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Thread: What do you believe

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    What do you believe

    I am currently reading Sam Harris's book The End of Faith, it is quite a scary read as it puts a forceful case against faith based religions and how the beliefs arising from the faith have had harmful affects through out history and continuing in todays world with no sign of improvement

    This has made me consider the role of belief and the unconscious affect belief has on our actions, for example there are two threads today that point to how belief operates in our world of actions, one asks about our goals and how they change, and the other is the Brad Warner article about our expectation in meditation, both implicitly are asking what are our beliefs and how is the practice revealing them.

    So do you consider what is behind your interest in Buddhism, do you recognise what are the beliefs that lay behind what you are doing

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    Forums Member Tao's Avatar
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    The drive for inner peace and a happier, more positive life are driving my interest in buddhism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    The drive for inner peace and a happier, more positive life are drive my interest in buddhism.
    Hi Tao

    Thanks for your reply, I also wanted inner peace and a more positive life at the beginning of my practice, I found that that became my yardstick for checking if the practice was working, setting an expectation for what practice meant, an agenda

    Has this been a problem for you, or have you been able to avoid this particularly tricky state of mind?

    Is the belief that buddhism will deliver inner peace still a strong motivation or is it being let go as inner peace arrives

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    Forums Member Tao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McKmike View Post
    Hi Tao

    Thanks for your reply, I also wanted inner peace and a more positive life at the beginning of my practice, I found that that became my yardstick for checking if the practice was working, setting an expectation for what practice meant, an agenda

    Has this been a problem for you, or have you been able to avoid this particularly tricky state of mind?

    Is the belief that buddhism will deliver inner peace still a strong motivation or is it being let go as inner peace arrives

    I honestly don't know how to respond to this. I am far from a perfect buddhist but I am trying to improve and I am slowly seeing improvement over time. For me it's about hard work and trying to keep myself in check, I find the compassion side of Buddhism really easy because as a person I am very open minded and compassionate, my friends have commented before that I am good at looking at situations from all angles and view points. My main problem is attachment and letting go of my ego, I realize when insulted it is only my delusion of self which doesn't exist that has been targetted but it still gets my back up, I am trying to reprogram myself though and let go of my ego. My main motivation is the belief buddhism will help me to be a better person and lead a more peaceful life.

    Hope this is a good answer! Peace

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tao View Post
    I honestly don't know how to respond to this. I am far from a perfect buddhist but I am trying to improve and I am slowly seeing improvement over time. For me it's about hard work and trying to keep myself in check, I find the compassion side of Buddhism really easy because as a person I am very open minded and compassionate, my friends have commented before that I am good at looking at situations from all angles and view points. My main problem is attachment and letting go of my ego, I realize when insulted it is only my delusion of self which doesn't exist that has been targetted but it still gets my back up, I am trying to reprogram myself though and let go of my ego. My main motivation is the belief buddhism will help me to be a better person and lead a more peaceful life.

    Hope this is a good answer! Peace
    Hi Tao

    It is a very good answer, I think we all struggle with our practice at times but slowly seeing the improvement overtime is the best way to see the fruits of practice

    Very encouraging thanks

    Mike

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    Forums Member John Marder's Avatar
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    These things are difficult to put into words but I suppose I believe that our lives and the universe possess an intrinsic dignity ( we might call it Buddha nature) and that through my Buddhist practice, I can learn to realise that more and more, moment to moment.
    I have never thought that believing such a thing could have harmful effects but I am open to suggestions that it might

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    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McKmike View Post
    Hi Tao

    Thanks for your reply, I also wanted inner peace and a more positive life at the beginning of my practice, I found that that became my yardstick for checking if the practice was working, setting an expectation for what practice meant, an agenda

    Has this been a problem for you, or have you been able to avoid this particularly tricky state of mind?

    Is the belief that buddhism will deliver inner peace still a strong motivation or is it being let go as inner peace arrives
    The word "belief" has several definitions. Harris appears to be referring to beliefs without substantiation, essentially blind faith in superstitions. That buddhist practices will deliver inner peace is a notion that can be tested and confirmed through direct experience. Thus it becomes a matter of what the Buddha called "confirmed confidence" rather than blind belief.

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    Forums Member Trilaksana's Avatar
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    When we hold onto our beliefs we filter reality through them. To see things as they are we need to let go of our beliefs.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by McKmike View Post
    I am currently reading Sam Harris's book The End of Faith, it is quite a scary read as it puts a forceful case against faith based religions and how the beliefs arising from the faith have had harmful affects through out history and continuing in todays world with no sign of improvement

    This has made me consider the role of belief and the unconscious affect belief has on our actions, for example there are two threads today that point to how belief operates in our world of actions, one asks about our goals and how they change, and the other is the Brad Warner article about our expectation in meditation, both implicitly are asking what are our beliefs and how is the practice revealing them.

    So do you consider what is behind your interest in Buddhism, do you recognise what are the beliefs that lay behind what you are doing
    I also read "The End of Faith" recently. It is strongly argued.

    Regarding Buddhism: Thinking back, I felt compelled to find some meaning to my life. I do not know whether this is because I felt that there must be a meaning to life, or whether searching for meaning was simply a social tendency that many seemed to follow at the time and I just went along with it (although I was definitely suffering). Perhaps it was suffering rather than belief that eventually drove me to Buddhism. After that, it was hope that kept me going, rather than belief (my confidence in Buddhism was up and down like a roller coaster during my early Buddhist years), as well as a recognition that what I was learning about Buddhism made sense, because it fitted what I already thought about the world (I could never make sense of Christianity in the same way, which was the predominant religion around me at the time - e.g., I could never see how Jesus dying on the cross had anything to do with me). Now the roller coaster has flattened out and I have no doubt any more that what the Buddha says is true: I have seen the results clearly in myself. So, I guess beliefs have not been my primary motivators.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by John Marder View Post
    These things are difficult to put into words but I suppose I believe that our lives and the universe possess an intrinsic dignity ( we might call it Buddha nature) and that through my Buddhist practice, I can learn to realise that more and more, moment to moment.
    I have never thought that believing such a thing could have harmful effects but I am open to suggestions that it might
    I agree with you very strongly about the dignity available to humanity. I have never seen a better use of the word "noble" than when it is applied to those who commit to the Buddhist path.

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