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Forums > Social Discussion > Buddhism - Religion or Way of Life?

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LilBBoy
SILVER Member since May 2006

LilBBoy

Discoverer of Rainbow Cheese
Location: Inverness, Scotland.

Total posts: 143
Posted:Yet another thing I'd like to gather views on. For all you Buddhists out there, do you think Buddhism is a religion or more a way of life?

As a Thervadan Buddhist, I believe it is both. biggrin


Time does not exist. In theory, everything with a beginning has an end. Therefore, only things with an end can have a beginning. As time has no end, it has no beginning, therefore does not exist. GO PHILOSOPHY!!!
Brittle Week was the shizz!!!

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted: Written by: Ade


I had the pleasure of being in an audience with the dali lama a few years ago...

if you get the chance to be in the same room as this man - meditate wow

it's amazing




i'm curious, does he speak english?

also i was wondering if anyone here knows much about Sufism, as i find it to be quite similar to Buddhism.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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LilBBoy
SILVER Member since May 2006

LilBBoy

Discoverer of Rainbow Cheese
Location: Inverness, Scotland.

Total posts: 143
Posted:ubblol Yes, the Dalai Lama speaks english! There was a documentary on BBC1 some time ago called "Himalayas" and this guy visited the Dalai Lama and spoke to him about stuff, and he spoke english! I know a little about Sufism:

 Written by: Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh


The substance and definition of Sufism: the substance of Sufism is the Truth and the definition of Sufism is the selfless experiencing and actualization of the Truth.

The practice of Sufism: the practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth, by means of love and devotion. This is called the Tariqat, the Spiritual Path or way towards God.

The definition of the sufi: the sufi is one who is a lover of Truth, who by means of love and devotion moves towards the Truth, towards the Perfection which all are truly seeking. As necessitated by Love's jealousy, the sufi is taken away from all except the Truth-Reality. For this reason, in Sufism it is said that, "Those who are inclined towards the hereafter can not pay attention to the material world. Likewise, those who are involved in the material world can not concern themselves with the hereafter. But the sufi (because of Love' s jealousy) is unable to attend to either of these worlds."

Concerning this same idea, Shebli has said, "One who dies for the love of the material world, dies a hypocrite. One who dies for the love of the hereafter, dies an ascetic. But one who dies for the love of the Truth, dies a sufi."




Time does not exist. In theory, everything with a beginning has an end. Therefore, only things with an end can have a beginning. As time has no end, it has no beginning, therefore does not exist. GO PHILOSOPHY!!!
Brittle Week was the shizz!!!

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:lol thats MUCH more ambiguous than what i've read about it.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
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Posted:LilBBoy, on reflection Id agree that Buddhist is a philosophy that probably started as a way of life but ended up with all the trappings of a religion, especially the reincarnation bit. Recarnation to me is just the ego refusing to admit we can die. To me this is similar to Jesus and the catholic religion. And there many similarities between both religions regarding reincarnation in the Book of the Dead.

You can get all you need to know about Buddhism karma, enlighnment etc from wiki, all the rest is religion.


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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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted: Written by: Mr Majestik


i'm curious, does he speak english?



and wears a watch to boot smile pretty normal dude really smile


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
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Posted:a watch? whats THAT!?!?!?! tongue

tell him to get a mobile, having something strapped to your wrist that never gets washed is SO unhygenic...............


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted: Written by: Mr Majestik


tell him to get a mobile, having something strapped to your wrist that never gets washed is SO unhygenic...............



ubblol lolsign


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Yell fire!
SILVER Member since May 2003

member
Location: London

Total posts: 151
Posted:For some it's a religion, for others a way of life, and for many people in western countries it's just fashionable!

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:ubblol ditto

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Yell Fire!

I think its great that Buddhism had become fashionable in western countries. Perhaps now people will start to understand that we can all live together in peace and harmony.



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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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:...........good luck with that.

and i'll think you'll find most politicians still say they're christian. Peace isnt on the adenga for politicains anway, re-election is.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:If it's an "-ism" it definately is a religion... "-ists" are following other peoples rules and findings, looking for to leave their own by learning how to create a philosophy strong enough to move other people...

Who moves the most, wins... unfortunately you will be dead before you know - usually killed by people who do not trust in your teachings... ah yes and I almost forgot:

Almost every teaching will be changed by the people who create the religion to the philosophy, according to temporary fashion...

Way of life? Find your own and leave your own footprints... even if nobody cares. wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Too true Mr Majestik, but whats luck got to do with it? Buddhism is not the only path to world peace and harmony, are not Christians also committed to peace?

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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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted: Written by: Stone


Too true Mr Majestik, but whats luck got to do with it? Buddhism is not the only path to world peace and harmony, are not Christians also committed to peace?
smile



ubblol yeah, and they're going well. personally i'd like to join The Borg.

 Written by: FireTom

Way of life? Find your own and leave your own footprints... even if nobody cares



its a very western ideal to "leave your footprints", everybody wants to make a difference and be remembered, and in doing so (imo) are causing more problems than other people are solving.

i liked the Aust aboriginals who lived in harmoney with nature. i think they were a much more advanced civilisation (in respect to being civilised) than we are today.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


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Posted:true words Mr. M. smile but even then the Aboriginees left their footprints, handprints and imprint... not the least with you, adoring their way of life... they discovered the didjeridoo, the dot painting, they left their marks on rocks, etc...

I was not talking about monuments like the pyramids, the great chinese wall, or else... I don't even refer to "make a difference"... take a piece of chalk and - if you fancy - colour a rock... swoooooosh you have made a difference and left something... or don't desire to leave anything but bubbles - even in this you make a difference to western ideals...

but sorry I am off topic... redface


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


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Posted:*bump*

I would like to stay on topic in the other threads and therefore move the entire "Buddhism" topic to this thread (especially when it comes to discuss it with you, Stone). Because I have the feeling that many other threads have a different main topic and that the resurfacing discussion about Buddhism is derailing these (other) threads.

So let's (re)start with:

 Written by: existance - necessary or a choice thread


 Written by: Stone


Stout, Id still call the people on self-directed spiritual paths hedonists. Call it, psychological egoism if you like, its all about me. To me, being reborn a dolphin is just the ego talking. There is no rebirth, and no understanding of the true self.

I used to have that feeling that there must be a plan for me. These days, Im more inclined to think we create our own future. Its been a while since I watched the Secret. My recollection is that the Secret was about empowering people. I think many people watch the Secret and think it is just about creating wealth. From my understanding, it was more about helping people realize their true potential. Then you can create wealth or get the relationship of your dreams or what ever. Id suggest the secret of the Secret is ontology.

Ive done some mycology, and I love stories about enthogens. Ask me about St Anthonys Fire some time. I think the weekend warrior in the story got what he paid for, and you cant buy enlightenment. The guy in Tribe story lived with the forest people for over a month before they considered instantiation him.

Its good you only get into those that really deserver it .lol.



 Written by: FireTom


 Written by: Stone

Id still call the people on self-directed spiritual paths hedonists



this would include ALL prophets, Zoroaster, Aaron, Mose, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed...

ALL spiritual paths started with the first step, one self-directed individual. I'm afraid I have to say, you seem not to see the forest, because of all the trees.

Wealth still is a synonym for "successful spirituality at work". It might be erroneous but very common - others have proven that being a saint, wearing nice garments and living in a beautiful house don't necessarily contradict each other. It's a choice... and as every choice, it's necessary.

wink

INSERTING LAUGHING, CHINESE BUDDHA IMAGE




 Written by: Stone


Fire Tom, what happened to the rupa?

To be honest, I dont understand the significance of the Maitreya. However, Ill take the opportunity to point out that there is a difference between a rupa and an icon.

You keep comparing Buddhism to the monistic religions and their prophets. So, Ill point out, once again, that Buddhists do not believe in supreme beings. So, if we are to move ahead in this discussion, you have to stop comparing Buddha, to Zoroaster, Aaron, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed.

Buddha was a person. He was not a prophet. He did not serve as an intermediary between humanity and the divine.

What Buddha had, was a great facility to understand human nature, call it a great facility for psychoanalysis if you like. So we are NOT talking about spiritual paths. We are talking about awakening, evolving, and reaching our full potential as human beings. Some call this state Nirvana or enlightenment. Which is seeing things the way they are, and has nothing to do with belief in supreme beings or heaven.

I was brought up a Roman Catholic, and wealth may be a synonym for "successful spirituality at work", but we are not talking about spirituality. The middle path is ascetic.

Sure you can say that all spiritual paths start with a first step. The first step is usually recognizing that life is unsatisfactory, and we start seeking something more from life. Buddha suggested that we can all find our own way to enlightenment. However, the biggest obstacle most people face is tripping over their own ego by thinking they can do it on their own.

Now, you never answered my question. Are you are speaking from your observations or are you speaking from your personal experience of having undertaken some training in Buddhism or personal development? Do you have a spiritual advisor/teacher? Or, as Ive been asked, have you done some work on your self ?







the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:Just to find consensus on "-ISMS"

 Written by: Wiki

Concepts represented by "ism"

The -ism suffix can be used to express the following concepts:

* religion or belief system (e.g. Mormonism)
* doctrine or philosophy (e.g. pacifism, olympism)
* theory developed by an individual (e.g. Marxism)
* political movement (e.g. feminism)
* artistic movement (e.g. cubism)
* action, process or practice (e.g. voyeurism)
* characteristic, quality or origin (e.g. heroism)
* state or condition (e.g. pauperism)
* excess or disease (e.g. botulism)
* prejudice or bias (e.g. racism)
* characteristic speech patterns (e.g. Yogiism, Bushism)

Many isms are defined as an act or practice by some, while also being defined as the doctrine or philosophy behind the act or practice by others. Examples include activism, altruism, despotism, elitism, optimism, sexism and terrorism.



Can we agree on above definition? Otherwise it'll be increasingly hard to have exchange on this topic.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


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Posted:And finally to answers to your questions (disregarding the fact that you don't "deserve" them by intentionally ignoring mine)

1) Yes, I am speaking from my observations and personal experience.

I have been talking about my fundamental views on life and spiritual evolution before knowing of Buddhism. I later found my 'ideas' and those of Buddhism (*exceptions) to be very similar.

When getting asked which spiritual belief I would "follow" I would answer that Buddhism (of all) comes the closest to my faith.

(*)Hence I renounce ascetism, which might put me more in line with the teachings of Osho, than with those of Buddha. Ascetism is NOT the "middle way", it's the other extreme to hedonism. I believe you know that.

2) What is "training in Buddhism or personal development" according to your definition?

No I neither have accepted Scientology, Life Coaches, Christianity, Buddhism, Psychologists or -analysts, NLP or other "personal development programmes" to govern my life at a larger stage (doesn't mean that I didn't have a taste of them).

3) Do you have a spiritual advisor/teacher? Or, as Ive been asked, have you done some work on your self ?

ubblol

"Work on your self" IMHO is inevitable to every being.

I for my part do renounce the idea of a "higher being" (putting me back in line with Buddhism) to govern my life. My "guide" is within my self.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


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Posted: Written by: Stone

The first step is usually recognizing that life is unsatisfactory, and we start seeking something more from life. Buddha suggested that we can all find our own way to enlightenment. However, the biggest obstacle most people face is tripping over their own ego by thinking they can do it on their own.



Again, Stone: If YOU find YOUR life unsatisfactory, YOU can "start seeking something more". YOUR prerogative.

Maybe I'm as much imposing my views on others as you are... wink

Did Buddha (and any spiritual guru) "do it by himself" or not?

Lots of questions to be answered, finishing my quadruple post nnnnnnnnnnnow.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Hi Fire Tom, deja vu.



I have no idea what you are talking about when you bring up the subject of isms. Its a suffix that you use to put things into boxes. You give examples, but they dont make much sense. Like how can you compare botulism (a disease caused by Clostridium botulinum.) to Socialism. It makes no sense to me. As it says in Wiki, In the United States of the mid-nineteenth century, the phrase "the isms" was used as a collective derogatory term to lump together.



Fire Tom, I have answered your questions. If I have ignored something, it was not on purpose. Ask again.



Training is training. If you havent undertaken any personal development training, then you dont have any idea. Its got nothing to do with letting anyone govern anyones life, its about understanding life.



Yes, my life was unsatisfactory thats why I did something about it. We all have areas of life that work, but most of us have areas that arent working as well as we would like. Be they relationships, finance, confidence or having our space invaded.



 Written by:

Did Buddha (and any spiritual guru) "do it by himself" or not?





Fire Tom, how would I know? We dont know anything about Jesus until he was about 30 yrs old. Im sure all these guys had teachers. Anyhow, Ive already answered that one. Buddha suggested that we can all find our own way to enlightenment. However, the biggest obstacle most people face is tripping over their own ego by thinking they can do it on their own.



My guide is within my self" lol: So who is governing your life, your ego or your true self? Hey, Ive been there, I used to think that way. Believe me, it takes training to discover the true self. And I dont pretend for a minute, that I know all the answers.



So what is ego?



Now, I dont know anything about this guy or his books or the diamond heart approach to self realization, but the definitions in his glossary make sense.



Ego: "Object relations theory has become the dominant psychoanalytic theory of ego development. Its main insight is that the ego develops, primarily through the integration of early experiences, into organized mental structures. These mental structures, termed ego structures, are systems of memories that have become organized through the processes of assimilation or introjection, identification, integration, synthesis, and so on, into an overall schema patterning the self."



Another step is self-realization, which to me, is the knowledge of who we really are as a human beings, and it aint pretty. It leads to discovering the true self, which is like turning on a light switch.



You seem to be switching on, so I dont understand why you have such a problem/issue with people undertaking personal development and growth?

EDITED_BY: Stone (1203367979)


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
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Stone




 Written by:

Did Buddha (and any spiritual guru) "do it by himself" or not?



Fire Tom, how would I know? We don’t know anything about Jesus until he was about 30 yrs old. I’m sure all these guys had teachers. Anyhow, I’ve already answered that one. Buddha suggested that we can all find our own way to enlightenment. However, the biggest obstacle most people face is tripping over their own ego by thinking they can do it on their own.





The Buddha did receive training, both from the Brahmin priests of his childhood and, later when he left his home in search of teachings, from forest ascetics.

However, he found all such teachings unsatisfactory and rejected them, freeing him to find his own way.

So, effectively, he did 'do it by himself'.

 Written by: Stone



Buddha suggested that we can all find our own way to enlightenment. However, the biggest obstacle most people face is tripping over their own ego by thinking they can do it on their own.





But, it's important to note that the hinderances of the ego are not peculiar to those 'doing it on their own'- the ego is an obstacle to everyone on the path- just as much so for those receiving training from a teacher or involved in a group.

The Buddha was very clear- you assess his teachings and you decide which are of value.

It's an unfortunate characteristic of organisations, that it's in their own best interests (in terms of growth of the organisation) to stress the 'benefits' (in their eyes) of belonging to the group- when this goes wrong, it can easily turn into pushing the view that belonging to the group (and adhering to its principles), is essential.

Now, it's a fact that, those 'doing it on their own' will inevitably go wrong at times- but that is not because they are 'on their own'- it's cos the path to peace is not that easy to find- either solo, or in a group/organisation.

But, the good thing about buddhism, is that, whatever contemporary buddhist organisations claim, there are a few very clear and consise statements from the buddha himself, such as-

'I (the buddha) am not a god'

'Don't take my teachings as fact- try them out for yourself, then you decide'

etc.

If any group claiming to represent buddhism claims otherwise and, that is a source of concern for you, simply refer back to those clear statements.


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

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
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AFC 32


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

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Dave, good to see you.

Excellent points. As you say Siddhartha had training, even if he rejected it. However, he did find enlightenment on his own, and became a Buddha.

Ego is a problem, and I wont deny that I was scoring points. However, I suspect that a big obstacle is recognizing that there is a path in the first place.

I think you make good points about the benefits of doing it on your own. However, there is synergy in a group, and the Sangha is one of the three jewels.

Its way too late for me to think clearly, but I do feel invigorated.

Cheers 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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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Posted:Fire Tom, just to put things in perspective. My original question on training was related to the very funny comments you made in the other thread, for example:

Master: "Go and save mankind."
Scholar: "But Master, I need to learn much more to do that, let me complete my studies and I will."
Master: "In the meantime bring me a butter croissant and a cappuccino."

The point being that it may be difficult for an outsider to understand what is going on. Nevertheless, the student might be getting the training he requires.


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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Posted:ubblol same might apply to organizations like Scientology, still I renounce their ideals and goals [/sloppy remark]

So let me start at the beginning:

We are referring to "-isms" as forms of practice, doctrines or the philosophy behind the act or practice. The examples provided are not necessarily 'mine', but to explain the context. You, yourself are referring to "Buddhism", using the term and suffix, but you renounce the meaning behind it... pick and mix.

No I didn't do any "personal development training" - that in itself doesn't mean that I have not underwent personal development and that doesn't mean that I have "no idea". If that would be the case, you (as a non-Buddhist) would have no idea about Buddhism... as mentioned earlier.

 Written by: Stone

Training is training. If you havent undertaken any personal development training, then you dont have any idea. Its got nothing to do with letting anyone govern anyones life, its about understanding life.



Let me assure you that I understand (just enough) about my life to have an idea of what it's about. But in fact I renounce "personal development programs" for my self and it's my legal right to do so. I am in no need of readymade/ instant concepts of others or organisations to live a satisfactory life. The assumption that one needs a spiritual leader or guide (other and outside his own self) is fine, as long as you do it for yourself only.

As soon as you're putting a judgement on them, because they don't follow your doctrines, you've just been tripping over your own ego. (To me that is not that much of a problem anyway, as I have a different relationship with what you call "ego". But in your case you might just have compromised on your own principles.)

YOU experienced your life as "unsatisfactory" and therefore you felt compelled "to do something about it". IMO a logical consequence. Maybe you at first indulged in activities to stimulate your mind. At some point you might have recognized that all external stimuli are temporary only and unsatisfactory in the long run. The concepts of "profession", "hobbies", "partnership" and all what comes along with it - all of them (at some stage) prove themselves to be unsatisfactory and subsequently you're inquiring "why?" As a very logical result you will tap into: "What is it, that makes me experience restlessness and why am I not (permanently) satisfied by any of my activities?"

Subsequently you turn to that very instrument that makes you experience anything: your mind. And the journey begins.

Terms like "true self", "full potential" and the like are just merry-go-rounds, since you cannot provide any satisfactory definition for any of these terms. "They have to be experienced, to be explained." yaddayaddayadda then again you're getting asked "who is that who is experiencing anything?" [le big sigh]

You're kept running around in circles. Again I have to tell you that you seem not to know the very essence of what this is all about. I do advise you to visit the breeding grounds of the philosophy you're worshipping.

Maybe you look at the life around you, life on planet earth and you observe suffering (on a big scale). You're asking: "Why like this?" And of course you look for someone responsible for this. Since the concept of a "higher being" has to be unsatisfactory in the long run, especially when you start asking questioning it's principles, you turn away from it.

Christianity might not have provided sufficient answers to your questions and logically you turn to Buddhism. Because Buddhism answers your questions with: "Who is asking?" "I am." "Who is you're calling 'I'?" And back to scratch.

 Written by: Stone

Buddha suggested that we can all find our own way to enlightenment.



Meaning that none of us HAS to undergo any personal development programme, to learn the doctrines of Buddhism. Buddha acquired "enlightenment" (whatever that might be) by choosing his own path (outside the conceptions around him). Now if you meet someone (like me) who is rejecting these conceptions, you tell me that I have no idea.

Thanks for that.

Who tells you that I have a problem with ppl "turning the switch on"? I have a problem with ppl who claim to "turn on" their true self/ potential and at the same time patronizing me, telling me that I have to turn left at Albuquerque - only to make me go their way.

Let me tell you one thing: As hard as you try to follow other ppls footsteps, you will fail. It's impossible for anyone to live the life of the Gautama Buddha, but for the Gautama Buddha himself. He knew it, you know it and still you seem to turn his teachings into a dogma.

You're talking about "ego" and when you do so in this context I guess you refer to this:

 Written by: Wiki

n modern-day society, ego has many meanings. It could mean ones self-esteem; an inflated sense of self-worth; or in philosophical terms, ones self. However, according to the psychologist Sigmund Freud, the ego is the part of the mind which contains the consciousness. Originally, Freud had associated the word ego to meaning a sense of self; however, he later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgement, tolerance, reality-testing, control, planning, defence, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory.



In my understanding, Buddhism (as all the other concepts) is a feedback loop to keep you on track. It's when your life itself gets so boring or exasperating that this concept is there to keep you going and a "functionable" element of society. It's when you're not caught up in surviving day-by-day anymore and your mind wanders off, has got enough time to ask questions other than: "where will I get my food and shelter?" This is the point when philosophy/ religions become of interest, because the world seems to be in chaos and you need to re-orientate your self. So after things don't make sense anymore, you start looking for concepts to incorporate in your mind. You turn to Buddhism and

things (miraculously) start making sense (again).

But has anything really changed? Nope. The only thing that might have changed is YOUR way of looking at things (which is already enough to keep you going).

You're talking about "ENLIGHTENMENT" and Buddhism being THE path to obtain it, you're talking about "true potential" and "true self" and really I have no idea
what the heck you're talking about, except maybe for repeating slogans. Define what you these terms mean to you and I'd be able to deal with them.

If you are bored out of your skull, try raising kids. If your saturated life is boring you, go Calcutta and loose your money and passport - there are infinite ways to regain fondness of life, to develop your "true self" and to obtain your "full potential", gaining "enlightenment" (whatever all that might be) without even reading one word of the dharma.

smile


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

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Posted:i like what you said tom smile

cant be bothered to read the rest of the thread at the moment, might mosey on back later when i'm not concerned with the "whos going to live in my shelter and not thieve my worldly possesions" part of life.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

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Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom,



The information on isms was useful. It not something I have encountered or understand. I still think you are trying to put labels on things by using the suffex isms. Like, lets categorize Buddhism by putting it in a box called isms. However, not everything fits neatly into a box.



Im not criticizing you for not taking an interest in personal development, but it is very difficult to undertake personal development without a teacher. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.



Sure peruse your legal rights. Id suggest that some people just arent up to the challenge of getting out of their comfort zone. After all, you are the one making jokes about the "Mahayana"... very often on top of this "big chariot" gurus and masters are sitting, smiling at existence getting pulled around by donkeys. And posting funny photos of Buddha.



Your observations are only observations, if you havent experienced any training or discipline. It takes something to butter a croissant and a make a cappuccino for another person.



Ive said this before. I studied Buddhism for a year and a half, not long I know. However, I did the courses, went on retreats, got to meditation every second Saturday. I dont call myself a Buddhist because Im lazy.



As you say "true self" and "full potential" have to be experienced. And hey, I have experienced. Perhaps it wasnt a permanent state of enlightenment, more a clear glimpse of the true nature of existence. All I can tell you is that there is a lot more than we think to life out there.



 Written by:

Meaning that none of us HAS to undergo any personal development programme, to learn the doctrines of Buddhism. Buddha acquired "enlightenment" (whatever that might be) by choosing his own path (outside the conceptions around him). Now if you meet someone (like me) who is rejecting these conceptions, you tell me that I have no idea.





Fire Tom, what you think you dont have to undertake any personal development to move on? Spend years with the forest ascetics, or do the hard yards to become a Buddha?



As you say, Ego as Freud revised it, is basically memory.



Good point on feedback loops and survival. But this is where you miss an important point. Buddhism (as other concepts) is about breaking the primal survival feedback loop, and entering the realm of creativity. Sure, the thing that changes is how we look at life. How else do you get a paradigm shift?



To be quite frank, Im sick of arguing. There are opportunities out there, but ok, if you are prepared to accept a just enough in life, then so be it.



As far as the dharma goes, have your read Heat-Wood from the Bo Tree ?



Full Circle wink



Lets move on.



Has anyone done Vipassana?


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
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:With 'going it on your own' vs 'seeking out a group/guru', in a sense, both positions are right.

Solo-

1. the Buddha did do this- he rejected the current popular teachings and found his own way
2. the buddha also specifically said- you judge my teachings- live them, assess them, then you decide if they're for you

Group/guru-

1. can provide some much needed objectivity, because spiritual paths are rife with wrong turns and, when it comes to tackling the ego, the ego is most adept at creating and perpetuating self-delusion: it is to the egos advantage to convince the mind that the mind is following deep spiritual practices, when, in reality, the practices are simply feeding the ego
2. can provide a community/team for those for whom the solo path feels 'lonely'

To my mind, the big pitfall with groups/gurus is that, these days, it is apparent that corruption is rife.

In every branch of organised spirituality, it is now evident that exploitation has, at times, occurred and, these instances are well documented- zen, FWBO, christian sects... across the board there have been plentiful instances of financial scamming, sex-abuse etc, etc.

When we consider that the seekers are often lost and vulnerable and that the guru/teacher tends to be highly charismatic/strong personality, the potential for disaster is obvious.

Then again, we all have encountered people following the solo path, who, despite being convinced that they are making great spiritual progress, are clearly misguided.

So, pros and cons to both- whichever route is taken, discernment and common sense are vital.

Ultimately, perhaps it's helpful to realise that, whatever the path, the individual has to make their own choices- to 'choose' to follow a organisations teachings to the letter, is still a choice that the individual has to make.

To choose to give up choice and simply follow a dogma, is itself a choice- realising that may give the confidence that you may as well simply make more of your own choices.


"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
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:My personal 'top-tips' in this field are-

1. think in terms of 'habit-modification'- an intellectual understanding of a 'spirtitual truth' is only the first step- if you're creating pain in your own life, it is because of well-established habits. Habits can be extremely difficult to break-down; the first step is self-honesty in facing up to the fact that some aspect of your own self has an habitually innapropriate way of behaving; then realising that you're not going to be able to simply 'thinkyourself out of it' -some form of practice/doing will be necessary.

2. where 'enlightenment' is concerned, for most of us there is no better distraction or cause of crippling confusion, than a pre-occupation with 'enlightenement'. Arguably, it's as well to simply forget that the term 'enlightenment' even exists, or to view it as not being particularly relevant to the path.

3. if you have any regular/habitual substance/drug use, give serious consideration to eliminating it (apologies to anyone who automatically finds offence/dogmatism in this, but, if so, please read it again- I'm talking about 'regular/habitual' drug use: in my experience, this acts as a block to identifying/changing negative habitual patterns- if you really disagree with that, then we'll simply have to disagree, whilst acknowledging my absolute right to say that which I believe to be true).

4. don't take it (spirituality) too seriously- very few inividuals are destined to be so into this that it becomes the prime focus of their life.

5. be aware that a pre-occupation with spirituality can go hand-in-hand with a tendency to disfunctionality (e.g. an inability to 'cope' with reality, tendency to depression, social inadequacy etc). Which, IMO, isn't necessarily a bad thing- spiritual work can actually be an effective way of coping with personal dysfunctionality: I just think it's a useful thing to be aware of- that the impetous to spirituality is not necessarily some grand calling, but simply a facing-up-to the fact that you have some issues.

(Point 5 can also be useful for those who suffer from excessive pride, or who look down on those who are uninterested in spirituality- the fact is that one reason some people aren't into spirituality is cos they're naturally well-integrated, well-functioning individuals, so they feel no need to 'improve themselves')

6. Spirituality tends to be 'good' when the focus is inwards- directed towards the self. When 'spirituality' is directed outwards- to 'converting' others, to picking them up for their 'mistakes'; things can go very wrong: ultimately, this is the source of fundamentalism, one of the most destructive forces known to humanity.

Fundamentalism is the end point of a path that begins when, instead of looking inwards for flaws/possibilities-for-improvement, one looks, instead, for the faults of others- that is a tempting way, an easy/lazy way and, a dangerous way.

A look at any of the highly-destructive religious organisations will show that they all had in common that focus on directing outwards to others (eg aggressive missionary work, conversion etc)- medieval christianity, fundamentalist Islam, Jim Jones etc, etc.

Whereas the solitary hermit, even if they get it wrong, are not going to be doing much actual harm (though, admittedly, it doesn't stop an enthusiastic maniac getting inspired by the story and forming a fundamentalist group from 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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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Dave, well put, what you say makes a lot of sense.



Unfortunately, what you say about corruption is true, and it has certainly turned me off more than one organisation.



However, when you talk about going solo do you mean someone who has had training and then become disillusioned with a group/guru (rejected the current popular teachings), or someone trying learn from scratch, absorb spirituality by osmosis?



I think this is an important point. Because I was certainly a person in the latter category. Id read a few book, done a few workshops, had great discussions with friends, and I thought I knew it all. It was not until I actually undertook some training, that I started to realise that I knew nothing. In reality, I was living in a world of self-delusion (and still am a lot of the time, I don't find this stuff easy).



Im talking from own experience, when I say I honestly cant imagine how anyone can tackle the ego on their own. With out help or guidance, this task seems impossible. I know some people must have done this on their own, so there must be some amazing people out there.



I would also not underestimate the importance of the Sangha. While this is traditionally seen in a monastic sense, in the West this can also be viewed as your Buddhist community. By community, I mean the people you meet at the Buddhist center for mediation, classes and on retreats.





Thanks for taking the time to write down your top-tips. They are very useful.



I had an enlightening experience once, it wore off after a couple of days, and seems more like a drug now.



For me, the biggest thing about Buddhism is mindfulness. Getting clarity in what Im doing. Being present in the moment. Not being the slave of that little voice in my head and living life on automatic.



Things that help are mindfulness meditation. Though, I get a bit slack and dont do this as regularly as I might. Nevertheless, I still try to focus and clear my head of rubbish many times during the day. I do this a lot when driving. I also reduce the noise in my life by turning off the radio when driving, and I dont have the TV blaring in the background when Im at home.





Cheers smile

EDITED_BY: Stone (1203470540)


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
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Stone




However, when you talk about going “solo” do you mean someone who has had training and then become disillusioned with a group/guru (rejected the current popular teachings), or someone trying learn from scratch, absorb spirituality by osmosis?

I think this is an important point. Because I was certainly a person in the latter category. I’d read a few book, done a few workshops, had great discussions with friends, and I thought I knew it all. It was not until I actually undertook some training, that I started to realise that I knew nothing. In reality, I was living in a world of self-delusion (and still am a lot of the time, I don't find this stuff easy).




By 'going solo' I'm talking about the alternative to getting committedly involved with an established group- making your own choices, probably influenced by books, meetings with others etc.

I agree that it's easy to get the idea that you've 'cracked it' spiritually, then later realise you knew nothing. But, again, I'd say that the same thing can happen whether you're going solo, or whether you're involved in a group/sangha.

If the group or guru is good/genuine, then that's a useful objective perspective to keep you on track- but there's just so many groups/gurus which are either hopeless, or worse, actively corrupt.

You have to be careful if you're involved with a group and, you have to be careful if you're doing it solo- so, no difference really.

And, these days we're lucky, cos there's so much info available in book form- far, far more than when I was a teenager trying to learn about this stuff.


"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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