of Theravada. If you give us the general area in which you live, I'm sure we could easily help you find some Buddhist organizations close to you. Triratna is better than not practicing, but I think you'll find a spiritual purity and focus in other organizations that will be very beneficial.

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:49 pm
by Mawkish1983
My opinion, if you find it beneficial, stick with it. I first encountered mindfulness meditation training with that order.

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:52 pm
by reflection
Hi! Salut!

Well, I don't know that particular community, but one thing I can say in general: There's always two things to keep apart; There's the group and there's the practice.

What's most important is what's going on in your mind, how you practice. If you feel it's working for you, keep doing it. It's really great to do meditation! By practicing you learn to rely on yourself. And after a while you will start to get a place of peace in the mind, that's like an island you can always go back to.

Groups are external things. They will never be perfect. There will be people who you don't like, practices you may not really like. Other people will try to put the group or tradition down because they don't agree with it or whatever. But if you are your own island, you won't get dragged along by this. You can be happy in the group and outside of the group and the problems won't really hit you as much.

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:35 am
by Alobha
reflection wrote:Hi! Salut!

Well, I don't know that particular community, but one thing I can say in general: There's always two things to keep apart; There's the group and there's the practice.

What's most important is what's going on in your mind, how you practice. If you feel it's working for you, keep doing it. It's really great to do meditation! By practicing you learn to rely on yourself. And after a while you will start to get a place of peace in the mind, that's like an island you can always go back to.

Groups are external things. They will never be perfect. There will be people who you don't like, practices you may not really like. Other people will try to put the group or tradition down because they don't agree with it or whatever. But if you are your own island, you won't get dragged along by this. You can be happy in the group and outside of the group and the problems won't really hit you as much.
:goodpost:

Also: "No one in the world goes unblamed." – Dhp
People praise and blame others all the time. Find out about the people for yourself - that is better than believing in chatter. It's certainly good that they don't charge fees at the place. Once they are out for your money, watch out ;) And generally just keep an eye on whether dealing with the people there is helpful for you on the path or not and whether the teachers behave in accordance to the buddhas teachings or not (and if there are monks: whether they keep their rules / follow the dhamma-vinaya).

Best wishes,
Alobha

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:41 am
by OneWayOut
Thank you everyone for your answers.
LonesomeYogurt wrote:Without accusing anyone of anything, I would recommend that you try and find a more grounded, conservative branch of Theravada. If you give us the general area in which you live, I'm sure we could easily help you find some Buddhist organizations close to you. Triratna is better than not practicing, but I think you'll find a spiritual purity and focus in other organizations that will be very beneficial.
Could you explain a bit more. Why do you think it's better to find another organizations and what's the main difference with others?

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:51 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings OWO,

As FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order), Triratna had something of a chequered history. Google "FWBO Files" for more information. The spiritual head of the FWBO, Sangharakshita, who was the centre of past controversy is now an old man, and I believe he isn't particularly active in terms of setting current and future direction for the organisation. Furthermore, many of the centres are decentralised in terms of their local management.

For these reasons, I wouldn't give a blanket recommendation or warning about any particular Triratna centre, other than to go see for yourself whether it seems fit for purpose, and to see for yourself whether it seems legit. What they are attempting to do, i.e. present the Dhamma in a manner acceptable to Western culture, is a noble endeavour and whilst they have made some mistakes along the way, that's part of the learning curve for a new(ish) spiritual organisation with big plans.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:10 am
by cooran
Retrofuturist said: As FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order), Triratna had something of a chequered history. Google "FWBO Files" for more information.
Hello Retro, all,

The FWBO Files only relate to those centres in the UK – But one ought to examine any teachers and fellow students in other geographical areas – just as one would assess any new organisation one is thinking of joining.
http://www.fwbo-files.com/FWBOFiles/fwbofiles.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:13 am
by OneWayOut
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings OWO,

As FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order), Triratna had something of a chequered history. Google "FWBO Files" for more information. The spiritual head of the FWBO, Sangharakshita, who was the centre of past controversy is now an old man, and I believe he isn't particularly active in terms of setting current and future direction for the organisation. Furthermore, many of the centres are decentralised in terms of their local management.

For these reasons, I wouldn't give a blanket recommendation or warning about any particular Triratna centre, other than to go see for yourself whether it seems fit for purpose, and to see for yourself whether it seems legit. What they are attempting to do, i.e. present the Dhamma in a manner acceptable to Western culture, is a noble endeavour and whilst they have made some mistakes along the way, that's part of the learning curve for a new(ish) spiritual organisation with big plans.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Thanks for answering!

Yes I saw that article yesterday, I read part of it was already enough for me to start feeling bad and angry so I stopped.(Angry because yet again someone uses his power to abuse other people)

But like I said the teacher and the other students are all nice people.

What my main question actually is, the main meditation techniques are they somehow different from the one they use in Theravada communities?

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:03 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
OneWayOut wrote:What my main question actually is, the main meditation techniques are they somehow different from the one they use in Theravada communities?
Metta cultivation is similar.

Mindfulness of breath (anapanasati) is similar.

Body-scan doesn't really align very closely with the Satipatthana Sutta, unlike the Goenka style body-scan for example, which does.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:16 am
by OneWayOut
Yeah sorry my fault. Body scan isn't really a part of the meditation techniques we just use it as introduction, teacher told us that.

Re: I'm new here and I have some questions for you guys.

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:42 pm
by nobody12345
If one cannot find a truly worthy teacher (Ariya homeless ones), then another alternative is to practice alone in seclusion with the genuine Dhamma (the 4 major Nikayas) as a map/compass for his/her practice.
You cannot go wrong with this method.