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Author Topic: Will the Real Buddhism Please Stand Up?  (Read 7666 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2012, 07:38:59 PM »

In general we thought Christians were ignorant believers in outlandish myths. Most Western Buddhists 40 years ago were ex-Christians or -Jews. It's not surprising we bashed our former faiths.

You didn't believe in magic and flying men when you were a buddhist? Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: July 22, 2012, 07:50:58 PM »

 Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right,
When you see a Theravadan Buddhist, call him a Hinayanan and see what happens.  Answer: squabbling.

That's because to many Theravada Buddhists, Hinayana ("lesser-vehicle") is derogatory. That'd be a bit like Catholics or Protestants calling Orthodoxy the "lesser-way".

That sense of superiority is more pronounced among Western adherents, I believe. None of my Japanese teachers ever evinced anything but respect for the Theravadan teachers. Some, like Nakagowa Soen Roshi, spent several years living and practicing with them. They are closer to the practice of the original Buddhists. And no one, IMHO, can avoid the Hinayana path, however snotty they are about t. It's just the natural place to begin.

Yes..But... The Lotus Sutra condemns them to Hell... so it goes.

Theravada is not a "Good place to start" if you wish to practice  Mahayana. It has different basic assumptions. This is what happens when you take the religion out of Buddhism and turn it into something like Hatha Yoga, all mechanics and technique.

I was a Zen monk for 20 years. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the religion. But I do agree. It's my main issue with the idea of Zen Catholics or Zen plus anything else. It's not a technique; it's a fundamental experience of all of life,  etc.

Where where you a monk ?

I was ordained within the Honmon Bustsuryu Shu and spent time with the Kempon Hokke and few other stops.

I had transmission in both Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages.

How do you find Orthodox in your church respond to your Buddhist background?

They were more fixated on my Jewish background. They wanted to keep asking me questions about the Old Testament or Jewish Tradition. I kept saying that I was more their man for questions about the Lotus Sutra. It didn't really compute.

Mine literally can't imagine Zen would have anything useful to offer them. One hieromonk said my experience was probably somewhere on a spectrum between completely deluded and demonic.

I suppose it's only fair. I spent a fair amount of my life describing Christians as imbeciles who believed in fairy tales--until I became one myself!

Ditto.....

The Monks at Platina have experience with Buddhism, several are former Buddhists.

Did you practice at an American Zendo or in Japan? If American, who was the Roshi?

My dear late wife had an interesting correspondence going with Bonnie Myotai Terace, one of John Loori's heirs. She had read some article in one of the periodicals I got from them and saw she suffered from fibromyalgia. So my wife, who had no particular interest in Zen, wrote to her with some suggestions. The Roshi wrote back and for a few years they engaged in what can be called "Girl Talk".

I kept asking my wife " You do realize who she is? " A full blown Zen Master, many students, pretty famous. Yet she was just Bonnie to my wife, never tried to convert her or even mentioned Buddhism to my knowledge. They were just friends.. I was very impressed. True Zen...if you asked me.    
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« Reply #92 on: July 22, 2012, 08:11:15 PM »

 Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right,
When you see a Theravadan Buddhist, call him a Hinayanan and see what happens.  Answer: squabbling.

That's because to many Theravada Buddhists, Hinayana ("lesser-vehicle") is derogatory. That'd be a bit like Catholics or Protestants calling Orthodoxy the "lesser-way".

That sense of superiority is more pronounced among Western adherents, I believe. None of my Japanese teachers ever evinced anything but respect for the Theravadan teachers. Some, like Nakagowa Soen Roshi, spent several years living and practicing with them. They are closer to the practice of the original Buddhists. And no one, IMHO, can avoid the Hinayana path, however snotty they are about t. It's just the natural place to begin.

Yes..But... The Lotus Sutra condemns them to Hell... so it goes.

Theravada is not a "Good place to start" if you wish to practice  Mahayana. It has different basic assumptions. This is what happens when you take the religion out of Buddhism and turn it into something like Hatha Yoga, all mechanics and technique.

I was a Zen monk for 20 years. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the religion. But I do agree. It's my main issue with the idea of Zen Catholics or Zen plus anything else. It's not a technique; it's a fundamental experience of all of life,  etc.

Where where you a monk ?

I was ordained within the Honmon Bustsuryu Shu and spent time with the Kempon Hokke and few other stops.

I had transmission in both Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages.

How do you find Orthodox in your church respond to your Buddhist background?

They were more fixated on my Jewish background. They wanted to keep asking me questions about the Old Testament or Jewish Tradition. I kept saying that I was more their man for questions about the Lotus Sutra. It didn't really compute.

Mine literally can't imagine Zen would have anything useful to offer them. One hieromonk said my experience was probably somewhere on a spectrum between completely deluded and demonic.

I suppose it's only fair. I spent a fair amount of my life describing Christians as imbeciles who believed in fairy tales--until I became one myself!

Ditto.....

The Monks at Platina have experience with Buddhism, several are former Buddhists.

Did you practice at an American Zendo or in Japan? If American, who was the Roshi?

My dear late wife had an interesting correspondence going with Bonnie Myotai Terace, one of John Loori's heirs. She had read some article in one of the periodicals I got from them and saw she suffered from fibromyalgia. So my wife, who had no particular interest in Zen, wrote to her with some suggestions. The Roshi wrote back and for a few years they engaged in what can be called "Girl Talk".

I kept asking my wife " You do realize who she is? " A full blown Zen Master, many students, pretty famous. Yet she was just Bonnie to my wife, never tried to convert her or even mentioned Buddhism to my knowledge. They were just friends.. I was very impressed. True Zen...if you asked me.    

Yes, I knew Myotai and Daido.

I hope it's OK if I don't go into the details of masters and lineages. I was trained in the West by Western, Japanese, and Tibetan masters.
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« Reply #93 on: July 22, 2012, 08:13:46 PM »

I have nothing of substance to add to this thread, but I used to work with a fellow who said he was a Buddhist Viking.  It struck me as odd and fairly incompatable.
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« Reply #94 on: July 22, 2012, 08:24:08 PM »

In general we thought Christians were ignorant believers in outlandish myths. Most Western Buddhists 40 years ago were ex-Christians or -Jews. It's not surprising we bashed our former faiths.

You didn't believe in magic and flying men when you were a buddhist? Smiley

Good question. Buddhists really have no place to be calling anyone else outlandish.
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« Reply #95 on: July 22, 2012, 08:27:27 PM »

 Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right,
When you see a Theravadan Buddhist, call him a Hinayanan and see what happens.  Answer: squabbling.

That's because to many Theravada Buddhists, Hinayana ("lesser-vehicle") is derogatory. That'd be a bit like Catholics or Protestants calling Orthodoxy the "lesser-way".

That sense of superiority is more pronounced among Western adherents, I believe. None of my Japanese teachers ever evinced anything but respect for the Theravadan teachers. Some, like Nakagowa Soen Roshi, spent several years living and practicing with them. They are closer to the practice of the original Buddhists. And no one, IMHO, can avoid the Hinayana path, however snotty they are about t. It's just the natural place to begin.

Yes..But... The Lotus Sutra condemns them to Hell... so it goes.

Theravada is not a "Good place to start" if you wish to practice  Mahayana. It has different basic assumptions. This is what happens when you take the religion out of Buddhism and turn it into something like Hatha Yoga, all mechanics and technique.

I was a Zen monk for 20 years. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the religion. But I do agree. It's my main issue with the idea of Zen Catholics or Zen plus anything else. It's not a technique; it's a fundamental experience of all of life,  etc.

Where where you a monk ?

I was ordained within the Honmon Bustsuryu Shu and spent time with the Kempon Hokke and few other stops.

I had transmission in both Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages.

How do you find Orthodox in your church respond to your Buddhist background?

They were more fixated on my Jewish background. They wanted to keep asking me questions about the Old Testament or Jewish Tradition. I kept saying that I was more their man for questions about the Lotus Sutra. It didn't really compute.

Mine literally can't imagine Zen would have anything useful to offer them. One hieromonk said my experience was probably somewhere on a spectrum between completely deluded and demonic.

I suppose it's only fair. I spent a fair amount of my life describing Christians as imbeciles who believed in fairy tales--until I became one myself!

Ditto.....

The Monks at Platina have experience with Buddhism, several are former Buddhists.

Did you practice at an American Zendo or in Japan? If American, who was the Roshi?

My dear late wife had an interesting correspondence going with Bonnie Myotai Terace, one of John Loori's heirs. She had read some article in one of the periodicals I got from them and saw she suffered from fibromyalgia. So my wife, who had no particular interest in Zen, wrote to her with some suggestions. The Roshi wrote back and for a few years they engaged in what can be called "Girl Talk".

I kept asking my wife " You do realize who she is? " A full blown Zen Master, many students, pretty famous. Yet she was just Bonnie tTo my wife, never tried to convert her or even mentioned Buddhism to my knowledge. They were just friends.. I was very impressed. True Zen...if you asked me.    

I'm not sure Bonnie would describe herself as a Zen Master. There are dozens of us, if not hundreds, who have the same qualifications, and i definitely never would have described myself that way. But she is a very special person.
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« Reply #96 on: July 22, 2012, 08:55:02 PM »

I meant hundreds in this country. Successors just in Maezumi Roshi's lineage must be in the low hundreds by now. The Suzuki/Katagiri lineage would probably be smaller, but not by much. Plus the others--Aitken Roshi, Eido Roshi, etc.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #97 on: July 23, 2012, 10:13:33 AM »

 Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right,
When you see a Theravadan Buddhist, call him a Hinayanan and see what happens.  Answer: squabbling.

That's because to many Theravada Buddhists, Hinayana ("lesser-vehicle") is derogatory. That'd be a bit like Catholics or Protestants calling Orthodoxy the "lesser-way".

That sense of superiority is more pronounced among Western adherents, I believe. None of my Japanese teachers ever evinced anything but respect for the Theravadan teachers. Some, like Nakagowa Soen Roshi, spent several years living and practicing with them. They are closer to the practice of the original Buddhists. And no one, IMHO, can avoid the Hinayana path, however snotty they are about t. It's just the natural place to begin.

Yes..But... The Lotus Sutra condemns them to Hell... so it goes.

Theravada is not a "Good place to start" if you wish to practice  Mahayana. It has different basic assumptions. This is what happens when you take the religion out of Buddhism and turn it into something like Hatha Yoga, all mechanics and technique.

I was a Zen monk for 20 years. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the religion. But I do agree. It's my main issue with the idea of Zen Catholics or Zen plus anything else. It's not a technique; it's a fundamental experience of all of life,  etc.

Where where you a monk ?

I was ordained within the Honmon Bustsuryu Shu and spent time with the Kempon Hokke and few other stops.

I had transmission in both Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages.

How do you find Orthodox in your church respond to your Buddhist background?

They were more fixated on my Jewish background. They wanted to keep asking me questions about the Old Testament or Jewish Tradition. I kept saying that I was more their man for questions about the Lotus Sutra. It didn't really compute.

Mine literally can't imagine Zen would have anything useful to offer them. One hieromonk said my experience was probably somewhere on a spectrum between completely deluded and demonic.

I suppose it's only fair. I spent a fair amount of my life describing Christians as imbeciles who believed in fairy tales--until I became one myself!

Ditto.....

The Monks at Platina have experience with Buddhism, several are former Buddhists.

Did you practice at an American Zendo or in Japan? If American, who was the Roshi?

My dear late wife had an interesting correspondence going with Bonnie Myotai Terace, one of John Loori's heirs. She had read some article in one of the periodicals I got from them and saw she suffered from fibromyalgia. So my wife, who had no particular interest in Zen, wrote to her with some suggestions. The Roshi wrote back and for a few years they engaged in what can be called "Girl Talk".

I kept asking my wife " You do realize who she is? " A full blown Zen Master, many students, pretty famous. Yet she was just Bonnie tTo my wife, never tried to convert her or even mentioned Buddhism to my knowledge. They were just friends.. I was very impressed. True Zen...if you asked me.    

I'm not sure Bonnie would describe herself as a Zen Master. There are dozens of us, if not hundreds, who have the same qualifications, and i definitely never would have described myself that way. But she is a very special person.

I understand. This was from my lowly perspective many years ago now. It was a shock when Daido passed away. Do you now how the Mountains and Rivers order is doing these days? 
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« Reply #98 on: July 23, 2012, 10:30:57 AM »

 Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right,
When you see a Theravadan Buddhist, call him a Hinayanan and see what happens.  Answer: squabbling.

That's because to many Theravada Buddhists, Hinayana ("lesser-vehicle") is derogatory. That'd be a bit like Catholics or Protestants calling Orthodoxy the "lesser-way".

That sense of superiority is more pronounced among Western adherents, I believe. None of my Japanese teachers ever evinced anything but respect for the Theravadan teachers. Some, like Nakagowa Soen Roshi, spent several years living and practicing with them. They are closer to the practice of the original Buddhists. And no one, IMHO, can avoid the Hinayana path, however snotty they are about t. It's just the natural place to begin.

Yes..But... The Lotus Sutra condemns them to Hell... so it goes.

Theravada is not a "Good place to start" if you wish to practice  Mahayana. It has different basic assumptions. This is what happens when you take the religion out of Buddhism and turn it into something like Hatha Yoga, all mechanics and technique.

I was a Zen monk for 20 years. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the religion. But I do agree. It's my main issue with the idea of Zen Catholics or Zen plus anything else. It's not a technique; it's a fundamental experience of all of life,  etc.

Where where you a monk ?

I was ordained within the Honmon Bustsuryu Shu and spent time with the Kempon Hokke and few other stops.

I had transmission in both Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages.

How do you find Orthodox in your church respond to your Buddhist background?

They were more fixated on my Jewish background. They wanted to keep asking me questions about the Old Testament or Jewish Tradition. I kept saying that I was more their man for questions about the Lotus Sutra. It didn't really compute.

Mine literally can't imagine Zen would have anything useful to offer them. One hieromonk said my experience was probably somewhere on a spectrum between completely deluded and demonic.

I suppose it's only fair. I spent a fair amount of my life describing Christians as imbeciles who believed in fairy tales--until I became one myself!

Ditto.....

The Monks at Platina have experience with Buddhism, several are former Buddhists.

Did you practice at an American Zendo or in Japan? If American, who was the Roshi?

My dear late wife had an interesting correspondence going with Bonnie Myotai Terace, one of John Loori's heirs. She had read some article in one of the periodicals I got from them and saw she suffered from fibromyalgia. So my wife, who had no particular interest in Zen, wrote to her with some suggestions. The Roshi wrote back and for a few years they engaged in what can be called "Girl Talk".

I kept asking my wife " You do realize who she is? " A full blown Zen Master, many students, pretty famous. Yet she was just Bonnie tTo my wife, never tried to convert her or even mentioned Buddhism to my knowledge. They were just friends.. I was very impressed. True Zen...if you asked me.    

I'm not sure Bonnie would describe herself as a Zen Master. There are dozens of us, if not hundreds, who have the same qualifications, and i definitely never would have described myself that way. But she is a very special person.

I understand. This was from my lowly perspective many years ago now. It was a shock when Daido passed away. Do you now how the Mountains and Rivers order is doing these days? 

Well, as far as I know. I believe Shugen Sensei is still at their Brooklyn center. I don't know who took over at Mt. Tremper. Bonnie left some years ago, and I fell out of touch with the comings and goings of the White Plum Asanga. With the overlap between them and Bernie Glassman's peacemaker order it's hard to know what any of the titles and promotions mean these days. It used to be hard and take many years to become a sensei.

BTW--your perspective isn't any lower than anyone else's. It would be great if Bonnie were the standard. She is very special. Being a senior and then a teacher in MRO wasn't easy. But she always had an open heart, despite the pressures.
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« Reply #99 on: July 23, 2012, 10:42:41 AM »

 Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right,
When you see a Theravadan Buddhist, call him a Hinayanan and see what happens.  Answer: squabbling.

That's because to many Theravada Buddhists, Hinayana ("lesser-vehicle") is derogatory. That'd be a bit like Catholics or Protestants calling Orthodoxy the "lesser-way".

That sense of superiority is more pronounced among Western adherents, I believe. None of my Japanese teachers ever evinced anything but respect for the Theravadan teachers. Some, like Nakagowa Soen Roshi, spent several years living and practicing with them. They are closer to the practice of the original Buddhists. And no one, IMHO, can avoid the Hinayana path, however snotty they are about t. It's just the natural place to begin.

Yes..But... The Lotus Sutra condemns them to Hell... so it goes.

Theravada is not a "Good place to start" if you wish to practice  Mahayana. It has different basic assumptions. This is what happens when you take the religion out of Buddhism and turn it into something like Hatha Yoga, all mechanics and technique.

I was a Zen monk for 20 years. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the religion. But I do agree. It's my main issue with the idea of Zen Catholics or Zen plus anything else. It's not a technique; it's a fundamental experience of all of life,  etc.

Where where you a monk ?

I was ordained within the Honmon Bustsuryu Shu and spent time with the Kempon Hokke and few other stops.

I had transmission in both Soto and Rinzai Zen lineages.

How do you find Orthodox in your church respond to your Buddhist background?

They were more fixated on my Jewish background. They wanted to keep asking me questions about the Old Testament or Jewish Tradition. I kept saying that I was more their man for questions about the Lotus Sutra. It didn't really compute.

Mine literally can't imagine Zen would have anything useful to offer them. One hieromonk said my experience was probably somewhere on a spectrum between completely deluded and demonic.

I suppose it's only fair. I spent a fair amount of my life describing Christians as imbeciles who believed in fairy tales--until I became one myself!

Ditto.....

The Monks at Platina have experience with Buddhism, several are former Buddhists.

Did you practice at an American Zendo or in Japan? If American, who was the Roshi?

My dear late wife had an interesting correspondence going with Bonnie Myotai Terace, one of John Loori's heirs. She had read some article in one of the periodicals I got from them and saw she suffered from fibromyalgia. So my wife, who had no particular interest in Zen, wrote to her with some suggestions. The Roshi wrote back and for a few years they engaged in what can be called "Girl Talk".

I kept asking my wife " You do realize who she is? " A full blown Zen Master, many students, pretty famous. Yet she was just Bonnie tTo my wife, never tried to convert her or even mentioned Buddhism to my knowledge. They were just friends.. I was very impressed. True Zen...if you asked me.    

I'm not sure Bonnie would describe herself as a Zen Master. There are dozens of us, if not hundreds, who have the same qualifications, and i definitely never would have described myself that way. But she is a very special person.

I understand. This was from my lowly perspective many years ago now. It was a shock when Daido passed away. Do you now how the Mountains and Rivers order is doing these days? 

Well, as far as I know. I believe Shugen Sensei is still at their Brooklyn center. I don't know who took over at Mt. Tremper. Bonnie left some years ago, and I fell out of touch with the comings and goings of the White Plum Asanga. With the overlap between them and Bernie Glassman's peacemaker order it's hard to know what any of the titles and promotions mean these days. It used to be hard and take many years to become a sensei.

BTW--your perspective isn't any lower than anyone else's. It would be great if Bonnie were the standard. She is very special. Being a senior and then a teacher in MRO wasn't easy. But she always had an open heart, despite the pressures.
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« Reply #100 on: July 23, 2012, 10:44:11 AM »

Sorry for the double posting. I don't know how that happens. Mea maxima culpa.
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« Reply #101 on: February 13, 2013, 08:31:24 PM »

The real Buddhism is Celtic Buddhism.
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« Reply #102 on: February 13, 2013, 08:42:27 PM »

The real Buddhism is Celtic Buddhism.

Seems legit.
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« Reply #103 on: February 13, 2013, 08:56:47 PM »

Isn't Buddhism and good fortune mutually exclusive?  Just came to mind because a friend posted on facebook those "chain posts" or whatever you want to call them, those "forward and get something", a photo of a statue of the fat Buddha on top of money.  And then it claims you will get good fortune if you share the image.  Anyway, I thought Buddhism is about self denial, so how is Buddha even connected to the acquisition of wealth?
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« Reply #104 on: February 13, 2013, 08:58:54 PM »


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« Reply #105 on: February 13, 2013, 09:00:57 PM »

Isn't Buddhism and good fortune mutually exclusive?  Just came to mind because a friend posted on facebook those "chain posts" or whatever you want to call them, those "forward and get something", a photo of a statue of the fat Buddha on top of money.  And then it claims you will get good fortune if you share the image.  Anyway, I thought Buddhism is about self denial, so how is Buddha even connected to the acquisition of wealth?

Just like in certain corners of Christianity, some branches of Buddhism have devolved into Health Wealth and Happiness cults
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« Reply #106 on: February 13, 2013, 09:12:48 PM »

Isn't Buddhism and good fortune mutually exclusive?  Just came to mind because a friend posted on facebook those "chain posts" or whatever you want to call them, those "forward and get something", a photo of a statue of the fat Buddha on top of money.  And then it claims you will get good fortune if you share the image.  Anyway, I thought Buddhism is about self denial, so how is Buddha even connected to the acquisition of wealth?

Well, not everyone is built for a monastic sort of self-denial, which is why the Buddha had many lay-followers who had jobs and made money (so to speak). In fact, the Buddha encouraged lay-followers to be diligent in their work:

"By whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft — at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.
....
Whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means — such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn it, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.
....
A householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
....
These...conditions...are conducive to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life"
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 09:13:54 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #107 on: February 13, 2013, 10:58:01 PM »

Isn't Buddhism and good fortune mutually exclusive?  Just came to mind because a friend posted on facebook those "chain posts" or whatever you want to call them, those "forward and get something", a photo of a statue of the fat Buddha on top of money.  And then it claims you will get good fortune if you share the image.  Anyway, I thought Buddhism is about self denial, so how is Buddha even connected to the acquisition of wealth?

Well, not everyone is built for a monastic sort of self-denial, which is why the Buddha had many lay-followers who had jobs and made money (so to speak). In fact, the Buddha encouraged lay-followers to be diligent in their work:

"By whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft — at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.
....
Whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means — such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn it, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.
....
A householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
....
These...conditions...are conducive to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life"

Unfortunately several Buddhist groups ( some of the largest btw) are centered on congering up wealth and material things which is crudely equated with happiness. That goes a step or two beyond lay people working diligently.
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« Reply #108 on: February 13, 2013, 11:26:31 PM »

Original  Theravada Buddhism > All Asian offshoots

I find it somewhat sad that Buddhism is virtually extinct in India now and going extinct in the world, save a few pseudo western converts who cherry-pick from it. While admittedly it is a heathen religion, I do still find it MUCH better and more desirable than the Islam and radical Evangelical Protestantism that so many people are converting to.
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« Reply #109 on: February 13, 2013, 11:32:42 PM »

Original  Theravada Buddhism > All Asian offshoots

I've said it before, but Pure Land is the best.
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« Reply #110 on: February 13, 2013, 11:43:03 PM »

Original  Theravada Buddhism > All Asian offshoots

I've said it before, but Pure Land is the best.
I have to admit: you may have a point.
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« Reply #111 on: February 14, 2013, 10:11:31 AM »

The allegation that Theravada Buddhism is the "original" Buddhism is pretty much a matter of belief and not of actual historical evidence.
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« Reply #112 on: February 14, 2013, 10:22:00 AM »

The allegation that Theravada Buddhism is the "original" Buddhism is pretty much a matter of belief and not of actual historical evidence.

Theravadins seem more like Sola Scriptura (Tipitaka) Buddhists, while the Tibetans might have preserved more of the ethos of Indian Buddhism. 

If we compare Buddhism to Christianity, I don't think many of us would be comfortable with the Protestants claiming to be the "original" Christians because they stick to the Bible and refuse Tradition. (Of course, the Theravadins have their traditions/lineage [~Apostolic succession?] and much deeper historical roots than Protestantism.)
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« Reply #113 on: February 14, 2013, 10:25:13 AM »

I thought that Theravada was just the only surviving branch of Hinayana Buddhism.
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« Reply #114 on: February 14, 2013, 10:26:56 AM »

I thought that Theravada was just the only surviving branch of Hinayana Buddhism.

They are. They just wouldn't refer to themselves like that - their "Mahayana" rivals called them that. They purported to be more universal and compassionate, while the "Hinayana" schools would be concerned only with personal enlightenment through ascetic effort.
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« Reply #115 on: February 14, 2013, 10:31:57 AM »

I thought that Theravada was just the only surviving branch of Hinayana Buddhism.
Depends upon how you define "Hinayana".
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« Reply #116 on: February 14, 2013, 10:36:25 AM »

I thought that Theravada was just the only surviving branch of Hinayana Buddhism.
Depends upon how you define "Hinayana".

Well, those buddhist schools who have, traditionally, been located in south-east Asia.
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« Reply #117 on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:16 AM »

The allegation that Theravada Buddhism is the "original" Buddhism is pretty much a matter of belief and not of actual historical evidence.

Theravadins seem more like Sola Scriptura (Tipitaka) Buddhists, while the Tibetans might have preserved more of the ethos of Indian Buddhism. 

If we compare Buddhism to Christianity, I don't think many of us would be comfortable with the Protestants claiming to be the "original" Christians because they stick to the Bible and refuse Tradition. (Of course, the Theravadins have their traditions/lineage [~Apostolic succession?] and much deeper historical roots than Protestantism.)


Comparing the divisions in Buddhism to divisions in Christianity is tricky. The divisions are there but generally much less acrimonious and less doctrinally weighty. Even as they consider the Theravada path to be incomplete or inferior, most Mahayanists accept the Theravada school as a valid Buddhist school. And, while Theravadins are generally leery of some of the Mahayana teachings, there are instances of cooperation and what we might call "concelebration" that would be unthinkable between Protestants and Orthodox. For example, Theravada nuns getting the full nun ordination from Mahayanists (because the lineage was lost in Theravada), or a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery. All this happens without anyone yelling "heretic!" The only place in Buddhism where I know the sectarian divisions (between different Mahayana sects) to be very sharp today would be Japan, and this seems to be a large part due to politics.
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« Reply #118 on: February 14, 2013, 10:42:30 AM »

I thought that Theravada was just the only surviving branch of Hinayana Buddhism.
Depends upon how you define "Hinayana".

Well, those buddhist schools who have, traditionally, been located in south-east Asia.

Generally when the old Mahayana texts polemicize against "Hinayana," they are referring to one of several Indian schools which are now extinct, and which does not necessarily match the modern Theravada school exactly.
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« Reply #119 on: February 14, 2013, 10:43:40 AM »

Comparing the divisions in Buddhism to divisions in Christianity is tricky. The divisions are there but generally much less acrimonious and less doctrinally weighty. Even as they consider the Theravada path to be incomplete or inferior, most Mahayanists accept the Theravada school as a valid Buddhist school. And, while Theravadins are generally leery of some of the Mahayana teachings, there are instances of cooperation and what we might call "concelebration" that would be unthinkable between Protestants and Orthodox. For example, Theravada nuns getting the full nun ordination from Mahayanists (because the lineage was lost in Theravada), or a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery. All this happens without anyone yelling "heretic!" The only place in Buddhism where I know the sectarian divisions (between different Mahayana sects) to be very sharp today would be Japan, and this seems to be a large part due to politics.

While obviously not representative, I have seen very triumphalist Theravadists on forums denouncing Mahayana as a whole.
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« Reply #120 on: February 14, 2013, 11:29:09 AM »

a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery.

You mean Bhikkhu Bodhi and this monastery?

I've read of rivalry/disputes between the Tibetan and Ch'an schools, despite them both being strands of Mahayana Buddhism.
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« Reply #121 on: February 14, 2013, 11:40:43 AM »

a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery.

You mean Bhikkhu Bodhi and this monastery?

That's the one. Very good people there.

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I've read of traditional rivalry/disputes between the Tibetan and Ch'an schools, despite them both being strands of Mahayana Buddhism.

There was a rivalry in Tibet between tantric Buddhism and Chan, which, despite its "transmission beyond the scriptures" is essentially sutra-based Mahayana. Obviously Chan lost out and there is no longer a Tibetan Chan. There were also some bitter rivalries between the different sects of Tibetan Buddhism, which were certainly aggravated by political factions. The Dalai Lama became theocrat of Tibet with the help of Mongol troops after a lengthy period of violence and the divisions have been swept under the rug in modern times.
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« Reply #122 on: February 14, 2013, 11:46:13 AM »

The real Buddhism is Celtic Buddhism.

My word!  and I thought that Shinto shrines in North America were umm pushing the envelope.

Looking at some of the materials there is causing some quite peculiar cultural dissonance
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« Reply #123 on: February 14, 2013, 11:50:19 AM »

a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery.

You mean Bhikkhu Bodhi and this monastery?

That's the one. Very good people there.

I agree (good and learned Buddhist scholars), but I think this is a rather atypical example. I'd compare it to the Monastery of Bose in Italy.  
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« Reply #124 on: February 14, 2013, 11:59:09 AM »

The real Buddhism is Celtic Buddhism.

My word!  and I thought that Shinto shrines in North America were umm pushing the envelope.

Looking at some of the materials there is causing some quite peculiar cultural dissonance

No more cultural dissonance than what initially existed between Buddhism and Chinese culture, I suppose.
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« Reply #125 on: February 14, 2013, 12:15:57 PM »

a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery.

You mean Bhikkhu Bodhi and this monastery?

That's the one. Very good people there.

I agree (good and learned Buddhist scholars), but I think this is a rather atypical example. I'd compare it to the Monastery of Bose in Italy.  

It is atypical but Bhikkhu Bodhi is very high-profile (he has put out a lot of the best stuff on Theravada in English) and as far as I know no one has criticized him for his position at Bodhi Monastery. In the earlier days of Buddhism it was actually not uncommon for Mahayana and "Hinayana" monks to reside in the same monasteries and be part of the same broad schools.
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« Reply #126 on: February 14, 2013, 12:20:07 PM »

In the earlier days of Buddhism it was actually not uncommon for Mahayana and "Hinayana" monks to reside in the same monasteries and be part of the same broad schools.

Once there were Latin monks living on Mount Athos...
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« Reply #127 on: February 14, 2013, 12:43:59 PM »

The real Buddhism is Celtic Buddhism.

My word!  and I thought that Shinto shrines in North America were umm pushing the envelope.

Looking at some of the materials there is causing some quite peculiar cultural dissonance

No more cultural dissonance than what initially existed between Buddhism and Chinese culture, I suppose.


Being as that was many, many centuries one is not sure.  But the Celtic (and that is pretty modern) and Buddhism has come definite clash.
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« Reply #128 on: February 14, 2013, 04:33:51 PM »

The allegation that Theravada Buddhism is the "original" Buddhism is pretty much a matter of belief and not of actual historical evidence.

Theravadins seem more like Sola Scriptura (Tipitaka) Buddhists, while the Tibetans might have preserved more of the ethos of Indian Buddhism. 

If we compare Buddhism to Christianity, I don't think many of us would be comfortable with the Protestants claiming to be the "original" Christians because they stick to the Bible and refuse Tradition. (Of course, the Theravadins have their traditions/lineage [~Apostolic succession?] and much deeper historical roots than Protestantism.)


Comparing the divisions in Buddhism to divisions in Christianity is tricky. The divisions are there but generally much less acrimonious and less doctrinally weighty. Even as they consider the Theravada path to be incomplete or inferior, most Mahayanists accept the Theravada school as a valid Buddhist school. And, while Theravadins are generally leery of some of the Mahayana teachings, there are instances of cooperation and what we might call "concelebration" that would be unthinkable between Protestants and Orthodox. For example, Theravada nuns getting the full nun ordination from Mahayanists (because the lineage was lost in Theravada), or a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery. All this happens without anyone yelling "heretic!" The only place in Buddhism where I know the sectarian divisions (between different Mahayana sects) to be very sharp today would be Japan, and this seems to be a large part due to politics.

There is a doctrine in Japan called Fuju Fuse, No giving no taking.. No sharing anything of value or eating with Heretics.. Some Japanese suffered mightily  when pressued to give this up.. Just sayin.
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« Reply #129 on: February 18, 2013, 01:09:32 PM »

The allegation that Theravada Buddhism is the "original" Buddhism is pretty much a matter of belief and not of actual historical evidence.

Theravadins seem more like Sola Scriptura (Tipitaka) Buddhists, while the Tibetans might have preserved more of the ethos of Indian Buddhism. 

If we compare Buddhism to Christianity, I don't think many of us would be comfortable with the Protestants claiming to be the "original" Christians because they stick to the Bible and refuse Tradition. (Of course, the Theravadins have their traditions/lineage [~Apostolic succession?] and much deeper historical roots than Protestantism.)


Comparing the divisions in Buddhism to divisions in Christianity is tricky. The divisions are there but generally much less acrimonious and less doctrinally weighty. Even as they consider the Theravada path to be incomplete or inferior, most Mahayanists accept the Theravada school as a valid Buddhist school. And, while Theravadins are generally leery of some of the Mahayana teachings, there are instances of cooperation and what we might call "concelebration" that would be unthinkable between Protestants and Orthodox. For example, Theravada nuns getting the full nun ordination from Mahayanists (because the lineage was lost in Theravada), or a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery. All this happens without anyone yelling "heretic!" The only place in Buddhism where I know the sectarian divisions (between different Mahayana sects) to be very sharp today would be Japan, and this seems to be a large part due to politics.

There is a doctrine in Japan called Fuju Fuse, No giving no taking.. No sharing anything of value or eating with Heretics.. Some Japanese suffered mightily  when pressued to give this up.. Just sayin.

I think this fragmentation of Japanese Buddhism is really a departure from traditional Mahayana, which is supposed to be a big tent with a variety of teachings and practices adapted to people of different dispositions and needs. With all the different schools reifying individual practices (nembutsu, zazen, etc.) and cutting out sizable chunks of the Buddhist tradition, they overthrew the whole idea of "expedient means". They often traced their schools to various Chinese patriarchs but Chinese Buddhism never split into such rigid factions. Some of them relied on the doctrine of "mappo" but if you take the teaching of Mappo literally, it means none of the Buddhist practices can be effectual. As it is the Japanese Buddhist sects that most closely resemble the original Mahayana vision are probably Tendai and Kegon.
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« Reply #130 on: February 19, 2013, 01:17:39 PM »

The allegation that Theravada Buddhism is the "original" Buddhism is pretty much a matter of belief and not of actual historical evidence.

Theravadins seem more like Sola Scriptura (Tipitaka) Buddhists, while the Tibetans might have preserved more of the ethos of Indian Buddhism.  

If we compare Buddhism to Christianity, I don't think many of us would be comfortable with the Protestants claiming to be the "original" Christians because they stick to the Bible and refuse Tradition. (Of course, the Theravadins have their traditions/lineage [~Apostolic succession?] and much deeper historical roots than Protestantism.)


Comparing the divisions in Buddhism to divisions in Christianity is tricky. The divisions are there but generally much less acrimonious and less doctrinally weighty. Even as they consider the Theravada path to be incomplete or inferior, most Mahayanists accept the Theravada school as a valid Buddhist school. And, while Theravadins are generally leery of some of the Mahayana teachings, there are instances of cooperation and what we might call "concelebration" that would be unthinkable between Protestants and Orthodox. For example, Theravada nuns getting the full nun ordination from Mahayanists (because the lineage was lost in Theravada), or a Theravada monk serving as co-abbot in a Mahayana monastery. All this happens without anyone yelling "heretic!" The only place in Buddhism where I know the sectarian divisions (between different Mahayana sects) to be very sharp today would be Japan, and this seems to be a large part due to politics.

There is a doctrine in Japan called Fuju Fuse, No giving no taking.. No sharing anything of value or eating with Heretics.. Some Japanese suffered mightily  when pressued to give this up.. Just sayin.

I think this fragmentation of Japanese Buddhism is really a departure from traditional Mahayana, which is supposed to be a big tent with a variety of teachings and practices adapted to people of different dispositions and needs. With all the different schools reifying individual practices (nembutsu, zazen, etc.) and cutting out sizable chunks of the Buddhist tradition, they overthrew the whole idea of "expedient means". They often traced their schools to various Chinese patriarchs but Chinese Buddhism never split into such rigid factions. Some of them relied on the doctrine of "mappo" but if you take the teaching of Mappo literally, it means none of the Buddhist practices can be effectual. As it is the Japanese Buddhist sects that most closely resemble the original Mahayana vision are probably Tendai and Kegon.

The answer to that may be in their perception of (Buddhist) Time.. Buddhism is not exactly like Christianity where we try to emulate the "Original" version. Rather, they see a time line where spiritual capacity diminishes the further out we get from the life of the Buddha. So what was practiced in earlier spiritual eras is totally ineffective today.

This is certainly true of the Tendai Shu and it's offshoots such as the Nichiren Shu. If we have to make an analogy to Christianity, practicing an early version of Mahayana is like Christians who insist on following the Jewish Calendar and following various Jewish observances.
Orthodox Christians today would not share communion with such people. Neither will these Japanese Buddhists commingle anything or sit with "heretics"    
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« Reply #131 on: February 19, 2013, 01:49:02 PM »

Making parallels with Christianity is a dubious enterprise. Comparing big-tent Mahayana Buddhism, which enjoys an unbroken lineage and tradition throughout East Asia, with a contemporary phenomenon like "Messianic Jews" is ridiculous. The fragmentation of Japanese Buddhism could be just as well compared with the proliferation of Protestant and restorationist sects. These kinds of comparisons invariably miss the mark.

I should also point out that the particular thinking we're discussing here is limited to a certain set of Japanese Buddhists. There is nothing really comparable in China, Tibet, or other Buddhist countries. The sectarian attitude in Japan has a lot to do with secular political patronage and interference with Buddhism, which was stronger in Japan than anywhere else. Outside of Japan there is considerable cooperation and mutual recognition between different Buddhist schools.

The problem with the use of mappo to support Nichiren or Pure Land is that the dharma decline meant the decline of all dharma. If one were to take the schema literally, we are now living in a period where it is impossible for anyone to be saved through the Buddha-dharma, and exceptions were not made for any of the particular expedient means. Buddhism today would be a complete fraud and there is nothing to be done until the coming of Maitreya.

Tendai-shu, while holding to the three stages teaching (it's in the Lotus Sutra, after all) continues to employ the variety of expedient means which was the hallmark of Mahayana. In China the Tiantai school, like everything else, seems to have been absorbed by Chan, and this is because the different Chinese Buddhist schools did not generally see themselves as exclusive sects.
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« Reply #132 on: February 19, 2013, 03:52:00 PM »

Making parallels with Christianity is a dubious enterprise. Comparing big-tent Mahayana Buddhism, which enjoys an unbroken lineage and tradition throughout East Asia, with a contemporary phenomenon like "Messianic Jews" is ridiculous. The fragmentation of Japanese Buddhism could be just as well compared with the proliferation of Protestant and restorationist sects. These kinds of comparisons invariably miss the mark.

I should also point out that the particular thinking we're discussing here is limited to a certain set of Japanese Buddhists. There is nothing really comparable in China, Tibet, or other Buddhist countries. The sectarian attitude in Japan has a lot to do with secular political patronage and interference with Buddhism, which was stronger in Japan than anywhere else. Outside of Japan there is considerable cooperation and mutual recognition between different Buddhist schools.

The problem with the use of mappo to support Nichiren or Pure Land is that the dharma decline meant the decline of all dharma. If one were to take the schema literally, we are now living in a period where it is impossible for anyone to be saved through the Buddha-dharma, and exceptions were not made for any of the particular expedient means. Buddhism today would be a complete fraud and there is nothing to be done until the coming of Maitreya.

Tendai-shu, while holding to the three stages teaching (it's in the Lotus Sutra, after all) continues to employ the variety of expedient means which was the hallmark of Mahayana. In China the Tiantai school, like everything else, seems to have been absorbed by Chan, and this is because the different Chinese Buddhist schools did not generally see themselves as exclusive sects.

That's why I said it is not a good idea to compare Buddhism with Christianity but if forced to  the idea that "Original" Buddhism is the standard is much like saying Judaism is the Standard for Christians is a perfectly good analogy.

Much of the Tendai Shu in Japan these days is on the Combo Plan. Some Tendai mixed with Kegon and or other esoteric practices.

Many people believe that Buddhism is very ecuminest, big tent, accepting of every practice as long as the intent is sincere.. I am just reminding you that this is not exactly the case. In fact large sections of Japanese Buddhism is very militant and not because they are wrong or dont get it or are too fiesty or some such. If you want to read some pretty direct condemnations to Hell for disbelief, the Lotus Sutra is the scripture that does that.

Mappo does not mean that no one can be saved. The idea is that there can be no more half measures and that the ordinary worldling ( Bombu) must seek salvation directly from the Eternal Buddha reveled in the Honmon ( Essential) portion of the Lotus Sutra. The Buddha "pounds and sifts" his dharma down to a very simple form which can be easily taken by the spiritually sick people of Mappo. That is how to practice in Mappo,you takee the pill and come into communion with the Buddha. It's not that it is imposible to practice.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 03:55:07 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
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