Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:57 am

Maybe the middle way teaches us something here too. In my view there are a few things which are essential to accept before one can be called a Buddhist, but there also needs to be a degree of flexibility in what we "allow" other people to practice and believe. We should strike a balance between pure, authentic practice and Talibanizing ( :shrug: ) the Dharma.

That said, I must say that we in the West do seem to have a tendency to mix and match, to pick a path that feels comfortable. I suppose we all do that to some extent.

Who is is that said something along the lines of "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts"?
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:24 am

Luke wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Forget about "absolute perspective" there is no such perspective.

Are you sure?

Yes.

Luke wrote:I always hear about the distinction between the relative and absolute points of view when I read Buddhist books.

That is mere convention.

Luke wrote:For example, from the relative point of view, a person and a deity are separate, but from the absolute point of view, the deity is realized to be the true nature of one's mind.

Mere convention too.

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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:35 am

mindyourmind wrote: We should strike a balance between pure, authentic practice and Talibanizing ( :shrug: ) the Dharma.
The word Taliban means: 'one who is seeking' or 'someone who is seeking religious knowledge. That makes all of us here Taliban.
:namaste:
"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: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:27 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
mindyourmind wrote: We should strike a balance between pure, authentic practice and Talibanizing ( :shrug: ) the Dharma.
The word Taliban means: 'one who is seeking' or 'someone who is seeking religious knowledge. That makes all of us here Taliban.
:namaste:


You know what I meant, smarty-pants :quoteunquote:
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:40 am

mindyourmind wrote:You know what I meant, smarty-pants :quoteunquote:
The correct word is proselytising, fanaticism or zealotism, it pays to use correct terms in order to not generate misunderstanding and to overcome propagandistic demonisation.
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"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: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:59 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:You know what I meant, smarty-pants :quoteunquote:
The correct word is proselytising, fanaticism or zealotism, it pays to use correct terms in order to not generate misunderstanding and to overcome propagandistic demonisation.
:namaste:


Other than arguably yourself, why do you accept that anyone here "misunderstood" what I meant? Why does my simple statement lead you to conclude that I may have used or implied "propagandistic demonisation"?

And none of the three words you suggest fit in with what I was referring to. My point was that on that side of the spectrum we must not codify or prescribe to people what the Dharma is, within the limits implied by the other side of the middle way approach. To now turn that into a sermon on "the correct word" is reading a bit much into what I was saying.
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:10 am

I did not say that I misunderstood it.

The word taliban has a distinct meaning (the meaning which I supplied). The manner in which you used the term is a colloquialism based on misinformation, propaganda and a demonisation of the true meaning. Like the way Amerikans use the word liberal, for example. Since this is an open and public site that may draw the attention of individuals interested in religious knowledge but not necessarily Buddhist or Amerikan then it is a good idea to use language and terms that are not (so) open to misinterpretation. Now if you think I am being pedantic or that what I am expressing is wrong then, please, ignore me and keep doing what you are doing and saying what you are saying.
:namaste:
PS I admit that a fair share of the misuse of the term taliban also rests on the actions of the Pashtun religious-political movement known as the Taliban, but we don't need to continue reproducing miscomprehension right?
"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."
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby mindyourmind » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:14 am

gregkavarnos wrote:I did not say that I misunderstood it.

The word taliban has a distinct meaning (the meaning which I supplied). The manner in which you used the term is a colloquialism based on misinformation, propaganda and a demonisation of the true meaning. Like the way Amerikans use the word liberal, for example. Since this is an open and public site that may draw the attention of individuals interested in religious knowledge but not necessarily Buddhist or Amerikan then it is a good idea to use language and terms that are not (so) open to misinterpretation. Now if you think I am being pedantic or that what I am expressing is wrong then, please, ignore me and keep doing what you are doing and saying what you are saying.
:namaste:
PS I admit that a fair share of the misuse of the term taliban also rests on the actions of the Pashtun religious-political movement known as the Taliban, but we don't need to continue reproducing miscomprehension right?


The joys of discussion forums :tantrum: Anyway, I am sure that you straightened out any potential misunderstanding with that interesting aside. :thumbsup:
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:32 am

Luke wrote:
Jikan wrote:What sometimes works is to listen to people. Not just to what comes to them first on this topic, but to keep them talking and really listen until you find out what they're really looking for. Why are they seeking? Which is another way of asking: where and how are they hurting, and what are their real aspirations?

That's a very good answer. You reminded me about the importance of compassion and empathy. That's the department where I usually come up short.

Hopefully, I'll increase my compassion and understanding after I've practiced more.

Maybe I shouldn't get angry when I hear people saying foolish things about Buddhism. If I get angry and correct them, perhaps they will then be permanently turned off by Buddhism. On the other hand, it's not good to let ignorance go on unchecked. It's quite a dilemma... :shrug:


Honestly Luke, and I should take my own advice here, what one should really be doing is fixing oneself first, uprooting negative emotions, the clinging to the "I", and deluded thinking and perception; then we can have the clarity of wisdom to see things without delusion or attachment, not get upset, and actually know what will truly help others in any given situation. At that point, we can go about some truly skillful means without getting all entangled in our own ignorance and passions and without just ending up pushing others' buttons.
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:51 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote: ... what one should really be doing is fixing oneself first, uprooting negative emotions, the clinging to the "I", and deluded thinking and perception; then we can have the clarity of wisdom to see things without delusion or attachment, not get upset, and actually know what will truly help others in any given situation ...


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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Luke » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:45 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Honestly Luke, and I should take my own advice here, what one should really be doing is fixing oneself first, uprooting negative emotions, the clinging to the "I", and deluded thinking and perception; then we can have the clarity of wisdom to see things without delusion or attachment, not get upset, and actually know what will truly help others in any given situation.

This is very good advice (and is in accord with what Shantideva said), but should all Buddhists who don't yet have deep realization never stand up for Buddhism? If someone were jumping up and down on a Buddha statue, would you remain silent?

Buddhism is just as real a religion as Christianity is, and in my opinion, we Buddhists have just as much of a right to stand up for ourselves.
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:54 pm

Luke wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Honestly Luke, and I should take my own advice here, what one should really be doing is fixing oneself first, uprooting negative emotions, the clinging to the "I", and deluded thinking and perception; then we can have the clarity of wisdom to see things without delusion or attachment, not get upset, and actually know what will truly help others in any given situation.

This is very good advice (and is in accord with what Shantideva said), but should all Buddhists who don't yet have deep realization never stand up for Buddhism? If someone were jumping up and down on a Buddha statue, would you remain silent?

Buddhism is just as real a religion as Christianity is, and in my opinion, we Buddhists have just as much of a right to stand up for ourselves.


We have a "right" to do lots of things but that doesn't mean the motivation is necessarily wholesome or the fruit positive. Now, I'm not saying one should never speak up, but one must do so only after careful inspection of what is really behind one's impulse to do so, and only if one has the wisdom to respond skillfully. More often than not, these impulses of ours to stand up for Buddhism or ourselves is that someone is contradicting what we've based our cherished identity on or that we rely on to define our self worth. In other words, it's generally ego-clinging and attachment and feeling threatened in some way. As Mahayana Buddhists who've vowed to help all beings reach liberation, it's more important to refrain from those habit patterns than to stand up for anything. That more than anything will stand up for and protect the Dharma and ourselves and all beings.

FWIW, this "advice" is as much to remind myself what I need to live up to as it is for anyone else.
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Luke » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:06 pm

I guess it's not easy for a Buddhist to get the right balance between action and inaction. Sometimes acting brings great harm. Sometimes not acting brings great harm.

Knowing what the right thing to do is in any given moment of life is as difficult as any Zen koan.
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:15 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I did not say that I misunderstood it.

The word taliban has a distinct meaning (the meaning which I supplied). The manner in which you used the term is a colloquialism based on misinformation, propaganda and a demonisation of the true meaning. Like the way Amerikans use the word liberal, for example.



What do you believe the distinct meaning is for the word Amerikan? I'm a bit confused.

Did you mean this http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Amerikkkan ?

Or this http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/American? which would also include this http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictiona ... 20american
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:37 pm

Zackly like dis!
untitled1.jpg
untitled1.jpg (20.99 KiB) Viewed 520 times
"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: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:01 pm

Hey, where'd you get that picture of my cuz, Greg?
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby muni » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:05 am

We can make a list of what is experienced as Buddhism; all compounded things are impermanent, emotions are pain, things have no inherent existence, dependent origination, understanding is beyond concept.. or a list with other chosen words.

I talked few days ago with Christians. They also asked me how Buddhism sees. The result of our talking was nice as the emptiness ( as total altruism expressed) which nature is compassion, appaered for them as God. To discus in a way this is my religion, this is correct and you should respect that and so on is not fruitful, rather to emerge what Buddhism offers to us into our daily activities, contacts. "My heart is my temple", said The Dalai Lama.

A heart not of flesh and no one can stamp on it but it is for all.
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby Zenda » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:19 pm

As follow-up to Muni's post, check out: http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... ew&id=1814

So, as an American Buddhist, where do I sign up for my truck and gun? The perks never end with this practice... :woohoo:
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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby muni » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:58 pm

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Re: Buddhism isn't whatever you want it to be!

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:46 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
We have a "right" to do lots of things but that doesn't mean the motivation is necessarily wholesome or the fruit positive. Now, I'm not saying one should never speak up, but one must do so only after careful inspection of what is really behind one's impulse to do so, and only if one has the wisdom to respond skillfully. More often than not, these impulses of ours to stand up for Buddhism or ourselves is that someone is contradicting what we've based our cherished identity on or that we rely on to define our self worth. In other words, it's generally ego-clinging and attachment and feeling threatened in some way. As Mahayana Buddhists who've vowed to help all beings reach liberation, it's more important to refrain from those habit patterns than to stand up for anything. That more than anything will stand up for and protect the Dharma and ourselves and all beings.

FWIW, this "advice" is as much to remind myself what I need to live up to as it is for anyone else.


Yes help oneself first. This is the key in maintaining conduct.

Good post.
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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