Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:51 pm

The way I see it, we use "buddh-ism" as the starting point. We dispense with the "-ism" as we proceed.
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm
Location: Gone Bush

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby wisdom » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:53 pm

Ogyen wrote:The question originally was what YOU (my fellow dharma-lings) thought Buddhism would look like without the ism... -NOT: is looking at it not possible because we're on an internet forum... am I smoking something wild here? thoughts?


Buddhism without the -ism is Buddha.

-isms are just so many fashions and trends. They change with the times, the culture, the people, ones mood, the individual. Your -ism changes based on reading something in a book, or hearing an idea presented eloquently, or due to a major life event, or a minor one. The -ism of Buddhism is the changing and temporal aspect of the Buddha, it is the samsaric clothing that covers the Buddha and our own true nature.

As such there is nothing inherently wrong with -isms, unless you mistake them for the Buddha himself, or unless you mistake the -ism as being an inherently real, lasting, eternal object and identify yourself with that object.

Buddhism without the ism is bare naked reality, ones true nature exposed to oneself without any contrivances, walls, fabrications or discursive thoughts. It is beyond the word "Buddhism" and beyond all forms and ideas whatsoever. It is truly inexpressible, and the -isms are the many paths that lead to that inexpressible truth.
User avatar
wisdom
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:06 am

Greetings Ogyen,

Ogyen wrote:Come to think of it, I know next to nothing of Buddhism. I know sutras, and some practices, and I know what people tell me, and what I'm told about this or that reality. But in truth, it's easiest let it all go and just be 'human.' At least I know what that means and how it connects me to the rest of the world...

The litmus test for any Dharma teaching is:

- Does this directly connect to experience? (i.e. is it phenomenological?, as opposed to political, ontological, metaphysical, speculative etc.)
- Does this connect to suffering and its cessation?
- Can it be applied?

If it does then it pertains to both the Dharma and to being 'human'.

Do the things that people tell you about this or that reality meet the standard?

Maitri,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:32 am

Does every thread have to devolve into a battle regarding the supremacy of Dzogchen? I mean, you (that includes Virgo) can just ignore the bait being dangled and stay on topic. Like use some of that non-discriminating awareness we keep talking about?!

Back to topic.

I am a vegetarian, BUT I have no problem eating the veges that have been cooked together with meat in a dish. It saves the host the problem of cooking another meal and I stave off my hunger for another 3-4 hours. That is my way of dealing with Buddhism, I pick around the -ism to get to the Buddh-. But you know what? A lot of the time the -ism is not so bad anyway. ;)
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9804
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:07 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
I am a vegetarian, BUT I have no problem eating the veges that have been cooked together with meat in a dish. It saves the host the problem of cooking another meal and I stave off my hunger for another 3-4 hours. That is my way of dealing with Buddhism, I pick around the -ism to get to the Buddh-. But you know what? A lot of the time the -ism is not so bad anyway. ;)


:good:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2970
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Space is the Place

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Anders » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:13 am

gregkavarnos wrote:I am a vegetarian, BUT I have no problem eating the veges that have been cooked together with meat in a dish. It saves the host the problem of cooking another meal and I stave off my hunger for another 3-4 hours. That is my way of dealing with Buddhism, I pick around the -ism to get to the Buddh-. But you know what? A lot of the time the -ism is not so bad anyway. ;)
:namaste:


:lol: :good:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 751
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:36 pm

Anders wrote:Buddh-ism without the -ism, as I understand these words anyway, wouldn't reference any Buddhist teachings other than personal experience since that would create the codification such an endeavour seeks to avoid. So basically, more like non-denominational nondualist forums I suppose (I am guessing, I haven't really checked those out).

I don't mind the -isms. I think, rather than making it an either/or thing, it's more a case of a balancing act. We can enter and use these codifications, but at the same time the onus is on us to retain our spiritual vibrancy and and not too caught up sorting out the ashes of the words of actual adepts. Every once in a while, a counter reaction might be merited to do the trick. I see Zen Buddhism as a nice expression of that for me. It lives unapologetically within the 'Buddhist' system and doesn't seek to sever itself from it, but it's always with a tentative relationship, constantly urging practitioners not to get stuck with dead words, highlighting the limitations of merely comforming to frameworks (inner ones, moreso than outer ones), sometimes radically so, which is how the whole Zen speak thing started.

I mean, if you go and ask a Buddhist teacher 'does a dog have Buddha-nature' and he says 'no', how are we supposed to take this? Is this guy a madhyamikan, is he making commentary on the orthodoxy of the Tathagatagarbha doctrine? What Zhao Zhou was saying when he made his famous reply was taking a 'Buddhist' question and turning it around to answer the questioners own situation, not the situation of the abstract tenet system 'Buddhism'. And then he made the 'Buddhism' come alive. Another time, he said 'yes'.

But for me, the point is that while all these words and concepts may only be the remnant ashes of a vibrant experience left behind by others, it does not follow that we should not make use of it or stay away from it. We just need to recognise it for what it is. And sometimes, be reminded, maybe even a bit radically.

Of course, into all this you have to consider that in actual practise all this is just a part of the melting pot of affliction, wisdom, habit and moments of grace. Often all these from the same people. We are just people after all. There's attachment to the -isms, sometimes the contractions of dogma seem positively stiffling, sometimes there's wisdom shining through nevertheless, arguments, compassion, wild adharma, etc. Samsara, baby.

The bottomline for me is that trying too hard to avoid -isms reminds me a bit of a latin proverb: "Dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria currunt."

I am not convinced the alternatives to Buddh-ism would necessarily come out any better once we step away from our idealised vision of how it might be like.


I'm 100% with you here. Codification is an intrinsic part of our own cognitive process. It can't be an either/or process.

The potentials and circumstances of sentient beings differ, and so different forms of the Buddhist Teaching have been devised, some open, some closed, utilizing all sorts of terminology. The Dharma is expressed effectively to all sentient beings according to what they are ready to hear.

—Master Ou-I, 9th Pure Land Patriarch in China
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:38 pm

dharmagoat wrote:The way I see it, we use "buddh-ism" as the starting point. We dispense with the "-ism" as we proceed.


Like a learning curve?
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:39 pm

underthetree wrote:I think that perhaps without the ism, we're left with a tree, a stand of kusha grass, the sun going down beyond a slow river. And we sit down beneath the tree.


Nicely put!!!! Thank you.
:namaste:
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:43 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ogyen,

Ogyen wrote:Come to think of it, I know next to nothing of Buddhism. I know sutras, and some practices, and I know what people tell me, and what I'm told about this or that reality. But in truth, it's easiest let it all go and just be 'human.' At least I know what that means and how it connects me to the rest of the world...

The litmus test for any Dharma teaching is:

- Does this directly connect to experience? (i.e. is it phenomenological?, as opposed to political, ontological, metaphysical, speculative etc.)
- Does this connect to suffering and its cessation?
- Can it be applied?

If it does then it pertains to both the Dharma and to being 'human'.

Do the things that people tell you about this or that reality meet the standard?

Maitri,
Retro. :)


I was trying to articulate within myself this sense, how do I separate the (hodgepodge?) -isms that derive from so many sources, so many voices from the 'actual' meat of the non-dual matter? Always appreciate your solid, rational approach, thanks Retro!

:namaste:
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:48 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I am a vegetarian, BUT I have no problem eating the veges that have been cooked together with meat in a dish. It saves the host the problem of cooking another meal and I stave off my hunger for another 3-4 hours. That is my way of dealing with Buddhism, I pick around the -ism to get to the Buddh-. But you know what? A lot of the time the -ism is not so bad anyway. ;)
:namaste:


This is the heart of the matter then, you are trying to be kind, not right about what being a Buddhist means. That is being more the Buddha and less the Buddhist. Key. I think sometimes the terminology lets us lose track of the real essence of kindness that is at the base of the actual codification of these concepts.

:namaste:
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:58 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Be a Buddha, NOT a Buddhist. I think that's the bottom line.


Right. But don't forget, "Buddhist" is just a temporary label for those walking on the path to becoming a Buddha.

It's really quite a wonderful thing. Of course, with any fire, there is a bit of soot. So just stay focused on the flame, not the soot. When you're a Buddha, you can forget about the path, -and stop following the fire you see through the woods-- you will be the flame. But to stand in the dark, wander off the path and away from the flame because of aversion for a little soot-- and then imagine you are a Buddha-this probably isn't going to help!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2970
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Space is the Place

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:00 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Ogyen wrote:
Be a Buddha, NOT a Buddhist. I think that's the bottom line.


Right. But don't forget, "Buddhist" is just a temporary label for those walking on the path to becoming a Buddha.

It's really quite a wonderful thing. Of course, with any fire, there is a bit of soot. So just stay focused on the flame, not the soot. When you're a Buddha, you can forget about the path, -and stop following the fire you see through the woods-- you will be the flame. But to stand in the dark, wander off the path and away from the flame because of aversion for a little soot-- and then imagine you are a Buddha-this probably isn't going to help!


great point - especially since we all have aversion to the soot in some form. Important to see it for its real worth, which is intrinsic to the flame's burning. But at some point, does the flame burn clean? Isn't that the point of not generating any more karma when you become that realized?

Will contemplate.

:namaste:
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:46 pm

Ogyen wrote:what do you think? What would Buddhism look like without the -ism?


The same? Just as long as you don't think of it as a label to begin with? Just your mind thinking it a label is the very thing that makes it a label, is it not? If you don't think it's a label, then it's not a label. My 2 cents. :)

The longer I practice, the more turned off I am by the things I attach and cling to within the -ism of Buddhism.


So stop attaching to them? Then no problems? (Yes, I know this is easier said than done. But it really seems like the proper solution) So Buddhism without the ism would really be just plain old Buddhism minus the clinging. The fact that it has an ism is a function of the clinging. No clinging, no ism. But that does not change Buddhism, it changes yourself.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:37 pm

seeker242 wrote:So stop attaching to them? Then no problems?


exactly. :bow:
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby odysseus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:00 pm

I have been interested in Buddhism for 10 years, but I still feel like I cannot call myself a Buddhist. I like to say that I don´t have a religion. Sometimes I feel like I understand Dharma and it appeals to me, but in the end of the day I´m still confused. All I know is that I don`t need to label myself following a "philosophy" but that Dharma has benefitted me in some ways and that`s the most important to me!
Buddha is family.
Buddha is the best peacemaker.
Buddha is the best priest.
Buddha is the best doctor.
Buddha is best on Earth.
My lord is best.
odysseus
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:45 pm

odysseus wrote:I have been interested in Buddhism for 10 years, but I still feel like I cannot call myself a Buddhist. I like to say that I don´t have a religion. Sometimes I feel like I understand Dharma and it appeals to me, but in the end of the day I´m still confused. All I know is that I don`t need to label myself following a "philosophy" but that Dharma has benefitted me in some ways and that`s the most important to me!



... in essence, isn't the benefit the bottom line?
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:54 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ogyen,

Ogyen wrote:Come to think of it, I know next to nothing of Buddhism. I know sutras, and some practices, and I know what people tell me, and what I'm told about this or that reality. But in truth, it's easiest let it all go and just be 'human.' At least I know what that means and how it connects me to the rest of the world...

The litmus test for any Dharma teaching is:

- Does this directly connect to experience? (i.e. is it phenomenological?, as opposed to political, ontological, metaphysical, speculative etc.)
- Does this connect to suffering and its cessation?
- Can it be applied?

If it does then it pertains to both the Dharma and to being 'human'.

Do the things that people tell you about this or that reality meet the standard?

Maitri,
Retro. :)

:good:
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Ogyen » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:18 am

After attending the ChNNR retreat this weekend, I finally became CRYSTAL clear on why I was questioning the -ism in Buddhism and even hesitated to call myself a Buddh-ist.

It seemed like somehow, past the basic superficial level of 'practicing dharma' (therefore being a practicing Buddhist) there is a kind of fundamental 'attitude' in many of my peers where they themselves believe they are 'doing something.' I don't have this experience and sometimes I question, what is it that's so special that I'm doing?

Let me explain, my experience of 'practice' is not necessarily the 'doing the mantra' or the 'doing the puja' or what have you, those are special moments that cinch together the heart of the practice, but are NOT the heart of the practice. They simply hold together the form for the practice. To me the heart of the practice IS being present. What am I DOING when I am being present? Not much that the eye can see. I don't look any different than anyone else. Children are always present in their reality. They're not being 'special' for this presence. They are children. Essentially, breathing alone is practice, because life is a struggle. Because suffering exists here and now within me. Breathing is an exercise in patience, kindness, and faith in the next moment's potential when the fear of death or being present in this moment prevents me from 'breathing easy.'

So I'm not really a 'buddhist' I'm just a person doing their best. There is nothing extraordinary about this. When I tell someone "Oh I'm a Buddhist." it's like I open up a separation that kind of bothers me. Not in my perception, but in theirs, because now this person that I wish to connect with is thinking, "Well, what IS a buddhist? What does a buddhist do?" like there's something special about what I do or believe in. Or if they are a buddhist, then it's like the moment for jargon opens up and they say, 'Well what kind of buddhism? What is your lineage?' again a divider I'm not intending to create, but create indirectly just by stating this special difference about 'being buddhist.'

When I read that quote by the Dalai Lama about his religion being kindness, I thought, HOW NICE. No separation. More unites us than divides us, even on these boards, people argue till the cows come home, and then say, OH WELL, it's a forum, that is what is done. But it's narrow vision. Like that of those who use the forum in that way. Some people use the forum to actually encourage others to progress on their real life paths outside of all the -isms, and this is good, they are needed for the people who argue till the cows come home. This is why I come back here, because these people are here too.

It never became so clear to me till I attended this teaching this weekend and I had a vivid dream where someone asked me (my inner teacher asked me) "Why do you hesitate to call yourself Buddhist?" And my answer was clear and immediate, "Because I'm not doing 'anything special' than what anyone else is doing." I woke up and thought, this is it. Yes, the -ism is just the container for the flavor of how I am pursuing this truth of being, but beyond the container, truth cannot be contained. So I respect the Buddhadharma for everything it contains, but I personally at this point, have been seeing less reasons to create separations between myself and others in conversations where the heart of the always shared matter is ever-connecting.

In closing, my being a Buddhist is a small portion of the larger being that IS in its natural state of being human. Now that I realize this, I hope I can simply apply skill when I meet people and know what it is that will divide us in conversation and what it is that will unite us. The use of Buddhist- as a term may or may not be appropriate, but I understood the precise state I do not want to foster with its indiscriminate use. It is true that that which you learn directly cannot be 'told' to anyone, but it can be put into application. Thanks all for a great thread! :cheers:
Image Made from 100% recycled karma

The Heart Drive Word Press
Mud to Lotus

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy
User avatar
Ogyen
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Buddh-ism without the -ism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:09 am

I liken meditation sessions to martial arts classes (being a martial arts teacher): the stuff you "learn" or do during the sessions and classes is not for the benefit of the practice (ie my practice is going well) itself, but for application afterwards in the "real world" when you really need it. One does not learn martial arts so they can execute a perfect technique in class but so that, when attacked, one can defend themselves. One does not meditate in order to maintain perfect posture and composure during the session, they meditate so that in the midst of an emotional tornado (samsara) they can manage to maintain mindfulness and deal "correctly" with the situations/phenomena that arise.

I call myself a Buddhist because the Buddhist practices that have been taught to me and I practice allow me to be capable (most of the time) of maintaining my mindfulness exactly when it is really needed. I call myself Buddhist because I acknowledge that the practices, the sangha and the Buddha provide me with the fertile ground, water and sunlight for my seeds (my enlightened nature) to grow and blossom.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9804
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

PreviousNext

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

>