Monday, January 11, 2010

My Story

Before discussing the pieces of information I have collected about Buddhism, I thought it would be beneficial to relate how I came across this way of life.

To make a long story short, I was having a really rough time of it, and so I did what I always do- look for some cool books! I found the book 'Open Heart, Clear Mind', by Thubten Chodron, and read it cover to cover in one day. I couldn't believe what I had come across; an exact description of what I had believed all my life! But what I didn't know was that this was called Buddhism. From that day forward, I wanted to find out more.

And I was just amazed at how each book dovetailed with the next- there were few contradictions. Also the tone of almost every book was nonjudgmental - there was no 'you should' or 'you must', no threats, no guilt. Just beneficial and not beneficial. The Five Precepts. The Noble Eightfold Path. Compassion and Wisdom. Mindfulness and Impermanence. The root evils of Greed, Anger and Delusion.

The reason I found these revelations so refreshing was because of my previous discomfort with certain aspects of other religions. All of them have a good message, good moral basis, and help instruct people to lead a wholesome life. But it would really make me squirm to listen to how those outside any creed were pitied, admonished, even condemned. This feeling was present whether sitting in a house of worship or listening to others' offhand comments.

I grew up in a happy, open-minded, and relatively nonreligious home. I also have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, who seemed to be getting along just fine in doing their own thing. So why separate ourselves? Why judge? Why not just lead a moral life, help others, and mind our own business?

So then, why not Buddhism?

Here is a link to "the book that started it all" on Amazon:

2 comments:

  1. That's exactly how I came upon Buddhism! About 13 years ago, tough time, picked up "Buddhism Plain and Simple" by Steve Hagan and was amazed that I was a Buddhist and never knew it! I enjoy your blog!

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  2. Ha! Another comment to make my day! You seem to have a knack with that!

    Didn't it feel like a happy ton of bricks when you came to the realization of what you believed all your life?! It was great, wasn't it? At least for me, I felt like I finally had a place.

    It seems we have a lot in common- I am so happy to have come across your blog as well!

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