Originally posted by victorx013
i am fascinated by buddhism\is there anyone here who is a buddhist, as i am\any experience with buddhism? (i have only learned about it from books, have adopted it as my religion for only about one year - but this is permanent)\what is your most valuable meditation technique? mine would be gazing at an object (any object chosen, or a spot), observation of breath, & the mantra ommanipadmehum also being important\
I've studied Buddhism for 30 years, and trained under several Buddhist teachers.
Reading and meditating is good, but most important of all is to find a teacher to study under. Don't worry if the teacher is perfect or not (none are, basically -- the sooner we get past that, the better).
The reason a teacher/mentor is important, is because we humans carry something like a "blind spot". This is a part of our overall psychological makeup that makes it almost impossible to admit when we are wrong about something, don't know something, or have some part of our character that is in need of growing.
In a sense, there are two main components of the ego -- pride, and vanity. Pride keeps us from admitting when we are uncertain. Vanity results in self-absorption. Men tend to be prone to the former, women to the latter. (A generalization, granted, that doesn't apply in all cases -- but most, I've found).
The Buddha once said, that in order to wake up, we need 3 things -- "buddha, dharma, sangha". Buddha is a teacher. Dharma is a system of knowledge that is tried and tested. And Sangha is a fellowship, or community of truth-seekers. Trying to wake up on one's own is difficult, because of the mind's capacity to avoid looking directly at itself, owing mostly to pride, vanity, and the "blind spot".