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JSmusiqalthinka
26 Mar 11, 02:00
Does one have to be a Buddhist to follow the teachings of the Buddha?

Esho
26 Mar 11, 03:36
Maybe if one follows the teachings of the [historical?] Buddha she/he becomes a follower of the teachings of the [historical?] Buddha. When I hear the term "Buddhist" it recalls me a follower of a specific tradition that can not be completely rooted in the original teachings of the historical Buddha. So not every Buddhist by force is just a follower of the teachings of the Buddha. She or he can be practicing cultural additions and modification of those original teachings sometimes known as "Buddhism". In this way, no, one do not have to be a "Buddhist" to follow the teachings of the [historical?] Buddha.

Cloud
26 Mar 11, 04:13
To me, the Buddha's teachings are just ways of thinking and acting that lead to a rare type of peace of mind... the kind that no longer needs to struggle against life or to seek out temporary pleasures as temporary means of being "happy". That peace, once cultivated, is such that the ever-changing nature of reality and the conditions you're exposed to do not disturb the mind at all. You're finally home in the world.

And you don't have to call yourself a Buddhist. So the short answer is no. :)

Element
26 Mar 11, 04:20
hi JSmusiqalthinka

One does not have to be a Buddhist to follow the core teachings of the Buddha.

The core teachings of the Buddha are virtues & skilful means to be practised which lead to freedom from suffering.

These virtues & skilful means such as non-harming, good-will, gratitude, wise reflection, non-attachment, mindful breathing, etc, are not related to the thought or identity "Buddhist".

To covert is not related to practice & finding freedom.

May all beings be happy

;D


Avoiding harm
Cultivating goodness,
Purifying the mind
These three are the teaching of all Awakened Ones (Buddhas)

Dhammapada

peen
26 Mar 11, 08:23
I share the opinions of others who have replied to this thread. I do not think it is necessary to call oneself a "Buddhist" to follow the teachings of Buddha. It is but a label. I think what you do is more important than what you call yourself.

Esho
26 Mar 11, 13:45
I think what you do is more important than what you call yourself.

Absolutly agree peen!

:hands:

fojiao2
26 Mar 11, 17:01
You don't have to formally 'convert' (go through a taking refuge ceremony) to follow or benefit from the teachings of the Buddha. Likewise, life would be really awful if you could only eat cake on your birthday.

Cobalt
27 Mar 11, 03:56
I don't personally call myself a Buddhist. Buddhism implies some kind of structured religion, and dharma practice doesn't have to come with a lot of superstitious dogma, so even though dharma practice has been awesome for me and it's something that has a major influence on my life... I still don't call myself a Buddhist, because what I do is not religion. It's a set of tools that I can verify the worth of, with no faith necessary.

So yeah! Do what you do, call yourself what you're comfortable with, and go be happy. If the core teachings of the Buddha help with that... well, heck, that's what they're for.

fojiao2
27 Mar 11, 14:01
I prefer to say I "do" buddhism.

Esho
27 Mar 11, 14:31
I prefer to say I "do" buddhism.

...or simply "I practice the teachings of the historical Buddha..."

I do not like the term "...ism" because it denotes some sort of ideology and a political agenda, leading to an imposed idealism [yourself and others], and ending in fanaticism...

daverupa
27 Mar 11, 23:38
"I practice the Dhamma."

Then I get asked, what is the Dhamma?

"The Buddha taught it, and it has to do with ending all suffering."

This conversation can go many interesting places; "I'm a Buddhist" doesn't tend to do so.

Esho
28 Mar 11, 01:16
This conversation can go many interesting places; "I'm a Buddhist" doesn't tend to do so.

True! ;)

plwk
29 Mar 11, 02:18
What do yo think JSmusiqalthinka?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.026.than.html
Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side.
As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, to what extent is one a lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, and has gone to the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower."

frank
29 Mar 11, 11:44
I do not like the term "...ism"

Yes l easily agree with this,the problem with "beliving" is that somebody else is bound to disagree. beliving inplies taking up a 'position' with all the associated 'attachments' and grief (suffering) that that entails.

fojiao2
29 Mar 11, 16:06
I always make a distinction between Dharma, or Dhamma, being that which was spoken by the Buddha, and "Buddhism" being the institutionalizing of centuries of traditions of different countries and various accumulations of cultural baggage. A friend from Nepal says that where he comes from, the common term for a Buddhist is a "Dharma Person", meaning someone who tries to follow the Dharma (Dhamma). Likewise, when the question "What do Buddhists believe about....?" comes up, I prefer to say that "What the Buddha taught was...." , or "What some schools of Buddhism teach is...." because frankly, there is no telling what people believe!

daverupa
29 Mar 11, 18:45
I like the following entry:

Modern Theravada (http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Modern_Theravada)

JSmusiqalthinka
30 Mar 11, 06:50
What do yo think JSmusiqalthinka?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....026.than.html
Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side.
As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, to what extent is one a lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, and has gone to the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower."

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking.

plwk
30 Mar 11, 13:00
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking.
Your Q: Does one have to be a Buddhist to follow the teachings of the Buddha?
My A: That Sutta quote
Why? Going for Refuge & Taking the Precepts (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel282.html)
Of course there's always this thought....

http://viewonbuddhism.org/refuge.html
In Buddhism, understanding is the most important thing and understanding takes time. So do not impulsively rush into Buddhism. Take your time, ask questions, consider carefully, and then make your decision. The Buddha was not interested in having a large number of disciples. He was concerned that people should follow his teachings as a result of a careful investigation and consideration of the facts.
From: Good Question, Good Answer by Bhikkhu Shravasti Dhammika

Esho
30 Mar 11, 15:30
http://viewonbuddhism.org/refuge.html
In Buddhism, understanding is the most important thing and understanding takes time. So do not impulsively rush into Buddhism. Take your time, ask questions, consider carefully, and then make your decision. The Buddha was not interested in having a large number of disciples. He was concerned that people should follow his teachings as a result of a careful investigation and consideration of the facts.
From: Good Question, Good Answer by Bhikkhu Shravasti Dhammika

Its an important advice! Maybe Buddhism is not suitable for everybody. I have ever thought that.

JSmusiqalthinka
31 Mar 11, 07:13
I've been exposed to bits and pieces of Buddhism throughout my life, as my dad incorporated Zen practices in his own life. It was only recently that I really started looking into it, and I find much truth in what I've learned about the Buddha's core teachings (i.e., The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, The Three Marks of Existence, etc..). I can think about one of the four noble truths and relate to many events in history and throughout my own personal experience. The teachings also just logically click with me. I was also impressed to see the parallels between Buddhism and Quantum Physics, and how Buddhism also has sort of a scientific and realistic way of thinking. It was because of these factors mainly that I started practicing, but I will continue to keep the teachings under the microscope.

clw_uk
01 Apr 11, 03:57
I've been exposed to bits and pieces of Buddhism throughout my life, as my dad incorporated Zen practices in his own life. It was only recently that I really started looking into it, and I find much truth in what I've learned about the Buddha's core teachings (i.e., The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, The Three Marks of Existence, etc..). I can think about one of the four noble truths and relate to many events in history and throughout my own personal experience. The teachings also just logically click with me. I was also impressed to see the parallels between Buddhism and Quantum Physics, and how Buddhism also has sort of a scientific and realistic way of thinking. It was because of these factors mainly that I started practicing, but I will continue to keep the teachings under the microscope.


I'd be careful getting into the whole Buddhism, Hinduism quantum physics thing

The Buddha didnt teach about quantum physics and im going to guess that he didnt even have clue about it (like many people lol)

JSmusiqalthinka
02 Apr 11, 06:07
I'd be careful getting into the whole Buddhism, Hinduism quantum physics thing

I don't think it's necessarily "buddhist" or "hindu" quantum physics, it's just that some Buddhist concepts (i.e., all things are empty of inherent existence) happen to parallel findings in quantum physics.