A Reflection

Anything goes (almost).

A Reflection

Postby thornbush » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:52 am

I found this post on another Forum and it is rather interesting and rare to read one who has sort of 'wielded the Vajra sword':
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... &p=1213497
Many people never really learn or practice the Dharma very thoroughly at all, so they don't see the benefits, so they give up. Basically, not many people practice the path as described in the Buddhist teachings... they do it here and there when they feel like it or when they can force themselves to, generating some vague compassion for a few minutes and then not following through with the off-session mind training, yet they expect all the results said to come to those who devote their whole being to practicing for all sentient beings. Not a fault of the Dharma.

Of course this is probably because many people don't take their situation in cyclic existence very seriously to start with. They don't want to undo eons-old habits that have lead them to life after life of suffering, they want to engage in something from time to time that makes them feel good and makes this life seem fuller. The prospect of looking into one's mind is too uncomfortable and taming it is too much hard work when we can just fill it up with something that gives immediate gratification... something we can distract ourselves with and that makes us feel like we're benefiting more.

What do you think fellow brethren? Do 'Teachers' of Dharma have a part in this as well?
thornbush
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:21 am

Re: A Reflection

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:05 pm

Greetings Thornbush,

I thought that was well said.

Mind you, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a little slack in one's practice, but if being a little slack, one should not be entirely surprised if the results are less than satisfying. You get out what you put in.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: A Reflection

Postby Sher » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:54 pm

What I see in the US is different levels of so called Buddhism being practiced. Years ago, I had read a variety of popular dhamma books, and I thought "this is it, I have found the way, I really like Buddhism, it is the balm to every thing I have not appreciated in Christianity." I have found the way to be compassionate to others and to be more balanced and have peace of mind. Then i decided to take it further and begin a MA program in Buddhist Studies, and pretty quickly I ran smack dab into a brick wall and got knocked off my feet! Now it was "wow, I had no idea that was meant by no more rebirth, that was meant by kamma?, and what about all of this focus on death, ...the unpleasant wake up calls went on and on.

What had happened happens to many Americans coming to Buddhism as a way to be happier as a way to escape Christianity --they get a watered down version of Buddhism or a lop-sided view of Buddhism, and , often never have an opportunity to really begin to practice. This is just one take based on your post ... maybe addressing dhamma teachers in a round about way since some of them are writing the books. :smile: Sher
User avatar
Sher
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:42 am

Re: A Reflection

Postby sraddha » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:28 am

Sher wrote:What I see in the US is different levels of so called Buddhism being practiced. Years ago, I had read a variety of popular dhamma books, and I thought "this is it, I have found the way, I really like Buddhism, it is the balm to every thing I have not appreciated in Christianity." I have found the way to be compassionate to others and to be more balanced and have peace of mind. Then i decided to take it further and begin a MA program in Buddhist Studies, and pretty quickly I ran smack dab into a brick wall and got knocked off my feet! Now it was "wow, I had no idea that was meant by no more rebirth, that was meant by kamma?, and what about all of this focus on death, ...the unpleasant wake up calls went on and on.

What had happened happens to many Americans coming to Buddhism as a way to be happier as a way to escape Christianity --they get a watered down version of Buddhism or a lop-sided view of Buddhism, and , often never have an opportunity to really begin to practice. This is just one take based on your post ... maybe addressing dhamma teachers in a round about way since some of them are writing the books. :smile: Sher



I've noticed that too, that many Buddhists in the west come to Buddhism as a reaction against Christianity and then get a very distorted view of Buddhism -- it's a rather palpable hatred and they don't want to see any parallels.
sraddha
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Re: A Reflection

Postby Sher » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:37 pm

sraddha wrote:
Sher wrote:What I see in the US is different levels of so called Buddhism being practiced. Years ago, I had read a variety of popular dhamma books, and I thought "this is it, I have found the way, I really like Buddhism, it is the balm to every thing I have not appreciated in Christianity." I have found the way to be compassionate to others and to be more balanced and have peace of mind. Then i decided to take it further and begin a MA program in Buddhist Studies, and pretty quickly I ran smack dab into a brick wall and got knocked off my feet! Now it was "wow, I had no idea that was meant by no more rebirth, that was meant by kamma?, and what about all of this focus on death, ...the unpleasant wake up calls went on and on.

What had happened happens to many Americans coming to Buddhism as a way to be happier as a way to escape Christianity --they get a watered down version of Buddhism or a lop-sided view of Buddhism, and , often never have an opportunity to really begin to practice. This is just one take based on your post ... maybe addressing dhamma teachers in a round about way since some of them are writing the books. :smile: Sher



I've noticed that too, that many Buddhists in the west come to Buddhism as a reaction against Christianity and then get a very distorted view of Buddhism -- it's a rather palpable hatred and they don't want to see any parallels.


Do you mean they develop hatred toward Buddhism because of their "distorted" understanding of Buddhism, and that they also do not want to see any commonalities between the two religions? Can you give any context to what you are saying? Thanks, Sher
User avatar
Sher
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:42 am

Re: A Reflection

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:54 am

Greetings Sher,

Sher wrote:Do you mean they develop hatred toward Buddhism because of their "distorted" understanding of Buddhism, and that they also do not want to see any commonalities between the two religions? Can you give any context to what you are saying? Thanks, Sher


I read it as hatred towards Christianity, most commonly expressed as a righteous indignation that so many people could be so blind and uncritical of their belief system and thereby "infect" society at large with their theological madness... very much like the hatred many angry athiests have towards Christianity.

I'm sure Sraddha will be able to correct that interpretation if it's wrong.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: A Reflection

Postby sraddha » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:09 am

I've met a few former Christians who just despise Christianity, in particular as Retro said, their church's interpretation of scriptures and blindly believing everything without question. Many come from evangelical Christian backgrounds.

If you react against anything, your views will most likely be distorted - in this case, they think Buddhism is "anything goes", you don't need Buddha to practice Buddhism, "Buddhism without beliefs", "if you see Buddha on the street, Kill him" (taking that famous saying out of context), Buddha was just a philsopher, etc. -- those are distorted views or perception of Buddhism.
sraddha
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Re: A Reflection

Postby Sher » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:22 pm

sraddha wrote:I've met a few former Christians who just despise Christianity, in particular as Retro said, their church's interpretation of scriptures and blindly believing everything without question. Many come from evangelical Christian backgrounds.

If you react against anything, your views will most likely be distorted - in this case, they think Buddhism is "anything goes", you don't need Buddha to practice Buddhism, "Buddhism without beliefs", "if you see Buddha on the street, Kill him" (taking that famous saying out of context), Buddha was just a philsopher, etc. -- those are distorted views or perception of Buddhism.



Thanks for clarifying. I did misinterpret what you meant. I agree with what you say about "reaction" I prefer the idea of respond instead of react! My experience has been a bit different--I haven't come across too many or any once Christians that now hate Christianity--nothing as strong a reaction as hatred. But, then, I live in a pretty remote region.

But, I have seen folks pull away from their Christian upbringing and at first glance think Buddhism is the answer to everything they need based on one popular book on Buddhism they have read. :) Sher
User avatar
Sher
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:42 am

Re: A Reflection

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:37 am

Sher wrote:

Thanks for clarifying. I did misinterpret what you meant. I agree with what you say about "reaction" I prefer the idea of respond instead of react! My experience has been a bit different--I haven't come across too many or any once Christians that now hate Christianity--nothing as strong a reaction as hatred. But, then, I live in a pretty remote region.

But, I have seen folks pull away from their Christian upbringing and at first glance think Buddhism is the answer to everything they need based on one popular book on Buddhism they have read. :) Sher


I think the practice of Buddhism really leads to the answer to everything :mrgreen:, however, it's not the answers that we generally want to understand.

When they react, they react to only understand the teachings that are in line with with want they want to believe or have preconceived notions about -- and you are right, they hardly study any Nikayas or Sutras before they make a judgement. :anjali:
sraddha
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm


Return to Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

>