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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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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Are acts of altruism really a part of the Buddhist ideology when it comes to dealing with the ego in a second noble truth kind of way ?
EDITED_BY: Stout (1206875022)


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Stout: you 'crippled' you post by editing it.

IMO this condemnation of 'ego' (whatever it might be according to definition) and the resulting fight is part of Dualism. It either leads to a great deal of frustration, aggression towards ones self or - in the wake of a "successful" tackle - to re-inflate itself ("What a good guy I am").

Many people strive for ideals and there is nothing wrong with it but IMO it's a merry go round. For me this is not the way.

And in relation to the second noble truth: When looking at some attempts I notice a strong craving for 'enlightenment'. The perpetuation of struggle and suffering - only reverted and turned against ones self. This - IMO - can never lead to what is aimed for: peace and (true) happiness.


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, the topic of this thread is Buddhism, so I would suggest you may find it expedient to use the Buddhist definitions of ego/self and dualism, and not your own made up versions.



In eastern religions dualism is the belief of coexistence, not conflict. So, it is not difficult to see why you are frustrated as you continue to follow the western belief that dualism is about in conflict. For example, the conflict between good and evil, or as you put it good guy and bad guy.



 Written by Fire Tom

And in relation to the second noble truth: When looking at some attempts I notice a strong craving for 'enlightenment'. The perpetuation of struggle and suffering - only reverted and turned against ones self. This - IMO - can never lead to what is aimed for: peace and (true) happiness.





I dont follow. The Second Noble Truth is about causal arising of Dukkha, which is grasping, clinging and wanting. This would also include lust for Enlightnment.



Anyhow, it is the The Third Noble Truth, The Noble Truth of Nirvana, that discusses the ending of Dukkha, Awakening and Enlightenment.



So if you are on a merry-go-round, then perhaps you need to align your self with Buddhist philosophy, and not the other way around.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1207525959)


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:Excuse, Stone - I'm not feeling the need to neither align myself to, nor to align Buddhist philosophy to me, I was simply replying to Stouts question IMO. smile



You're the expert, so maybe you can answer it?



(sidenote: Dualism in eastern philosophy indeed is (in)different)

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1207484960)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

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

I crippled my post so as to present an open ended question, seeing as how I was getting no response to the begged version.

In my understanding of the second noble truth, altruism is not what tackling the ego is all about, in fact I could probably make a case that altruism is ego driven in a lust for approval kind of way.

I'm really only interested in the practical aspects of the application of Buddhist doctrine. For instance, I feel Buddhism would be an excellent vehicle for overcoming something like a psychological addiction.

I still could be out to lunch on the whole thing though....


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Well I could now say that IF (you feel that) you're out for lunch on the whole thing, you missed the entire point and need to sit down to meditate - but I won't do that.

Instead I pass this on to the experts of this topic and order a tofu burger smile


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Well, I don't really want to meditate on the topic, seeing meditation in the Buddhist sense is all about exploring the relationship between thoughts and emotions and I'm already aware my feelings on my position are caused by my lack of information on the application of Buddhist doctrine.

I need more thought...my ego demands more thought..and I'm going to give that ego what it wants...'cause I feel like it smile


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Stout, I hadnt noticed the revised question. And while I agree with your answer, somewhere in between the discussion changed. Now, we all seem to have gone out to lunch to feed our egos tofu burgers.



 Written by Fire Tom

Excuse, Stone - I'm not feeling the need to neither align myself to, nor to align Buddhist philosophy to me, I was simply replying to Stouts question IMO. ( :





Ok Fire Tom, then we understand each other. Buddhist philosophy to not going to align its self with your opinions. So, is this why you continue to undermine Buddhism by making accusations like the Second Noble Truth can never lead to what is aimed for: peace and (true) happiness?





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EDITED_BY: Stone (1207488248)


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:I'm not trying to undermine Buddhist philosophy more than you try to sell it to everybody smile

Stout: Is your (revised) question answered?

*Goes back to lurking mode*


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, the title of the thread is Buddhism, so it is not about selling.



The question was about altruism, and basically I dont get your answer, in any way at all, if it was a response to Stout's question.



PS: From what I understand about altruism, the unselfish concern for the welfare of others, it should not be a problem as it a selfless act. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1207545630)


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:Stone...thanks for answering.

Of course altruism's "allowed" under Buddhist doctrine, I was just curious as to whether it was ego driven or not, without getting into the whole "does altruism really exist? " conversation.


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Stout, apologies for missing the question, I thought it was rhetorical.

Altruism really exists, whether it is ego driven or not really depends on the person. For me, that means asking if there is any in order to involved.

Wisdom and Compassion

 Written by

We usually see altruism, concern for others before oneself, as being the opposite of selfishness, concern for oneself before others. Buddhism does not see it as either one or the other but rather as a blending of the two. Genuine self-concern will gradually mature into concern for others as one sees that others are really the same as oneself. This is genuine compassion and it is the most beautiful jewel in the crown of the Buddha's teaching.



From: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda07.htm


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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The Tea Fairy
The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...
Member Since: 2nd Jul 2004
Total posts: 853
Posted:By it's nature I'm inclined to think that altruism would not be ego driven (ie it's 'selfless') - unless it does not actually exist, in which case I guess it is ego-driven.

I have another thought that keeps bugging me relevant to this thread (sorry if it's a bit off-topic but I guess it is relevant to buddhism) - does 'enlightenment' really exist? Is it even possible to tell if someone is enlightened?

When I think of enlightenment in the typical sense, I'm thinking of the Dalai Lama, Buddha, maybe various yogis and religious saints... I'm thinking of deep sense of peace, understanding, clarity and unity with all that is... but how do we really define it? Is it more of an abstract concept than a real state of being? Can it be acheived? If everyone became enlightened, would world suffering cease to exist?

Sorry, when I think about it all it seems like a huge question, maybe I'd be better off starting a different thread just to explore this? But then it is quite an integral part of buddhism too... smile


Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:No problems Stone...I agree it all boils down to the motivation for altruistic behaviour.

The buddahdotnet perspective implies the, ultimately, altruism doesn't exist argument.

The Tea Fairy....good question. I'd assert that enlightenment is actually fleeting and may exist from moment to moment, or situation to situation and is more of a description of a journey than a destination.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Altruism doesn't exist - side that.



Either you serve your ego or you serve your self...



Stone has provided a great Einstein quote somewhere... ah, here it is:



 Written by : Albert Einstein, 1954

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.





It might appear so lame to you but when taking this further, there are no acts of egotism. It all serves the same purpose only on different levels... - the key element IMU here is: "to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature" - that certainly includes... you, errm me, errm just anyone[/offtopic]



Welcome TF - in fact my search on 'enlightenment' returned with no result wink so it might be up to you to start a thread that could lead us there wink

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1207624503)


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:Hi Tea Fairy, welcome to the discussion.



Good to see you are starting at the top with the big questions. I hope everyone has a go at trying to answer them.



I think enlightenment exists. I did a new age course a few year back, and I certainly got a glimpse of what it could be like. I would say enlightenment it is the real state of being. As the Buddhists say, most of us are so unaware that is like we function in a state of drunkenness.



There is a book called The Tipping Point, which describes the moment of critical mass. So, not everyone would have to be enlightened to end world suffering.



Is possible to tell if someone is enlightened?



Id suggest that the deep sense of peace, understanding, clarity and unity comes from meditation and other practice. Wildmind provides many user-friendly guides to Buddhist meditation.



The following piece is from Mindfulness In Plain English. Its heavier, but well worth reading if want to know more.



 Written by

Vipassana meditation is an exercise in mindfulness, egoless awareness. It is a procedure in which the ego will be eradicated by the penetrating gaze of mindfulness. The practitioner begins this process with the ego in full command of mind and body. Then, as mindfulness watches the ego function, it penetrates to the roots of the mechanics of ego and extinguishes ego piece by piece We can weaken those aspects of ego which do the most harm, so that mindfulness will have less resistance to overcome. Greed and hatred are the prime manifestations of the ego process.





 Written by

The Vipassana meditator uses his concentration as a tool by which his awareness can chip away at the wall of illusion which cuts him off from the living light of reality. It is a gradual process of ever-increasing awareness and into the inner workings of reality itself. It takes years, but one day the meditator chisels through that wall and tumbles into the presence of light. The transformation is complete. It's called liberation, and it's permanent. Liberation is the goal of all buddhist systems of practice. But the routes to attainment of the end are quite diverse.





And sure, start a thread on enlightenment if you want. I'm sure it will be well supported smile





Fire Tom, I think the trick is to escape from optical delusion of consciousness (ego).



"This delusion is a kind of prison for us.."



As it says "Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison" (ego). You even put it in bold.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1207630670)


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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