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wundayatta's avatar

Do you follow any Buddhist practices?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) December 26th, 2010

I’ve noticed a few people here make mention of yoga and meditation and various other Buddhist practices. In general, they seem to give wiser answers, in my opinion.

What I’d really like to know is how you found your way into these practices? At what point in your life did you first become aware? What attracted you? Where did you start?

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14 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

Personally, I try to live a peaceful life. That’s about it for me. Not a helpful answer, to be sure, but a helpful way to live.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Currently, no. I am however taking a buddist philosophy class next semester so that may change.

Coloma's avatar

I got into Eckhart Tolle about 7–8 years ago ‘now’.
Was a big fan of his work for about 5 years and have most of it on CD.

I usually spend at least 30 minutes a day in silence.

Then, I have brownie. lol

tragiclikebowie's avatar

In high school I became a Buddhist…sort of. I read extensively about it but never really ‘practiced’. I would still probably consider myself more Buddhist than anything else, and I keep a copy of the Dhammapadha by my bed. I’ve also been looking more into Daoism and Confucianism, as well.

I’m attracted by the sense of peace, well-being and interconnectedness. I started just by reading about it, really. I think the first book I read was “it’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhists Guide To Happiness” by Sylvia Boorstein.

Kraigmo's avatar

I practice mantra meditation, twice a day on the days I do it, similar to the T.M. taught by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who comes from a Hindu background. A huge component of Hinduism, the technique parts, are very similar, almost the same as Buddhism. I am not devout in it, and I am not faithful in it, and yet I know it works for me very well.

Then, each night, I read a book while listening to and learning from Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Jack Gariss, Krishnamurti, or Shinzen Young. The combination of listening to a talk about nature, Buddhism, or meditation, while reading a book…. makes me learn much while getting very sleepy.

These practices do not make me “more” peaceful than the average person. I have inner rage and inner stress alternating with galactic painful empathy, and so I need to do this more than the average person, probably.

I first learned that peaceful states of consciousness were possible on psychedelics. I also learned really quickly that I couldn’t rely on psychedelics to keep this peace. So I turned to trusted sources who spoke their words in ways that my heart knew for me is real. So that would be the author Ram Dass, who turned me on to the idea that inner peace is minute by minute and day by day, and nothing creates it and nothing destroys it. He made me realize that Indian Hindu Guru types really did have something to offer. Maybe not for me in person, but definitely for the world in general. That established my trust in the value of human spiritual guides. (Because usually such self-proclaimed people lead to disappointments and dead ends).

Then I moved to within reception range of KPFK radio. They play lectures by all the people I listed above, every weeknight in the middle of the night on their What’s Happening show, engineered by Roy of Hollywood.

After learning about that, I now access KPFK anywhere using the internet. I also learned mantra meditation by my own studying and through correspondence with others who’ve already cleared the path for me; and I practice it whenever life is stressful. It’d be more helpful for me to just practice it every day, probably, but like I said, I’m not disciplined in it.

LostInParadise's avatar

I start most mornings with a meditation of 20 to 30 minutes. Suffering from anxiety and depression, I sought out a way of achieving inner calm. It is a nice way of starting out the day. I would not say that it has changed me in any way, though I am interested in spiritual non-secular aspects of it. There is a large body of evidence that shows meditation can help with some psychological disorders. I recently had a bout of depression and found that a meditation could bring relief.

mammal's avatar

@uberbatman i would recommend some meditation instruction too, or you may fall foul of the purely intellectual take on Buddhism which is often meaningless and a trait of commentators from the western tradition.

iLove's avatar

12 years ago, I discovered the book __Conversations with God__ by Neale Walsh which resonated so loudly with me, it actually helped to get me “over” my religion. I found a great amount of peace in knowing that the Christian way wasn’t the only way. From there I discovered Yoga which brings in many of the Buddhist teachings.

There really is something to meditation. When I have gone through life without it, I have felt extremely anxious and have fallen prey to my emotions on occasion. With it, the same disturbances feel like background noise. They are still there, but not as prominent.

I too read the Eckhart Tolle books which really were a key to my personal awakening.

I discovered a book recently that really helped me learn more about Buddhism, kind of a Buddhism 101 if you will: __The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching__ by Thich Nhat Hanh. For me personally it really helped to understand how suffering, especially in people you encounter in every day life, affects humans and their response to each other. It also gives some really good background on the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Elements, which are key to the teachings of Buddhism.

The key reason I was attracted to Buddhism was my aversion to Christianity. At the age of 13, I found myself questioning the punishments that Christians handed out to each other. I also didn’t buy into the bible stories and the church’s everyday interpretation of them. So after seeking for a decade, I found something that resonated with me, and another decade later, I found Buddhism.

I find that meditation opens up my intuition, which helps in so many areas. With people especially. Instead of being tuned into that ongoing “head chatter” that we all have, I experience a much quieter head thanks to meditation. The benefits of this are invaluable.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@mammal well, I meditate as it is already but thanks for the heads up. :)

Cruiser's avatar

2 months into an agonizing ordeal with a herniated disc I found Yoga. The gentle stretching and deep breathing exercises allowed me to connect with my body in a way I never felt or knew I could. Within 3 weeks I was 80% better and a convert. 10 years later I still embrace the multi dimensions of Yoga, Pranyama and meditation as my doorway to an awareness of my body and spirit I never knew I had. Yes it brings on deeper meaning to almost every aspect of my life….including love for oneself and those that share this journey with me!! ;)

lifeflame's avatar

You know, I can’t even really put my finger on it.
I think it might be Thich Nhat Hanh’s books (a classmate from Peace & Conflict Studies mentioned it as one of her favourite books), though I can’t really be sure…

Jeruba's avatar

I was a regular practitioner of Zen for a number of years: sitting every night for 40 minutes of meditation, participating in a weekly sitting group, reading dozens of books, and attending the first three Buddhism in American conferences. The practice of Zen profoundly changed my way of thinking. Even though I no longer sit regularly, I absorbed a great deal from the practice and still consider myself a Buddhist.

taytaysafreak's avatar

Over time, I have collected little bits and pieces of different beliefs to make my own personal religion. I’ve found Zen quite interesting, and calming for the soul.

El_Cadejo's avatar

The more and more I learn about buddhism the more it frustrates me. Im really struggling with the concept of none-self.

And the whole idea that there are six separate consciousnesses instead of 1 bothers me. Like I dont believe my eyes to be independently conscious from my brain. agh >_<

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