I’ve just signed up so that I can attend Bhante Sujato’s Pali course. I have been lurking for a little while, but have not dared to participate.
By way of an introduction, I consider myself to be a relative beginner in Buddhism. My parents were agnostic and explicitly did not want to influence me with regards to religious affiliations or practices. However, in my early teens, an uncle took me to a Buddhist temple and gave me a book (“What Buddhists Believe” by K Sri Dhammanada). I read it completely that very night and after that accepted Buddhism as my path.
However, I did not really “practice” Buddhism. It was enough for me to know that a path lay before me and guidance was there when I was ready, but I was also growing up and many things took up my time. For many years I did not consider myself “ready” - besides lack of time, I did not consider myself “mature” enough. I was also keen on studying the Tipitaka, particularly Abhidhamma as I am attracted to conceptual philosophy and wanted to understand the underpinnings of Buddhist thinking. But in those days books on the Abhidhamma were truly difficult to obtain. I used to pester anyone I know visiting Sri Lanka or India to buy me Buddhist texts and over the years have accumulated a few books.
I retired in the beginning of 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic. Suddenly, I had all the time in the world. I discovered Suttacentral about a year ago, and it has rekindled my interest to study Buddhism, and to learn Pali. I have discovered that I don’t really understand the concepts of Buddhism until I actually read the original texts.
Please be kind to me (or in Japanese よろしくお願いします) as I go forth and embark on my path.