Re: Lost in Buddhism

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Posted by Soulplex ( on April 13, 2000 at 13:33:27:

In Reply to: Lost in Buddhism posted by Dannielle on April 12, 2000 at 09:37:32:

<< I have read a ton (literally, just ask my shoulders) of books on Buddhism. Yet I still feel unfulfilled. I have great interest in Mahayana Buddhism. There are however, no venues for this here. I then practice alone. This can be very frustrating. There is a Zen temple here. My problem is that the two types are so very different. Were mahayana is more vocal, Zen is so quiet. Please help find find the Middle Path again. >>

A lack of a real Sangha can indeed become a problem, which is why the Three Jewels are said to be inseparable. I mean, it can be done, as good ol' Shakyamuni himself showed, but it isn't easy, and most people never get anywhere when they try to "go it alone." Personally, I think that seeking Enlightenment without a teacher (a real teacher, in the flesh) is just crazy--and I speak from experience here. If you're really serious about this, then you have to find a teacher, practice diligently, and let everything else in life come second. Move to another state--or country--if you have to. Do whatever it takes. Very few people have this kind of determination, which is why very few people actually succeed.

By the way, Zen Buddhism is a sect of the Mahayana school. They aren't different. Zen is Mahayana Buddhism. Perhaps you meant Vajrayana (advanced Tibetan, or Tantric) or Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhism, as opposed to Zen, and there are indeed some differences between them. But either one will get you safely across to the other shore, if practiced diligently; it just depends on which kind of boat you prefer.

In the meantime, some books are more inspiring (and informative!) than others, and here are three that have helped me significantly more than any others: Enlightenment is a Secret by Andrew Cohen, No Boundary by Ken Wilber, and Transmission of Light by Zen Master Keizan (translated by Thomas Cleary).

Yours in the Dharma,

Tom Huston

"But when you finally discover me, the one naked Truth arisen from within, Absolute Awareness permeates the universe."
--Lady Tsogyal

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