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Buddhists/How do I become a Buddhist?


I have given up on all Abrahamic religions, including my former the Episcopal church. I see too many problems with them, mainly the idea that if you don't believe in their God, you are going to hell. I have a problem with them condemning 7 billion people to hell.

Anyway, I want to know how I become a Buddhist, or how to start practicing it?


Dear Patrick,

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions.

To answer your question simply, in order to become a Buddhist, all you have to do is live your life based on truths. As you go through life with the goal of eliminating your own suffering, you are already doing what the Buddha taught. His only goal was to teach people to free themselves from suffering.

A short summary of his teachings are:

1. Refrain from evil
2. Do good
3. Purify the mind

So, to do #1, an easy start is to observe the Five Precepts:

1. Abstain from killing of any kind
2. Abstain from taking that which was not given
3. Abstain from sexual misconduct
4. Abstain from harmful speech
5. Abstain from intoxicants

To do #2:

Do good things for the people around you. Be kind and considerate.

To do #3:

Find a group of Buddhists near to where you are and find a suitable teacher. In order to practice properly, you should have a qualified teacher to guide you in your journey.

I wish you luck in your journey!

PS. If you would like my recommendation for books or groups near you, please send me a private message or private question.

PPS. You can read some Buddhist blogs at


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Anandapanyo Bhikkhu


I can answer questions about Buddhist practice, Buddhist understanding and how to apply Buddhism to daily life. I can help analyze Buddhist sayings and teachings. In addition, I can help with questions Buddhism stories, fables and Vinaya(rules). I have meditated for over 10 years and can help you start with meditation. In addition, I can help provide insight into what to do when you feel that you have hit a wall with your meditation. My main area of expertise is how to think in accordance with Sammaditthi (the right view - and number 1 in the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path. If I cannot answer your question, I have many able teachers with over 20 years experience to help me, so chances are I will be able to find an answer for you.


I have been practicing Buddhism since I was born, but as a serious practice since 2003. I started studying under various famous Thai Theravada masters. Finally, I met and studied under Phra Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo who has recently passed away on Nov 11, 2008 and is widely accepted as a great Arahant (fully enlightened) teacher of our time. In addition, I have personally read and studied much of the Buddhist scriptures and popular literature available. I have recently undertaken the ordination vows and have become a Buddhist monk in the theravada forest monk tradition. I reside at a temple with many dedicated practitioners and great teachers. I have been practicing training my mind to be aligned with right view (sammaditthi) for over 10 years. I have also been meditating for over 10 years. In my time spent with Acariya Thoon, I learned many things and was able to incorporate them into my life. In addition to practicing Buddhism within temples and my home, I used to own two restaurants and managed commercial real estate. I had to deal with many different and problems. I learned how to use Buddhism to fix my problems, both externally (my environment) and internally (within me).

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