Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:58 pm

Although Buddhists love to quote the Kalama sutta for other belief systems, the Kalama Sutta particularly applies to all Buddhists and their views of Buddha and interpretations of the Nikayas and Sutras:

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports,
by legends,
by traditions,
by scripture,
by logical conjecture,
by inference,
by analogies,
by agreement through pondering views,
by probability,
or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher."
When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.



When I was researching on Buddhism (before I became Buddhist -- without any teacher after investigating on my own), I came across so many views that frankly only increases doubt, here are a bunch of them:

1) Buddha became sick and died, so we only have his teachings for a guide and must rely on ourselves. Okay, so I ask those with such views, WHY SHOULD ANYONE THINK TO TAKE REFUGE WITH THIS GUY???? :shrug: Why is Buddha the supreme refuge???

2) The Dharma ending age means the Dharma no longer works.

3) Since the Dharma is ended, we practice so that someday we can be born when a Buddha is born to attain stream entry.

4) Buddhists shouldn't want to go to heaven because heaven means you lose all your merit. Just having affection for Buddha can not lead to heaven -- you really, really have to love Buddha.

5) Stream entry is very, very hard -- close to impossible in the Dharma ending age.

6) Buddhism is atheistic

7) Buddhism is non-theistic

8) Buddhism has no beliefs

9) Buddhism is nihilistic

10) Buddha was a weak, sickly guy who had to leave home (have you read those annoying Japanese cartoons, with Buddha and his constant running nose??)-- he was suffering from depression and ran away from home! :shock:

SO I say to those entertaining Buddhism, or entering Buddhism -- DON'T LISTEN TO BUDDHISTS! :tongue: Investigate -- meditate and learn the truth yourself on who Buddha is -- the Dharma still works, 2500 years and the Dharma hasn't ended -- and will never end for those who love the teachings -- whether Buddhists want it to work or not!

Buddha didn't hand over Buddhism to ANY teacher, no guru/teacher is in charge of Buddhism, none can give you the Dhama or the Law -- NOW I KNOW THE REASON WHY! Only Buddha is in charge -- THANK GOODNESS! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:04 am

Greetings sraddha,

There's certain aspects to the Dhamma which are quite subtle or even counter-intuitive.

Thus, there's the possibility that the person explaining these things to you doesn't understand these subtles.

There's also the possibility that these subtleties, even if well explained, might not be well understood by the beginner.

My recommendation to any beginner would be to try to understand the Four Noble Truths, and if that makes sense, start trying out aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path and see if it's working for you. No need for a beginner to dive into a lot of the papanca that comes with metaphysical arguments, cosmology and so forth... what is this going to do other than fill their minds with things not directly connected to suffering and its cessation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:52 pm

retrofuturist wrote:My recommendation to any beginner would be to try to understand the Four Noble Truths, and if that makes sense, start trying out aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path and see if it's working for you. No need for a beginner to dive into a lot of the papanca that comes with metaphysical arguments, cosmology and so forth... what is this going to do other than fill their minds with things not directly connected to suffering and its cessation.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi Retro,

This advise is in line with my experience and I would think that it will apply to a very large portion of those who come to the Dharma. That being said I have observed some individuals who come to the Dharma for the first time and seem to gain a great deal of confidence and understanding very quickly through a simple explanation of traditional Buddhist cosmology. Its not something I can claim to understand since I have evolved out of a very empirical and perhaps somewhat physicalist way of seeing the world. It seems these individuals already relate to the world in a way which involves some form of metaphysical cosmological speculation and assumption. I think that the traditional Buddhist cosmologies have a way of communicating the Dharma to these individuals so that they can grow within the framework of their assumptions. To put it simply I would say that the traditional Buddhist metaphysical cosmologies can be directly connected to suffering and its cessation. It just depends on the type of person you are and how you learn.


Thats my seven cents.

Maitri

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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby genkaku » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:02 am

My two cents: Everyone stumbles and fumbles at their own pace and with their own gusto in Buddhism. It's nothing unusual -- grasping this, rejecting that, learning philosophical intersections and divergences ... lotsa stuff and sometimes pretty exciting.

My own bias for calming such froth and bubbles is simply to practice zazen. No criticism ... just zazen. But, as I say, this is my bias.
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby seagrace » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:45 pm

"My two cents: Everyone stumbles and fumbles at their own pace and with their own gusto in Buddhism. It's nothing unusual -- grasping this, rejecting that, learning philosophical intersections and divergences ... lotsa stuff and sometimes pretty exciting."

this has been my experience as well. Make that 4 cents and you can almost buy a piece of bubblegum.
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby Luke » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:03 pm

sraddha wrote:SO I say to those entertaining Buddhism, or entering Buddhism -- DON'T LISTEN TO BUDDHISTS! :tongue: Investigate -- meditate and learn the truth yourself on who Buddha is -- the Dharma still works


Exactly. The Dharma works. Buddha's observations of the mind and the universe were correct. Karma is real, and it's effects extend over many lifetimes. Getting involved with Buddhism creates lots of good karma, and therefore will improve one's present life and future lives.

Many things which seem crazy to a disturbed mind seem natural to a calm mind. People should just calm their minds and explore these things for themselves, and then the inner wisdom and beauty of Buddhism will slowly reveal itself to them.

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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby Stephen » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:44 am

I've heard it put more succinctly as thus: "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

Not the exact words he used, but it's unlikely that anyone knows the exact words he used regardless.

And what is this talk of the Dharma age ending? Dharma is truth; Dharma is reality as it stands. The Buddha-Dharma is our conceptual representation of the way reality works and the methods by which we would know it for ourselves. There is nothing any different with the true Dharma today than there was with it when the Buddha lived.
The "self", which is a construct of the mind, is non-self. It is not us, and we are not it. This self blinds us to reality; it is our Mara, our Satan, our Hades. Cast it out and behold the path to freedom.
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:35 am

1) Buddha became sick and died, so we only have his teachings for a guide and must rely on ourselves. Okay, so I ask those with such views, WHY SHOULD ANYONE THINK TO TAKE REFUGE WITH THIS GUY???? :shrug: Why is Buddha the supreme refuge???


The rupakaya of the Buddha was produced by his mother and father, was subject to decay and eventual death. We can say it was impure (asrava). While it was said to be physically perfect with auspicious marks, it was still impure and thus not a source of refuge.

However, the dharmakaya of the Buddha, was not ever defiled by worldly dharmas, comprises the eighteen exclusive dharmas: ten powers, four kinds of intrepidity, three foundations of mindfulness and great compassion. This was the result of countless lives of practise in the past. This is the refuge: the fully accomplished qualities which include bodhi (enlightenment) and the dharmakaya.

2) The Dharma ending age means the Dharma no longer works.


Not everyone agrees with this and anyone who proposes such a thing would be confronted with present day examples which on the contrary demonstrate that the dharma actually does still work.

3) Since the Dharma is ended, we practice so that someday we can be born when a Buddha is born to attain stream entry.


That is a Japanese Pureland way of thinking. Not everyone even in Japan believed that. Dogen is an example of a notable thinker who disagreed with such thought.

4) Buddhists shouldn't want to go to heaven because heaven means you lose all your merit. Just having affection for Buddha can not lead to heaven -- you really, really have to love Buddha.


A rebirth in heaven, while full of joy and pleasure, is unreliable because it is only temporary and not permanent.
5) Stream entry is very, very hard -- close to impossible in the Dharma ending age.


In Theravada to this day there are still many accounts of present day persons attaining stream entry.

6) Buddhism is atheistic


In one sense yes, in one sense no. In Buddhist cosmology there are plenty of deva and even brahma who think of themselves as mighty and even under the delusion of thinking they created the universe. However, Buddhists do not take refuge in such deluded divinities. In one sense we recognize their existence, but on the other we do not worship them. This is particularly odd from the perspective of Judeo-Christian thought where if you recognize the existence of a god you're obliged to worship it and if you do not worship it then you assert it does not exist.

7) Buddhism is non-theistic


Gods, spirits and unenlightened worldly people cannot pull you out of suffering.
8) Buddhism has no beliefs


How do you define beliefs? In present day English a "belief" is usually said to be something you "feel is correct" or "take on faith" without having actual evidence for it being the case other than your own sentiments or taking on authority a scripture or teacher.


9) Buddhism is nihilistic


Buddhism is not nihilistic. To deny that evil actions lead to suffering is a wrong view.


10) Buddha was a weak, sickly guy who had to leave home (have you read those annoying Japanese cartoons, with Buddha and his constant running nose??)-- he was suffering from depression and ran away from home! :shock:


Gautama was said to be a handsome prince in good health. He was not suffering depression. After seeing a sick person, an old person and then a corpse, it dawned on him that suffering exists and that the same fate would await him unless he solved the problem of birth and death.
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby Heruka » Sun May 09, 2010 5:40 am

sraddha wrote:
Buddha didn't hand over Buddhism to ANY teacher, no guru/teacher is in charge of Buddhism, none can give you the Dhama or the Law -- NOW I KNOW THE REASON WHY! Only Buddha is in charge -- THANK GOODNESS! :twothumbsup:


so much self pride!

wonderful in its rudeness!
:smile:

a real lesson, many thanks
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Re: Don't Listen to Buddhists!

Postby Sönam » Sun May 09, 2010 9:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings sraddha,

There's certain aspects to the Dhamma which are quite subtle or even counter-intuitive.

Thus, there's the possibility that the person explaining these things to you doesn't understand these subtles.

There's also the possibility that these subtleties, even if well explained, might not be well understood by the beginner.

Metta,
Retro. :)


... not to forget that (for some of us) the dharma is progressive ... it means that certain assertions are provisional. Therefore, depending on the stage you are, some assertions may seem to contradict some others.

This is a good reason why one needs a teacher ...

Sönam
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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