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jemima (jem)
jemima (jem)

Pooh-Bah
Location: london
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 1750
Posted:Anyone know much about buddhism and/or the buddha?

I need to gather some info on the topic and focus on something specific within this area. I am aiming to produce an educational piece (animation, website, worksheet for example) i have about four or five weeks to to complete it but i need some ideas sparkers.

Anyone anyone?

cheers peeps


Never assume
Always Acknowledge

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, if we are comparing Buddha to Freud, then its probably philosophy.



Me, myself and I are the same, just different ways of saying ego.



The Turing Test just proves we are programmed beings. Empathetic response can be learnt. It could be just acting, but believable.



I dont know much about Sigmund Freud, so we may disagree on theory. I think ego is just conscious thought. If there are different levels, then its probably due to differences in brain physiology.



As you say, meditation itself is a very powerful tool, but the meditation Im talking about is not self-absorption or watching your navel. Im referring to mindfulness and Vipassana meditation. Vipassana meditation is an exercise in mindfulness, egoless awareness.



If you are repulsed by Buddhist then something is coming up for you, and it challenges your ego in some way.



 Written by:

Thesuper ego is the first coercive agency that we encounter in working on ourselves, which we find to be invested in keeping the unconscious unconscious and which accomplishes this by disapproving of the unconscious material. So, our approach is to help the ego consciously defend itself against the attacks of the superego, and hence to eliminate this important part of the need for unconscious ego defense mechanisms. If this is done, some awareness of feelings and sensations will bring up the part of the unconscious disapproved of by the superego, now that the ego is not guarding against it.





No. Buddhists arent into promoting your own 'inner guru'. Thats because all that is doing is stroking your ego. Buddhism is breaking free of ego, being present, and living in the real world. The world out side of your head.



Its clear you have no idea of meditation or Buddhism, and easy to see where the resentment is coming from.



Sidenote: If you are talking about comparing orange people to Buddhism. Then Id say any loved-up, play-full appeal has probably has got more to do with mdma, than any deep philosophy.









Edited for rubbish.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1204842306)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted: Written by: la_genie


don't forget the whole idea was to end samsara and achieve moksha... thus reuniting our Atman with Brahman in nirvana, and this is achieved by eliminating desire by following the eightfold path.
this is i understood it in my philosophy of religion class.



Yes..you could say that however I fear you're mixing Hindu terminology in with the mostly Theravada Buddhism we're trying to address here.

The interesting part of Buddhism, western Buddhism at least is I can say that view of what Buddhism's all about is nothing more than delusional hogwash when taken literally..and western Buddhism is cool with that.

If I don't want to "believe" then I don't have to believe. Buddhism's the antithesis of Islam in this respect.

I keeping with the Freudian bent, we could say that Buddhism is an attempt to educate the super ego to be aware of what the ego causes us to think and do. In short Buddhism is telling us "make sure brain is engaged before opening mouth"


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la_genie
la_genie

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Member Since: 17th Jan 2008
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Posted:Siddhartha Gautama was a Hindu Prince and a great many of the Buddhist ideals are related to Hinduism, but i will refrain from making any other comments least i offend the Theravada Buddhists here.

Be aware, the evil flowers may eat your toes....
Have no friends not equal to yourself...
Feed your mind, read a book

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:It's not a matter of offending anybody, it's just that us neophytes to the whole eastern philosophy idea are easily confused.

I've always seen Buddhist wisdom wrapped up in strange, esoteric terminology, and it's only recently that I've come to learn about western Buddhism that speaks a clear, understandable English, and it's the Theravada school that seems to have been the most westernised.

So, I've got to sort out the Hindu, the woo-woo, the stereotypes, the misconceptions, and get to the essence of what Buddhists are talking about

Please, contribute to the thread smile hug


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BurdaA
BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit
Member Since: 20th Jul 2007
Total posts: 377
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Point being that Buddhism is not a "new idea". The "new idea" (sorry to say, Stone) IMO is what you call "ego induced loonacy" or "spiritual hedonism": 'self directed paths of spirituality', 'pick and mix religions'

I find only relatively few '-ists' open for these new renegades. This usually is where tolerance (for others spirituality) ends and inquisition is sustained.



ubblol As much as I consider myself a spiritually hedonistic renegade I'll stick with agnostic fun-junky for now wink

As much as Buddhism is one of my favourite of the worlds spiritualities/religions/philosophies/cults/general pasttimes, and does fill a lot of the gaps that the more.. dogmatic belief structures simply haven't in my case. I find myself yet again questioning why the idea of a path to enlightenment (or an afterlife or worship or science) needs to be labelled at all. Every teaching in anything from a holy text down to a fireside parable could be true or have an important message. I'm just choosy is all.

Let's get figurative. For me, every time I've tried putting myself under a label or group, I find that I stretch or lengthen rather than growing or expanding. I prefer taking what lessons there are to be had from anywhere and applying them to life, where valuable lessons can make a difference.

State of mind is very important, and meditation is an essential tool, however I can't help but feel that the essence of buddhism and accomplishment of true absence of ego would require that you do not acknowledge your'self' Buddhist (Obviously leading to your head exploding). Was Buddha a Buddhist? Is Buddhism just a label for a tangible way of thinking? I honestly don't know. But good luck with that... If anyone needs me I'll be in the ego-pool stroking myself biggrin

Any offence is unintentional and giggleworthy hug


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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Stone
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Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:BurdaA





 Written by:

Enlightenment for a wave in the ocean is the moment the wave realises that it is water (Thich Nhat Hanh).









wink smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:La_Genie: Exactly this is what many (western) Buddhists ignore - Buddhism roots in Hinduism.

A great deal of Buddhist terminology (names) originate from Hinduism, a great deal of Buddhist practice originates from Hinduism. To blur this out is like reading the Bible ignoring the Old Testament.

Please continue to contribute. smile

Stone, maybe I start at the beginning before tackling the results:

Most of us depend on faith and trust, when it comes to scripts and their translation. We don't know the original language, in which the scripts have been written and even if: most scripts got compiled long after the prophet has been gone.

How much of the "original teachings" actually survived (unchanged) is a matter that we can't say. Therefore it is impossible to refer to "teachings in their pure form", when they are 2.500 years old.

By reading your link to Vipassana, I am directly confronted with the esotherical cowspoo that clog the entire subject, as Mr. Goenka is certainly not 'the only-last-in-line-teacher-of-Vipassana-since-the-Buddha' (an impression intentionally created by the wording of the website)

Allegedly there are 2 "technical" and 2 "natural" approaches to Vipassana:
(tech)
- Mr. Goenka's "Body Sweeping"
- Mr. Sayadaw's "Labelling"
(natural)
- Mr. Chah's "Order Discipline"
- Mr. Buddhadasa's "Natural Method"

And I'm certain that there are myriad of other - in Burma alone at least 24 - different approaches to Vipassana as I learned. Now which one is the one closest to Buddhas re-discovery of Vipassana?

I'm not comparing Buddha to Freud and the "Ego" is not merely 'conscious thought', 'self' or 'memory' - at least not in my definition. Looking at the self this way (to me) is highly confusing. To me there is a difference between "memory" and "intuition". But if you are referring to "egoless awareness": Who is it that experiences that 'state-of-mind'? Who is it that tells you: "Wow, now I have a moment of 'clarity'?" if not that 'conscious self'?

Which is the spiritual merry go round: "Egoless mind" and "seeing the world as it really is", because ultimately there is nothing within your self that can confirm 'it'. Having said this: to me it's funny how the 'self' ("ego" in this case) is condemned to be the "source of all evil/ suffering" - certain that it doesn't deserve this verdict.

To close this post: failing to develop your "inner guru" makes you dependant on organisations and guide(line)s that let you see "the world how they see it" - not "how it really is".

To me, a mosquito is a mosquito. It's not a 'demon', it's not an 'evil thought' and certainly not 'a test whether I can stand suffering or not'. It's a creature that developed into sucking other beings blood and whose chemistry causes me discomfort. It's further a species that can spread diseases such like Dengue fever and Malaria. I don't enjoy encountering it and I'm kindly telling it to "go away". The reason why I slap it (dead) is because it's not just stinging one solid nurturing time and then disappears into the night - but it stings repeatedly and causes suffering. I don't enjoy killing it, but I don't feel sorry for doing so either. Does this mean that I'm a murderer?

Stone: Maybe you meditate upon the question "why does FireTom trigger this reaction within my self", as it gets funny (strange) how you can't stop to attack me for questioning your belief system and criticising mainstream Buddhist' approach. I will cease to pay attention to your postings/ to take you seriously if your attitude towards me remains like this - I am part of this 'world outside your head'.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
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Posted:Fire Tom, you are entitled to your opinion:

 Written by:

.as it gets funny (strange) how you can't stop to attack me for questioning your belief system and criticising mainstream Buddhist' approach. I will cease to pay attention to your postings/ to take you seriously if your attitude towards me remains like this - I am part of this 'world outside your head'.



A question is generally a request for information, not a diatribe. Im not attacking you. Though, if you are criticizing a persons belief system, and you say you are, then you may encounter a little resistance.

This is a very good question:

 Written by:

Having said this: to me it's funny how the 'self' ("ego" in this case) is condemned to be the "source of all evil/ suffering" - certain that it doesn't deserve this verdict.



Im not prepared to even try to answer it, as you think its an attack.

Though, I will be interested to see how others answer.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:PM on the way.



 Written by: dhamma.org

The technique which S.N.Goenka teaches represents a tradition that is traced back to the Buddha.





 Written by: dhamma.org

Since the time of Buddha, Vipassana has been handed down, to the present day, by an unbroken chain of teachers. Although Indian by descent, the current teacher in this chain, Mr. S.N. Goenka, was born and raised in Burma (Myanmar).


EDITED_BY: FireTom (1204981846)


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onewheeldave
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Posted: Written by: Stone







 Written by:

…Having said this: to me it's funny how the 'self' ("ego" in this case) is condemned to be the "source of all evil/ suffering" - certain that it doesn't deserve this verdict.





I’m not prepared to even try to answer it, as you think it’s an attack.



Though, I will be interested to see how others answer.









For me, one of the useful and practical aspects of buddhism is the idea of 'skillful means' i.e. the truth that to convey an idea to one person will not be effective where another is concerned- different people are responsive to different approaches.



This is very important when it comes to transmitting the reality of buddhism to those of a different culture, as has been happening with the introduction and development of buddhism to westeners.



Because, some of those aspects, when stated in a certain way, tend to make westeners 'switch off' or, worse, actually cause offence/anger.



And, as I'm sure you know, westeners tend to quickly tag onto their interpretation of what is said and then dismiss buddhism entirely, based on that interpretation, which, often, is not actually what buddhism is saying in the first place.



To speak of the mind/self/ego as being a 'source of all evil' just winds some people up- cos they take it personally, as saying that they themselves, are evil/bad.



And, while, to an extent, it's correct and useful to endeavour to see the aspects of our own minds/habits that do increase suffering- if that's phrased in such a way that it repels the listener from taking buddhism seriously, then that could be said to be not 'skillful means' and, an indication that a different approach is worth considering.



With buddhism- it can be 'known' academically, as Firetom is tending to do, or, it can be 'felt'/lived/practiced (as, I think, Stone is interested in).



Those two approaches are worlds apart.



In the other thread, I stopped responding to those questions/points which I regarded as being of the academic variety, because there was, I felt, no point.



I was happy discussing what i saw as being the useful/practical aspects of the buddhism that I know and have lived by (though I do not call myself a 'buddhist'), but, where it comes to defending buddhism against academic arguments (by which I men academic as opposed to points derived from actual experience of having practiced buddhist techniques) then, I've not really got much to contribute.



I feel that, when it comes to those who seem to have had bad experiences with groups/individuals claiming to be buddhist, there's often little point in trying to explain the useful/practical aspects of buddhism, as they tend to have well ingrained 'attack responses' to it- They're not actually interested in understanding buddhism, rather than with arguing against their perceptions of it.



And that's OK- there are plenty of other paths and, for those who hate/dislike buddhism, perhaps those other paths will be more productive for them.



The buddha himself certainly wasted no time trying to sell buddhism to those who weren't interested- he focused on those who were interested in the practice of it (as opposed to those who simply wanted an intellectual understanding so they could 'classify' it).

EDITED_BY: onewheeldave (1204983383)


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But you can make the Bastard work for it."

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:OWD

I'm the one, not Tom, who's exploring this academically. If you don't believe that the useful/practical aspects of Buddhism can be explored in this manner.

Then so be it.


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onewheeldave
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Location: sheffield
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Posted:I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with academic discussion of buddhism- just that, if one sides talking about the experiential aspects, while the other is talking about the academic aspects, then there's not much overlap- they're literally talking about different things.



And, if that's the case, it may account for some of the frustration that both seem to have experienced at various points on this and the other buddhism thread.



(by 'academic' I mean in the sense of being non-experiential)


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
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Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Dave, thats an excellent review.

I was completely missing that there was not much overlap.

I was also attached to being right. I think Ill take a back seat in the future, unless someone is specifically interested in a practical aspect.


Fire Tom, I was not communicating well. I get defensive sometimes, apologies if you felt I was attacking you.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
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Posted:Well said, Dave. Thanks Stone for the PM hug Is that all sorted now? - I hope. grouphug

If there still is any interest in a constructive and respectful discussion, I'm happy to continue. Also with you, Stone - BTDT dunno what it is that make ppl think I want to be 'right at all costs' when all I do is addressing my questions and raising my concerns.

As I made clear "in the other thread", (IMHO/ to me) Buddhism can be both: a philosophy and a religion - it depends on how you deal with it, live it. You can treat it as a philosophy - non dogmatic, apply common sense and mutual understanding, tolerance towards other ppls approach even and live it yourself - as the main purpose. But you can treat it as a religion - dogmatic, fundamentalist, missionizing, intolerant towards other ppls approach to spirituality (which at some stage could even climaxes in Buddhist fanatism as seen in parts of S/E Asia).

These conditions however, can be applied to any approach towards spirituality. The 'original teachings' of Buddha have nothing to do with how you live them for yourself.

I addressed a bunch of (valid?) questions, which (again) remain unanswered. And this is the frustration on my side: I'm referring to your questions (at least I think I do) and have mine ignored.

I do resent to a whole lot of Buddhist organizations because I sense them to be diametrical opposite to what I feel Siddhartas approach/ intention has been.

Let me address my previous questions again and some new ones (and resign if there is no response):

1) Do you acknowledge Buddhism to (deeply) root in Hinduism, including some techniques like Vipassana?
2) How can you refer to the 'original teachings' of Buddha, if you depend on translations? Is this not the "hearsay" and "blind faith" that (to you) determine a religion rather than a philosophy?
3) How is it possible that ppl like Mr. Goenka (in best faith, I'm certain) claim to be direct heirs to Buddha and his teachings and trying to appear like the 'only one'?
4) IF there is no "soul", then what
- 'suffers' in the first place? Who is it, that experiences 'suffering'? Who identifies the acute sensation and who turns it into the enduring concept of 'suffering'?
- gets "enlightened" and "liberated from suffering" through the practice of Buddhist doctrines?
5) What is it to you, that you call "Ego"?
6) What is it to you, that you call "Atman"?
and finally
7) What if this "Atman" simply is "Soul" to others? Why you put forth Hindu terminology to Westerners when it only results in more misunderstandings and complications?

Siddhartas teachings (in their 'pure' form) are primarily forming philosophy, therefore it does not depend on (blind) faith, but their aspects are explainable and contain logic. By this it is possible to approach them "academically" or (if I would put it) "intellectually". These teachings are even valid, without any referral to Siddharta and him attaining what you (and others) call 'enlightenment'. IMHO you need to validate these aspects without putting your self in a box and label it "Buddhist", you need to validate these aspects by living them and make them easily and gently accessible to the individual...

Tikhe


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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la_genie
la_genie

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Member Since: 17th Jan 2008
Total posts: 73
Posted:tom, I cant answer most of the questions you pose, but what i can say is that; to an extent, Buddhism has change over the many years that it has been around, each country adds and takes away from the original ideals to make it fit with the already in-place ideals of that country. In my opinion..... the best way to start is to learn about Siddhartha Gautama's life and WHY he strayed from the path of his fathers. In following what he as the man learned and came to understand thus earning the TITLE of Buddha, then it is easier to follow how Buddhism has change. Now, change is inevitable even Buddha says this so to keep from becoming stagnate and to remain relevant, Buddhism has change, all religions have changed. You as a person can follow the doctrine of the various sect or take the concepts and apply them to your own life as more of a guideline. In this way you can have both the practical and philosophical Buddhism. And then become Buddha in your own right.
Buddha = enlightened one...


Be aware, the evil flowers may eat your toes....
Have no friends not equal to yourself...
Feed your mind, read a book

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onewheeldave
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Posted: Written by :FireTom


....................

I addressed a bunch of (valid?) questions, which (again) remain unanswered. And this is the frustration on my side: I'm referring to your questions (at least I think I do) and have mine ignored. .........


Let me address my previous questions again and some new ones (and resign if there is no response):

1) Do you acknowledge Buddhism to (deeply) root in Hinduism, including some techniques like Vipassana?
2) How can you refer to the 'original teachings' of Buddha, if you depend on translations? Is this not the "hearsay" and "blind faith" that (to you) determine a religion rather than a philosophy?





1) Buddhism, like many spiritual paths focused on 'direct experience' (of, in zen 'ultimate truth', or, in christian mystical terms 'of God') utilise various forms of meditation, of which Vipassana is just one- buddhism as a whole is not particualrly attached to one particular style of meditation.

2) By doing exactly what the buddha suggested- try out the various practicies that are attributed to buddhism- if they work, use them, if they do not work, assume either they're not for you, or, in some cases, possibly consider that they may be victims of innacurate translations.


 Written by :FireTom


3) How is it possible that ppl like Mr. Goenka (in best faith, I'm certain) claim to be direct heirs to Buddha and his teachings and trying to appear like the 'only one'?
4) IF there is no "soul", then what
- 'suffers' in the first place? Who is it, that experiences 'suffering'? Who identifies the acute sensation and who turns it into the enduring concept of 'suffering'?
- gets "enlightened" and "liberated from suffering" through the practice of Buddhist doctrines?
5) What is it to you, that you call "Ego"?
6) What is it to you, that you call "Atman"?
and finally
7) What if this "Atman" simply is "Soul" to others? Why you put forth Hindu terminology to Westerners when it only results in more misunderstandings and complications?







3) I don't know of Mr Goenka

4,5,6 & 8)

The beauty of focusing on the 'practical' aspects of buddhism (as opposed to the academic) is that none of the above are of importance (as the buddha himself said, they're not going to get you closer to the kind of understanding/goal that buddhist practice is designed for)

That's not to say that people shouldn't look for answers to them if they wish- I'm just pointing out that, for me, I see no value if persueing them for myself and, as a result, I'm not in a position to give much insight on them to others.

(other than to point out that, for those people who are under the impression that such answers are necessary for achieving spiritual peace, that they in fact are not).


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FireTom
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Posted:which is the sound of one hand clapping... beautiful smile

To rephrase: I would claim that most traditional practices of Buddhism originate in Hindu, incl. Vipassana. Siddharta ingeniously put them in a new context. Other practices got added within the past 2.500 years, regional 'adjustments' have been done - same as with all other faiths.

To expand I'm prone to say that the Buddha would not have limited himself to Buddhist' practices or those attached to Buddhism. After all there is a lot of space on the Mahayana and he had only one lifetime to explore as Buddha.

However, I feel that exactly by neglecting the 'academical' aspects of Buddhism, the whole thing turns into a dogmatic religion that more depends upon hearsay and blind faith, than practice. After all the inexperienced is susceptible to false pretends and trickery in the guise of 'personal development'. These just lead to walk a different path than intended, by any means. Then again... rolleyes

Also the practice of meditation can be one way to accomplish 'spiritual peace', as for my part I find it strange to get called a Buddhist (or having myself to call such) if I meditate. Get it that you can meditate without being a Buddhist and still pray like a Christian?

La_Genie, thanks for keeping up with me. I understand Siddharta's approach, being raised in a golden cage... there is no way to hide the worlds' reality from a human being, other than he chooses so for himself...

 Written by : la_genie

And then become Buddha in your own right.



Interesting perspective... Hence I might have to pass on the title, because I can't really follow up on the first of the noble truths:

 Written by : Wikipedia

1. The Nature of Suffering (Dukkha):
"Now this ... is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering."[6]



ubblol Even to the dullest and most painful experiences there is still quality. I just can't share Buddhist' outlook on life.

 Written by : Wiki

4. The Way (Marga) Leading to the Cessation of Suffering:
"Now this ... is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."[9][10]



And here it is a major crossroad for me to the Buddhist doctrines, regardless of the beneficial aspect of its practices - because I don't share the same understanding:

 Written by : Wiki

To understand suffering, to understand the origination of suffering, to understand extinction of suffering, to understand the path leading to the extinction of suffering; this is called right understanding



So I get stuck with the the most principle of Buddhist' philosophy - how could I accept it to be my path? I would have to think diametrical to my very core and principle in life.


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Stone
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Posted:Ok, one at a time.

 Written by

To rephrase: I would claim that most traditional practices of Buddhism originate in Hindu, incl. Vipassana. Siddharta ingeniously put them in a new context. Other practices got added within the past 2.500 years, regional 'adjustments' have been done same as with all other faiths. :



Probably not true. Buddhism, like Janism are more likely to represent ancient traditional Indian belief systems, compared to Aryan influenced Hinduism.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
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Posted: Written by :FireTom




However, I feel that exactly by neglecting the 'academical' aspects of Buddhism, the whole thing turns into a dogmatic religion that more depends upon hearsay and blind faith, than practice. After all the inexperienced is susceptible to false pretends and trickery in the guise of 'personal development'. These just lead to walk a different path than intended, by any means. Then again... rolleyes

Also the practice of meditation can be one way to accomplish 'spiritual peace', as for my part I find it strange to get called a Buddhist (or having myself to call such) if I meditate. Get it that you can meditate without being a Buddhist and still pray like a Christian?




Of course meditation is not the sole province of buddhism- meditation is, and has been, the root of many different spiritual traditions and existed way before buddhism ever did.



 Written by :



Interesting perspective... Hence I might have to pass on the title, because I can't really follow up on the first of the noble truths:

 Written by : Wikipedia

1. The Nature of Suffering (Dukkha):
"Now this ... is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering."[6]






Is it the 'suffering' part that bothers you?

Because, as I previously mentioned,. to translate 'Dukkha' in that context as 'suffering' is, quite simply, incorrect.

'Dukkha' does not mean suffering and, unfortunately, that mistranslation is the cause of a lot of westeners dismissing buddhism because a mistranslation has led them to believe buddhism is saying something (that life is suffering) when it actually isn't sayng that.

And this is why, IMO, acedemic study of buddhism is a two-edged sword, because this mistranslation and, the many other mistranslations that have plagued buddhism, arise mainly from academic works- those who actually practice buddhist principles are far more likely to not write off 'dukkha' as been conveniently translatable to 'suffering' and, go to lengths, when explaining to the lay public, that they don't walk off with the wrong idea.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:No one will ever understand buddhism, unless they try out its principles.

That's not to say they have to stick with them- they may decide that they are not for them and, that's OK.

But, intellectual study, however intense or prolonged, will never lead to understanding buddhism in any sense other than the academic.

For a poi analogy- researching the 3-beat-weave for a lifetime, will not lead to the understanding of it, that picking up some poi and actually learning the move, will.

A person who can write a book on, theorise about, analyse, talk for hours on, the '3-beat-weave' is, however expert, missing out on something important, if they have never actually done the 3-beat-weave.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Two:

 Written by

However, I feel that exactly by neglecting the 'academical' aspects of Buddhism, the whole thing turns into a dogmatic religion that more depends upon hearsay and blind faith, than practice. After all the inexperienced is susceptible to false pretends and trickery in the guise of 'personal development'. These just lead to walk a different path than intended, by any means. Then again rolleyes



Fire Tom, the big thing to understand about Buddhism, is that it is about self realization, not faith or dogma.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Three:



 Written by

And here it is a major crossroad for me to the Buddhist doctrines, regardless of the beneficial aspect of its practices - because I don't share the same understanding:





Self realization leads to understanding.



 Written by

So I get stuck with the most principle of Buddhist' philosophy - how could I accept it to be my path? I would have to think diametrical to my very core and principle in life.





No one is forcing you to accept Buddhism as you path.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1205260598)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:If we take the word suffering, and replace it with the word stress, then we have an idea that more of us in the modern world can relate to.

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la_genie
la_genie

member

Member Since: 17th Jan 2008
Total posts: 73
Posted: Written by :Stone


Ok, one at a time.
Probably not true. Buddhism, like Janism are more likely to represent ancient traditional Indian belief systems, compared to Aryan influenced Hinduism.



I thoughtfully did research before i replied to your post. I looked
through 6 of my religious studies textbooks, and visited about 20 web sites and no where did i find a hint of anything saying that Siddhartha Gautama was anything but a Hindu at birth, this being the case of course Buddhism would have a large influence of Hinduism in it.

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=355&HistoryID=aa36
"Aryan society is divided into three groups - priests, warriors and those who look after the cattle. This division later becomes an important part of India's caste system.

Little is known historically about the Aryans, other than what can be gleaned from their holy texts called veda ('knowledge'). The earliest of these, the Rigveda, is a collection of more than 1000 hymns in Sanskrit, the language of the Aryans. The hymns are for the use of priests in the temple rituals of sacrifice.

The hymns, dating from well before 1000 BC, survive in oral form for hundreds of years (Sanskrit does not acquire a script until about 500 BC). They are the beginning of a religious tradition which will evolve, with much borrowing from the Aryans' neighbours in the subcontinent, into the complex religion known now as Hinduism.

The region first settled by the Aryans is the Punjab ('five rivers', from the five great tributaries of the Indus which make it fertile), an area now on the border between Pakistan and India. From this secure homeland their influence gradually spreads eastwards along the Ganges and south down the coast of west India.

Throughout its history India has seen a succession of small independent kingdoms developing, fighting each other, coalescing into larger groups (occasionally even large enough to deserve the name of empire), then breaking up again into small units for the process to be repeated. The spread of Aryan influence progresses, over the centuries, in just such a manner.

By about 600 BC the two most powerful kingdoms in India are neighbours on the Ganges - Kosala, and downstream from it Magadha. Both are rigid societies, with the Brahman priesthood wielding a great deal of power through their knowledge of the Vedas and their control of the Vedic rites. Impulses for religious reform develop in these regions in the 6th century, resulting in Jainism and Buddhism.

By the 4th century Magadha has emerged as the dominant power in the whole of northern India, with a capital city at Pataliputra (modern Patna). But any chance of stability is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Alexander the Great."

Where and where was Siddhartha born again?? oh yes Northern India some time between 450 and 600 BCE.


Be aware, the evil flowers may eat your toes....
Have no friends not equal to yourself...
Feed your mind, read a book

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:There are some significant differences b/t Buddhism and Hinduism.


pre Buddhist history.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:There is a reason why I suggest to engage in academical studies of Buddhism (just as well as the practical side): It simply eliminates or at least diminishes the percentage of "blind faith" and makes it a "conscious choice" (which IMO is the desired approach). It might not work for every body, I don't say that. But it will keep you aware.

OWD: thanks for keeping up, I know that the sweetness of a kiss needs to be experienced, cannot be described properly. I do my kind of meditation, my kind of practice yet I wish not to be labelled a 'Buddhist' just due to that. Claiming that "the lifetime theoretical study on the 3beat wave will not lead to its understanding..." means that there is no real 'study' happening in the first place. Do I get your metaphore correct: "5 minutes of practice are more effective than 5 hours of study." ?? It depends on you, Dave. Saying that "no one will ever" is a prediction that proved itself to be erroneous before you started keying it in [/other side of bold predictions].

Buddhism and Jainism both do root in Hinduism and when I briefly check the link Stone provided - I'll carefully be checking a few other sources before validating this content. There is so much hearsay and even false informations on these topics like there are fruit flies in Queensland. Thanks La_Genie, for posting informations on Aryan and Hindu.

Stone - "Self realization leads to understanding" and vice versa: "Understanding leads to self realization"... When you say that "nobody is forcing (me) to accept Buddhism as (my) path", then I ask you why I appear 'spiritually hedonistic' to you when choosing my own composition? wink tongue Let the past be past, no offence taken - but this attitude I notice frequently when interacting with people with a strong set of (their own) beliefs: "You don't have to choose (Christ, Buddhism, fill in whatever) but you clearly must be crazy if you don't." Sublime psycho pokes.

It feels like being a firespinner on a Juggling Convention (a few years back) when all the Jugglers looked down at us and claimed "spinning not to be an art form that should be represented on a Juggling Convention"...

It's not about faith and dogma... Do you know what BMW is about? It's not about a car, or driving: it's about "more smiles per hour"... no offence meant.

OWD: If "Dukkha" does not equal "suffering", what is the correct translation then? You refer to the 'original teachings' in their 'pure form' and already with the most basic of Buddhist principles, the 4 noble truths we discover that translations are erroneous...

If I need to get told what Buddhism is about, then it doesn't work for me. I try to get this through to appear on your screen: Besides the fact that the practices originate from way back before Buddhism arose, the conduct of these techniques don't make me a Buddhist.

You choose for your self and your own reasons. I for my part am in no desperate need of a belief system. I for my part know what Buddha and Jesus have 'not' been: the former has not been a Buddhist and the latter has not been a Christian. I am in no need of a new generation of priests and converts (no offence intended) and in no need of another institutionalized dogmatic philosophy. Especially *not* as their founders had been labelled "renegades" in their times. Especially *not* as the basic ethics of all these paths are the same: righteous thought, intent, speech, action and how to define and shape this righteousness....


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, good comments.



I say its about spiritually hedonism because people want to do it their way, and there is no thinking out of the circle. How can there be, if people profess to know it all.



That which is beyond 'knowledge' cannot be known 'through knowledge'. As you say, you choose you own composition; which is all about you. You do your meditation, which does not appear to have anything in common with Buddhist meditation. So how would you know if mindfulness meditation works for you.



Why do you keep comparing Christ to Buddha? Both are at different ends of the spectrum. Christians believe in supreme beings, heaven, hell and all that. The key to Buddhism is self-realization; there is no supreme being, no heaven and no hell. Buddhism, is about accepting responsibility for who you are as a human being, rather than waiting for judgment day.





Having a conscious choice" would imply that we have free will. How can anyone have free will without self-realization?

EDITED_BY: Stone (1205315508)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by :FireTom


There is a reason why I suggest to engage in academical studies of Buddhism (just as well as the practical side): It simply eliminates or at least diminishes the percentage of "blind faith" and makes it a "conscious choice" (which IMO is the desired approach). It might not work for every body, I don't say that. But it will keep you aware.

OWD: thanks for keeping up, I know that the sweetness of a kiss needs to be experienced, cannot be described properly. I do my kind of meditation, my kind of practice yet I wish not to be labelled a 'Buddhist' just due to that. Claiming that "the lifetime theoretical study on the 3beat wave will not lead to its understanding..." means that there is no real 'study' happening in the first place. Do I get your metaphore correct: "5 minutes of practice are more effective than 5 hours of study." ?? It depends on you, Dave. Saying that "no one will ever" is a prediction that proved itself to be erroneous before you started keying it in [/other side of bold predictions].






No, I stand by that- no-one will ever understand buddhism by simply reading about it and practicing it. That's the way some things are- no-one will ever get good at tennis by purely reading about it or acheiving academic understanding- they have to pick up a racket and play it to improve.

Buddhism is, similarly, a practice, a way of guiding the mind that you can only imrove at by practcing.

You can do fine academic researches into buddhism, which will be of great value for advancing the academic understanding of buddhism, but, you will not be aquiring any understanding of what happens when you practice it.

The four noble truths seem to make sense on just reading them, but, that's a different kind of understanding to the experiential understanding that is gained by actually practicing them.

When it comes to that kind of experiential understanding, reading about/academic study, can be a useful starting point (as is reading posts about the 3-beat weave or tennis), but, if you stop there, there's no way you're going to be doing the 3-beat, playing tennis, or grasping the essence of buddhism- for that you must get some acual poi in your hands/a racket/some buddhist practice.

(I'm not saying that you have to, or should, do that- that's totally up to you, simply that you're not going to get an experiential undestanding of buddhism, wiothout some practice and, buddhism is an experiential doctrine)




 Written by :FireTom




OWD: If "Dukkha" does not equal "suffering", what is the correct translation then? You refer to the 'original teachings' in their 'pure form' and already with the most basic of Buddhist principles, the 4 noble truths we discover that translations are erroneous...





As a first attempt:

It refers to those negative aspects of your life that are caused or worsened by aspects of your self and, which can be eliminated/lessened by coming to an instinctual understanding of the causal chains involved.

(amongst over things)

The previous suggestion of substituting 'stress' for 'suffering' was, I thought, a practical one.

But, ultimately, I don't think 'dukkha' can be accurately conveyed by a single English word.

Maybe another approach would be to take the mistranslation 'life is suffering' and, if we want to retain the suffering component, switch the 'is' to 'contains'

ie

'life contains suffering' or 'life involves suffering' or 'in life there is some suffering'

(bearing in mind that the suffering refered to is that type of suffering which has components that are caused or worsened by aspects of ones own self)


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:It's interesting, If you want to compare Christianity and Buddhism all you need to do is compare the 4/8 with the 14 deadly sins ( nee the 7 deadly sins )
If we toss out pride and the genetic modification ones because they're strictly faith issues, then we're left with the same sort of "instructions" for leading a happy, healthy life.


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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:?

the four noble truths explain how dukkha arises and how that arising can be diminished/end- I see nothing like that in christian deadly sins.

The big difference is that the christian prohibitions/sins are

1. dogmatic
2. claimed to be the word of God
3. condemn those who choose not to follow them as 'sinners'/ungodly/immoral

the buddhist eightfold path/noble truths, in contrast, are

1. not claimed to come from any form of god or supernatural beings
2. do not condemn those choosing not to follow them as immoral
3. are simple recommendations- if you want to tackle dukkha the buddhist way, then avoiding certain things will be of assistance


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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