OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 30, 2014, 04:33:09 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Many Forms of Buddhism  (Read 6949 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« on: October 05, 2009, 04:46:13 PM »

CONTEXT NOTE:  The following thread started here:  What was your previous religious background? (poll)  -PtA


Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 10:34:53 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 04:52:54 PM »

What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save?

 Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 04:53:06 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 04:55:20 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes

Start a Buddhist Thread if you would like to. I'd play.

Btw.. Buddhism does not = nilism.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 09:59:50 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
I've encountered this argument many times over and, it seems, that's it's central to the way these two schools of thought acquired their names.  In calling themselves "Mahayana" (Big Circle, Wheel) , they termed the older school "Hinayana" (Little Circle, Wheel).  The older school didn't take too kindly to the term and, quite aptly, began using the term "Theravada" (Teachings of the Elders).  I'm sure you and Marc already knew this but I wanted to throw some meanings behinds the terminology.  And as far as I was able to discern from my studies, you're correct in saying that the Mahayana school doesn't hold a monopoly on the Bodhisattva ideal.  There are many Theravada missionaries who have helped to spread their message.  And, of course, Theravadans point to the Buddha himself as the consummate Bodhisattva.
   
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes
Smiley
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 11:03:05 PM »

Lest my affinity for Buddhism is misunderstood, let me quote Blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose:

 "Buddhism is good as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough."
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 11:27:19 PM »

I never could understand all the enthusiasm over Buddhism. I keep constantly telling myself I need to understand this so as to be a proper, sophistocated person, and so I force myself to read a little, but I always end up totally bored and unable to continue on. It always strikes me as a little on the "cold' side.
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 02:57:21 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisattva ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
I've encountered this argument many times over and, it seems, that's it's central to the way these two schools of thought acquired their names.  In calling themselves "Mahayana" (Big Circle, Wheel) , they termed the older school "Hinayana" (Little Circle, Wheel).  The older school didn't take too kindly to the term and, quite aptly, began using the term "Theravada" (Teachings of the Elders).  I'm sure you and Marc already knew this but I wanted to throw some meanings behinds the terminology.  And as far as I was able to discern from my studies, you're correct in saying that the Mahayana school doesn't hold a monopoly on the Bodhisattva ideal.  There are many Theravada missionaries who have helped to spread their message.  And, of course, Theravadans point to the Buddha himself as the consummate Bodhisattva.
   
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes
Smiley

Theravada is actually just one sect of Hinayana Buddhism. All the rest have died off.

I am certainly no expert in Hinayana. I read a great book by a guy named Timothy Ward about his experiences in a Thereveda Forest Monastery. The idea, as I understood it, was to generate as little new Karma as possable and get off the wheel of rebirth. A Bodhisattva in terms of the Mahayana understanding is someone who refuses to get off the cycle of rebirth until all sentient beings can do so too. I don't think that is a part of Hinayana thinking, but as I said, I don't know for sure.

In the school Japanese Buddhism which I practiced, the Buddha is not a Bodhisattva, he is fully enlightened and shares his enlightenment with others. The Lotus Sutra teaches that the story that he was first enlightened under the Bohdai Tree is an expedient means of teaching. The actual truth is that the Buddha is Eternally Living and has always been enlightened. In Christian terms,  sort of a Supreme Being without being The Creator... This gets complicated Smiley
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
John Larocque
Catholic
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox
Posts: 530


« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 03:37:41 PM »

I went through a Buddhist phase a couple of years ago and while I don't consider myself a Buddhist by any means, there are things that I took from it. Mostly I focused on Zen, although Thich Nhat Hanh's books come close to a universal Buddhism. In particular I would recommend "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching". "Old Path White Clouds" is a biography of Shakyamuni Buddha, and is derived mostly from Theravada scriptures. If you spend some time with key scriptures of Zen such as the Heart and Diamond Sutras, and koan collections such as Blue Cliff and Mumonkan, you get a sense of some of the main ideas. Buddhist detachment isn't inhuman, you hold on to things when you need them and let go when you don't need them any more. Buddhist doctrine is the raft that takes you from one side of the river to the other, but once you have crossed, you leave the raft behind. The five agregates give you a distorted idea of what we perceive to be "real" - Buddhism seems to be concerned more with detaching ourselves from false perceptions and ideas then presenting us with true ones. It is neither dualistic nor monistic, "neither one nor two." Or simultaneously embracing two contradictory ideas - the equation "A is Not A and that is what makes A truly A." Life is like a wave of the ocean, which has its own lifespan and rises and false, but which dissolves back into the larger body of water, where there will be new waves. Karma is a piece of luggage that gets passed back and forth from one train (lifetime) to another.

There is a Buddhist heresy which is simultaneously authentically Buddhist. It is an example of the contrarian and negative orientation of the religion. The Hindus of their day believed in a Universal Soul. The Buddhists then responded in the belief in "Non-Self". But there was a group of Buddhists who embraced the concept of "Self" because the "Non-Self" adherents embraced it as a doctrine, when what they should have been doing was viewing the "Non-Self" teachings as simply departing from the false notions of the Hindus. The focus should be on the negative - doing away with false notions - rather than affirming (and attaching itself docmatically) to a particular truth. If there is an "objective reality" it's something that is not immediately perceivable with our senses or intellect, which will always come up short and sometimes deceive us.

One aspect of Zen is the concept of sitting - training yourself to put to sleep discursive thought. It's goals are not the same as that of the hesychasts, but it's something that caught my eye when I first saw references to the Orthodox practice. Also, I don't know if there's any relationship between Buddhist prayer rope, the Islamic ones (which could have come from the Buddhists), or the Orthodox version. I'll bet good money the Catholic Rosary was influenced by the Eastern prayer rope, as opposed to spurious visions reputed to have been received St. Dominic (long after the saint was dead). The Japanese prayer beads involve reciting the name of Amida Buddha, who is a Christ-like figure in the Pure Land sects who delivers people to the Western paradise. The Islamics meditate on the names and titles of God.

Can you tell I enjoyed my time with the Buddhists... ?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 03:40:51 PM by John Larocque » Logged
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 03:54:14 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes

Start a Buddhist Thread if you would like to. I'd play.

Btw.. Buddhism does not = nilism
I agree that Buddhism is not nihilistic. The Theravadan idea of "anatta", or "non-self", acts as a tool that one applies to anything material or mental that one experiences. One's body is not truly one's own (you  have some control over your body, but not total control, otherwise you would chose to make your body eternal); the same is true with one's mind (thoughts, feelings). Whatever one experiences with the five senses, or with the mind, is "non-self", because one is not all-powerfully able to control all things at all times. A "self" in Buddhism is defined as something totally one's own, totally within one's power to control at will, at all times. (I'm coming from the Theravada perspective; Mahayanists may say slightly different things about "non-self" and "self".)

I think part of the problem with Christians understanding Buddhism is understanding what Buddhism means by "self".
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
John Larocque
Catholic
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox
Posts: 530


« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 04:45:33 PM »

The way Nhat Hanh treats the subject, Non-Self means that autonomy is an illusion. (This would make the Ayn Randists unhappy). None of us exists independently of anybody else. Further, there are elements of non-self in every self - he uses the example of one's lunch that you ate sitting in your belly. A is Not A and that is what it makes it truly A. Self and Non-Self = True Self. Non-self is an affirmation of interdependence, nothing exists as a completley independent entity. There are things that we identify with because of the five agregates (eg. our apetites) that are not part of our idenitty, and are an illusion. Remove the illusions, and you become aware of your Buddha self, what you already are. Illusion is the source of dischord / unhappiness / suffering. So removing the illusions removes the causes of suffering.

I remember years ago coming across from this from a Sufi perspective (and a Christian filter). The soul is a mirror that is meant to reflect God's brilliance, but it become dirty with sin. Sin blocks God from being reflected in us. Reading Lossky a few days ago gave me an Eastern Christian perspective of this. The "soul as a mirror" IMHO is a powerful analogy.

Edit: Here is a Sufi (Islamic Mystical) look at the soul and the mirror analogy:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Al-Ghazli_as_Sufi

Quote
A more favourite figure with Al-Ghazali, however, is that of the mirror. The human soul is a mirror. It reflects the realities of the spiritual world. On account of its imperfections and on account of the spots and blemishes which mar its originally bright surface, it reflects these imperfectly or even in a distorted fashion.

Thus, knowledge is the image of the soul of the realities which it reflects. And the highest knowledge of the soul and that which alone causes it true joy, is the reflection of God Himself.

What prevents men from knowing God, is not that God is far away or that He hides Himself, but that the mirror which ought to reflect Him is for some one of many reasons unable to give a correct image of Him.

It's Al-Ghazali versus Augustine...

http://www.answering-islam.org/God/ghazali.html

Quote
Muslims believe that each individual is created by God good and without sin. Al-Ghazali affirms this presupposition when he compares the heart or the soul to a mirror. Al-Ghazali is very clear what he means by the heart: "man is formed of a body and a heart - and by the heart I mean the essence of man's spirit which is the seat of knowledge of God" (McCarthy 1980:101). The heart (soul) is compared to a mirror that is given to each person when they are born in a state of high polish. According al-Ghazali, the person that presents their soul to God in the same state they received it will gain entrance into paradise. "If man sins he allows vapor and filth to encrust itself upon the surface of the mirror ... Once a mirror begins to dull it must immediately be cleansed and polished" (Stern 1990:18). But how does one go about polishing the heart in order to keep it presentable before God?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 05:12:22 PM by John Larocque » Logged
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 05:24:50 PM »

The way Nhat Hanh treats the subject, Non-Self means that autonomy is an illusion. (This would make the Ayn Randists unhappy). None of us exists independently of anybody else. Further, there are elements of non-self in every self - he uses the example of one's lunch that you ate sitting in your belly. A is Not A and that is what it makes it truly A. Self and Non-Self = True Self. Non-self is an affirmation of interdependence, nothing exists as a completley independent entity. There are things that we identify with because of the five agregates (eg. our apetites) that are not part of our idenitty, and are an illusion. Remove the illusions, and you become aware of your Buddha self, what you already are. Illusion is the source of dischord / unhappiness / suffering. So removing the illusions removes the causes of suffering.

I remember years ago coming across from this from a Sufi perspective (and a Christian filter). The soul is a mirror that is meant to reflect God's brilliance, but it become dirty with sin. Sin blocks God from being reflected in us. Reading Lossky a few days ago gave me an Eastern Christian perspective of this. The "soul as a mirror" IMHO is a powerful analogy.

Edit: Here is a Sufi (Islamic Mystical) look at the soul and the mirror analogy:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Al-Ghazli_as_Sufi

Quote
A more favourite figure with Al-Ghazali, however, is that of the mirror. The human soul is a mirror. It reflects the realities of the spiritual world. On account of its imperfections and on account of the spots and blemishes which mar its originally bright surface, it reflects these imperfectly or even in a distorted fashion.

Thus, knowledge is the image of the soul of the realities which it reflects. And the highest knowledge of the soul and that which alone causes it true joy, is the reflection of God Himself.

What prevents men from knowing God, is not that God is far away or that He hides Himself, but that the mirror which ought to reflect Him is for some one of many reasons unable to give a correct image of Him.

It's Al-Ghazali versus Augustine...

http://www.answering-islam.org/God/ghazali.html

Quote
Muslims believe that each individual is created by God good and without sin. Al-Ghazali affirms this presupposition when he compares the heart or the soul to a mirror. Al-Ghazali is very clear what he means by the heart: "man is formed of a body and a heart - and by the heart I mean the essence of man's spirit which is the seat of knowledge of God" (McCarthy 1980:101). The heart (soul) is compared to a mirror that is given to each person when they are born in a state of high polish. According al-Ghazali, the person that presents their soul to God in the same state they received it will gain entrance into paradise. "If man sins he allows vapor and filth to encrust itself upon the surface of the mirror ... Once a mirror begins to dull it must immediately be cleansed and polished" (Stern 1990:18). But how does one go about polishing the heart in order to keep it presentable before God?

So, to use the mirror analogy: (1) Al-Ghazali believed that we are born with pure mirrors, and we should ideally die with pure mirrors, even if in the middle part of our lives, we dirty the mirror with sin; (2) Orthodox teaches that we are born with pure mirrors that exist in an environment of floating dirt, such that it is very easy (perhaps inevitable for most) for the dirt to settle on the mirror; theosis is the process of taking the dirt off and keeping it off; and (3) Buddhism (at least Theravada) teaches that the origin of the mirror does not start with our birth, so any dirt that was on the mirror before our birth, is on the mirror at our birth; awakening to nibbana is wiping the mirror free of dirt.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 09:15:24 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,935


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 02:10:14 AM »

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
So, I heard once, were some of the Desert Fathers. Wink  (Though I digress from the topic of this discussion...)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 02:10:31 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 02:36:18 AM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley

I've read in a few books (for whatever that's worth) that Zen masters could be pretty brutal when they wanted to "help" their students break free from the "monkey mind".  Shocked
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 04:56:52 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley

I've read in a few books (for whatever that's worth) that Zen masters could be pretty brutal when they wanted to "help" their students break free from the "monkey mind".  Shocked
What's the sound of one God clapping?
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Taylor
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Posts: 72



« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2010, 05:02:02 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley

This, I think, is a much bigger issue than some people may realize.  At my college I at first studied Chinese religions, especially Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, with a professor who is well known even in China as an expert on the subject.  The big thing I took out of those classes is that what most people in the West think of as Buddhism is absolutely nothing like Buddhism at all.  Originally, Buddhism was very ritual, practice (meditation) and study based (and study was always done under a teacher or elder).  The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.  The hope was that by serving the monastic community the lay people would have a favorable reincarnation where they would have the chance to live as a monastic. This was a problem in China, where the cultural emphasis was on the family. Monastic life was an abandonment of family life.  So when Buddhism became established in China, new emphasis appeared there where one could attain enlightenment outside the monastic life as a lay family person.  Today, the emphasis with most actual Buddhist practitioners around the world is still on ritual, sacrifice, and prayer.  The vast majority of Buddhists (since most today are lay people) have never practiced meditation and have never heard of the four noble truths.  When Buddhism developed in the west, the emphasis was placed on the abstract theories of ancient Buddhism, but without the mythology, ritual, self-sacrifice and devotion. It was "demythologized".  Popular Western Buddhism became a system wherein Buddha meditated and came to enlightenment, and we can all do the same thing if we hold to certain principles, occasionally help someone, and try to go to some meditation classes or read some books on the subject.  My professor called it "Ameriyana Buddhism".  Another scholar, Donald Lopez, came to my school and lectured on this very topic, the "demytholigizing" of Buddhism in Europe in America, and how many Buddhist groups in Asia find it incredibly offensive that such people call themselves Buddhist.  Then again, some groups support it and claim that it is up to each generation and place to decide what it means to be Buddhist (sounds a lot like Evangelical protestantism to me).  Tibetan Buddhism falls into this camp (which is not surprising considering that is exactly how Tibetan Buddhism itself developed, as a radical reinterpretation of Buddhism combining it with the indigenous Tibetan mythology).  Tibetan Buddhism and Zen (originally a Chinese Mahayana sect called Chan) are the most popular forms of "Buddhism" in the West, but each are very much separate and different from Buddhism as it initially appeared in India.  
Logged
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2010, 05:38:59 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 6,928


"My god is greater."


« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2010, 06:26:08 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Well, that's true of any religious system that I know of. But it should be noted that in some sections of Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism, at least, rigorous scholarship, debate, and other academic pursuits are valued very highly.  The anti-intellectualism one encounters in some Zen groups is a bit of an overreaction to this. It made sense in places where everyone knew the basics of Buddhism and perhaps some people got too enmeshed in the theory at the expense of experience. In the West, it's proven to be a disaster, and now Westerners who are ignorant of large areas of the Buddhist tradition are becoming "Zen masters" and teaching classes.



Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake

Quote from: Byron
Just ignore iconotools delusions. He is the biggest multiculturalist globalist there is due to his unfortunate background.
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2010, 09:49:55 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.

I mainly know about Japanese forms of Buddhism which was primarily transplanted from China.

Their conception of time actually works backwards in terms of spiritual development. As we move further away from the time of the Buddha, it gets harder and harder to practice. Therefore, Japanese Buddhist "Saints" like Nichiren and others sought to encapsulate the Buddha's enlightenment within simple formulas that the unlearned could employ. Faith amd practice are the pivotal components, not understanding. 
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,108


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 10:52:36 PM »

What do people who know more about Buddhism than I do think about the idea of belief in God while being a Buddhist?  I know a few people who claim to be Buddhist (I say claim to because they are the type of Buddhist who reads books by/about Buddhists/Buddhism and say they agree with it, but never do anything other than be vegetarian) yet also say they believe in God, and I believe I recall The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism saying that you can believe in God or can choose not to believe, yet still be Buddhist.  However, I've also read a news article a while back about a Zen master from Japan who came to the US (I don't recall the name) and at one point while talking to the journalist he started criticizing American Buddhists who believe in God as not being Buddhists.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2010, 11:55:09 PM »

What do people who know more about Buddhism than I do think about the idea of belief in God while being a Buddhist?  
It depends upon how you define "God". Some ideas of "God" are more compatible with Buddhism than others.

Just take one example: let's say someone believes that "God" is that which is both (1) all-powerful; and (2) all-loving. Buddhism would critique this sort of "God" because such a "God", being all-powerful, should have the power to end suffering and evil, and such a "God" should have the desire to do so, because this God is all-loving as well. Now, the fact that suffering and evil do actually exist, means that a God that is both all-powerful and all-loving does not exist. The Buddha himself made this sort of argument against this particular idea of "God".

One might think that Christianity teaches that its God is both all-powerful and all-loving, but that would not actually be the case. In Christianity, God might be theoretically, or ultimately, all-powerful, but, in practice, in real life, the Christian God is not all-powerful, because the Christian God does not violate human free-will. The Christian God lacks all-power. Thus, such a God would not fall under the Buddhist critique -- or, at least, not the critique mentioned above.

I should clarify, though. There is a special type of Christian God that Buddhism would reject, and that would be the Calvinist God, because such a God does have all-power, due to the lack of human free-will in the Calvinist system.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 11:57:24 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 6,928


"My god is greater."


« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2010, 06:49:38 AM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.

Due to the vast number of spiritual dilletantes attracted to Buddhism (or romantic concepts of Buddhism) it's no surprise that some American "Buddhists" believe in God.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake

Quote from: Byron
Just ignore iconotools delusions. He is the biggest multiculturalist globalist there is due to his unfortunate background.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 6,928


"My god is greater."


« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2010, 06:51:16 AM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.

I mainly know about Japanese forms of Buddhism which was primarily transplanted from China.

Their conception of time actually works backwards in terms of spiritual development. As we move further away from the time of the Buddha, it gets harder and harder to practice. Therefore, Japanese Buddhist "Saints" like Nichiren and others sought to encapsulate the Buddha's enlightenment within simple formulas that the unlearned could employ. Faith amd practice are the pivotal components, not understanding. 

If you take the Buddha's teachings about Dharma-decline seriously, we are living in an age where the Dharma is no longer capable of saving anyone.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake

Quote from: Byron
Just ignore iconotools delusions. He is the biggest multiculturalist globalist there is due to his unfortunate background.
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2010, 10:05:11 AM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.

I mainly know about Japanese forms of Buddhism which was primarily transplanted from China.

Their conception of time actually works backwards in terms of spiritual development. As we move further away from the time of the Buddha, it gets harder and harder to practice. Therefore, Japanese Buddhist "Saints" like Nichiren and others sought to encapsulate the Buddha's enlightenment within simple formulas that the unlearned could employ. Faith amd practice are the pivotal components, not understanding. 

If you take the Buddha's teachings about Dharma-decline seriously, we are living in an age where the Dharma is no longer capable of saving anyone.
The Buddha also said that as long as there are those who practice the Eightfold Path, the world would not lack Arhats or Realizers of Nirvana. Thus, many Buddhist folks in South-East Asia, for instance, would take issue with the idea that Buddha-Dharma is dead.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2010, 10:28:19 AM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.
A personal deity, in Buddhism, would be a being with a spiritual body, existing in a spiritual realm (a heaven, for instance), a being who has intention, desires, and motives. The idea of 'not-self' does not deny that such persons, or beings, exist, whether in spiritual realms or in physical realms (like this Earth).

What 'not-self' critiques is the possibility of pointing to any "thing" that exists without change, without mutability, without impermanence. Clearly, "I" still exist, even if the 'not-self' idea is accurate, because "I" am a body (that changes, that is impermanent) and a mind (that also changes and is impermanent).

If there is any "thing" -- that is, any thing that one can empirically sense, or any idea, feeling, though, concept, percept in one's mental state -- that does not change, or that is permanent, then the existence of such a "thing" would refute the 'not-self' idea and fatally undermine Buddhism. But I have yet to see any such a "thing".

Now, if one defines "God" as that which is "not a thing", then such a "God" lies outside the definition of 'not-self', and "God" would not be the object of the 'not-self' critique. Of course, the problem with talking about "no-things", like "God", is that people begin to argue that their idea of "no-thing" is superior to another person's, and since there is no empirical way to judge the accuracy of one person's idea of "no-thing", these arguments lead to "no-where".

This does not mean that "no-thing" does not exist. Indeed, Nirvana is the one "no-thing" in Buddhism, but you don't realize Nirvana by talking about it. Nirvana is realized by means of  one's spiritual practice, centered on "things" one can empirically sense (e.g., matter) or mentally conceive (thoughts, feelings, intentions -- like love, compassion, wisdom, etc.).

Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2010, 06:28:31 PM »

What do people who know more about Buddhism than I do think about the idea of belief in God while being a Buddhist?  I know a few people who claim to be Buddhist (I say claim to because they are the type of Buddhist who reads books by/about Buddhists/Buddhism and say they agree with it, but never do anything other than be vegetarian) yet also say they believe in God, and I believe I recall The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism saying that you can believe in God or can choose not to believe, yet still be Buddhist.  However, I've also read a news article a while back about a Zen master from Japan who came to the US (I don't recall the name) and at one point while talking to the journalist he started criticizing American Buddhists who believe in God as not being Buddhists.


It all depends.......  Some sects acknowledge a Supreme Being called the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni ( as opposed to his temporal form as the Buddha who gained enlightenment under the Bhodai Tree). The Lotus Sutra tells "the rest of the story" that the Buddha has existed eternally and will never cease to exist. His enlightenment and existence is Eternal. he also grants enlightenment via a form of grace, through Faith.

So the faithful develops the Believing Mind or The Mind of Faith and there in the Buddha dwells. He is not however the Creator. But he is in a way the Supreme Being.

Most Buddhism in the West is a sort of Gnostic Buddhism. They teach that all people are inherently a Buddha (on the inside) and after practicing Buddhism you "Realize" this already existing Buddha hood... Very popular.. Not very authentic. Also, some parts of Buddhism have devolved into Heath Wealth and Happiness Cults.

Zen makes no comment. Which is good Smiley

The Buddha was asked: "Is there a God?" He remained silent.

Then he was asked: "Is there not a God?" He remained silent.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 06:34:50 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2010, 06:40:34 PM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.
A personal deity, in Buddhism, would be a being with a spiritual body, existing in a spiritual realm (a heaven, for instance), a being who has intention, desires, and motives. The idea of 'not-self' does not deny that such persons, or beings, exist, whether in spiritual realms or in physical realms (like this Earth).

What 'not-self' critiques is the possibility of pointing to any "thing" that exists without change, without mutability, without impermanence. Clearly, "I" still exist, even if the 'not-self' idea is accurate, because "I" am a body (that changes, that is impermanent) and a mind (that also changes and is impermanent).

If there is any "thing" -- that is, any thing that one can empirically sense, or any idea, feeling, though, concept, percept in one's mental state -- that does not change, or that is permanent, then the existence of such a "thing" would refute the 'not-self' idea and fatally undermine Buddhism. But I have yet to see any such a "thing".

Now, if one defines "God" as that which is "not a thing", then such a "God" lies outside the definition of 'not-self', and "God" would not be the object of the 'not-self' critique. Of course, the problem with talking about "no-things", like "God", is that people begin to argue that their idea of "no-thing" is superior to another person's, and since there is no empirical way to judge the accuracy of one person's idea of "no-thing", these arguments lead to "no-where".

This does not mean that "no-thing" does not exist. Indeed, Nirvana is the one "no-thing" in Buddhism, but you don't realize Nirvana by talking about it. Nirvana is realized by means of  one's spiritual practice, centered on "things" one can empirically sense (e.g., matter) or mentally conceive (thoughts, feelings, intentions -- like love, compassion, wisdom, etc.).



Some schools go further and teach something called "The Three Truths" ( as opposed to two).

I am Marc ( conventional Truth)

I existed essentially in an Absolute sense past Worldly conventions or designations of this and that. ( Absolute Truth)

and Three..Both are True ( Conventional and Absolute) simultaneously.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2010, 06:54:28 PM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.
A personal deity, in Buddhism, would be a being with a spiritual body, existing in a spiritual realm (a heaven, for instance), a being who has intention, desires, and motives. The idea of 'not-self' does not deny that such persons, or beings, exist, whether in spiritual realms or in physical realms (like this Earth).

What 'not-self' critiques is the possibility of pointing to any "thing" that exists without change, without mutability, without impermanence. Clearly, "I" still exist, even if the 'not-self' idea is accurate, because "I" am a body (that changes, that is impermanent) and a mind (that also changes and is impermanent).

If there is any "thing" -- that is, any thing that one can empirically sense, or any idea, feeling, though, concept, percept in one's mental state -- that does not change, or that is permanent, then the existence of such a "thing" would refute the 'not-self' idea and fatally undermine Buddhism. But I have yet to see any such a "thing".

Now, if one defines "God" as that which is "not a thing", then such a "God" lies outside the definition of 'not-self', and "God" would not be the object of the 'not-self' critique. Of course, the problem with talking about "no-things", like "God", is that people begin to argue that their idea of "no-thing" is superior to another person's, and since there is no empirical way to judge the accuracy of one person's idea of "no-thing", these arguments lead to "no-where".

This does not mean that "no-thing" does not exist. Indeed, Nirvana is the one "no-thing" in Buddhism, but you don't realize Nirvana by talking about it. Nirvana is realized by means of  one's spiritual practice, centered on "things" one can empirically sense (e.g., matter) or mentally conceive (thoughts, feelings, intentions -- like love, compassion, wisdom, etc.).



Some schools go further and teach something called "The Three Truths" ( as opposed to two).

I am Marc ( conventional Truth)

I existed essentially in an Absolute sense past Worldly conventions or designations of this and that. ( Absolute Truth)

and Three..Both are True ( Conventional and Absolute) simultaneously.
Yeah, that's part of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, both which contain ideas that are much more reconcilable with Christian ideas, even the Christian idea of a Creator God.

Theravada Buddhism, though, presents more of a challenge in terms of understanding in Christian terms, which I why speak from the Theravada perspective. angel
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 06:55:48 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2010, 11:14:48 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist (except for Zen which goes even further) and not trinitarian, there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas, therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility, and the meditations are designed to destroy, or go beyond, the "prison house" of language, but Christians believe in a God who communicates!

I don't deny the obvious therapeutic benefits of buddhist practice; but spiritually it dissolves discernment not sharpens it by making the particulars an illusion, only the "one" existing.
Logged
chatelaa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Posts: 30


« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2010, 03:33:19 PM »

 I was a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for over 35 years before being 'led' to Orthodoxy.  It can be practiced (1) as a philosophy and/or (2) as a religion.  Even tho there is no Creator God in Buddhism, it practices compassion towards all living things, more than any other religion I've encountered.  It also (and this is very important if one wants to become a Hesychast) teaches one to sit still.  Sounds simple, but it's very, very difficult; they begin by having the student learn how to concentrate, which is another very difficult thing to do.  Then there is the concept of EMPTINESS which isn't really emptiness at all (a terrible translation of the experience itself) but rather when one reaches that state, an overwhelming energy/feeling of light and Compassion Love surrounds and penetrates the heart and mind (by the way, Buddhists mean 'the heart' when they say 'the mind'--another terrible translation).  It was then that I met the Christ and uncreated Light and Love and from there I found myself in front of a Russian Orthodox Church......
Logged
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2010, 03:56:39 PM »

I was a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for over 35 years before being 'led' to Orthodoxy.  It can be practiced (1) as a philosophy and/or (2) as a religion.  Even tho there is no Creator God in Buddhism, it practices compassion towards all living things, more than any other religion I've encountered.  It also (and this is very important if one wants to become a Hesychast) teaches one to sit still.  Sounds simple, but it's very, very difficult; they begin by having the student learn how to concentrate, which is another very difficult thing to do.  Then there is the concept of EMPTINESS which isn't really emptiness at all (a terrible translation of the experience itself) but rather when one reaches that state, an overwhelming energy/feeling of light and Compassion Love surrounds and penetrates the heart and mind (by the way, Buddhists mean 'the heart' when they say 'the mind'--another terrible translation).  It was then that I met the Christ and uncreated Light and Love and from there I found myself in front of a Russian Orthodox Church......


Yes, I practiced Zen and being still is the most difficult thing I've ever tried to do!

However the great difference is that Christianity is a faith of speech and dialogue, therefore Hesychast's always have content to their practice, specifically Christ; whereas many forms of buddhist meditation dissolve the structures of language itself.

I assume you must have chanted the famous 'Om Mani Padme Hum' which is actually active idolatry, as it is in praise to the pagan deity Chenrezig - whom the Dali Lama is said to be an incarnation of.
So, perhaps without you knowing it, you were praising a man as a god!

More importantly it undermines the centrality of speech in Christianity.

 In the words of Kalu Rinpoche,
Quote
"Through mantra, we no longer cling to the reality of the speech and sound encountered in life, but experience it as essentially empty. Then confusion of the speech aspect of our being is transformed into enlightened awareness."

Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov), who was experienced in yoga (‘union’) before becoming a hesychast – monk, and disciple of St. Silouan of the holy mountain, wrote this from personal experience:
Quote
"All contemplation arrived at by this means (Yoga, etc.) is self-contemplation, not contemplation of God. In these circumstances we open up for ourselves created beauty, not First Being. And in all this there is no salvation for man."


Logged
chatelaa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Posts: 30


« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2010, 04:05:54 PM »

I'm not sure why you are 'pointing out'  what you term as evils of Tibetan practice to me--chanting; As I mentioned, Tibetan Buddhism, as all Buddhist practice can be divided into two segments: (1) a philosophy and (2) as a religion.  I don't recall stating which one I practiced.  However, I did stress the fact that the sitting practice is VERY beneficial for everyone and it would be very silly (ignorant) to brush it aside when so much wisdom can be gathered from it.

There is no dissolving of the Self; but rather the UN-real self.  In that, Buddhism is much closer to Jungian psychology.  There's a LOT of misinformation out there, believe me.

By the way, the Dalai Lama isn't a form of Chenrezig; that's what other people (basically, the traditional Tibetan public) term him.  The Dalai Lama considers himself simply a monk.  He told me so!  :-)
Logged
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2010, 04:08:02 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist....
Not Theravada.
Quote
and not trinitarian
Quite naturally, since Trinitarianism is specifically Christian.
Quote
there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas
There is also nibbana, which is not a skanda. The reality of nibbana then leads to the question, What experiences nibbana? That "what" is to be discovered.
Quote
therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility
The moral responsibilty comes in when one realizes that the "you" at time t and the "you" at time t+1 are connected by a continuity of kamma-vipaka (action-and-result). True, the "you" at t and the "you" at t+1 are "different", but they are also the "same" because of the continuity, the connection. Not only that, "you" are also connected to all other "not-yous".
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 04:37:25 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
chatelaa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Posts: 30


« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2010, 04:24:03 PM »

For those who are interested in learning about How to Sit Still (for deep prayer), there's a wonderful book (Orthodox):  BEING STILL; REFLECTIONS ON AN ANCIENT MYSTICAL TRADITION by Jean-Yves LeLoup. 

In the book, he mentions other religions who also emphasize the need to sit still; however, the book is about the steps one needs to take before praying the Jesus Prayer (Prayer of the Heart) and Hesychasm.

Basically, sitting still is about calming the mind because the calming of the Mind is the calming of the Passions.

Wonderful book.
Logged
czzham
...at work in the sonic Monastery...
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Posts: 65

...in pursuit of Divine Mystery...


« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2010, 04:38:20 PM »

Before my journey to Orthodoxy became evident to me (November-ish 1997), I had practiced Chan for a rather longish time. About 5 years after my Chrismation I had the great blessing to visit Taiwan for a week or so, and spent the greater part of a day at the Pure Land Monastery there. Very nice people, and a triune set of Bosatsu in the main Temple: Sakyamuni, Avalokitesvara, and Quan Yin. They seemed to represent an image of the Trinity: Origin, Love, and Mercy. Hmm...  Smiley
Also, in Fr Damascene's wonderful "Tao of Christ," the author notes the discovery of carvings of Christian symbology underneath the facades of very old & ostensibly "Buddhist" temple ruins...  Grin
Logged

Non-liturgical lyrics are wasted space between solos.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2010, 04:39:01 PM »

I'm not sure why you are 'pointing out'  what you term as evils of Tibetan practice to me--chanting; As I mentioned, Tibetan Buddhism, as all Buddhist practice can be divided into two segments: (1) a philosophy and (2) as a religion.  I don't recall stating which one I practiced.  However, I did stress the fact that the sitting practice is VERY beneficial for everyone and it would be very silly (ignorant) to brush it aside when so much wisdom can be gathered from it.

There is no dissolving of the Self; but rather the UN-real self.  In that, Buddhism is much closer to Jungian psychology.  There's a LOT of misinformation out there, believe me.

By the way, the Dalai Lama isn't a form of Chenrezig; that's what other people (basically, the traditional Tibetan public) term him.  The Dalai Lama considers himself simply a monk.  He told me so!  :-)

Sorry, I didn't mean to insult you, but as I've already said, although obviously therapeutically beneficial everything I've read from the Christian perspective cites its spiritual dangers, as I've listed them and why.

I didn't mean to suggest there was any dissolving of self.

Incidentally, almost all the criticism of Gnostic mysticism I almost invariably see lobbed at Jungian psychology, which I must say I agree with.
Logged
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2010, 04:55:07 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist....
Not Theravada.
Quote
and not trinitarian
Quite naturally, since Trinitarianism is specifically Christian.
Quote
there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas
There is also nibbana, which is not a skanda. The reality of nibbana then leads to the question, What experiences nibbana? That "what" is to be discovered.
Quote
therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility
The moral responsibilty comes in when one realizes that the "you" at time t and the "you" at time t+1 are connected by a continuity of kamma-vipaka (action-and-result). True, the "you" at t and the "you" at t+1 are "different", but they are also the "same" because of the continuity, the connection. Not only that, "you" are also connected to all other "not-yous".

Thats interesting.
I've only met one Theravada practiioer, and what she said was that the self was like thousands of candles , each one coming into and going out of existence, although obviously concected, and therefore the person who thinks of an act and cause the act is not the same person, which is why no person can ever be morally blame or praise worthy.

Of couse all morality is illusury in buddhism anyway,
Wiki puts it like this :
Quote
Dukkha (suffering): Craving causes suffering, since what is craved is transitory, changing, and perishing. The craving for impermanent things causes disappointment and sorrow. There is a tendency to label practically everything in the world, as either "good", "comfortable" or "satisfying", as opposed to "bad", "uncomfortable", and "unsatisfying". Because we label things in terms of like and dislike, we create suffering for ourselves. If one succeeds in giving up the tendency to label things and free himself from the instincts that drive him towards attaining what he himself labels collectively as "liking", he attains the ultimate freedom. The problem, the cause, the solution and the implementation, all of these are within oneself, not outside.

But Christians beclive that in objective morality, that some things really are bad and good, not because I think so, but because God has ordained these things, just as 2+2=4.

Christianity is the only system I found that soved the One and the Many - it upholds all particulars as actual and real and the One. Plus it affirms form, whereas Nirvana is akin to total freedom. 

Wiki says this, which leads me to belive that Theravada IS monist,
Quote
Anicca (impermanence): Change is. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, including physical characteristics, qualities, assumptions, theories, knowledge, etc. Nothing is permanent, because, for something to be permanent, there has to be an unchanging cause behind it. Since all causes are recursively bound together, there can be no ultimate unchanging cause.

Not only does this contradict Christianity's idea of a personal creator God, but it sounds like monism....
What then is the ground of being according to Theravada?
Logged
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2010, 07:35:54 PM »

Thats interesting.
I've only met one Theravada practiioer, and what she said was that the self was like thousands of candles , each one coming into and going out of existence, although obviously concected, and therefore the person who thinks of an act and cause the act is not the same person, which is why no person can ever be morally blame or praise worthy.
The Buddha did use the term "self" when referring to the common-sense notion of self, person, identity: e.g., "By oneself is evil done; by oneself is no evil done." At the level of the common-sense notion of self, there certainly is someone who does good (and thus praiseworthy) or does non-good (and thus blame-worthy). In fact, the Buddha himself praised those who did good, and corrected those who did non-good; and the Buddha encouraged his followers to do likewise.


Quote
Of couse all morality is illusury in buddhism anyway
"Illusion" is not part of Theravada vocabulary. It may be found in Mahayana, but in the sense of "that which changes", not "that which does not exist." And morality in Buddhism does not change, because morality is based on Nibbana, which is the Deathless, Changeless.
Quote
Wiki puts it like this :
Quote
Dukkha (suffering): Craving causes suffering, since what is craved is transitory, changing, and perishing. The craving for impermanent things causes disappointment and sorrow. There is a tendency to label practically everything in the world, as either "good", "comfortable" or "satisfying", as opposed to "bad", "uncomfortable", and "unsatisfying". Because we label things in terms of like and dislike, we create suffering for ourselves. If one succeeds in giving up the tendency to label things and free himself from the instincts that drive him towards attaining what he himself labels collectively as "liking", he attains the ultimate freedom. The problem, the cause, the solution and the implementation, all of these are within oneself, not outside.
I wouldn't trust Wikipedia if I were you. Discriminating between the good/skillful/beneficial and the non-good/non-skillful/harmful is a necessary part of Buddhist practice. The anti-labeling method is more of a Zen approach, not Theravada.
Quote
But Christians beclive that in objective morality, that some things really are bad and good, not because I think so, but because God has ordained these things, just as 2+2=4.
Likewise, in Buddhism, the Dhamma is the Eternal Law, which never changes.

Quote
Christianity is the only system I found that soved the One and the Many - it upholds all particulars as actual and real and the One. Plus it affirms form, whereas Nirvana is akin to total freedom.
In Theravada, all particulars are real, as well. They arise, exist, and pass away, in a very real fashion. 

Quote
Wiki says this, which leads me to belive that Theravada IS monist,
Quote
Anicca (impermanence): Change is. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, including physical characteristics, qualities, assumptions, theories, knowledge, etc. Nothing is permanent, because, for something to be permanent, there has to be an unchanging cause behind it. Since all causes are recursively bound together, there can be no ultimate unchanging cause.
"Nothing is permanent" is obviously false, because Nibbana is permanent. The Dhamma is permanent.

Quote
Not only does this contradict Christianity's idea of a personal creator God, but it sounds like monism....
Monism is the idea that all things are actually one substance. That might be Mahayana, but it's not Theravada.
Quote
What then is the ground of being according to Theravada?
The Buddha was asked this very question. The answer he gave did not make his many formerly-Hindu disciples happy. In the Mulapariyaya Sutta, the Buddha stated that there was no thing -- not even Nibbana itself -- that could be regarded as the root cause (the "ground of being") of all things.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2010, 08:44:48 PM »

Thats interesting.
I've only met one Theravada practiioer, and what she said was that the self was like thousands of candles , each one coming into and going out of existence, although obviously concected, and therefore the person who thinks of an act and cause the act is not the same person, which is why no person can ever be morally blame or praise worthy.
The Buddha did use the term "self" when referring to the common-sense notion of self, person, identity: e.g., "By oneself is evil done; by oneself is no evil done." At the level of the common-sense notion of self, there certainly is someone who does good (and thus praiseworthy) or does non-good (and thus blame-worthy). In fact, the Buddha himself praised those who did good, and corrected those who did non-good; and the Buddha encouraged his followers to do likewise.


Quote
Of couse all morality is illusury in buddhism anyway
"Illusion" is not part of Theravada vocabulary. It may be found in Mahayana, but in the sense of "that which changes", not "that which does not exist." And morality in Buddhism does not change, because morality is based on Nibbana, which is the Deathless, Changeless.
Quote
Wiki puts it like this :
Quote
Dukkha (suffering): Craving causes suffering, since what is craved is transitory, changing, and perishing. The craving for impermanent things causes disappointment and sorrow. There is a tendency to label practically everything in the world, as either "good", "comfortable" or "satisfying", as opposed to "bad", "uncomfortable", and "unsatisfying". Because we label things in terms of like and dislike, we create suffering for ourselves. If one succeeds in giving up the tendency to label things and free himself from the instincts that drive him towards attaining what he himself labels collectively as "liking", he attains the ultimate freedom. The problem, the cause, the solution and the implementation, all of these are within oneself, not outside.
I wouldn't trust Wikipedia if I were you. Discriminating between the good/skillful/beneficial and the non-good/non-skillful/harmful is a necessary part of Buddhist practice. The anti-labeling method is more of a Zen approach, not Theravada.
Quote
But Christians beclive that in objective morality, that some things really are bad and good, not because I think so, but because God has ordained these things, just as 2+2=4.
Likewise, in Buddhism, the Dhamma is the Eternal Law, which never changes.

Quote
Christianity is the only system I found that soved the One and the Many - it upholds all particulars as actual and real and the One. Plus it affirms form, whereas Nirvana is akin to total freedom.
In Theravada, all particulars are real, as well. They arise, exist, and pass away, in a very real fashion.  

Quote
Wiki says this, which leads me to belive that Theravada IS monist,
Quote
Anicca (impermanence): Change is. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, including physical characteristics, qualities, assumptions, theories, knowledge, etc. Nothing is permanent, because, for something to be permanent, there has to be an unchanging cause behind it. Since all causes are recursively bound together, there can be no ultimate unchanging cause.
"Nothing is permanent" is obviously false, because Nibbana is permanent. The Dhamma is permanent.

Quote
Not only does this contradict Christianity's idea of a personal creator God, but it sounds like monism....
Monism is the idea that all things are actually one substance. That might be Mahayana, but it's not Theravada.
Quote
What then is the ground of being according to Theravada?
The Buddha was asked this very question. The answer he gave did not make his many formerly-Hindu disciples happy. In the Mulapariyaya Sutta, the Buddha stated that there was no thing -- not even Nibbana itself -- that could be regarded as the root cause (the "ground of being") of all things.

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.

I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.

Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.

I have alot of experience and knowledge with Zen, but Theravada is very foreign to me, so thanks.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 08:46:08 PM by spiltteeth » Logged
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2010, 09:18:55 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist (except for Zen which goes even further) and not trinitarian, there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas, therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility, and the meditations are designed to destroy, or go beyond, the "prison house" of language, but Christians believe in a God who communicates!

I don't deny the obvious therapeutic benefits of buddhist practice; but spiritually it dissolves discernment not sharpens it by making the particulars an illusion, only the "one" existing.

I agree. When I became a Christian I was happy to be a person again.

A very good book that compares Buddhism and Christianity is by Paul Williams a Professor of Buddhism at Cambridge I think. He converted to Rome but the book is excellent, just skip the Roman stuff but there isn't much.


Unexpected Way: On Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism by Paul Williams
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2010, 09:35:39 PM »

Regarding Buddhsim, I like what Fr. Seraphim Rose had to say; "Buddhism is good, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough." 

When I was young I spent a little time at Fr Sophrony's monastery in Tolleshunt Knights discerning my vocation as a monk.  As you know, Fr Sophrony had his own Buddhist period as a young man back in the days when it was quite a serious thing to do and not just playing with incense and butter lamps.  Smiley

Fr Sophrony would say that the attraction of Buddhism is that it calls out to the human heart to return to the nothingness (nirvana) from which we are created.   A very strong pull, spiritually and psychologically.  Fr Sophrony thought that as the West becomes more and more despondent and disheartened the call of Buddhism will be attractive to many.   But a Christian cannot return to the void of nothingness.  He is called by God to a greater destiny, to grow ever closer and closer to God in the process of theosis which will go on through eternity. 
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2010, 09:47:19 PM »

I wonder how many young Christians have felt the call of Buddhism and felt drawn to
the sacrificial path of a Bodhisattva?

When I was a teenager in the early 1960s, Buddhism was an attractive proposition
- probably because I went and saw the old black and white Seven Years in Tibet
three times at the local cinema :-) and devoured all the books by the (pseudo)
Lobsang Rampa and the more serious ones by Christmas Humphreys. Oh, and
Alexandra David-Neal. There was very little available in bookshops in the 1960s
- paperbacks were just beginning to appear. Then I discovered Evan-Wentz'
translation of the Life of Milarepa and he still has a special place in my
heart.

Two of my close friends are in Buddhist monasteries, one has been in a Bon
monastery in Nepal for around 19 years.  This saddens me a great deal. 
They came from Presbyterian and strict Calvinist backgrounds and knew
only these forms of Christianity.  I always felt that if they could have
experienced the monastic and spiritual life in Orthodoxy they would have
chosen the worship of Christ and the deep riches of Orthodox spiritual life.

I was looking at these two wonderful serendipity stories of how
Christ called out to two young men and claimed them for Himself. These are
stories which could benefit any young people feeling the same attraction to
Tibetan Buddhism -and there seem to be quite a few.

1. Through The Eastern Gate - From Tibetan Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity

By Nilus Stryker
May 2, 2007

Read on the Webb at
http://strannik.com/watchful_gate/node/5
or
http://www.pravmir.com/article_216.html

-oOo-

2. Himalayan Ascent to Christ
By Ryassophore Monk Adrian

Read on the Web
http://www.pravmir.com/article_317.html
Logged
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,637


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2010, 09:52:01 PM »

Regarding Buddhsim, I like what Fr. Seraphim Rose had to say; "Buddhism is good, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough." 

When I was young I spent a little time at Fr Sophrony's monastery in Tolleshunt Knights discerning my vocation as a monk.  As you know, Fr Sophrony had his own Buddhist period as a young man back in the days when it was quite a serious thing to do and not just playing with incense and butter lamps.  Smiley

Fr Sophrony would say that the attraction of Buddhism is that it calls out to the human heart to return to the nothingness (nirvana) from which we are created.   A very strong pull, spiritually and psychologically.  Fr Sophrony thought that as the West becomes more and more despondent and disheartened the call of Buddhism will be attractive to many.   But a Christian cannot return to the void of nothingness.  He is called by God to a greater destiny, to grow ever closer and closer to God in the process of theosis which will go on through eternity. 


Father, while your analysis is spot on there is another attractive thing about Buddhism that Fr. Seraphim pointed out. It is a spiritually Sober religion. For example, Buddhist Monasteries follow a very similar disciple to Christian Monasteries. They seek to quell the passions. Steadiness is considered a mark of spiritual maturity.

I  remember a story from a book, it may have been from "The Empty Mirror" an account of a westerner living in a Japanese Buddhist Monastery.

The author was sitting with a Zen layman at a table in a restaurant in Kyoto when a rather strong earthquake hit. Most people panicked and were running for their lives. But the Zen layman simply put down his cigarette in the ashtray and sat still without displaying any fear or emotion. When the shaking stopped, he merely picked up the cigarette and picked up the conversation at the point they had left it.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Most Humble Servant of Pan-Vespuccian and Holocenic Hominids
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,410


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2010, 10:09:39 PM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.
One Theravada teacher translated the Bible into Thai; when the Bible had "God", he wrote "Dhamma". So, in many ways, Dhamma is analogous to God, especially in the sense that both Dhamma and God are eternal, and asking where Dhamma comes from is like asking where God comes from. Likewise, if you follow Dhamma, you find your life becoming richer. The ability to be moral is simply the ability to do what creates a richer life for yourself as well as for others. (And 'richer life' does not necessarily mean 'easier life'.)

Quote
I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.
I find that being moral creates a richer life for me and those around me, so that's reason enough to be moral. I'm pretty sure that when God tells the Jews to follow the 10 commandments, He is telling them to do something that has real, positive benefits in their lives on earth.

Becoming Buddhist means adopting the moral responsibility of doing good, renouncing evil, and purifying the mind. That's a pretty heavy, challenging, and rewarding obligation.

Quote
Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.
According to some Orthodox Fathers, God is in fact "no thing".

« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 10:12:49 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2010, 11:28:37 PM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.
One Theravada teacher translated the Bible into Thai; when the Bible had "God", he wrote "Dhamma". So, in many ways, Dhamma is analogous to God, especially in the sense that both Dhamma and God are eternal, and asking where Dhamma comes from is like asking where God comes from. Likewise, if you follow Dhamma, you find your life becoming richer. The ability to be moral is simply the ability to do what creates a richer life for yourself as well as for others. (And 'richer life' does not necessarily mean 'easier life'.)

Quote
I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.
I find that being moral creates a richer life for me and those around me, so that's reason enough to be moral. I'm pretty sure that when God tells the Jews to follow the 10 commandments, He is telling them to do something that has real, positive benefits in their lives on earth.

Becoming Buddhist means adopting the moral responsibility of doing good, renouncing evil, and purifying the mind. That's a pretty heavy, challenging, and rewarding obligation.

Quote
Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.
According to some Orthodox Fathers, God is in fact "no thing".



This is what I originally thought , that Buddhism has no foundation of morals.
If your definition of moral is whatever makes life "richer" for you, than that is not objective but differs person to person.
The richest life (to push things to a somewhat silly extreme)  for a Nazi is to live in a world without Jewish peoples, since their existence is a bane to his life, and, according to Buddhism, the Nazi has no moral obligation to care about others; no reason to want a richer life for others.

Even if these moral rules are objective - and without revelation how in the world do you know that! - there's no obligation to follow them.

And whatever else God is or isn't, one can have a personal relationship with Him. Are you saying Dhamma IS God? Or that God did not create Dhamma? In which case God is not the Christian God, Who created all.
  
But as I say, there are no room for moral agents in Buddhism, plus one has no moral obligation to follow a path to a 'richer life.'
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 11:57:48 PM by spiltteeth » Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.225 seconds with 73 queries.