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Aloka
04 Apr 10, 09:59
Hello to all our new members !

General questions to the group about Buddhism and Buddhist teachings which are shared by all traditions are welcomed in this forum.

Tradition-specific questions can be asked in the other appropriate forums.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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plwk
04 Apr 10, 10:09
So....what's 'Buddhism'?

andyrobyn
04 Apr 10, 10:44
For me, Buddhism has come to mean practicing the Buddha's teachings, in particular the Eightfold Path.

Sobeh
04 Apr 10, 10:47
from post #2

Buddhism comprises a large category of personal responses to the claim of enlightenment made by Siddhārtha Gautama in north-eastern India, c.450 B.C.E.

Aloka
04 Apr 10, 13:14
"What is Buddhism?"


"The name Buddhism comes from the word 'budhi' which means 'to wake up' and thus Buddhism is the philosophy of awakening. This philosophy has its origins in the experience of the man Siddhata Gotama, known as the Buddha, who was himself awakened at the age of 35. Buddhism is now over 2,500 years old and has about 300 million followers world-wide. Until a hundred years ago, Buddhism was mainly an Asian philosophy but increasingly it is gaining adherents in Europe and America."


URL (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/basic-guide.htm)

Esho
04 Apr 10, 16:30
I agree with what Dazz # 5 has told, and I just want to add: Buddhism is much more than a human being teachings. It is a way of "understanding" how things are. Buddha was awakned and took counciousness about suffering, the origin of suffering and the way to overcme it. That is his teaching and that is why he become a Buddha.

A way of understanding keeping it day to day becomes, unavoidably a "way of life", a way of life is about experience that can be supported by studding the guidance that lead to it. An experience gives you, neither faith, nor blind faith, but confidence, that in Soto Zen is called Kung Fu. Inner faith. Faith in your own spiritual path. Failure and success are the way a wise can learn, keeping attention to failure and forgeting your succees gives you the strength of practice called Gyo in Zen.

This is not an statemente... but as far as I can understand now, this is the way of Buddhism and knowing the way you can know the path.

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Aloka
04 Apr 10, 16:39
An experience gives you, neither faith, nor blind faith, but confidence, that in Soto Zen is called Kung Fu. Inner faith. Faith in your own spiritual path. Failure and success are the way a wise can learn, keeping attention to failure and forgeting your succees gives you the strength of practice called Gyo in Zen

.

Hi Kaarine dear,

Just a gentle reminder that this forum is for general questions and answers for newcomers and is not tradition-specific.

Questions and answers relating to Zen can take place in the Mahayana forum

Thanks


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Aloka
04 Apr 10, 16:44
So....what's 'Buddhism'

Naughty plwk isn't a beginner of course ! http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

Esho
04 Apr 10, 17:16
from post #7

Sorry Dazz dear,

thats right...

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Esho
04 Apr 10, 17:16
from post #8

Yes for shure... I was a little inspired... so I posted all that stuff...

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

thundreams
05 Apr 10, 04:09
For me Buddhism is a way of life, that encompaces moral,ethical behavior and responsability for ones own actions. It can be a philosophy, a religion or a spiritual path. It has adapted to different cultures and mindsets.

My humble opinion only.

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sukitlek
05 Apr 10, 12:17
I think Buddhism is the fact that Buddha found and tried to tell us.

Like everybody live in one place and never know that there is another place outside better than our place. And one day Buddha told us there was another place that without suffering and taught how to go there.

We loss in our status. We sleep but never know that we sleep.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
05 Apr 10, 14:18
from post #12

Yes sukitlek dear, I have ever understood Buddhism as an awakening... to what? To your own suffering, to know the origin of it and to ovecome that understanding that the origin of suffering is deeply rooted in ignorance about impermanece; So simple... so hard.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

sukitlek
05 Apr 10, 15:28
from post #13

I remember the day that my teacher told me, "you loss, you don't know yourself". I'm very very confused. I think "I am not loss. I know myself." Some of my friend didn't beleive him and went away. Luckily that I'm not go with them.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
05 Apr 10, 15:45
"you loss, you don't know yourself

Thanks sukit dear.



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JSmusiqalthinka
23 Mar 11, 08:45
Is it "okay" to mix parts of different traditions together? Like...practice Theravada and meditate with zazen, for example?

Aloka
23 Mar 11, 10:04
Is it "okay" to mix parts of different traditions together? Like...practice Theravada and meditate with zazen, for example?


Hi JS,

I can't really answer that because I haven't tried mixing traditions together.

However I think some of the different traditions might have similar beginner meditation methods but possibly have slightly different names for it.

Anyway returning to Theravada and Mahayana Zen again, there's a short article on Theravada Anapanasati which takes the breath as the meditation object, here:

http://www.amaravati.org/abm/english/documents/nowisknow/03ana.html

and an article on Zazen here:

http://www.mro.org/zmm/teachings/meditation.php

kind wishes,

A-D

fojiao2
23 Mar 11, 11:20
You have to see what is right for you, and it depends on what you are doing, and what it is from each tradition that you are working with. Both Zen and Theravada practice mind-calming (shamatha) quiet sitting meditation. And both have ways of utilizing analytical meditation (vippasyana). On the other hand, if you are training like a theravada monk and then want to drink Sake and write poerty like a Zen monk, this might cause some conflicts.

Sage
23 Mar 11, 16:25
Is it "okay" to mix parts of different traditions together? Like...practice Theravada and meditate with zazen, for example?

My opinion is mix whatever. To me, Buddhism is the best "spiritual training" but no one said you choose one or the other. Bruce Lee said, "use no way as way". Read everything from everywhere. Study all modes of traditions, philosophies and religion. Pick and choose what fits you and build your own path. At some point, you'll through off the world and just be, regardless of what you call yourself.

Sage
23 Mar 11, 16:29
At some point, you'll through off the world and just be, regardless of what you call yourself.

Ha ha, spell check only works if you proof-read as well, lol. I meant THROW off the world :D

Cloud
23 Mar 11, 20:09
I'm not even sure what there really is to mix. The scriptures are for you to comprehend. Other than that, don't they share the Noble Eightfold Path, the Five Precepts? It seems only meditation would be the active practice, and those are close to the same too...

daverupa
23 Mar 11, 21:30
Using multiple sources is a popular approach, but what I'm not certain of is where the Dhamma of the Suttas is seen to be deficient enough to warrant going afield. Right View is the foundation of the whole thing, and I do not see Right View any place other than the Dhamma; e.g. samadhi from other sources isn't going to be sammasamadhi.

To the extent that a sutra or other meditational/philosophical source deviates from sammaditthi (Right View), to that extent it will mislead and distract from the goal, and to that extent it should be set aside as irrelevant to practice.

Sage
24 Mar 11, 02:01
Using multiple sources is a popular approach, but what I'm not certain of is where the Dhamma of the Suttas is seen to be deficient enough to warrant going afield. Right View is the foundation of the whole thing, and I do not see Right View any place other than the Dhamma; e.g. samadhi from other sources isn't going to be sammasamadhi.

To the extent that a sutra or other meditational/philosophical source deviates from sammaditthi (Right View), to that extent it will mislead and distract from the goal, and to that extent it should be set aside as irrelevant to practice.

So your saying that one could only obtain right view if they learn it and practice it entirely from the Dharma? Sounds robotic and superficial to just do as you are told without experiential discernment.

The Dharma is designed to show a way of life to which one is likely to obtain personal liberation, first through mental development and ethical conduct and then, through wisdom. The Dharma, for you and I, is the best way to build a foundation for proper conduct but, it is not the only way. To assume that it is such is to construct a limitation. In doing this, you create an other mental state to which one must overcome in personal liberation.

JSmusiqalthinka
24 Mar 11, 05:27
My opinion is mix whatever. To me, Buddhism is the best "spiritual training" but no one said you choose one or the other. Bruce Lee said, "use no way as way". Read everything from everywhere. Study all modes of traditions, philosophies and religion. Pick and choose what fits you and build your own path. At some point, you'll through off the world and just be, regardless of what you call yourself.

Thanks :) I'm a big fan of Bruce Lee, and he's a big philosophical influence for me, personally.

daverupa
24 Mar 11, 07:32
So your saying that one could only obtain right view if they learn it and practice it entirely from the Dharma? Sounds robotic and superficial to just do as you are told without experiential discernment.

Simply that the Right View the Dhamma describes, whether discerned as a Buddhist, derived from Buddhism generally, or arrived at through other channels, is the Right View for the ending of greed, hatred, and delusion. It isn't doing as one's told, however:

Sanditthika Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.047.than.html):
"...the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves."

It's to be seen by the wise for themselves - experiential discernment, precisely as you say.


The Dharma is designed to show a way of life to which one is likely to obtain personal liberation, first through mental development and ethical conduct and then, through wisdom. The Dharma, for you and I, is the best way to build a foundation for proper conduct but, it is not the only way. To assume that it is such is to construct a limitation. In doing this, you create an other mental state to which one must overcome in personal liberation.

It may in fact be the only way, but in either case it is the most direct, as it is without speculative metaphysics, unexperienced beliefs, or mere fealty to authority. It also isn't likely, but assured, given one attains the Noble Path - sotapanna and so on.

One takes refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Noble Sangha, not in one among many Buddhisms. The Dhamma I referred to is that Dhamma, not this or that tradition.

Sage
24 Mar 11, 14:38
Thanks :) I'm a big fan of Bruce Lee, and he's a big philosophical influence for me, personally.

Ha ha, my husband is a big fan of his too. Every time I have an epiphany, he shows me where Bruce Lee said it too :D


Simply that the Right View the Dhamma describes, whether discerned as a Buddhist, derived from Buddhism generally, or arrived at through other channels, is the Right View for the ending of greed, hatred, and delusion. It isn't doing as one's told, however:

Sanditthika Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.047.than.html):
"...the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves."

It's to be seen by the wise for themselves - experiential discernment, precisely as you say.



It may in fact be the only way, but in either case it is the most direct, as it is without speculative metaphysics, unexperienced beliefs, or mere fealty to authority. It also isn't likely, but assured, given one attains the Noble Path - sotapanna and so on.

One takes refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Noble Sangha, not in one among many Buddhisms. The Dhamma I referred to is that Dhamma, not this or that tradition.

Not so sure a particular nut will fit every screw ... I do understand you though.

fojiao2
25 Mar 11, 11:17
What the Buddha revealed is simply the truth. He didn't just make something up. For that to occur, the truth must have already existed before he taught it. Therefore, it is logical to suggest that this same truth can be expressed though other means as well.

Sage
25 Mar 11, 16:09
What the Buddha revealed is simply the truth. He didn't just make something up. For that to occur, the truth must have already existed before he taught it. Therefore, it is logical to suggest that this same truth can be expressed though other means as well.

yes :)

clw_uk
25 Mar 11, 16:12
Is it "okay" to mix parts of different traditions together? Like...practice Theravada and meditate with zazen, for example?


The Buddhas own teachings are

The Four Noble Truths/Dependent Co-Arising

Three Marks


The rest is just commentary :D

peen
26 Mar 11, 08:29
The Buddhas own teachings are

The Four Noble Truths/Dependent Co-Arising

Three Marks


The rest is just commentary :D

didn't he teach the five precepts and the eightfold noble path too?
and what are the three marks? I have never heard of it.

Esho
26 Mar 11, 13:50
and what are the three marks?

I think he is refering to the marks of existence: impermanence, unsatisfactoriness of all things and the absence of inherent existence; that is, anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Aloka
28 Mar 11, 11:37
and what are the three marks? I have never heard of it.

The three marks of existence are as mentioned by Kaarine -anicca, dukkha, anatta. = impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self. (No permanent unchanging 'self' or belonging to self)



The problem is that the "world out there" is constantly changing, everything is impermanent and it is impossible to make a permanent relationship with anything, at all.

If we examine the notion of impermanence closely and honestly, we see that it is all-pervading, everything is marked by impermanence. We might posit an eternal consciousness principle, or higher self, but if we examine our consciousness closely we see that it is made up of temporary mental processes and events. We see that our "higher self" is speculative at best and imaginary to begin with.

We have invented the idea to secure ourselves, to cement our relationship, once again. Because of this we feel uneasy and anxious, even at the best of times. It is only when we completely abandon clinging that we feel any relief from our queasiness.

These three things: pain, impermanence and egolessness are known as the three marks of existence.

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/intro_bud.htm



Personally I think that 'unsatisfactoriness' or 'discontent' are better translations of dukkha than 'suffering' or 'pain'.

.

fojiao2
28 Mar 11, 12:30
'unsatisfactoiness' is much better. Dukkha referes to a kind of constant striving. A teacher once gave the example of what happens when you greet a loved one whom you have not seen in a very long time. You are so happy, you rush up and give that person a big long hug. Now, this is the best thing in the world. You have never felt happier. Still, after a minute or so, you want to stop hugging and go do something else. You don't wish that you were hugging that person forever, frozen in time. This example illustrates that even when we are really happy, we are not perfectly content.

Esho
28 Mar 11, 15:07
Personally I think that 'unsatisfactoriness' or 'discontent' are better translations of dukkha than 'suffering' or 'pain'.



'unsatisfactoriness' is much better.

True. It it gives a much more complete and real insight of what is meant in the Four Noble Truths also.

;)

Nevare
11 Apr 11, 11:26
Something I find really hard to get my head round is this: if there is no self/soul etc, what is it exactly that gets reincarnated?

Aloka
11 Apr 11, 13:32
Something I find really hard to get my head round is this: if there is no self/soul etc, what is it exactly that gets reincarnated?

Hi Nevare, welcome, its great to see you posting!

"Reincarnation" is a term used by Tibetan Buddhists to describe the tulku system in that tradition. Other Buddhist traditions tend to use the term 'rebirth '.

Confusing isn't it !

We already have some discussion threads about rebirth on the website which you might like to read, here are the links....

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?661-Breaking-free-from-Rebirth...-Why-would-you-want-to&highlight=rebirth

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?395-Are-rebirth-beliefs-important-to-your-practice&highlight=rebirth

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?143-Re-birth-Do-you-believe-it&highlight=rebirth


http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?534-Rebirth-as-a-morality-teaching/page2&highlight=rebirth

fletcher
11 Apr 11, 14:09
Something I find really hard to get my head round is this: if there is no self/soul etc, what is it exactly that gets reincarnated?

Nevare rebirth is a subject that many people find hard to get their heads round, it seems everyone's opinion differs, so there is no definitive answer.
Asking what happens after your death is like asking what happens to your fist after your hand opens.
Metta
Gary ;)

fojiao2
11 Apr 11, 14:40
The Dalai Lama points out (in Essense of the Heart Sutra) that it is precisely because there is no permanent self or soul, that rebirth is possible. This, of course, does not directly answer your question but it is a good place to begin. My understanding is that, if we think of rebirth meaning consciousness sort of jumping from one physical condition to another, as in the case of a physical body dying, and non-material consciousness being a 'thing' that then leaves that body, floats through physical space and takes root in another physical body, this is a convenient way of expressing rebirth but it is not really accurate.

The reason it is not totally accurate is that the physical body is not one solid thing, but is a collection of temporary conditions of physical elements all sort of happening at the same time.

Likewise, 'consciousness' is not a single thing (as would be a soul or self) but is also a grouping of cognitive events. Actually, consciousness is only happening in the very present instant. Even thinking about the past or the future only happens right now.

So, because cognition is only happening right now, consider the analogy of sitting by a river staring at the movement of the water. You are still but the water is moving. Yet, if you relax your eyes a little, it can look like the water is motionless and you feel as though you are moving. Sometimes if you lie on your back and look at clouds this can occur. The experience is that the clouds are still and you are moving. Perhaps a more familiar example is being in a train which is not moving, and the train next to you starts to move but you think at first that it is your train moving. Likewise, if we start with the thought that it is the mind, or consciousness that is moving from one body to the next, this is only true in a relative sense. It is the series of physical bodies that come and go.

But, ultimately it is not the mind that moves at all. Ultimately, consciousness doesn't jump from one body to the next. They arise together as a situation. You might say that it is the arising and ceasing of one physical body after another which takes up residence with the mind.

So what is this 'mind'?

Aloka
11 Apr 11, 17:10
Hello again Nevare,

It isn't essential to believe in rebirth in order to benefit from the teachings of the Buddha. Personally I neither believe nor disbelieve in rebirth because it isn't relevant to my practice in the here and now . I think its important not to get too intimidated when people think otherwise.

To quote Ajahn Sumedho of the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition, who teaches in a very pure and immediate way :

"I've heard Buddhists say that to be a Buddhist you have to believe in the law of kamma and rebirth. But I've never felt that that was ever an expectation.

The thing that attracted me to Buddhism was that you didn't have to believe in anything. You didn't need to take positions. But these are terms that are used. So what is kamma now, rebirth now? Always bringing attention to the here and now rather than deciding whether you believe in the concepts or not. The concepts are just conditions, words."

(The Sound of Silence)

You can read more of what he has to say about kamma and rebirth(including the rebirth process) in a short chapter with that title here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Ux8ssVQQQJ4C&pg=PA57&dq=what+is+reborn+Ajahn+sumedho&hl=en&ei=xlmjTfnqF4-v8QOMzNWnAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

Since you mentioned no- self, (or more correctly not-self or anatta) this would be a very helpful resource for you to read:

"Anatta and Rebirth" by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa - who was a well known and very highly respected teacher in Thailand.

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books7/Buddhadasa_Bhikkhu_Anatta_and_Rebirth.pdf


with kind wishes,

A-D

:hands:

Aloka
12 Apr 11, 11:07
I also think that this quote from the Pali Canon ties in with what I was attempting to convey in the previous post about not getting too tangled up in concepts :




'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said.

With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing.

Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long?

It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.'

(MN 140 Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Properties)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.140.than.html

:hands: