What are 3 Critical Steps for a Beginner in Buddhism, Difference Between Contemplation and Meditation and more… (Q&A Session September’19)

Duration 1:21:35

Questions answered during our Q&A session:

2:42 The Buddha taught that one must take care of one’s parents and help them get established in Dhamma, or at least help them get established in morality. If we no longer have a connection with our parents due to a difficult and sometimes violent upbringing, is it still necessary to reconnect with them to fulfill this part of the teachings?

15:44 When my friends or family come to me for advice about a difficulty they’re suffering with, I always want to give them a teaching about suffering, meditation and what the Buddha taught about these things. I’m not ashamed of my practice but I don’t want to appear as though I’m proselytizing them into Buddhism. How can I use my new insight to help others without mentioning Buddhism specifically?

25:38 Monks and nuns generally renounce possessions, can you please talk about possessions in the lay community, especially when our families are aggressively conditioned to accumulate possessions.

34:46 Matthieu Ricard talks consistently about altruism and I’m starting to think our true and no selves are synonymous with altruism, would you please talk about this concept.

41:42 What are your 3 critical tips for a beginner setting out in the path?

51:55 Is there a difference between contemplation and meditation?

59:10 When it comes to practicing different types of meditation, such as Metta, Calm Abiding, etc., do you have a rotation schedule? Or do you do what you feel is needed? How do various schools of Buddhism approach this?

1:06:23 Can you explain Pure Land Buddhism (Amitabha Buddhism)? What exactly is the “pure land”? As a first impression, this seems like an attempt to attain enlightenment without studying much dharma, engage in meditation, or follow the eight-fold path.

1:13:04 As someone who (loosely) identifies with the Theravada tradition and has taken refuge in Sakyamuni Buddha, I find it a bit weird that followers of Mahayana and Vajrayana take refuge in or worship other Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Deities. How should someone outside these traditions regard or approach the worship of these Enlightened Beings?