Culture should't become a trap.

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

Re: Culture should't become a trap.

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:31 pm

Huseng wrote:
Jikan wrote:The trouble is going the other way: assuming that the psychologized Kornfield-Goldstein-Batchelor version *is* Buddhism or represents all or the best of what the Buddhist tradition has to offer. That would be reductive in the highest.


There are some whose Buddhism more or less is that version.

Worse is that they posit their opinions as legitimate and educated, meanwhile they don't even have a basic grasp of Buddhism 101.


And people argue with me about whether we live in degenerate times....
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Culture should't become a trap.

Postby Chaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:52 pm

Huseng wrote:
Chaz wrote:Something wrong with psychologists adopting Buddhist thought and/practices into their work with patients?


Some have positioned themselves as the judges of what constitutes Buddhadharma despite their faulty understandings of basic Buddhism. They even publish their opinions making it seem all the more legitimate.


Ok, who does/did that?

I've never read a "psycologist"" discuss aspects of Buddhism they incorporate into their professional practice as anything other than straight-up psychology. They may give Buddhism a nod for the contribution, but never have I seen one of them act a judge of Buddhadharma.


So, who's done that?
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Re: Cultural should't become a trap.

Postby Chaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:59 pm

pueraeternus wrote:Quite a number of western Buddhists consider beings such as devas and pretas to be purely human psychological states of mind, and not actual beings like us.



Well, if the idea of dakinis, devas and pretas as actual beings don't make any sense to them, if there's nothing in their experience to support such an idea, what else are they supposed to do, go back to being Methodists? Hell, I've never actually encountered a daka, dakini, preta, devas, asuras, nagas, garudas or anything else like that "in the flesh". What am I supposed to do, accept their existence purely on faith?

That's not to say I don't believe in such things. It means that I have no direct personal experience of them. Some people need that. Others don't.

I guess we can always take their Secret Vajra Decoder Rings away from them :rolling:
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Re: Culture should't become a trap.

Postby muni » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:28 pm

Opinions........these are cultural traps!

Young psychologists in research also are looking back how evolution, brain investigations and so on are in constantely change, even nonbuddhists can easely see the 'value' of opinions, statements...; their dependence at the moment, culture..., the impermanence and so on.
nowadays, many young students are very open and genuine curious, not narrowminded. Very great.

In frozen thought (opinion) is no wisdom.
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Re: Cultural should't become a trap.

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:34 pm

Chaz wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:Quite a number of western Buddhists consider beings such as devas and pretas to be purely human psychological states of mind, and not actual beings like us.


Well, if the idea of dakinis, devas and pretas as actual beings don't make any sense to them, if there's nothing in their experience to support such an idea, what else are they supposed to do, go back to being Methodists? Hell, I've never actually encountered a daka, dakini, preta, devas, asuras, nagas, garudas or anything else like that "in the flesh". What am I supposed to do, accept their existence purely on faith?

That's not to say I don't believe in such things. It means that I have no direct personal experience of them. Some people need that. Others don't.

I guess we can always take their Secret Vajra Decoder Rings away from them :rolling:


Which leads to the point we are making here - if people don't or can't accept parts of the doctrine, they should not re-interpret them to fit their personal views and call it Buddhism. They should say they can't accept this or that doctrine in Buddhism, not "oh, this is what it really means" or "this is purely cultural and can be ignored". If people really read the early sutras, it is obvious that the Buddha meant it in the most literal way possible that there is rebirth, there are gods, spirits, etc.

So what should people who can't accept these even on face value? They should not call themselves Buddhists or re-interpret the teachings and call it Buddhism. Which means, yes, we should confiscate their Secret Vajra Decoder Rings before they do themselves serious damage.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Cultural should't become a trap.

Postby Chaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:59 pm

pueraeternus wrote:Which leads to the point we are making here - if people don't or can't accept parts of the doctrine, they should not re-interpret them to fit their personal views and call it Buddhism.


Why not? Do you or someone else have some legal or spiritual dispensation to define what Buddhism is for everyone else?

They should say they can't accept this or that doctrine in Buddhism, not "oh, this is what it really means" or "this is purely cultural and can be ignored".


Why not? I don't know where you're posting from but here in the US we have the right to call it whatever we want and the Establishment Clause prevents the government from doing anything about it.

If people really read the early sutras


Just like you did, right?

it is obvious that the Buddha meant it in the most literal way possible that there is rebirth, there are gods, spirits, etc.


And you'll get no argument from me on that. I don't necessarily approve of what some may be doing with the Dharma, but unlike you I don't feel that I'm qualified, nor is it encumbent on me to take them to task.

The door flies open loudly and three men, dressed in red robes and hats scamper into the room. One steps forward saying, "Nooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!".


So what should people who can't accept these even on face value? They should not call themselves Buddhists or re-interpret the teachings and call it Buddhism. Which means, yes, we should confiscate their Secret Vajra Decoder Rings before they do themselves serious damage.


So when a Thervedin starts ranting about Tantric practice being adharmic or the Mahayana being false Dharma will you voluntarily give up the ring before you do yourself irreperable dammage and end up taking birth as an intestinal parasite?

Jesus man, leave people alone.
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Re: Cultural should't become a trap.

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:03 am

Chaz wrote:Why not? Do you or someone else have some legal or spiritual dispensation to define what Buddhism is for everyone else?


Buddhism is defined by why the Buddha taught - and we have sutric records for what he taught. It is simply this fact - Buddhism is a religion that has a founder, so when one wants to learn what Buddhism is, one should refer to what the founder taught, and since we have records, matters such as whether the Buddha taught rebirth or not are not difficult to settle. It is really really simple, and no need to go into accusations of fundamentalism or witch-hunting. Such reactionary ramblings are uncalled for.


So when a Thervedin starts ranting about Tantric practice being adharmic or the Mahayana being false Dharma will you voluntarily give up the ring before you do yourself irreperable dammage and end up taking birth as an intestinal parasite?


Theravadins or anyone can say what they want - just as the same as I and others have the right to call them out if we find that is wrong or unfair.

When people write or say that the Buddha didn't teach this doctrine or that, they should be able to back it up with the source materials from the tradition itself. If people like me find that their thesis is built upon faulty premise and run counter to the source material (eg. sutric sources), then I have the right to say that that is wrong. It is the same as calling some who declare that clouds are made of marshmallows to be incorrect and foolish.

Jesus man, leave people alone


Oh - so others can say what they want and I can't?
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Cultural should't become a trap.

Postby Chaz » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:58 am

pueraeternus wrote:
Chaz wrote:Why not? Do you or someone else have some legal or spiritual dispensation to define what Buddhism is for everyone else?


Buddhism is defined by why the Buddha taught - and we have sutric records for what he taught. It is simply this fact - Buddhism is a religion that has a founder, so when one wants to learn what Buddhism is, one should refer to what the founder taught, and since we have records, matters such as whether the Buddha taught rebirth or not are not difficult to settle. It is really really simple, and no need to go into accusations of fundamentalism or witch-hunting. Such reactionary ramblings are uncalled for.


Actually I was thinking more along the lines of authoritarianism, absolutism and dogamtism. I don't hunt witches. I'm married to one.


So when a Thervedin starts ranting about Tantric practice being adharmic or the Mahayana being false Dharma will you voluntarily give up the ring before you do yourself irreperable dammage and end up taking birth as an intestinal parasite?


Theravadins or anyone can say what they want - just as the same as I and others have the right to call them out if we find that is wrong or unfair.


Why bother, to prove you're "right" or some other equally pointless excercise?

When people write or say that the Buddha didn't teach this doctrine or that, they should be able to back it up with the source materials from the tradition itself.


Of course they "should", however, out here in the real world, a lot of people don't care about that sort of thing.

If people like me find that their thesis is built upon faulty premise and run counter to the source material (eg. sutric sources), then I have the right to say that that is wrong. It is the same as calling some who declare that clouds are made of marshmallows to be incorrect and foolish.


But if believing that gives them peace and a sense of fullfillment, I'm not going to rock that boat and niether should you. What other's believe doesn't affect my practice or yours. If their beliefs offend, that's my problem and not theirs.

Jesus man, leave people alone

Oh - so others can say what they want and I can't?


Well what you said in a previous post is that people who don't adhere to your particular view of orthodox Buddhism can't call themselves Buddhists and ....

Well I'll repost the offending passage:

They should not call themselves Buddhists or re-interpret the teachings and call it Buddhism.


If you think you've got the chops ........

Personally I find that this whole they're-wrong-and-I'm-right crap is just that.
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Re: Culture should't become a trap.

Postby Quiet Heart » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:33 am

:smile:
Before this topic gets involved in arguements of meanings and the words used to express them (which are only cultural things anyhow), maybe I can offer some explanation based on my personal experience.
Now I call myself a Buddhist...my experience is in Zen.
My Thai wife refuses to believe I can really be a Buddhist.
Her experience with Buddhisim is based on her understanding of what Thai monks are.
I, Ihe other hand, don't wear a robe, don't live in a Wat, am married...so by her cultural perception, can NOT be a Buddhist.
I think that is what is meant by the statement:
Culture shouldn't become a trap.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Cultural should't become a trap.

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:08 am

Chaz wrote:Why bother, to prove you're "right" or some other equally pointless excercise?


I can think of 2 reasons:
1. Intellectual honesty: if they are not able to back it up with sources, and they publish their works, then they should be prepared for the critiques of others. This is simply a review process.
2. Dharma: to me, Buddhism is a salvific path. If one is to profit from it, one needs to understand at least its basic principles correctly. I am not an enlightened master, but it does not take an enlightened person to understand the basic premises of the religion since it is easily understood from the sutras. To me, to point out the errors of others when they write about the basic premise of Buddhism is not pointless.

Chaz wrote:Of course they "should", however, out here in the real world, a lot of people don't care about that sort of thing.


I think a lot of people do, which is why people bother to write reviews and give their opinion on things.

Chaz wrote:But if believing that gives them peace and a sense of fullfillment, I'm not going to rock that boat and niether should you. What other's believe doesn't affect my practice or yours. If their beliefs offend, that's my problem and not theirs.


It's not only just about "me". From time to time, I find it necessary and/or helpful to correct what I see as erroneous in various things - a co-worker doing a process wrong, a classmate misunderstanding the requirements of a paper, etc. We don't even need to go into high-minded speech about Bodhisattvic deeds - this is just being helpful in pointing out mistakes that others may make so that they don't make it again, mostly for their sake.

Do not throw out critical thinking just because you want to be nice. In many ways this is more harmful than speaking the truth.

Chaz wrote:Well what you said in a previous post is that people who don't adhere to your particular view of orthodox Buddhism can't call themselves Buddhists and ....


My goodness. I am not talking about gathering a mob, going to their house and burning it down. I am talking about people who should not misrepresent a teaching/religion/philosophy. It is the same as I say people should not call themselves vegetarians if they still eat cows.
Last edited by pueraeternus on Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Culture should't become a trap.

Postby muni » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:12 am

Quiet Heart wrote::smile:
Before this topic gets involved in arguements of meanings and the words used to express them (which are only cultural things anyhow), maybe I can offer some explanation based on my personal experience.
Now I call myself a Buddhist...my experience is in Zen.
My Thai wife refuses to believe I can really be a Buddhist.
Her experience with Buddhisim is based on her understanding of what Thai monks are.
I, Ihe other hand, don't wear a robe, don't live in a Wat, am married...so by her cultural perception, can NOT be a Buddhist.
I think that is what is meant by the statement:
Culture shouldn't become a trap.
:smile:

To see through the many or one or two teachings "nature", is simple how I should say, then one can bow down for each teaching which can be tool to do so. To nail down the right teachings instead of using them as such clarifying tool... or like your example creating a base for cultural and other ideas about outerly appaerances; we are temporary trapped in such. Then those ideas become truth....happens not only by Thai people, for sure!!

Maybe generally, when there are prejudices is there no insight.
:anjali:
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