The amount of information on this forum is overwhelming; it's great but I would like some guidance before I get completely lost.
First, some information about myself. I come from a conservative Christian background (Orthodoxy) but have always held less that conservative views in certain aspects. Most of this differences were in how Christianity was practiced. I always felt the need to be first kind, then right but in my own congregation it was usually opposite, e.g. if you do something wrong during the service, you would usually be told off by someone in congregation. Not uncommon for Orthodoxy, but painful for me to see. I am not great in Theology and have spent around 4 years in my parish before I grew completely disenchanted by the religion. At the same time, my views evolved to something I can only guess is more close to Buddhism than to anything else. Currently, I am on a quest to verifying this, but I have little idea of where to start.
I was first introduced to Buddhism through the works of Ajahn Brahm, mostly through his video talks and podcasts and it stunned how close many of his views are to my heart. I have also recently attended a Zen Buddhism centre in Toronto, Ontario.
[b]Now to the meat of the question: what do I need to learn to start practicing Theravada Buddhism by myself? I have not found any congregations around Toronto. Do I give idea and give Zen a shot? Or can I get away by learning some theoretical aspects and then visit Theravada places of practice infrequently and work on practical aspects by myself?[\b]
I am especially concerned about meditation, since this seems to be something that takes some showing to learn. Any advice will be appreciated.
You could try Mahamena Monastry in Toronto. This monastry follows Sri Lankan Theravadian tradition. Details below:
Mahamevna Bhavana Asapuwa
11175 Kennedy Road , Markham , Ontario , L6C 1P2 Canada
Tel: (905) 927 7117