Help me with a debate on Buddhism...

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  • yeah a common problem for pretty much any religious group.


    just as an afterthought though... If i were claiming to be a Buddhist (and I do:o) but i was stuffing my face with meat, filling my pockets with gold and fornicating allover the place( which i dont but...) -while i can see that it would reflect rather badly on me, would it colour your view of Buddhists as a whole or what the Buddha taught?
    AND, given that in this example I am obviously full of sh*t, why would it annoy YOU?


    Oh you so do ;)
    No, it wouldn't annoy me-it would upset me. There are a great number of people who dedicate themselves to their faith, only to have it made a mockery of by those who indulge themselves unnecessarily. I think it's unfair that people have to justify their faith on the basis that it no longer benefits from credibility. As usual the minority spoil it for the majority :(

  • I'm with you Coyote....


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    Yet you presume you will exist in the future, and who you are now is rooted in the past; making both of those where you are as well.


    On the level of what I have learnt to date yes my mind does that a lot!


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    I was under the impression that Buddhism specifically taught non-attachment on the grounds that "suffering" is bad....except that suffering can actually bring us useful lessons and is integral to life. Taking it out of the equation seems delusionary to me.


    Again my understanding is that buddhism does not necessarily call it at a fundamental level either way, good or bad, suggesting more that suffering or non-suffering, good or bad are creations of the judging mind and that there is a way of treating experience with equanimity....experiences contain learning about how my mind makes a story of everything....often based on patterns of history or the what if this or that of the future and it is my mind that creates my suffering...along side an insight into the transience of the causes of this suffering.

  • Does not the Buddha teach that suffering is intrinsically bad (hence teaching the way to Nirvana in order to remove suffering)?

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I certainly know that I've read translations of texts written after the man died that say that, I also understand that he never wrote anything down and discouraged it, suggesting people experience the ideas for themselves. As I say, I am no expert, it is my understanding from my own experience of practising some of the meditation techniques that my mind takes experiences and labels them good/bad, pleasant/painful and that I then react or I am inclined to react, often in ways that are automatic...the longer I have been practising the more I've become aware of these patterns of mind and that they are always there at some level....he also said a lot of other things about living life in a healthy balanced way and talked about an end to suffering....I guess that doesn't mean an end to painful experiences as they inevitably happen to me, but to the extended suffering I tend to cause myself when I take things personally...We are drifting a long way from the TV here perhaps, or maybe not!

  • I certainly know that I've read translations of texts written after the man died that say that, I also understand that he never wrote anything down and discouraged it, suggesting people experience the ideas for themselves. As I say, I am no expert, it is my understanding from my own experience of practising some of the meditation techniques that my mind takes experiences and labels them good/bad, pleasant/painful and that I then react or I am inclined to react, often in ways that are automatic...the longer I have been practising the more I've become aware of these patterns of mind and that they are always there at some level....he also said a lot of other things about living life in a healthy balanced way and talked about an end to suffering....I guess that doesn't mean an end to painful experiences as they inevitably happen to me, but to the extended suffering I tend to cause myself when I take things personally...


    I can understand Buddhism if the Buddha was rallying against a belief that we are independent of the universe (because if you believe that, you will believe in a Will which is independent of events...allowing you to cling to an unreality rather than flow with reality). But he seems to actually try to do both of these things; on one side he rails against unrealistic clinging but on the other he appears to propose this be done by rising above reality by not clinging at all. Which contradicts itself, doesnt it? :S


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    We are drifting a long way from the TV here perhaps, or maybe not!



    No man can post in the same thread twice ;)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

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    No man can post in the same thread twice


    Nice one!:)


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    But he seems to actually try to do both of these things; on one side he rails against unrealistic clinging but on the other he appears to propose this be done by rising above reality by not clinging at all. Which contradicts itself, doesnt it?


    I guess from my understanding that this was the middle way that is talked about, the minds inclination to judge and categorise experience and to use that to predict future experiences and decide courses of action, something that has proved in lots of ways to be very useful...and also been shown to have unforeseen dire consequences.


    Certainly there is an enquiry going on into what reality is and that inclination to separate myself from what's out there or even from my own body, emotions, feelings, thoughts, mind...there is a search for balance, as I see it, between this inclination to judge and name, with the opposite as a kind of going with the flow or rising above as you put it.


    To this end the focus seems to be, what is that of me that is able to notice, experience, judge and meditation is used as means of opening a door to a more spacious experiencing, allowing me to encompass the wholeness of this without being relentlessly engaged in the need to do something with or about it. This then opens up the possibility to choose wiser actions...


    Not sure that makes any sense even to me and I wrote it, again best I can do with words at the moment.


    I guess we can cling onto a stone for example and we can let the stone go, dropping it or throwing it away...we can also hold it in our hand and be fully aware of it moment by moment.

  • sorry ive just skipped through this thread but from what ive read some have only grasped a little of buddhism, but from what i believe is, that everybody goes through suffering whether its a cold or a stomach ache thats something we will all get from time to time, accept it,but a biggy for me in buddhism is we have to let go,if we dont we are only hurting ourselves:)

  • If you want my comical take on it then yes, buddism at heart is quite a self centerd (but wonderful at the same time) type of believe system, if you think of it that way a nice big new tele should be fine XD If i'm honest i do think it goes against the fundimental of not needing physical belongings to find enlightenment, thats my 2 pence anyway...lol.

    Taking Life To Seriously? Just Remember We Are Talking Monkeys On An Organic Spaceship.

  • Of course buddhism is full of contradictions, it denies the existence of the self or soul (Atman) we are given as many incarnations as it takes us to realise that we do not exist.
    Why? Because we are bound to the illusion of our existence, we chase pleasure and flee from pain, we vainly crave to live longer and queue up for more pleasure and pain. Nirvana is to cease to exist, and I am still enjoying my existence, there's a fair bit of suffering to endure too. I am attached to the illusion of my existence, I need it when I go to the shops, for that whole subject object stuff that's so handy in the day to day. I am enjoying samsara, I am vain I want a bit more


    "God make me chaste, but not yet"- St Augustine

    ...as Krisnamurti says in the film posted by MC Squared thread earlier "Why don't you change?"..."because you want to live a superficial life"- yes, today I do, I plan to watch the simpsons at 6pm and have a glass of wine. I'd probably be happier in the long run if i used that time to meditate, but I like watching the simpsons.


    [quote='Coyote','http://ukhippy.com/freakpower/forum/index.php?thread/&postID=1028702#post1028702']Our identity is rooted in what came before, not just current conditions, and we plan ahead


    Buddhists acknowledge this it is known as conditionality. We are a product of conditions we find (or put) ourselves in.


    Also Coyote, you said:
    "I wonder, how could a Buddhist ever be a farmer."
    Marpa, who brought Dharma to Tibet was a farmer, with a wife and kids, when he had accomplished his task, he went back to farming and family life, but was also a great teacher of buddhism..
    The contradictions of buddhism are between Spiritual reality and day to day consciousness, spiritually there is no duality, but we need to operate on a dualistic level in everyday life, just to get by. Thats why some buddhists choose to eschew human contact in order to make spiritual progress.
    I have seen some criticism of "pick and mix" spirituality, and I agree it's important not to just cherry pick the idolatry of other religions without absorbing the message. But we all read different books and pick and choose what we agree with, why then would we unquestioningly swallow a religion whole? Why can't we take ideas from a variety of sources and test and weigh their validity?
    The Dalai Lama has described himself as a Marxist!
    The thing I like about buddhism is that it is largely based on demonstrable facts of existence. I see it as an existentialist or humanist philosophy. The first (and second?) noble truth is:
    Life is "duka" - translated as unsatisfactory, or suffering. It's not all fun is it, there's some shit bits! admit it!
    secondly:
    Suffering is caused by 3 things:
    Craving; wanting what you haven't got.
    Aversion; not wanting what you have got.
    and...
    Delusion; head full of mixed up misapprehensions, silly contradictory ideas which do not withstand much scrutiny.


    the next truth is that we can be free of this nonsense, at least for a bit if we meditate, because if we meditate we're not concentrating on craving aversion and delusion.
    A buddhist can own a big telly, a marxist can work in a bank and a Taoist can roll a joint, if i can find my rizlas.
    These are philosophies tools to help us understand experience, I think there are very few who manage to live totally by their ideals, but good luck to them.
    I hope we will all gain wisdom and become freer from suffering.
    Peace X

  • Post by itinerant child ().

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  • Have any of you guys heard of Eckhart Tolle, his view on religion is very refreshing. He often refers to buddhism and uses some of the teachings. You can find a number of his talks on Youtube if you type in his name. I came accross him abot a month ago and I'm hooked.

    Hope this helps;)

  • I've read a couple of Eckhart Tolle books (Power of Now, A New Earth) - I find him tedious to listen to live though but he is certainly very switched on in his approach.


    He doesn't just focus on Buddhism, although he does draw a lot from it - his viewpoint is often referred to as "New Thought", something I subscribe to a lot.

  • I studied Buddhism for a long while and followed many practices but when asked if I was a Buddhist I always said that I studied but I could never 'be' a buddhist living in this world / the west etc

  • Buddhism is about emptying the mind to be in the present moment which takes time, and by emptying the mind and silencing it, we then reduce the influence of the thoughts that cause us to attach and cling to objects/people, which means we can let go. The overall goal is obviously enlightenment and escape from Samsara (cycle of brth and death), Nirvana as it seems to be called. Takes time.


    'In training the mind, perspective is of crucial importance. We cannot expect to transform our minds in a few minutes or even a few weeks, thinking, perhaps, that the blessings of an enlightened individual will enable us to obtain immediate results. Such an attitude is not realistic. It takes a long time, sometimes years or even decades; but if we persevere, there is no doubt we will make progress.' (Dalai Llama, 2011)

    A person may own an object, but it does not mean that they are not serious about their path, the eightfold path as such is not an absolute doctrine, it is guidance to aid a person on their path. If it was an absolute doctrine it would contradict the following statement.

    'Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.' (Buddha)


    Western and Eastern buddhists may vary in their practice, but it does not mean that one is more sincere in their path than another.
    As for the 60 inch telly, its size is not important, regardless of if you have a 60 inch telly or a small grain of sand, there is an attachment, and letting go of attachment takes a long long time.

  • nirvana is liberation for oneself,enlightenment is for all sentient beings:)to strive for enlightenment one must take up the mantle of boddhisattva,and bodhichitta.this is the path of a great warrior,a hero beyond boundarys,and worthy of veneration and awe.shantideva is probally the best teacher of bodhichitta ever.he even wrote a guide to that way of life.avolakiteshrava is probally the most famous(buddha off compassion),om mani pedme hum ect.tibetans believe the dalai lama is a reincarnation of chenrezig or avolokiteshrava that is why they drop to the ground just by hearing his name,or cry if you give them a picture(tears of happiness).as for the telly,well it can be a good aid for training if you stay alert.when you see suffering on tv you can combat it with the mind of compassion or love,when you see someone miserable you can wish for them to be happy,when you see violence or war,you can focus on ignorance ect.and for anyone with a vehicle the best thing to do is practice patience:)this is a real challenge when sitting in a traffic jam on a hot day:)


  • Can you be a Buddhist and own a 60 inch TV? Or does it contradict the fundamentals of the faith?



    i've been studying buddhism lately, tho i am by no means that well versed. My answer is of course you can. whether you should is a matter entierly for the person's own concsience.


    the eightfold path talks of right actions and right motivations, for me, if i had enough money for such a possession, i could probably find many more positive things to spend it on, both in terms of helping those around me, and helping myself, by not buying something which is bound to distract me from doing things which may be more benificial for my development, like developing skills, however, that tv could help me develope, if i used it for that purpose, instead of vegging out, and justforgetting the world.


    to me, a 60 inch tv is not something i need, i have a medium sized second hand tv, it does its job, i get to see the tv i want, to invest in such an upgrade would be pointless in my opinion, no-one needs a tv that big, but thats my opinion. karma is an individual thing, you can apply the principles of buddhism to that choice, end of the day all the judgements other people make are irrelevant, the only person who knows if that investment is going to help or hinder their spiritual progress is the individual.


    if i were wholeheartedly trying to live a buddhist life, i would not spend all that money on what is so blatently a huge luxury, unless it was for the use of the sangha, to teach or help people develope. but thats just my way of looking at things, you can't tell someone else they are not a buddhist because they do make that purchase. no person gets it right all the time, even if you are desperately tring to release attatchment, you willstill have desires and sometimes give in to them. no-one bound up in samsara is perfectly able to resist.

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • lol i agree. but most people want more than that, and i dont think thats inherently bad or negative, i just feel like i personally wouldnt feel right with my conscience spending that amount of money on having a tv that big, its more about the excessinve cost for me than the thing itself, you could apply it to anything really, any luxury item. why buy a 500 pound coat when you could get a perfectly good one for a lot less and enrich you life so much more with that money...not only yours but other peoples.

    Turned on, tuned in, loved up, trippin out, freaky on the outside, shiny in the middle.

  • lol i agree. but most people want more than that, and i dont think thats inherently bad or negative, i just feel like i personally wouldnt feel right with my conscience spending that amount of money on having a tv that big, its more about the excessinve cost for me than the thing itself, you could apply it to anything really, any luxury item. why buy a 500 pound coat when you could get a perfectly good one for a lot less and enrich you life so much more with that money...not only yours but other peoples.

    Ah, so it's not about only owning what we NEED then? ;)The problem with the idea of "excessive" purchases is that the definition of such is entirely arbitrary - and usually in such discussions comes down to anyone who has something more expensive than yourself. ANY TV could be described as excessive. Read a book. Go for a walk. I guarantee that your average peasant would consider 90% of YOUR expenditure "excessive" ;)

  • AND why not a tv? THE DALAILAMA HIMSELF loves mechanics and as a child was spending time undoing and reconstructing a lot of machines!! it is not the tv that matters but how you use it!!and buddhism is a middle way since buddha himself refused acetism and went to drink some milk recognizing that privation does not make sense!! tiffany

  • i think buddhism is not a locked up religion or philosophy!! remenber they have a tradition of debating and the dalai lama said he is ready to change certain things if he finds proofs about it!! for me to be a budhist is to rely to that inspiration i found in the boudhist teachings of many sides i do not want to take some limited vows but yes i am not frightened to say i am a budhist cause i find my refuge in these teachings all of them and even in their contradictions and there is definitely for me a spiritual force in budhism that gives light to my life.. I DO NOT BUSINESS SO MUCH WITH DIFFICULT DEBATES I PREFER TO SEE IT AT A LARGER SCALE AND YES I BELIEVE IN KARMA AND IN SAMSARA AND REINCARNATION but other traditions speak about that too.. FOR ME PERSONALY this is the better way i have found to answer a lot of my interrogations and i know with all my intuition that the description of the bardos after death are a reality .. I knew from a long time death is not the end and if there is no karma how to explain the injustices of the world? THE NOTIONS OF INTERDEPENDANCE IS VERY MUCH DOWN TO EARTH TOO!! the solution is to use the teachings to go through life and not to be too much a purist!!we will always try to but nobody is a saint and everybody does what he can and if he tries it is good already!! it is impossible to apply everything in an absolute way cause yes we have a body!!and buddhism is a tool to use this body better and live betteron earth cause it shows how we cause suffering for ourselves!!this is really a big step to see that and this is a practical religion-philosophy that describes techniques and it is very pragmatic!! try to read PEMA CHODRON an american nonn it is nothing but pure practical technics!!blessingsto everybody this discussion is super interesting!! and may everybody go its own way the best possible manner for himself!!TIFFANY