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Is Buddhism Relgion?

 
Skipshot
 
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13 April 2013 23:28
 
bardoXV - 13 April 2013 06:03 PM
Skipshot - 13 April 2013 05:49 PM

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Untill reality short circuts the process, not everyone is as spiritually strong as Gandhi. 


In the west you learn the philosophy in the hopes that your actions will follow.

In the east you act your philosophy in the hopes that your mind will follow.

At least that is what I have heard.

And you were doing so well with the Zen thing.  What happened?  Why all the negativity?

 
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14 April 2013 00:15
 
bardoXV - 13 April 2013 06:03 PM

In the west you learn the philosophy in the hopes that your actions will follow.

In the east you act your philosophy in the hopes that your mind will follow.

At least that is what I have heard.

To quote the famous Cynic philosopher Zaramaya Throtlestrup III,

“Once, philosophy was a way of life.  Then it became talking about a way of life.  Then it became talking about how to talk about a way of life.  Then it became talking about talking.  Today it is talking for the sake of talking.”

 
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bardoXV
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14 April 2013 01:21
 
Skipshot - 13 April 2013 09:28 PM

And you were doing so well with the Zen thing.  What happened?  Why all the negativity?

Please don’t hate me because I’m human, and a realist.

 
 
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14 April 2013 01:25
 
Skipshot - 13 April 2013 09:28 PM

And you were doing so well with the Zen thing.  What happened?  Why all the negativity?

It’s the Yin Yang thing, you balance the Goody Two Shoe - Kum Ba Yah, thing by beating somebody up.

 
 
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14 April 2013 01:35
 

Know ThySelf,  I have a bad temper, anger issues, rage issues, so I need to have a way to deal with them without bottleing them up and going crazy, (well that part’s too late) but at least if I let it out somehow, I can then let it go.  Perhaps I’m not so enlightened as I’d like to think, or as nice as I should be, but I haven’t killed anyone, Yet.  I’m just a person who reads a lot, and thinks a lot, and remembers some of it.  I try to regurgitate the good stuff, but sometimes it’s a mix?  (quote Henry).

 
 
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14 April 2013 17:33
 
bardoXV - 12 April 2013 01:35 AM
unsmoked - 31 July 2011 03:19 PM

The mind habitually ruminates on things that precipitate behavior that destroys peace of mind, making itself unhappy and eclipsing creative potential.

For ‘peace of mind’ to be destroyed, you must first HAVE ‘peace of mind’, and if you have ‘peace of mind’, how could anything destroy it?

Backtracking for a minute; in saying this do you mean that you never had peace of mind?  Or do you mean that you have it and never lose it?  That you wish you had it and never lost it?  Or that you balance peace of mind by not having it?  (yin and yang of P.O.M.) 

Zen master to student:  Why do you want to study Zen?

Student:  I want to be free.

Zen master:  What binds you?

Student:  Nothing binds me.

Zen master:  Then I’ve just set you free.

(T.I.C. - but I’m looking at my own failings, not others.  Someone once said, “If you say you have it, you don’t have it.”)

 
 
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15 May 2013 03:53
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 08 August 2011 12:10 AM

I’m not sure that the OP question is really relevant. Buddhism is what it is, and in some forms it definitely has religion overtones (Mahayana), while in others it does not (Theravada). Whether it qualifies as religion or not depends on the manner in which the individual or community applies it. A prophet, teacher or messiah introduces a concept, and then everyone interprets it as he/she will. You can have non-religious Christianity or Islam (following Jesus/Mohammed as a moral teacher but not as a messiah/prophet). The individual/community decides.

I try to exclude things that are baced or grounded on faith and supernatural

 
 
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19 February 2015 07:44
 

People think Buddhism is a religion because of the “ism” part. But it isn’t. People made Buddha’s teachings into a religion, but that doesn’t mean the actual teachings were supposed to become a religion. Most so called Buddhists don’t even understand the Buddha. His teachings aren’t supposed to become an attachment. Actual Buddhism is just an understanding. Actually it depends on how you define the word “religion”. Everything is religion. For most people football is religion, they live for it. Food is religion. Sex is religion. If you BELIEVE in something, it’s religion. To know something is freedom.

 
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19 February 2015 08:49
 
unsmoked - 05 May 2011 03:28 PM

The mind habitually thinks harmful things.  The mind habitually ruminates on things that precipitate behavior that destroys peace of mind, making itself unhappy and eclipsing creative potential.  Is it possible to watch the mind doing this?  Is it possible to nip negative or self-destructive thought in the bud, to stop detrimental thinking as soon as it sprouts?  Is that religion?

Although I wouldn’t want to get in to a semantic battle, to me it’s fair to call it religion as it is attempting to address the fundamental human condition.  And over the centuries some who pursue the inquiry you reference have found ceremonies, rituals, costumes etc to be helpful.  That said, one can pursue that inquiry just as well without any of the trappings of religion. 

In regards to the better questions you ask above….

Thought might be compared to food.  Thought is essential to a human life, and ideally one consumes mostly healthy nutritional thought. 

But even if one is consuming healthy nutritional thought, just as with food, more does not equal better.  The problem is not thought so much, as it is our compulsive overeating of it.

That’s what we do with thought, we over eat it.  We’re obese in our minds.  And so when it comes time to make constructive use of thought, we are fat and lazy, sluggish and tired, exhausted from excess. 

Thought is like a lawnmower.  It’s a useful but noisy tool that should be turned on when we need it, and off when we don’t.  That keeps the engine fresh, the blade sharp.

 
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19 February 2015 14:06
 
Thoughtage - 19 February 2015 07:49 AM
unsmoked - 05 May 2011 03:28 PM

The mind habitually thinks harmful things.  The mind habitually ruminates on things that precipitate behavior that destroys peace of mind, making itself unhappy and eclipsing creative potential.  Is it possible to watch the mind doing this?  Is it possible to nip negative or self-destructive thought in the bud, to stop detrimental thinking as soon as it sprouts?  Is that religion?

Although I wouldn’t want to get in to a semantic battle, to me it’s fair to call it religion as it is attempting to address the fundamental human condition.  And over the centuries some who pursue the inquiry you reference have found ceremonies, rituals, costumes etc to be helpful.  That said, one can pursue that inquiry just as well without any of the trappings of religion. 

In regards to the better questions you ask above….

Thought might be compared to food.  Thought is essential to a human life, and ideally one consumes mostly healthy nutritional thought. 

But even if one is consuming healthy nutritional thought, just as with food, more does not equal better.  The problem is not thought so much, as it is our compulsive overeating of it.

That’s what we do with thought, we over eat it.  We’re obese in our minds.  And so when it comes time to make constructive use of thought, we are fat and lazy, sluggish and tired, exhausted from excess. 

Thought is like a lawnmower.  It’s a useful but noisy tool that should be turned on when we need it, and off when we don’t.  That keeps the engine fresh, the blade sharp.

Let’s push the analogy: if thought is a lawnmower, what is the grass, the entire lawn, is there a house behind it, etc.?

 
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19 February 2015 16:31
 
MissNirvana - 19 February 2015 06:44 AM

Actual Buddhism is just an understanding.

“to understand or not to understand, both are mistaken views.”  -  Zen (pointing at a quiet mind)

 
 
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19 February 2015 16:43
 

There’s no question that Buddhism is a religion, but it is not necessarily a theistic religion.

 
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22 February 2015 22:54
 
unsmoked - 19 February 2015 03:31 PM
MissNirvana - 19 February 2015 06:44 AM

Actual Buddhism is just an understanding.

“to understand or not to understand, both are mistaken views.”  -  Zen (pointing at a quiet mind)

burt - 19 February 2015 01:06 PM

Let’s push the analogy: if thought is a lawnmower, what is the grass, the entire lawn, is there a house behind it, etc.?


When I was in the Dominican, I had the opportunity to swim in an underground cenote that was used by the Taino for spiritual rituals. I am of the opinion that there is something “to” places that people consider spiritual - not some magic in the place itself, necessarily, but in the states they inspire in people. So I was excited to see it, and it was amazing. Then I was doing my mindfulness thing, trying to ‘be in the moment’ and really ‘experience the experience’, and I kept getting annoyed with myself, thinking “I must be thinking, because I don’t know if I’m totally ‘in’ the moment”. So I tried to figure out what I meant by that. What was it I was looking to experience? I looked with my eyes - I mean, I fully, completely saw the cave around me, but the visual experience of staring at a cave wasn’t what I meant by ‘experiencing’. Same with sound, feeling, touch, taste, smell. I could have a composite sensory experience plenty of places, it didn’t equate to the ‘specialness’ I felt there, that I wanted to feel more fully when I envisioned ‘being in the moment’.


And then something occurred to me. Possibly an insight, possibly my brain’s interpretation based on what I want to be true about the fruits of mindfulness. Either way - I wondered if the glimmer of ‘specialness’ itself was perhaps a murky version of what I was looking for when I wanted to ‘feel the moment’. Not stare at a cave wall, not listen to rustling water, not feel rocks beneath my feet, not even feel my own internal kinesthetic reaction to all of this. There is a tantalizing sense that there is something behind and beyond all of this, and yet if you tried to define the something in terms of sensory experience, it wouldn’t be the something you were talking about. Again, though, this could be the most gratuitous kind of confirmation bias on my part, I don’t deny that.

 
 
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23 February 2015 00:57
 
NicLynn - 22 February 2015 09:54 PM

Again, though, this could be the most gratuitous kind of confirmation bias on my part, I don’t deny that.

This. You were trying to experience someone else’s experience because it sounded cool to you. Experience your own experiences and beware of imparting religious or spiritual meaning to them since we have enough already (Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus, Muhammed’s instructions from Allah in a cave, Joseph Smith’s visions of an angel showing him where to find special golden tablets, Moses and instructions from a burning bush, etc.)

Edit: fixed quote attribution

[ Edited: 23 February 2015 15:57 by Skipshot]
 
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23 February 2015 01:10
 
Skipshot - 22 February 2015 11:57 PM
unsmoked - 19 February 2015 03:31 PM

Again, though, this could be the most gratuitous kind of confirmation bias on my part, I don’t deny that.

This. You were trying to experience someone else’s experience because it sounded cool to you.


Not sure what you mean by that. If it’s that contemplation in general is something I learned about from reading and hearing other people talk about it - yes, absolutely. I’m cool with that, because if there is something behind mystical experiences, I am ok with the fact that I take other people’s word for how to proceed down that path vs. stumbling upon it myself, because the sheer odds that I would have stumbled upon it myself are pretty slim. So no, it’s not 100% self-discovered, but there is something to be said for not reinventing the wheel endlessly. Unless there is nothing ‘to’ contemplative experience, in which case, yes, taking someone’s word for it is just adopting their philosophy and framework for no reason.


If it’s that this experience in particular was a result of me going “I’m super kewl and having a super kewl experience just like I read about” - no, ha ha, I am no doubt guilty of that some of the time, but my point in highlighting this particular instance is that I actually felt pretty free of that kind of thing (albeit in a vague, murky way) in this case. How I would frame that experience certainly depends on whose philosophy I subscribe to, but not the experience itself.

 
 
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