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Author Topic: Are Muslims/Buddhists/etc saved?  (Read 9859 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hermogenes
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« Reply #90 on: January 31, 2011, 04:53:19 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.
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bogdan
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« Reply #91 on: January 31, 2011, 05:26:46 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?
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Iconodule
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« Reply #92 on: January 31, 2011, 05:39:03 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

Last I checked, you were basing the alleged compatibility of Zen and Christianity on some (erroneous) assumptions about Buddhism (e.g. the division between Pure Land and Zen is just like that between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism). You were using reasoning and your understanding of the facts to support your argument. But now you want to shut the discussion down by invoking your personal experience.

Fair enough. It's true, I was never an enlightened Zen master- certainly no one so advanced that he could declare that Shifu Sheng Yen doesn't go "deep enough."  I'll leave you to your enlightenment.
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« Reply #93 on: February 02, 2011, 11:38:39 PM »

From what I know, we know where The Church is but not where it is not. Salvation is for God to decide. We can attend church every day, keep to the traditions and still not be saved in the end. In contrast, a righteous man who has never stepped into a church can be saved based on how he lives his life and what acts he does. There are many saints we do not know of. In the end only God decides.
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minasoliman
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Toumarches
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« Reply #94 on: February 02, 2011, 11:50:53 PM »

omg...are we actually going back to topic  Shocked
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Marc1152
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« Reply #95 on: February 03, 2011, 12:13:15 AM »

There are healthy and unhealthy religions or you could say some religions are sufficiently sober..

 To be Sober and  Healthy does not necessarily mean that it leads to salvation. It may just mean that your soul is preserved while you are in it and God Willing it will lead you to Orthodox Christianity. I believe this was Fr. Seraphim Rose's view of Buddhism which he practiced for awhile.
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Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Irish Hermit
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« Reply #96 on: February 03, 2011, 12:22:15 AM »

Two beautiful conversion stories from Tibetan Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity.

I imagine if you tracked down their e-mail addresses they would correspond with you about their experiences.

See message 41 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23747.msg470225/topicseen.html#msg470225
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Hermogenes
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Posts: 493



« Reply #97 on: February 12, 2011, 02:53:06 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.
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Marc1152
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Posts: 13,092


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« Reply #98 on: February 12, 2011, 03:05:15 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?
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Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
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« Reply #99 on: February 12, 2011, 04:09:31 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?

Depends why they're doing it and who they think Kannon is. If Kannon is a representation of the teaching or goal of universal compassion and the bow is a sign of respect for that teaching, I don't see any problem. If Kannon is a goddess and the bow is some form of worship, obviously that is different. Wouldn't we say something similar about icons? It's a fine line sometimes between respect and idolatry. "The kingdom of God is within you."

See, this is what Christians do. They home in on ways that Buddhism is different, which of course it is--some sects more different than others. Pointing out the ways that Buddhism isn't Christianity is like shooting fish in a barrel. Instead of asking why a devout Christian might find strength and support along the Zen path, they simply dismiss it as impossible, since Buddhism isn't Christianity. It's like a cat chasing her tail. They almost never try to see the way in which the two teachings are similar or try to imagine how one might support another. This division of self and other is at the root of human suffering.

Let me give a concrete example. As Christians, we do not tend to speak much about the nature of the mind or the process of thinking. The way or process by which the enlightened mind might be revealed is often left almost to serendipity. Now, this is practically the No. 1 topic for philosophers and teachers of the Madyamika school. The early church fathers, of course, were more interested in this than their later colleagues, and you will find patristic writings that are often very similar to some of the contemporaneous Madyamika writings. So a text such as Nagarjuna's Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way could be extremely helpful in clarifying some epistemological issues. You would have to translate some of it into a Christian idiom, but by and large I think it would provide a useful perspective. Some of the mind-training texts could be helpful, too, in building concentration. I don't know any Orthodox who don't complain about how hard meditation is and how if they can stay still for 10 minutes it's a lot; yet nearly every experienced Zen student is able to meditate for hours or even days at a time, interrupted only by brief periods of walking meditation. Do you not think that skill might be useful to our Orthodox brothers and sisters? And it would be pretty easy to translate the teaching manuals into Christian terms.
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« Reply #100 on: February 13, 2011, 06:41:45 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.
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« Reply #101 on: February 13, 2011, 06:48:17 PM »

Was that woman kicked off the show or did she eventually bow down to it?
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« Reply #102 on: February 13, 2011, 08:29:40 PM »

Was that woman kicked off the show or did she eventually bow down to it?

No, they let her have her way. 

I found the You Tube Clip. It was "Survivor China"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGiw4RJVrcA&playnext=1&list=PLB9DF7421B54181D0

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« Reply #103 on: February 13, 2011, 08:32:32 PM »

I have also seen the same thing in reverse. I knew a Buddhist Priest who decided to put a Statue of Jesus on his alter.

He said it was Jesus in his "Good Shepherd" representation. His idea was that Buddhists should include the "Local" Deities. It was an attempt to co-opt Jesus to make Buddhism more acceptable to Americans.
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« Reply #104 on: February 13, 2011, 09:07:00 PM »

I have also seen the same thing in reverse. I knew a Buddhist Priest who decided to put a Statue of Jesus on his alter.

He said it was Jesus in his "Good Shepherd" representation. His idea was that Buddhists should include the "Local" Deities. It was an attempt to co-opt Jesus to make Buddhism more acceptable to Americans.
ROFL. Just helping out the New Age Movement nothing to see here folks.
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« Reply #105 on: February 14, 2011, 01:21:48 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.
Jehovah's Witnesses must be the only true Christians then. They refuse to "pledge allegiance" to any flag.
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« Reply #106 on: February 14, 2011, 02:05:12 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.
Jehovah's Witnesses must be the only true Christians then. They refuse to "pledge allegiance" to any flag.

The way to make something bad look better is to compare it with something that is worse.

I don't think we need to all the way to Jehovah's Witnesses to understand that bowing to a Pagan Idol goes against core Christian values and Holy Tradition.

I fully understand that Buddhist meditation practices can be seen as spiritually neutral. I am just not too convinced when it is presented like it is Jogging or working out at a Gym: "Better Concentration".. "Feel Better"... "Tastes Great too"

I think Buddhism is a religion. I think there is a particular World View that dove tails all Buddhist Practices that does not line up with the Christian World View. I dont think we should mix religions. If the Catholics want to do that sort of thing, then good luck to them. I'd advise against it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 02:06:02 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #107 on: February 15, 2011, 11:49:34 AM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

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Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

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That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.
Jehovah's Witnesses must be the only true Christians then. They refuse to "pledge allegiance" to any flag.

The way to make something bad look better is to compare it with something that is worse.

I don't think we need to all the way to Jehovah's Witnesses to understand that bowing to a Pagan Idol goes against core Christian values and Holy Tradition.

I fully understand that Buddhist meditation practices can be seen as spiritually neutral. I am just not too convinced when it is presented like it is Jogging or working out at a Gym: "Better Concentration".. "Feel Better"... "Tastes Great too"

I think Buddhism is a religion. I think there is a particular World View that dove tails all Buddhist Practices that does not line up with the Christian World View. I dont think we should mix religions. If the Catholics want to do that sort of thing, then good luck to them. I'd advise against it.

Thank you for telling me. I don't know too much about the Nichiren schools. But I know enough to understand that our perspectives on Buddhism could be significantly different. The "real buddha within" and "originally enlightened" teachings are difficult for many to see. I'll tell you a funny story sometime about my Dharma grandfather's conversation with a Thai Mahathera.

You may be surprised to read that I agree with you on the subject of mixing religions. I, however, grew up with both and have experienced then truth of both. The form of Buddhism I practice does not contradict Orthodox Christianity; in fact, it is sometimes so similar as to astonish me.

I was estranged from my Christian roots for many, many lonely years. I still came to church from time to time and Christ was always close. (I went to confession once between the ages of 12 and 55.) But I simply couldn't wrap my mind (and more important, my heart) around the prevailing materialist, literalist view of Christianity. What made it possible for me to return? Zen. The basic primary teaching of "Only Don't Know" (to use Ven. Seung Sanh's formulation), combined with some of the patristic writings that seemed to echo similar themes about God;'s fundamental unknowability, finally made it possible for me to come back in through the door of Orthodoxy. It's my personal belief that God was guiding me all the time, and that my Zen practice was a way of keeping me connected to something. And of course it was more than just something.

It's a little ironic that I'd be having this conversation with a Nichiren Buddhist. (I suppose you've been wondering when or if this shoe would drop). I know some Nichiren sects are regarded as more or less mainstream, while others, though, are regarded as outright heretical. I don't know enough about the ins and outs of late Heian religious politics to say which was which.                     q                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
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Marc1152
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« Reply #108 on: February 15, 2011, 12:02:22 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?

You cannot believe how tired I am of arrogant people presuming to tell me what I am or am not doing, or what is or is not possible. Unless you have walked my same path, you cannot possibly know what you are talking about.

I have always found this line of thinking to be silly, that people cannot know or understand something they have not experienced. It's true to a point, but when it's used to shut down legitimate criticism it's rather juvenile.

I think it's a valid question: Orthodox Christianity is the fullness of truth. Why do you need pagan imitation religious practices when you have the real thing in Orthodoxy?

It's not about whether anyone here can understand you; it is about whether you are thinking clearly and logically, or whether your thinking is fogged by your experiences and you are unable to be objective. Since you have an obvious emotional attachment to Zen religious practices, you do not have the objectivity to be able to reject them in favor of Christian truth.

Not that anyone can blame you for that; you have made an emotional investment in Zen. But the fact is, you are not coming at this objectively. From an objective standpoint, Christians have no reason to use pagan religious practices.

Heck, Judaism was the forerunner to Christianity, and the Apostles in Acts 15 did away with almost all the Jewish practices. Why would it be acceptable to practice paganism as an Orthodox Christian?

I've been a Christian my entire life. I've practiced and studied Buddhism for nearly 50 of my 60 years, practice that has included priest ordination and Dharma transmission. That's why I feel my perspective may be better informed than yours. Especially with Zen, which defines and describes itself as experiential in nature, a lack of substantial first-hand experience would be so serious a deficit as to render invalid almost any observation one might make or any opinion one might hold hold, except by accident or coincidence.

And I'll mention in passing what many have commented on: Thousands of Roman Catholics, including dozens of priests and religious, practice Zen. Many are fully credentialed teachers who have received Shiho. I personally know several of these, one of whom has a Dharma heir who's a Strict Observance Cistercian. Granted, Catholics aren't Orthodox. But no one can describe OCSO Cistercians as lax or cavalier about their theology. If they can see a benefit to working the Zen field, so to say, we might be smart to at least find out why they think so. This can't be accomplished by reading or discussion, by the way. You have to actually do it.

How do you feel about a Christian bowing before a statue of Kannon upon entering a Zendo?

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.
Jehovah's Witnesses must be the only true Christians then. They refuse to "pledge allegiance" to any flag.

The way to make something bad look better is to compare it with something that is worse.

I don't think we need to all the way to Jehovah's Witnesses to understand that bowing to a Pagan Idol goes against core Christian values and Holy Tradition.

I fully understand that Buddhist meditation practices can be seen as spiritually neutral. I am just not too convinced when it is presented like it is Jogging or working out at a Gym: "Better Concentration".. "Feel Better"... "Tastes Great too"

I think Buddhism is a religion. I think there is a particular World View that dove tails all Buddhist Practices that does not line up with the Christian World View. I dont think we should mix religions. If the Catholics want to do that sort of thing, then good luck to them. I'd advise against it.

Thank you for telling me. I don't know too much about the Nichiren schools. But I know enough to understand that our perspectives on Buddhism could be significantly different. The "real buddha within" and "originally enlightened" teachings are difficult for many to see. I'll tell you a funny story sometime about my Dharma grandfather's conversation with a Thai Mahathera.

You may be surprised to read that I agree with you on the subject of mixing religions. I, however, grew up with both and have experienced then truth of both. The form of Buddhism I practice does not contradict Orthodox Christianity; in fact, it is sometimes so similar as to astonish me.

I was estranged from my Christian roots for many, many lonely years. I still came to church from time to time and Christ was always close. (I went to confession once between the ages of 12 and 55.) But I simply couldn't wrap my mind (and more important, my heart) around the prevailing materialist, literalist view of Christianity. What made it possible for me to return? Zen. The basic primary teaching of "Only Don't Know" (to use Ven. Seung Sanh's formulation), combined with some of the patristic writings that seemed to echo similar themes about God;'s fundamental unknowability, finally made it possible for me to come back in through the door of Orthodoxy. It's my personal belief that God was guiding me all the time, and that my Zen practice was a way of keeping me connected to something. And of course it was more than just something.

It's a little ironic that I'd be having this conversation with a Nichiren Buddhist. (I suppose you've been wondering when or if this shoe would drop). I know some Nichiren sects are regarded as more or less mainstream, while others, though, are regarded as outright heretical. I don't know enough about the ins and outs of late Heian religious politics to say which was which.                     q                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

I have consistently seen Orthodox like Fr. Rose who converted from Buddhism say not to worry too much if a relative is a Buddhist. They say Buddhism is a"sober" religion and can preserve the soul of the person until they are ready for more.
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Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
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« Reply #109 on: February 15, 2011, 03:30:07 PM »

Marc, the doctrine of rebirth as traditionally believed is not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, the concept of a bodhisatva according to the common definition (as someone who voluntarily suffers the cycle of rebirths to assist all other beings to nirvana) is not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, why even venerate a statue of Avalokiteshvara? There's nothing to venerate. Bodhisatvas don't exist.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 03:31:37 PM by CRCulver » Logged
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« Reply #110 on: February 15, 2011, 04:07:16 PM »

Marc, the doctrine of rebirth as traditionally believed is not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, the concept of a bodhisatva according to the common definition (as someone who voluntarily suffers the cycle of rebirths to assist all other beings to nirvana) is not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, why even venerate a statue of Avalokiteshvara? There's nothing to venerate. Bodhisatvas don't exist.

Mars, the God of War does not exist. Please dont ever bow before his statue though.

The Holy Martyrs accepted death in the Roman Arena before doing so. Were they fools?
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« Reply #111 on: February 16, 2011, 11:24:55 AM »

Marc, the doctrine of rebirth as traditionally believed is not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, the concept of a bodhisatva according to the common definition (as someone who voluntarily suffers the cycle of rebirths to assist all other beings to nirvana) is not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, why even venerate a statue of Avalokiteshvara? There's nothing to venerate. Bodhisatvas don't exist.
Could a statue of a Buddha be venerated, since Buddhas are -- quite literally -- not rebirthed?
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« Reply #112 on: February 16, 2011, 11:56:39 AM »

Could a statue of a Buddha be venerated, since Buddhas are -- quite literally -- not rebirthed?

The Buddha's only worth venerating if you buy into his teachings, and those are not compatible with Orthodox Christianity. A case could be made that the Buddha was a righteous person like Socrates who revealed glimpses of God's order before the Incarnation, but that still wouldn't make a case for venerating an image.

Most Orthodox theologians I've seen comment on Thomas Merton disapprove strongly, exceedingly strongly, of his trip to the East where he bowed to Buddha. I therefore wouldn't point to Roman Catholic monks and their syncretic habits for defence.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 11:58:08 AM by CRCulver » Logged
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« Reply #113 on: February 16, 2011, 01:48:47 PM »

Could a statue of a Buddha be venerated, since Buddhas are -- quite literally -- not rebirthed?

The Buddha's only worth venerating if you buy into his teachings, and those are not compatible with Orthodox Christianity.
Outside of the Vedic world view of karma and rebirth/reincarnation within which the Buddha formulated his teachings, how are his teachings incompatible with Orthodox Christianity?
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« Reply #114 on: February 16, 2011, 04:03:28 PM »

Outside of the Vedic world view of karma and rebirth/reincarnation within which the Buddha formulated his teachings, how are his teachings incompatible with Orthodox Christianity?

That's like saying "Outside of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, how is Christianity incompatible with Islam?" Buddhism is so centered around those Vedic views that it cannot be considered separate from them, in spite of some westerners' attempts at a "Buddhism without beliefs" that is about as valid as, say, the Jefferson Bible or Jesus Seminar in Christianity.

The view of the senses as delusion is also an issue, as the Church has recognized at least since the era of Hesychasm that union with the Divine can be achieved through the senses.
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« Reply #115 on: February 16, 2011, 04:46:55 PM »

Outside of the Vedic world view of karma and rebirth/reincarnation within which the Buddha formulated his teachings, how are his teachings incompatible with Orthodox Christianity?

There is no God.
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« Reply #116 on: February 16, 2011, 11:59:09 PM »

Outside of the Vedic world view of karma and rebirth/reincarnation within which the Buddha formulated his teachings, how are his teachings incompatible with Orthodox Christianity?

That's like saying "Outside of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, how is Christianity incompatible with Islam?" Buddhism is so centered around those Vedic views that it cannot be considered separate from them, in spite of some westerners' attempts at a "Buddhism without beliefs" that is about as valid as, say, the Jefferson Bible or Jesus Seminar in Christianity.
I see you making more assertions here, but I don't find them particularly convincing as arguments to support your previous assertions. How is Buddhism so centered around those Vedic views that it cannot be considered separate from them?
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PeterTheAleut
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #117 on: March 03, 2011, 01:11:52 AM »

This comparative analysis of the various forms of Buddhism, an analysis that has deviated from the original topic of whether Buddhists and Muslims are saved, has been moved to Religious Topics.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=34133.0
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 01:14:14 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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