Eichi (tentacularone) wrote in anaishikawa,
Eichi
tentacularone
anaishikawa

hello

I'm new, both to the community and to buddhism. I've been using it as my mode of spiritual expression for about 4-6 months. I don't 100% ascribe to the cosmology/theology of buddhism, but I like the teachings and practices, and I'm trying to learn more. Most of what I've read talk a lot about the philosophy of buddism (the noble truths, the eightfold path, etc.) but I've had a bit of difficulty finding information about the customs and rituals of practice (forms of meditation, chants and their meanings, statues and their signifigance, etc.) Can anyone either reccommend a source (web preffered... I'm a starving student) or give me the low-down?

also, how does one go about finding the nearest temple? I would like to visit one. I don't think there are any quite near where I live (southern indiana), but I'm in Las Vegas for the summer, and there might be one out here.

finally, I have a question regarding monasticism and the middle way. Perhaps it's only my skewed western perspective, but it seems to me that monks engage in somewhat ascetic behavior. They can't drink, have sex/marry, eat after noon, etc. I understand the principle that these attatchments in life can be distracting, but it still seems to be immoderate, to the denial end of the spectrum. Any thoughts?

And I apologize, but this is getting cross posted in several buddhist forums. It won't be a habit.
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