Choosing a Buddhist Tradition

Hi Sumitta

Given my respect for you, and my curiosity, I would like to ask your opinion on the books Radical Acceptance and, especially, Buddhism without Beliefs by Steven Batchelor . I’m still inquiring into what form of Buddhism to follow. If you have time, I would like to ask you a follow up question later.

Bless you and thank you for the good work you do.

Your friend,
John

————–

John,

Worry less about what tradition you are to follow, and worry more about learning Buddhism and doing the practice. You will eventually find a group that supports you.

The importance of a sangha is like a bunch of stones in a bag. Eventually their rubbing together smooth each other.

Nevertheless, it is not a sangha that practice Buddhism. It is your study and practice. It is your commitment to sitting on the cushion and meditating and then applying your study and practice to daily living.

I have had the pleasure to start attending (after years of only attending my Theravada temple) other temples. It is certainly different. Sitting in a Bon, Zen or Tibetan temple is a totally foreign experience but valuable in getting your head out of the singular thinking that your tradition is the only valid one.

Learn and embody the Four Noble Truths, develop a daily practice of Loving Friendliness, work on eradicating the three poisons of Aversion, Clinging and Ignorance. This is what is important for now.

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Categories: Buddha, Dharma, Four Noble Truths, Kharma, Mahayana, New Age, Noble Eightfold Path, Theravada, Tibet, Virajana

Author:Sumitta

Born Joshua Hudson, Reverend Sumitta (his ordained name) finished a twenty-year career as a military photo-journalist, and became a Licensed Social Worker with continuing studies in Mental Health, Healthcare Advocate, and Buddhist Minister. Currently, he works as the Director of Psychological Health and Primary Prevention of Violence for the U.S. Air Force. Previously, he served as the healthcare patient advocate for the Veterans Healthcare Administration, and is a License Clinical Social Worker, with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, working as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor, public speaker, trainer and personal/family advisor. His dharma name "Sumitta," which translates to "Good Friend" in Pali.

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3 Comments on “Choosing a Buddhist Tradition”

  1. Natalie
    July 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Hello, I was wondering how I practise and learn on my own? I can read many books but how else can I learn? If I do not have a guide will I no when I get there?
    Thankyou so much for your time
    Kindest regards
    Natalie 🙂

    • July 20, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      It is always better to have a sangha, because the community offers a lot of support to your practice. It is like a bunch of stones put in a bag– they all rub against each other and become smooth. However, this is not a requirement. You can practice on your own.

      I found that, in my solitary buddhist years, books were helpful, but more so were podcasts by Gil Fronsdal and Ajhan Brahm. There are many more to choose from too. Go on iTunes and listen to the good teachers like these.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Choosing buddhism | Fototrack - April 3, 2012

    […] Choosing a Buddhist Tradition | Applied BuddhismJan 16, 2011 … Choosing a Buddhist Tradition. Hi Sumitta. Given my respect for you, and my curiosity, I would like to ask your opinion on the books Radical … […]

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