New To Buddhism...need Guidance

Hello, I'm new to Buddhism. I read a few books and have watched a few documentaries. I am looking to Buddhism to move away from a life of suffering. What can I do to move in this new direction in life? Looking for supportive people also living the way of the Buddha. Unfortunately I live in a small city without a local Buddhist organization, so I am trying to learn more through internet/books.
thewakingworld thewakingworld
5 Responses May 23, 2012

i have to recommend the site it has most of the sutta pitaka, plus tons of books, articles, essays, and links to various other resources. It has been a tremendously useful resource for me anyway...

i would look for some books by yongey mingyur rinpoche, he's wonderful and explains things in a way that a western mind can comprehend<br />
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or you could read some lectures by alex berzin online (just google for alex berzin archives) <br />
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also, buddhism is nothing without practice. so you have to meditate at least 5 minutes a day to really work on your mind, otherwise it's all rather pointless. i especially recommend "buddha, brain and neurophysiology of happiness" (which explains how meditation changes your mind from a scientific point of view) and "joyful wisdom" (with exercises) by yongey mingyur rinpoche.

Thank you, I'm in your same position.

I enjoy Thich Nhat Hanh, the Miracle of Mindfulness is a good start.

Hello thewakingworld,<br />
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You should start meditating daily and building up your practice. Start small and build up gradually but be consistent in order to receive the benefits from your efforts. It is a path which takes patience and perseverance to tread. <br />
In order to help your meditation I recommend that you take the 5 precepts which are the basis of Buddhist practice for laypersons. <br />
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Here is an overview:<br />
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Excerpt -- <br />
The following are the five precepts (pañca-sikkhāpada) or five virtues (pañca-sīla) rendered in English and Pali<br />
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1. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life. Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.<br />
2. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given. Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.<br />
3. I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct. Kāmesumicchācāra veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.<br />
4. I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech. Musāvādā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.<br />
5. I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness. Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.<br />
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Once you build up your confidence and realize the true benefits for yourself, then you can develop your meditation further by attending a Vipassana retreat -- these are held for free throughout the world under strict regulation, usually for 10 days, as taught by S.N. Goenka. You can find more information here by selecting your country:<br />
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I have a lot more to say if you have any more specific requests. <br />
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With metta (loving-kindness),<br />
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