Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:52 pm

Huseng wrote:It'd be interesting to know what the short-lived Hellenic Buddhists in ancient times had in their vocabulary.
Well, if it was anything like the sculptures I imagine it would have had a high degree of syncretism/sharing.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby wisdom » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:46 pm

Marcus Aurelius's 'Meditations', a work of Stoic Philosophy, is strikingly close to Dharma in many ways.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:49 pm

wisdom wrote:Marcus Aurelius's 'Meditations', a work of Stoic Philosophy, is strikingly close to Dharma in many ways.


Not really. He doesn't make mention of samsara or karma at all.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:54 pm

wisdom wrote:Marcus Aurelius's 'Meditations', a work of Stoic Philosophy, is strikingly close to Dharma in many ways.
Sure, but Marco Aurelius was a Roman who lived 121-180AD whereas the "Greeks" Huseng is talking about were, well, Greeks and ruled the Hindu Kush from 180BC to 10AD and had one "true Buddhist" King (Menander of the Milindapanha fame).

We're not talking about "Dharma-like". With the Bactrian "Greeks", we are talking 100% Dharma.
Well, with some ancient Hellenistic influences of course ;)
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:59 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: Greeks and ruled the Hindu Kush from 180BC to 10AD


It was longer than that wasn't it? Buddhist Bactria survived almost 600 AD or so.

We need a good history of Bactria and Gandhara.

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby wisdom » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:11 am

Huseng wrote:
wisdom wrote:Marcus Aurelius's 'Meditations', a work of Stoic Philosophy, is strikingly close to Dharma in many ways.


Not really. He doesn't make mention of samsara or karma at all.


No, but his view has many parallels to Buddhism in that a great deal of what he says has been said in Buddhism in some form or another. Especially his high emphasis on impermanence, death, and that the mind, its opinions and beliefs are all contrived. He also recognizes that the essential nature of reality is pure, and that good and evil are categories of the mind. So while he is obviously not Buddhist, taken as a whole most of what he says in "Meditations" can be easily seen with a Buddhist eye and its not contrary to the Dharma, even if there are things in there which are.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:21 am

kirtu wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: Greeks and ruled the Hindu Kush from 180BC to 10AD


It was longer than that wasn't it? Buddhist Bactria survived almost 600 AD or so.

We need a good history of Bactria and Gandhara.

Kirt
I think you may bethinking of the Byzantine Empire. I have seen no accounts of the Bactrian/Greco-Indian Empire lasting longer than the aforementioned date (10AD).

On the subject of the Byzantine Empire, there was a stupa in existence Constantinople up until the late 500'sAD when it was destroyed by the Emperor Justinian I. Up until his reign, all the religions received protection and support by the Byzantine state. A report of the sighting of the remains of the stupa by some Nichiren Buddhist monks was made to my lama in the early 1970's. I have some Dharma friends in Turkey trying to track down the ruins again.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:26 am

gregkavarnos wrote:On the subject of the Byzantine Empire, there was a stupa in existence Constantinople up until the late 500'sAD when it was destroyed by the Emperor Justinian I. Up until his reign, all the religions received protection and support by the Byzantine state. A report of the sighting of the remains of the stupa by some Nichiren Buddhist monks was made to my lama in the early 1970's. I have some Dharma friends in Turkey trying to track down the ruins again.
:namaste:


That's interesting to consider, and not at all unbelievable. Buddhism was a minority religion in Parthia/Persia next door.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:40 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
kirtu wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: Greeks and ruled the Hindu Kush from 180BC to 10AD


It was longer than that wasn't it? Buddhist Bactria survived almost 600 AD or so.

We need a good history of Bactria and Gandhara.

Kirt
I think you may bethinking of the Byzantine Empire. I have seen no accounts of the Bactrian/Greco-Indian Empire lasting longer than the aforementioned date (10AD).


No I'm not thinking of the Byzantine Empire. Bactria was Buddhist under Meanader who died around 140 BC and may have been Buddhist after that for a while as well. The question was when Buddhism arrived in Bactria.

The Kingdom of Gandhara lasted from early 1st millennium BC to the 11th century AD.


Fa-Hsien records Gandhara as Buddhist around 400 AD. By 530 AD Buddhism had nearly become extinct in Gandhara and Hinduism had revived. Still later they converted to Islam.

On the subject of the Byzantine Empire, there was a stupa in existence Constantinople up until the late 500'sAD when it was destroyed by the Emperor Justinian I. Up until his reign, all the religions received protection and support by the Byzantine state. A report of the sighting of the remains of the stupa by some Nichiren Buddhist monks was made to my lama in the early 1970's. I have some Dharma friends in Turkey trying to track down the ruins again.
:namaste:


Indiana Jones and the Lost Stupa! I didn't know that. It might be possible to trace stupas westward.

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:14 am

Huseng wrote:That's interesting to consider, and not at all unbelievable. Buddhism was a minority religion in Parthia/Persia next door.
Could've been built by Hellenes returning from Bactria or other Buddhists trading through Constantinople.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:19 am

kirtu wrote:It was longer than that wasn't it? Buddhist Bactria survived almost 600 AD or so.
Sorry, my mistake, I didn't see that you were talking about Buddhist Bactria but thought you were referring specifically to the Hellenc empire that existed in the region.
Indiana Jones and the Lost Stupa! I didn't know that. It might be possible to trace stupas westward.
Well not quite Indiana Jones, I am hardly a fictional american grave robber and illicit smuggler of antiquities! Finding the stupa though, would be a real shot in the arm for the fledgling Turkish Buddhist community.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Astus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:24 pm

An interesting source for an ecumenical outlook of Buddhism is Yogi Chen who studied both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism. Another could be the Tendai type of ecumenism as it includes so many different practices, although within a single frame of theory.

As for this Greek part, this could be interesting for some: Pyrrhonism and Maadhyamika by Thomas McEvilley
Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism by M. Jason Reddoch (PDF)
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:17 pm

Image

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:23 pm

A classic case of the student thinking they are better than the teacher!

Now go put some pants on, there are wimmen and children present! :tongue:
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Stewart » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:54 pm

Almost right.... :tongue:

Namdrol wrote:Image

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:59 am

It's always nice to see cooperation across sect lines. After seeing some of the sect-bashing that goes on on this board (last time, by one of your tibetan practitioners), it's refreshing.

Promoting one particular sect over the other is ridiculous. Claiming that your school is the 'heir of indian buddhism' - that's b.s., they're all heirs of indian buddhism. And it loses sight of the fact that the dharma is right under your nose, so to speak. Even if Gautama Buddha had not formulated a noble eightfold path, I believe there would still be people in the world who were capable to intuit reality from nonsense, incorporating loving kindness and compassion into their relationships as well.

It takes unions of all kinds to give society communion. That's what the Sangha is about, right? Communion with eachother in practicing a way of liberation which is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Huifeng » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:47 am

Astus wrote:An interesting source for an ecumenical outlook of Buddhism is Yogi Chen who studied both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism.


It's kind of interesting in one way. But what is perhaps more interesting in my mind is how many conceive of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism as distinction from each other in the first place, and that a combination is therefore "ecumenial". :)

In many ways, these two traditions have been intersecting for 1000 yrs or so. In many cases, it is difficult to make any clear distinction between the two in the PRoC (inc. HK), Taiwan, etc.

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Huifeng wrote:It's kind of interesting in one way. But what is perhaps more interesting in my mind is how many conceive of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism as distinction from each other in the first place, and that a combination is therefore "ecumenial". :)



This might sound rather sectarian, but Chinese Buddhism usually constitutes a "religion" of self-awareness or self-knowledge (however you like).

It's my opinion that Tibetan Buddhism places less emphasis on self-knowing and more on moral/ethical self-edification, and so IMO is more of a cult of self-perfection.
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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:48 pm

Beatzen wrote:
Huifeng wrote:It's kind of interesting in one way. But what is perhaps more interesting in my mind is how many conceive of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism as distinction from each other in the first place, and that a combination is therefore "ecumenial". :)



This might sound rather sectarian...


No, it just sounds rather uninformed about Tibetan Buddhism.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Is ecumenical Buddhism realistic?

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:06 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Beatzen wrote:
Huifeng wrote:It's kind of interesting in one way. But what is perhaps more interesting in my mind is how many conceive of Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism as distinction from each other in the first place, and that a combination is therefore "ecumenial". :)



This might sound rather sectarian...


No, it just sounds rather uninformed about Tibetan Buddhism.

N


Actually, it isn't. I know from my studies of history that the Zen philosopher Mo Ho Yen was banished from Tibet by the "buddhist" government there for exactly this difference.
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