About the Book
Title: The Buddha Journey: Questions and Answers for the Awakening Mind
Author: Quang Tri
Genre: Spirituality / Buddhism
The Buddha Journey aspires to answer the most commonly asked questions beginning or advancing students would ask. The Buddha Journey covers your basic “Buddhism 101” introduction, then answers over 100 questions about compassion, anger, forgiveness, meditation, impermanence, sex, karma, death, becoming a Buddhist and more! Quang Trí writes in a simple, easy-to-understand way that allows the reader to understand the content and contemplate the subject matter on their own for their own interpretation.
Quang Trí has been practicing meditation since 2002 and Buddhism since 2006. He is a Dharma teacher and a Truth seeker, teaching others about Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation. As the writer of the popular website, BuddhaJourney.net, Quang Trí continuously aspires to help everyone with their path toward Awakening. He is one of the senior members of his temple, Chua Phuoc Hue, as he trains to ordain as a monk.
"I’ve been having trouble controlling my thoughts. I just get overwhelmed with them, and I’ve been trying to calm my mind. Have any tips?
“Calming our mind” does not mean controlling our thoughts. With all the controlling you’re trying to do, has it helped and gotten you anywhere? No, because that’s not how it works. Calming our mind means understanding our mind. We “control” our thoughts by acknowledging them, know they’re there, and letting them go!
Our mind constantly wants attention; that’s why it’s always filled with a million thoughts ALL the time! So when a thought arises during meditation, and we start playing with it because we’re trying to control it and make it go away, it plays back harder, and it’s more difficult for it to actually go away.
Instead, when a thought arises, we basically say hello to it, acknowledge the thought without entertaining it (meaning, adding to it and playing out the scene) and naturally just let it go. It might feel like more thoughts arise by doing this, which will probably happen, but that’s just our mind trying to get our attention. Eventually, with LOTS of practice, our mind will get the point, and less and less thoughts will arise.”
"How do I develop true happiness?
It is everyone's life mission to be happy. Every sentient being wants happiness and a good life. And so it is also our life's mission to develop that happiness, for and from ourselves, from within. It is unfortunate that we live in a world where society has brainwashed us that new, pretty, fancy things will bring us happiness. That our life would be incomplete without the latest trending gadgets, cars, clothes, and even foods. We spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to be part of the status-quo, to fit in, and make sure we're on the same trending page as the rest of the world.
Are we happy with all that? Yes, for a hot minute. Only until the next latest gadget is released, next year's model car is for sale, and the new season clothing line has come and gone before we've even realized it exists. We have this completely false assumption that these "things" bring us real happiness, that they have this magical way of taking all our dissatisfactions of the world away. Because they don't.
Real happiness is when we realize these nice things are impermanent, and the happiness they bring is also impermanent. New technology is constantly changing and developing; it can't even catch up to itself. With a blink of an eye the new iPhone is released, the next thing we know, the iPhone is going to be a tiny chip we have to embed in our heads!
Buddhism is not a fixing path; it's a healing path. If we come into Buddhism assuming it's going to magically fix all our life problems, then we are the problem in our life. Buddhism gives us the guidelines and instructions to understanding life and our minds, and to use those instructions to help us escape what we see as dissatisfying as a different view of reality. By understanding life (using the Four Noble Truths) and following the guidelines of the Eightfold Path, we start understanding our mind and the world around us and why things cause us dissatisfaction.”
"I want to convert my life and be a Buddhist but how?
“Converting” to Buddhism doesn’t make you a Buddhist, just like going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. It’s the practice and the way you live your life and treat others that makes you a Buddhist.
When Christians, Jews or Catholics come to Buddhist practice, they don’t practice to become Buddhists; they practice to become better practitioners of their own religion. Nothing about Buddhism is religious. Buddhism is mind-centered, not god-centered, so you can be anything and use Buddhist practices to make you a better person and live a better life.”