Our Community discussion “What led you to Buddhism?” has continued to gather responses, and they now number in the hundreds. As always, it’s humbling to hear from where in the wide world people came in order to arrive at Tricycle’s doorstep. Here’s one of the recent responses:
For me, it was the experience of making some money, getting financially comfortable, and then realizing that I felt “the same” as I did in years, or in decades past. It was an eye opening experience to realize the security is not monetarily based, but rather in your connection to your soul and your spiritual ground.
I was raised as a Southern Baptist, practically memorized the Bible and its teachings at a very young age. Found comfort in the teachings of Jesus, but little else within that community. I had different ideas about life and it never seemed like the right fit. I stopped attending church in my teens. Then one summer while home from college I let my parents know that I didn’t even know if there was a God or not. After being threatened that I would lose all support from my family I joined the Navy and went to Japan. I went to visit the gardens and a giant Budha statue. The atmosphere was a peace I had never felt before. I later stumbled upon “The Three Pillars of Zen” by Philip Kapleau in a book store. Bought it but, didn’t read it until 4 years later. Everything in my life has brought me to this moment. There is nothing that hasn’t lead me to Buddhism. I could not be here, had I not gone through there.
And one more:
I “discovered” Buddhism in college, perhaps not surprisingly, in an Intro to Philosophy class roughly nine years ago. Before this, all I knew of Buddhism was your typical stereotypical Western ideas. We read a basic, bare bones primer about the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, and all I know is that my life hasn’t been the same since. Such simple statements, yet such profound, razor edged insights. Since then, my focus of study has been Soto Zen, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been before. Zen has helped me deal with depression, hair-trigger emotions, and even anti-social tendencies. I feel much more connected with all of my fellow beings, and although there’s always room for further evolution, I’m confident in ways I wasn’t before.
We could go on. The breadth of the Tricycle Community continues to amaze us. Thank you to all our members for choosing to spend some of your precous time here with us! Read more, and add your own story if you like, at the “What led you to Buddhism?” discussion.