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#1 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been meaning to start up a thread to hook up some buddhists for a while.

i figure to start, perhaps let's get to know some things and discuss some of the aspects that draw us to buddhism. describe your path.

i'm not a cultural buddhist, i'm a convert.

cosmology, science and universal truths

historically speaking, the lama's and other leaders

impact on your daily life

books and other inspirational resources

how about some of the issues facing buddhists in various areas of the world

i'm sure there's a ton more, but i thought i'd put this out there.

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#2 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 06:57 AM
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I tried to get this discussion going a few months ago. I hope it takes off better this time.

I'll be back later (toddler crawling on my shoulders and kissing my neck!).
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#3 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 01:47 PM
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I was just thinking of starting a thread like this.

I am currently studying, and trying to figure out how it fits into my life. Honestly, learning Tibetan and moving to Dharamsala in India to study sometimes sounds like a good idea....but I don't think dh would go for it!:LOL

I would love to discuss all sorts of things....There are very few people I can talk to here - okay none. And I am shy enough to not seek out a tutor.

Currently I am reading
How to Practice - by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
What the Buddha Taught - by Walpola Rahula
The Four Noble Truths - Lobsang Gyatso

Just finished My Country, My People - also by the Dalai Lama

Everything about it fascinates me. I would love some practical info too - that is always harder to find - easy to find theory - hard to find practice.

Thanks for starting this thread!!!

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#4 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad you guys found this, then. I wish I'd seen the other thread, hm.

Well, we'll just have to keep it active and in peoples faces until the buddhists find their way here

I'm a little worn out mentally from a couple other posts, but I'll be back.

I find myself looking at Tibetan buddhism, since I had to start somewhere, and HH the Dalai Lama is so recognizable. Although I realize he's not the only leader.

I liked the movie, Kundun. I'm attempting to get to the biography based on the movie. I read about HH the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, that was really cool. Also, the Tibetan Book of the Dead (or living and dead, depends on what you find) is really interesting. I've read the 4 noble truths, too. mind blower. And The Art of Happiness - I really enjoy that one, still haven't finished, it seems to parallel my life; as i'm reading something, it's happening to me. weird.

I do meditation practice, but I'm not disciplined. I took a 1 day class that I found really helpful and I'd love to go on a 10 day vipassana retreat sometime. And I find yoga very centering.

Also, I find the writings of Swami Radha intriguing. I think she's Hindu, however. I really identify with things she says.

cheers!!

Lori
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#5 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 07:30 PM
 
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ok, obviously I'm not Buddhist. I did study it for awhile about 5 years ago. Anyway, would any of you guys like to share the Buddhist concept of deity. The reason I'm asking is that I have heard that some Buddhists do have a concept of deity as part of their practices, while others don't.

Of course part of the reason I am asking is because some people like to include Buddhists in the umbrella of paganism, which I don't really agree with myself. Unless there is some concept of deity involved. Sorry I don't mean to highkjack your thread :-)
feel free to ignore me and go about your previous discussion.
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#6 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Arduinna,

I don't think I'm much help, as I don't have one. And I probably won't acquire one as I go along. that is, a concept of a deity. I suppose reverence for englightened folks might count, but as far as I'm aware, reverence and worship aren't the same thing.

the path i'm on, for lack of a better term if needed, doesn't include seeking a deity. and so far, i've been satisifed that i don't need one to continue.

i don't agree that buddhists are pagans, either - do pagans have deities? I kinda consider that all pagan value systems are not all the same thing, but there's a lot of goddess(es) tied up in it, right? I do like the concept of mother earth religions, not that i'm claiming knowledge. I've been reading this site: pantheist.net and i think it may apply, at least somewhat, to pagans and buddhists, but there are differences, of course. i think buddhists are closer to pantheists than pagans. but, this site is very earth-centered, i think it's related to the views of the creators of the site, not necessarily a standard definition of pantheism. Also, while buddhists do have a reverence and respect for the earth and all living things, I think this site is too specialized in that area as a definition for buddhists.

so, I suppose we have some comonalities, but the universal truth (ugh, my terminology is off today) isn't the same thing as a deity - so, I'd say, overall, buddhists aren't pagans. but there are some sects that do have their deities.

round about answer... anyone else can chime in with their thoughts, because the deity issue is there in buddhism, whether one chooses that direction or another. I'm too lazy right now to look up 2 specific areas of buddhist thought, one with deities, one w/o.

cheers!
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#7 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 08:30 PM
 
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Thank you for the thoughtful reply :-)

yes, my limited study of Buddhism never really covered a concept of any deity. Of course The Buddah become an elightened one and shows the way to enlightment as I understand it, but isn't really a deity. And you are correct about pagans. There are many pagan religions, and different concepts of deity. Like Wiccas duality of deity with The God and The Goddess (sometimes represented as the horned god and Maiden/Mother/Crone) which are seen as archtypes, or Hellenismos olympian dieties which are seen as seperate deities.

Sorry if I took you all off track :-)
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#8 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Of course The Buddah become an elightened one and shows the way to enlightment as I understand it, but isn't really a deity.
yup, the way I see it, he just wanted to be known as a regular guy. and to share what he'd learned. that's one of the things I like the most about buddhism, it's so descriptive about the teachings. it's not just "take this into your heart and you're saved", it's more like "when you have these thoughts, consider this because the point is to be a better person and take care of your fellow persons". still a generalization...

it's early on, I don't think we're off track. there's SO much to cover...

I don't mind the questions as long as we don't get into criticisms of buddhism from folks who aren't on that path. I'd take a concensus on that - questions good?

cheers!!

Lori
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You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
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#10 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 08:48 PM
 
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oh, I hope you didn't think I was being negative about Buddhism?? I have had the questions I posted in my mind for a long time and seemed like this was the opportunity to ask them. They are kinda hot topics in the pagan community and wanted an opinion from someone who actually follows that path :-)
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#11 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arduinna
oh, I hope you didn't think I was being negative about Buddhism??
Absolutly not, Arduinna. I thought you were quite positive and genuinely inquisitive. But, I was just doing a little moderating as an OP by tossing the question out there and I wanted to be clear that I don't intend to start a debate about the merrits of buddhism by folks who aren't on that path, should that come up. But I think genuine and positive comments from those who want to know more are welcome. I believe reflection is part of the process.

If anyone else thinks it would be too distracting, we could nip that point then.

Thanks, you're a very thoughtful person

Lori
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#12 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 10:22 PM
 
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Buddhism is vast with a wide geographical spread as well as a long history. So within buddhism there are many different schools with varying beliefs and practices. While buddhism in general does not look to one fixed deity, Tibetan buddhism does invoke certain deities (Tara, for example) more as representations of states of being rather than as a creator-figure. I'm far from an expert on this but have studied and practiced for several years mainly within the schools of Shambhala buddhism (see www.shambhala.org) and Zen. Both these schools emphasise daily meditation practice and applying the teachings to our day to day, minute to minute life.
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#13 of 118 Old 02-19-2003, 10:59 PM
 
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lori, thx 4 starting this thread! (typing while nursing here)
i have struggled with the question of whether i'm a buddhist or not. i've had a meditation practice for about six years now and it has transformed my life. about all i read is dharma books, many written by american teachers who have studied vipassana in southeast asia and india. i've gone on several meditation retreats, the longest only about 5 days long. i feel most comfortable doing an americanized version of vipassana meditation, though i do get alot out of reading zen teachers. i just don't like the rituals and forms. in fact, one of the best books i've read recently is by toni packer, the successor to a big zen teacher back east, phillip kapleau, i believe was his name. she left her post and started her own center teaching a very stripped down version of the dharma, and i really liked the book of dharma talks she recently published. i've visited thich naht hahn's deer park monastery here in southern california, and attending a dharma talk he gave in san diego a couple of years ago, but again, the general emotional tone of the place didn't feel like home to me.
after recently reading a book that was a collection of first hand descriptions of enlightenment experiences across faiths and over the centuries, i've become increasingly convinced that there is no one true path at all, though some religions/religious practices seem to bring people closer to awakenings than others.
so, my elevator speech about my spirituality is currently that my spiritual practice is informed by buddhism.
i would love to find *my* teacher. i don't know if there really is one out there for me.
we'll see.

arduinna, my understanding is similar to muse's. i think buddhism as it is practiced in the east may be a more pantheistic experience, but i don't think that was what was originally intended. in fact, i know the buddha was asked about life after death and he said he wouldn't address the question because it was immaterial to the liberation he was teaching. i *think* he may have said the same thing about whether there is a god. but i'm not sure.

i look forward to reading more of this conversation and i'm delighted to know there are still more on this path! there are only about three people in my life i can talk to about this...
susan
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#14 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 12:15 AM
 
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thanks just reading the replys here
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#15 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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now i'm overwhelmed and intimidated inky

anyone here a buddhist by birth, or are we all just following our own path?

I first decided that I identified with Buddhism while I was taking an anthropology class in jr college. The simple definition rung in my heart. I'd never considered a "religous" path before. It was something that I thought wasn't for me. After some time, and additional investigation, I considered whether I might consider myself a Buddhist. I never called myself one, but said "I identify myself with Buddhism". One night I had a dream, and someone in my dream asked me "what I was" and I faltered, and then I yelled in my face - "You're a BUDDHIST!" I thought this was amusing, in an ironic, buddhist way. Anyone see that Simpsons episode where Lisa decides she's a buddhist? goosebumps
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#16 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sueami
... but again, the general emotional tone of the place didn't feel like home to me.
I think this is really important...the wonderful situation in the us right now wrt spirituality is SO many teachers of so many backgrounds have come here to spread their teachings...while many buddhist teachers are basically coming from the same place there is a difference in not just the physical practices but the "emotional tone". It's important to find the teachings that most resonate with you emotionally and then stick with it. It's the sticking with it that is the practice for me. Chogyam Trungpa, the founder of Shambhala, talks about avoiding "spiritual shopping", where we hop from one path to another to another rather than truly digging deep in to something. In the end it doesn't matter which path you choose, just that you stick to it.

WRT the question about being "born" into buddhism, my father started practicing buddhism when I was a kid and i was exposed to a lot of the teachings early on. I wandered off for a while but came back to it through reading Zen Mind, Beginners Mind and then through the writings of Trungpa and Pema Chodron, amongst others, first when going through a rough personal time, and then later when working with dying children. Once "back" I knew this was the path I needed to be on, and took Buddhist vows in a formal ceremony with Khandro Rinpoche. Since having a baby it's been challenging, to say the least, to keep up with practice, retreats, etc, but I also am getting many lessons in applying the teachings to my daily life as a mother.

Yes, thanks for this conversation!
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#17 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 02:48 PM
 
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hi muse,
i've thought about that quote from chogyam trungpa rinpoche a lot. i wonder if i shouldn't just buckle down and say i'm sticking with shinzen young, who lives in vt. but teaches vipassana pretty regularly in los angeles. i like him, but i don't feel connected to him.
if you don't mind talking about it, i'd be very interested to know how you came to find your teacher and decide to commit to him(her?)?
i love pema's books. i've read part of CTRs the sacred path of the warrior. you're reminding me to go back and finish it.
this veers into unskillful speech here, so feel free to decline to engage, but i've always felt thrown for a loop by his alcoholism. it has undermined my faith in the power of this practice, and i think it gave pema pause, at least for a while, but she seems to have resolved it in her mind. i suppose if i had known him and felt the force of his true nature shining through the disease, it would not be so confusing to me.
i'm also wondering what growing up in a buddhist household was like? there's a teacher out here in norcal, yvonne rand, who i once heard talking about raising her own children and how the only thing they seemed to take away from her buddhism was a practice of gently bowing to animals that had been killed on the road as they drove past... that stuck with me as a disappointing indication that my kids might not absorb any of the greatly useful tools that meditation practice offers...
lori, thanks again for the thread and delighted to "meet" you, muse.
peace,
susan
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#18 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 03:03 PM
 
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Hi All,
I am also a Buddhist. Currently we attend a Jodo Shinshu temple (which is Pure Land Buddhism) as it is the only Budhist temple in my city and the poster who said it is most like a "religion" is right. It seems more ritualistic in nature and the temple I attend even holds weekly services (although that originally had more to do with the need for Japanese Canadians to get together and socialize when the temple first opened many years ago). Although it is not the path I would choose I do enjoy the dharma talks and learning about Buddhism from the older people. The heart of the teaching is essentially the same. Plus there is a wonderful sense of community and my ds is quite popular, everyone is more then happy to take him exploring and to tell him stories. I am enjoying this thread so far!!
Laurie


 

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#19 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sueami
i've thought about that quote from chogyam trungpa rinpoche a lot. i wonder if i shouldn't just buckle down and say i'm sticking with shinzen young, who lives in vt. but teaches vipassana pretty regularly in los angeles. i like him, but i don't feel connected to him.
Hi Sue,

perhaps it's along the lines of not switching paths, and "when the student is ready, the teacher will come"

the way I see it, if you aren't out there, the teacher can't find you. And if the message is there, even if your connection to the teacher isn't, you can work within yourself to bring out your inner knowledge - and then you're teacher will come?

I'm enjoying the thread, too.

Has anyone read Opening the Lotus or other books specifically about women's practices? Or Blue Jean Buddha, about Buddhists being reincarnated in the west? I hate to bring up so many topics at once, but I am just full of questions....



Lori
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#20 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi Akirasmom,

I'm glad you're able to go to your temple and get something out of it. I saw your pictures online - nice family!

There's a center in Portland, but I've been too chicken to go: http://www.nwtca.org/ I hope I get the nerve to go soon. Probably will hanging out here



Lori
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#21 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 06:32 PM
 
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Honestly, learning Tibetan and moving to Dharamsala in India to study sometimes sounds like a good idea....but I don't think dh would go for it!
My best friend has been travelling all over India studying Tibetan and learning sanskrit and meditating and the like. She's due home in a few weeks, and I'm so stoked to see her again...
She comes to the US. long enough to hold a job for a few months, then she saves up every penny and travels around India for as far as the money will take her. It's wild, because on the rare occasion that we talk or e-mail, we are "learning" the same exact "lessons" at the same exact time. It's like we're intuitively linked or something
I started reading eastern philosophy in middle school, because I *knew* there had to be more to living than all the B.S. people were feeding me. I've read a lot of different Zen books, but no particular one really stands out in my mind. I do love Buddhism because it is SELF study/love, not a big organized religion that tells you how to think, be, and live. It expects you to figure this stuff out for yourself! I also love the idea of all things having a higher nature, and how we are all connected, and so on....
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#22 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 10:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sueami
this veers into unskillful speech here, so feel free to decline to engage, but i've always felt thrown for a loop by his alcoholism. it has undermined my faith in the power of this practice, and i think it gave pema pause, at least for a while, but she seems to have resolved it in her mind. i suppose if i had known him and felt the force of his true nature shining through the disease, it would not be so confusing to me.
Hi Susan, also nice to meet you (and everyone else in this conversation).

I want to go straight to this point first of all. I understand your being thrown off by Trungpa's behaviors; there has been enormous amount of discussion of this in the sangha. I don't have a simple answer for you, and I think each person must come to their own way of relating to the teacher, but it does bring a couple of points to mind.

One is that I personally can relate better to Trungpa knowing he was a normal sentient being struggling with samsara (in his alcoholism and anger) rather than a pure "saint" like figure. The point is not to be perfect, but to wrestle with our demons and try to do the best we can as a decent human being. Milarepa, one of the Buddha's most famous followers, was a mass murderer before he began practicing the dharma.

Another point is that I never directly knew Trungpa, though my parents met him in the 70's. But i have known many senior students of his, and feel i have been witness to some brilliant wisdom that he has transmitted through others.

And thirdly is that his son, Sakyong Rinpoche, is now the head of Shambhala, and bringing fresh new wisdom to the teachings. As is Pema, and others.

I don't know that I feel Trungpa is my "teacher" exactly, though he does seem to have surfaced in my life many times. I guessI do relate to his eccentricity and very sharp and driect form of teaching. Pema is wonderful but sometimes I feel I need someone a little more harsh or something! I need a good slap on the wrist to stay awake sometimes!! I guess Khandro would be considered a teacher of mine since after hearing her speak I felt very compelled to take the vows with her, and she gave me my dharma name. She is a wonderful combination of feminine energy and sharp, direct wisdom.

I didn't grow up in a buddhist household; I actually grew up in a very dysfunctional household with a lot of drug use and physical and emoitonal abuse going on. My dad came to Buddhism since he moved out of our house after a lot of exploration, and it has been quite incrredible seeing his own transformation. I don't think we can hace control over our childrens' spiritual path or destiny, nor would we want to, but i do think we can instill a sense of compassion and tolerance for others, and that we can pay attention to how we relate to our own family and try to keep as sane as possible.

I also fantasise about going to Dharamsala some day, with my faily, but I also keep getting reminders that there are plenty of opportunities for study and practice right here.

Ok, that's enough talking for now! I'd love to hear more about others' experiences,and how people bring their practice into their family life.
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#23 of 118 Old 02-20-2003, 10:31 PM
 
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apparently i'm not done talking yet!

firstly, sorry for so many awful typos!

and second, i wanted to say that a wonderful gift my dad gave me was allowing me to come to the teachings by myself. He made the books available (Zen Mind, Beginners Mind for my 16th birthday, etc) and taught me how to meditate, but really left it up to me. I think if he'd tried to control that more it might have pushed me away.
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#24 of 118 Old 02-21-2003, 12:15 AM
 
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Ive been reading this thread since it started. IVe been really interested in Buddhism for awhile. Ive read Pemas books, but wondering what other books I should read if I want to go alot further with this.

thanks for whatever suggestions you can give me!

Also, I heard Richard Gere talk about Tibetan Buddhists being closer to the real teachings of Buddha then other teachings.....is that true?
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#25 of 118 Old 02-21-2003, 01:26 AM
 
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hi rainsmom! i could reel off a dozen books, and will, if nobody stops me. these were the very best that i've read. they tended not to be in the tibetan buddhist school. i like my buddhist thought really stripped down, so zen or americanized vipassana for me.
pema you've read.
also,
charlotte joko beck has two books out, both are great.
jack kornfeld --a path with heart
joseph goldstein and jack k --seeking the heart of wisdom
sharon salzberg- loving kindness, heart as wide as the world
stephen batchelor -- buddhism without beliefs
and, although he is not a buddhist, he is a buddha, i'm convinced,
eckhart tolle -- power of now.

if you want more, i'll go through my bookshelves again!
children call...
peace,
susan
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#26 of 118 Old 02-21-2003, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by muse
I don't think we can hace control over our childrens' spiritual path or destiny, nor would we want to, but i do think we can instill a sense of compassion and tolerance for others, and that we can pay attention to how we relate to our own family and try to keep as sane as possible.
I think this is a very wise and articulate way to put it. Thanks for sharing your experiences, as well. This discussion is very exciting for me...

My hubby, who can't decide if he is a buddhist, but likes the do-it yourself nature of buddhism that leaves room for questioning and not knowing the absolute nature of things. He read Zen Mind, Beginners Mind and said it was wonderful, and told me that I should read it, too, and I just haven't gotten to it, but I keep starting it. Perhaps now I'll get on with it.

Lori
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#27 of 118 Old 02-21-2003, 12:48 PM
 
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Thanks for the recommendations. Ill check my library.......
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#28 of 118 Old 02-21-2003, 10:32 PM
 
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Hey, cool thread! Thanks for pointing it out to me, Lori. I've been over on the activism thread the last few days so I missed it.

What I love about Buddhism -- and this sort of addresses some of the comments brought up here about what the true nature of Buddhism is -- is that it is truly inclusive of all viewpoints. I'm not as knowledgeable as some of the others who have posted here, but from my reading and from input from my hubby who is actually a cultural buddhist (raised with it in Vietnam), Buddha was basically okay with any religious practice that taught morality and good actions because even if it wasn't the dharma it improves the practitioner's karma so in their next life they may be more in the position to accept the dharma. That means that I can be a Buddhist and believe with absolute certainty that my neighbor the Christian is on a valid, beneficial path that is moving her closer to enlightenment. If it is spiritually fulfilling to her, then I can even say it is even MORE valid for her than Buddhism would be, as it is helping her in this life, where she is right now, whereas Buddhism might not make sense to her right now. Then with the accumulated karma, she might come to the dharma in the next life and that is cool. To the Buddha, even the Dharma was nothing more than a tool to acheive a goal and thus to be abandoned when no longer necessary. I love this! Being a refugee from a fundamentalist version of Chrisitanity that required me to believe that all non-believers were going to hell, it is like a big sigh of relief!

So: does Buddhism believe in gods? I think the Theravadan Buddhists would say no, it is all done through your own efforts whereas the Mahayanan Buddhists (Pure Land, for one, which has been mentioned here, and which is basically a "saved-by-faith" version of Buddhism) would say absolutely there are! They are just another form of being, above human beings, that much closer to enlightenment but not yet enlightened. And I think Buddha would have said: if you can do it on your own with meditation then more power to you; if you need to pray to a boddhisatva like Amida to help you then that's cool too. Just so long as you are cultivating compassion, right thinking, etc etc however you do it is up to you.

Best book I am reading about Buddhism: "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula. Haven't got a clue who he is, I just picked it up at a book stand at our temple. It is Theravadan Buddhism, which in my understanding is the version closest to what Buddha taught. I say that in response to RainsMom's question, not to dis any other version! It is the version practiced in Sri Lanka mostly and does not focus on any gods or dieties, just your own efforts. However, I will freely admit to abject ignorance of all things Tibetan so I could be wrong.

Another thing I love about Buddhism: it's consonance with science. Particle physics: everything is made up of interactions between tiny little particles -- hey, that's the buddhist concept of conditions! Astronomy: the universe is actually countless universes popping in and out of existence in countless dimensions -- hey, the Mahayana concept of multiple universes! I could go on and on. It boggles my mind how it all fits.
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#29 of 118 Old 02-21-2003, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi Thao! I'm glad you made it.

I remembered the movie I suggested before - it's not (necessarily) buddhist in nature, but it does describe the sciencey stuff in a great manner of speaking, esp ire morality and altruism - MindWalk

the reviews @ imdb and amazon don't do the movie justice. Should be available at the library or blockbuster (that's where we found it)

More latter, gotta go get hubby from the bus depot!

Lori
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#30 of 118 Old 02-23-2003, 02:07 AM
 
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I'm not a cultural Buddhist, and in fact, can't really even call myself a Buddhist at all. I like the phrase someone here coined: "informed by Buddhism."

I live in a town with several relatives of the current Dalai Lama, so he's been here to visit and speak several times. Once I sat in the second row of an auditorium directly in front of him (behind a row of saffron robed monks!). Growing up Catholic, and having had a pretty woo-woo (to use my technical term! ) experience once with a yogi where I saw his aura glowing orange, I expected to feel ... something more than I did. I watched for some sort of sign; after all, this was someone who's considered a sort of god, right?

Shows how much I knew about Buddhism at the time, right? No, even he calls himself "a simple monk."

Since then, I've read more. Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn and a few of the Dalai Lama's books. The Art of Happiness inspired me so much that I sent a copy to my father ... who promptly gave it away without even opening it, as I should have guessed. : (This is the man who told me "God put us on this earth to work and be miserable!" That's a direct quote. *sigh*)

My husband studied comparative religions as an undergrad, and says he always felt "outside the bubble, looking in." Recently he's started listening to The Art of Happiness on CD-ROM, and he's beginning to think this path might be the closest thing he's ever felt comfortable on.

Since I've had my sons (the oldest will be 3 in June), I've been wondering how to show them the path I/we feel comfortable on, and more, how to find/develop a spiritual community that they might feel comfortable in. That's one thing I really miss about Catholicism: the sense of community and the comfort of oft-repeated ritual.

So I'm really interested in reading more about your experiences, the books you like, the practices you find most helpful. Oh, and I've done yoga for years, too, but have been hard-pressed to practice with two babies underfoot.

Thanks for all the input!

Luci
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