Buddhism is a deep, rich tradition that can be somewhat daunting at first glance, but some general advice is in order:
- Do not rush things. Buddhist teachings can be difficult to grasp at first, but through life experiences, they tend to validate themselves. One may also find themselves “rediscovering” a previous teaching in a new light.
- Befriend the sutras. When reading sutras, it’s important not to get bogged down in details. Instead, if you read sutras, you learn to “read between the lines” and notice certain patterns of teachings, etc. This is where the Dharma really comes alive.
- Ask questions. Shakyamuni Buddha was once a seeking person, and asked many questions in his wanderings before he finally achieved Buddhahood.
- Do not compare yourselves to other Buddhists. Everyone comes into this world with different conditions, burdens, and inclinations. There is no profit in comparing yourself to others.
Most of all, have fun. Buddhism is something you can learn at your own pace, apply to your life for greater peace of mind, and gradually transforms all who encounter it.
If you’d like to read more about Buddhism, I also have a list of books I recommend based on my own personal experiences.
In Buddhism 102, we’ll talk about Mahayana Buddhism, which is the next layer in the Buddhist tradition we see in Asia today, and beyond.
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