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Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

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Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby minimayhen88 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:09 pm

Hi,

As well as Buddhism my other fascination is psychology...

I was wondering - for what reasons - people were initially attracted to Buddhism. Given the nature of Buddhism, I presume its because it offers a 'medicine' to ones afflictions...? (But I may be imposing my own perception upon this.)

The reason I became attracted to Buddhism personally was to overcome my crippling social anxiety (in that it offered me strategies to remove my negative thoughts and compulsions...)

The reason this question arose.... was because I was speaking to a close friend (whom is Russian Orthodox) about the purpose and function of religion. She said that the reason she (and all of her friends) are Orthodox is because of her upbringing and the fact the practices have become habitual.

This got me wondering if the main reason people in the West (i.e. non 'Buddhist' cultures) are attracted to Buddhism, is because it offers a cure to ones afflictions / coping mechanism? I would love to read your opinions / own personal experiences.

Claudie

:Namaste:
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby partofit22 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:26 pm

When I met my husband he had several books about Buddhism- And since it was an interest of his we began to talk about it and I became interested too- Neither of us are Buddhist- Yet we remain interested ..
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:30 pm

People want to feel safe, so they take refuge in religions like Buddhism as another strategy of the egoistic mind with superimpositions like liberation or non-self, or in your example want to change yourself for the better, get rid of something negative. Me too was attracted to Buddhism initially because I wanted to remove my suffering, trying to become something other then I imagined myself to be ;)

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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Kim on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:42 pm

I was initially attracted to Buddhism because of previous connection (karma) to it. It took me years to understand this.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:50 pm

Kim wrote:I was initially attracted to Buddhism because of previous connection (karma) to it. It took me years to understand this.


Hi Kim, wouldn't you say that applies to everything? I mean all attractions are due to the vasanas, I wouldnt type this right now if I wouldnt be attracted to this forum years ago.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:03 pm

Claudie,

It was because of an early participation and practice of physical Yoga.

Often in the Yoga classes, there would be a few minutes of practice of silent "meditation" at the end of a class.

Meditation in these classes, and during home-practice of yoga, came to feel like a fine "rest" following the sometimes vigorous Yoga classes, and the sitting posture itself became more and more comfortable with time as the body -- over years of time and practice -- became more flexible, relaxed, and strong. I was a long-distance runner at the time, too, and the long runs were like "meditations", in a way, because concentration on enjoying the running activity minimized the rising of scattered thoughts.

I began to read about "Zen", because I knew it emphasized "meditation" strongly. Finally, I met a Chinese Ch'an teacher, Master Sheng Yen, who became my shih-fu (teacher).

I think I came to Ch'an and Zen Buddhist practice through physical Yoga and running, then, but also through certain aesthetics that I saw in Chinese painting and Japanese arts, as well as poetry. Also, through an appreciation of Nature, not just Astronomy. Maybe, all-in-all, I came to it through a feeling of kinship with Nature, which is stronger than "kinship", and I approached it through body and mind.

If you ask, why did I begin to practice Yoga, well, it's because of an early interest in Astronomy, simply looking up at the sky. As a kid, the body naturally invented exercises to keep the neck and shoulders relaxed after, and during, long spells of looking at the stars. Later I found that some of these looked like certain asanas in Hatha Yoga, and were carried out in the same spirit of release and relaxation. Thus, I was drawn to practice more Yoga by learning from Yoga teachers formally, and this led to sitting-meditation and eventually to formal Ch'an and Zen practice(s), which I continue today.

With greetings and best wishes,

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Kim on Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:42 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Kim wrote:I was initially attracted to Buddhism because of previous connection (karma) to it. It took me years to understand this.


Hi Kim, wouldn't you say that applies to everything? I mean all attractions are due to the vasanas, I wouldnt type this right now if I wouldnt be attracted to this forum years ago.


Yes, I would.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:30 pm

Kim wrote:Yes, I would.


Thanks for the clarity.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Pedestrian on Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:00 pm

Initially I started reading about Buddhism because of travel to Thailand. The more I read, the more sense it made, particularly regarding all of this meaningless sense-making to which I am so damned committed. :lol2:
"Buddha, to liberate beings, cultivates practices everywhere." Avatamsaka Sutra.

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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby littletsu on Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:43 pm

How about that: we are all just lucky? :)
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby lobster on Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:05 pm

I read science fiction as a child. Next to this was the religious section in the library. I started reading that. Buddhism seemed the most practical, it actually offered a path and goal, which the other religions seemed rather vague or conflicted on. :heya:
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby macdougdoug on Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:54 pm

My dad told me ch'an was good stuff
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby chang zhao on Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:47 am

Ashoka ended a great war because he learned about suffering, its causes and liberation.
I heard of that at the age of 10 and understood: it's the teaching I needed.
_/|\_ Upasaka Chang Zhao (Constant Illumination), Dharma teacher since 2001.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Bodhidharma on Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:55 am

People are initially attracted to Buddhism because it focuses inward. Buddhism does not revere The Buddha to be God.

Also, everyone suffers one point in their life. Those who suffer the most will find Buddhism to be very beneficial.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Komatsu on Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:57 pm

For me it was that I found some "truths" that I had found mirrored in the Buddha's words. Buddhism made sense to me.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:32 pm

Claudie,

It's the same thing that brings water-fowl in to a lake, when they see from the air that there are others of their kind sitting below. --Joe

minimayhen88 wrote:I was wondering - for what reasons - people were initially attracted to Buddhism.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:01 pm

i was first attracted to buddhism because i liked hanging out with the monks. :lol2: there was an ascetic monk, chan master guangqin, in taiwan that taught me meditation when i was 4. i used to go to his mountain temple and just run around the complex and have fun with guangqin's disciples. i wanted to learn meditation from guangqin because i was so impressed that he can put his legs in the pretzel posture without using hands :lol2: still remember it clearly... his instructions: "eyes gazing toward the direction of the nose, mind (xin) gazing the breath."

when my family moved to the states when i was 11. i learned meditation from my root master, chan master sheng yen, because he said he could walk on walls and across the ceiling! :lol2: i know he couldn't do it, but thought he was pretty cool to say that. he tricked me into taking meditation classes with him. i was waiting for the part when he was going to teach how to walk on walls...

now i know: walls can walk but the body can't.

guo gu
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http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Avisitor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:07 pm

As a child, I was attracted to the strength people who meditate displayed as they practice for the thirty or forty minutes they practiced.
Buddhism came as a result of wanting to know more about why someone does meditation.
It has gone from curiosity of practice ... to ... here.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Chrisd on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:06 am

This question was also kinda discussed in this thread, maybe helpful viewtopic.php?f=64&t=10423&start=80
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Re: Why people are initially attracted to Buddhism...?

Postby Redzen on Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:05 am

For myself, I was attracted to Buddhism because so many of its tenets and principles were so consonant and consistent with conclusions I had already come to and beliefs I had already formed and held. Buddhism made much sense to me, and continues to do so. Buddhism is also a way of clarity and liberation from the delusions that have plagued me. It works.
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