Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Caz » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Luke wrote:I find that a recurring problem is when practicing Buddhists encounter people who aggressively believe that Buddhism is really about rejecting all dogma (including much of Buddhism!?) and about finding one's own truth. They generally like to hurl this quote by the Buddha around as their rallying cry:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

While I applaud the enthusiasm of these people, I think that their distaste for many core Buddhist ideas is unwise. Reflecting on and analyzing Buddhist ideas is great and is necessary, but rejecting them just out of reflex ("Oh, that's just dogma! I don't need that! I'm a gloriously free-thinking, non-conformist, seeker of truth!") is foolish.

It's a bizarre situation when these "truth seekers" call themselves the "real Buddhists" (although they often know little about core Buddhist ideas) and call practicing Buddhists "mere conformists."

What are your thoughts about how to deal with such people? How can we show them what real Buddhism is without them distrusting us?

Its funny when people quote the Kalama Sutra for this purpose, The reality is you take Buddhas teachings as a whole and not a single sutra as the be all and end all of his teachings this one specifically, One should think logically and try to use what discerning wisdom they have but it doesnt contradict Buddhas teachings on reliance.
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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