Karma (Sanskrit: कर्म kárma , kárman- "act, action, performance"[1]; Pali: kamma) is the concept of "action" or "deed" in Indian religions understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect (i.e., the cycle called samsara) described in Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist philosophies.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Introduction to Buddhism

I have been both fortunate and challenged as I've started trying to learn about Buddhism. Challenged, because it seems the only meditation center in my area is associated with the New Kadampa Tradition. I went once, and I knew enough about Buddhism to know that what they were teaching there wasn't quite what I'd learned so far. After doing a bit of research, it turned out that it just wasn't something I wanted to get involved with. It seems they've gone to great lengths to ensure no mention was made of their origins, which seems to violate the precept about false speech. I wish them well, but what they do there is not what I am seeking.

Fortunate, because about a week into it, I came across the Urban Dharma website, and found these wonderful podcasts from Ven. Kusala Bhikshu.

Kusala does a great job of putting the concepts of Buddhism into a language I can easily understand. I'm intelligent enough to be able to understand what I read in other places, but there is a certain joy that comes with the almost effortless way understanding flows when I'm listening to one of his presentations, or reading an article he's written or recommended. If you want to know more about Buddhism, I'd recommend you start with him and his Dharma Talks Podcast. I downloaded them all into iTunes, and started with the "A Guide to Basic Buddhism" talks from back in 2005.

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