Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, completely

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Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, completely

Postby manas » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:43 am

Hi all

I have a friend who is a Christian, and she seems pretty convinced that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Muslims feel the same about their Prophet and the Holy Book he received...Hindus also about their sacred lore...and we Buddhists of course, have our own Path that we hold as most perfect.

I know that the Buddha's words are truthful, I mean I'm not denying it...I have seen the truth them often. But there you have it - I'm doing the same thing that everyone else is, I'm holding to a view. Sometimes I get this longing to just be rid of all religion, totally. Everyone is so convinced that they are right. Even me. I don't know if anyone can relate to this feeling, but sometimes I feel disgusted with the whole darn thing. Even my own views are still views. Sometimes I just wish I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs. Just live virtuously, but not have my head crammed up full of knowledge.

Sorry for the rant. Just don't know where else to put this.

metta.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Sherab » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:00 am

manas wrote:... I'm doing the same thing that everyone else is, I'm holding to a view. Sometimes I get this longing to just be rid of all religion, totally. Everyone is so convinced that they are right. Even me. I don't know if anyone can relate to this feeling, but sometimes I feel disgusted with the whole darn thing. Even my own views are still views. Sometimes I just wish I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs. Just live virtuously, but not have my head crammed up full of knowledge.

At least with Buddhist practice, there is the possibility of actually knowing the truth, at which time, there is no need to hold on to any views. But until that time, the best that we can do is to hold on to a view that is more easily justified through logical and rational arguments. Among the views of the various religions, I think the Buddhist view is probably the easiest to defend. So personally, I have no problem holding on to the view that Buddhist path is the true path.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Alfredo » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:09 am

To look at it another way, all of these religions are worthy of respect. Each contains the symbols of somebody's ideals. On the other hand, no religion is perfect, and Buddhism--no less than the others--has many scandals and atrocities associated with its name. So religious people of all types are fighting a difficult battle.

Is the world better off without religion? For some, maybe yes. For others, it is a source of strength, and a reminder of our highest values. While individuals can do without religion, it is harder for an entire society--you may become an atheist, but your children will join God knows what. So as long as we are going to have religion, we might as well make it a good one.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby lobster » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:16 am

manas wrote:. . . I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs. Just live virtuously, but not have my head crammed up full of knowledge.


OK.

Here is the whole of the Dharma (see below). Now forget the Dharma and go and live virtuously. Good luck. Don't tell us how you got on. :woohoo:

[non conceptual expression begin]



:popcorn:


[non conceptual expression end]
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 am

Hi, Manas,
It sounds like you are ready for HHDL's Beyond Religion.
There's a review here - http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/books.php?id=22031 - but I'll give you a shorter one: it's a great book, offering a way out of the impasse you're confronting. It's a way that is consistent with science, Buddhism and all the other major religions but is independent of them.

:reading:
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby seeker242 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:46 am

manas wrote:Hi all

I have a friend who is a Christian, and she seems pretty convinced that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Muslims feel the same about their Prophet and the Holy Book he received...Hindus also about their sacred lore...and we Buddhists of course, have our own Path that we hold as most perfect.

I know that the Buddha's words are truthful, I mean I'm not denying it...I have seen the truth them often. But there you have it - I'm doing the same thing that everyone else is, I'm holding to a view. Sometimes I get this longing to just be rid of all religion, totally. Everyone is so convinced that they are right. Even me. I don't know if anyone can relate to this feeling, but sometimes I feel disgusted with the whole darn thing. Even my own views are still views. Sometimes I just wish I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs. Just live virtuously, but not have my head crammed up full of knowledge.

Sorry for the rant. Just don't know where else to put this.

metta.


"Those who have fulfilled the ten stages of bodhisattva practice are no better than hired field hands; those who have attained the enlightenment of the fifty-first and fifty-second stages are prisoners shackled and bound; arhats and pratyekabuddhas are so much filth in the latrine; bodhi and nirvana are hitching posts for donkeys." ~Chan Master Linji

You would fit right in at some zen temples. :smile: After all, it is a tradition that is not based on words and speech, concepts, ideas or beliefs.

"Even if you can explain thousands of sutras and shastras, unless you see your own nature yours is the teaching of a mortal, not a Buddha. The true Way is sublime. It can’t be expressed in language. Of what use are scriptures? But someone who sees his own nature finds the Way, even if he can’t read a word. Someone who sees his nature is a Buddha. ... But once you see your own nature, the entire Canon becomes so much prose. Its thousands of sutras and shastras only amount to a clear mind. Understanding comes in midsentence. What good are doctrines? The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words.

They’re not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions. They’re no different from things that appear in your dreams at night, be they palaces or carriages, forested parks or lakeside ‘lions. Don’t conceive any delight for such things. They’re all cradles of rebirth."
~ Bodhidharma
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!
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:59 am

There is a really interesting Pali text called 'the Parable of the Raft' which deals with this exact question. I quote it here verbatim:

"Monks, I will teach you the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded to the Blessed One.

The Blessed One said: "Suppose a man were traveling along a path. He would see a great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. The thought would occur to him, 'Here is this great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. What if I were to gather grass, twigs, branches, & leaves and, having bound them together to make a raft, were to cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with my hands & feet?' Then the man, having gathered grass, twigs, branches, & leaves, having bound them together to make a raft, would cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with his hands & feet. Having crossed over to the further shore, he might think, 'How useful this raft has been to me! For it was in dependence on this raft that, making an effort with my hands & feet, I have crossed over to safety on the further shore. Why don't I, having hoisted it on my head or carrying it on my back, go wherever I like?' What do you think, monks: Would the man, in doing that, be doing what should be done with the raft?"

"No, lord."

"And what should the man do in order to be doing what should be done with the raft? There is the case where the man, having crossed over, would think, 'How useful this raft has been to me! For it was in dependence on this raft that, making an effort with my hands & feet, I have crossed over to safety on the further shore. Why don't I, having dragged it on dry land or sinking it in the water, go wherever I like?' In doing this, he would be doing what should be done with the raft. In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas."


Source

This is one of those texts that marks out Buddhism as being very different to other teachings. Why? Because it says 'don't become too attached even to this very teaching'. It is true that a vehicle is needed, but don't be too attached to it.

:anjali:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Simon E. » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:08 pm

On the other hand don't think that you can leave the vehicle THIS side of the stream. 8-)
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Glyn » Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:23 pm

I am extremely fed up with the institutional Buddhism I've been raised in, live around and work with. I often want to give it all up and just get a normal job, be able to have a relationship with a woman who wants me for me rather than my position in the hierarchy and other increasingly negative factors.
"It's not ok to practice Dharma sometimes, just when you feel like it. You have to practice all the time" - Lama Rigzin Rinpoche.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Jainarayan » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:34 pm

manas wrote:Hi all

I have a friend who is a Christian, and she seems pretty convinced that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Muslims feel the same about their Prophet and the Holy Book he received...Hindus also about their sacred lore...and we Buddhists of course, have our own Path that we hold as most perfect.

I know that the Buddha's words are truthful, I mean I'm not denying it...I have seen the truth them often. But there you have it - I'm doing the same thing that everyone else is, I'm holding to a view. Sometimes I get this longing to just be rid of all religion, totally. Everyone is so convinced that they are right. Even me. I don't know if anyone can relate to this feeling, but sometimes I feel disgusted with the whole darn thing. Even my own views are still views. Sometimes I just wish I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs. Just live virtuously, but not have my head crammed up full of knowledge.

Sorry for the rant. Just don't know where else to put this.

metta.


I don't have any real advice, but I can certainly sympathize with you. I've been going through this myself. I left Christianity behind many years ago and became a deist. I still am way down deep, though I was drawn to the Hindu deities. I jumped into Hinduism with my boots on, and came to realize it's not for me. I still believe in deities, whether Hindu, Chinese, Tibetan. They represent to me aspects of nature, our existence and lives. But the ritualism and what I call "superstitious silliness" of Hinduism became too much (sorry to offend any Hindus). Basically I couldn't call myself Hindu with a straight face. All the time, however, I felt that the Buddhist path felt right. I was just unwilling to admit it because of "commitments" I made to Hinduism and being invested in it, and an anthropomorphic God. I don't hold with that anymore. I know that's not advice, just some understanding of the feelings.

Metta. :smile:
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby yan kong » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:00 pm

manas wrote:I have a friend who is a Christian, and she seems pretty convinced that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Muslims feel the same about their Prophet and the Holy Book he received...Hindus also about their sacred lore...and we Buddhists of course, have our own Path that we hold as most perfect.


So what? I don't see this as a problem so long as we respect others people's beliefs even if we disagree with them they still have a right to them.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Seishin » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Looking at it another way, you know it's right to leave a house by the front door, and wrong to leave by the window on the first floor (second floor for you yanks! :tongue: ). But no-one would suggest being free of that thought, so why apply that thought process to a religion? Yes the Buddha said that we should drop the boat after we cross the river, but we need the boat to get there in the first place. We are all different, what's right for you may not be right for someone else. So follow the path you know is right :twothumbsup:

Gassho,
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Simon E. » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:51 pm

Glyn wrote:I am extremely fed up with the institutional Buddhism I've been raised in, live around and work with. I often want to give it all up and just get a normal job, be able to have a relationship with a woman who wants me for me rather than my position in the hierarchy and other increasingly negative factors.


I am reminded of a cartoon I saw some years ago in a hippy magazine;
A young woman and young man, both with long hair, dungarees, and sandals are looking worriedly at their toddler in his highchair who has just thrown his bowl of food to the floor and is saying
' I reject you and all your values, starting with brown rice and tahini ! '..
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:18 pm

Simon E. wrote:On the other hand don't think that you can leave the vehicle THIS side of the stream. 8-)


Of course! But I really like that it is spelled out by the Buddha. It is unique. There's nothing remotely like that idea in the Bible.

The key thing is, not to get too caught up in externals. The whole point of Buddhism is inner transformation. All the practices, symbols and everything else only exist to serve that purpose, and if they don't serve it, they're a waste of time. Of course it is easier said than done, the mind can make an attachment out of anything.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby TaTa » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:58 pm

manas wrote:Hi all

I have a friend who is a Christian, and she seems pretty convinced that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Muslims feel the same about their Prophet and the Holy Book he received...Hindus also about their sacred lore...and we Buddhists of course, have our own Path that we hold as most perfect.

I know that the Buddha's words are truthful, I mean I'm not denying it...I have seen the truth them often. But there you have it - I'm doing the same thing that everyone else is, I'm holding to a view. Sometimes I get this longing to just be rid of all religion, totally. Everyone is so convinced that they are right. Even me. I don't know if anyone can relate to this feeling, but sometimes I feel disgusted with the whole darn thing. Even my own views are still views. Sometimes I just wish I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs. Just live virtuously, but not have my head crammed up full of knowledge.

Sorry for the rant. Just don't know where else to put this.

metta.


Not holding on to a view can be a different way of saying holding on to a scientific materialism view witch is today standard "view", so standard that most people dont even realize that they hold on to a view. I think the healthiest thing is to hold on to a view that is helpful for you, without excesive attachment, while knowing that its a view, at least until you can see for yourself if its true or not.

Another thing that helped me is stop thinking in terms of "religion" or "non religion". Its just a label that we creat to describe something that is much larger.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby greentara » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:36 pm

All religions think they're right! Everyone's clinging to the 'uber' truth. Surely we can suggest to others a possible reconciliation and see more similarities then disparities. All religions encompass devotion so theres' the link, there's the bridge.

I think we all know 'the name that can be named is not the eternal name' and perhaps be content with that.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby smcj » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:44 pm

Glyn wrote:I am extremely fed up with the institutional Buddhism I've been raised in, live around and work with. I often want to give it all up and just get a normal job, be able to have a relationship with a woman who wants me for me rather than my position in the hierarchy and other increasingly negative factors.

That sounds like a healthy impulse. Better to not have conflicted practice.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:47 am

smcj wrote:
Glyn wrote:I am extremely fed up with the institutional Buddhism I've been raised in, live around and work with. I often want to give it all up and just get a normal job, be able to have a relationship with a woman who wants me for me rather than my position in the hierarchy and other increasingly negative factors.

That sounds like a healthy impulse. Better to not have conflicted practice.
Except that there is no "me" that somebody may want him for. "Me" is just a construct of various factors including their "position in a hierarchy" and the "other increasingly negative factors".
"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: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby tatpurusa » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:42 pm

Glyn wrote: to have a relationship with a woman who wants me for me rather than my position in the hierarchy


Which layer of the onion is this "me"? :namaste:
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby tatpurusa » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:53 pm

manas wrote:I'm doing the same thing that everyone else is, I'm holding to a view. Sometimes I get this longing to just be rid of all religion, totally. Everyone is so convinced that they are right. Even me. I don't know if anyone can relate to this feeling, but sometimes I feel disgusted with the whole darn thing. Even my own views are still views. Sometimes I just wish I could live free from words, concepts, ideas and beliefs.


Seems like Dzogchen practice might help ...
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