Buddhist mamas...where did your path begin? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-19-2014, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm beginning to study Buddhism, but am realizing that it is a path of lifelong learning. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed just trying to grasp the basics. I'd like to start living/practising in little ways, incorporating ideas as I understand them. How did you begin? With meditation? Did you find a teacher? How does one begin to shift thought patterns? I guess you just...do it.

What do you think of "Buddhism for Dummies" or something similar as a way to get the basics into my head?
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#2 of 4 Old 02-19-2014, 05:36 AM
 
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I am certainly not an expert and would consider myself just learning, as well.  I came to Buddhism through a family tragedy and it really resonated with me.  I have several books on Mindfulness which I found to be helpful reads.  One is called 8 Mindful Steps to Happiness.  Previously, I practiced being mindful and present with my children, so I was already used to some aspects of living mindfully.  

 

I meditate, though not consistently.  I do find it really relaxing, though it seems like some people experience this deep meditation that I have never achieved.  I'd love to hear other's experiences.  There is a beginning meditation group in my area and I would like to go this week, if I can get the chance.  Little ways I practice: I prepare my food mindfully and consciously, thinking as I make it about how it will nourish me and how good it will taste.  I got off facebook, it kept me from being present in my life.  I try to practice loving-kindness, though right now that is mostly towards myself and my immediate family.  I'm sure there are other little things I do. 

 

I think I have found the most important thing for me is to make small steps and be gentle on myself if I feel like I am not achieving a deep meditation or having trouble being mindful.  I'm hoping some other people chime into this thread because I would love to hear advice and experiences, too.  


Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
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#3 of 4 Old 04-01-2014, 01:19 PM
 
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Meditation is a good place to start, especially since it is the core of Buddhist practice. Start by sitting comfortably (the Eastern tradition of cross-legged on the floor isn't necessary if your body isn't used to it). Breathe deeply and concentrate on your breaths. By focussing your mind on only one "object" - your breath - other thoughts will fade away and your concentration increases.

But even though this sounds easy, it can take more than a lifetime to master. Most of us find our thoughts wandering. This is ok, as long as we keep redirecting them to the present moment - our breath.

I was first introduced to Buddhism over 10 years ago when I became interested in meditation. A local Zen monk taught meditation to the general public, and I was first introduced to Buddhist philosophies. It resonated with me, and I went on to attend other local Buddhist temples and read books on my own.
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#4 of 4 Old 05-31-2014, 08:04 PM
 
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I started a few years before becoming a mama with a general interest in the Buddhist worldview. Then I went to beginner's meditation instruction at a local Shambala center and then a Vipassana meditation group. It's great to start with a public place where you can meet other practitioners and newbies, get tips on how to begin, and get suggestions for further reading. You can also learn much more about different styles by actually trying them in person rather than just reading about them. I had a regular home meditation practice that has fallen off since I had my now three-year-old, though I have visited a Zen center a couple of times lately. I am trying to make a concerted effort to fit it back into my life and to find a meditation group that fits my schedule. I think community is important for me to grow in my spirituality.
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