Question ~ Answer Thread

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby maybay » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:31 am

Wesley1982 wrote:ok,

here's a real question.

In the realm of christian thought - it could be said that those who suffered while on earth receive the reward of 'heaven'

In the realm of buddhist thought - could the same be said of those who suffered while on earth were brought into "nirvana" ? . . .

Or is buddhist thought totally different? . .


Christ was a martyr, but we see martyrdom as an excess. Specifically it lacks wisdom.

Buddha taught that suffering is a universal mark of existence, therefore it cannot determine your destiny. All sentient beings suffer and they continue to suffer until they see the truth.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:03 pm

'Arising of dukkha and cessation of dukkha' . . I "think" I understand intellectually but not in practice.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Jikan » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:02 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:ok,

here's a real question.

In the realm of christian thought - it could be said that those who suffered while on earth receive the reward of 'heaven'

In the realm of buddhist thought - could the same be said of those who suffered while on earth were brought into "nirvana" ? . . .

Or is buddhist thought totally different? . .


Would you consider reading some books, meeting a teacher or two, actually making an effort in practice...?
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:52 pm

Jikan wrote:Would you consider reading some books, meeting a teacher or two, actually making an effort in practice...?


Yes.

Though I'm not able to meet a Buddhist instructor/teacher right away and I'm definitely taking my time to carefully approach the deep subjects.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby AdmiralJim » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:06 pm

the practice is quite simple, practioners like to make it complicated........
I don't know where we are going but it will be nice when we get there
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:44 pm

You know . . If I purchase some exotic incense from Gonesh or Nag Champa it doesn't mean I'm going to actually travel to that address. *laugh*
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:02 pm

ok,

Does Buddhism have anything positive or negative to say about Christianity? . .Please give your honest opinion.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby conebeckham » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:16 pm

Man, that's a huge topic.

To the extent that Christians and Christianity teach non-harming, and promoting love and kindess, "Buddhism" will reflect positively.

To the extent that Christianity relies on "faith in God" or in Jesus, Buddhism will say such faith is misplaced. Respect, and even admiration, for Jesus, sure....but mere belief and faith as salvific, nope......Buddhists do not agree.

What is "salvific," for Buddhists, is experiental abiding in Reality, and removing Ignorance about Truth. These have nothing to do with "God," or with "belief," even....

The above comments are just general "brushstrokes," perhaps the most important differences or contrasts between the two....as I said, it's a huge (and, frankly, ultimately somewhat useless) project to address all the similarities and differences..
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:36 am

Wesley1982 wrote:ok,

Does Buddhism have anything positive or negative to say about Christianity? . .Please give your honest opinion.


"Buddhism" doesn't have anything to say about Christianity. Buddhism developed around 528 BCE; Christianity more than 500 years later. Buddhists might have opinions, but opinions will vary.

(There was no 'Christianity' at the time of the Buddha, so there would be no way to discuss a religion which is not even around yet.)
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:37 am

I took note of the BCE period, historically.

There's also about a 400 year difference between the Old and New Testament of the 'Christian Bible.'
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Will » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:35 am

Wesley1982 wrote:ok,

Does Buddhism have anything positive or negative to say about Christianity? . .Please give your honest opinion.


Buddhism has no pope, no hierarchy. So whatever is said about Xtianity is said by individual Buddhists. Even then, most Buddhists do not know very well the varied types of Xtian theology & practices.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:09 pm

I'm sure that some Christians who properly understand the 'Christian Bible' would object to "idol worship" or declare "false gods."

What do we say to that? not sure.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby conebeckham » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:14 pm

I, personally, say nothing.

Why bother?
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:33 pm

conebeckham wrote:Man, that's a huge topic.

To the extent that Christians and Christianity teach non-harming, and promoting love and kindess, "Buddhism" will reflect positively.

To the extent that Christianity relies on "faith in God" or in Jesus, Buddhism will say such faith is misplaced. Respect, and even admiration, for Jesus, sure....but mere belief and faith as salvific, nope......Buddhists do not agree.

What is "salvific," for Buddhists, is experiental abiding in Reality, and removing Ignorance about Truth. These have nothing to do with "God," or with "belief," even....

The above comments are just general "brushstrokes," perhaps the most important differences or contrasts between the two....as I said, it's a huge (and, frankly, ultimately somewhat useless) project to address all the similarities and differences..


One particular parrallel between Buddhism and Christianity as that both have factors of Enlightenment. Albeit in different ways

(Different forms of Enlightenment) Two different worlds really.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:43 pm

ok,

I've been reading this info about 'What the Buddha taught' . . at the Chapter 6 section It discusses 'Anatta' doctrine of no soul.

So, why no soul in Buddhist thought? . .
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby conebeckham » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:44 pm

Wesley-

What purpose is served?

If you wish to learn about Buddhism, you need to take it on it's own terms. You will not understand Buddhism by trying to compare it with Christianity. Just as one example, whatever Christianity says about "Enlightenment," I guarantee it has nothing to do with "Enlightenment" in Buddhism.

If you wish to learn about Buddhism, you need to maintain an open mind, and resist trying to force Buddhist concepts into equivalancies with other traditions.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby conebeckham » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:48 pm

"Buddhist thought" maintains a doctrine of Anatta. Impermanence. All conditioned phenomena are impermanent by nature. Notions of "soul," or some sort of essential, unchanging selfhood, are mere concepts, with no reality, according to Buddhism.

Why is this so? Because no such soul or self can be found, upon inspection.

Keep reading.....I think Rahula's book will explain this.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:30 pm

Is Walpola Rahula good for spiritual reading? . .
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby conebeckham » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:37 pm

Yes, "What the Buddha Taught" is a great introduction to the "basics" of Buddhism.
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Re: Question ~ Answer Thread

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:22 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:I'm sure that some Christians who properly understand the 'Christian Bible' would object to "idol worship" or declare "false gods."

What do we say to that? not sure.


Ancient Greeks who worshipped Zeus would probably object to a notion of Jesus and proclaim him a false god.. With belief systems it all comes down to where/when you were raised. So what does that tell you? They're just beliefs... Buddhism isn't based in belief but in empirical investigation and understanding which comes from experience and practice. There are some sub sects of Buddhism which are more of a belief system but the majority isn't. If you approach Buddhism as being a mere belief system like christianity then (in my opinion) you won't be getting the full experience. It's more of a practical undertaking based on trial/error, cause/effect, reasoning etc..

And again the tendency for Christians (or any other religion) to declare other religions/philosophies 'idol worship' or 'false gods' is due to the fact that they're identifying with a belief. And in order for that belief to be legitimate one has to negate everything else, it's done out of insecurity. Buddhism (in the most compassionate way possible) calls this ignorance and dualistic attachment and instead seeks to understand how the mind falls prey to such behavior and teaches how to prevent it.
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