All Buddhists Are Atheists

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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Astus » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:27 pm

Jnana wrote:Well, right view is important. Without it non-conceptual jñāna doesn't occur. And without non-conceptual jñāna liberation can't be realized.


But very few Buddhists care about liberation, or believe that it is possible in this life for them. And even when some say it is important for them they lack the motivation to relinquish their own views. That's how stream entry and the first bhumi became traditionally high level goals when they were meant to be the entrance originally. Those who believe that buddhahood is just a single realisation away (sudden paths) tend to use it as an excuse for disparaging every other teaching while they themselves wait for some sort of miraculous enlightenment without knowing the path leading to it. Therefore accumulating merit and developing familiarity with the Dharma has to be regarded as an auspicious sign that the person will eventually conform with the teaching sometime in the future.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:06 pm

oushi wrote:So why are you asking for presentation? Didn't you realize it yet?

images.jpg
images.jpg (5.9 KiB) Viewed 329 times

Desire for something you already have brings negative outcomes.
This does not answer my question. But I'm getting used to this type of behaviour from you. Well, bored of it actually.
oushi wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:When you say awareness what do you mean?
Presence.
Presence of what (and don't be predictable and say awareness).
All three speak about the same thing and nothing more. If there is one, how will you call it? No need to label it. But if someone is stuck in the middle of differentiation, how will you bring him to oneness that is different then just sum of all elements?
You labeled it and I asked you what th labels mean to you. Again you fail to answer. Do you have an answer or do you just wish to play word games? So what is this "thing" that YOU SAID that "all three speak about"? Let me guess: awarenes/presence.
Presence, mind, Buddha or God. All point's to the same, not being something different from it. It's all possible thanks to "man" and "woman", Adam and Eve, yin and yang, subject and object, left brain and right brain.
And what is this "same" that they all point to? Let me guess: awareness/presence.

Something which you failed to define from the beginning.

Then you wonder why I don't bother talking to you.
There is no meditator and no meditation;
there is no deity and there is no mantra;
the deity and the mantra truly reside
in the nature that is free of elaboration
This is from the Hevajra Tantra. See how it is capable of clearly defining and explaining. That's because unlike the stuff you and me write, it was written by somebody that had truly realised it. We are just like masks with paper tongues flapping in the wind. Or to put it in a western idiom: talking loud, saying nothing!

Back to the cushion we go! :smile:
: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
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:31 pm

PS While having a shower the thought occured to me:

Zen masters use "nonsense" in order to display their realisation,
we attempt to copy their "nonsense" in order to disguise our ignorance.
: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
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:31 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:While having a shower


There is a God.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby oushi » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:56 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:This does not answer my question. But I'm getting used to this type of behaviour from you. Well, bored of it actually.

YES. Better? There are different ways one can approach knowing, that's why I presented the answer in that way. Was it too complicated?
gregkavarnos wrote:You labeled it and I asked you what th labels mean to you. Again you fail to answer. Do you have an answer or do you just wish to play word games? So what is this "thing" that YOU SAID that "all three speak about"? Let me guess: awarenes/presence.

That only proves you are stuck and just juggling with labels. Instead of contemplating presence, you are asking for another verbal explanation. I gave you a label, and you are asking me to show you the labeled using another label. It's like asking "So what is this red color?".
gregkavarnos wrote:And what is this "same" that they all point to?

You want another label, or you think it is possible to paste non-duality in video tag?
gregkavarnos wrote:Something which you failed to define from the beginning.

Tell me, how would you like me to define union of subject and object? Are you able to comprehend subject, or you operate only on objects? Paste yourself in the next post and I will add an object.
gregkavarnos wrote:Then you wonder why I don't bother talking to you.

How smart... You just did...
gregkavarnos wrote:"There is no meditator and no meditation;
there is no deity and there is no mantra;
the deity and the mantra truly reside
in the nature that is free of elaboration"
This is from the Hevajra Tantra. See how it is capable of clearly defining and explaining. That's because unlike the stuff you and me write, it was written by somebody that had truly realised it. We are just like masks with paper tongues flapping in the wind. Or to put it in a western idiom: talking loud, saying nothing!

You are missing something dude, or rather mixing. If there is no meditator, how come is he speaking about one? If there is no meditation, why mention it's non-existance? When two joins into one, there is no duality, no meditator and no meditation, but what if two are separate? Can you negate suffering?
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:40 am

oushi wrote:When two joins into one....

There is no "one" either.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:42 am

gregkavarnos wrote:PS While having a shower the thought occured to me:

Zen masters use "nonsense" in order to display their realisation,
we attempt to copy their "nonsense" in order to disguise our ignorance.
:namaste:


Sometimes. Most of us, probably. Depends who you mean by "we."
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sara H » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:48 am

To Jikan and Jnana
The answer to your question is because nobody has any idea what you are talking about when you use those foreign terms.
What you call "Buddhist terms" (and I think you mostly mean "asian" terms) are not more prevalent to most new Buddhists at all.
Most people who are new to Buddhism in the west are coming out of Abrahamic backgrounds, and have little to no knowledge of Buddhist terminology.

It just creates more confusion and complicates things for people when you use these foreign terms. Especially when there are English close equivalents that can be used.
Nobody knows what the word "dharani" means.
They just might know what the word "litany" means though.
Some words don't have an English equivalent, such as Bodhisattva names.

The point of teaching the Dharma is to show people how to do Buddhist practice, not to memorize a glossary list of foreign words.
New practitioners end up spending much of their first year or so, just learning what those foreign words mean.

Jnana when you wrote:
The Indian Buddhist traditions spent 1500 years hammering out precise tenets, definitions of terms, epistemology, etc. So when someone now wants to use idiosyncratic terms and definitions it's to be expected that they're going to be called on it. Even in one of Rev. Jiyu-Kennett's books there's a forward that acknowledges and attempts to account for her use of theistic language. Her novel linguistic conventions are rather far removed from the mainstream Indian Buddhist thought-world.

Is completely ignoring the fact that every single culture that Buddhism has gone into has changed or translated the previously used words into the local native equivalents when there were equivalents or "good enough" words to use.

You think in countries often had lots of illiteracy and farmer and peasant populations, they forced them to use exotic foreign words?

Buddhism, does not depend upon the use of exotic terms.

Tibet, uses Tibetan language words, China uses Chinese language words.
Japan, uses Japanese words.
Vietnam and Korea use Vietnamese and Korean words.
India, uses Indian words.
So here in the west, we can't use English words?
We have to say "dharani" huh Jikan?
"litany" doesn't work?
The question I would ask you is why do you use asian words when there are English or close/English (there are always translation problems when translating a language) equivalents?
Does it "sound cooler" or "more exotic" if you say "dharani"?
Buddhism is supposed to be practical, and of immediate use to people to help them with their life and suffering.
If you use foreign terms, where they are not necessary, it ceases to be of immediate use to people or becomes less so because it becomes daunting that they have to spend extra time learning what exotic terms mean.
Have you considered how this effects lower class people? Or poor people, or working people who don't have time to learn exotic scholarly terms?
Buddhism is for everyone. Not just upper-middle class white people.
It has to be accessible to everyone if it's to be of any use to people.
Minimizing the amount of culture shock goes a long way toward helping people with that.

In Gassho,
Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:10 am

Sara H wrote:The answer to your question is because nobody has any idea what you are talking about when you use those foreign terms.
What you call "Buddhist terms" (and I think you mostly mean "asian" terms) are not more prevalent to most new Buddhists at all.

People are capable of learning the dharma. I know many Westerners who have studied Indian sūtras, treatises, and commentaries in considerable detail. And it's possible to do this in English.

Sara H wrote:Most people who are new to Buddhism in the west are coming out of Abrahamic backgrounds, and have little to no knowledge of Buddhist terminology.

Many times throughout history Buddhism has co-existed as a minority movement within a larger cultural context that was not Buddhist, similar to the pluralistic situation of today. But this hasn't required Buddhists to adopt the monotheistic, pantheistic, or atheistic thought-world of other religious and philosophical traditions, which are not compatible with the Buddhadharma. Similarly, there are many forms of Buddhism in the West today that are transmitting the teachings without recourse to theistic terminology.

Sara H wrote:It just creates more confusion and complicates things if you use terms terms that have English equivalents that work just as well.

Well, I don't think that using terms like "God" or "The Eternal" work just was well. It's not at all clear what referents these terms are supposed to refer to in a Buddhist context.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sara H » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:20 am

Jnana wrote:People are capable of learning the dharma. I know many Westerners who have studied Indian sūtras, treatises, and commentaries in considerable detail. And it's possible to do this in English.

The "Dharma" is about finding the Unborn for yourself.
You can teach people to do that, without using foreign terms, or a minimal of them.
This isn't intellectualism.
This is Buddhism.

Many times throughout history Buddhism has co-existed as a minority movement within a larger cultural context that was not Buddhist, similar to the pluralistic situation of today. But this hasn't required Buddhists to adopt the monotheistic, pantheistic, or atheistic thought-world of other religious and philosophical traditions, which are not compatible with the Buddhadharma. Similarly, there are many forms of Buddhism in the West today that are transmitting the teachings without recourse to theistic terminology.


You're being facetious. We've already clearly established that these words don't nessicarily imply theism. And that there are other uses for them.

Well, I don't think that using terms like "God" or "The Eternal" work just was well. It's not at all clear what referents these terms are supposed to refer to in a Buddhist context.

Because, it's entirely clear to a poor urban kid what "Tathagatagarba" means. ; )

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Jnana » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:57 am

Sara H wrote:The "Dharma" is about finding the Unborn for yourself.

There's no such animal as "the Unborn." Reifying negations as truly existent entities results in extreme eternalist views. Moreover, there is no need whatsoever to capitalize such terms in English translation. They aren't proper names.

Sara H wrote:You can teach people to do that, without using foreign terms, or a minimal of them.

Yes we can.

Sara H wrote:We've already clearly established that these words don't nessicarily imply theism. And that there are other uses for them.

No, we haven't. I can offer reasons for why these terms cannot be established as having meaningful referents. For example, Trungpa Rinpoche, Journey Without Goal:

    Having understood very clearly and precisely that the perceiver does not exist, we therefore conclude that God does not exist either.

Sara H wrote:Because, it's entirely clear to a poor urban kid what "Tathagatagarba" means. ; )

I know from personal experience that social and financial status aren't very relevant to whether or not one can learn the dharma.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sara H » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:53 am

Well I think I've said all that can be helpful to say on this.
I think I'm going to bid this thread adieu for now.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:56 am

deepbluehum wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:While having a shower


There is a God.
:rolling:
"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
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:19 am

oushi wrote:YES. Better? There are different ways one can approach knowing, that's why I presented the answer in that way. Was it too complicated?
I asked if you considered "knowing" as a positive or a negative trait and you answer "YES"??? Then you insinuate that it is my fault when I don't understand? :shrug:
That only proves you are stuck and just juggling with labels.
No, it proves that your label was not clear enough. If you fail to explain something clearly so that the other person understands what you are trying to explain it is not the other persons fault. I may be thick, but I am not that thick. ;)
You want another label, or you think it is possible to paste non-duality in video tag?
...
Tell me, how would you like me to define union of subject and object?
If you meant non-duality from the begining then you should just have said non-duality. This leads to my next question then: How can non-duality be composed of parts (male-female, yin-yang, and all those other examples you furnished)?

Notice how I edited out the ad hominims when I quoted you? Next time, just don't use them, and I won't need to go to the effort.

You are missing something dude, or rather mixing. If there is no meditator, how come is he speaking about one? If there is no meditation, why mention it's non-existance? When two joins into one, there is no duality, no meditator and no meditation, but what if two are separate? Can you negate suffering?
And again we reach the starting point of all our conversations: Do not ignore relative truth. It is truth as well. The union of relative and ultimate truth does not come about by ignoring one (ie relative truth) of the two. Now, of course, you may take a Dzogchen view and say there is only one truth, but again it is not that the one truth is just the ultimate truth, the one truth is: that what we conceive of as seperate was always unified anyway.

How does this tie into this thread? Simple: there is no need to redefine God in Buddhist terms, just like there is no need to redefine Buddhism in theistic terms, both are true of their own accord.
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: shpelling miztayks
"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
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:22 am

Jikan wrote:Sometimes. Most of us, probably. Depends who you mean by "we."
"We" the largely (like 99.99999999% of the time) ignorant! This also includes the royal "we", ie ME!
: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
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:23 am

Jnana wrote:
Fu Ri Shin wrote:Sara has qualified her definition of God, which is apparently not only hers personally but also of the Order of Buddhists Contemplatives.

The Indian Buddhist traditions spent 1500 years hammering out precise tenets, definitions of terms, epistemology, etc. So when someone now wants to use idiosyncratic terms and definitions it's to be expected that they're going to be called on it. Even in one of Rev. Jiyu-Kennett's books there's a forward that acknowledges and attempts to account for her use of theistic language. Her novel linguistic conventions are rather far removed from the mainstream Indian Buddhist thought-world.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Fu Ri Shin wrote:Sara has qualified her definition of God, which is apparently not only hers personally but also of the Order of Buddhists Contemplatives.
Why would I care about how the OBC defines God? I would no more look to the OBC's definition of God as I would look to the Southern Baptists Convention to define Nirvana. It is not exactly the most intelligent "appeal to authority" now, is it?
:namaste:

My intention in mentioning the OBC was to reiterate that it is not a completely "personal" definition in that it is at least slightly widely used. Moreover, an affiliation with the OBC would explain the perhaps dubious usage of the word God.

The overall purpose of my comments was to challenge the practice of disputing (1) vocabulary usage that has been fully elucidated but is of an unconventional nature, and (2) disputing self-identification choices related to said vocabulary usage and related conceptual viewpoints.

There's nothing inherently wrong with the two types of disputing mentioned above, I just think it's a lot of fuss over nothing of real importance.
"Once delusion is extinguished, your wisdom naturally arises and you don’t differentiate suffering and joy. Actually, this joy and this suffering, they are the same."

— Chinese hermit, Amongst White Clouds
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Yudron » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:04 pm

Sara H wrote:To Jikan and Jnana

Buddhism is for everyone. Not just upper-middle class white people.
It has to be accessible to everyone if it's to be of any use to people.
Minimizing the amount of culture shock goes a long way toward helping people with that.

In Gassho,
Sara H

Most of the people in Tibet pre-1959 were illiterate, there were no public schools. Dharma studies was an activity of an elite in monasteries or from families who could provide tutors. The general Tibetan population does not know much of the vocabulary of Buddhist doctrine. If they want to learn to practice, lamas give them a very simple practice, for example describing the core visualization of a practice and having them recite a mantra while holding it.

We in literate educated societies generally want more than that.
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:15 pm

Sara H wrote:It just creates more confusion and complicates things for people when you use these foreign terms. Especially when there are English close equivalents that can be used.
Nobody knows what the word "dharani" means.
They just might know what the word "litany" means though.
Some words don't have an English equivalent, such as Bodhisattva names.
Litany is an Ancient Greek and Latin word. It is a "foreign" term that has been adopted to describe a phenomenon that did not have an English term equivalent.
The word comes from the Latin litania and the Ancient Greek: λιτανεία (litaneía), which in turn comes from Ancient Greek: λιτή (litê), meaning "supplication".
Supplication is also a "foreign" word. A Middle English term via Latin to be exact.

As for the Bodhisattva names, they can actually be translated into English.

So, I'm sorry, but the example you furnish to support your argument actually causes it to fall apart at the seams.
: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
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby oushi » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:25 pm

Forgive me, but I wont answer all your concerns this time.
gregkavarnos wrote:And again we reach the starting point of all our conversations: Do not ignore relative truth. It is truth as well.

You gave an answer for all your questions here. Why do you need to divide truth into two, when both are true? Maybe because those two truths contradict each other. You have samsara and nirvana. But in Mahayana Buddha transcends both. That is why it was said that "Awakening and Nirvana are like tethering posts for donkeys". To be honest, I'm tired of explaining it in a metaphysical sense. You simply have left and right brain hemispheres with separate awareness building one experience. On the left you have samsara, one the right you have nirvana, two separated by the gateless gate (special function of the right hemisphere). In hinayana they chase after nirvana, in Mahayana (and Christianity) it's all about the union of those two, because only by union the picture is unbroken and God is revealed. That is why there is nothing to reject, and nothing to be found. The truth is all there is. It is easy to pinpoint awareness of the left hemisphere, as it manifests in thinking, personality, ego and none of this should be rejected. The problem lies in appearance of the left hemisphere awareness, as it is the whole perceived world. Because it is treated as external and alien, conflict arises. It is simply described in Christianity as "if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness." and "the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you."
As you can see, the union of the internal and external creates all, and as such it was called Creator, or the Source. As it encompasses all, it is Alfa and Omega. As it is nothing but vivid play of presence, it is called Buddha.

It won’t probably satisfy you, but we are not here to satisfy each other, right?
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Re: All Buddhists Are Atheists

Postby Matt J » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:00 pm

Well, one would say that the Unborn is neither existent nor truly existent, so it wouldn't result in an extreme eternalist view.

I think people capitalize it so you don't get it mixed up with an curled up little embryo.

Jnana wrote:
Sara H wrote:The "Dharma" is about finding the Unborn for yourself.

There's no such animal as "the Unborn." Reifying negations as truly existent entities results in extreme eternalist views. Moreover, there is no need whatsoever to capitalize such terms in English translation. They aren't proper names.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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