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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Ogyen wrote:
be buddha. Don't be Buddhist.


"Preach the [Dharma] always, and if necessary, use words."

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:00 am 
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AdmiralJim wrote:
I wish someone would come round and get rid of these Jehovahs Witnesses that come round every Sunday to my house, I have ignored them for ten weeks and they still come round to my house! It was a mistake to ask there opinion about a strange phenomoneon that occured while my mother was in hospital. Their conclusion was that an 'angel' followed me around the hospital because I am a God fearing man apparantly, this explanation convinced me even more to stay away from them, not to mention the fact the literature they write is so simplisitic it could have been written by a school kid :S

Actually, the only time a JW came to my door and asked me what my "religion" was, told them I was buddhist-some 20+ years ago. They didn't say a word, simply walked away. :tongue: Earl


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:04 am 
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edearl wrote:
not1not2 wrote:
Am sorry you thought you must choose family or Dharma. Did they push you out or did you push them out? We tred the path of Dharma and wish others well. Does there have to be a choice? Metta, Earl :anjali:


I realized we had nothing in common to talk about, and was unwilling for them to continually try to convert me back to Christianity, which is insulting. Moreover, their congregation contains people who are among the most bigoted among humanity. I tried to keep in touch with my brother, and for a while called him often. But, it was always me calling him, he has not called me, ever, in over 40 years. I did keep in touch with mom, until she died, but no one else in the family. Growing up, I barely knew my father, because he and mom divorced and he was a lifer in the Air Force who moved often. He was a good person, but was haunted by alcoholism. We spent some time together as adults. He was not a fundamentalist.

I am unable to pretend to believe as my family does, which is the only way I would be accepted by them. Thus, I accepted the lesser of two unfortunate life styles, and walked away rather than being treated as ignorant and stupid. I suppose they think the devil took me. IMO there is more devil in fundamentalists than in me. They badly want to live as good people, but their blind faith prevents it. Buddhist are good people because they had a good teacher and because they think things through, among other things.

I didn't give up Christianity for Buddhism, I hadn't heard of Buddhism at the time. For a long time, I thought I was an atheist, but eventually settled on being agnostic, because one cannot prove or disprove the existence of a god or gods.

Whatever the belief system we embrace, their is suffering. Metta to you. Earl


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:48 am 
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Best method is to avoid.

Frankly I find many "Buddhists" with wrong views who constantly slander the Dharma more disturbing. But then again, why am I attached to seeking them out and debating with them? :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:03 am 
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Ogyen wrote:
be buddha. Don't be Buddhist. You can't engage fundamentalism of any kind with reason. You must reach it where it clings - in its human factor. Everyone understands feeling like crap. Touch into the human common ground. That is all. Everyone suffers, this we can agree on. Ideology need not be a factor to be kind. Differences need not impact how we choose to be with others.

On this field I particulary adore a talk on True God, True Buddha.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:34 pm 
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My husband's family are fundamentalists, and my mother-in-law instigated an e-mail discussion about karma last year. (She was going through a tough time and thought that Buddhism might be able to help.) I just referred folks to reputable resources and answered as straightforwardly as I could, always couching it as "in my experience" or "The way I understand it is XYZ, but check it out for yourself... "

The conversation eventually died out because there really wasn't anything to argue about. Even when the question of "Why did you reject Jesus?" arises, I usually reply by shrugging and saying something like "It wasn't helpful for me. I like being a Buddhist better." And if they persist, I just ask questions about their faith since clearly they want to talk about why Jesus is so important and helpful to them. Overall we have a very respectful relationship...

I think it's really hard not to get all fired up and emotional about this stuff...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:52 pm 
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booker wrote:
On this field I particulary adore a talk on True God, True Buddha.

Absolutely brilliant truth.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Epistemes wrote:
Ogyen wrote:
be buddha. Don't be Buddhist.


"Preach the [Dharma] always, and if necessary, use words."


I like this idea quite a lot. (adaptation of St. Francis of Assisi, yes?)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Jikan wrote:
Epistemes wrote:
Ogyen wrote:
be buddha. Don't be Buddhist.


"Preach the [Dharma] always, and if necessary, use words."


I like this idea quite a lot. (adaptation of St. Francis of Assisi, yes?)


Adaptation of a misattribution of St. Francis of Assisi. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:03 pm 
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steveb1 wrote:
What is your view of engaging Christian fundamentalists? There does seem to be an array of choices, from ignoring them, to arguing your view against their views, to being assertive enough to (for example) hand out Buddhistic literature to fundamentalists and/or actually inviting them to Buddhist services (that's a stretch, I admit).

For me, it does get tiresome to hear conservative Christians knowingly or unknowingly misrepresent Buddhism. We've all heard the litany: Buddhism is "Satanic"; it is pessimistic; it induces trance and other mind-control techniques; humankind needs God/ Buddhism has no God; Buddha was a damned sinner/Jesus was God and sinless; Buddha died/Jesus is risen, and for that matter is eternal; Jesus saves from sin/Buddha has no such capacity; God set his seal on Jesus via miracles/God did not "vouch" for Buddha; etc., etc.

Obviously, the essential differences make even the most hopeful communication difficult, as Christianity is founded on the notion of a supernatural/personal god's miraculous activity, whereas no such entity exists in Buddhism. But there are other issues that can be addressed, starting with simple corrections of Christian misunderstandings of Buddha and Buddhism.

Is it worth a response? After all, fundamentalists' salvation rests upon their unswerving, total belief in faith-propositions. If they perceive that one is trying to correct views which fundamentalists firmly believe are God-given, then they will not jeopardize their salvation. Hence, any real dialogue is probably impossible. But, beyond considerations of communication and dialogue, there is always the consideration of truth.

That is, how do we "stick up for the Dharma" in the face of prejudice, misinformation, and sometimes contempt? Have any Dharma Wheel posters confronted - or better, solved - this problem? It would be nice to hear different views from Buddhists in confrontation with Christian fundamentalists.


No need to debate with them. Why? Because even in Buddha time, he himself cannot convince many bhramins due to the inability to penetrate illusion. Time will come for them to understand finally, however may be not in this life.

We simply need to act according to dharma, close the ears and zip the mouth.

Dharma shouldn't be exposed to someone if it is not requested or if we can sense the requester simply want to debate it.

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I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:27 pm 
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No need to argue with them. The only point of Buddhism is to free yourself and others from suffering, and to cultivate causes for happiness. Ultimately, it's up to each person to determine how to do that - and many dharma (as well as Christian) teachings can help as a guide. So I'd just ask the Christian - does your faith make you happier and able to bring happiness to others? If so, it is in no way in conflict with Buddhism. Who am I to tell you how to be happy? I've learned things in Buddhism that have made me happier and able to help others. If you believe that's a cause for me to go to hell, so be it. I gotta make the best choices I can for my own happiness, just as you do. Many fundamentalist Christians will say at this point, "I'm going to pray for you to find Jesus." I would just say, "Thank you."


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