I posed this question a few weeks back on Twitter and I got some great responses. He are some of them:
@MrsCapra: When I read the book “Buddhism is not what you think”
@Zenfant1969: When I saw what I already knew had been written down 2k yrs ago
@ZenDirtZenDust: The day the bottom fell out of my pail
@checkbak: The day I broke 20 years of resistance and walked into a meditation center
@ruralhybrid: When I saw Lama Yeshe say calmly on video, “check it out for yourself”
@bodhichittah: The day I lost everything around me but glimpsed (gained!) a new world within
@Bohicitta3000: When I knew I have to be the carrier of my own banner and not blindly follow one
@ShojinRJB: The day when I learned no discrimination on the zafu
@mindonly: I remember reading a little "basics" book & thinking 'wow, I've always thought that' & 'that makes perfect sense'.
I thought it would be an easy question for me to answer as well, but I found that I really struggled with defining a single day, a single moment or epiphany when I knew that Buddhism was right for me. I guess for me it was really a process that took approximately two years.
If I had to pick a single statement, however, I think I would go with @ZenDirtZenDust’s response: The day the bottom fell out of my pail.
Buddhism is a path, and like any other path, we decide to follow it because something about the path’s beginning appeals to us. Along the way we see and experience different things and at some point we make a decision, conscious or unconscious, that we chose the right path.
My first experience with Buddhism was going with a former boyfriend to a Buddha’s birthday celebration at a temple in the Lansing, Mich., area. During that visit, the monk’s Dhamma talk really struck home with me. It was welcoming, but also presented boundaries that made sense. A seed was planted. Because it was at least another 18 months before I found myself at that temple again, this time alone and feeling like I had lost control of everything, including myself.
The bottom had fallen out of my pail, and when it did, the first thing that came to mind was that evening Dhamma talk. Without hesitation, I got into my car and drove 90 minutes to the monastery where I began walking the path.
But when did I know, when did I become aware, that I had made the right decision? I’m not sure, but I know I did.
I'm a content director for a television company, guiding content on Web sites. I'm an avid listener of Frank Zappa and a practicing Buddhist who follows the Theravada vehicle. I'm an insatiable traveler who calls Chicago home.