Where to start with Buddhism? [more inside]
Most typical treatments for anxiety and depression don't work for me: therapy doesn't work, SSRIs don't work and atypical anti-depressants such as Wellbutrin don't work. What other options do I have? [more inside]
In English-language writing on meditation, I've come across the term 'unconditioned'. What does it mean in that context?
I've spent time in and around Zen centers before, though I'm really a complete beginner when it comes to Buddhism. I would like to spend a week (or more?) staying in a Zen center with a program tailored for beginners. Where can I find a center in Eastern Europe that has a program in English that would suit me? I'm willing to travel to Western Europe but would prefer to find something closer to home.
How critical is it to understand the egocentricity/self-hate concept when reading Cheri Huber's 'There is Nothing Wrong With You'? [more inside]
I have acquired a Buddha and am curious about its origins. [more inside]
A couple of weeks ago, my newborn son and I received a blessing from a Buddhist monk, in hospital here in the UK. He recited some words to each of us in a foreign language, and then tied yellow threads on our wrists. I would love to know what the words meant, and the significance of the thread, if anyone knows? Thanks!
Can you recommend some good blogs with a Buddhist perspective? [more inside]
Alan Watts, in some of his lectures, tells stories of the experiences of Zen teachers and their students- a sort of mystic, mythic history from ages past. Are there books of these sorts of legends? [more inside]
I'm trying to figure out whether my local Triratna Buddhist organisation will be a fit for what I think I want from Buddhism. [more inside]
I've been practicing with a Karma Kagyu group, but I know Shambhala was started by Trungpa Rinpoche, a lineage holder of Kagyu. What are the differences between the teachings?
I love this quote. It carried me through (and continues to carry me through) a very tough time in my life. I'm considering getting it tattooed on myself. Problem: I can't find its primary source. [more inside]
Are there any sci-fi stories that involve the future appearance of the Maitreya Buddha? Looking for stories where the character is primarily identified as the Maitreya, rather than general "Second Coming" stories where the character could conceivably belong to a number of different soteriological interpretations.
I'm in the midst of a terrible months-long depression and a friend of mine recommended I look into Buddhism. I'm willing to try anything, but I have no idea where to start and the Buddhist literature is pretty overwhelming. Buddhist MeFites, extend to me your enlightened hands and tell me what books to read, websites to check out, etc.
I have heard a rumor that some people believe that Jesus traveled to India and learned Buddhist ideas. The theory is that perhaps this occurred during Jesus' early adulthood, before he started preaching during his 30s. But I am a bit skeptical. Do you know where this idea comes from? Do you think it is probable? Are there books or movies that I should watch about this theory? Any insight would be most appreciated.
I used to practice at a Buddhist Center in Columbus, Ohio (KTC, on Grubb St). I am trying to find a center in Chicago. I really love the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. I also enjoy podcast teacher Gil Fronsdal from the Insight Meditation Center in Cali, which is in the Vipassana tradition. I also enjoy Deer Park Dharma cast which is associated with Thich Nhat Hanh. I would like to find a center in Chicago to help me build a mediation practice, and obviously, mediate with others. To be able to listen to great dharma talks in person, not just on my ipod. And, to be a part of a community. It just doesn't feel the same listening on my ipod, you know? I do not have a car. I have gone to weird a$$ places in Asheville, NC, where random people start there own sangas and ask you for $, and I and not up for that. So, I thought it to be better to ask here than to do the google search. Please let me know if you have thoughts on where I can find a practice center. Also, I know that there is a school of Buddhist Psychology. Where might I find a Buddhist Therapist in Chicago?
I'm looking for a good meditation retreat center somewhere not too far from the midwest. I'm interested in vipassana meditation, although I wouldn't mind branching out. Mainly I want to find a place with good teachers. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend books about the bodhisattva Manjushri? [more inside]
What's the text in which the Buddha tells his disciples to not believe something just because it's written in a book, but to search within the heart?
Anyone know anything about Vipassana Retreats? [more inside]
I would like to read some of the Buddhist sutras but I have no idea where to start. I am looking for both A) a wide (not limited to a single tradition) anthology I could use to get an overview of what is available and to guide further reading and B) sutras that are particularly well translated into English and/or have a particularly good commentary.
I belong to a progressive congregation of the United Methodist Church, and we often host educational series exploring other religions/belief systems (our congregation isn't of the "one true path to God" variety). This fall, we're planning a series on Buddhism. Our adult education committee has tasked me with selecting a book to study. [more inside]
I need more compassion. I'm semi-Buddhist. What's your favorite guided meditation or other focused technique? [more inside]
How does the Buddhist understanding of enlightenment compare with the Western Age of Enlightenment? People who we might now call children of the Enlightenment--Chomsky, Hitchens, Dawkins, deGrasse Tyson, Pinker, and so on--have a way of relating to ethical questions that is very similar to the teachings of the Buddha. There is an understanding that human suffering is a problem to be overcome, and that it can be overcome through understanding things as they are and engaging productively in the physical world, rather than getting caught up in metaphysical abstractions which, stemming from delusion, greed, and aversion, prolong cycles of suffering. [more inside]
"Now that I'm enlightened, I'm just as miserable as ever". John Cage repeatedly retold this story, attributed to Suzuki -- but where is the original? [more inside]
What if you don't believe in God anymore? What then? [more inside]
I am hoping to find a Japanese calligraphic drawing of a specific Zen story/koan. [more inside]
Vien-Suong-Loi. Spiral, hanging incense from Vietnam. Where can I find it in NY? [more inside]
Help me find the right Buddhist meditation center in Toronto. More info inside. [more inside]
I need recommendations for histories of ancient India, with particular emphasis on the role/influence of the Hellenic states, development of Buddhism, what might have happened to the Indo-Greeks in the longer term, etc. Also, it would be interesting to read about Alexander's invasion and its aftermath from the Indian viewpoint, i.e, by Indian scholars using Indian sources.
Once a man has reached enlightenment, and finds the ultimate peace and bliss merely sitting in meditation, regardless of his surroundings, does he have motivation for leaving this position and doing anything at all in the world? See extended explanation... [more inside]
I'm in Luang Prabang, Laos right now and tomorrow is the one month anniversary of a friend's death. I would like to go to the temple and do something, but I'm not sure what the custom is. Any ideas? [more inside]
Movies about Ancient Chinese or Indian history or culture? [more inside]
How can I not be an apathetic Buddhist? [more inside]
What was this (presumably Buddhist) guy doing? [more inside]
The last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony begins by recapitulating and rejecting themes from the first three movements. What is being symbolically rejected? A friend of mine says the Ninth is about the Brahmaviharas, the four immeasurables. The first three movements represent compassion, benevolence, and equanimity, all of which are rejected by the fourth in favour of joy, hence the Schiller. As a personal interpretation I think this works quite well, but the idea that Buddhist doctrine is what Beethoven (or Schiller for that matter) had in mind is surely bonkers. So what did Beethoven have in mind? The sources I've found say 'nobody knows'.
Recommendation for a book of Buddhist mythology? [more inside]
In Buddhist traditions that emphasize sitting meditation (thinking about Zen here, but curious about others too) how are people who are physically unable to maintain proper sitting posture expected/advised to meditate? I was curious in particular about those who had been disabled in some way (paralysis etc) and in historical answers to the question.
Looking for specific quotes from Buddhist and Christian scripture on two particular themes. [more inside]
Can you suggest Buddhist resources - churches, sanghas, gompas, meditation groups, communities - in the Los Angeles Area? [more inside]
Can you help me understand a little more about Buddhism so I can enjoy both sides of the discussion in a particular book? [more inside]
I'm losing my mother. I'm looking for a book to help me deal with the pain. [more inside]
I want to learn about ancestor worship, particularly as practiced in China and by Buddhists. [more inside]
How did your everyday life change when you became a Buddhist? I'm especially interested in hearing from people who have moved from a Western religious tradition to Buddhist practice. I'm also most drawn to Tibetan Buddhism, but would be glad to hear from practitioners in any Buddhist tradition. [more inside]
What was the world's largest religion before Christianity, and when did Christianity overtake it in size? [more inside]
Can you explain to me (or point to resources that explain to me) a couple of apparent metacontradictions in Buddhism? [more inside]
What are some good resources on Buddhism for someone who wants to remain attached to Western scientific rationalism? [more inside]
Any MeFites attend the SF Insight meditations at the Unitarian church on Franklin? Or any Dharma Punx here? Anyone have experience with a more strictly zen sangha in the city? [more inside]
Do you know of any good online Buddhist discussion forums? I used to frequent e-sangha, but it's been down for some time. I prefer that it be diverse or at least inclusive of Zen.
My fledgling Buddhist Dharma Punx meditation/discussion group expressed at our first meeting last week that they would like readings on "rubber meets the road" Buddhism, or the practical application of Buddhist principles in everyday life. Whatcha got, Mefi? No more inside!