PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

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Norwegian
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Norwegian »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:23 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:26 pm There are many paths that lead to inner contentment, happiness, and many actions that lead to favorable rebirths. But specifically, to untie the knot of self-grasping that ties one to samsara, while any teaching that actually does that can be said to be the Dharma, and while there are certainly many spiritual paths that lead to loosening attachment to the self, the BuddhaDharma is the only teaching that actually unties that specific knot.
Any path that leads one out of samsara is Buddhadharma.
Which means the teachings of the Buddhas, and only that. Those teachings are found in the three categories of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen.

It does not mean Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Wicca, New Age, shamanism, atheism, materialism, eternalism, nihilism, monism, dualism, hedonism, etc.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:23 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:26 pm There are many paths that lead to inner contentment, happiness, and many actions that lead to favorable rebirths. But specifically, to untie the knot of self-grasping that ties one to samsara, while any teaching that actually does that can be said to be the Dharma, and while there are certainly many spiritual paths that lead to loosening attachment to the self, the BuddhaDharma is the only teaching that actually unties that specific knot.
Any path that leads one out of samsara is Buddhadharma.
Just as any ocean that leads one from England to the United States is the Atlantic.
In other words, sure, there are lots of great oceans to travel. But crossing them all won’t lead to the same destination.
Specifically what the Buddha identified as suffering and its cause, only Buddhadharma specifically shows that path leading to the cessation of that specific suffering.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Könchok Chödrak »

How many of you are actually being honest in your appraisal of what Buddha Dharma is and how it is, can be, or sometimes isn't practiced in other faiths? I seem to be running into this question a lot while reading your guy's posts. One of the precepts is to not lie. To not tell falsehoods. So how many of you are actually being honest Buddhists when you say things against other faiths, that one cannot find Enlightenment in them? I'm not here to judge anyone, but it is an important thing to think about with regards to this topic. :yinyang:
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:32 pm
Just as any ocean that leads one from England to the United States is the Atlantic.
In other words, sure, there are lots of great oceans to travel. But crossing them all won’t lead to the same destination.
But more importantly, all of this emphasis on anyone who is not buddhist is following a false teaching... there's something wrong with this way of thinking. It's ideological and kind of closed minded.

In my view, only beings of very high attainment can recognise enlightenment in others. So why argue? I personally have faith in Buddhadharma, but I don't see this as meaning anyone who's not following Shakyamuni is damned forever. I think it's possible that beings on a high level can see directly how to practice and move through samsara, and how to find their way out. Who knows, maybe a hindu beggar saddhu with no knowledge of buddhism will find himself in heaven being taught by Shakyamuni himself.

I think ideology traps us and it's maybe better not to hold ourselves above non-buddhists as if we have the only truth.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Norwegian wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:30 pm
SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:23 pm
Any path that leads one out of samsara is Buddhadharma.
Which means the teachings of the Buddhas, and only that. Those teachings are found in the three categories of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen.
Not all teachings of the buddhas are found in Buddhism. The buddhist teachings we have are just what have appeared on our earth at various times throughout our history. There are infinite teachings of buddhas in the universe.

Even in our world, it's very possible that Dharma can be found in places not specified in the texts. Instead of our scriptures limiting us, maybe we should use them to set us free...
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:59 pmall of this emphasis on anyone who is not buddhist is following a false teaching... there's something wrong with this way of thinking. It's ideological and kind of closed minded.
I think ideology traps us and it's maybe better not to hold ourselves above non-buddhists as if we have the only truth.
I understand fully what you are saying. I get the point you are making about being closed minded. It’s like the evangelical Christian screaming his everybody else is going to burn in hell, right?

But that’s not what’s being expressed here at all.
If you want to go to heaven and sit next to jesus when you die, then the path you need to follow is Christianity.
If you want to keep being reborn into high states of consciousness until you reach Brahma, then you need to follow Hindu.
If you have an upset stomach, athletes foot powder won’t help you and if your feet itch, aspirin won’t end that itch.

The Buddha taught that what he regarded as “suffering” is constant craving and restless dissatisfaction. Now, some other guru might teach that suffering is the result of, say, not being in touch with our feelings or whatever. That’s fine, but that’s not what the Buddha suggested.

So, you can consider what all the different gurus and prophets identify as human misery, and then, what causes that human misery and unhappiness: Is it because Adam had sex with Eve? Is it because Krishna stole butter? Is it because the Monkey King angered the Jade Emperor? It could be any of these things.

But if you are a Buddhist, you think, “it’s what the Buddha came up with. His explanation makes the most sense to me” and based on what the Buddha taught is the cause of suffering, of that particular problem, we recognize that his solution is the only one that actually addresses that cause.

It’s like going to one doctor who says your earache is caused by demonic forces and going to another doctor who says you have an acute sinus infection. It’s not being “closed minded” to opt for some antibiotics as opposed to sacrificing a goat.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Genjo Conan »

Brahma wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:44 pm How many of you are actually being honest in your appraisal of what Buddha Dharma is and how it is, can be, or sometimes isn't practiced in other faiths? I seem to be running into this question a lot while reading your guy's posts. One of the precepts is to not lie. To not tell falsehoods. So how many of you are actually being honest Buddhists when you say things against other faiths, that one cannot find Enlightenment in them? I'm not here to judge anyone, but it is an important thing to think about with regards to this topic. :yinyang:
Dhp 273-274
273. Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best: of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.

274. This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara.
That's just one example. I have close friends and family who are of different faiths; I have worked for an organization promoting interfaith dialog; I have great respect for other faiths. But let's not pretend that there isn't a canonical Buddhist position about this stuff. There is, and it says that the Buddhadharma is the Way, and everything else is not.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Brahma wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:44 pm How many of you are actually being honest in your appraisal of what Buddha Dharma is and how it is, can be, or sometimes isn't practiced in other faiths? I seem to be running into this question a lot while reading your guy's posts. One of the precepts is to not lie. To not tell falsehoods. So how many of you are actually being honest Buddhists when you say things against other faiths, that one cannot find Enlightenment in them? I'm not here to judge anyone, but it is an important thing to think about with regards to this topic. :yinyang:
Define “enlightenment”.

As this is a supposedly Buddhist forum, the ‘default’ meaning if ‘enlightenment’ is the total cessation of the causes for rebirth in samsara.

No more coming back. It’s like, once you know not to stick your hand into fire, there’s no turning back. Your hand will never reach into the hot fire again. That’s your hand attaining hand-enlightenment, you might say.

Otherwise, yes, there are all sorts of enlightenments, realizations of oneness with the universe, real game changers.

But, if you are talking about what the Buddha was talking about, it’s not attaining states of bliss, or seeing god in a grain of sand, or everything is a balance within the great Tao.

Nobody is saying anything against other faiths.
All that is being said is that other faiths aren’t Buddhadharma. And there are specific reasons why they aren’t.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by DNS »

"You can only get so far following other religions: all roads lead to Everest base camp, but from there, Buddhism is the only route to the summit."
Donald Lopez, Jr.
Tricycle.com

Buddhism holds that anyone can get to a heavenly realm leading a moral life and precepts from any religion, but full enlightenment and Nirvana is through the Buddhist path.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

I think Ramana was probably free from the bounds of samsara. And many bonpos have and continue to achieve the rainbow body.

I mean... everyone knows the dogma that non-buddhists can't become enlightened. Personally, I think the world is a bit more complicated than that.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

When talking with others of different faiths, maybe it does them a disservice to tell them their religion merely sends them to heaven (if at all). And maybe this way of thinking does ourselves a disservice by making our minds small and critical (of which I'm no exception).

I like Garchen Rinpoche's approach. He says bodhicitta is love, no matter what your religion. He and Thich Nhat Hanh both welcome students from other faiths.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by karmanyingpo »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:32 pm I think Ramana was probably free from the bounds of samsara. And many bonpos have and continue to achieve the rainbow body.

I mean... everyone knows the dogma that non-buddhists can't become enlightened. Personally, I think the world is a bit more complicated than that.
I disagree that its just dogma. I think the idea exists because in order to be free of delusion and suffering the core Buddhist teachings need to be integrated... Things such as no self and interdependent arising. Otherwise the basis for clinging and suffering still exists and the root isn't uprooted and cyclic existence continues. However I think the way that these core teachings is integrated is not just strictly through one method and this is why we see so many different buddhist traditions around the world.... there are many ways methods and means that can be used and some of them are more specific to buddhism HOWEVER even though that is true I think it is also possible that a person outside of our spiritual path can learn these essential truths to liberate. It just becomes much harder and may take a long time. And maybe it will be in a future lifetime once that person is introduced to buddhist methods hard to say anyway that is just my view... Thanks everyone for making this a interesting discussion...


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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Genjo Conan »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:32 pm
I mean... everyone knows the dogma that non-buddhists can't become enlightened. Personally, I think the world is a bit more complicated than that.
How do you distinguish between dogma and not-dogma? How do you decide which parts of the Dharma you're willing to ignore?
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Genjo Conan wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:26 pm
SilenceMonkey wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:32 pm
I mean... everyone knows the dogma that non-buddhists can't become enlightened. Personally, I think the world is a bit more complicated than that.
How do you distinguish between dogma and not-dogma? How do you decide which parts of the Dharma you're willing to ignore?
I think it becomes dogma when the ideas become our ideology, an inflexible one at that.

I'd rather not debate this further. I think I've said enough for now to have such views understood.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

You can look at this another way:
If a Buddhist also practices the teachings of Jesus, forgiveness, helping the poor, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and so on, but doesn’t believe in god or any biblical idea of “sin” and doesn’t regard Jesus as their savior, then from a Christian point of view, can they get into heaven? No.
So, is this some narrow, closed minded dogma, or is it simply the difference between Christianity and non-Christianity?

To have “enlightenment” (not specifically a Buddhist term), to end the cycle of samsaric rebirth, you have to follow the steps that make that happen. Whether you call that “Buddhism” or not, and maybe there are those who, like siddhartha, figure it out on their own.
Either way, if you want chocolate chip cookies, you have to follow chocolate chip cookie recipe. You can’t judt say”all cookies are chocolate chip cookies”.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Hazel »

Most religions can lead to metaphorical enlightenment, absolutely.

Literal enlightenment by definition involves concepts that other religions don't have or explicitly reject. A basic example being rebirth. Like literal rebirth, not metaphorical one moment to the next.

Can you achieve a goal without believing in that goal? It again comes down to how literal you are being as we've seen several citations with the Buddha saying you can't in this case.

I think it comes down to how literal you want to be and we are all going to fall on a spectrum, picking and choosing what we believe in and calling it Buddhism/ish. That's not BAD it just means that we likely won't reach consensus because the question of enlightenment is central to what people pick and choose.

We are also likely to believe we are each being 100% appropriately literal.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by DharmaN00b »

Have you heard of the saying: 'the map is not the territory?' When I follow a recipe for the first time, the results aren't great.

That's where practice comes in. Keep doing the same thing- or thereabouts. For example, I gave some directions to this couple a while back. The man was more interested in following instructions to the letter than enjoying the walk. I offered up a slight scenic detour that led roughly to the same place.

I think that is what's called artistic licence. I mean I'm terrible with names and such and, of course, there are different languages or modes of expression.

So, I have heard some people say it's all path and maybe we're on the right track. That last bit is out of reach for now and I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by cjdevries »

My understanding is that the eightfold path is the path to enlightenment; anyone who practices those tenets can find enlightenment, regardless of spiritual tradition.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Hazel »

cjdevries wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:30 am My understanding is that the eightfold path is the path to enlightenment; anyone who practices those tenets can find enlightenment, regardless of spiritual tradition.

That path includes "right view".
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by cjdevries »

I think we have to establish what right view means though. Is it implied that right view means one has to take a strictly Buddhist path?

Vietnamese Zen Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh writes,

"Our happiness and the happiness of those around us depend on our degree of Right View. Touching reality deeply -- knowing what is going on inside and outside of ourselves -- is the way to liberate ourselves from the suffering that is caused by wrong perceptions. Right View is not an ideology, a system, or even a path. It is the insight we have into the reality of life, a living insight that fills us with understanding, peace, and love." (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, page 51)."

Also, there's this: "Right View develops from practice of the Eightfold Path. For example, the practice of samadhi through Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration prepares the mind for penetrating insight. Meditation is associated with "Right Concentration."

Ethical conduct through Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood also support Right View through cultivation of compassion. Compassion and wisdom are said to be the two wings of Buddhism. Compassion helps us break through our narrow, self-centered views, which enables wisdom. Wisdom helps us realize nothing is really separate, which enables compassion.

By the same token, the wisdom parts of the path—— Right View and Right Thought -- support the other parts of the path. Ignorance is one of the root poisons that brings with it greed and ill-will."

Any authentic religious tradition can lead to development of wisdom and compassion; one doesn't have to be strictly Buddhist to follow these tenets. I also know many people who have incorporated Buddhism into their existing tradition and it has worked for them to deepen their practice and spiritual life. There are many liberated souls who didn't take a strictly Buddhist path to get there; though it can be argued that they still followed the eightfold path.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche
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