Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, completely

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

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

Postby undefineable » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:24 pm

Odsal wrote:Are you saying that if you take what I said out of context then it means something else?
I apologise that my posts often need two readings before they can be understood. I should know - I've found this when I try re-reading my old posts, particularly from certain angles :rolleye: :emb: I'm working on this one :popcorn:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:11 pm

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but it occurs to me that in some ways, religious rituals and liturgy are actually effective. That is, they actually effect change, they are efficacious. They don't have to be - you can go through the motions, practice them with the wrong motivation, and so on, in which case they can easily become ineffective. But I have found with my extremely modest efforts in meditation with some minimal chanting and readings, that actual work is being done, changes are being made. It requires ongoing commitment and effort, which I am spectacularly poor at - in fact next time I meet my Sangha group I need to 'fess up that my 'right effort' has really gone off the rails, and make a commitment to re-start.

Now if I had stayed Anglican, which I was brought up, it would be a lot easier - Church on Sundays, Easter and Christmas, and generally stay on the straight-and-narrow. None of this getting up early to meditate, mindfulness of thought word and deed, and so on. But on the other hand, I couldn't just sit in the pews and sing along, I think any kind of spiritual life makes demands on you.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:32 pm

I definitely think Buddhism is more correct than other religions.

What I think doesn't mean squat though, and it definitely doesn't mean anything to others, and no way can it come to any good for me to try to convince others of the things I feel assured of, especially since people close to me are of other religious persuasions.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:05 am

jeeprs wrote:I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but it occurs to me that in some ways, religious rituals and liturgy are actually effective. That is, they actually effect change, they are efficacious. They don't have to be - you can go through the motions, practice them with the wrong motivation, and so on, in which case they can easily become ineffective.

That is the crazy thing, nonrational belief and unquestioning faith do bring about very real and positive results. This suggests that many of us compromise our spiritual development by being too clever and seeking an elusive irrefutable 'truth' as a prerequisite for every article of faith.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Odsal » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:10 am

undefineable wrote:Your statment:
Odsal wrote:I am a Buddhist and I don't hold my path as most perfect
suggests that you don't share my suspicion that Buddhism presents a less-distorted picture of the human world than other paths do, and that this shouldn't be seen as offensive.

I don't see that as offensive. But, I have to ask myself: in what context would I make the statement or think the thought: "Buddhism presents a less-distorted picture of the human world than other paths do"? In what scenario would I say that to someone? The scenario where I try to convince someone that Buddhism is the best religion? The scenario where you ask me what I think of Buddhism? The scenario where I defend Buddhism?
It doesn't matter if I think it is a fact that Buddhism is the best because for everyone else who isn't a Buddhist my fact is just opinion. So, for me it is more a matter of not stepping on other peoples toes. Not in order to be a "good Buddhist", but to keep the peace.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby muni » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:39 am

Einstein:
“The religion of the future will be cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.”

It is remarkable how many fellows "from other religions" are able to see brothers and sisters everywhere. While other fellows have difficulties with such. This shows me it does not depend on the religion/nonreligion (idea-labels) but on our own being/mind itself. Guiding phenomena are not to be purified, isn't?

If the Buddha/Awaken Nature gave us medicines to recognize our Nature, there is recognition how all is/are, right?
Thoughts have no thinker.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:53 am

That is the crazy thing, nonrational belief and unquestioning faith do bring about very real and positive results. This suggests that many of us compromise our spiritual development by being too clever and seeking an elusive irrefutable 'truth' as a prerequisite for every article of faith.

I can agree that it's crazy :)

While there may be some positive results I'd have to ask, Is it worth it? If one accepts nonrational belief and unquestioning faith into one's mind, it is quite similar to a form of mental hara kiri. The scope of one's possible thought will inevitably become drastically narrowed and one's ability to reason will be crippled. It does not seem to me the sort of path that a seeker of enlightenment should follow.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby muni » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:21 am

Ha!
When mind is meeting-connecting with such practices like that hara thing and so, it is connecting with delusions-suffering. It is connecting with deluded created phenomena.

Such artificiality or unwholesome phenomena is that called i think, seen through patience, bodhichitta...can avoid own beings' wrong reaction or one is just as deluded as ones perceptions. Lol.

I don't translate faith as belief anyway, rather fading/dissolving doubt in ones nature like it is.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:25 pm

catmoon wrote:While there may be some positive results I'd have to ask, Is it worth it? If one accepts nonrational belief and unquestioning faith into one's mind, it is quite similar to a form of mental hara kiri. The scope of one's possible thought will inevitably become drastically narrowed and one's ability to reason will be crippled. It does not seem to me the sort of path that a seeker of enlightenment should follow.

I agree that for many of us it is not worth it, for reasons you have described. I expect that this is where a good teacher is indispensable, guiding each student according to their innate tendencies.

Nice to see you back, catmoon. We were wondering about you.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby undefineable » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:47 pm

Odsal wrote:I have to ask myself: in what context would I make the statement or think the thought: "Buddhism presents a less-distorted picture of the human world than other paths do"? In what scenario would I say that to someone? The scenario where I try to convince someone that Buddhism is the best religion? The scenario where you ask me what I think of Buddhism? The scenario where I defend Buddhism?
For me, the answer is only in the context of finding (and reminding myself of) a reason to hold a Buddhist view of life. This thread is the exception, and I addressed the statement to you because I was curious as to why someon would choose a Buddhist view or way of life without eventually considering them likely to be more truthful ('authentic' sounds presumptuous here) than other views and practices. You'vve answered this question in the rest of the post of yours that I've just quoted :thanks:
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby tatpurusa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:33 am

catmoon wrote: there may be some positive results I'd have to ask, Is it worth it? If one accepts nonrational belief and unquestioning faith into one's mind, it is quite similar to a form of mental hara kiri. The scope of one's possible thought will inevitably become drastically narrowed and one's ability to reason will be crippled. It does not seem to me the sort of path that a seeker of enlightenment should follow.


Neither rational thinking, nor irrational beliefs are capable of leading to enlightenment.
They are both limitations, just two different sides of the same coin.
Enlightenment is the state where these limitations do not apply. Not in the sense of liberation from, neither nonexistence of,
nor being completely outside these: rather in the sense of irrelevance of both.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Martin007 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:12 pm

dharmagoat wrote:This suggests that many of us compromise our spiritual development by being too clever and seeking an elusive irrefutable 'truth' as a prerequisite for every article of faith.


I think engaging our imagination can be very productive.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby reddust » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:40 pm

manas wrote:
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 did that for a over 3 years, off the net for one year solid, didn't talk with many folk either in flesh time or digital time for 3 years, but I'm back up on the horse. If you have a teacher you should talk to them and also a couple older Dharma folk to help you sort this out. My husband and I did this together, it was lovely. Oh and what other people are thinking regarding their faith, let them be, it'll make your life so much more peaceful. I read a lot but not about the Dharma, I did meditate and it was really nice to take a break.

Hope you find your answers :heart:

EDIT: it's impossible for me to stop the flow of words, concepts, ideas and beliefs in my mind unless I hit that sweet spot in meditation. I have to go away to a really strict retreat and focus on the breath 10 hours a day for many days to get there and it's impossible for me to stay in that spot for any length of time outside of retreat. I can change my reaction to the mind flow though and that can be done in daily life. Most of the time working in the garden and painting. I just let the flow go on without too much attention. You can do this in daily life too, even with work and kids, that's why I went away to get that adjustment and also recover my health.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby dude » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:19 pm

Belief is one thing, practice is another.
Without some degree of faith, or at least the willingness to give the benefit of the doubt, motivation to practice cannot arise.
Without deepening understanding it cannot be sustained.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:12 pm

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

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:41 am

tatpurusa wrote:
catmoon wrote: there may be some positive results I'd have to ask, Is it worth it? If one accepts nonrational belief and unquestioning faith into one's mind, it is quite similar to a form of mental hara kiri. The scope of one's possible thought will inevitably become drastically narrowed and one's ability to reason will be crippled. It does not seem to me the sort of path that a seeker of enlightenment should follow.


Neither rational thinking, nor irrational beliefs are capable of leading to enlightenment.
They are both limitations, just two different sides of the same coin.
Enlightenment is the state where these limitations do not apply. Not in the sense of liberation from, neither nonexistence of,
nor being completely outside these: rather in the sense of irrelevance of both.


This is just plain wrong. They are not both limitations. Without rational thought, we could not evaluate a teacher or doctrine as valid or not, even if we did we might decide to try to be a piece of broccoli instead. Rational thought underpins every decision we make along the path, perhaps not all the way, but a long way in. Even when approaching enlightenment, it is rationality that tells us the next step in the path is more likely to be deep meditation as opposed to, say, putting a cotton candy cone in our bum and planting our head in a toilet.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby tatpurusa » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:34 am

catmoon wrote:
tatpurusa wrote:Neither rational thinking, nor irrational beliefs are capable of leading to enlightenment.
They are both limitations, just two different sides of the same coin.
Enlightenment is the state where these limitations do not apply. Not in the sense of liberation from, neither nonexistence of,
nor being completely outside these: rather in the sense of irrelevance of both.


This is just plain wrong. They are not both limitations. Without rational thought, we could not evaluate a teacher or doctrine as valid or not, even if we did we might decide to try to be a piece of broccoli instead. Rational thought underpins every decision we make along the path, perhaps not all the way, but a long way in. Even when approaching enlightenment, it is rationality that tells us the next step in the path is more likely to be deep meditation as opposed to, say, putting a cotton candy cone in our bum and planting our head in a toilet.


Both rational and irrational thinking are just that: thinking. Thinking belongs to the conceptual mind. Both "right" and "wrong" concepts are still concepts, and thus limitations.
Thinking never leads to enlightenment. Its opposite, when one learns neither to follow nor to reject them, their cessation opens up the mind for the experience of its very nature. The cessation of thinking and thoughts makes enlightened nature visible, not thinking.
Thoughts are what block the experience of enlightenment.
The same way, concepts are a limitation too. Concepts are just conventions, based on empty reflections of empty appearances of empty external phenomena. They can never lead to enlightenment. Only to empty intellectual "philosophies".
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:18 am

tatpurusa wrote:
Both rational and irrational thinking are just that: thinking. Thinking belongs to the conceptual mind. Both "right" and "wrong" concepts are still concepts, and thus limitations.


I think you have made a category error here. Just because rational and irrational thinking are both types of thinking, does not mean they are of equal value nor does it mean they are both limitations. Now if you say "All thinking is a limitation" well you had better stop thinking right away. But don't blame me when you find you can no longer make appointments, keep gas in the car, or find your next teaching session on a map.
Thinking never leads to enlightenment.
It is interesting that you think that! Look, I have yet to hear of a single case of enlightenment that did not involve a substantial quantity of thought along the way. Also, I have never met any person of any degree of enlightenment whatsoever who did not continue to do a great deal of thinking. Some of them even write books. Try doing THAT without thinking.
Its opposite, when one learns neither to follow nor to reject them, their cessation opens up the mind for the experience of its very nature. The cessation of thinking and thoughts makes enlightened nature visible, not thinking.
Thoughts are what block the experience of enlightenment.


The cessation of thinking is not enlightenment. It's catatonia. Zombification. Had the Buddha done things this way, he would literally have had no thoughts and thus when questioned he would never had said anything. His head would have been literally empty. No lights on. Nobody home. Dead, even.
The same way, concepts are a limitation too. Concepts are just conventions, based on empty reflections of empty appearances of empty external phenomena. They can never lead to enlightenment. Only to empty intellectual "philosophies".


Well, I guess we can all burn our copies of Nagarjuna then. If ever there was an intellectual philosopher it was him.

It's not that you don't have a point. A busy mind is an impediment to meditation, but that doesn't mean we all need lobotomies. You've over generalized.
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Re: Sometimes I feel like doing away with religion, complete

Postby tatpurusa » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:35 am

catmoon wrote:
tatpurusa wrote:
Both rational and irrational thinking are just that: thinking. Thinking belongs to the conceptual mind. Both "right" and "wrong" concepts are still concepts, and thus limitations.


I think you have made a category error here. Just because rational and irrational thinking are both types of thinking, does not mean they are of equal value nor does it mean they are both limitations. Now if you say "All thinking is a limitation" well you had better stop thinking right away. But don't blame me when you find you can no longer make appointments, keep gas in the car, or find your next teaching session on a map.
Thinking never leads to enlightenment.
It is interesting that you think that! Look, I have yet to hear of a single case of enlightenment that did not involve a substantial quantity of thought along the way. Also, I have never met any person of any degree of enlightenment whatsoever who did not continue to do a great deal of thinking. Some of them even write books. Try doing THAT without thinking.
Its opposite, when one learns neither to follow nor to reject them, their cessation opens up the mind for the experience of its very nature. The cessation of thinking and thoughts makes enlightened nature visible, not thinking.
Thoughts are what block the experience of enlightenment.


The cessation of thinking is not enlightenment. It's catatonia. Zombification. Had the Buddha done things this way, he would literally have had no thoughts and thus when questioned he would never had said anything. His head would have been literally empty. No lights on. Nobody home. Dead, even.
The same way, concepts are a limitation too. Concepts are just conventions, based on empty reflections of empty appearances of empty external phenomena. They can never lead to enlightenment. Only to empty intellectual "philosophies".


Well, I guess we can all burn our copies of Nagarjuna then. If ever there was an intellectual philosopher it was him.

It's not that you don't have a point. A busy mind is an impediment to meditation, but that doesn't mean we all need lobotomies. You've over generalized.


viewtopic.php?f=66&t=14636&start=100#p197416

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

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:36 pm

catmoon wrote:I think you have made a category error here. Just because rational and irrational thinking are both types of thinking, does not mean they are of equal value nor does it mean they are both limitations. Now if you say "All thinking is a limitation" well you had better stop thinking right away. But don't blame me when you find you can no longer make appointments, keep gas in the car, or find your next teaching session on a map.

catmoon wrote:The cessation of thinking is not enlightenment. It's catatonia. Zombification. Had the Buddha done things this way, he would literally have had no thoughts and thus when questioned he would never had said anything. His head would have been literally empty. No lights on. Nobody home. Dead, even.

catmoon wrote:Well, I guess we can all burn our copies of Nagarjuna then. If ever there was an intellectual philosopher it was him.

It's not that you don't have a point. A busy mind is an impediment to meditation, but that doesn't mean we all need lobotomies. You've over generalized.

Tatpurusa may have over-generalised, but it seems that you have missed the mark altogether.

It is difficult to understand how anyone with experience of a stable and sustained state of meditative non-thought can describe it so bleakly, and as if it was some kind of dark pit that we enter and cannot escape.
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