Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:09 pm

silverswhispers wrote:
TigersEyeDowsing wrote:There is certainly faith in Buddhism...

There is faith the Buddha was who it's claimed he is... there is faith that he attained/rediscovered true and real enlightenment.

There is faith that the afterlife is as it's claimed to be...

There is faith in the four stages of enlightenment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_enlightenment

These are in the end experiential... that is to say, one can become a Sotapanna and later a Sakridāgāmi and experience that firsthand but there's faith we can get there to begin with.

There is faith that once I'm a Sotapanna, I "will be safe from falling into the states of misery (they will not be born as an animal, ghost, or hell being). Their lust, hatred and delusion will not be strong enough to cause rebirth in the lower realms. A Sotāpanna will have to be reborn at most only seven more times in the human or heavenly worlds before attaining nibbana." (Bhikkhu Bodhi)

There is faith the Sanga will guide us in the right direction.

All so-called faiths contain faith... to various degrees... faith is not an inherently evil thing (no matter what those atheists tell me, I say!)... but it can be used with evil intent to be malicious toward the gullible.

From what I've learned so far there is a core philosophy with Buddhism that has adapted itself to reflect the various cultures it has grown with over the years. (Much like denominations within Christianity) With this I've been trying to find what version I harmonize with the best and so far Zen seems to be that choice as it mostly strips down most of the cultural baggage and focuses on the direct experience and I favor that.

I believe you are more drawn to Theraveda Buddhism... why might I ask do you connect with that the best?

I know some sects believe in reincarnation, others do not, some believe in enlightenment and others do not. It seems that there is version for whomever you are and where ever you are and I actually like this flexibility but having the discernment of what is useful and what is cultural baggage can be challenging. In the end I would love to find a teacher I could properly connect with but that has proven to be more challenging then I had presumed it would be.

Yes, Buddhism has grown about as flavored as Christianity as far as goals, lifestyle, understandings and methodologies. There is a school for 'everyone'. (Not really but it seems that way).

You've got Mahayana, Hinayana and Tantrayana. In these you've got subsets...before them you've got precepts, it's all very confusing. You can spend a lifetime trying to read it and figure it all out. There's a lot of history... many schools refuse to recognize the other schools, etc.

Much like Christianity, I think it can consume you if you spend countless ages trying to figure out where and how and why and which. It's not worth it.

I'm a fundamentalist. When I was growing up Christian I was interested in what Jesus taught, not what the corporation that had become the Christian church had to say.

Same goes for Buddhism. I began studying in the Mahayana tradition but after learning more about Buddhism and its history and purposes I have to claim Theravada. Theravada sticks to, as best we have, the primary teachings of the Buddha. Mahayana started around the same time but was a distinctly different sect; Many believe the Mahayana schools had founders/teachers who also reached enlightenment, but on a different path from the one Gotama Buddha taught.

Buddha never claimed (as far as we know) that he had all the answers for all humanity... just that he found enlightenment and the Middle Way and rediscovered the Four Noble Truths. As far as my feeble historical understanding goes, which is feeble, the followers of Gotama were not at religious war with the fathers of Mahayana... they just accepted 'different' and left it at that.

Mahayana has their own sutras, their own teachings and doctrines and implement many of the Buddhas teachings as well. Theravada accepts the Pali Canon as its scriptural authority, which was rigorously intended to be the best accurate retelling of the Buddha's teachings. Theravada accepts only the Buddha's teaching as authority, teachings from other monks and arahats etc. can be used as supportive but the suttas and canon are what they are.

Our methods of meditation and enlightenment are formulaic.

Finding a teacher is hard, but if you look, they are out there. Most western Buddhists have teachers that don't know them... such as Pema Chodron or the Dahali Lama, people whose books/DVDs/websites they can study under though they may never meet the person. That is not ideal but it can work. Also there are e-monks.

There is a big difference between Christianity and Buddhism. If you sit at your house, you're bound to have a Christian (or mormon or JW) show up at your door and offer to be your teacher. You won't find a monk knocking on your door... you will have to go to them, and that may be quite a distance. And then of course there are monks who really teach and monks who are useless as far as instruction goes.

It depends on your commitment and your level of seriousness. Zen Mountain Monastery in New York is a wonderful Zen place to go stay, I've heard, if you're looking for the Zen teacher experience.

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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by silverswhispers on Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:50 pm

ZenYen wrote:SW: Yes, Buddhism has adapted quite a bit along cultural lines as it spread. I think zen is sort of doing a similar thing now, adapting itself to Western culture. I recommend a book by Stephen Batchelor called "Buddhism Beyond Belief." You may find it interesting, based on what you've posted here so far.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention!
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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by silverswhispers on Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:09 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:
silverswhispers wrote:
TigersEyeDowsing wrote:There is certainly faith in Buddhism...

There is faith the Buddha was who it's claimed he is... there is faith that he attained/rediscovered true and real enlightenment.

There is faith that the afterlife is as it's claimed to be...

There is faith in the four stages of enlightenment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_enlightenment

These are in the end experiential... that is to say, one can become a Sotapanna and later a Sakridāgāmi and experience that firsthand but there's faith we can get there to begin with.

There is faith that once I'm a Sotapanna, I "will be safe from falling into the states of misery (they will not be born as an animal, ghost, or hell being). Their lust, hatred and delusion will not be strong enough to cause rebirth in the lower realms. A Sotāpanna will have to be reborn at most only seven more times in the human or heavenly worlds before attaining nibbana." (Bhikkhu Bodhi)

There is faith the Sanga will guide us in the right direction.

All so-called faiths contain faith... to various degrees... faith is not an inherently evil thing (no matter what those atheists tell me, I say!)... but it can be used with evil intent to be malicious toward the gullible.

From what I've learned so far there is a core philosophy with Buddhism that has adapted itself to reflect the various cultures it has grown with over the years. (Much like denominations within Christianity) With this I've been trying to find what version I harmonize with the best and so far Zen seems to be that choice as it mostly strips down most of the cultural baggage and focuses on the direct experience and I favor that.

I believe you are more drawn to Theraveda Buddhism... why might I ask do you connect with that the best?

I know some sects believe in reincarnation, others do not, some believe in enlightenment and others do not. It seems that there is version for whomever you are and where ever you are and I actually like this flexibility but having the discernment of what is useful and what is cultural baggage can be challenging. In the end I would love to find a teacher I could properly connect with but that has proven to be more challenging then I had presumed it would be.

Yes, Buddhism has grown about as flavored as Christianity as far as goals, lifestyle, understandings and methodologies. There is a school for 'everyone'. (Not really but it seems that way).

You've got Mahayana, Hinayana and Tantrayana. In these you've got subsets...before them you've got precepts, it's all very confusing. You can spend a lifetime trying to read it and figure it all out. There's a lot of history... many schools refuse to recognize the other schools, etc.

Much like Christianity, I think it can consume you if you spend countless ages trying to figure out where and how and why and which. It's not worth it.

I'm a fundamentalist. When I was growing up Christian I was interested in what Jesus taught, not what the corporation that had become the Christian church had to say.

Same goes for Buddhism. I began studying in the Mahayana tradition but after learning more about Buddhism and its history and purposes I have to claim Theravada. Theravada sticks to, as best we have, the primary teachings of the Buddha. Mahayana started around the same time but was a distinctly different sect; Many believe the Mahayana schools had founders/teachers who also reached enlightenment, but on a different path from the one Gotama Buddha taught.

Buddha never claimed (as far as we know) that he had all the answers for all humanity... just that he found enlightenment and the Middle Way and rediscovered the Four Noble Truths. As far as my feeble historical understanding goes, which is feeble, the followers of Gotama were not at religious war with the fathers of Mahayana... they just accepted 'different' and left it at that.

Mahayana has their own sutras, their own teachings and doctrines and implement many of the Buddhas teachings as well. Theravada accepts the Pali Canon as its scriptural authority, which was rigorously intended to be the best accurate retelling of the Buddha's teachings. Theravada accepts only the Buddha's teaching as authority, teachings from other monks and arahats etc. can be used as supportive but the suttas and canon are what they are.

Our methods of meditation and enlightenment are formulaic.

Finding a teacher is hard, but if you look, they are out there. Most western Buddhists have teachers that don't know them... such as Pema Chodron or the Dahali Lama, people whose books/DVDs/websites they can study under though they may never meet the person. That is not ideal but it can work. Also there are e-monks.

There is a big difference between Christianity and Buddhism. If you sit at your house, you're bound to have a Christian (or mormon or JW) show up at your door and offer to be your teacher. You won't find a monk knocking on your door... you will have to go to them, and that may be quite a distance. And then of course there are monks who really teach and monks who are useless as far as instruction goes.

It depends on your commitment and your level of seriousness. Zen Mountain Monastery in New York is a wonderful Zen place to go stay, I've heard, if you're looking for the Zen teacher experience.

All well said and explained. Thank you.

Theraveda Buddhism, as you've described, is pretty much the style that I had thought and thus my disharmony. I dramatically respect the fundamental approach but it seems very ridged to me and almost overly intellectual, which I do enjoy, but a bit less focused upon the experimental aspects I favor with Zen. I've read a history of the break down of how the various versions developed and you are very correct that it would be a lifetime effort to sort it all out and very likely a fruitless effort.

I've had some very insightful, and significant to my journey, teachers in my past that have directly and indirectly empowered my spiritual journey but no doubt the relationship between a teacher and student is a very special one that as you've noted is very lacking in the western world. I've read many books, have more to read and sought out many teachers but it seems that whomever I would seek has yet to be found. No doubt I would welcome the right teacher but any teacher will not do.

As Buddhism has evolved to adapt the flavor and style of the culture it has moved into no doubt the same process is happening in the western culture. I doubt that if Buddhism will ever be widely embraced that it would look very different here and likely not include the bald head, orange robes and the rest. While that influence is here is will no doubt grow into something else but hopefully will maintain its core which is struggling. As an example of what I mean the Yoga and Zen that is commonly viewed in the western world has little to do with their actual original nature but may remain a door way that would otherwise put many western minded people off.







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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by ZenYen on Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:52 am

I must make a correction: The title of the Stephen Batchelor book I mentioned earlier is "Buddhism Without Beliefs." It'll probably be easier for you to find if I give you the correct title.
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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by silverswhispers on Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:56 am

ZenYen wrote:I must make a correction: The title of the Stephen Batchelor book I mentioned earlier is "Buddhism Without Beliefs." It'll probably be easier for you to find if I give you the correct title.

I did have trouble finding it but figured it out but thank you for caring and the recommendation. I am very interested in this actually.
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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by ZenYen on Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:00 am

silverswhispers wrote:
ZenYen wrote:I must make a correction: The title of the Stephen Batchelor book I mentioned earlier is "Buddhism Without Beliefs." It'll probably be easier for you to find if I give you the correct title.

I did have trouble finding it but figured it out but thank you for caring and the recommendation. I am very interested in this actually.

I was hoping to get the correction in before you had to go a-Googling. Glad you were able to figure it out.

Another thing to ponder: How did a thread about personal attacks when discussing Christianity become a thread about shades of Buddhism? It's a funny universe.

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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:21 am

Ain't it though?

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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by Beribee on Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:53 pm

I was thinking the same thing, Zen! It is a funny universe.....and it helps that we're all nuts, so our conversations can go in any direction! LOL

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Just got here from craigslist refo

Post by cdc3 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:31 pm

where I have been "attacked" by atheists, Christians and many others in between on a personal basis for simply stating what I believe to be truth. It comes with the territory and anyone not expecting it shouldn't play. It is a shame that it happens, but when some run out of argument (usually pretty quickly) the ad hominems and sarcasm are all that's left. Pity.

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Re: Personal attacks by christians, when you don't believe?

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:58 pm

First off. You won't get attacked here for saying/telling us what your own beliefs are. You will get lively discussions/debates from intelligent people here. We have a wide ranging & varied bunch here. It also helps that we're slightly insane, that is except for me. As I said we're a multi religious bunch here. Some of us are even (gasp ) former Christians. Like myself for one. But you'll always be wecomed here.

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