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Author Topic: Article considering common Ground for Orthodoxy and Buddhism - Anyone read it?  (Read 4579 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 11, 2010, 11:48:20 PM »

Has anyone read this article titled Marking Out Common Ground for Eastern Orthodoxy and Mahāyāna Buddhism: Correspondences in the Works of Gregory of Nyssa and the Mahāparinirvāna Sūtra , by David K. Goodin?

http://www.theandros.com/orthomahayana.html

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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 12:06:45 AM »

Well, in answer to your question no, I had not read it but now since you posted the link, yes, now I have read it.  Is there perhaps a further question you wanted to ask other than if I have read it?  

laugh  Wink
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 12:13:09 AM »

Well, in answer to your question no, I had not read it but now since you posted the link, yes, now I have read it.  Is there perhaps a further question you wanted to ask other than if I have read it?  

laugh  Wink

Wow, that was quick reading. Did you do a speed reading course, or something. It takes me ages to digest stuff I read online.

As to the article, I assumed asking people if they had read the article would automatically engender responses regarding opinions. Silly me, I should be more pedantic in stating specifics, I suppose.  Wink

So what is your opinion of the article?
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 12:41:58 AM »

Wow, that was quick reading. Did you do a speed reading course, or something. It takes me ages to digest stuff I read online.

As to the article, I assumed asking people if they had read the article would automatically engender responses regarding opinions. Silly me, I should be more pedantic in stating specifics, I suppose.  Wink

So what is your opinion of the article?

I started reading at the age of 2 and this talent has stayed with me throughout my life ... I am not sure why but I can absorb what I am reading online much faster than what I read in print ... but that is not the topic of this thread.

I was being cheeky with you and am glad that you were cheeky with me in your response (rather than taking an offense), this is good!!  Cool

What do I think? I am thinking many things but I dont want to express them yet as I still wish to digest.
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 01:12:46 AM »

Wow, that was quick reading. Did you do a speed reading course, or something. It takes me ages to digest stuff I read online.

As to the article, I assumed asking people if they had read the article would automatically engender responses regarding opinions. Silly me, I should be more pedantic in stating specifics, I suppose.  Wink

So what is your opinion of the article?

I started reading at the age of 2 and this talent has stayed with me throughout my life ... I am not sure why but I can absorb what I am reading online much faster than what I read in print ... but that is not the topic of this thread.

I was being cheeky with you and am glad that you were cheeky with me in your response (rather than taking an offense), this is good!!  Cool

What do I think? I am thinking many things but I dont want to express them yet as I still wish to digest.


Righto. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 01:14:54 AM »

Righto. Smiley

It is a very comprehensive and complex topic to compare Buddhism with EO, one needs to be a specialist in both - which I am not.

What did YOU think of the article?
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 01:23:15 AM »

I'm afraid I'll have to go over the Buddhist section later, it's been a few years. Some of the Orthodox section is new to me. Did I read right or was the soul part of this world after we die, that it sinks into the ground, until the time when all is restored?
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 01:28:44 AM »

Righto. Smiley

It is a very comprehensive and complex topic to compare Buddhism with EO, one needs to be a specialist in both - which I am not.

What did YOU think of the article?

Well, I'm still trying to get my head around it. I can see the parralels between St Gregory's worldview and that of Mahayana Buddhism - and that really doesn't surprise me - the one seeking and achieving "blessed passionlessness" by the intellect and self-improvement (for want of a better term) and one through the sacraments/Grace/Christ. But as you say, it's very complex and I had hoped that someone on here had read it and had a better grasp on the topic than I have! I think I have to read it again!  laugh
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 01:38:14 AM »

I'm afraid I'll have to go over the Buddhist section later, it's been a few years. Some of the Orthodox section is new to me. Did I read right or was the soul part of this world after we die, that it sinks into the ground, until the time when all is restored?

It seems that for St Gregory, death represents a return of the body to the dust of the earth; which is all connected with the created order. But there's something confusing like a world-soul to which the soul joins and awaits resurrection. I'm not guaranteeing that I have comprehended this concept correctly!  Undecided
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 01:40:51 AM »

Buddhism=idolatry.
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 01:49:16 AM »

Well, I'm still trying to get my head around it. I can see the parralels between St Gregory's worldview and that of Mahayana Buddhism - and that really doesn't surprise me - the one seeking and achieving "blessed passionlessness" by the intellect and self-improvement (for want of a better term) and one through the sacraments/Grace/Christ. But as you say, it's very complex and I had hoped that someone on here had read it and had a better grasp on the topic than I have! I think I have to read it again!  laugh


What annoys me with papers is that the author studying the material usually has to make certain assumptions ... in this paper the assumption is (without being able to verify this assumption with the original author) that St Gregory has drawn his theology from the Buddhist ... that is quite dangerous in my opinion. To me, St Gregory wrote his poetry and work through divine inspiration and grace, that is of a higher authority than "cheating" using "other religious" material ...

Like you said, to be an expert to comment on the parallels one really does need to have studied Buddhism through the eyes of the Eastern Buddhist and not the contemporary West view of Buddhism ...

Think about it ... we have contemporary western ideas about Eastern Orthodoxy and these often do not truly represent the mystical eastern thinking of the ascetical fathers ...
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 01:51:22 AM »

Buddhism=idolatry.

An astute and helpful observation.
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 01:56:36 AM »

What annoys me with papers is that the author studying the material usually has to make certain assumptions ... in this paper the assumption is (without being able to verify this assumption with the original author) that St Gregory has drawn his theology from the Buddhist ... that is quite dangerous in my opinion. To me, St Gregory wrote his poetry and work through divine inspiration and grace, that is of a higher authority than "cheating" using "other religious" material ...

Like you said, to be an expert to comment on the parallels one really does need to have studied Buddhism through the eyes of the Eastern Buddhist and not the contemporary West view of Buddhism ...

Think about it ... we have contemporary western ideas about Eastern Orthodoxy and these often do not truly represent the mystical eastern thinking of the ascetical fathers ...

Well then the burden would also fall on the PhD candidate to prove that whatever texts he sees as being influential were translated and readily available to the saint, and that the saint was able to contextualize the writing properly by having at least some interaction with a teacher.  I haven't read the article, and likely won't have time for a week or so, but if he really makes that claim, it's pretty far-reaching and had better be based on more than some kind of a hunch because of similarity between the material.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 02:02:16 AM »

Well then the burden would also fall on the PhD candidate to prove that whatever texts he sees and being influential were translated and readily available to the saint, and that the saint was able to contextualize the writing properly by having at least some interaction with a teacher.  I haven't read the article, and likely won't have time for a week or so, but if he really makes that claim, it's pretty far-reaching and had better be based on more than some kind of a hunch because of similarity between the material.

Then I look forward to your review of the paper ... it is my feeling he bases it on "hunches" due to similarities and proceeds to prove that by comparison of the philosophies ... Perhaps I should re-read.
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 02:06:51 AM »

Well, I'm still trying to get my head around it. I can see the parralels between St Gregory's worldview and that of Mahayana Buddhism - and that really doesn't surprise me - the one seeking and achieving "blessed passionlessness" by the intellect and self-improvement (for want of a better term) and one through the sacraments/Grace/Christ. But as you say, it's very complex and I had hoped that someone on here had read it and had a better grasp on the topic than I have! I think I have to read it again!  laugh


What annoys me with papers is that the author studying the material usually has to make certain assumptions ... in this paper the assumption is (without being able to verify this assumption with the original author) that St Gregory has drawn his theology from the Buddhist ... that is quite dangerous in my opinion. To me, St Gregory wrote his poetry and work through divine inspiration and grace, that is of a higher authority than "cheating" using "other religious" material ...


I don't see that the writer claims that St Gregory drew his ideas from Buddhism, but that the ideas grew simultaneously - perhaps with contact - and yet probably without contact at all. If there is truth in what St Gregory teaches and what St Gregory teaches is Orthodox - and if those teachings correlate to certain teachings of Buddhism than it is a truth that is from God; albeit it incomplete because it hadn't received full revelation (if you know what I mean). Just like the truths that the ancient Greek Philosophers come to acknowledge without ever being Christian believers. Therefore, the thrust of the article is that we can use the common ground between the areas of thought; Orthodoxy and Buddhism - in other words using what God has given both to bring those outside into the Church.
  
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2010, 02:30:39 AM »

Buddhism=idolatry.

An astute and helpful observation.

Thankyou. No problems.
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2010, 02:30:39 AM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2010, 02:47:54 AM »

Interesting read. Thanks Riddikulus!
I've always seen paralells between Orthodoxy and Mahayana Buddhism, and especially Amidism or "Pure Land" Buddhism which is a branch of it. There are striking similarities between the "Buddha Nature" and "The Image and Likeness of God" as well as the journey of Theosis and the journey towards "Enlightenment".
Even the Buddhist idea of Universalism is not entirely forgeign to Christianity, as the author points out, and it may surprise us to learn that "apokatastasis" is actually a term from the New Testament:
"whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration [Gk: "apokatastaseos"] of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21)
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2010, 02:53:02 AM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2010, 02:58:02 AM »

Interesting read. Thanks Riddikulus!
I've always seen paralells between Orthodoxy and Mahayana Buddhism, and especially Amidism or "Pure Land" Buddhism which is a branch of it. There are striking similarities between the "Buddha Nature" and "The Image and Likeness of God" as well as the journey of Theosis and the journey towards "Enlightenment".
Even the Buddhist idea of Universalism is not entirely forgeign to Christianity, as the author points out, and it may surprise us to learn that "apokatastasis" is actually a term from the New Testament:
"whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration [Gk: "apokatastaseos"] of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21)

Thank you George, this was very enlightening. Actually, since I am also reading the biography of Father Seraphim Rose all of this is quite relevant to my study. "Eugene" went through a period where he was inspired by Chinese mysticism, buddhism but I dont know if the type of Buddhism he studied is the same as Mahayana ... the book really does explain how Buddhism can help put foundations in Eastern Orthodox mysticism (wheras other religions like Hinduism etc can not) because of how closely it parallels with Eastern Orthodox asceticism and after-death theories.

Specificaly, Fr Rose was Chinese philosophy and Taoism in the end ... not sure how closely tied that is to Buddhism.
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2010, 03:14:27 AM »

Specificaly, Fr Rose was Chinese philosophy and Taoism in the end ... not sure how closely tied that is to Buddhism.
Taoism or "Daoism" is a different philosophy to Buddhism. "Tao" means "Way", and the similarities to Christianity which is the Faith of those who follow "The Way" are also interesting, and I would recommend the book "Christ the Eternal Tao" By Heiromonk Damascene which explores this. In Chinese versions of the Gospel, the word "Logos" is translated as "Tao", so the opening of St. John's Gospel reads: "In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God......".
There is a famous Chinese allegorical painting called "The Vinegar Tasters" which shows three men tasting the "vinegar" of life out of a pot. One man has a sour look on his face, one has an indifferent look, and the third is smiling. The man with the sour look represents Confucianism, the man with the indifferent look represents Buddhism, and the man who is smiling represents Taoism.

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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2010, 03:46:52 AM »




You know, some people may find this information as a source of scandal or may want to debate till the cows come home ... inside me, I have a smile. That was beautiful ... it really is something special to see ancient culture and wonder ... yes, these religions do not fit within the canonical realms of Orthodoxy (just like paganism) but their is an inner beauty and depth that the ancients carried that we really should open our eyes to and draw from ...

Thank you George, again! You have no idea how edifying this little paragraph and image was.

Glory to God for his tolerance of us!
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 04:03:21 AM »

Interesting read. Thanks Riddikulus!
I've always seen paralells between Orthodoxy and Mahayana Buddhism, and especially Amidism or "Pure Land" Buddhism which is a branch of it. There are striking similarities between the "Buddha Nature" and "The Image and Likeness of God" as well as the journey of Theosis and the journey towards "Enlightenment".
Even the Buddhist idea of Universalism is not entirely forgeign to Christianity, as the author points out, and it may surprise us to learn that "apokatastasis" is actually a term from the New Testament:
"whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration [Gk: "apokatastaseos"] of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:21)

Yes, I agree. I've always seen similarities and I remember our priest from earlier times commenting on the parallels between Orthodoxy and Buddhism when we were watching a film (Himalaya, IIRC) at our house. I really need to read more about it, though, to understand the parallels properly.
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 08:42:49 AM »

The man with the sour look represents Confucianism, the man with the indifferent look represents Buddhism, and the man who is smiling represents Taoism.

I'm almost arfaid to ask... why is he smiling?
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 09:12:28 AM »

The man with the sour look represents Confucianism, the man with the indifferent look represents Buddhism, and the man who is smiling represents Taoism.

I'm almost arfaid to ask... why is he smiling?
LOL! Cheesy Nothing to be afraid of! Its about how the three philosophies work. In Confucianism, proper order is first and foremost. There is a Confucian saying which gives you an idea of this: "If the mat is not straight, the Master will not sit". So to a Confucian, the taste of the vinegar is just "wrong", hence the sour look. The Buddhist seeks detachment from all desire and aversion, thus no reaction to the taste of the vinegar. The Taoist knows that everything must follow the Dao (the Way), and each thing in itself has its own inner Way to follow, thus he allows the vinegar to be vinegar and appreciates it for what it is, allowing the vinegar to follow the Dao (its Way).
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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2010, 09:15:12 AM »

Ok, fair enough. I read a bit on Taoism and found it to be... well, what's the right wording here... intentionally confusing? My first inclination for why a Taoist might be smiling wasn't exactly a charitable one  Undecided
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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2010, 09:20:11 AM »

Ok, fair enough. I read a bit on Taoism and found it to be... well, what's the right wording here... intentionally confusing? My first inclination for why a Taoist might be smiling wasn't exactly a charitable one  Undecided
I had a feeling that's what you thought! No, he didn't pee in the pot!
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2010, 09:45:18 AM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.

You're probably thinking of one of several people who have claimed to be Maitreya, but not the Buddhist concept of Maitreya himself, who isn't supposed to appear for another few thousand years.

It's worth noting that, according to the Buddha's own predictions (if the sutras are to be trusted), we are now in the age of "Dharma decline" (beginning 2000 years after the Buddha's passing) where the Buddha's teaching no longer has saving power and will not be restored until the coming of Maitreya. Most Buddhist sects pass over this in silence; the ones that don't tend to come up with pretty weird solutions to the problem (e.g., Nichiren Buddhism).
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« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2010, 10:40:12 AM »

The man with the sour look represents Confucianism, the man with the indifferent look represents Buddhism, and the man who is smiling represents Taoism.

I'm almost arfaid to ask... why is he smiling?
LOL! Cheesy Nothing to be afraid of! Its about how the three philosophies work. In Confucianism, proper order is first and foremost. There is a Confucian saying which gives you an idea of this: "If the mat is not straight, the Master will not sit". So to a Confucian, the taste of the vinegar is just "wrong", hence the sour look. The Buddhist seeks detachment from all desire and aversion, thus no reaction to the taste of the vinegar. The Taoist knows that everything must follow the Dao (the Way), and each thing in itself has its own inner Way to follow, thus he allows the vinegar to be vinegar and appreciates it for what it is, allowing the vinegar to follow the Dao (its Way).

You have a wonderful way with words George. Have you ever considered becoming a writer?
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« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2010, 12:46:40 PM »

You have a wonderful way with words George. Have you ever considered becoming a writer?

If he hadn't wasted all of him time writing on here he could have written several by now!
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2010, 01:08:41 PM »

You have a wonderful way with words George. Have you ever considered becoming a writer?

If he hadn't wasted all of him time writing on here he could have written several by now!

True. But given that his name isn't Met. Kallistos or Jaroslav Pelikan or Fr. Alexander Schmemann, he probably has been read by more people while writing on here than he would have had he written books and had them published. Theological books from an Orthodox perspective don't exactly sell like hot cakes Wink
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« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2010, 01:12:28 PM »

You have a wonderful way with words George. Have you ever considered becoming a writer?

If he hadn't wasted all of him time writing on here he could have written several by now!

True. But given that his name isn't Met. Kallistos or Jaroslav Pelikan or Fr. Alexander Schmemann, he probably has been read by more people while writing on here than he would have had he written books and had them published. Theological books from an Orthodox perspective don't exactly sell like hot cakes Wink

Who buys hot cakes?
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2010, 02:36:22 PM »

Has anyone read this article titled Marking Out Common Ground for Eastern Orthodoxy and Mahāyāna Buddhism: Correspondences in the Works of Gregory of Nyssa and the Mahāparinirvāna Sūtra , by David K. Goodin?

http://www.theandros.com/orthomahayana.html


It's a very interesting article, pointing to the similarities between religions that have (apparently) radically different starting points. I would disagree with several characterizations of Buddhism in the article, but overall the author is quite fair.

I would point out that not all forms of Buddhism teach that everyone will definitely realize "salvation" (in Buddhism, the realization of nirvana). Theravada Buddhism simply leaves that question open -- which, it seems, is what Orthodoxy also does.
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« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2010, 04:15:50 PM »



A student organization that I'm in recently made a fortune selling Korean hot cakes. All going to charity of course.
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« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2010, 04:18:06 PM »

This article sounds right up my alley. Personally, I find more common ground between my own Confucian tradition with Christianity, then Buddhism, then Daoism.
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« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2010, 04:23:33 PM »

Ok, fair enough. I read a bit on Taoism and found it to be... well, what's the right wording here... intentionally confusing?

I think Taoism being intentionally confusing was Lao Tzu's point.




You know, some people may find this information as a source of scandal or may want to debate till the cows come home ... inside me, I have a smile. That was beautiful ... it really is something special to see ancient culture and wonder ... yes, these religions do not fit within the canonical realms of Orthodoxy (just like paganism) but their is an inner beauty and depth that the ancients carried that we really should open our eyes to and draw from ...

Thank you George, again! You have no idea how edifying this little paragraph and image was.

Glory to God for his tolerance of us!

I agree with you, I think it is a great image and explanation to go along with it. It does have beauty to it.
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« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2010, 04:32:13 PM »



A student organization that I'm in recently made a fortune selling Korean hot cakes. All going to charity of course.

I'd support charity via Korean cuisine any day! I wish I could support it in my daily korean black fermented garlic habit!
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« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2010, 04:40:47 PM »

Bishop BASIL, commenting on a trip to a Buddhist monastery, said it was like being on Mount Athos.
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« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2010, 04:48:35 PM »

It seems like the article overemphasizes the similarities and ignores some key differences. The fact that the author says there are "seemingly" irreconcilable differences makes me very suspicious that we are dealing with some kind of syncretism. For instance, Buddha-nature is immanent and is the nature of every sentient being- this is different from God who is active in his creatures but ultimately transcendent and unattainable. No one can become God in his essence, but in Buddhism, human beings can become fully Buddhas. Also, Buddhist cosmology is cyclical- there are infinite cycles of time, and infinite beings being reborn, in infinite worlds, through both the past and future. The Christian cosmology is basically geocentric and understands that the universe (and time) were created at a particular point in time, and will end at a later point.
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« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2010, 10:08:13 AM »

It seems like the article overemphasizes the similarities and ignores some key differences. The fact that the author says there are "seemingly" irreconcilable differences makes me very suspicious that we are dealing with some kind of syncretism. For instance, Buddha-nature is immanent and is the nature of every sentient being- this is different from God who is active in his creatures but ultimately transcendent and unattainable. No one can become God in his essence, but in Buddhism, human beings can become fully Buddhas. Also, Buddhist cosmology is cyclical- there are infinite cycles of time, and infinite beings being reborn, in infinite worlds, through both the past and future. The Christian cosmology is basically geocentric and understands that the universe (and time) were created at a particular point in time, and will end at a later point.
You're comparing apples and oranges. Buddha-nature would be analogous to the "image and likeness" of God in humanity. The manifestation of one's Buddha-nature would be analogous to the process of theosis. "Nirvana" would be roughly analogous to the transcendental God of Christianity.

In Buddhism, no one can "become" Nirvana. Nirvana simply is, and one may realize Nirvana.

The cyclical cosmology of Buddhism is only cyclical for those still bound by cravings, fears, and delusions. Once one steps "off" the wheel of samsara, the cycle ends. The presumed beginning of this cycle, in Theravada Buddhism, is simply "not to be seen", "not visible" -- implying that it's completely beyond human understanding.
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« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2010, 10:32:53 AM »

I just has two quirky experiences with this topic.

At my sons swim meet, a father had a shirt with some quotes attributed to Buddha, about you are what you think and thinking creates reality, etc. What struck me was that the shirt intended that to be a good, motivation thing, whereas Buddhism sees it as a bad thing and devotes itself to ceasing to think.
What the Buddha taught By Walpola Rāhula
http://books.google.com/books?id=_WduwVbiLSsC&pg=PA26&dq=What+the+Buddha+taught+I+think+therefore+I+am&cd=1#v=onepage&q=What%20the%20Buddha%20taught%20I%20think%20therefore%20I%20am&f=false

Yesterday I offered to take a neighbor to and from the pharmacy when I bumped into him in the hall way and I told him I tried to find him last week, to take him to vote if he wanted (real charity: he is a retired episcopal priest and a firm progressive, so I knew he would be voting wrong).  On the way back he said that me committing random acts of kindness would make me a good Buddhist, and he added "at heart, that's what I am really, a Buddhist" (seems that most episcopalian priests are something else at heart.  No complaints, that's how my present pastor became Orthodox). I replied that I'd rather be a good Orthodox Christian, especially with Lent coming.  That pleased him none, and he stated that "Buddhists aren't like Christians. They don't kill anyone.  Buddhists don't hurt anyone." I brought up the Japanese.  The discussion then went to "the Christian parables are just rip offs of Buddhist stories."  I pointed out that there wasn't enough influence of Buddhism in Palestine to make that likely, and started to show that Buddhism did have centers in Iran and Alexandria, but...the time for me to drop him off came.
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« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2010, 10:44:23 AM »

I just has too quirky experiences with this topic.

At my sons swim meet, a father had a shirt with some quotes attributed to Buddha, about you are what you think and thinking creates reality, etc. What struck me was that the shirt intended that to be a good, motivation thing, whereas Buddhism sees it as a bad thing and devotes itself to ceasing to think.
What the Buddha taught By Walpola Rāhula
http://books.google.com/books?id=_WduwVbiLSsC&pg=PA26&dq=What+the+Buddha+taught+I+think+therefore+I+am&cd=1#v=onepage&q=What%20the%20Buddha%20taught%20I%20think%20therefore%20I%20am&f=false
Actually, "thinking creates reality" is a mistranslation (surprise) of a Buddhist verse that refers to how one's conscious choices affect one's well-being.

It's also a common misunderstanding that Buddhism sees thinking as a bad thing. Such misunderstanding arises from trying to apply directions specifically given to renunciate monks (who engage in intensive meditation) to people in general, whether renunciate or not. Lay people, those with families, have their own spiritual practice to engage in, and "not thinking" is not a wise rule for the general population.

Quote
Yesterday I offered to take a neighbor to and from the pharmacy when I bumped into him in the hall way and I told him I tried to find him last week, to take him to vote if he wanted (real charity: he is a retired episcopal priest and a firm progressive, so I knew he would be voting wrong).  On the way back he said that me committing random acts of kindness would make me a good Buddhist, and he added "at heart, that's what I am really, a Buddhist" (seems that most episcopalian priests are something else at heart.  No complaints, that's how my present pastor became Orthodox). I replied that I'd rather be a good Orthodox Christian, especially with Lent coming.  That pleased him none, and he stated that "Buddhists aren't like Christians. They don't kill anyone.  Buddhists don't hurt anyone." I brought up the Japanese.  The discussion then went to "the Christian parables are just rip offs of Buddhist stories."  I pointed out that there wasn't enough influence of Buddhism in Palestine to make that likely, and started to show that Buddhism did have centers in Iran and Alexandria, but...the time for me to drop him off came.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
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« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2010, 10:52:30 AM »

I just has too quirky experiences with this topic.

At my sons swim meet, a father had a shirt with some quotes attributed to Buddha, about you are what you think and thinking creates reality, etc. What struck me was that the shirt intended that to be a good, motivation thing, whereas Buddhism sees it as a bad thing and devotes itself to ceasing to think.
What the Buddha taught By Walpola Rāhula
http://books.google.com/books?id=_WduwVbiLSsC&pg=PA26&dq=What+the+Buddha+taught+I+think+therefore+I+am&cd=1#v=onepage&q=What%20the%20Buddha%20taught%20I%20think%20therefore%20I%20am&f=false
Actually, "thinking creates reality" is a mistranslation (surprise) of a Buddhist verse that refers to how one's conscious choices affect one's well-being.

It's also a common misunderstanding that Buddhism sees thinking as a bad thing. Such misunderstanding arises from trying to apply directions specifically given to renunciate monks (who engage in intensive meditation) to people in general, whether renunciate or not. Lay people, those with families, have their own spiritual practice to engage in, and "not thinking" is not a wise rule for the general population.

The problem is that ultimately, according to Gautama, those families etc. don't exist.


Quote
Yesterday I offered to take a neighbor to and from the pharmacy when I bumped into him in the hall way and I told him I tried to find him last week, to take him to vote if he wanted (real charity: he is a retired episcopal priest and a firm progressive, so I knew he would be voting wrong).  On the way back he said that me committing random acts of kindness would make me a good Buddhist, and he added "at heart, that's what I am really, a Buddhist" (seems that most episcopalian priests are something else at heart.  No complaints, that's how my present pastor became Orthodox). I replied that I'd rather be a good Orthodox Christian, especially with Lent coming.  That pleased him none, and he stated that "Buddhists aren't like Christians. They don't kill anyone.  Buddhists don't hurt anyone." I brought up the Japanese.  The discussion then went to "the Christian parables are just rip offs of Buddhist stories."  I pointed out that there wasn't enough influence of Buddhism in Palestine to make that likely, and started to show that Buddhism did have centers in Iran and Alexandria, but...the time for me to drop him off came.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
I wonder what he "learned" in seminary.
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« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2010, 10:57:54 AM »

I just has too quirky experiences with this topic.

At my sons swim meet, a father had a shirt with some quotes attributed to Buddha, about you are what you think and thinking creates reality, etc. What struck me was that the shirt intended that to be a good, motivation thing, whereas Buddhism sees it as a bad thing and devotes itself to ceasing to think.
What the Buddha taught By Walpola Rāhula
http://books.google.com/books?id=_WduwVbiLSsC&pg=PA26&dq=What+the+Buddha+taught+I+think+therefore+I+am&cd=1#v=onepage&q=What%20the%20Buddha%20taught%20I%20think%20therefore%20I%20am&f=false
Actually, "thinking creates reality" is a mistranslation (surprise) of a Buddhist verse that refers to how one's conscious choices affect one's well-being.

It's also a common misunderstanding that Buddhism sees thinking as a bad thing. Such misunderstanding arises from trying to apply directions specifically given to renunciate monks (who engage in intensive meditation) to people in general, whether renunciate or not. Lay people, those with families, have their own spiritual practice to engage in, and "not thinking" is not a wise rule for the general population.

The problem is that ultimately, according to Gautama, those families etc. don't exist.
Actually, they exist, from one perspective, and don't exist, from another.


Quote
Quote
Quote
Yesterday I offered to take a neighbor to and from the pharmacy when I bumped into him in the hall way and I told him I tried to find him last week, to take him to vote if he wanted (real charity: he is a retired episcopal priest and a firm progressive, so I knew he would be voting wrong).  On the way back he said that me committing random acts of kindness would make me a good Buddhist, and he added "at heart, that's what I am really, a Buddhist" (seems that most episcopalian priests are something else at heart.  No complaints, that's how my present pastor became Orthodox). I replied that I'd rather be a good Orthodox Christian, especially with Lent coming.  That pleased him none, and he stated that "Buddhists aren't like Christians. They don't kill anyone.  Buddhists don't hurt anyone." I brought up the Japanese.  The discussion then went to "the Christian parables are just rip offs of Buddhist stories."  I pointed out that there wasn't enough influence of Buddhism in Palestine to make that likely, and started to show that Buddhism did have centers in Iran and Alexandria, but...the time for me to drop him off came.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
I wonder what he "learned" in seminary.
I shudder at the thought.
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« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2010, 11:29:39 AM »

It seems like the article overemphasizes the similarities and ignores some key differences. The fact that the author says there are "seemingly" irreconcilable differences makes me very suspicious that we are dealing with some kind of syncretism. For instance, Buddha-nature is immanent and is the nature of every sentient being- this is different from God who is active in his creatures but ultimately transcendent and unattainable. No one can become God in his essence, but in Buddhism, human beings can become fully Buddhas. Also, Buddhist cosmology is cyclical- there are infinite cycles of time, and infinite beings being reborn, in infinite worlds, through both the past and future. The Christian cosmology is basically geocentric and understands that the universe (and time) were created at a particular point in time, and will end at a later point.
You're comparing apples and oranges. Buddha-nature would be analogous to the "image and likeness" of God in humanity. The manifestation of one's Buddha-nature would be analogous to the process of theosis. "Nirvana" would be roughly analogous to the transcendental God of Christianity.

You are evidently not familiar with the rather pantheistic conceptions of "Buddha-nature" and Tathagatagharba which developed in the Mahayana, which posit the Buddha as the ground of being. How can Buddha-nature be analagous to the image of God when there is no God to imprint his image? Buddha-nature is Buddha.

Quote
In Buddhism, no one can "become" Nirvana. Nirvana simply is, and one may realize Nirvana.

In Mahayaha, the principle of nirvana is somewhat overshadowed by the more personal conception of the eternal, cosmic Buddha.

Quote
The cyclical cosmology of Buddhism is only cyclical for those still bound by cravings, fears, and delusions. Once one steps "off" the wheel of samsara, the cycle ends. The presumed beginning of this cycle, in Theravada Buddhism, is simply "not to be seen", "not visible" -- implying that it's completely beyond human understanding.

The cycle ends only for one individual consciousness- the cyclical character of existence continues to still, provisionally, exist. The Buddha, having attained nirvana, manifests in the samsaric world for the enlightenment of beings. The form of Buddhism under discussion here is Mahayana, which proposes, among other things, that samsara and nirvana are the same state. The divergent teachings of Hinayana schools are kind of irrelevant since the article is a comparison of Orthodoxy with the system expounded in the Mahaparinirvana sutra.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 11:30:40 AM by Iconodule » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2010, 11:56:47 AM »

It seems like the article overemphasizes the similarities and ignores some key differences. The fact that the author says there are "seemingly" irreconcilable differences makes me very suspicious that we are dealing with some kind of syncretism. For instance, Buddha-nature is immanent and is the nature of every sentient being- this is different from God who is active in his creatures but ultimately transcendent and unattainable. No one can become God in his essence, but in Buddhism, human beings can become fully Buddhas. Also, Buddhist cosmology is cyclical- there are infinite cycles of time, and infinite beings being reborn, in infinite worlds, through both the past and future. The Christian cosmology is basically geocentric and understands that the universe (and time) were created at a particular point in time, and will end at a later point.
You're comparing apples and oranges. Buddha-nature would be analogous to the "image and likeness" of God in humanity. The manifestation of one's Buddha-nature would be analogous to the process of theosis. "Nirvana" would be roughly analogous to the transcendental God of Christianity.

You are evidently not familiar with the rather pantheistic conceptions of "Buddha-nature" and Tathagatagharba which developed in the Mahayana, which posit the Buddha as the ground of being. How can Buddha-nature be analagous to the image of God when there is no God to imprint his image? Buddha-nature is Buddha.
Buddha-nature is the potential within each being to become a Buddha. To equate the Buddha with Buddha-nature is like equating God with "the image and likeness of God".

Buddha-nature is analogous to the image and likeness of God, because both refer to one's potential to be either (1) a Buddha, or (2) God (by grace).

Quote
Quote
The cyclical cosmology of Buddhism is only cyclical for those still bound by cravings, fears, and delusions. Once one steps "off" the wheel of samsara, the cycle ends. The presumed beginning of this cycle, in Theravada Buddhism, is simply "not to be seen", "not visible" -- implying that it's completely beyond human understanding.

The cycle ends only for one individual consciousness- the cyclical character of existence continues to still, provisionally, exist. The Buddha, having attained nirvana, manifests in the samsaric world for the enlightenment of beings. The form of Buddhism under discussion here is Mahayana, which proposes, among other things, that samsara and nirvana are the same state. The divergent teachings of Hinayana schools are kind of irrelevant since the article is a comparison of Orthodoxy with the system expounded in the Mahaparinirvana sutra.
The reason I brought Theravada into the discussion is because the author himself critiqued Buddhism using critiques often applied to Theravada:

Quote
Buddhist soteriology places the power of salvation in the individual through correct knowledge and practice in the Noble Eightfold Path; salvation in Christian soteriology, on the other hand, is decidedly not within the power of the individual to obtain themselves—it is only through God's grace and Christ's atonement.

I would argue that the notion that salvation in Buddhism is purely within the hands of the individual is not only inaccurate when applied to Mahayana Buddhism, but also when applied (as it most often is) to Theravada.
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« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2010, 03:51:46 AM »

Quote
Buddhist soteriology places the power of salvation in the individual through correct knowledge and practice in the Noble Eightfold Path; salvation in Christian soteriology, on the other hand, is decidedly not within the power of the individual to obtain themselves—it is only through God's grace and Christ's atonement.

 I would argue that the notion that salvation in Buddhism is purely within the hands of the individual is not only inaccurate when applied to Mahayana Buddhism, but also when applied (as it most often is) to Theravada.

Iconodule,

But isn't salvation attained by cooperating with God's grace? Of course, the ability to cooperate with the Holy Spirit is a grace, but the individual isn't merely saved by God's grace and Christ's atonement without some imput. 

Jetavan,

You seem to be knowledgeable regarding Buddhism, would you please expand on this.
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« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2010, 03:17:17 PM »

Quote
Buddhist soteriology places the power of salvation in the individual through correct knowledge and practice in the Noble Eightfold Path; salvation in Christian soteriology, on the other hand, is decidedly not within the power of the individual to obtain themselves—it is only through God's grace and Christ's atonement.

 I would argue that the notion that salvation in Buddhism is purely within the hands of the individual is not only inaccurate when applied to Mahayana Buddhism, but also when applied (as it most often is) to Theravada.

Iconodule,

But isn't salvation attained by cooperating with God's grace? Of course, the ability to cooperate with the Holy Spirit is a grace, but the individual isn't merely saved by God's grace and Christ's atonement without some imput. 

Jetavan,

You seem to be knowledgeable regarding Buddhism, would you please expand on this.

Riddikulus- The words that Jetavana quoted were not my words, but from the article. I would agree with Jetavana that they are not really an accurate presentation of Buddhist or Christian soteriology. One could say, within Buddhism, there are a number of different paths to enlightenment which depend in varying degrees on the individual's efforts. Which path one chooses depends on the individual's propensities and the environment/ era in which he lives. In Theravada, the only person who came to enlightenment completely by his own efforts, in our age, was Shakyamuni Buddha. All others must depend on the Buddha's teaching and the guidance of the sangha, and strive to become arhats. The Mahayana posited a new path, the bodhisattva path, whereby everyone should strive to become a Buddha; they also maintained that Shakyamuni himself had been instructed by previous Buddhas. Within the Mahayana continuum, there are paths that, like Theravada, rely greatly on the individual's efforts, but there are other paths which rely largely on faith and "other power", such as Pure Land, where one calls on the name of Amitabha Buddha who has vowed to save anyone who puts faith in his name.
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« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2010, 04:05:36 PM »

Iconodule,

Unfortunately, because I don't have the first inkling regarding Buddhist terminology, everything you said is a clear as mud!  laugh Clearly I'm going to have to do some reading on the topic if I want to understand. A friend has loaned me Buddhism for buzy people; I guess I might have to actually read it. Wink
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« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2010, 02:51:01 PM »

Specificaly, Fr Rose was Chinese philosophy and Taoism in the end ... not sure how closely tied that is to Buddhism.
Taoism or "Daoism" is a different philosophy to Buddhism. "Tao" means "Way", and the similarities to Christianity which is the Faith of those who follow "The Way" are also interesting, and I would recommend the book "Christ the Eternal Tao" By Heiromonk Damascene which explores this. In Chinese versions of the Gospel, the word "Logos" is translated as "Tao", so the opening of St. John's Gospel reads: "In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God......".
There is a famous Chinese allegorical painting called "The Vinegar Tasters" which shows three men tasting the "vinegar" of life out of a pot. One man has a sour look on his face, one has an indifferent look, and the third is smiling. The man with the sour look represents Confucianism, the man with the indifferent look represents Buddhism, and the man who is smiling represents Taoism.



Thanks ozgeorge for sharing that image.  Coincidentally, I'm currently reading "Seven Taoist Masters" at the moment, ( & highly recommend it btw).  I read this passage a few hours before seeing your post, I thought I'd share because its as if it's a subtext to the image:

Quote
If you wish to eradicate the bad temper and the desire for riches, listen to the sages.  They give good advice.  The Confucians say, 'Riches that do not rightfully belong to me I see as empty as the floating clouds.  Take control of your reason, and you will not lose your temper.'  The Buddhists say, 'Do not crave rewards.  Virtue comes from the ability to resist provocation.'  The Taoists say, 'Know the illusion of material goods.  Cultivate compassion, and your temper will be calmed.' 

"To eradicate the four obstacles to health-liquor, sexual desire, riches, and bad temper-one must cultivate the heart.  Once the heart is tamed, the cause of ill health will disappear.  The Confucians tell us to 'awaken'.  The Buddhists tell us to 'understand.'  The Taoists tell us to 'act intuitively.'  First, we need to awaken to the fact that we have fallen pray to the obstacles.  Second, we need to understand what the obstacles are and their causes.  Lastly, we need to act intuitively, that is, to act spontaneously from the heart that is tamed of desire and craving.  If you can do these things, then you will have no problem attaining the Tao."

That's in chapter 8, read the whole thing if you can get your hands on it.  It's a late period Folk Novel from the "Complete Reality" school of Taoism.  I personally find the triad/myriad of asian tradition largely harmonize well with Holy Orthodoxy, and also provide much practical value in how to live well and practice virtue, among other things. 

As far as buddhism is concerned, my family doctor (who is a surgeon/fully licensed western doctor + a licensed traditional Chinese physician trained in Hong Kong) has recommended me to pursue mindfulness excercises and meditation as a way to manage behavior difficulties and inner anxiety.  I have been spending time learning more and more through Thich Naht Hanh, who comes from a synergy of Mahayana and THeravada (including Pure Land).  Thich Naht Hanh also is interested in Christianity and advises Christians to remain Christian and invites them to use mindfulness as a way to deepen their own faith.  It has done nothing but help me and my family.  I feel no conflict with my faith, and admit it has even deepened my faith.

Thanks to the Holy Trinity for making it all possible.
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« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2010, 04:54:19 PM »

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Buddhist soteriology places the power of salvation in the individual through correct knowledge and practice in the Noble Eightfold Path; salvation in Christian soteriology, on the other hand, is decidedly not within the power of the individual to obtain themselves—it is only through God's grace and Christ's atonement.

 I would argue that the notion that salvation in Buddhism is purely within the hands of the individual is not only inaccurate when applied to Mahayana Buddhism, but also when applied (as it most often is) to Theravada.

Iconodule,

But isn't salvation attained by cooperating with God's grace? Of course, the ability to cooperate with the Holy Spirit is a grace, but the individual isn't merely saved by God's grace and Christ's atonement without some imput. 

Jetavan,

You seem to be knowledgeable regarding Buddhism, would you please expand on this.

Riddikulus- The words that Jetavana quoted were not my words, but from the article. I would agree with Jetavana that they are not really an accurate presentation of Buddhist or Christian soteriology. One could say, within Buddhism, there are a number of different paths to enlightenment which depend in varying degrees on the individual's efforts. Which path one chooses depends on the individual's propensities and the environment/ era in which he lives. In Theravada, the only person who came to enlightenment completely by his own efforts, in our age, was Shakyamuni Buddha. All others must depend on the Buddha's teaching and the guidance of the sangha, and strive to become arhats. The Mahayana posited a new path, the bodhisattva path, whereby everyone should strive to become a Buddha; they also maintained that Shakyamuni himself had been instructed by previous Buddhas. Within the Mahayana continuum, there are paths that, like Theravada, rely greatly on the individual's efforts, but there are other paths which rely largely on faith and "other power", such as Pure Land, where one calls on the name of Amitabha Buddha who has vowed to save anyone who puts faith in his name.
Even in Theravada, Shakyamuni Buddha did not become a Buddha by his own efforts: he had (Buddhist) teachers in his past lives, e.g.

Mahayana emphasized what was already present in Theravada. Faith plays a huge role in Theravada.
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« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2010, 04:58:12 PM »

Quote
Buddhist soteriology places the power of salvation in the individual through correct knowledge and practice in the Noble Eightfold Path; salvation in Christian soteriology, on the other hand, is decidedly not within the power of the individual to obtain themselves—it is only through God's grace and Christ's atonement.

 I would argue that the notion that salvation in Buddhism is purely within the hands of the individual is not only inaccurate when applied to Mahayana Buddhism, but also when applied (as it most often is) to Theravada.

Iconodule,

But isn't salvation attained by cooperating with God's grace? Of course, the ability to cooperate with the Holy Spirit is a grace, but the individual isn't merely saved by God's grace and Christ's atonement without some imput. 

Jetavan,

You seem to be knowledgeable regarding Buddhism, would you please expand on this.
I would say that an understanding of Theravada Buddhism, or Buddhism in general, that downplays the importance of the spiritual importance or necessity of the "other" (like the Buddha, or one's fellow Buddhists) is an reflection of the early Western understanding of Buddhism shaped by rationalistic Protestants of the 1800s.
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« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2010, 05:13:29 PM »

I would say that an understanding of Theravada Buddhism, or Buddhism in general, that downplays the importance of the spiritual importance or necessity of the "other" (like the Buddha, or one's fellow Buddhists) is an reflection of the early Western understanding of Buddhism shaped by rationalistic Protestants of the 1800s.

To be fair, I think some Buddhist thinkers encouraged this rationalistic presentation of their religion in the West. Even today, some Buddhist teachers steeped in the tradition will cater to this kind of thinking in front of Western audiences. You'll still hear Buddhist teachers tell the knee-slapper that Buddhism is simple and non-dogmatic.
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« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2010, 02:22:57 AM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.

Yeah, I remember when I was seriously considering the B'hai faith. Everything appealed to me, and I was coming very close to reconciling it with Christianity. And then I discovered the B'hai belief in Maitreya. I ran as fast as I could from it!


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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2010, 02:56:51 AM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.

Yeah, I remember when I was seriously considering the B'hai faith. Everything appealed to me, and I was coming very close to reconciling it with Christianity. And then I discovered the B'hai belief in Maitreya. I ran as fast as I could from it!


Selam

Lol! The Maitreya guy by the way (Benjamin Creme, who says that he is the "prophet of Lord Maitreya") is still around. He's making some wild predictions about comets being seen in Finland and so forth. You have heard about the "Lord Maitreya" and his profit Benjamin Creme right?
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« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2010, 06:37:48 PM »

Ok, fair enough. I read a bit on Taoism and found it to be... well, what's the right wording here... intentionally confusing?

I think Taoism being intentionally confusing was Lao Tzu's point.

Perhaps you are correct.

"My teachings are easy to understand
and easy to put into practice.
Yet your intellect will never grasp them,
and if you try to practice them, you'll fail." - Tao Te Ching, 70
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« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2010, 06:42:20 PM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.

Yeah, I remember when I was seriously considering the B'hai faith. Everything appealed to me, and I was coming very close to reconciling it with Christianity. And then I discovered the B'hai belief in Maitreya. I ran as fast as I could from it!


Selam

Lol! The Maitreya guy by the way (Benjamin Creme, who says that he is the "prophet of Lord Maitreya") is still around. He's making some wild predictions about comets being seen in Finland and so forth. You have heard about the "Lord Maitreya" and his profit Benjamin Creme right?

No, I haven't heard of Benjamin Creme. But everything I heard about the Maitreya, especially from the B'hais, makes me think this may be the Antichrist. Scary stuff.


Selam
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« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2010, 07:27:35 PM »

That's in chapter 8, read the whole thing if you can get your hands on it.  It's a late period Folk Novel from the "Complete Reality" school of Taoism.  I personally find the triad/myriad of asian tradition largely harmonize well with Holy Orthodoxy, and also provide much practical value in how to live well and practice virtue, among other things. 

I think there are worthwhile moral and philosophical teachings in all three schools, but there are also aspects which I would steer clear of. Taoism, of course, is intensely pantheistic and polytheistic, and often involves sorcery and the summoning of spirits; of course you don't need to subscribe to any of these things to appreciate the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, but Taoism, like other religions, can't be reduced to the teachings of a single book. Traditionally Taoism has been associated with a large number of teachings and traditions that go far beyond this.

Quote
I have been spending time learning more and more through Thich Naht Hanh, who comes from a synergy of Mahayana and THeravada (including Pure Land).  Thich Naht Hanh also is interested in Christianity and advises Christians to remain Christian and invites them to use mindfulness as a way to deepen their own faith.  It has done nothing but help me and my family.  I feel no conflict with my faith, and admit it has even deepened my faith.

From what I've seen, Thich Nhat Hanh waters down the traditional Buddhist meditations enough that they might be harmless, but can this generic Buddhist "mindfulness" really be compared to the mindfulness of God we can practice through the Jesus Prayer? Is Orthodoxy really lacking something for you that must be filled with Buddhist practices? I'm aware that Thich Nhat Hanh is okay with Christianity- that's because he thinks of Christ as one great spiritual teacher among many. Do you believe that?
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« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2010, 07:29:07 PM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.

Yeah, I remember when I was seriously considering the B'hai faith. Everything appealed to me, and I was coming very close to reconciling it with Christianity. And then I discovered the B'hai belief in Maitreya. I ran as fast as I could from it!


Selam

Lol! The Maitreya guy by the way (Benjamin Creme, who says that he is the "prophet of Lord Maitreya") is still around. He's making some wild predictions about comets being seen in Finland and so forth. You have heard about the "Lord Maitreya" and his profit Benjamin Creme right?

No, I haven't heard of Benjamin Creme. But everything I heard about the Maitreya, especially from the B'hais, makes me think this may be the Antichrist. Scary stuff.

Relax. According to the Buddhist prophecies, Maitreya will come after Buddhism has completely declined and been forgotten.  There are of course a ton of New Age people claiming to represent Maitreya. Even L. Ron Hubbard claimed to be Maitreya. Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2010, 07:37:12 PM »

Mahayana Buddhism is the extreme messianic type of Buddhism , the type which says Buddha had a virgin birth and ascended to become a "divine master" and will re-appear in the end of times as Maitreya Buddha by the way.


Ohhhh , Maitreya ... I did research into this character two years ago. Bad, very bad.

Yeah, I remember when I was seriously considering the B'hai faith. Everything appealed to me, and I was coming very close to reconciling it with Christianity. And then I discovered the B'hai belief in Maitreya. I ran as fast as I could from it!


Selam

Lol! The Maitreya guy by the way (Benjamin Creme, who says that he is the "prophet of Lord Maitreya") is still around. He's making some wild predictions about comets being seen in Finland and so forth. You have heard about the "Lord Maitreya" and his profit Benjamin Creme right?

No, I haven't heard of Benjamin Creme. But everything I heard about the Maitreya, especially from the B'hais, makes me think this may be the Antichrist. Scary stuff.

Relax. According to the Buddhist prophecies, Maitreya will come after Buddhism has completely declined and been forgotten.  There are of course a ton of New Age people claiming to represent Maitreya. Even L. Ron Hubbard claimed to be Maitreya. Smiley

"You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, but even now many antichrists have already come, by which we know it is the last hour." [I John 2:18]

Selam
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« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2010, 03:34:56 PM »

From what I've seen, Thich Nhat Hanh waters down the traditional Buddhist meditations enough that they might be harmless, but can this generic Buddhist "mindfulness" really be compared to the mindfulness of God we can practice through the Jesus Prayer? Is Orthodoxy really lacking something for you that must be filled with Buddhist practices? I'm aware that Thich Nhat Hanh is okay with Christianity- that's because he thinks of Christ as one great spiritual teacher among many. Do you believe that?
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« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2010, 07:43:55 AM »

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Lol! The Maitreya guy by the way ... You have heard about the "Lord Maitreya" and his profit Benjamin Creme right?

The one sure giveaway that the Benjamin Creme 'Maitreya' isnt the antichrist is his age ... any anti-christ that appears on the scene will need to be 30 years old when he announces himself as 'christ' ... if he is 'instead of' Christ then this anti-christ will look to mimic Christ in everyway.

Personally, I expect this character to come out of the church ... Saint Kosmas the Aetolian prophecied that it would be from the Roman Catholic church (ie. a Pope) ... it is totally plausible that he could come from within Orthodoxy is as well.

Always on our guards, it is the person who will preach without a Cross ...
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