In Buddhism, the actual practice is far more important than everything else. We wish to give some good words of advice.
1. If one chooses to read the Pali Canon on one's own, it's better that there is an experienced teacher to give guidance on the correct meaning of the words. This saves time in doubt and endless research.
2. If one has doubts or questions, it's better if there is an experienced, accomplished, and authentic teacher to answer and give guidance.
We suggest not to look for answers in places such as the Internet discussion forums that are crowded with diversity of views, doctrines, traditions, etc. These people cannot give true guidance.
Furthermore, resources on the Internet should always be taken with careful examinations and investigation. A lot of web pages are written by persons who write at an individual basis, and should therefore be examined . For example, the popular Access to Insight has teachings that require further investigation such as its F.A.Q. on "I want to become a Buddhist. How do I do that?"
However, we recommend this article. [The Triple Refuge (ti-sarana)]
3. We advice to abstain from participating excessively on the Internet discussion forum, such as debates, arguments, exchange of views and opinions, etc.
The advice from an experienced practitioner is "Doing this only makes it a hindrance for oneself!"
One should reflect,
"What good can arguments and debates do to me? Attachments to them only waste my time of practicing!"
"What good can diversity of views and opinions do to me? They only become a hindrance! Attachments to them mean suffering!"
And we definitely don't advice one to engage in debates and disputes with other religious faiths. "Other religious faiths" also include those Buddhist schools' doctrines that are not in agreement with each other.
4. There is a famous saying, "Patience leads to."
Keep this saying in the most secure place in heart. This is the saying from the past realized masters.