Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby uan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:39 pm

oushi wrote:
Ayu wrote::smile: In German Forums (Buddhistic) you can easily cause a stir with the topic "Is there a free will?"
:shrug: I don't know why, but the people get quite excited about this.

Here, on Buddhist forum, people are free from clinging to those stories, so there is a chance for open-minded approach.


On Buddhist forums, people don't have time to cling to Christian stories because they are too busy clinging to Buddhist ones. :rolling:
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby oushi » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:18 pm

uan wrote:
oushi wrote:
Ayu wrote::smile: In German Forums (Buddhistic) you can easily cause a stir with the topic "Is there a free will?"
:shrug: I don't know why, but the people get quite excited about this.

Here, on Buddhist forum, people are free from clinging to those stories, so there is a chance for open-minded approach.


On Buddhist forums, people don't have time to cling to Christian stories because they are too busy clinging to Buddhist ones. :rolling:

True :smile:
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby dorjeshonnu » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:59 pm

muni wrote:
shaunc wrote:HHDL has referred to Jesus Christ as a boddhisatva. That's good enough for me. If a person does good or bad maybe it's best for everyone if we judge them by that action & not on their religious label.
This is a nice note! It erases the dividing lines in suffering righteness its real religion-nonreligion.

Lets look in own mind, in peace are no obstacles.
this kind of attribution is no more than well-meaning religious imperialism
one should not imagine that the religious authorities of other faiths have not noticed how dalai lama undermines their cosmologies with his comments

here is the statement:
dalai lama wrote:Jesus Christ also lived previous lives," he said. "So, you see, he reached a high state, either as a Bodhisattva, or an enlightened person, through Buddhist practice or something like that. Then, at a certain period, certain era, he appeared as a new master, and then because of circumstances, he taught certain views different from Buddhism, but he also taught the same religious values as I mentioned earlier: Be patient, tolerant, compassionate. This is, you see, the real message in order to become a better human being.
http://canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/na.cgi?nationalupdates/2004/040415comment


from the same piece, by the interviewer:
James A. Beverley wrote:...claims that Jesus is really a Buddha in disguise are no compliment to Jesus or Buddha. How would Buddhists feel if Christians claimed that Gautama was really a Christian figure ahead of his time?


religious imperialism is no better for us than for any other faith - regardless of how much more accurate one must be than the others

it is commendable to try to be a better human being, but please do not confuse buddhist and non-buddhist views
buddhist values are human values, and one faith does not need to "own" every teacher from every time and place to have legitimacy
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:46 am

People that don't take ending suffering seriously don't take the method to ending suffering seriously. When you hear people saying, "oh it doesn't really matter, every spiritual practice is valid", it's because they don't take ending suffering seriously.

People will often try to convince you you're not a good Buddhist if you don't do what they want, it's just manipulation. It's kinda like when a thug offering to do you a "favor" asks, "What? Don't you trust me? You think I'm going to do you wrong?", to try to make you feel guilty about doubting their trustworthiness with your valuables.

I do not find Christianity to be a valid way to become enlightened. I think it's possible someone could be born into a heavenly realm for following those Christian teachings on developing good qualities. I gave up Abrahamic religions when I read the Exodus, Leviticus, etc. I was disgusted, ashamed, and couldn't be involved with it anymore.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Simon E. » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:48 am

So, your Buddhism is rooted in aversion ?
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Uniltiranyu » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:10 am

Ramon1920 wrote:People that don't take ending suffering seriously don't take the method to ending suffering seriously. When you hear people saying, "oh it doesn't really matter, every spiritual practice is valid", it's because they don't take ending suffering seriously.


Well said.

Ramon1920 wrote:I do not find Christianity to be a valid way to become enlightened. I think it's possible someone could be born into a heavenly realm for following those Christian teachings on developing good qualities.


Don't overlook that suffering is the necessary precursor to resurrection - Christ is scourged on the way to crucifixion.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:15 am

The story of Christ is an example of someone who exemplifies the Bodhisattva ideal. Whether that legend is factual or not, no one can say.

The "dharma" or teaching, or "way" or "path" attributed to him is forgiveness. It is a very good teaching. However, this does not have a direct parallel in Buddhist teachings, primarily because while "to forgive is divine" it is still rooted in the dualism of the forgiver and the one being forgiven.

Forgiveness of one's enemies is a powerful tool for some liberation from suffering. But it alone does not perfectly uproot the causes of suffering. Furthermore, any god-based philosophy must necessarily presuppose an intrinsically existent 'self' (atman, soul) which has been created by, or which interacts with a god. But what the Buddha pointed out is that it is the grasping at the notion of such a 'self' which is the cause of suffering.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby gordtheseeker » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:31 am

Good thread to read. It's a daily struggle for me when I think about my past as a Christian. A year ago I was about to start college to begin my journey to be a pastor, and a year later I am a new Buddhist who falls on the vow of the Amida Buddha as I can't seem to walk on my own anymore (in a spiritual sense).

Much above that was mentioned is true. The biggest thing that lead me to flee from Christianity is the reliance on the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that Christianity looks nothing like what Jesus preached.

Still everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:44 am

gordtheseeker wrote:Good thread to read. It's a daily struggle for me when I think about my past as a Christian. A year ago I was about to start college to begin my journey to be a pastor, and a year later I am a new Buddhist who falls on the vow of the Amida Buddha as I can't seem to walk on my own anymore (in a spiritual sense).

Much above that was mentioned is true. The biggest thing that lead me to flee from Christianity is the reliance on the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that Christianity looks nothing like what Jesus preached.

Still everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals.


I have never been able to make heads or tails of the Bible. But after practicing Buddhism for over half my life I now have a greater understanding and respect for much of what I understand to be the message of forgiveness, and I don't really understand why people find it so hard.

India, as you know, is full of various religions, not to mention the many variations just of the Hindu faith. It was the same in Buddha's time. What he noticed was that, regardless of what people believed in or did not believe in, ultimately, all beings do what they do for the very same reason.

If you realize that all beings do what they do to have peace within, then you see that both the good acts as well as the evil acts committed by people are done for the same reason (With the exception of those who thrive on suffering). To find perfect peace. To have happiness and the cause of happiness, to be free from suffering and the cause of suffering, to experience that happiness without depending on it, to experience sadness without dwelling in it. To just be.

Christ realized this and it became the basis for his path of forgiveness, because the path for inner peace is the great equalizer...that, and death. It's what all people share in common. It's the path that all beings are already on, even though they may not realize it, and they don't know how to find it, and they do foolish or terrible things, and they suffer. It's what brings the same anguish and torment to people regardless of wealth or status or power or fame. In fact, to all beings. So, if you throw stones at someone else, you throw them at yourself too. One doesn't forgive the crime, but one forgives the motivation for the crime. One can only feel great sadness for those who commit terrible acts, their thinking that doing so will release them from their torment. Sad for them and of course sad for those they hurt.

"The kingdom of heaven is within you" (Luke 17:21) is the quintessential teaching of Buddhism. Buddha searched all around Northern India for the answer. But when he finally directed his search inward, he found that he already had what he needed, and that all beings do too, and that is to realize and depend on (take refuge in) mind's infinite nature (Amitabha) which is beyond all grasping and clinging to "me".

So, "The kingdom of heaven is within you" except that when you find that kingdom, there is no "me"...there's just the kingdom, which is, of course, another word for perfect peace.
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Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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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: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby uan » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:53 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
gordtheseeker wrote:Good thread to read. It's a daily struggle for me when I think about my past as a Christian. A year ago I was about to start college to begin my journey to be a pastor, and a year later I am a new Buddhist who falls on the vow of the Amida Buddha as I can't seem to walk on my own anymore (in a spiritual sense).

Much above that was mentioned is true. The biggest thing that lead me to flee from Christianity is the reliance on the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that Christianity looks nothing like what Jesus preached.

Still everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals.


I have never been able to make heads or tails of the Bible. But after practicing Buddhism for over half my life I now have a greater understanding and respect for much of what I understand to be the message of forgiveness, and I don't really understand why people find it so hard.

India, as you know, is full of various religions, not to mention the many variations just of the Hindu faith. It was the same in Buddha's time. What he noticed was that, regardless of what people believed in or did not believe in, ultimately, all beings do what they do for the very same reason.

If you realize that all beings do what they do to have peace within, then you see that both the good acts as well as the evil acts committed by people are done for the same reason (With the exception of those who thrive on suffering). To find perfect peace. To have happiness and the cause of happiness, to be free from suffering and the cause of suffering, to experience that happiness without depending on it, to experience sadness without dwelling in it. To just be.

Christ realized this and it became the basis for his path of forgiveness, because this path for inner peace is the great equalizer...that, and death. It's what all people share in common, it's what brings the same anguish and torment to people regardless of wealth or status or power or fame. In fact, to all beings. So, if you throw stones at someone else, you throw them at yourself too.

"The kingdom of heaven is within you" (Luke 17:21) is the quintessential teaching of Buddhism. Buddha searched all around Northern India for the answer. But when he finally directed his search inward, he found that he already had what he needed, and that all beings do too, and that is to realize and depend on (take refuge in) mind's infinite nature (Amitabha) which is beyond all grasping and clinging to "me".

So, "The kingdom of heaven is within you" except that when you find that kingdom, there is no "me"...there's just the kingdom, which is, of course, another word for perfect peace.
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excellent post PVS.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby gordtheseeker » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:13 am

uan wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
gordtheseeker wrote:Good thread to read. It's a daily struggle for me when I think about my past as a Christian. A year ago I was about to start college to begin my journey to be a pastor, and a year later I am a new Buddhist who falls on the vow of the Amida Buddha as I can't seem to walk on my own anymore (in a spiritual sense).

Much above that was mentioned is true. The biggest thing that lead me to flee from Christianity is the reliance on the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that Christianity looks nothing like what Jesus preached.

Still everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals.


I have never been able to make heads or tails of the Bible. But after practicing Buddhism for over half my life I now have a greater understanding and respect for much of what I understand to be the message of forgiveness, and I don't really understand why people find it so hard.

India, as you know, is full of various religions, not to mention the many variations just of the Hindu faith. It was the same in Buddha's time. What he noticed was that, regardless of what people believed in or did not believe in, ultimately, all beings do what they do for the very same reason.

If you realize that all beings do what they do to have peace within, then you see that both the good acts as well as the evil acts committed by people are done for the same reason (With the exception of those who thrive on suffering). To find perfect peace. To have happiness and the cause of happiness, to be free from suffering and the cause of suffering, to experience that happiness without depending on it, to experience sadness without dwelling in it. To just be.

Christ realized this and it became the basis for his path of forgiveness, because this path for inner peace is the great equalizer...that, and death. It's what all people share in common, it's what brings the same anguish and torment to people regardless of wealth or status or power or fame. In fact, to all beings. So, if you throw stones at someone else, you throw them at yourself too.

"The kingdom of heaven is within you" (Luke 17:21) is the quintessential teaching of Buddhism. Buddha searched all around Northern India for the answer. But when he finally directed his search inward, he found that he already had what he needed, and that all beings do too, and that is to realize and depend on (take refuge in) mind's infinite nature (Amitabha) which is beyond all grasping and clinging to "me".

So, "The kingdom of heaven is within you" except that when you find that kingdom, there is no "me"...there's just the kingdom, which is, of course, another word for perfect peace.
.
.
.


excellent post PVS.


Agreed. Good post PVS! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby greentara » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:29 am

After reading about Abishiktananda and his many trials and tribulations, living in various caves in South India your statement rings true "till everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals"
We are all so heavily conditioned that breaking the bonds that confine us... is so hard, very hard.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:55 am

gordtheseeker wrote:Good thread to read. It's a daily struggle for me when I think about my past as a Christian. A year ago I was about to start college to begin my journey to be a pastor, and a year later I am a new Buddhist who falls on the vow of the Amida Buddha as I can't seem to walk on my own anymore (in a spiritual sense).

Much above that was mentioned is true. The biggest thing that lead me to flee from Christianity is the reliance on the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that Christianity looks nothing like what Jesus preached.

Still everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals.

The balm for your soul might be Thomas Merton.
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby justsit » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:21 pm

Image

His Holiness at Merton's grave:

Image
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby gordtheseeker » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:14 pm

Simon E. wrote:
gordtheseeker wrote:Good thread to read. It's a daily struggle for me when I think about my past as a Christian. A year ago I was about to start college to begin my journey to be a pastor, and a year later I am a new Buddhist who falls on the vow of the Amida Buddha as I can't seem to walk on my own anymore (in a spiritual sense).

Much above that was mentioned is true. The biggest thing that lead me to flee from Christianity is the reliance on the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that Christianity looks nothing like what Jesus preached.

Still everyday, Christianity pursues me, nipping at my tired heals.

The balm for your soul might be Thomas Merton.


Thank you Simon. I will check him out. Appreciate the recommendation :smile: .
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby steveb1 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:33 pm

Some have remarked on similarities between Jesus-Buddha, Gospel-Dharma. I'd like to add that Jesus spoke of - and represented himself as - a "Path" or a "Way". He said that there is a path toward Spirit. Part of that path is a form of ego-death-transformation, which certainly has Buddhist parallels. For example, Jesus is reported to have said that those who lose themselves will find themselves, and that the Path involves "dying" to self, i.e., taking up one's "cross" - Luke adds the word "daily", so that the transformation seen in this way is a day-to-day process. It would seem that Jesus used the metaphors of suffering, dying, and finally rising again to describe travel on the Path. In a rare confluence with Jesus' teaching, Paul replicates the suffering-dying-rising theme, for instance when he says that in baptism, the recipient dies with Christ and rises with Christ. Thus the NT contains two resurrections, the one that happened to Jesus in the "Easter Event", and the one that we receive on earth during our own lifetime, of dying to self and to culture and rising again centered in Spirit. In John's Gospel Jesus say that unless a seed falls into the earth and "dies", it only remains a seed. But once "buried" in the soil, the seed "bears much fruit", which is a saying that fits well into Jesus' own, and Paul's, suffering/death-rising schema of salvation. Another saying of the Johannine Jesus, addressed to the disciples says, "I am the vine; you are the branches". Not specificallly Buddhistic, perhaps; however, this beautifully naturalistic, "organic" saying seems to have parallels with non-Christian mystical systems wherein the enlightened sage's or Master's own spiritual life can be communicated to disciples. There is an unmistakable element of self-death and transformation in Jesus' core teachings, encapsulated by Paul's words, "I must decrease, Christ must increase" and "No longer I, but Christ who lives in me".
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Re: Christianity: Refusal or Open-Mindedness?

Postby greentara » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:08 pm

If the truth be told....all these mental isms. Christism, Hinduism, Buddhism and on it goes. Pause, take time to reflect. We all live in a prison without bars!
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