Loose Ends

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Loose Ends

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:22 pm

So much of drama, so little of Dharma....pity the Lama
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:53 pm

catmoon wrote:No reason at all. Who would have the chutzpah to go tell Mother Theresa she'd do better as a Buddhist? Given a chance to meet such a person, wouldn't it be better to sit down, shut up and listen?


(It's a digression, but . . . Mother Theresa wasn't half as nice a person as she's said to be. Even her Noble prize reception speech was quite appalling . . . All in all I get you point and agree, though.)

So why argue that Christians would be better off staying Christian rather than 'converting', if no Christian happy to be Christian would like to cease to be a Christian, and it is only the ones who've found Christianity lacking who'll think of 'converting' to another 'religion'?
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby mint » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:11 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:So why argue that Christians would be better off staying Christian rather than 'converting', if no Christian happy to be Christian would like to cease to be a Christian, and it is only the ones who've found Christianity lacking who'll think of 'converting' to another 'religion'?


I would argue that it's not only those who've found Christianity in some way lacking who'll be thinking of converting to another religion but also those who can't handle the everyday practical challenges. Converting to Buddhism can be as much escapism as it can be pursuit or journey.
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:56 pm

mint wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:So why argue that Christians would be better off staying Christian rather than 'converting', if no Christian happy to be Christian would like to cease to be a Christian, and it is only the ones who've found Christianity lacking who'll think of 'converting' to another 'religion'?


I would argue that it's not only those who've found Christianity in some way lacking who'll be thinking of converting to another religion but also those who can't handle the everyday practical challenges. Converting to Buddhism can be as much escapism as it can be pursuit or journey.


It surely can. But do you know any Christians who 'converted' to Buddhism for such reasons and not because they became disenchanted with Christianity? I sure don't - nor have I ever heard of them.
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby mint » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:17 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:It surely can. But do you know any Christians who 'converted' to Buddhism for such reasons and not because they became disenchanted with Christianity? I sure don't - nor have I ever heard of them.


Becoming "disenchanted" with Christianity (or any strict religion or ethos, for that matter) can take on many private forms which pride is unable to admit and delusion is capable of reinforcing. Not everyone who becomes disenchanted with capitalism, while admitting communism, is willing to admit revolution.
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:20 pm

plwk wrote:Or take some lessons from the committed, those who've been there and done that...


This documentary movie is really excellent.

The words spoken by these living Zen masters trully coming out from their own direct experiences.

Thank you for showing this documentary.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :twothumbsup: :twothumbsup:
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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Re: Loose Ends

Postby dakini_boi » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:12 am

mint wrote:I've accumulated so much learning and experience about Catholic faith and praxis which serves me no good as a Buddhist or Dzogchenpa.


I don't agree. All religions have dharma in them. Buddhism is unique, in that its view and methods are more sophisticated and all-encompassing than others (sorry, just my humble opinion :) ). But Buddhism is above all based on method. Not dogma, not belief. Tantra makes use of all possible techniques used in every other religion or metaphysical/magickal system - all to the end of realizing the inseparability of form and emptiness.

So I think it might be interesting, given that you have emotional ties to Catholicism, to examine the techniques of that religion as skillful means. It seems to me that the main technique in Catholicism is a sort of "guru yoga" on Christ. Now I don't know if it's possible to actually attain liberation through guru yoga practiced with an eternalist view (although I'm keeping an open mind), but it's clear that Catholicism has produced incredible siddhas (i.e. saints) through this method.

mint wrote:No matter what I've practiced, though, I've always approached it genuinely, hoping to subdue ego and experience the ultimate reality of Truth.


This is wonderful. :thumbsup: Keep doing that and you'll succeed. At the same time, Mint, you really must identify which attitudes and thoughts are undermining your practice (be it Catholic, Buddhist, whatever) and start to let these go.

mint wrote: Buddhism and Dzogchen truly do feel what I've been searching for all along, but how can I embark on this path when I can't experience peace with my past as a Catholic or with the Catholic Church or my old Catholic friends?


Your Catholic past will not be resolved through choosing to follow either path. Neither will it be resolved through not choosing a path. Because whatever you choose (or don't choose), it sounds like your own thoughts are what's driving you crazy. Notice how you go back and forth - this is classic dualistic mind creating suffering. If you remain respectful and reverent concerning Catholicism, will your Catholic friends reject you?

mint wrote:I've got to face up to that challenge in addition to attempting to resolve in my own way the theistic impulse which I've only managed to suffocate discreetly in order to seem a more fitting practitioner even though I could not really argue against the impulse itself.


Understand how the theistic impulse is channeled in the context of dzogchen/vajrayana practice - again, skillful means. Dzogchen doesn't reject anything, and your practice of Vajrayana will never be successful if you don't embrace your theistic impulse. Of course, you need to maintain the proper view regarding this - and I think you've done sufficient study of Buddhism to have a basic understanding. But let me repeat - you do not need to give up "theism" to practice Buddhism - you just need to understand it in its proper context as a skillful means. By the way, if you really have a theistic impulse and you know how to use it, you're better off in Vajrayana than many atheistic intellectuals who come to Buddhism with no theistic background.
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby Anders » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:43 pm

catmoon wrote:The Dalai Lama has spoken at some length on this. He generally opposes conversion because in most cases, one is better off staying with a supportive community with many opportunities to learn, practice and be accepted. The sudden transition to a new religion means the loss of the old liturgy, philosophy, the loss of support from clergy, community and family. The crisis of faith involved can be wrenching. So the Dalai Lama advises that a Christian is better off trying to be a better Christian than starting all over as a Buddhist. In most cases.


Just working from memory here, a little caution is advised.


I totally disagree with HH here. 'do stay in your comfort zone' is no good advice to the religious seeker. And there wouldn't be much Buddhism if the buddha had discouraged people from going for refuge.

It's PCGM. One to chalk off.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Loose Ends

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:02 pm

Anders Honore wrote:I totally disagree with HH here. 'do stay in your comfort zone' is no good advice to the religious seeker. And there wouldn't be much Buddhism if the buddha had discouraged people from going for refuge.

It's PCGM. One to chalk off.


In some places, like India, conversion to Buddhism could mean being severely alienated from your birth community or even killed.
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby Anders » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:53 pm

Huseng wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:I totally disagree with HH here. 'do stay in your comfort zone' is no good advice to the religious seeker. And there wouldn't be much Buddhism if the buddha had discouraged people from going for refuge.

It's PCGM. One to chalk off.


In some places, like India, conversion to Buddhism could mean being severely alienated from your birth community or even killed.


Then he should address what people in such a precarious situation might consider doing. Discouraging conversion as a general rule isn't a fitting response, nor is it a fitting response to the question of proselytizing.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby MrDistracted » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:08 pm

Does anyone know the context of HHDL's words on conversion? I don't, but i've always suspected that knowing to whom and where he said it might make it more understandable.
I mean I doubt he said it whilst giving, say, a Vajrakilaya empowerment in France or whilst ordaining western monks or nuns....
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby catmoon » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:47 am

IIRC he has spoken on this topic many times, in interviews, at teachings, during Q and A sessions and so on. Here is a random sample:



I would like to share some of my thoughts with all of you gathered here, brothers and sisters in Buddhism. First of all, Buddhism corresponds to a new tradition, a religion which did not previously exist in the West. Consequently, it is normal that all those who are interested in Buddhism in its Tibetan form would also like to be informed about and continue to study other religions and traditions. This is perfectly natural. However, for those who are seriously thinking of converting to Buddhism, that is, of changing your religion, it is very important to take every precaution. This must not be done lightly. Indeed, if one converts without having thought about it in a mature way, this often creates difficulties and leads to great inner confusion. I would therefore advise all who would like to convert to Buddhism to think carefully before doing so.

Second, when an individual is convinced that Buddhist teachings are better adapted to his or her disposition, that they are more effective, it is quite right that this religion be chosen. However, human nature being what it is, after their conversion and in order to justify it, such a person may have a tendency to want to criticize his or her original religion. This must be avoided at all costs. Even if the previous religion does not seem as effective as he or she would have liked (and this is the reason for the change), this is not sufficient reason to claim that the old religion is ineffective for the human spirit. That religion continues to bring immense good to millions of people. For this reason, as Buddhists, we must respect the rights of others, for other religions help millions of people. In particular, we are in the process of trying to create and maintain a perfect harmony among all religions. In these circumstances it is absolutely essential to be aware of the need to respect other religions.


"Beyond Dogma: The Challenge of the Modern World", (c) 1996 North Atlantic Books, translated by Alison Anderson and Marianne Dresser from talks given during His Holiness's visit to France end 1993
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby MrDistracted » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:52 am

Well, he says in that passage:

"I would therefore advise all who would like to convert to Buddhism to think carefully before doing so.
Second, when an individual is convinced that Buddhist teachings are better adapted to his or her disposition, that they are more effective, it is quite right that this religion be chosen. "


That, for me, puts it all in context. Thanks.
It's just in the past i've had someone assert that I was wrong to follow the Buddha and they appealed to HHDL as authority, which was a quite bizarre conversation.


By the way, what does 'IIRC' mean? :smile:......edit: i've worked it out...
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby Distorted » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:22 am

I wrote a summary of my life and religion and then deleted the entire thing. This video will cover it just about.

Warning: Explicit Lyrics






I say do what you know is right for you. I had to take what I thought I wanted out of the equation.
I then asked myself what do I need and is this what's right for me? Everything else is memories.
Forward! Steady as she goes! I will see what the future has in store for me when I get there.

:juggling: - Distorted
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Loose Ends

Postby muni » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:42 am

mint wrote:[
I would argue that it's not only those who've found Christianity in some way lacking who'll be thinking of converting to another religion but also those who can't handle the everyday practical challenges. Converting to Buddhism can be as much escapism as it can be pursuit or journey.


:good:

There must be a place where the grass is more green! That will be mine!

Escaping from own mind while not wanting to let it go.
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