Buddhism Message Board


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Buddhism Message Board

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Lug 26, 2006, 2:28am

I'm not sure what the level of socialization will be around these new groups, but I assume an introduction is in order. I'm interested in Buddhism largely in an intellectual/academic way, though also to some extent for purposes of my own rather muddled spiritual life.

My particular areas of interest are classical Indian Buddhism, especially Nagarjuna, and Zen.

I read some Sanskrit (thus the Nagarjuna, one of the few significant Buddhist thinkers who wrote in true Sanskrit) and can with great effort and much reference material occasionally make it through small patches of Pali.

Lug 26, 2006, 10:33pm

Kukkurovaca, thank you for starting this group!

I'm primarily interested in Tibetan Buddhism, as a practitioner, although I've also done some practice in Theravada. Plus I have a good many friends in Zen, so... you could say my tastes are a bit catholic ;-)

By the way, I've studied some Tibetan language a couple of years ago. Sadly, since I now lack people to practice with, I've forgotten most of what I learned so laboriously. Luckily I haven't forgotten the alphabet - QUITE yet.

P.S. Kukkurovaca, may I ask what your username means? And is it Sanskrit or Pali?

Lug 27, 2006, 1:30am

I didn't start this group. I just happened to post first.

I've been wanting to get into the Sino-Tibetan family for a while (especially classical Chinese, for purposes of reading Chuang-tzu).

Kukkurovaca is actually a joke about my occasionally lazy translation practices. It's a rather stupid and complicated in-joke. The short answer is that, if it weren't incorrectly formed, it would be Sanskrit, and it refers to a sentence I once translated "Dog Say: repetition of my business how by you doable."

I use it as a username because it's a totally unique string, and because it still makes me chuckle.

if you're morbidly curious about the inner workings of the name, there are some more details here: http://www.kukkurovaca.textdriven.com:2521/ugp/show/Kukkurovaca

Lug 27, 2006, 2:49am

Hi! Since I created the group, I should introduce myself. I was raised Catholic, and over the past 20 years have explored religion and psychology deeply. While I'm not a practicing Buddhist, Buddhism most closely represents my worldview and spiritual practice. I'm interested in learning and have a nubmer of books on the subject. I thought the group would be a good way to gather resources and create community. Glad you're here!

Lug 27, 2006, 11:02am

Hi Mindful One, thank you for the introduction. I'm a little abashed that I didn't spot your name up top as creator of the group. Guess that makes me Unmindful One :-)

Kukkurovaca, thanks for the explanation. I actually wondered whether "dog" might be part of the name (Kukkuripa, "Dog Lover", was the name of one of the Indian mahasiddhas) ... but hesitated to say so, as it could have sounded disrespectful.

My name, incidentally, means "playfulness" in Japanese. It's a play on "cha", tea, because I also practice the Way of Tea (Japanese tea ceremony)... and find it to be not only spiritually rewarding but lots of fun!

Lug 27, 2006, 11:38am

chamekke, is there an etymological connection between tea and play, or is that more on the order of a pun? (Not that there's anything wrong with puns. :) )

One of my friends has been trying to convince to get into the Japanese tea ceremony, because I'm sort of a tea nerd. However, the need to purchase the specialized paraphernalia has so far prevented me from experimenting with it.

(Also, you probably don't need to worry about offending me with Sanskrit lexical items, as I've spent a fair amount of time identifying Sanskrit words corresponding to English vulgarities -- not an easy task, given that the majority of Sanskrit lexicography was done in Victorian times.)

Lug 28, 2006, 10:30am

I'm a beginner at the Japanese language, so it's hard to answer your question. After I chose the name, I discovered that the Kanji for cha (tea) actually is the first character in the word chamekke; so I'm assuming there is some kind of connection (however latent) between tea and playfulness. The -ke character is the same as ki, meaning spirit. I'm still trying to work out the -me- part!

It's true that you do end up assembling specialized paraphernalia for Chanoyu. However, it's possible to come up with substitutes for many of them. ("Utensils" in Japanese are called dogu, so I refer to these as mongrel dogu :-) In fact, the mizusashi (cold-water jar) I most like to use is a humble cookie jar. There's a venerable tradition of being satisfied with a very few, simple, and locally made utensils.

Lug 29, 2006, 4:20pm

Kukkurovaca, your name makes more sense now. Being quite ignorant in my areas of interest, I assumed your name was Finnish, or at least its first half (you can add that to your list of ethnicities, if you want).

As for my introduction. I don't read any of the relevant source languages (yet!). Though I am interested in most religions in a vaguely anthropological/historical way, for Buddhism I am more personally interested in Theravada.

Lug 29, 2006, 8:01pm

angharad, I'm not sure my "makes sense" is the word for how I got my name. Maybe "more explicable."

And you definitely don't need to read the relevant source language -- Buddhism has always been very much in favor of translation. This is a frustration for scholars sometimes, because we no longer have any texts in the language the Buddha himself spoke, but it's been an important part of what makes Buddhism so good at appealing to people in different places and cultures.

I don't know that much about Theravada as it's practiced today, but some of the texts in the Pali Canon -- the Atthakavagga and Parayanavagga are two that I had to go over pretty thoroughly at one point -- are pretty wonderful.

Ago 3, 2006, 4:51pm

Hi! Thanks for starting this group!

I am new to Buddhism and really am just feeling my way around. My reading has been limited to modern practitioners: The Dalai Lama, D. T. Suzuki, Charlotte Beck and Thich Nhat Hanh. I'll probably be reading and learning more than posting, but I did want to say hi!

11zenia Primo messaggio
Ago 5, 2006, 6:48am

Hi. I recently visited the biggest Buddhist monastry in Singapore - loved the many statues and the peaceful ambiance - and started reading some Buddhist books. I'm currently reading For Tibet, with love by Isabel Losada which is terrific.

Set 12, 2006, 1:41am

Hi I am hwalmer@gmail.com; Had W.
I have been practicising Buddhist Meditation for 15 years; Thai/Insight/Ajahn Chah tradition
Sit with portland insight meditation comminity,
See that website for the items in our
'Barking Dog Library', about 1700 items now
in Buddhist Spirituality
Love this practice as it continually unfolds
'the dharma'

13wintercrow Primo messaggio
Gen 7, 2007, 12:01am

Hi everyone!

I'm a practicing Buddhist (Mahayana/Western Buddhist) and it's great to see a group dedicated to Buddhist texts and discussion! I've been practicing for about a year as a dedicated Buddhist under the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. With so much of so many traditions to digest, I'm always interested in what others are reading or would suggest as primers to this beautiful and complex path.

Chamekke, is your name self-chosen or was it chosen for you as part of your practice?

Gen 7, 2007, 10:29am

Hi, I'm very, very new to looking into Buddhism, although I'm anticipating enjoying it.

My viewpoint is from a personal aspect, in order to work upon creating some sense and personal enlightenment.

Any tips for a newbie?

Gen 7, 2007, 3:03pm

My approach is, at this point, primarily scholarly, although I do include some of Buddha's teachings into my personal religious views.

Gen 9, 2007, 11:51am

Admittedly, I know very little of Buddhism, and I don't practice it as well as I'd like. I really got into the philosophy after reading Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner in college. Right now, I just meditate daily, although it's really difficult for me.

Gen 17, 2007, 7:31pm


Please find a dharma group nearby that you can sit and practice dharma with, this so expands the conversation and practice. Soon it will feed itself,
and become your life, completely mixed in.
Remember, don't be a Buddhist, be a Buddha (one's a concept, the other a way of being)

Giu 6, 2007, 8:12am

don't be a Buddhist, be a Buddha

Thank you: that's the most helpful thing I've read today!

Ago 3, 2007, 6:30am

Hello I would liketo introduce myself. I am pleased to see so many people here who are new to Buddhism. I myself was raised as a Wiccan, and I practiced this for over 30 years but have read a lot about other religions especially as part of my interest in archaeology & anthropology.

I also belong to Amnesty International Eastern Group and decided a few years ago to concentrate my efforts in supporting Buddhist monks and nuns imprisoned in Tibet.

Over the years I have become more and more attracted to Buddhism and like others here feel that it most closely expresses my world view, and have recently started to try to incorporate the teachings into my every day life.

Ago 3, 2007, 9:47am

#19 Welcome RowanShield - I hope that your practice brings you happiness.

You'll find things very quiet here ... (people must be meditating instead of writing messages.)


Ago 5, 2007, 12:07pm

Thank you :)

Mar 17, 2008, 1:06am

Hello. I am another newbie to the group, and new to LibraryThing as well. I was at SF Zen Center in the early 1970s, the onto other spiritual paths while continuing the be a nightstand Buddhist. I took refuge vows last year and have been following Tibetan Buddhist traditions and teachings. My most recent book on Buddhism, which I am still reading, is The Way of the Boddhisattva by Shantideva. After reading many commentaries as well as western authors, it is a real pleasure to read one of the sutras first hand. (OK - second hand since I can't read either Sanskrit or Tibetan).

Mar 18, 2008, 10:53am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Mar 19, 2008, 12:11pm

Welcome Cronenorth ...


Mar 22, 2008, 5:41pm

Hello, just jumping into introduce myself as well... seems that is the theme of this thread! New to Librarything, I was raised Lutheran and have made my way in my adult life to Buddhism. I tend toward the more basic tenets of the practice rather than one branch... but I'm always learning more. Highlight of my recent life was a visit to the Gambo Abbey in Nova Scotia. That is a beautiful place.

Looking forward to seeing more and participating in discussion here!

Mar 30, 2008, 10:40am

A heavy snowfall disappears into the sea.
What silence! (Folk zen)
Brand new to librarything, relatively old to Buddhism...or maybe just relatively old! From Los Angeles now living in Maine. Very quiet here, not many zennists. Curious for discussions. Desperate for spring.

Apr 1, 2008, 2:41pm

From LA to Maine?

Sounds like a koan!


Modificato: Apr 10, 2008, 6:36pm

Thanks for the welcome kidSisyphus. I studied Dharma Art in Los Angeles. Anybody else know anything about that? A quirky Choygam Trungpa invention! Dharma Art

Apr 13, 2008, 9:40pm

I was intrigued by looking at the Dharma Art book you posted... I added it to my wishlist! I'm constantly searching for a method of expressing my artistic side while not being very successful! This book sounds great. I live south of LA. How do you like Maine as compared to So.Cal?

Apr 18, 2008, 10:51pm

>29 Cygnus555:
I love Maine (cold nature). I love LA (hot culture). I love going back and forth. The Dharma Art program is taught in LA at Shambhala and at the Art Center in Pasadena. Guaranteed to wake you up and scare you half to death. The concept of "First thought, best thought" is endlessly fascinating...and nearly impossible to practice! There is also a website that's kinda cool.

Apr 28, 2008, 7:46pm

Thank you Ravendory. I look forward to experiencing some cold nature someday. Maine is on my list! Namaste!

Apr 29, 2008, 6:19pm

hello, everyone! i'm kind of a mutt spiritually and i've been wandering around sniffing for a bone for 18 years. i was raised in a mixed family--my dad's side Catholic, mom's side Reform Jewish. never took to Catholicism at all. Judaism is and always will be a part of my identity, but I'm not sure it's the path for me. I've pretty much been an atheist all my life...had a brief bout of FSM-ism, but then realized that there is so much anger and bitterness in it that it will never really accomplish anything. Buddhism is the only religion that has consistently given me positive feelings in all the readings I've done on it, so I feel like I'm going to give it a shot. I've read The Energy of Prayer by Thich Nhat Hanh, which is less a Buddhist book and more of a Buddhist-Christian crossover kind of book. I've read The Good Heart by Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, another Buddhist-Christian crossover book. More in the line of actual Buddhist books, I've read Essential Zen by Kazuaki Tanashi, Minding Mind by Thomas Cleary, Buddhism and Zen by Nyogen Senzaki, and An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life by Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV. So, after reading all these books, and after having tried out meditation a couple of times, I'm really interested and I want to give it a shot.

I want to get into reading the actual teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha as soon as I finish the book I'm on. Any suggestions as to where to start, or how to navigate through them?

Apr 29, 2008, 9:46pm

Hi there Walden. I was raised in a Christian household, so I can relate to the breath of fresh air you must be feeling with Buddhism. I can't give you a reference for actual teachings, but I can give a nice recommendation on a clean, bare-bones summary of the teachings. Buddhism without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor. I loved this book and still refer back to it from time to time because it gives the teachings of the Buddha in a very "non-religious" way that I find refreshing. It was such an eye-opener for me to realize that I can have spiritual fulfillment in my life without the ritual, rigor and dogma. I hope you enjoy it!

Apr 30, 2008, 9:11pm

thanks! I'll be sure to pick it up as soon as I've done running the gauntlet of my grandma's funeral and five AP exams and a scholarship interview. (haha, sorry if that sounded sarcastic. it is a very busy and stressful time for me right now, which makes me want to jump into Buddhism all the more, because it seems like it might give me greater equanimity in such times, and the strength to be a greater help to my family, especially my dad, who are all grieving the loss of the central peg that really held the family together.) anyway, namaste!

Modificato: Giu 1, 2008, 10:52pm

Hello. I've read all the posts here so far and am amazed at the variety within the group.

Two years ago, I took the Five Mindfulness Trainings of Thich Nhat Hanh and took the dharma name Peaceful Compassion of the Source at a Day of Mindfulness. I am studying not only Nhat Hanh's flavor of Buddhism but other flavors as well. I've met Thubten Chodron, heard her speak and read her books. I love Pema Chodron's work as well and would love to go to Gampo Abbey and study there. I'd also like to go to Plum Village in France and study with the monks of Thich Nhat Hanh's order.

For now, I sit with a little Zen group in Springfield, Missouri and like it.

Glad to have found this group.

~ Mindy

Giu 2, 2008, 9:45pm

Springfield, MO? Really? Is that anywhere near Kirksville? I'm going to be going to school at Truman State U in Kirksville starting in August. They have a meditation and yoga club there, but i'm not sure it's really Buddhist meditation per se, and I'd really to either find or create a meditation group. Most likely find, because I'm not sure I know enough about it myself to start one of my own. I'm just a beginner.

Giu 11, 2008, 8:10pm

I had the honor of visiting Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia on my Honeymoon... such a beautiful place. We had a very nice tour while we were there and I could have stayed... The Stupa there is quite beautiful. It is surrounded by a wall engraved with buddhist sayings. I will remember it always.

Giu 13, 2008, 8:27am

sounds cool. :)

Feb 19, 2009, 3:25pm

Hello everyone. Like alot of you all, I am new to this practice. I haven't really decided exactly what I am hoping to discover. I do have questions though.

Hadwalmer..you mention dharma group. If you don't mind, can you explain what this is?

I just recieved Everything arises, everything falls away. I just lost my mother and someone suggested that I concentrate on impermanence. So I'm learning what it is.

Modificato: Set 10, 2010, 9:44pm

Hi kukkurovaca,

I am not Japanese but I study Japanese. I highly doubt that there is any connection between tea and play. There isn't any connection in the history of the kanji character for tea to the idea of play at all.

The top part of the character for tea is the radical for 'plant' and the bottom part is thought to have been chosen for its phonetic reading for 'bitter.' So bitter plant.

I can make a guess for how chamekke came to mean playful, though. The color brown in Japanese is called 'cha iro' because when brewed, tea leaves turn liquid brown. 'Chame' is made with the characters for 'tea' and 'eye' so most likely originally referred to brown eyes. My guess is that it then came to be in vogue at some point in Japan to call children by the term 'brown eyes.' That would be one defining characteristic of children in Japan. They would all look up at you with big brown eyes. Actually more like black eyes but black is seen as a color of death/bad luck in some senses so it might be impolite to call a stranger's child black eyed. It would be much safer to call them brown-eyed, especially with it's positive association with tea. You can say 'chame' to mean 'urchin' or 'brat' and I think that was probably how it came to mean playful person. You then add ki/ke (spirit) to 'chame to get 'chameke' which then means spirit of a child/urchin/brat or in other words playful spirited person.

Set 10, 2010, 9:42pm

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.