practising and non-practising Buddhists?

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practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:27 pm

Hello,

there are practising Christians and non-practising Christians.
I'd like to ask if there are practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists and non-practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists?
If so, what generally, is considered to be important in defining practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists? Regular meditation, and frequent reading of the relevant scriptures, perhaps?

Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?

Thanks.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:51 pm

Dear Marmalade,

What does it mean to be a practicing Christ?
Just that! :-)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Tara » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:11 pm

Hanzze wrote:Dear Marmalade,

What does it mean to be a practicing Christ?



:offtopic:

Please keep to the topic, thanks.

Regards,
rt

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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby plwk » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:37 pm

If it may be answered so...

1. Buddhist practice is generally centered on the threefold method of precepts, concentration and wisdom which involves study, practice and realization which engages all aspects of Body, Speech and Mind of one towards the Buddha Path, which entails cessation of suffering and liberation.
2. How no. 1 is achieved within the Mahayana and Vajrayana is vast and the methodology and teacher best suited for one is perhaps the best choice in optimizing the experience in one's life.
3. So, the answers may range from 'when eating, eat; when sleeping, sleep' all the way to
...the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important

4. Some sample readings on the matter...
http://www.cttbusa.org/42s/42sections.asp
Section 14
Asking about Goodness and Greatness

A Shramana asked the Buddha,
"What is goodness? What is the foremost greatness?"
The Buddha said,
"To practice the Way and uphold the truth is goodness. To unite your will with the Way is greatness."

Section 37
Staying Mindful of Moral Precepts Brings Us Close to the Way

The Buddha said,
"My disciples may be several thousand miles away from me, but if they remember my moral precepts, they will certainly attain the fruition of the Way.
"If those who are by my side do not follow my moral precepts, they may see me constantly, but in the end they will not attain the Way."

Section 40
The Way Is Practiced in the Mind

The Buddha said,
"A Shramana who practices the Way should not be like an ox turning a millstone.
Such a one walks the Way with his body, but his mind is not on the Way.
If the mind is concentrated on the Way, what further need is there to practice?"

The Flower Adornment Sutra: Chapter Forty: Universal Worthy's Conduct and Vows
The Essence of Mahayana Practice
Advice for Daily Practice
The 14 Precepts of Engaged Buddhism
The Fundamental Concepts of Humanistic Buddhism
Tzu Chi
Tibetan Buddhism & Social Engagement
Last edited by plwk on Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:52 pm

rainbowtara wrote:
Hanzze wrote:Dear Marmalade,

What does it mean to be a practicing Christ?



:offtopic:

Please keep to the topic, thanks.

It lookes like you are a fortuneteller...
or is there a different between practising / non-practising Buddhists and practising / non-practising Christians?
Just that! :-)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Dexing » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:31 pm

Marmalade wrote:Hello,

there are practising Christians and non-practising Christians.
I'd like to ask if there are practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists and non-practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists?
If so, what generally, is considered to be important in defining practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists? Regular meditation, and frequent reading of the relevant scriptures, perhaps?

Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?

Thanks.


Buddhism is not an idle theory, philosophy, or good idea.

What makes one a Buddhist is taking refuge and precepts. Those precepts require action.

There is simply no such thing as a non-practicing Buddhist, regardless of how much meditation and study is done, or what one likes to call oneself. That is simply erudition, not Dharma.

Dharma is action.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:34 pm

Maybe that info is useful:

From Layman's practice on Dhammadana.org
Who is a lay person?

Finally, among the people who adhere to the dhamma, all those who are not bhikkhus, or sāmaṇeras, or nuns are laity. We can divide lay people into three categories:

* There are some laity who, although approving Buddha's word, only dedicate their life a little, or not at all, to the practice of the dhamma. They like to claim that they are Buddhists, but do little else than run after pleasures and engage in business activities; if they observe one or two precepts, it is only because it is easy for them; they don't want to dedicate any effort to the rest. Even though they claim to be inclined to meditation, they convince themselves that they never have any time to practice it.
* There are also lay people who try to dedicate more time and effort to follow a way suitable to the development of knowledge (of reality). They more or less observe the five precepts (sometimes the eight), they like everything that concerns the dhamma aesthetically (monuments, statues, ceremonies), they readily spend time reciting texts dealing with Buddha's teaching, watching the quality of their actions, regularly making donations, attending meditation sessions, and sometimes, taking ordination for a short period.
* Finally, there are laity who, within their possibilities, try their best to progress quickly and effectively on the path to the cessation of suffering. These ones very regularly train in being generous, in being vigilant and in applying full mindfulness. Their observance of the five precepts, if not eight, is scrupulous. Some of them even intend to lead a monastic life permanently.

Although they all point to a sole aim, the objectives of Buddha's teaching are very diverse. They consist, among others, in:

* Inducing the first category of laity to improve their way of life so as to become laity of the second category.
* Encouraging the laity of the second category to maintain the positive aspects of their way of life and inciting them to improve on this so as to become laity of the third category.
* Encouraging the laity of the third category to maintain the positive aspects of their way of life and suggesting them the experience of complete renunciation (monastic life).
Just that! :-)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:04 pm

plwk wrote:If it may be answered so...

3. So, the answers may range from 'when eating, eat; when sleeping, sleep' all the way to
...the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important




Thanks, plwk; I had suspected there would be a range of practices involved; I was afraid that the question I was asking might be too broad, so I gave some emphasis to the excercise of kindness and the matter of non-violence, which is what I was particularly interested in.

Thanks for those links, too; here and on the other board, there seems to be a lot of information there.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:10 pm

Dexing wrote: Buddhism is not an idle theory, philosophy, or good idea.

What makes one a Buddhist is taking refuge and precepts. Those precepts require action.

There is simply no such thing as a non-practicing Buddhist, regardless of how much meditation and study is done, or what one likes to call oneself. That is simply erudition, not Dharma.

Dharma is action.

:namaste:



Very good, Dexing, thanks.....so it's not just a matter of the equivalent of going to Church on Sunday, and reading passages from the Bible, and saying one's prayers at night. Thanks for the clarification.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:19 pm

Hanzze wrote:Dear Marmalade,

What does it mean to be a practicing Christ?


Hi Hanzze,
If you mean "practicing Christian", personally I'm not too sure what the judgement on that is, believe or not. I think there are those who would consider people taking part in Christian rituals and services, saying prayers, going to church, etc to be practicing Christians, but there would be others who would say this is not enough - that a Christian should exhibit Christ-like behaviour, forgiving others, etc.

(I just want to clarify why I asked the question). :smile:
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Nosta » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:59 pm

I think that non-practising Chatolics are just people with not very strong faith. They want to believe in God but they dont have sure of that. They play for safe, so to say, so they will pray very rarely and they try to avoid mistakes that mey offend god, and so on.

Non-practising buddhists are a little bit similar i think: they see karma as something that MAY be real, so they are careful with their actions. They feel that Nirvana may be a real thing. Such buddhists are in the very beggining of their practise. In fact i think i am not that different from them. But i think that may views on life are more and more towards the teachings of Buddha. I do recitations (Pure Land practise) sometimes and i will to make them grow. May belief on Pure Land realm and Amithaba existence is growing. I will save small bugs from death sometimes ( i really feel compassion when i see a bee dying on a swimming pool for example) and i try to be nice for people so they can feel good. Am ia a practising buddhist? Maybe yes, maybe not.

If we look carefully, we will not find a 0% non-practising buddhist and its rare to find a 100% i think. We are somewhere in the middle. Things are not black and white.

In my opinion, you should try to learn and practise buddhist at your own pace, without stress and dont think that much on "I am buddhist" [or not] or "I am a practising buddhist" or the like. Just try to feel compassion for beings, help them and help yourself [with the following of the Noble EightFold Path].
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby mudra » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:57 am

Levels of practice vary greatly. There are many, here on the forum and outside, who will say: well the strict minimum of a practicing Buddhist is this or that. They might have some truth to their words, but what it boils down to is what your conviction is.

A Buddhist, strictly speaking, is one who has complete faith in the Buddha as having attained complete omniscience, perfection etc, in the dharma as being the way to attain that and also the actual states of attainment (cessation etc),
and the Sangha as either those who have attained freedom from the samsaric trap or the group of those who are fully committed, through ordination and living according to the monastic rules, to that freedom. The Buddha is the ultimate guide, the Dharma the actual practice and attainment, the Sangha our companions and helpers.

So the line is basically, is one Buddhist or not? If one does have this full conviction and commits to it, then the levels of practice are open to us. It really depends on what one commits to. If one has taken initiations and accepted the commitments given by the preceptor, then one's practice should include at a minimum those commitments (recitations, etc) that the Lama/preceptor gave.

To maintain one's refuge there are also some precepts: continuing to have faith only in the Three Jewels as the way to liberation and enlightenment, being respectful to them etc., repeatedly reaffirming your faith in them, making offerings.

So perhaps its more 'those who practice well' and 'those who are negligent' more than practicing and non-practicing.
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:45 am

Marmalade wrote:
Hanzze wrote:Dear Marmalade,

What does it mean to be a practicing Christ?


Hi Hanzze,
If you mean "practicing Christian", personally I'm not too sure what the judgement on that is, believe or not. I think there are those who would consider people taking part in Christian rituals and services, saying prayers, going to church, etc to be practicing Christians, but there would be others who would say this is not enough - that a Christian should exhibit Christ-like behaviour, forgiving others, etc.

(I just want to clarify why I asked the question). :smile:


Dear Marmalade,

what would you consider as practicing and non-practicing? Rituals, prayers or behavior in the daily life?
Just that! :-)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:29 am

Hanzze wrote: Dear Marmalade,

what would you consider as practicing and non-practicing? Rituals, prayers or behavior in the daily life?


Either rituals and prayers on their own - or rituals, prayers, and behaviour in daily life.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:32 am

What about people who just look about there behavior, just follow the sample of Buddha or Jesus without any payer or rituals. Would they be called practicing Christian or Buddhist?
Just that! :-)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:11 pm

Hanzze wrote:What about people who just look about there behavior, just follow the sample of Buddha or Jesus without any payer or rituals. Would they be called practicing Christian or Buddhist?


I think as follows: what if people don't specifically follow the example of Buddha or of Jesus - don't make a point of following either - yet behave in ways which are kind, empathetic, non-violent, and considerate towards humans and/ or animals?
In answer to myself, I feel that they would not be practicing either Buddhism or Christianity.

So, in answer to your question, I'm not sure that I would classify the people to whom you refer - people who look about their behaviour following the example of Jesus or Buddha - as 100% practicing Christian or Buddhist.

Yet, the behavioural area to which you allude is the area which matters to me.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby ground » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:43 am

Marmalade wrote:I'd like to ask if there are practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists and non-practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists?

Yes there are both types.

Marmalade wrote:If so, what generally, is considered to be important in defining practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists? Regular meditation, and frequent reading of the relevant scriptures, perhaps?

To capture this through definition is not possible. Why? Because there are times when refraining from practice is the best practice. However even this "refraining from" can hardly be practiced appropriately if not conditioned by former hearing/reading and meditation.

Marmalade wrote:Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?

Yes. I would add "towards oneself".

Kind regards
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Hanzze » Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:39 am

Marmalade wrote:
Hanzze wrote:What about people who just look about there behavior, just follow the sample of Buddha or Jesus without any payer or rituals. Would they be called practicing Christian or Buddhist?


I think as follows: what if people don't specifically follow the example of Buddha or of Jesus - don't make a point of following either - yet behave in ways which are kind, empathetic, non-violent, and considerate towards humans and/ or animals?
In answer to myself, I feel that they would not be practicing either Buddhism or Christianity.

So, in answer to your question, I'm not sure that I would classify the people to whom you refer - people who look about their behaviour following the example of Jesus or Buddha - as 100% practicing Christian or Buddhist.

Yet, the behavioural area to which you allude is the area which matters to me.

Dear Marmalade,
if it would be that to follow Buddha means to reduce harming, develop compassion and help others and out of that your own mind gets calmer and your life is filled with loving kindness and joy, would it be different to someone who practice 100% in following Jesus?
Just that! :-)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Marmalade » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:18 pm

Hanzze wrote: Dear Marmalade,
if it would be that to follow Buddha means to reduce harming, develop compassion and help others and out of that your own mind gets calmer and your life is filled with loving kindness and joy, would it be different to someone who practice 100% in following Jesus?



I would think so, Hanzze, yes.

(However, my question was not about that issue).
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)
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Re: practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Postby Tara » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:23 pm

Marmalade wrote:.... Yet, the behavioural area to which you allude is the area which matters to me.

Hanzze wrote:Dear Marmalade,
if it would be that to follow Buddha means to reduce harming, develop compassion and help others and out of that your own mind gets calmer and your life is filled with loving kindness and joy, would it be different to someone who practice 100% in following Jesus?


Marmalade wrote:.... I'd like to ask if there are practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists and non-practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists?
If so, what generally, is considered to be important in defining practising Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists? Regular meditation, and frequent reading of the relevant scriptures, perhaps?

Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?

Thanks.


As can be clearly seen from the above quoted original post the poster is asking for information regarding practicing/non practicing Buddhists. Giving answers which are about comparisons between, in this case Christians and Buddhists, is a tad unhelpful if the questioner has little or no knowledge of what it means to call oneself or be a Buddhist practitioner. Please therefore keep to the topic. Feel free however to start a new topic in an appropriate location with regard to comparisons between different faith systems, thanks for your cooperation.

:focus:

Regards,
rt
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Tara
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