Home Discussion Forum I have been thinking about studying Buddhism/Taoism. Can anyone help me get...

I have been thinking about studying Buddhism/Taoism. Can anyone help me get a good start?

Fireball: I will ask you, why do you accept the Blessed Trinity?


  1. Don’t do it, Do this:
    SOLUTION for religion: Create YOUR Relationship with Our Creator and eliminate religion from YOUR Life.
    Peace be with YOU / LOVE is the answer

  2. If you’re interested in both Buddhism and Taoism, then you might consider focusing your attention on Zen Buddhism. The Zen tradition emerged in China about 1,500 years ago and reflects considerable Taoist influence.
    The easiest way to learn about Zen is to go to a Zen center and get instruction and guidance. Here are two good listings of Buddhist temples and centers around the world. Some of these are Zen centers (you’ll need to sort through the lists to find them).
    Zen, like Taoism, is primarily a practice tradition (philosophy and conceptual instruction plays a relatively small role in the teaching). You can learn Zen meditation practice from this very clear video:
    There are a few good books on Zen. Among the modern classics are:
    “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
    “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha” by Zen Master Seung Sahn
    “Taking the Path of Zen” by Robert Aitken Roshi
    You’ll also want to read the Tao Te Ching – the basic teaching of Taoism. An excellent version is the one by Stephen Mitchell – it reveals the close kinship between Taoism and Zen.
    Best wishes on your path!

  3. Start with the theory, doing a few simple practices like meditation so you can see one way the theory is applied. Start following the precepts now, so you will not be subjected to too much turmoil and confusion. Then study the various practices- and try to understand in what way each practice is an application of the principles. This is important, because otherwise you apply a theory without understanding or confirmation, and it amounts to being superstitious. When you find a method that seems to suit you, get in touch with teachers and get training.

  4. First, I have four suggestions about where to find general information on Buddhism:
    1. Read about the Buddha’s life, including his teachings, in the wonderfully poetic prose biography “Old Path, White Clouds” by the famous Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh: http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=10236
    2. Read the accessible introductions to Buddhism by the American nun Thubten Chodron, Buddhism for Beginners” (answers and questions style) and “Open Heart, Clear Mind” (more focusing on how Buddhist psychology is relevant for modern Westerners):
    You can also find many interesting texts on her homepage, including everything you need to know about meditation:
    3. Any book by the incomparable and unconventional Tibetan teacher Lama Thubten Yeshe (the “hippie lama”, as he called himself). On this site you can find many texts online, and also order a number of excellent books for free (donation suggested):
    4. The somewhat more traditional, but still highly relevant and accessible explanations of the basics of the Buddhist teachings by HH the Dalai Lama, in for example “How to Practice. The Way to a Meaningful Life” (a short but not superficial overview of the entire Buddhist path) and “A Simple Path” (an exceedingly beautifully illustrated explanation of the Four Noble Truths, the foundational teaching of all Buddhism):
    Secondly, some advice before you consider becoming a Buddhist yourself:
    1. Make sure you understand the main points of Buddhism before you commit yourself.
    2. Make sure your interest comes from your heart, and isn’t just a transient whim or fascination for something exotic and different.
    3. Make sure you want to become a Buddhist because of positive feelings for Buddhism, NOT because of negative feelings for Christianity or something like that.
    Thirdly, some general advice:
    1. Find a better place to ask your questions, so you know who is answering them and what they base their answers on. If you can’t find a Buddhist group in your city (or even if you can!), register and and ask your questions (and read myriads of other discussions) on the biggest Buddhist online forum in the world, the e-Sangha: http://www.e-sangha.com/
    Unfortunately, the e-Sangha is down for the moment, so in the meantime you might try this forum: http://www.dharmawheel.net/
    2. Be careful – there is an ocean of information about Buddhism online (and in books). Much is excellent, but unfortunately much is also misleading, inauthentic or simply fake, and it’s very difficult for a beginner to see which is good and which is not. If you’re not sure, you can always get reliable answers at the e-Sangha (there are thousands of Buddhists of all traditions from all over the world, including monks, nuns, lamas, academical scholars, experienced and inexperienced practitioners and beginners, do you will find all kinds of Buddhists there), not only about Buddhism itself, but also about Buddhist books, teachers, organizations and traditions.
    Then if you’re interested, you should maybe read up on some of the books about the meeting of Buddhism and Western science. See more in my answer to this question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AtXuImkaWMdytpIvl2Kzorvsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20090821130921AAw7zkr&show=7#profile-info-Lv0I1Voqaa
    Good luck in your search!

  5. A newcomer may study Buddhism by surfing the internet or reading books. You can discuss with your friends who have the real knowledge. You may also visit a Buddhist temple nearby and talk with any monk or layperson. The nearest temple can be found by searching the internet.
    Buddhism is similar to other religions. There are several branches. Each individual branch has several schools, several monasteries, and several teachers. Everyone will tell you that they follow the Pali Canon but they may teach you differently. Some teachings are obviously distorted from the genuine Buddha’s teachings. Some involve extra knowledge, which is unnecessary for reaching the Enlightenment (Nibbana, Nirvana). And some can be harmful. There are three important subjects that you need to know real well.
    1) Four Noble Truths (Ariya-Sacca)
    2) Satipatthana (=Vipassana = Insight Meditation)
    3) Three Marks of Existence (Three Characteristics of Nature, Ti-lakkhana)
    Below are recommended websites to learn about Buddhism.


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