The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

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enjitsu
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The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby enjitsu » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:23 am

Amito Fo,

Recently it has come to my attention that many people are confused regarding what is called Humanistic Buddhism. So I will detail it in short, as it is covered in the Official Notes at length.

First, to be clear what is called Humanistic Buddhism is Not Buddhism.

It is more correctly called a Humanistic Relief Agency along the lines of the Red Cross. It is no more Buddhism then the Red Cross is Christianity.

Some individuals who did not understand Buddhism correctly created this.
The core distinction between Buddhism and this Humanistic Relief Agency thinking is this...

In Buddhism, you realize that this Human Realm is a prison and you do your best to escape, leave the world behind and advanced to a higher Realm and ultimately gain enlightenment.

In the Humanistic Relief Agency point of view (falsely called Humanistic Buddhism) you do the exact opposite. You make the Prison look pretty, instead of escaping, you make it comfortable. So comfortable in fact that some people would become complacent and willing choose to stay in this Human Realm instead of escaping. So while their material situation may improve, ultimately they are doomed, and you would have contributed to it.

So to be direct, If you involve yourself with Humanistic Buddhism, thinking what you are doing is Buddhism you will not obtain enlightenment. It is Not Buddhism. Others terms denoting this incorrect line of thinking are Engaged Buddhism or Socially Engaged Buddhism. Again these 2 terms are also incorrect, they are Not Buddhism.

These people mistakenly believe that they can create a Pure Land in this world. This is not just impossible but madness. It would be like saying the Starving Ghost Realm could be made into the Human Realm.

Never should you confuse these Humanistic Relief Agencies with Correct, Authentic, True, Right, Orthodox Buddhism.

Amito Fo,

Enjitsu

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:27 am



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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:22 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby plwk » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:22 pm

Btw...what has this topic got to do with Shingon? :shrug:

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:55 pm

Perhaps I missed it but this may not have been mentioned..

"In Buddhism, you realize that this Human Realm is a prison and you do your best to escape, leave the world behind and advanced to a higher Realm and ultimately gain enlightenment."

Many buddhists hold that one must first attempt to help others escape to realize enlightenment.

Not saying which view is best but some hold that view.

Overall I agree with the sentiments voiced. Just compassionate result of personal action only will never produce a pure land or nirvana state. If such a Mother Theresa would be considered a good buddhist, as would very many other christians. And as such we should be practicing christianity.
At some point too totally remove suffering for oneself or others and removal of death and birth...one must strive for enlightenment.

That it is thought normal for one to birth and die and leave all there acquaintances loved ones and such does not imply it is not suffering. So it must be worked upon to remove that thing of rebirth.

AS ideal as this life is as the buddha's example exemplifies it is still suffering.
Certainly we must assist others as we can and can only advance spiritually if we actually do such things to my opinion.

Just meditating without compassions accompaniant is not enough seemingly. Likewise all the altruistic intent and action in the world without meditation in some form, will not bring enlightenment. A happy state.. yes...but though enlightened ones may be considered happy that is not enlightenment assuredly.
You are mistaken if you think it will.

I think this thread should be in dharma discussion or the lounge or some other place as it references general buddhism not just shingon. If it mentions Shingon as opposed to humanistic buddhism this may be a appropriate place.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby enjitsu » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:15 pm

ronnewmexico, I travel to many temple in many country. So I have a chance to meet with some knowledgeable monks. Yes, there is great confusion these days among many Buddhist about what is and is not Buddhism as well as each schools focus. Yes, its always good to study during Dharma classes and even receive some homework. You can request it.

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:03 pm


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Huifeng
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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:07 am

Last edited by Huifeng on Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:10 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:08 am



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ronnewmexico
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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:33 am

E...."Yes, its always good to study during Dharma classes and even receive some homework. You can request it."
I have no questions nor doubts about my practice nor my spiritual path. I do not however consider my personal practice a buddhist practice nor care a whit if it is or not. Though I use buddhist teachers, text and core understandings as my path.

I have complete confidence in it and have reached my goal for this lifetime....all the rest to follow is good but beyond my expectations.
So I request nothing. I comment upon the issue not my practice. By virtue of my familiarization with buddhism for many years of practice meditation study empowerments and such, which totals now, about 40 years..... I feel safe to express opinion. Though certainly only a personal opinion of a uneducated layperson.

My comment included this..."Overall I agree with the sentiments voiced"

So I really am at a loss as to what you are talking about. If you are not fluent in english I have no problem with that.... you are still superior in linguistics to me.... but you are not making sense, as I state I agree with the sentiments voiced.

I can elaborate on what agree with means if necessary.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Huifeng
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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:17 am

Just for starters, here are the very opening verses of perhaps the classic of Humanistic Buddhism, Ven Yin Shu's 印順導師 Way to Buddhahood 成佛之道:

第一章 歸敬三寶
1: TAKING REFUGE IN THE THREE TREASURES
SEEKING REFUGE


1 有海無邊際 世間多憂苦 流轉起還沒 何處是依怙
The Sea of Existence has no boundaries,
The world is full of worry and suffering,
Flowing and turning, rising and falling,
Is there no place of refuge and support?


SEEKING REFUGE IN THINGS OF THIS WORLD

2 積聚皆銷散 崇高必墮落 合會要當離 有生無不死
“Accumulations of wealth and riches can be lost,
Those with fame and high status can fall,
Those who are together may be scattered,
Those who are born must die.”


國家治還亂 器界成復毀 世間諸可樂 無事可依怙
The well-governed state will fall into chaos,
The world once formed faces destruction;
Of the pleasures and certainties of life,
None can be relied upon.


SEEKING REFUGE IN THINGS BEYOND THIS WORLD

3 鬼神好凶殺 欲天耽諸欲 獨梵依慢住 亦非歸依處
Ghosts and spirits delight in violent murder,
The desirous divine beings are addicted to various cravings,
The Brahma dwells on arrogance;
None of them are a place of refuge.


REAL REFUGE : THE THREE TREASURES

4 歸依處處求 求之遍十方 究竟歸依處 三寶最吉祥
People seeking refuge everywhere,
Seeking refuge in all the ten directions,
Finally realize that the ultimate place of refuge
Is to be found in the most auspicious Three Treasures.


Seems pretty clear enough. These are just the opening few verses, of course.


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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:25 am

And, from the Foguang Shan textbook series, Volume Two, on discussing the Four Noble Truths:

一、苦諦:以智慧觀察世間事物,情與無情悉皆為苦。根據經典的說法,苦有二苦、三苦、八苦、一百零八苦,乃至無量無邊諸苦。形成苦的原因,不外我與物、我與人、我與身、我與心、我與欲、我與見、我與自然的關係不調和。
  
二、集諦:以智慧徹悟煩惱與造業是形成生死痛苦的原因。眾生由於無明、貪愛、瞋恚等煩惱的驅使,而積集種種惡業,由此種種惡業而招致種種苦果。
  
三、滅諦:透過智慧,證得涅槃,究竟解脫生死煩惱。「涅槃」是指修道者在知「苦」斷「集」後,由修「道」所證得的解脫境界。
  
四、道諦:達到究竟涅槃的方法。一般指佛陀初轉法輪時所開示的八正道。

Seems like pretty orthodox Buddhism here. Could quote a whole lot of this from Foguang Shan, but there is simply too much.

I was going to quote from Ven Sheng Yen, too, but there are simply too many quotes.

Everyone agrees - cyclic existence is basically duhkha, and one needs to get out of it.


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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby remm » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:53 am

Enjitsu,

Slandering of the Samgha and slandering of Great Masters who taught Humanistic Buddhism, isn't a practice any Orthodox Buddhist would do, would they?

Sometimes you may think you are doing a good deed, but if you do not use correct insight and wisdom, you can cause others discontentment, just like you did in this topic. You can also cause a great deal of people to lose faith in Buddhism when you post things like this.

Whether it is Humanistic or Orthodox Buddhism, in general, they are both categories of Buddhism which strive for the same goal, but use a different path. For you to assert such an idea so strongly is extremely offensive and I'm disheartened that you have this sort of belief.

I hope these "great" teachers that you've met around the world can teach you a thing or two about humility, and if I were you, I'd start a very long repentance.

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:05 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Astus » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:03 pm

Huseng,

Are you changing an attack against an imaginary Humanistic Buddhism into a criticism of a watered down Chinese/Pure Land Buddhism?

The majority of the laity is naturally not interested in abstract ideas like the four noble truths. There are exceptions of course and they're called the literati, the intelligentsia, but they're still the minority. There has never been and never will be a large group of householders being serious about enlightenment and liberation from samsara. Even in Pure Land teaching it is a basic part that one really wants to be free from the world of suffering and attain buddhahood, for which there's bodhicitta developed.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:07 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:22 pm


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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Astus » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:12 pm

Huseng,

No, I don't give much credit to the majority even if they can read and write. They weren't less clever in older times just because there was no education. Still, people who go to university and study economics or science are not interested in going deeper into any religious teaching any more than those who could never finish secondary school. And it's not the potential but the willingness I doubt.

People are serious about liberation but not in this life? Well, it is this life, this world one tries to escape and never repeat again. If I say it's OK to go on with this once more then start working on getting out it's almost the same as never stopping.

In the gradual teachings the Buddha taught about virtues and heaven first. Pure Land is the Buddhist paradise where you can get enlightened. So it comes as a good teaching for everyone.

But as you can see for yourself in the West, where such "high teachings" as Zen, Vipassana and Dzogchen are widespread, people don't necessarily take them seriously. And even those interested in it are mostly middle class, well to do, well educated people.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Huifeng
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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:57 am

While I was working on another project, I stumbled across this little "Prayer for World Peace", written by Ven Hsing Yun. Let me copy here the first few lines of it:



...
There are simply too much sorrow and suffering in this world
Cannonball rumbles in wars
Hideous quarrels among people
Vortices in the torrents of desire
Incessant spreading of tribal vendetta
O those thunderous sounds
Rush in like avalanches, like stormy waves
O those misery
Invade like chill winds and bitter rain
By observing discerningly I can understand
So much misery of the world
Was caused by differences of opinion
Yours, mine, everyone’s
By thinking quietly I can comprehend
Most of the world’s instability
Originated from obstinacy
Of systems, of the laws, of individuals
Conflicts between parties, between groups
Have led to too much unrest
Racial discrimination and suppression
Have brought about too many calamities
Religious exclusion and rivalry
Have created too many disasters
Vying for gains among nations
Have caused too many catastrophes
This is the kind of world we live in
In fear everyday with no peace of mind
In turmoil everyday with little safety or comfort
...


This is a very commonly recited prayer in Foguang Shan, which clearly points out just a couple of the suffering and pains of this world. "In fear everyday with no peace of mind."


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Re: The difference between Humanistic and Orthodox Buddhism

Postby eijo » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:14 pm

None of this has anything to do with Shingon Buddhism, except to say that what Shingon actually teaches to its lay followers in Japan is something relatively similar to Humanistic Buddhism. "Orthodox Buddhism" still has not been defined by the OP, perhaps he should start there.


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