Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:46 am

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Malcolm
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:55 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:02 am

Personally, when asked I just say I am a Hindu which is true and most people seem to relate easily to it or ask me if I really worship monkeys and elephants.

It has the added benefit of keeping most Buddhists from talking to me.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

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Malcolm
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:15 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:34 am

Through Dzogchen we can really understand what God is and we don’t have to worry if there is a God or not. God always exists as our real nature, the base, for everybody. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

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tomamundsen
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby tomamundsen » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:04 am


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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:01 am

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Malcolm
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:16 am





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

plwk
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:46 am


JKhedrup
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:51 am


plwk
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:49 am


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Grigoris
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Grigoris » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:34 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Grigoris » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:43 am

I don't see anybody denying that all Buddhist agree on the validity of dependent origination, so now I will throw out some other generic commonalities:

The Buddha was enlightened.
Enlightenment is the only true release from samsara.
Refuge.
Ad nauseum...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:25 pm

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Monlam Tharchin » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:07 pm

All of that aside, to me the crux of the matter is that even though answering "yes" will undoubtedly lead them to conclusions or an idea of Buddhism that is inaccurate, it's more accurate than answering "no".
Like I said, many people have no clue about the Three or Four Seals and think Buddhism is Christianity with different trappings, that the Buddha is our Jesus-like savior, or that the Buddha is just a fat version of God with funny hair, etc.
But if you say "no," you cut off any possibility that they'll try to become better informed because A.) you are no longer a source of information, and B.) it stops that line of thinking so Buddhism likely drops from their mind.

Is it really so complicated? :rolleye:

Even if someone confronts you angrily, looking for a fight, "are you one of those damn Buddhists?" then you can still address the immediate matter of their suffering without having to immediately deny the precious gift of the Dharma.
I'm not sure anything good comes from falsehood in the majority of cases.
Last edited by Monlam Tharchin on Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:09 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 2870
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:22 pm

Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:22 pm

You could say the same about any religion, any ideology practically. There is a ton of individual variation and what counts as the Official Version of whatever you practice changes with the times. Look at Gnostic or Kabbalistic ideas (ontological, soteriological..whatever) compared to some of their mainstream counterparts, they are farther apart within their own traditions than with other traditions when layed side by side.

So identifying as a Buddhist or not probably just depends on whether or not anything useful can come out of it, I imagine. So if someone is coming to me interesting in learning about Buddhism, wanting resources, or to know personal experiences..then identifying as a Buddhist won't bother me, or them - providing my extremely limited set of experiences or understanding can even be useful.

However, if someone comes to my house, sees my altar and asks a bunch of skeptical questions, makes some snide statements (which has happened with a family member, yay) it's probably not a great time to emphasize any sort of identity at all, as it will undoubtedly just be used as ammo...especially for the "that's not very Buddhist" type of attack someone mentioned earlier.

Basically to me it's simple, if it will scare off or incite someone, there is no need whatsoever to identify as one, if a person is asking about one's experience etc. as a practicing Buddhist, then they likely already see you that way, and there's no harm in acknowledging the categorization.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:28 pm

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:33 pm

Well, nobody ever asks me if I'm a Buddhist, but this thread is beginning to make me think I would say no if someone did. :roll:
Through Dzogchen we can really understand what God is and we don’t have to worry if there is a God or not. God always exists as our real nature, the base, for everybody. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu


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