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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:OWD

I'm completely aware of the differences, and yes they are important.

but

You don't see a "path" to follow in the sins ? You don't see that if you live your life using the sins as a guide then you'll probably end up happier and living a life with less stress/suffering ?

Suppose the sins were presented as a stand alone document or a stand alone philosophy. Would you not see the desires of the ego outlined in that document/philosophy ?


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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:I've nothing against 'guidelines for life' but, the mere fact that they're called 'sins' loads them from the start smile

It's not so much that they can't be used for guides- the problem is the context they're presented in- not as advice, but as being the word of God, the fact that those who don't follow the 'advice' are seen as evil, as being 'damned', as being open to punishment.

Because of the way they're presented, they've been used to justify mass atrocities over many. many centuries- every woman stoned to death as an 'adultress', tens of thousands of women (and men) burnt to death as 'witches', the crusades etc, etc.

Advice is fine- but, when it's presented as Gods will or as being the only 'moral' path, then it becomes an ideal tool for the unthinking, gullible, 'herd' sections of humanity to vent their frustrations on those minoritites who choose not to follow the advice.

i think this is why so many free-thinking people respect buddhism- because it's one of the few major spiritual systems where the advice is presented purely as being what it is- advice: not the word of God, not as dogma, not as a strict set of moral rules, etc.

And, right at the root of the teachings, you've got the recorded words of the buddha himself- saying that he is not a God (or son of God) and, that where his teachings are concerned, the proper course is not to blindly accept, but to try them out and decide for yourself- to question them.


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

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


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Stout
Stout

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

i think this is why so many free-thinking people respect buddhism- because it's one of the few major spiritual systems where the advice is presented purely as being what it is- advice: not the word of God, not as dogma, not as a strict set of moral rules, etc.



Cheers...

A month ago, I was unaware that this was Buddhism's approach. I just figured it was the same as any other "religion" and when I found out I could disregard huge chunks of Buddhism simply because "it didn't work for me" I was duly impressed. smile


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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, I know my last post sounds frightfully arrogant. I hope you understand that it was not personal, or an attack on you.

Things that work for me:

Mindfullnes, Being in the moment

Actually, being in the moment means being mindfully aware of what is going on right here and now, in our experience, and this includes any thinking we do about the past or future. Much of the time our experience does not have this quality of awareness or mindfulness. A lot of the time we are like robots, automatically living out habitual patterns of self-pity, anger, wish fulfillment, fear, etc. These habitual tendencies take us over and run our lives for us - without our being able to stand back and decide whether this is what we actually want to be doing. It can be a real shock when we start to realize just how habitual and automatic our lives are, and when we realize how much runaway thinking leads to states of suffering.


Distinguishing thoughts and emotions

Meditation helps us to do this. In mindfulness practice we notice more clearly the distinction between thoughts (verbalizations in the mind) and emotions (sensations that take place in the body). We also learn to see more clearly the way in which emotions give rise to thoughts, and thoughts give rise to emotions. Once we have started to see this, we realize that we can change our thoughts and therefore change our emotions.


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:Hey Stone

I read the Wildmind site.

I find it impossible to fault a system that suggests doing an emotional cost/benefit analysis and encourages the practitioner to think more. smile


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

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:Stone, it is each and everyone's given right to have it "their way" - at least in my perception. Everyone is free, you are as much as I am. Thus said: my freedom ends at your threshold.

You are right: How can I know that "mindful meditation" doesn't work for me? Actually I never said it won't. We're getting caught up in details and semantics, arguing in this direction, wouldn't you agree? Both, Dave and you argued in favour of Buddhism (being a philosophy rather than a religion) by stating that it is "non-dogmatic"... wave

 Written by : Stone

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.



You are getting it mixed up, Stone. Let me spell it out once more: I am comparing Buddha and Jesus, not Buddhists and Christians. The teachings of Jesus have gotten greatly corrupted, when the Romans adopted his philosophy as the religion of the state. They even kept the "Pontifex Maximus", the 'chief priest' (= the pope) as the only link between man and god. This has never been according to Jesus' teachings. I hope we're getting clearer on this one now.

 Written by : Stone

How can anyone have free will without self-realization?



This is actually a very good question. In this context I would put it further: Has it been Siddhartas "free choice" to 'abandon' Hindu philosophy, was it a logical consequence or simply the effect resulting from his life and studies? And to put it even one more step further: Would I have "free will" when attaining "self realization" or would I 'see things as they really are', act accordingly and by that 'consciously' (and happily) 'do the right thing' (as in the logical choice)? BTW: do you play chess? wink

OWD there has been some mistakes in your wordings, I could call it "Freudian" (as in telling the truth without intent), for example:

 Written by : OWD

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.



Following the line of your previous arguments, I guess I get what you mean and would like to point out that if you merely practice Buddhism without academical studies, you depend on "hearsay" and "blind faith". If we cannot find agreement on this one we will simply have to disagree on this point.

But to explain it to you from a different angle: I know a few excellent Poi spinners (who are amongst the best I have had the chance to come across in 12 years of practice) but when I start talking to them about "antispin flowers", "hyperloops", "dragon tongue", etc. they just gaze at me with a blank look on their faces. We might encounter a similar situation here.

I state: You can be a mindful and self-realized person without the practice of "Vipassana" or following the "eightfold path". To me these are just labels, Dave.

 Written by : OWD

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



This is your (honoured) opinion and I appreciate your attempt to explain your personal perception of what 'Dukkha' is in your understanding. Just being puzzled not to find a similar attempt in any of the sources that I come across on the internet -> beware of spiritual hedonism. wink But it really helps to put it in a different context and from this angle makes it easier to approach.

Meaning (to me) that: Life contains self induced stress and by practising awareness on the sources of stressful thoughts one will get a more calm, reasonable approach towards ones own tasks in life.

As a practical example: If my GF goes travelling on her own I might start worrying about whether or not she'll be faithful. This worry can come to an extent that I feel completely stressed and start controlling her (by frequently calling) or - in the fear of getting 'left behind' - I might even compulsory flirt with other girls. By acknowledging that a) worrying does not help the situation b) this worry might only reflect b1) my own 'bad thoughts' and feelings towards other girls b2) negative experiences from the past c) the result of my worries (controlling) might even be counter-productive and pi55 her off... by acknowledging these facts I take the first step into the 'right' direction, calm my mind and being able to focus on my daily tasks...

Continuing reading the posts that I missed out on in favour of participating in the "gun thread":

OWD - its outright annoying and even to the extend of being offensive that you (and Stone) continue to brick-headedly defend Buddhism against Christianity by arguments of 'higher beings' and the like. In my understanding roman catholic Christianity represents a corrupted version of the original teachings of Jesus, by this I do it a lot more justice.

 Written by : Stout

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.



I completely side that statement. One religion uses the term 'sins', the other philosophy refers to 'suffering'. (le sigh!!!) Everyone gets offended for his own reasons, no?

All these approaches do IMHO is to try and provide "a guideline for a healthy, happy and remorseless life". Both philosophies have to be seen in their original (geographical, historical and cultural) background to be understood 'correctly'.

 Written by : OWD

i think this is why so many free-thinking people respect buddhism- because it's one of the few major spiritual systems where the advice is presented purely as being what it is- advice: not the word of God, not as dogma, not as a strict set of moral rules, etc.



 Written by : OWD

And, right at the root of the teachings, you've got the recorded words of the buddha himself- saying that he is not a God (or son of God) and, that where his teachings are concerned, the proper course is not to blindly accept, but to try them out and decide for yourself- to question them.



What comes to my mind is this famous quote: "The grass on my neighbours lawn is always greener".

Instead of recognizing the circumstances and evolution of 'Christianity' you appear to judge and condemn it. This is what I mean when pointing out that you miss a great deal of understanding by dismissing the aspects of academical studies: you simply don't understand the true meaning, but get caught up glorifying one approach and condemning the other. This is exactly the kind of judgement that breeds separation and that repulses me.

What is the difference between someone, who allegedly claimed to be "the son of god" and the one who allegedly claimed to be an "enlightened (thus higher) being"? I would boldly say that Jesus had been well aware of the fact that his father had been from flesh and blood and never claimed otherwise (btw would 'in vitro fertilisation' equal 'immaculate conception'?) Or to put it in another way:

Why do some ppl take the phrase "son of god" literally, at the same time dismissing the genesis as allegories? confused

To put it straight: this is the kind of approach that turns Buddhism into a dogmatic religion, rather than a mindful philosophy. It starts in (y)our heads, each and every one at a time.

hug


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:I've got to say, that statement about studying the academic aspects vs the practical aspects is a very curious statement. I've been all about studying the practical aspects and I found it very interesting that the two could be considered separate.

Maybe the academic aspects apply to topics like the history of Buddhism, something I'm not really interested in because I have a hard time relating to what life was like in India, 2500 years ago. I didn't ignore the history all together, that was pretty much impossible, in fact I even have some wild speculation as to Siddhartha's motivations back then, but I won't bother you with them.

I was focusing on "why should I entertain the notion that Buddhist wisdom might have a positive impact on my life ? " question. There's nothing in my life I'm trying to change, things are all good here smile

More, my curiosity was sparked by Tom's statement that he was naturally following the path and I was curious as to whether this might apply to me too. Turns out...it apparently does if i distill Buddhist wisdom down to equal conventional wisdom.

If i address Buddhists with the idea that I think concepts like the six realms are useless, and cows poo, I've gotten no condemnation from Buddhists for taking that tack, however, were I to address Christians with an idea that the resurrection is a metaphor ( and nothing more ) then I'd expect a great deal of resistance.

Aside...the "new" seven deadly sins was a "misinterpretation" They're not new sins per se, so the bible isn't really being "rewritten" but merely the interpretation of a journalist.


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


Dave and you argued in favour of Buddhism (being a philosophy rather than a religion) by stating that it is "non-dogmatic




Actually, i specifically said that buddhism wasn't a philosophy- it's a practice (a spiritual practice) and there's a world of differnence tween a philosophy and a practice.

No amount of philosophising, discussing or analysing will give so much as a glimpse of the truth of buddhism.

Getting a glimpse of the truth of buddhism requires practice.

So, no, i have not argued in favour of buddhism being a philosophy, cos I don't think it is one.

Unless, you're arguing that, just by me saying buddhism is 'non-dogmatic', that it can be concluded I'm saying it's a philosphy?

In which case I'll say that I don't see that it follows- there's plenty of non-dogmatic things that aren't philosophies- just cos a thing is non-dogmatic doesn't make that thing a philosophy.

(To ease potential confusion, i'll point out that I've previously disintuished between western philosophy (rational and analytic) and eastern philosophy (which, is generally not rationalistic, but spiritual)).

 Written by :


Following the line of your previous arguments, I guess I get what you mean and would like to point out that if you merely practice Buddhism without academical studies, you depend on "hearsay" and "blind faith". If we cannot find agreement on this one we will simply have to disagree on this point.




I see a rational study of buddhism, as being a starting point- before trying something out, it's good to research it.

To 'grasp/see' what buddhism is, requires practice after that initial rational approach.

'Hearsay' and 'blind faith' have no place in real buddhism- as the buddha himslef said- 'try out the practices of buddhsim- then you decide on their worth'.

However- you must try out the practices to make that judgement- reading about them does not constitute trying them out.

(Although anyone is entitled to reject them simply by reading about them- it's up to the individual whether they want to give the practices a go or not; but, if you do reject them without trying them out, be self-honest enough to accept that you've rejected them without trying them.)


I've not critisised christianity.

Pointing out, for example, that the buddha clearly stated that he was not a God or the son of God, is a simple statement of fact about buddhism.

To see that as a critisism of christianity, is, to me, somewhat bizarre.

I've not critisised christianity.


"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:Pretty much anything could be considered a spiritual practice...poi spinning for example/ It all depends on the viewpoint of the practitioner.

All spiritual means is the emotional, but elevated to a degree of "higher importance" in effort to give those emotions more weight, if you will.

Today i might consider poi spinning a spiritual practice because it makes me happy. A year from now, I may loose interest in poi and downgrade it to just an activity because it no longer "does it for me".

A philosophy, OTOH ( yea, I know the definitions are all over the board ) is a study ways of thinking and as such, Buddhism fits in there nicely.

Within Buddhism, there may be several spiritual practices, from meditation, to sticking that orange on the alter.


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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks Dave, that completely handles and answers my entire post.

I might have misunderstood your comments and remarks on "atrocities committed" and "condemnations", "women stoned to death" as criticism towards Christianity, where (on the contrary) you were only mentioning... umm My dearest apologies.

Please find some articles on "Christianity and meditation":

Here

and here

on Wikipedia

and here

and here


 Written by : James Finley

Many people associate meditation with Eastern traditions. What do you mean by meditation?

Today more and more Christians are using the term meditation in a way that was traditionally referred to in the Christian tradition as contemplation, and that's how I'm using it.

At the heart of the Gospel is Jesus saying "I and the Father are one." The early Christians understood this as a call to enter into Christ's divine oneness with the Father. They felt they could respond to that call by entering into that oneness experientially; even on this earth they could realize something of this eternal oneness with God that Christ came to reveal and proclaim. And they sought to experience this through meditation and prayer.

Christian meditation is way of experiencing God beyond what the ego can grasp or attain. It's beyond thought, beyond memory, beyond the will, beyond feeling.



Please note that "atrocities committed under the guise of Christianity" might equal "atrocities committed under the guise of Buddhism"...

I'm feeling edgy today.

meditate


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, I agree the teachings of Jesus got corrupted, but what has that got to do with Buddhism?

The main object in Buddhism is to observe, and analyse changes in our own mind. So, Id suggest that if you think of Buddhism as Psychology (the science of human behavior), rather than a Philosophy or a Religion, then you would be getting close to understanding what its about.

This is from Mindfulness In Plain English. Well worth a read if you are serious about meditation.

 Written by

The object of Vipassana practice is to learn to pay attention. We think we are doing this already, but that is an illusion. It comes from the fact that we are paying so little attention to the ongoing surge of our own life experiences that we might just as well be asleep. We are simply not paying enough attention to notice that we are not paying attention.

Through the process of mindfulness, we slowly become aware of what we really are down below the ego image. We wake up to what life really is. It is not just a parade of ups and downs, lollipops and smacks on the wrist. That is an illusion. Life has a much deeper texture than that if we bother to look, and if we look in the right way.

Vipassana is a process of self-discovery, a participatory investigation in which you observe your own experiences while participating in them, and as they occur.

The process of mindfulness is really quite different from what we usually do. We usually do not look into what is really there in front of us. We see life through a screen of thoughts and concepts, and we mistake those mental objects for the reality. We get so caught up in this endless thought stream that reality flows by unnoticed. We spend our time engrossed in activity, caught up in an eternal pursuit of pleasure and gratification and an eternal flight from pain and unpleasantness. We spend all of our energies trying to make ourselves feel better, trying to bury our fears. We are endlessly seeking security. Meanwhile, the world of real experience flows by untouched and un-tasted.



Now, Id suggest that this type of practice is light years away from what you are doing:

 Written by Fire Tom

Meaning (to me) that: Life contains self induced stress and by practising awareness on the sources of stressful thoughts one will get a more calm, reasonable approach towards ones own tasks in life.



Fire Tom what you do is great, but it is only part of the picture. Practicing awareness to stress is not the same as self-awareness. Insight meditation is also different to contemplation meditation.

 Written by Fire Tom

Would I have "free will" when attaining "self realization" or would I 'see things as they really are', act accordingly and by that 'consciously' (and happily) 'do the right thing' (as in the logical choice)?



Fire Tom, it will all make sense when you get your first glimpse of self-realisation.

 Written by Fire Tom

Please note that "atrocities committed under the guise of Christianity" might equal "atrocities committed under the guise of Buddhism"



No, I dont agree. Buddhism is non violent.


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:Murder per capita, Thailand on 3rd

Human Rights watch on Thai' "war on drugs"

 Written by : AP

In 1979, Thailand was being flooded by refugees from Cambodia who fled as the Vietnamese army drove the Khmer Rouge from power.

On June 8, 1979, the Thai army gathered thousands of desperate Cambodians from all over eastern Thailand and trucked them to the border at Preah Vihear.

They were forced to march down the steep slopes back to their country.

"The path down the mountains became steeper, the jungle thicker," British journalist William Shawcross wrote in describing the scene in his book "The Quality of Mercy."

"Dozens, scores of people fell onto mines. Those with possessions had to abandon them to carry their children down. One group of refugees desperately pooled whatever valuables they had left, filled two buckets with them, and walked back up toward the Thai soldiers, carrying a white flag. The soldiers took the buckets and then shot the refugees."

About 45,000 refugees were compelled to make the risky trek down the slope, Shawcross estimates. There are no definitive figures on casualties, but they are thought to have numbered in the thousands.



Yeah, right - "Thai Buddhism is not 'real Buddhism'" ---- just as much as the inquisition had nothing to do with Christianity, right?

I dunno what exactly you refer to: "Fire Tom, it will all make sense when you get your first glimpse of self-realisation." Do you think you know who I really am? Or are you just viewing me as a reflection of your self?

ubbidea I do finally acknowledge that by endlessly trying to explain myself to you (here), life flows by (unnoticed). Thank you for that lesson - honestly... Thank you.

hug sunny

Hare Om


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Stone
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Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted: Written by Fire Tom

I dunno what exactly you refer to: "Fire Tom, it will all make sense when you get your first glimpse of self-realisation." Do you think you know who I really am? Or are you just viewing me as a reflection of your self?



You would not have asked that question if you understood self-realisation. And sure, know me, know you.

 Written by Fire Tom

I do finally acknowledge that by endlessly trying to explain myself to you (here), life flows by (unnoticed). Thank you for that lesson - honestly... Thank you



Fire Tom, self-realisation means understanding that it is not all about 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
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Is this thread going anywhere? Or is it pointless.............
like "the sound of one hand clapping"..... wink tongue Try it, try it hard my friend and you will at some stage notice what it really means/ I'm talking about...

 Written by : Stone

You would not have asked that question if you understood self-realisation. And sure, know me, know you.



 Written by : Stones' signature

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. Socrates



shrug

Stone, at some point you said it yourself: 'Self realisation' (IMHO) is all about understanding what "I" (or "you") really am (are).

wink

I'm so edgy today.... anyone got a file? umm


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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






I'm feeling edgy today.

meditate



Yes, you are- and it shows smile

It's obvious throughout this thread that you're getting a lot of frustration from it and feeling that you're not really getting anywhere?

If I were you, I'd stand back from it for a while, then maybe come back when I was more relaxed about it.

From my perspective, there's no point me trying to address your points anymore- I feel that there's no hope, at this point, that you're going to hear what I'm actually trying to say.

But I'm mot going to leave the thread, cos it is a public thread and, if it contains what, IMO, are mis-views of buddhism, I'm going to put what I see as the right point-of-view.

Can we agree, firetom, that there's no real point us talking to each other on this subject, and, ease off accordingly?


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


I might have misunderstood your comments and remarks on "atrocities committed" and "condemnations", "women stoned to death" as criticism towards Christianity, where (on the contrary) you were only mentioning... umm My dearest apologies.




I need to address this one, as I am not and have not critisised christainity.

To mention the stonings and burnings done in the name of christianity is not to critisise christianity, but to refer to undeniable historical facts.

Similarly, I can mention the nazi atrocities done in the name of the German people, without in any way critisising the German race.

To mention atrocities done in the name of an organisation, does not necessarily entail critisism of that organisation.

If I wanted to critisise Christianity, I would do so, but I don't and, I haven't.


"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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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Point taken, Dave.

The way you put it

 Written by : OWD

I can mention the nazi atrocities done in the name of the German people, without in any way critisising the German race.

To mention atrocities done in the name of an organisation, does not necessarily entail critisism of that organisation.



is a very true statement. To me it came across as criticism. I hope my perception and reflection on it didn't cause any harm on your side.

Let me take your example and ask whether in your perception there is a difference between:

- "atrocities committed in the name of Germans" and
- "atrocities committed by Germans"? I'd assume yes, however to me there is and a great deal so.

If you refer to other (than German) nationals, who committed atrocities in the name of Germans, then your statement would be correct. Nevertheless it is a historical and undeniable fact, that Nazi atrocities have been committed by Germans. (On a sidenote: denying that the Holocaust actually happened is a criminal offence in Germany)

To me it is completely valid to criticise the responsible people and those who condoned the atrocities. It is further valid to ask the current generation what they undertake in order to work on the suffering caused and what they do in order to avoid repetition in the present or future.

Your statement that "Nazi atrocities got committed in the name of the German people" is an expression that is correct, hence it dilutes the facts. It is just a part of the truth and paints a picture as if some Aliens were dressing up as Germans, went to Europe and committed these deeds "in the name of the German people".

It could further lead to misinformation and even form the opinion that the original Nazi ideology is "not such of a bad thing".... Now why am I so sensitive towards this?

We are facing the situation that Nazi atrocities get played down, ignored or even outright denied. By that we are facing a new and revived anti-Semitism and a neo-Nazism (in Germany and worldwide). By creating a 'blind spot' we slowly slowly are feeding what is to be avoided.

Can you follow me this far?

By saying that atrocities and genocide have been committed in the name of an ideology we ignore the fact that the ideology itself bears (enough) loopholes as for ppl to commit these again.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom
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Total posts: 6650
Posted:I side you that we need to distinguish between the original philosophy and the corrupted version. Taking your last example once more: the only grain of truth in National Socialism is that a governments first amendment should be to look after the well being of it's own citizens. To put it back into context: I side you in your opinion that Thai Buddhism (by large) is a corrupted version of Buddha's original teachings.

Looking at Christianity I stand to my statement that "Catholicism" or "Catholic fundamentalism" indeed is a corrupted version of the original philosophy. By that it is unfair to dismiss these original teachings and focus on the downside of it.

If there is frustration on my side, it derives from the fact that I surmise "selective reading" on yours, dismissing what I feel to be valid arguments.

Can you understand that you appear inconsistent to me when you

- on one side criticise (to a very large extent and partly appear to even accuse) carnivores to be responsible for suffering on this planet and

- on the other side ignore the argument that the support for the gun/ arms industry is equally causing suffering on this planet; that 2nd hand sales contribute to the number of illegal guns within the US; that recent Harvard studies show links between suicidal rates and death rates of children to the extent of calling these arguments "dubious"?

By that you're feeding the gun lobbyists... (offtopic)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Back on topic.

Dave, I hear you sound and clear:

1) Buddhism (in your opinion) is just a practice (you might at one stage have argued that Buddhism is a philosophy vs. being a religion, but my memory might deceive me).

2) Try it for your self and you will see how it works.

Hear me:

1) I might not fully agree with some basic principles of Buddhism (as when 'Dukkha' gets translated with 'suffering' and other aspects of it) as I mentioned earlier, but I'm not dismissing Buddhist practice or values in general.

2) IMO meditation is not merely a Buddhist practise, but has roots originating in Hindu (and maybe even before that). I guess to have proved that it is an accepted beneficial practice in parts of Christianity just alike.

3) IMO "Catholicism", or "Catholic fundamentalism" certainly is a corrupted version of Jesus' initial teachings and extend it to: Present day "Semitism" (by large) is a corrupted version of Moses' original teachings and present day Islam (by large) is a corrupted version of Mohammed's original teachings.

4) I'm siding Stout in his approach that Buddhist essential principles are practical guidelines as to lead a happy and content life, just as the basic principles of other philosophies.

5) IMHO Buddhism has no monopoly of being 'the one and only path' to "enlightenment" or "paradise".

6) IMO one can realize his 'true potential'/ 'true essence' without the practice of "Vipassana", still lead a happy and content life and even be a great benefit to the entire human society.

7) IMO it is perfectly legal to "pick and mix" from all kinds of philosophies to ones very own liking. To me it is not just the rite or practise (cause) but the very effect that counts. ("freedom of religion")

8) IMO discrimination (of whatever kind) merely based on the opposition/ aversion against other kinds of practises, philosophies or religions is a violation of inalienable basic human rights and even diametrical against the original intentions of each and every prophet/ tradition/ teaching. ("all humans are created equal")

9) Failing to understand and practise the above *might* lead to (the creation of) suffering.

I for my part have further contemplated on my stance 'practice vs. academical studies' and feel the need to adjust my earlier position:

10) We are all created equal (as in rights and duties) and fitted with the same basic human rights, yet we are all individually wired in our perception, physiological and psychological patterns. It therefore is not necessary for everybody to undertake scientific studies to realize ones 'true potential', 'true nature' or to gain insight on what "the truth" really is.

10a) At the same time it is equally not necessary for everybody to undertake certain practices in order to attain (this) understanding.

Both (practise/ study) are beneficial but not essentially required, it is depending on the individual.

Disclaimer: I am not claiming the above to be the ultimate truth. There further is no need to explain (y)ourselves over and over again. I humbly accept that we do not have to agree on anything, still can share good times and even be friends.

smile beerchug smile


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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




By saying that atrocities and genocide have been committed in the name of an ideology we ignore the fact that the ideology itself bears (enough) loopholes as for ppl to commit these again.



I do agree with that.

The reason I brought up the nazi analogy was simply to make clear that I had not critisised christianity.

Because I very much dislike it when people indicate that I've said something when I've actually not said that thing- in particulalar when they accuse me of being critical towards a group, when in fact, I haven't.

I think that we both, at this point, understand that I did not critisise christianity, so that's OK.

That aside, yes, i do agree that some ideologies do contain loopholes that seem to lead to followers grossly abusing them.

Nazism is one example- religious doctrines, especially dogmatic ones, would also seem to have such loopholes- evidenced by the various human rights abuses that have been done by followers.

That includes christianity (witch burnings etc) and, of course, buddhism as well.

If I did want to critisise a group, i feel it's important to be very specific, for example, i would never blame Germans, but, instead, refer to a specific group of germans (those actual Germans who were involved, at the time, in atrocities).

Similarly, though groups of christians have, at various points, performed gross atrocities, i would never condemn christians, as that would also refer to the many, many, decent well-adjusted christians in the world today.

But you're right that all these doctrines can be interpreted badly, hence all the problems with religious persecution and fundamentalism etc.


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




Can you understand that you appear inconsistent to me when you

- on one side criticise (to a very large extent and partly appear to even accuse) carnivores to be responsible for suffering on this planet and

- on the other side ignore the argument that the support for the gun/ arms industry is equally causing suffering on this planet; that 2nd hand sales contribute to the number of illegal guns within the US; that recent Harvard studies show links between suicidal rates and death rates of children to the extent of calling these arguments "dubious"?

By that you're feeding the gun lobbyists... (offtopic)



I think you make unecessary frustration for yourself when you try and link together views and reasoning I've expressed on widely differing threads.

You have difficulties seeing consistency in my views even when they're on one specific issue (look at how many confusions there have been concerning what i've said on buddhism)- how much more confusion is there going to be when you're trying to link together my views on buddhism, gun culture and vegetarianism (I won't be surprised if you bring up the death sentence stuff in the near future smile)

Which is why I'm not going to get into any of that stuff, except in the relevant threads.

One thing I will mention though, cos I'm pretty sure you don't currently realise this, is that, in 90% of the points of yours that I reply to, I'm not even addressing the actual issues, but, in contrast, am actually addressing what i see as being issues in the logic.

For a good example, i've just written a fair bit about the fact that you think I've critisised christianity when I hadn't.

That's not addressing any buddhist issue- that's addressing your interpretation of what I've said.

And it's that kind of stuff that 90% of my replies are directed towards.

IMO, my views (all of them, as a whole) have a very high degree of consistency- that's because I am a very logical person and i make it my business to see inconsistencies in reasoning and, if I saw inconsistenices in my views, i would cease to hold them.

Despite that belief, I really don't think that you will ever see my views as consistent, so I'd suggest you don't hold your breathe waiting for it smile


"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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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:You may think that you're consistent when looking into the mirror - all I'm doing is to reflect your appearance to (me, as being part of) the world outside your head. You can take this on, meditate on it, act accordingly or leave it behind and ignore it - your choice. Perfectly okay - none of us is running for presidential elections.

My 'confusion' or 'frustration' on various topics tackled derives from you ignoring (valid) arguments and questions. But no answer is just as much of an answer.

To me it is about intent and understanding.

If one studies Buddhism for a lifetime, it IMHO will lead to the understanding of Buddhism - just as a lifetime study of the 3-beat wave will lead to its understanding. It may not enable one to perform it, but it will lead to the understanding of how it works.


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:1/3



 Written by Fire Tom

Is this thread going anywhere? Or is it pointless





Fire Tom, that is completely up to you. I really dont know what you are talking about (what it really means/ I'm talking about), except that it is all about you. Your posts are full of sarcasm, and you have a grudge against Buddhism. If you want to move on, then you will have to stop giving us Fire Toms version of Buddhism, and approach Buddhism as Buddhism.



 Written by

Buddhism as Buddhism. is understanding that Buddhism is a means to psychological and spiritual wholeness; the way to enlightenment and the instrument for higher evolution. Unless one understands this, one cannot really approach Buddhism. One may approach something, but that will not be Buddhism. At best it will be a rather unfortunate distortion of Buddhism (Sangharakshita, 1990)





Buddhism is not a fluffy, feel good therapy. It takes hard work to tackle the ego.



The quote from Socrates is about realizing there is a whole world out there called the dont know you dont know. Unfortunately, you seem locked in the world where you think you know everything, especially in regard to Buddhism. Which is quite surprising since you have not undertaken any training, and get all your information from Wiki.


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:2/3


 Written by Fire Tom

Hear me:



Fire Tom, we hear you. Im just not sure what you are on about. You lampoon Buddhism, and appear to be arguing with yourself. To answer your questions:

1) If you arent prepared to understand Dukkha then you dont understand Buddhism. Suggest looking up dependent origination (Pratitya-samutpada). Once you get conditional existence, it all starts to make sense.

2) I agree meditation is not merely a Buddhist practice, it has roots originating in Hindu (and maybe even before that). That does not mean that Buddhist meditation is not unique, and a key to Buddhist enlightenment. The meditation in contemporary Christianity, contemplation meditation, is different.

3) Catholicism is a corrupted version of Jesus' initial teachings. What has that to do with Buddhism???

4) There are distinct differences between Buddhism and other philosophies. For example, Dukkha and dependent origination (Pratitya-samutpada).

5) Buddhism is not the only path to enlightenment (not paradise). Perhaps you could suggest some other paths?

6) I agree that anyone can realise their true potential without the practice of Vipassana. But the stumbling block is ego, and people need training to overcome ego. Perhaps you could suggest some other philosophies that tackle ego.

7) I think when people pick and mix" from all kinds of philosophies to ones very own liking, they tend to pick fluffy ones that dont tackle the ego, and are therefore not effective.

8) All humans are created equal, but few philosophies/religions show the path to enlightenment.

9) Failing suffering, keeps people on the wheel. The proof of the pudding is in eating.

10) We are all created equal and wired in our perception, physiological and psychological patterns ie. know me - know you. Our morals come from our environment. The only thing we need to overcome, to realise our true potential, is our ego.

10a) The only practices needed are those that help us overcome our ego.


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:3/3


 Written by Fire Tom

You may think that you're consistent when looking into the mirror - all I'm doing is to reflect your appearance to (me, as being part of) the world outside your head. You can take this on, meditate on it, act accordingly or leave it behind and ignore it - your choice. Perfectly okay - none of us is running for presidential elections.

My 'confusion' or 'frustration' on various topics tackled derives from you ignoring (valid) arguments and questions. But no answer is just as much of an answer.

To me it is about intent and understanding.

If one studies Buddhism for a lifetime, it IMHO will lead to the understanding of Buddhism - just as a lifetime study of the 3-beat wave will lead to its understanding. It may not enable one to perform it, but it will lead to the understanding of how it works.



Fire Tom, Id suggest that it is you who is living in their head simply because you have not tackled the ego.

You confusion comes out of your grudge for Buddhism. There appears to be no intent on your part to understand Buddhism because all you do is lampoon Buddhism. If you were serious than you would understand that practicing Buddhism is the path to enlightenment.

It is really up to you. It is evident from your inquiry that you have got so far in life, but have not progressed. Life will remain that way unless you are active in seeking change. That could mean seeking a teacher, or participating in training. One thing is for sure, you wont do it on your own.


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:True points, thanks for sharing - I mean it. Just three things to note:

- I don't have a grudge on Buddhism, stated that I don't dismiss Buddhist practice and fundamental values.

- I also have stated that I do not believe to hold the ultimate truth or to be an expert in anything. I'm stating my opinion, making this very clear - maybe should include this in my signature...

- I oppose that "life is suffering" - agree that "life holds self-induced stress".

Tackling the Ego is tough, I also agree completely. It might be the hardest opponent to encounter. It requires effort, hard work and foremost discipline. I admit to lack in discipline. I never said otherwise.

Love and lightning


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, thank-you for sharing.

I understand that you know more than you let us know.

Re: three things to note:

- If you dont have a grudge on Buddhism, then Im not trying to sell Buddhism.

- I dont hold the ultimate truth. We are all discussing ouropinions, and this is something we could all include that in our signatures.

- You oppose "life is suffering" but concede that "life holds self-induced stress". Perhaps. Suffering could be seen as self-induced stress, but I think suffering/craving starts at a deeper, primal level.

I think tackling the Ego is a bit like your analogy with the three beat weave. We can understanding how it works, but this may not lead us to understanding how it makes us perform.

Love and Kindness, always 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
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:huggetyhughug... biggrin



Some other ways to tackle the ego:



try to read this list without smiling once



- watch a mossie stinging you

- don't kill it

- practice Kung-Fu/ 'shadow boxing'

- fall in love with a smartass

- never fight

- marry her

- never fight

- enthusiastically play Chess with someone far better than you

- as above, on the PC, at grandmaster level

- never hitting 'undo move'

- never get upset

- live together with a bunch of Hippees, all a few years younger

- take on the cleaning job

- never complain

- enthusiastically engage in HoP Social Discussion and strictly obey the posting guidelines

- have children

- keep not more than ONE picture of them per month

- clean your closet, basement, storage, hard drive once a year

- throw/ give away everything that you haven't used in those 12 months

- give away your favourite music CD's

- without keeping a copy

- prepare 20 serves of your favourite desert

- feed it to people you dislike

- encourage your gf/bf to cheat on you the night before you marry her

- prepare the bed for them

- never complain

- use your morning newspaper as tablecloth

- 'before' you read it

- have the kindergarden colour your brand new Porsche

- give them $ 1.000 for paint

- embrace G.W.Bush

- say 'sweetheart' to the person who hurt you the most

- mean it

- go to Karaoke (or at least sing outside your bathroom)

- donate to the party you're NOT voting for

- prepare a full child birthday on your own (food, decoration, presents)

- don't attend it

- clean up the mess afterwards

- keep smiling



That's what's coming to my mind right now. Not much of a comprehensive list - but I hope you get the clue/ what I mean... There are million ways to tackle the ego (to me) every days practice can be tackling the ego. Some ppl don't have so much of an ego to tackle in the first place. Some ppl are just genuinely 'nice ppl', without having to do anything for it...



- have friends who are young, beautiful, rich, tasteful AND creative, meditating and practising Yoga daily

- don't envy them



errm, besides: I (partially) side your point 7) and love your: "The proof of the pudding is in eating"



If you managed to read the list without the slightest smile on your face... relax, you're just having a bad day smile If you succeed to practice the above list, without developing rashes I'll worship you wink



- make your posts always appear on the bottom of the page

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1206677457)


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:Thanks Fire Tom




hug


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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