1) it is not necessary to shave your head to be Buddhist. Monks and Nuns shave their heads, but the rest of us can keep our hair!
2) Indeed the Western world is not set up for Buddhism :) As Buddhism integrates itself in the West, it will adapt - but in the meantime - Most people (the few Lamas I know and the others I learn from) all suggest early morning meditation - for me this is a double-edged sword: I find it IS quite in the house before everyone else gets up - however I also find it extremely difficult to get my butt out of bed that early! So - even though I have a hard time doing this myself - my advice to you is - try to get up before the rest of the household and meditate then.
3) I find it easiest to deal with others who don't really take Buddhism seriously - by bringing to mind that they are suffering - and often people will lash out when they are confronted with things unfamiliar to them. Try to see their behavior as that of a frightened being and be tolerant, patient and kind.
Know that we Buddhists do not evangelize (for good reason) - but that Christians do - they are being true to their faith when the evangelize and we should rejoice with them for their strength, courage and conviction to express their spiritual side.
We don't have to 'play into their hand' by responding to their negative comments and actions. If there are people in your life who are extremely critical and harsh (I am married to one!) Just smile like you know a secret, don't try to get them to see reason :) Accept their offers to 'pray for you' and things like that with grace. They do mean well -even if their methods are a bit off-color :)
I now want to ask you something - but I will post it in a separate message so as not to distract from this.
I am studying Buddism and will be looking for a center. But until then, I do have a few questions and feel most grateful to have someone to ask. Please forgive me if these are stupid or basic questions. 1. To be buddist, is it necessary to shave one's head? 2. the western world is not set-up for buddism. In other words, other people don't generally understand the need for quiet meditation. How do you find a quiet, peaceful place and time to meditate if you are surrounded by a family and friends who don't? 3. How do you deal with christians in your life who feel buddism is "silly" or not a good thing?
Thanks in advance for your kind assistance. Kerry
Remember that the little things we do each day matter.
I don't know if it is possible to formally take refuge without a lama. I studied like you are doing - and one day Lama Zopa Rinpoche came to town and was offering refuge - I was so happy and excited to have been able to take refuge with him, I feel a strong affinity with him. Your lama is out there - keep practicing - dedicate your merit - and stay on the lookout for an opportunity to take refuge :) it will come.
I to live to far away from a Sangha to receive formal teaching, so how does one take formal refuge without a Lama? I study online, have books, etc. I have my altar to make daily offerings, prayer and meditation. i'm like a sponge right now that wants to absorb as much information that I possibly can to put into practice. Even filled my ipod full of teachings instead of music, lol's.
"Be grateful to everyone, as they are all teachers"
current weight: 149.0
Fitness Minutes: (1,595) Posts: 54 1/10/08 1:24 A
I think this is a really good idea. Plus, it'll shed some light on the forms of Buddhism I don't know about. I'm exclusively Tibetan Buddhist, so that's pretty much all I can help out with, but I'm willing to join in on "talks." I've always loved that statement... "Yours in the Dharma" Jude
Om Mani Padme Hum
Fitness Minutes: (4,064) Posts: 230 1/3/08 11:41 P
I have noticed many comments about this being the only or the major sangha for some. I too, live far away from Buddhist centers. I wanted to add an area specifically for Buddhist topics, though really any topic can appear in any subject area.
I am willing to answer any questions and I will try to think of topics to post from time to time. I have studied extensively now, but I remember my early days trying to get everything sorted out. I remember reading a book and wondering why everyone had the same last name "Rinpoche" :) It was difficult and so I want to try to smooth the path a little for others :)
Please don't be shy - post comments, questions, thoughts, ideas - we are an eclectic group - there's bound to be at least one other who is interested in what you have to say!
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