is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 7:07 am "both Shinto and Buddhist."
The background of this makes it different than being a Christian Buddhist. There is a long history where kami are either coopted as dharma protectors or avatars of buddhas and bodhisattvas. Then there is also that aspect where many contemporary Japanese do whatever is appealing without caring much about the substance. Who doesn't want Christmas Cake?! Amirite or amirite?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:10 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 1:00 pm As far as I know, no-one "takes refuge" in Shinto (or Hindu) deities. They worship them, pray to them, make offerings to them.
And on the other hand, Buddhists "taking refuge" are essentially saying that they have chosen to trust the Buddha's teaching, not to worship the Buddha as a deity - although I know the distinction is rarely clear in daily life.
“Refuge” is just a term.
Buddhism asserts that all beings are striving to be free from desire. In other words, to be content. Happy, fed, free, loved, not being eaten, prosperous, whatever. That discontent is called samsara, isn’t it? To be content is a universal goal of all beings.
Wanting to be happy is not the path, and is not refuge. The world is full of strategies for being happy, but most are not Buddha Dharma. Refuge in Dharma is actually something, down at the level of the mind, that is a factor for liberation (as defined by Dharma). Refuge in the Three Jewels is pretty specific.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
Passing By
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Passing By »

Giovanni wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 1:10 pm By the definition used in all Buddhist schools, if you ask a deity or ancestor for aid to achieve, or for protection, you are taking Refuge with them.
Malcolm is quite right.
And meanwhile in Japan, these kami are all considered worldly or in some cases, wisdom Buddha emanations anyway so.....Besides, there's plenty of people, myself included who still pay respects at shinto shrines and Buddhist temples not to ask for something but to show respect. Because you are in said deity's territory after all and it's just good manners to be polite in the case of the former and because you pay homage as a Buddhist to the Triple Gem in the latter

Tibetans with their white torma offerings and such should closely identify with this
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Giovanni »

Thank you. I think perhaps this is similar to taking off hat in a Christian church. I know Buddhists that were Catholic and still light candles at at shrines.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:21 pm
FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 7:07 am "both Shinto and Buddhist."
The background of this makes it different than being a Christian Buddhist. There is a long history where kami are either coopted as dharma protectors or avatars of buddhas and bodhisattvas. Then there is also that aspect where many contemporary Japanese do whatever is appealing without caring much about the substance. Who doesn't want Christmas Cake?! Amirite or amirite?
I'd say you are right.

Most of us here on DharmaWheel are doctrinal wonks (and for that I am thankful...where else would I find such a collection of like-minded dharma siblings online?). I think it's important to recognize and remember the "folk religious" aspects of Buddhism as actually practiced on the ground in Asia.

Some may disagree but I find the non-doctrinally-concerned faithful to be just as valid in their simple but sincere faith and traditions as the lofty scholars.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:30 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:10 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 1:00 pm As far as I know, no-one "takes refuge" in Shinto (or Hindu) deities. They worship them, pray to them, make offerings to them.
And on the other hand, Buddhists "taking refuge" are essentially saying that they have chosen to trust the Buddha's teaching, not to worship the Buddha as a deity - although I know the distinction is rarely clear in daily life.
“Refuge” is just a term.
Buddhism asserts that all beings are striving to be free from desire. In other words, to be content. Happy, fed, free, loved, not being eaten, prosperous, whatever. That discontent is called samsara, isn’t it? To be content is a universal goal of all beings.
Wanting to be happy is not the path, and is not refuge. The world is full of strategies for being happy, but most are not Buddha Dharma. Refuge in Dharma is actually something, down at the level of the mind, that is a factor for liberation (as defined by Dharma). Refuge in the Three Jewels is pretty specific.
Precisely the point I was making !
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:31 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:30 pm
Wanting to be happy is not the path, and is not refuge. The world is full of strategies for being happy, but most are not Buddha Dharma. Refuge in Dharma is actually something, down at the level of the mind, that is a factor for liberation (as defined by Dharma). Refuge in the Three Jewels is pretty specific.
Precisely the point I was making !
The four noble truths explain quite clearly the fact of suffering; what it is, what causes it, the fact of liberation from it and the path. All that dukkha, that discontent.

As you say, there are many paths to happiness.
And what I mentioned was the complete perfection of liberation from that craving (samsara) lifetime over lifetime. That’s the significant point of Buddhism. It’s also the goals of many Indian religions.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Tue May 18, 2021 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:31 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:30 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:10 pm

“Refuge” is just a term.
Buddhism asserts that all beings are striving to be free from desire. In other words, to be content. Happy, fed, free, loved, not being eaten, prosperous, whatever. That discontent is called samsara, isn’t it? To be content is a universal goal of all beings.
Wanting to be happy is not the path, and is not refuge. The world is full of strategies for being happy, but most are not Buddha Dharma. Refuge in Dharma is actually something, down at the level of the mind, that is a factor for liberation (as defined by Dharma). Refuge in the Three Jewels is pretty specific.
Precisely the point I was making !
Got it. I misread you the first time around. On a second reading I see where you were going with that.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:39 pm And what I mentioned was the complete perfection of liberation from that craving (samsara) lifetime over lifetime. That’s the significant point of Buddhism. It’s also the goals of many Indian religions.
Well, at a glance. On closer examination, the whole atman/anatman thing does present a significant distinction... but I don't think we need to go down that path for the 500th time.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:16 pm Some may disagree but I find the non-doctrinally-concerned faithful to be just as valid in their simple but sincere faith and traditions as the lofty scholars.
I'd judge some such folks are more advanced than many golden tongued wonks.

Its one thing to understand how to make a triple bank shot based on math and physics. Its another to just pick up the cue and make the shot. You don't necessarily need to understand angles and complimentary angles, and friction of the felt and inertia of the cue ball. An intuitive flick of the wrist with enough English does the job.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:48 pm
FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:16 pm Some may disagree but I find the non-doctrinally-concerned faithful to be just as valid in their simple but sincere faith and traditions as the lofty scholars.
I'd judge some such folks are more advanced than many golden tongued wonks.

Its one thing to understand how to make a triple bank shot based on math and physics. Its another to just pick up the cue and make the shot. You don't necessarily need to understand angles and complimentary angles, and friction of the felt and inertia of the cue ball. An intuitive flick of the wrist with enough English does the job.
Here here! :good:

Here is to the memory of my grandmother-in-law, who was semi-literate but kept saying the Nembutsu throughout her long life and maintained a beautiful family butsudan to Amida Nyorai each day. She knew not a spot of doctrine but her life itself embodied the Pure Land faith in her daily actions.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Malcolm »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 1:00 pm
With respect, Malcolm, I think that's a false equivalence.
As far as I know, no-one "takes refuge" in Shinto (or Hindu) deities. They worship them, pray to them, make offerings to them.
Well, here you are mistaken. There are specific refuge prayers to Hindu deities, recited by Hindus, for example, gaṇesha sharaṇam, sharaṇam gaṇesha. Or this:

http://reveredhinduism.blogspot.com/201 ... stuti.html

As far as Shinto goes, there have been Shinto religious movements which identify themselves as explicitly nonbuddhist, often tied to nativist sentiments.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 5:19 pm As far as Shinto goes, there have been Shinto religious movements which identify themselves as explicitly nonbuddhist, often tied to nativist sentiments.
This is quite true. Ise Shrine, the grandest in the Shinto universe, barred Buddhist monastics from entry beyond a certain points since... well, no one really knows. On the other hand, there was a very close relationship with a nearby temple and a certain order of nuns who did a lot of fundraising for the shrine who were allowed deep into the precincts. Then you go over to Nachi Shrine, and find the nature worship and syncretic Buddhist asceticism was deeply woven into the place. For a while now Nationalist Shinto was calling the shots, but many major shrines have recently broken away from that confederation and are embracing their syncretic past.

I like to conceive of it as the Japanese rejecting the authoritarian statists, who were maybe needed to fend off Western imperial powers, but then went haywire with their statist nationalism, and reverting to their basic easy going, natural, holistic, consensus based sensibilities. Who wants to be a superpower - so exhausting. So much nicer to drink sake with friends and watch the cherry blossom petals flutter in the wind.

Covid has given the Japanese a perfect excuse to close off to the world again. Now if they could just get the IOC to cancel the Olympics.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
Malcolm
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 5:58 pm
Malcolm wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 5:19 pm As far as Shinto goes, there have been Shinto religious movements which identify themselves as explicitly nonbuddhist, often tied to nativist sentiments.
This is quite true. Ise Shrine,
I've been there. Amazing place.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

Malcolm wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 6:08 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 5:58 pm
This is quite true. Ise Shrine,
I've been there. Amazing place.
The thing that blew me away there, and other places in Japan as well, is that human beings planted and have continuously been caring for thousand year old trees the way I cultivate a laurel tree I planted 5 years ago. Talk about lineage... that offers a poignant meditation on humanity and stewardship of nature.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Is Buddhism exclusivist ?
No Buddhist is ever going to demand that a person give up whatever else they believe in. But at some point, if they really delve deep enough into serious practice, the difference will manifest itself and that person may have to make some important personal life decisions about what they really do and don’t believe in.
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 7:17 pm Is Buddhism exclusivist ?
No Buddhist is ever going to demand that a person give up whatever else they believe in. But at some point, if they really delve deep enough into serious practice, the difference will manifest itself and that person may have to make some important personal life decisions about what they really do and don’t believe in.
Red pill? or Blue pill?

:smile:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Queequeg
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by Queequeg »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:56 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:48 pm
FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 4:16 pm Some may disagree but I find the non-doctrinally-concerned faithful to be just as valid in their simple but sincere faith and traditions as the lofty scholars.
I'd judge some such folks are more advanced than many golden tongued wonks.

Its one thing to understand how to make a triple bank shot based on math and physics. Its another to just pick up the cue and make the shot. You don't necessarily need to understand angles and complimentary angles, and friction of the felt and inertia of the cue ball. An intuitive flick of the wrist with enough English does the job.
Here here! :good:

Here is to the memory of my grandmother-in-law, who was semi-literate but kept saying the Nembutsu throughout her long life and maintained a beautiful family butsudan to Amida Nyorai each day. She knew not a spot of doctrine but her life itself embodied the Pure Land faith in her daily actions.
I'm sure. The older I get the more I appreciate kindness more than eloquent and smart. Something to personally work on ...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Maybe we should understand that refuge is about not wanting to suffer. When we’re suffering, where do we go for refuge (so we don’t have to suffer anymore)?

Some people might be upset about a breakup and go drink themselves to sleep. When our afflictions are so strong it’s unbearable, where do we turn for comfort? Maybe pizza and ice cream, the internet, sex, drugs, rock and roll... calling up our friends for support. This is all refuge, just not an authentic refuge.

The authentic refuge for a Buddhist is in the Three Jewels. Praying to other gods for help is a worldly refuge, but it won’t be able to liberate us from Samsara. eg. People praying to go to heaven when they die is not an authentic refuge (for reasons obvious to anyone who has studied Dharma).
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Re: is buddhist an exclusivist religion?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 3:10 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 1:00 pm As far as I know, no-one "takes refuge" in Shinto (or Hindu) deities. They worship them, pray to them, make offerings to them.
And on the other hand, Buddhists "taking refuge" are essentially saying that they have chosen to trust the Buddha's teaching, not to worship the Buddha as a deity - although I know the distinction is rarely clear in daily life.
“Refuge” is just a term.
Buddhism asserts that all beings are striving to be free from desire. In other words, to be content. Happy, fed, free, loved, not being eaten, prosperous, whatever. That discontent is called samsara, isn’t it? To be content is a universal goal of all beings.

Whatever you use to reach that goal, religion, politics, brute force, that’s your refuge. It’s what you put your confidence in.

Yes, you can pray to Virgin Mary for new shoes and pray to Buddha for money and good looks. You can turn to any source of refuge for whatever you want. When I want money, I take refuge in the ATM.

But the perfection of liberation from craving, the perfection of that contentment free from samsara, that’s specifically (but not exclusively) a buddhist goal.
:good:

Love your metaphors!
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