Looking into Buddhism?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Snoopy, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    In the first month of my stay at the Zen Center of Los Angeles's mountain retreat in the San Jacinto mountains, I shared a week-long sesshin (intensive period of meditation) with a Lutheran minister and attended a Jewish-Buddhist wedding.

    Buddhism seems quite compatible with other religions because it doesn't add dogma that would conflict with the religion already held. Zen is really about reality, what is in front of you this very moment and how you deal with it. The Four Noble Truths and Eight-Fold Path are really just strategies in approaching life, moment to moment, and accepting what each moment brings.

    The highest truth in Zen is that there is no high truth. Each moment is all there is. Our perceptions, thoughts and feelings are all that there is. That may seem limiting or negative to an outside viewer. But when one stops looking for more, when one just resides in what is without attempting to add from it or take anything away, then it is a beautiful thing indeed. It is all that one could ever ask for.
     
  2. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    And we don't even have to ask for it.
     
  3. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Zen is generally considered a type of Mahayana Buddhism. I did see something about Zen supposedly being Theravada in predominantly Mahayana Countries. This is very confusing because the few countries where Buddhist monks have observed a restriction on touching women are Theravada Buddhist countries! They are Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.

    There seems to be no mention in the Vinaya (discipline rules for Buddhist monastics). I have not seen any Zen vows that include anything on this. Even though it may be a "Zen story," it's hard to believe that the two monks featured in the story were Zen practitioners. I'm thinking the story was made up by Zen Buddhists who were making a humorous and maybe slightly derogatory point about older, formalistic, monastic Buddhism. More modern Zen ideologues have disputed the value of monastic life, which makes the existence of a monastic vow prohibiting touch even more questionable.

    Another example of inside Buddhist humor?.....
     
  4. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Good one, I'd say.:)

    s.
     
  5. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Wordless doctrine. ;)
     
  6. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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  7. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Hmm--this thread might be as good a place as any to start speculating...:rolleyes:
    http://www.interfaith.org/forum/history-of-the-sabbath-9581.html

    Then, of course, there are the sons of Abraham's late-life wife Keturah, whom Abraham sent off "to the East." (More ground for speculation.)
     
  8. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    There are many new ideas emerging from the Jewish Reform movement. Some of these ideas relate to interfaith activities. Here is a portion from Rabbi Zalman's newest book, "Integral Halacha" (p.30):

    There are other ideas emerging related to eastern ideas and philosophies, I will find those and share them as well.
     
  9. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    SG, very interesting topic, thanks for providing the link.

    I agree, the idea of - there was a common origin, is intriguing.

    My own view is that there was commonality, but not as early as was discussed in the thread. My understanding is that there are Jewish communities in both India and China:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_India
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_in_china

    And we know this from the recent tragic events in Mumbai as well.

    How did these communities get there ? It seems that at the time of the fall of the First Temple, 586 BCE (or perhaps slightly earlier) and the ensuing diaspora, that Jews were exiled to a variety of locations.

    However, there appears to be no evidence that movement to India or China happened much earlier, around the time of Avraham. On the other hand, I think it is widely believed that the influence of Avraham's family in the Middle East was substantial. This is the story of Ishmael that you referred to.

    I think there might be some interesting cultural and sociological issues involved here as well.
     
  10. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Avi,

    thank you for the post.

    i suppose that it depends on what you mean by "compatible with other religions" ;)

    of course we must bear in mind that there is a certain linguistic artifact in the term religion which is not present in the term Dharma which can shade our communication in interesting ways.

    if a religion espouses a valid moral and ethical path (valid being something akin to the Buddhist Precepts) then the Buddhadharma would consider it to be a valid spiritual refuge...or religion as it were. the traditional language describes Dharma traditions as spiritual refuges and thus other traditions are considered in the same manner even if the action of going for and taking refuge in is not present in said tradition. a spiritual refuge is a tradition which has the ability to help a being progress along the path of Awakening and Liberation, there are a few traditions which espouse invalid moral and ethical precepts and thus would not be considered valid spiritual refuges.

    in terms of philosophical positions and such the degree of compatibility between the Buddhadharma and it's four schools of philosophy and other traditions varies quite widely, there is even a fair degree of variation within the four Buddhadharma schools.

    in terms of doctrinal positions the degree of variation is even more wide as there are a tremendous array of religious doctrines that are unique to their respective religion.

    one of the challenges in stuyding other religious traditions, for a being like myself that tends to see commonalities betwixt traditions, is to approach the texts and tradtion as a separate, unique arising and really trying to appreciate the different and unique aspects of the teachings. i suppose that more people tend to see the unique bits and thus are searching for the commonalities moreso than i.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  11. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    I don't think we got a definitive definition. Maybe this why...
    The etymology of dukkha as an ill-fitting wheel dates from the Commentary, not from the Canon, and is not strictly speaking a true etymology. The Commentary engages in a lot of fanciful "etymologies" of this sort to make a didactic point, and this is one of its flights of fancy...

    The Buddha himself nowhere gave a formal definition of dukkha, although he illustrated it with many examples. The purpose of this, I think, was strategic: As you practice, your understanding of dukkha will grow more refined. If you were pinned down to a single definition, it would get in the way of constantly reviewing and refining your understanding of what dukkha can mean.

    ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu
     
  12. Jean freeman

    Jean freeman New Member

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    I found that really useful as I havent explored Buddhism before.
     
  13. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Thanks for bumping this thread, and welcome to IO, Jean freeman. :)
    Hmm, do you suppose that conjecture on the exact nature of dukkha could also lead to madness and vexation, like the defined unconjecturables? {Should I even ask that question? :eek:}
     
  14. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    No. And what's more, you know you shouldn't. :p

    s.
     
  15. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    I'm looking into Buddhism. This seemed the thread for me, lol, and I felt compelled to post.

    I believe, in the small amount of looking into it I've done, that I've been incorporating vague Buddhist and Hindu concepts into my world view already, and I'd like to make those a little less vague. Knowledge is always good, right? :D

    So, just warning all, you may see me more round these parts, lol. ;)
     
  16. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Noted. ;)

    s.
     
  17. dan b

    dan b Interfaith Forums

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    hello,
    Understanding the Buddhist religion can also be done from the Bible. The patriarch Abraham had three wives by the time his life was over. The third wife was Keturah. At the end he sent the "sons of Keturah" with gifts to the east. this was about 1500BC. They travelled east throught the Kyber pass into Indea and were called the Aryans. (They came from Iran) The gifts that they had were the Veda of Hinduism. They were called Brahmans or A-brahams's children.
    Then about 500 BC a hindu yogi tried so hard to find the purpose of life that he actually stopped trying. He sat ander a tree, eat some food and when he then relazed he became enligtened. He founded Buddism. Slowly Buddhism grew well known, then it moved down India to Celon where it still remains today. But the Buddist idea, like sperm carried understanding by ships to Burma, Thialand and up[ all of thier rivers into the woman of china who became pregnant with it. Today china is indeed shaped as a pregnant woman. There is much more to all of this . dan b
     
  18. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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  19. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Lord, take me now.

    s.
     

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