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When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist... - Dhamma Wheel

When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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Wizard in the Forest
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When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:04 pm

I was told by a person (who doesn't really like me) that, "In imparting the Dharma, we need to develop skill and means. The capability/aptitude of the listener/questioner should be the springboard.
When a newbie claims naive to Buddha Dharma should ask what they should do to become a Buddhist, suggesting to take Refuge and the Precepts is definitely unskillful."

Is it really unskillful to tell the truth? What harm could befall telling others about taking refuge and taking up the precepts?
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

PeterB
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:10 pm

Nothing. Your suggestion is a good one.

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Bonsai Doug
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Bonsai Doug » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:14 pm

Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:42 pm

"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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andre9999
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby andre9999 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:19 pm


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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:26 pm

"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

lojong1
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby lojong1 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:14 pm


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Goofaholix
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:50 pm

Don't become a Buddhist, don't become anything.

I found my way without anybody telling me "to be a Buddhist you must do this or that", I think probably most of us did, it's unnecessary.

PeterB
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:55 pm


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Goofaholix
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:24 pm


PeterB
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:32 pm

Perhaps that is to your disadvantage. I think an ongoing conversion experience is of the essence, and that in terms of effort there is a clearly defined minimum which most of us are still working to achieve. And that we should avail ourselves of every life line thrown to us by the Triple Gem.

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Goofaholix
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:49 pm


PeterB
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby PeterB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:57 pm

In the experience of many chanting the Precepts and Refuges are a prime way of tapping into our inner resources.

Left to our own devises none of us would discover for ourselves what the Buddha discovered .

A willingness to be told what what to do by others who have demonstrated that they know what they are doing is a sign of maturity .

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Goofaholix
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:16 pm


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Ben
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:30 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:35 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Monkey Mind
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:38 pm

I'll state the obvious, if no one else will. And I am not picking fights, just observing. Your friend is a Mahayana Buddhist. They run the risk of burning in a Hell realm or accruing "really bad karma" if they take a precept and fail to uphold it. Likewise if one starts out on the 8fold path, but then quits midway, "really bad karma" results, and disastrous results are expected. If one holds such a belief, it makes sense to practice a lot more caution before proclaiming oneself to be a Buddhist, and one needs to be especially careful around newcomers.

If you do not fear the supernatural repercussions of making mistakes or acting out ignorance, then taking the precepts for a day or a week is better than nothing at all. Try and try again, to whatever your wisdom is developed and to whatever extent you are still bound by ignorance and delusion. You are fighting a circular argument with your friend; respect that his position is oriented in a dramatically different POV.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

lojong1
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby lojong1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:53 pm

Mahayana or not, breaking my word gets easier with practice.

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:11 am

I've been told by so many people, for so many different reasons, why I'm not a "true" Buddhist, that finally came to believe it myself. So I no longer claim Budhhistnesshood, I just do the best I can with what I have. Seems to keep people out of my hair, which I like. So perhaps a good answer if someone asks what it takes to be a Buddhist might be to respond that it's harder NOT to be a Buddhist, and while they try to figure that one out, slip away and eat a sandwich. :P

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Monkey Mind
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Re: When someone asks what it takes to become a Buddhist...

Postby Monkey Mind » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:39 am

"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710


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