Christian-Buddists

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by stevemb88, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Re: Christian-Buddhists

    Namaste all,


    hehe... i has posted earlier but it was dumped into cyber space...

    there are a few things in the thread which i'd like to expound upon, just a bit, if i may.

    the first thing i'd like to touch on is the idea of Nirvana/Nibbana being somehow equilivant to God. this is not correct, for several reasons which are not all that applicable to our discussion. however, what is applicable is how these ideas are understood.

    beings which hold a belief in a Creator Deity generally also hold that this creator is the "ground of being" from which all things spring. Buddhism holds no such view. Buddha Shakyamuni teaches that there is nothing which can rightly be regarded as the root sequence, not even Nirvana. thus, should a theistic being state that their understanding of their Creator God is not of something which eternally exists and from which all things spring, then mosts Buddhists probably wouldn't have much issue.

    with regards to using Christian praxis as a Buddhist or Buddhist praxis as a Christian there are some definiate commonalities in their approaches, especially in regards to interpersonal relationships and their compassionate views towards sentient beings. as such, it seems to me that one could take some of the other tradition to enchance their already existing praxis in some manner or the other.

    with regards to being a Buddhist or/and a Christian, this seems to be unworkable on many levels, not least of which is doctrinal. it is, perhaps, no where more clear than in the idea of the Soul which is found in the Christian tradition. Buddhism does not teach that such a thing really exists in any meaningful sense. of course, Buddhism also teaches that each being is responsible for their own karma, no other being can mitigate this for us.

    generally speaking, the Buddhist view is that whilst a being can practice a wide array of teachings to enter into the Dharma Doorway, a being will tend to make little progress if they are trying to walk down two different paths. ultimately, Buddhism and i suspect most Buddhists, would rather a person be wholly committed to their spiritual path, even non-Buddhist, rather than trying to be a practiconer of both and consequently making little progress.

    i think that Lunamoth touched on the seeming lack of a contemplative tradition within Christianity. this is something which has been noted by others and, as such, the World Council on Christian Meditation was formed. the interested reader can check it out here:
    http://www.wccm.org/splash.asp?pagestyle=default

    metta,

    ~v
     
  2. stevemb88

    stevemb88 Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing missing, but the fact is novelty, who wants to go behind a religion they don't believe in, or don't feel comfortable with? I'm not saying I don't belive in it, it's just that I have beliefs, opinions and feelings and to meet them all, I want to make the most sense out of my religion as I can. And to do that I think that a blending of various religion with Christianity being the focal point.

    Im not talking about methods, I like their particular use of meditation (most of it atleast). The main reason i posted this thread, infact; is to find any other practices I liked, and if i could mix them with christianity, and if not id give 'em the boot.

    And to make a point about, Christians going over into other religions and plunder their treasures. Why not, the more religious treasures you have can't hurt, if it makes you feel better about yourself, and strengthens your faith I don't see any problem with that. Do you?
     
  3. stevemb88

    stevemb88 Well-Known Member

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    Z,



    First, all right I'm glad were on the same page!:)

    And I think not to learn from other religions is being closed minded!:confused:
     
  4. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    hi all

    I see the Buddha and Christ as very similar in the context that, the Buddha took Hinduism to its natural end – in a manner of speaking – he simplified it and monofied it, Hindus may prefer the diversity yet the Buddha offered another way. Similarly when Jesus implied that no one could enter heaven except by him, he was trying to convert the people of that region and relative regions to what he saw as a purer view.

    The world is now far smaller so we may learn truths from many sources, I am not going to argue over words – even where I see holes, because if you follow your paths exactly then you will not see the similarities, at least not until you arrive ‘there’! It is fine to follow a path exactly, yet for many of us who want a more universal understanding it is better to learn from more than one source, al I would say is that it is fine either way or anywhere in between & personally I think both the Buddha and Jesus are great.:)

    Z
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Z,

    by what manner of measure have you determined this?

    you are aware, are you not, that the Buddhist views and the Sanatana Dharma views are, in deed, rather far apart on some very fundamental issues?

    whilst it is certainly correct that we are both Dharma traditions, and this is rather confusing for beings which do not have a context of the traditions, the paradigm from they are operating is, ultimately, different. as such, they lead to a radically different conclusion at the end of the path, so to speak.

    Moshka and Nirvana are not the same, though, in many respects, the actual day to day practice of beings in pursuit of either path resemble each other.

    Buddha Dharma is not the continuation or fulfillment of Sanatana Dharma just like Christianity is not the continuation or fulfillment of Judaism. they are, in fact, different religous paths, all.

    owwww... i think a cosmic ray just passed through my physical form... i've got to go for now :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  6. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Interesting thread. Christianity definatley teaches there is only one way to God. But Christianity itself is a loose religion, following loose translations of the actual Bible which maybe is the reason why there are so many sects of the religion.

    I follow Jesus believe it or not, but I wouldn't classify myself as a Christian. I do not believe in the Old Testament or Revelation and ignore verses that make no sense. In other words I only follow the teachings of Jesus, nothing else. Paul teaches many great things about Jesus, but can we really say that Paul is really teaching Jesus's teachings? A few of Paul's teachings I agree with but to be honest there is no way I can agree with all of his teachings.

    To understand what I am saying is I suggest you get a Bible with the red letter edition for Jesus's words. Compare Jesus's teachings to some of the teaching of Paul and you would start to see that many of Paul's word did not match some of the words of Christ.

    Buddha is another who I follow or at least believe. Same with Krishna. If you really look at it Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus lived very similar lives;).

    In fact many muslims texts of Jesus suggest Jesus actually went to India when he was around 11 or 12, meaning Jesus could have learned many of his teachings from Buddha and Krishna's text. Jesus may have been to India and learned the ways of the wise ones there, how else is Jesus so different in many ways to every other Biblical figure, and tought such similar non-violent principles? Let's be honest where in the Bible does it teach non-violence other than in the gospels? The whole Bible is filled with fascist like beliefs (no offense to any Jews or Christians), but for some reasons the teachings of Jesus are very non-violent. Why is this?

    There are other ways of following Jesus, but I disagree with the Christian approach to Jesus.
     
  7. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,


    with regards to Jesus going to India..

    whilst i think that it is an interesting theory, there is no evidence for such a trip. more to the point, perhaps, is that there were Buddhist monks in the so-called Middle East during the time of Jesus. so, in theory, he could have simply visited some of them without having to go to India and back again.

    of course, i'm not aware of any evidence that this is so, either. it is, perhaps, a human way of trying to understand different expressions of the inexplicable.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  8. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Hi vajradhara.



    I was merely taking a vague perspective on the similarities of two great unifiers, I don’t know much about sanatana dharma. As I said before I am not here to question other people’s beliefs [I don’t believe in dharma or karma except as a guiding philosophy], but I do believe in helping others follow the path of ‘their choice’ irrespective of my religion. The inquirer asked if there is a way to blend the two religions, and assessing this by his replies I presume he simply wants to know if it is ok to meditate upon Christ and god, rather than or as equivalent too Buddha and nirvana. I do believe that there are similarities if we skip the – what I would call –‘ irrelevant details’ & the lesser vision of ultimate reality!



    They lead to a radically different conclusion at the end of the path



    Do they? If we consider heaven to be an in between state [not the same as intermediate realms], where we live together under god, then ultimately this would lead to a oneness with god and perfect peace. This would leave one at a state of nirvana or oneness with god, and all the manifest worlds would surely cease to exist to he who hath realised the naked truth. I don’t remember what moshka is – it’s been 15 years since I studied any Buddhism.



    I can see your point about different religious paths, druids saw Christianity as like a fulfilment, yet Jews did not as they didn’t except Jesus as the messiah, thus only from a Christian perspective is Christ viewed in this way. Personally I view Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed and all as teachers of paths, yet Druidry as un-pathed. I see no reason why someone cannot learn from two or all paths and religions – to separate them philosophically is a product of dualistic conceptualisation! The same applies to our understanding of god and Buddha being, can we not have everything in nothing? All as unified therefore not manifest as entities or existences/illusions. This ‘place’ or nature would be a state of oneness, thus god may be thought of as the one being of the oneness and we are the singular of the multiplicity in its apparency, or created replications of the one as many. This is though an illusion our heart is gods heart our spirit is of the original self or god as primary being, the difficulty is when we refer to his creation as illusion – it is both right and wrong. Firstly reality is real as god’s creation is manifest of him and he is real! If one considers it an illusion then by what means is the illusion created? And we would be denying ourselves our own existence that god so gratefully gave us – even if on the surface it is illusory, our phoenix is our real being, once we strip away everything only the reality of us as children of god [can be seen as the goddess in Druidry {a primary manifestation of a non sexual god}] exists, then we are given bodily form in his creation as humans on earth or soul bodies in heaven – it is our choice if we do not want his gift and choose to be of no body.



    ps, all of these things have been buzzing around in my mind for some time, please dont see them as an assult - i am just a seeker/seer, i just get tripped up in the linguistics so any help with these notions are greatly appreciated!

    Respect :)



    Z





     
  9. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Z,

    thank you for the post.

    as i say, these are my views predicated on my understanding, such that it is, of the Buddha Dharma. other Buddhists are likely to disagree with some of my views, and that is quite alright in Buddhism.. in fact, that is a feature of all Dharma traditions.




    if this is so, i'm unclear how you can come to this conclusion. would you not agree that asserting such a thing would require more than passing knowledge of each tradition?



    Dharma is a Sanskrit word which has many connotations depending on it's usage.
    derived from the Sanskrit root dhr meaning to hold up, to carry, to bear, to sustain. The word dharma refers to that which upholds or sustains the universe. Human society, for example, is sustained and upheld by the dharma performed by its members. For example, parents protecting and maintaining children, children being obedient to parents, the king protecting the citizens, are acts of dharma that uphold and sustain society. In this context dharma has the meaning of duty. Dharma also employs the meaning of law, religion, virtue, and ethics. These things uphold and sustain the proper functioning of human society. In philosophy dharma refers to the defining quality of an object. For instance, liquidity is one of the essential dharmas of water; coldness is a dharma of ice. In this case we can think that the existence of an object is sustained or defined by its essential attributes, dharmas.

    so.. i think that you actually believe in most of the definitions of dharma, though you may term them something else.



    whilst i would agree, in general, with your view... i would be remiss if i accepted your view that such details are irrelevant. without getting into a very technical discussion...

    Buddhism does not have one, single, overarching philosophy. there are, in fact, 4 distinct and seperate schools of thought, and several sub-schools therein. we've a bit of a discussion on this already, which you can read here:

    http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=719



    yes, in my view. you are, of course, free to view it in whichever manner you'd like :)



    what "god" are you speaking of? without some idea of what you mean by this term, i really cannot say what you may be referring to. it sounds like you are referring to Gods of the Formless Realm, is that correct?

    whilst that is a positive rebirth, it is not the best rebirth... and should a being have to be reborn, would it not be advantageous to have the best rebirth?



    nirvana and "oneness with God" are not the same... hmm... perhaps i should say that Buddha Shakyamuni taught that they were not the same.

    the Buddhist tradition does have a teaching of Natural Liberation Through Understanding the Between States which is a naked form of awareness.. though it is part of the Tantric schools, particularly the Vajrayana.

    moshka is a Sanatana Dharma (Hindu) term which means something along the lines of "oneness with God".



    one of the issues in an interfaith discussion is that there is no real method to ascertain another beings level of spiritual awareness. Buddhism has a teaching called Lam Rim and it means Stages of the Graduated Path and is designed to take a being from the depths to the heights. as such, most of my discussion is geared for beings traversing this path rather than for beings which are simply strolling along.

    Buddhism encourages its adherents to learn about other religious traditions and to understand their positive impact on the lives of beings. however, beings are generally incapable of making progress in any significant sense if they walk two different paths. the quickest method is to determine your path and engage in it whole heartedly. naturally, there are beings of differeing capacities, which is why our teachings indicate that there are 84,000 Dharma Doors, or Entry Ways to Truth.



    Buddha is not a being, it is a title which means "Awakened One".



    Buddhism does not teach any such thing. in point of fact, it actively refutes this ideation. the Buddha Shakyamuni teaches that there is nothing which can rightly be regarded as the "root sequence" the "ground of being" from which all things come. this is a fundamental doctrine of Buddhism predicated on the teaching of impermenance and shunyata, self-naturelessness.



    if this is your view, then i am unclear why you would choose to engage in Buddhist practice since it refutes such notions.



    Buddhism does not teach that this reality is an illusion, that is more correctly a teaching of the Sanatana Dharma.



    whilst that is an interesting religious point of view, that is not something which finds any support in the Buddhist teachings. it seems like, in this disucssion, you have the feeling of a self or soul which really exists. i could be mistaken, however, given the nature of the discussion thus far, it seems a fair conclusion.

    no worries. it can be difficult to have these sorts of discussions on the internet, for a variety of reasons.

    naturally, my views are my views and others are free to disagree.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  10. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Perhaps it might be prudent to consider this quote in the context of this discussion:
    Engineers and technicians should probably wear hats with this saying printed on it when discussing projects they are mutually working on. ;)
     
  11. rdwillia

    rdwillia Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I think we can get carried away with the technicalities sometimes! (no offense intended to anyone, it's all about the debate!) I tend to agree with Vajradhara. In a literal sense the two don't mix, but if you just take a vague look at it all, then yes, I think they can be combined, though I prefer not to do so for my own personal reasons which are irrelevant.

    However, we had a good discussion tonight in my class (Buddhist) on this same topic. We have some Christians coming that are seriously considering converting and they were having trouble relating to some of the Buddhist views of death and the bardo. The idea came up that perhaps the "soul" could be more easily related to the very subtle mind. I know they're not very similar if you really break it down but on the surface this was the best I could do to try to relate it for them.

    I think most of the Christian ideas of a soul seem to stem from a very deep and real fear of death. I believe that the deciding factor for choosing Buddhism and Buddhism alone (though I still find other religions interesting), for me, was that with Buddhism, if you do enough looking, you can logically answer any questions therefore leaving no desire to search outside of Buddhism.;)

    ~Ricky
     
  12. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    Hopefully one day the best of all religions (including Christianity and Buddhism) will be conbined into one ultimate religion:).
     
  13. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Namaste vaj



    I have always considered Buddhism to be the most philosophically open ended religion and have incorporated much of it in essence into my own belief system. This worked particularly well with Druidry as it has a godless element – the void – from whence all things arise or can be made manifest. In Hinduism it is said that man cannot create [or so I believe from what I read], in Druidry we can but not over the creation of others inc. god or the gods. This is why I see no reason why one cannot incorporate Buddhist meditation into Christianity and god [as formless] into Buddhism, if that is the path one wishes to follow!







    Yes I agree, but I read a lot 15-20 years ago, I then consumed the ideas and blended them into my philosophy and forgot much of the linguistic form in the process – it is just my way. There is knowledge and then there is gnosis y’know!

    I thought dharma simply meant ‘duty’ as you say, but as an anarchist I don’t always believe in this as it can become too rigid and I believe in the Celtic wisdom that freedom is the shape of the soul. Obviously dharma when utilised correctly is good for all and one cannot have freedom without order! As for karma – ok we reap what we sow and what goes around comes around, but there is always ‘something other than – a given thing’ whatever we say, and sometimes people do not deserve what they get, and if we done something bad in a past life we still are born anew as the hierophant. Life is just not that simple that we can define such vast aspects in simple terms – there is always other elements to the equation. If we are punished for past life transgression, then this is in my opinion an evil thing, god would surely want us too move on – hence he created a world with death and endings. As you say I do actually believe in dharma, as long as it upholds the universal freedom of the spirit.



    I did not mean to be insultive concerning the ‘irrelevant details’, it is fundamental to Druidry that one cannot speak of the magic, hence the storytelling tradition where we bring the inquirer towards truth as naked and beyond words – once it is written it is lost! Thus I think of words being given great meaning as a lesser art that leads to dogmatism and rigidity of mind.

    Can Buddhism not have more than four schools? In the end do we need specification and directed paths, its ok if you do as I said before, as for some it is better to follow like sheep to the letter – maybe I am just not a sheep eh! Lol



    Is there more than one end to the path? The mighty oak has many branches yet only one trunk, it all depends on what the seeker wants, e.g. if eternal peace is required then what other form can this have than nirvana? [In whatever guise!]. For me it is to be free like the wind becoming one with all things thence traversing eternity, and eventually ending up where all things end – as nothing! Some may want to be reborn on earth or in heaven, then there philosophy is directed thus and there path directed away from ultimate peace. So yes it is a perspective thing.







    Interesting! Is nirvana not formless or at least stateless? God as I see ‘him’ [or her] is not definable of course, and is cirtainly not plural. but this does not mean that the spirit/mind cannot arrive at his purity: [I would be very interested in your opinion on this]



    GOD. Define ‘IT’. Firstly I meditate on the meaning of infinity, the I introduce the notion ‘incomparative’! Thus infinity is relative to finite and infinitesimal, so I arrive at a place that is nothing more than a ‘place’ that I call the void. Then I would say, there is no such thing as nothing not even ‘not a thing’, zero is unreachable because even if everything is an illusion [which I would contest], then that is still more than nothing. Then I introduce ‘everything is in everything’ thus the zero space [loose meaning] has everything within it and all things are of another thing yet there is no such thing as a thing. All things are unified as one, and the being of one is god. There are primal natures secondary to god’s purity like universal spirit and even god the creator. In fact I am not even sure if there is a creator more that everything brings itself into being because all things have to be what they are – hence manifestation. So god is primarily not a creator god, but in the form of bringing forth that which is within unto that which is without then he is?

    But we can make things manifest in the same way as god i.e. from the source [as a druid I know this as a fact], so god utilises what any being with the necessary capacity can also do. His creation is the universe, but in eternity we too can create universes! Dare I say it but we are as god and god is as we, the duality is superficial yet part of the action at least in its apparency.



    Ha I am eternally damned for saying that eh!







    Ah yes it was vajrayana and tantra that I was taught [in a round about way] by some friends of mine some 15 years ago – it obviously affected me in a deep way! ;) As for oneness with god, well it depends what one considers god to be, if we don’t put him upon high beyond us and think of him as being and then universal being, humble and yet mighty as are we then is he really that different to Buddha being? Is the classification ‘Buddha being’ like a label that we put on that which is pure in meaning – so your Buddha and the Christian god [in ultimate form] are simply interpretations of the same entity/being. Although I would question if being itself is primal and not a part of the manifest as is mind and self?



    Strolling along eh! Well if we do not conceive of ourselves as traversing a path, does that mean we are not on one – is not life our path! That is if there is a path. ‘Life is not a question’ [another druidic principle] there is not an answer [if there was it would merely provoke a thousand questions!], so how can we be working our way towards truth when the truth is naked. We are learning all the time yet we already know everything! This is what I learned of the ‘soul’ when I entered the void. So we all become awakened when we enter the place of all things, so do all sentient beings across the universe, yet they know not of the Buddha.







    Hmm very interesting indeed! So there is no source! I would agree that there are no absolute beginnings or endings [the universe is self contained], as there are no divisions between things. Yet from experience I know that we have the capacity to make things manifest from the void? Self-naturelessness is to me like statelessness is it not, and I would agree it is the heart of what we are and the universal heart so to say. Impermenance – the uncertainty principle in Buddhist form eh! Well this is the heart of the paradox; one could say that oneness is permanent, yet it cannot arrive at itself as it automatically produces its opposite by declaration of itself, so it always remains in a state of flux.







    well you just said in buddhism reality is not an illusion thus why cant the soul exist? i would say reality and illusion are just perspectives and are perhaps of a dualistic concept! But lets not take things all to literally, it is one thing to define in knowledge and quite another to experience the thing for what it is in our meditations and astral encounters.



    I think I’ll leave it there as I am sure you will agree that there is only so far we can go with words.



    Thank you very much for a most enlightening post!



    Respect :)



    Z, Richard.







     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I have been away from the board for a while ...

    Much has been said, but anything that I might say has already been said most eloquently by Vajradhara with regard to our respective doctrines.

    In closing (and apologies if I repeat what has already been said) Christian Doctrine is a whole, and cannot be separated nor compartmentalised, nor can one be selective, for the simple reason that to deny one aspect is to deny the whole.

    I assume the same of the Dharma - All Truth is One -

    As soon as we start a process of selection and rejection (I like this bit, not that bit) we are rejecting Doctrine, we are rejecting Dharma - we deny the integrity of either or both traditions - and we are making determinations according to our own egoic nature (no matter how benign or providential this might appear).

    Pax,

    Thomas
     
  15. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    If the doctrines are whole then which interpretation is the right one – catholic protestant etc.? If one is regarded as the one truth then both of you would be wrong according to the other, even worse this would lead to absolute dogmatism, then me and my wife would be burned along with another 9,000,000! I think god is more philosophical than that. When we form a meaning in our minds we are shaping it even if one was god or the Buddha, when we do not shape and allow thing to arise we are in nirvana – the truth is naked! what the hell can be wrong with sharing knowledge and wisdom and even practices of, this is just small mindedness you should all get off your high perches and learn humility. What is wrong with being philosophical? You could all do with a lesson in anarchist principles so you know that ‘labels’ mean nothing. You can call yourselves Buddhists or Christians or whatever, but in the end we are all just people trying to better ourselves, society and learn. Stop being so god damned literal about everything and grasping to words – they mean nothing!



    Open or closed it’s your choice and with that choice your religions will live or die in the end!



    Sorry for that outburst, I felt it had to be said ‘tis all, i just cant beleive what a hard time of got for trying to help someone find their way!!!!



    Respect



    Z

     
  16. rdwillia

    rdwillia Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% 'Z'. In my opinion, by claiming that Buddhism is the perfect path for everyone and that practices can't be shared by different groups, is directly going against what the Buddha taught in the first place.

    If one can't understand this in Buddhism then how can one ever hope to understand? It's absolutely not about labels. I think, over time, perhaps unintentionally, some of these words have been taken out of context. Some of the previous remarks on this thread seem to me, to be completely out of harmony with the Buddha's basic teachings.

    I have always been told, by people far more enlightened than I, that in Buddhism, you take what you like and leave the rest. Vajradhara has said many times, that when the Buddha taught, it was to a specific group of individuals and his lessons were highly specialized for that group. It might not apply to everyone.

    ~Ricky:rolleyes:
     
  17. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Rdwillia. Hello!



    Yes I moved from anarchism to Buddhism and universalism, I don’t usually burst out like that – sorry folks – but the many Buddhist I have known and spoke to in temples, have been very open and interested in any ideas, and usually very good at pointing out flaws esp. with literalism even in their own faith. I do understand what vaj was saying, perhaps [as I think] it is ultimately better to contemplate enlightenment without any persona’s – at least on the higher level. this doesn’t mean it is wrong to learn from either or any teachers – as long as we question.



    Glad to meet



    Respect



    Z
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    sorry for my tardy replies... i've been away for the past 5 days or so... i'll try to answer all the relevant posts ASAP :)


    metta,

    ~v
     
  19. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Z,

    thank you for the post.



    well... as you know, there are 4 distinct philosophical schools in Buddhism, not one overarching view. which one do you find resonates with you?



    and you are welcome to have such a view, that is not my contention. there are many, many beings with a mix of views with regards to religions and philosophical positions and so forth.

    if, however, one is interested in the doctrinal foundations of said Buddha Dharma or the Christian tradition, a mix of their doctrines is not really workable.

    Meditation, per se, isn't Buddhist, even the two specific forms of Vipassana or Samatha. the Christian tradition has, already, a solid, workable meditive tradition typically found amongst the monastics, nowadays, at any rate.




    indeed. it is often the case that one first approaches intellectually and, as their capacity developes, one gains the gnosis, as it were. that is, of course, a manner of speaking.




    ok... so, you do believe in dharma in its conventional useage :) fair enough :)



    that's a fair summation of the situation. it is, however, a bit different in the Buddha dharma than this, but that is a rather technical discussion which i'm not all that keen on having at the moment.



    Dharma and karma are different things though both are found in the Dharma traditions.

    the karmic view does not uphold the idea that one is punished or rewarded for their actions, one simply reaps what they have sown. much like a farmer is not said to be "rewarded" when he tends to his crops, waters and weeds, and has a bountiful harvest. in the same manner, said farmer is not said to be "punished" when he chooses not to water or weed his crops and thus gets a paltry harvest. the "harvest" is directly related to his actions. no "post mortem" justice is applied, as it were.



    Buddha Dharma has many, many schools. there are, however, 4 Philosohpical views which are found and, one of those, has 2 sub categories.

    Buddha Dharma, as a whole, has Three Vehicles the Hinyana, Mahayana and Varjyana, within which, are the schools to be found, such as Zen, Ch'an, Theraveda, T'ien T'ai and so forth.

    the Buddha Shakyamuni teaches that without a guide, it is nigh impossible to find ones way through the trackless sea. all of the Buddha Dharmas are rafts to be set aside once we reach the other shore. until such a time, however, they are the Vehicles by which we travel.



    well... no. there are several "rest stops" but only one end.



    i'm not sure that i understand, can you elaborate? it sounds like you have some idea about Nirvana being some sort of locus or place wherein a being can "arrive". is that correct?



    welll... this is, again, a very technical sort of thing and as such, i must be somewhat general with my answers. Nirvana/Nibbana is not "formless" nor "stateless" those conceptions aren't really applicable here. Nibbana is, simplistically, called "an unbound mind" like fire is unbound from its fuel yet diffused with potential throughout the multiverse. there are some pretty good essays on this which give the cultural understanding of the beings with whom Buddha Shakyamuni spoke. recall that the teachings (Suttas/Sutras) are given to specific beings, who have a specific sort of mental aptitude and so forth. thus, not all teachings apply to all beings.



    what "purity" of his? i'm not really sure what this actually means.



    Buddhism does not assert that every thing is an illusion, rather, Buddhism asserts that everything is impermenanat and lacks selfnature and exists in a fundamentally different way than what we typically understand.

    the idea that this reality is an illusion or dream is more properly that of the Sanatana Dharma views.. though, we must be clear, this is a manner of speaking more than anything else.



    Buddhism does not teach that "all things are one" this is, as well, a teaching of the Sanatana Dharma. Buddhism, by and large, is focused on sentient beings rather than phenomenal structures of the universe.



    the last bit sort of throws me off... could you rephrase it?





    well... not to put too fine a point on it.. but "yes". such views are not supported within the Buddha Dharma. Buddha Shakyamuni goes to some great length to explain these things when asked by Shariputra and Ananda, at various points in his teaching career.

    simplistically, what makes a Buddha a "buddha" is that they can expound the Dharma correctly. many, many beings Awaken due to the teachings and these are not Buddhas.



    well.. in some sense, yes, these are mental constructs which we use to faciliate our understanding of reality. however, the term "Buddha Being" is merely a conventional consensus on the method of dialog.

    the problem herein, is that the Christian God is, in fact, the Source or Root of all things. this is specifically rejected in Buddhism, not due to a philosophical objection, per se, though those do exist, rather it is a religious rejection predicated on the Buddhas teaching of Interdependent Co-Arising.



    not to be deingrating.. i often stroll in the gardens of religon.



    the use of the term "path" is in the sense of a metaphor employed to denote a being at various stages of the practice. it is not, in fact, a path which one walks upon.



    umm... ok. you are free to hold this view :)



    you've made a declaration and ended with a question mark. i'm confused :confused:



    since Buddhism doesn't teach "oneness" this isn't much issue for us :)



    how are those two things related?

    reality is not an illusion, that does not, however, mean that our view of reality is accurate by any means. a soul is, commonly, viewed as something which exists eternally from its own side. so.. depending on what you mean by the term "soul" it may or may not exist within the Buddhist teachings. know, however, that Buddhism rejects, categorically, any sort of entity which is viewed as existing from its own side.



    indeed... heck, it is only through convention that we can even converse, such are the diverse and varied meaning of words and terms :)

    indeed... to paraphase the Tao Te Ching... the Tao that can be Taoed is not the Eternal Tao.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  20. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Z,

    thank you for the post.



    not according to Buddha Shakyamuni, at any rate. naturally, you are not compelled to accept his teaching on this until you can verify it for yourself.



    clearly, all beings can do with more humility and, of course, wisdom shared is wisdom grown.

    nevertheless, as Thomas has correctly indicated, the Christian paradigm is not one which permits an adherent to pick and choose what they want, that of course, does not stop some beings from doing that very thing.

    Buddhism takes a slightly different approach, however, in the final analysis, it too indicates that a being totally comitted to the path will make progress more quickly. of course, this is a bit relative in our view as sentient beings will have many, many rebirths to sort this out.



    lables are simply categories by which we organize phenomena and have no inherent meaning in and of themselves.. they lack selfnature.

    being "philosophical" does mean all that much to me, i'm afraid, as there are quite a few and varied philosophical views that a being could hold. for instance, my philosophical view is that of the Prasangkia-Madhyamika, what is yours?



    these names "buddhist" and "christian" or "jew" or "muslim" are simply convient language place holders to explain, in a brief communication, a whole range of views, thoughts and philosophical positions.

    by the by... Buddhists, as a whole, are not trying to "better themselves" since there is no "self" to better ;)



    if they mean nothing, then why are you reacting so vehemently?



    all things change, my religion will fade from this world system and, eventually, be retaught by the Buddha Maitreya. more to the point, perhaps, is that Buddhism teaches that there are countless world systems where sentient beings dwell and Buddhas arise in these systems to Turn the Wheel of Dharma. so from that perspective, i'm not all that concerned.



    what "hard time" have you gotten for your assistance?

    metta,

    ~v
     

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