Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:39 pm

Many Buddhists, especially in the west (to whom the topic of this discussion most aptly applies)
study and follow teachings and styles of meditation from a variety of traditions,
even if they have formally been introduced to the Dharma on connection with one particular tradition.
For this reason alone, the question "which Buddhism?" does not need clarification.

As Malcom says,
"I am Buddhist. But I am not really a "buddhist". I am a practitioner of Dharma, not a follower of a school."
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:43 pm

Malcolm wrote: It has everything to do with this discussion.


In an earlier post, you wrote,
Malcolm wrote: I am Buddhist. But I am not really a "buddhist". I am a practitioner of Dharma, not a follower of a school.


Is your point that as soon as one refers to Buddism,
that the 'ism' makes it a reference to one specific tradition or another,
and that it is an inaccurate term because not all traditions agree on all the same doctrines,
hence, there is no common ("generic") Buddhism?
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:51 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Well, nobody ever asks me if I'm a Buddhist, but this thread is beginning to make me think I would say no if someone did. :roll:

Alas, one thing all Buddhist schools share in common, is that they all have their share of obsessive nit-pickers.

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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby LastLegend » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:54 pm

I am a Buddhist. Keeping it simple. :mrgreen:
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Alfredo » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:45 am

"I believe Outsider's Tenets. Due to my obscurations, I am incapable of grasping the highest tenet system which is Prasangika Madhyamaka."

There, that ought to shut them up.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:49 am

I doubt it. I forsee the conversation developing in the following manner: "You believe in outside tents? High tents? You mean like a circus tent? And what does trying to grab medium sized parsnips have to do with...?" :rolleye:
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:51 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Is your point that as soon as one refers to Buddism,
that the 'ism' makes it a reference to one specific tradition or another,
and that it is an inaccurate term because not all traditions agree on all the same doctrines,
hence, there is no common ("generic") Buddhism?


I am making the point it is an inaccurate term for me for the reasons you state. That is why I prefer to call my "self" (a sensitive term around here, apparently) a follower of Buddhadharma, rather than a Buddhist of this or that type.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:10 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:I doubt it. I forsee the conversation developing in the following manner: "You believe in outside tents? High tents? You mean like a circus tent? And what does trying to grab medium sized parsnips have to do with...?" :rolleye:


THAT'S INTENSE!
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:25 pm

I just deny outsiders to Buddhists...

either on a relative level - that there is no outside and therefore they're all open to listening to me talk garbage,

or on an absolute level - that there are no existing beings as such.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby rory » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:40 am

I lived in the countryside in Ireland where i was the only Jewish as well as Buddhist person for miles and I always said I was a Buddhist when people asked me what I was doing for Easter, Christmas etc...why wouldn't you? You never know who is open maybe not today but 10 years from now to the Dharma, it's a great blessing to spread the Dharma. As for being an imperfect respresentive, well yes we all have afflictions and that's what the Dharma is for - to help us overcome them on the way to Enlightenment. This kind of weird modesty "I'm sooo imperfect" sounds very Christian to me. I never met a Japanese-American or Chinese-American who was shy about saying she or he was a Buddhist.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Motova » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:32 pm

I don't deny I'm Buddhist. I find people at my university (UofT) are very accepting and encouraging if it comes into the conversation. I have actually met a few non-Buddhists, who have completed (or are in the processing of completing) the minor in Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health, in my classes and are in the process of combining it with at least a minor in Aboriginal Studies. That is what I plan to do as well, and maybe major in Art History. I'd like to focus on Tibetan Buddhist art, so I don't really see a point in hiding. There are a lot more weirder people in Toronto and in the world. I have never ever had an authentic negative response from someone after telling them I am a Buddhist. GO CANADA! :cheers:
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby greentara » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:37 am

rory, "This kind of weird modesty "I'm sooo imperfect" sounds very Christian to me" Wishing to spread the dharma also sounds very Christian to me. When you really 'know' then the spreading will happen spontaniously.
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby dhammafriend » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:01 am

rory, "This kind of weird modesty "I'm sooo imperfect" sounds very Christian to me" Wishing to spread the dharma also sounds very Christian to me. When you really 'know' then the spreading will happen spontaniously.


Wow Greetara, by your definition the Lord Buddha himself must have been a 'Christian' spreading Buddhism! There was nothing spontaneous about it. Its thanks to that self righteous know-it-all we have the Dharma now. Equating acknowledging that you are Buddhist with evangelism is over the top & irrational to put it mildly. Was your reaction to the statement perhaps triggered by you interpreting it as disparaging Christianity?
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