About me

My name is David Schmidt, and I was born and raised Roman Catholic, going to church everyday before School and of course every Sunday. I was even an altar boy. In my early Teens, I came up with an idea for my own religion which I called the “Free Belief” religion. The basis of it being a much less dogmatic religion that would open itself up to all people. I never gained any members of course, but I think it was a sign that I was already thinking outside the box. In my early Thirties, I actually became a Born Again Christian. I wrote Christian songs, studied the Nag Hammadi Scriptures and the Gnostic Gospels, and tried to convince everyone I met that they should believe what I believed. Then in my early Forties I befriended a woman who was very versed in several Eastern philosophies including Sufism, Taoism and Buddhism. I found that her wisdom about life was so logical and helpful to me, that I thirsted to learn more. Another good friend of mine suggested I pick up a book and study for myself, so I stopped at Borders one afternoon and landed on the book “Buddhism Plain and Simple” by Steve Hagen. As I read the book, light bulbs kept going on in my head. The culmination of all the things I had searched for and wondered about my whole life started to become amazingly clear. As a student of Buddha’s teachings, I then studied independently until Mid 2010. At that time I met a Monk who truly changed my life. A teacher, a friend, a Brother.

This Blog intended to share what I continue to learn as a student of the dhamma. I hope that it may in some small way be of benefit to you.
I encourage each of you to share your thoughts and comments with me.
And may you always be well, happy and peaceful.
~David “Nissarana”

Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta: This is not mine, I am not this; this is not my self.

  • vishy89

    http://www.youngwisdomproject.org/2011/07/good-friendship/

    Dropped in here> Just sharing this : from: vishy89(@)gmail.com

    Good FriendshipWednesday, July 6th, 2011

    Note: The following quotes are from the handout that inspired the awesome discussion we had during our April 9th gathering on “Good Friendship, Wise Communication.”

    This post is dedicated to S.L. and H.L., two courageous members of the YWP who will be temporarily ordaining as novice monks this weekend. We are happy for and proud of them and wish them all the best on their mission!

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    In the suttas, the direct teachings of the Buddha and his disciples recorded in the ancient scriptural texts, we can see that the Buddha placed great importance on friendship. Few suttas said it more simply and clearly than this:

    “With regard to external factors, I don’t see any other single factor like noble friendship as doing so much.” (Itivuttaka: 1.17)

    The Buddhist path is a gradual one and having good friendship is the best way to make sure we help keep each other walking on the path.

    In addition to the above quote, the Buddha had also given many other discourses on friendship. In the Mitta Sutta, the discourse on friendship, the Buddha stated the “gold standard” of what constitute a good friend:

    “A friend endowed with seven qualities is worth associating with. Which seven? (1) He gives what is hard to give. (2) He does what is hard to do. (3) He endures what is hard to endure. (4) He reveals his secrets to you. (5) He keeps your secrets. (6) When misfortunes strike, he doesn’t abandon you. (7) When you’re down and out, he doesn’t look down on you. A friend endowed with these seven qualities is worth associating with.” (Mitta Sutta: AN 7.35)

    Another very famous sutta that focuses primarily on lay Buddhists provides ways we should behave when interacting with our friends:

    “There are five ways in which a person should treat his friends and companions: (1) by gifts, (2) by kind speech, (3) by being helpful and looking after their welfare, (4) by treating them like himself, (5) by sincerity and keeping his word.”

    There are five ways in which friends and companions thus treated by a person will reciprocate: (1) they look after him when he is careless, (2) they look after his property when he is careless, (3) they become a refuge when he is in danger, (4) they do not desert him when he is in trouble, (5) they show consideration and concern for his family.”(Sigalovada Sutta: DN 31)

    In yet another sutta, the Buddha laid down “four grounds for the bonds of friendship”:

    “There are these four grounds for the bonds of friendship. Which four? Generosity, kind words, beneficial help, and consistency. These are the four grounds for the bonds of friendship.” (Sangaha Sutta: AN 4.32)

  • WHPDave

    @vishy89 Thank you so much for coming here and sharing. And I completely agree with you, kalyanamitta is everything.

  • Bryan J

    I was born into Christianity but I really never followed up on it, didn’t read the bible and barely went to church. My family never talked about god or anything really, we’d say grace on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas but that was about it. Then I started taking a lot, a lott, of psychedelics when I was 16 and began thinking way out of the box. When I was introduced to Buddhism sophomore year I really started to think about what religion was to me. I always believed in reincarnation what ever age I was when I heard about it because it seemed only “logical” and a real answer to the big questions. About a year ago I saw the book, Buddhism plain and simple on a table at my brothers house and brought it home with me. My perspective has changed ever since then but I also want to say that I feel spiritually connected through energy besides the way of life I have began to explore. Today I’ve never been more at peace with making decisions, my reactions, and how I want to live life. My mind still wants to think about how life is so infinitely weird, it creates so much anxiety for some reason even though I get most things about life. Does the anxiety of a million thoughts about beyond life ever free itself? lol. Do I need to fully commit to Buddhism you think? Thank you for your peaceful loving uniting respectful, site and wisdom. I live by P.L.U.R. if you haven’t heard that one yet. lol my favorite unwritten law of life in harmony.