A Survivors Guide to BBnB for New Folks and Long-timers
- Hi Folks,
I've received word from several of our long-time BBnB Members that they feel much better prepared to understand articles and teachings after spending time at BBnB. This is not due at all to my presentation, but rather to the Buddha's wisdom in providing a number of Teachings that we can use to build our knowledge over time. This Great Diversity of Teachings and the Three Wisdoms of the Buddha (Hearing the Dharma, Contemplating the Dharma and Meditation upon the Dharma to internalize it and make it intuitive) give us a clear path toward learning for a lifetime.
Even with this success, one of the constant factors in running a group like BBnB is one that is also common in Brick and Mortar Buddhist Centers around the world. The question is always there - 'Should we continue with progressive Teachings or do another round of basic Teachings to accommodate our Newer Members?'
This is a difficult question, one that has no single solution. There are, however, several ways to work within the resources of BBnB to satisfy both our long-time supporters and our new friends.
This solution is, first of all, to practice patience. It takes time to learn the ropes in any new situation. BBnB has the advantage of having a large number of people ready to help. There are several ways that can help ease the transition into being a seasoned long-timer. I'll list these suggestions below.
1. Join in all the activities of BBnB including the Weekly Discussions.
2. Don't feel lost, besieged or intimidated if there are parts of the material that you are not familiar with yet. It just takes a bit of time to learn enough so that the acquisition of more material comes more easily.
3. Read the weekly study materials a couple of times if you can, and let the parts of the teaching soak in. Go over it a time or two and jot down a few questions.
4. Don't be intimidated by words. Look up words you don't know. Use the Online Glossaries at BBnB to gain familiarity with the various terms. The main Starting Glossary is at:
Post 160 A Short Buddhist Glossary - An Introductory List from GhanaBhuti
There is also an extensive Glossary of Sanskrit Terms in two posts at:
Post 9 Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
Post 10 Re: Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
Also, I'll soon post an advanced Buddhist Glossary - You'll be able to find it by searching for the word 'Glossary.'
5. Make it a habit to stick around after the Dedication of Merit to ask all the questions you wish to. Usually, I'll be glad to stay and we do have other members who can also answer questions.
Number 6 is the HOT KEY to Survival!
6. Along with the current material, take the time to review a lesson a week from the BBnB Archives. This list is available in easy form at:
Post 1301 Index Single Line for BBnB - From Start in February 2005 to Post 1301.
If you would like more material on particular topics, BBnB also has many resources.
è You can use the Advanced Search Feature (on any message page at BBnB) to seek information on topics such as Mind, Emptiness, Meditation and Bodhicitta. The most effective search is usually to use my Yahoo Name, GhanaBhutii ('Ghana' or 'GhanaBhuti' will work as well) as the author - and the topic you wish to research in the Subject line.
è You can see several lists of topics at our Master Index in the
Files Section of BBnB.
You can find the Files Link (Files) on any message page of BBnB.
The Contents of the Files Section is available in the same link
listed above (and below):
è Post 1301 Index Single Line for BBnB - From Start in February 2005 to Post 1301.
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Also, please feel welcome to post questions on the Website so that I and other folks can answer them. You can use email as well, but the Website has the virtue of helping all of us take a look at questions and answers. One Great Purpose of our Community is to help everyone grow to the point of being able to answer questions and teach others as they find their way into the Path of the Buddhas.The most important thing is to stick with it. Buddhism is like any other subject we might take up in life. It has its own language, customs, histories and points of view - all of which are different from what we grew up with in our Western societies. It takes a bit of time to learn all of this, but then, so do other activities like Car Repair, Dentistry, Dress-Making, Playing an Instrument, Bread-baking, Brain Surgery and Vegetarian Cooking.
Even in terms of Personal Finance, we are faced with learning about Front-end, Back-end and No-Load Funds. Then, there is the difference between IRAs and 401(k)s not to mention Tax-free options such as Roths. With all this, we then have to learn about Equity Funds, Income Funds, Equity-Income Funds, Balanced Funds, Conservative and Aggressive Funds as well as Contrarian Funcs, Sector Funds and Laddered Maturity Funds.
As confusing as Financial Terms and Concepts are, we can learn them. The same is true of any Meaningful Path and Philosophy.
Buddhism is a significant study, one that can turn our lives into a refined gold of abundance that we learn to distribute to other beings in this universe. It's worth a few hours of extra effort to learn the subtle dimensions of life that we might otherwise miss.
Let me know how I can help.
Namaste and Shanti,