Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

shaunc wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:00 pm
karmanyingpo wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:04 pm
shaunc wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:01 am My wife is a practising catholic and I've been practising Buddhism since before we met. Next august we've been married for 20 years.
I go to mass with her at Christmas and Easter and she occasionally accompanies me to the Thai buddhist temple.
Neither of us has ever been the recipient of any animosity from either the clergy or lay attendees at either church/temple.

Does let internet Buddhists dictate terms to you
Good luck with your relationship.
Hello Dharma brother Shaun I am happy to hear of your strong relationship!!
I am curious if you both participate in each others religous practices when you visit each others places of worship for example do you pray Christian prayers and does she prostrate and chant along etc? Thanks.

KN
No. When we attend the temple my wife spends most of her time in the kitchen with the other women preparing dana.
At the church I just stand and kneel at the appropriate times
This is exactly how I handle the Synagogue. Of course, it’s a very liberal synagogue. More observant than what I’ve seen in Reform Judaism, but still very liberal.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

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shaunc wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:01 am My wife is a practising catholic and I've been practising Buddhism since before we met. Next august we've been married for 20 years.
I go to mass with her at Christmas and Easter and she occasionally accompanies me to the Thai buddhist temple.
Neither of us has ever been the recipient of any animosity from either the clergy or lay attendees at either church/temple.

Does let internet Buddhists dictate terms to you
Good luck with your relationship.
:good:

We live in an age of incredible pluralism and diversity. Trying to close the lid on that is a fool's project.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

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coldbeer wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:58 pmCan one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism?
It depends on what one's practice is.
I'm asking this as I'm currently in a relationship with a woman in one of these religions and the only way I can get married to her is to convert to her religion.
Starting a family based on lies can and likely will be a source of a series of major and minor problems.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by PeterC »

tobes wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:15 am
shaunc wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:01 am My wife is a practising catholic and I've been practising Buddhism since before we met. Next august we've been married for 20 years.
I go to mass with her at Christmas and Easter and she occasionally accompanies me to the Thai buddhist temple.
Neither of us has ever been the recipient of any animosity from either the clergy or lay attendees at either church/temple.

Does let internet Buddhists dictate terms to you
Good luck with your relationship.
:good:

We live in an age of incredible pluralism and diversity. Trying to close the lid on that is a fool's project.
One could say the same of food. We are able to sample the cuisine of many different countries that we had no access to even half a century ago. But just because a chef *could* now make osso bucco with kimchi served on garlic naan, doesn't mean they *should*.

In my humble opinion it's pretty simple. The words of the sutras and the tantras are not consistent with the fundamental tenets of the Abrahamic religions. They can't, as systems, coexist. You have to decide whether you want your osso bucco with dependent origination and anatman, or with eternalism and a creator god. You can't have it both ways. Or perhaps you say: I don't care, I just like the feeling that both of these give me, so I'll do the practices of both - in which case, you're not really following the practices of either.

There is no way to square Exodus 20:5 with MN 72. I'm sorry if people feel otherwise, but there just isn't. I'm neither able to close the lid on any particular intellectual project, nor do I really feel any need to. But those engaging in these projects should be aware of how incoherent they really are.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

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Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:53 am
coldbeer wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:58 pm Can one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism? I'm asking this as I'm currently in a relationship with a woman in one of these religions and the only way I can get married to her is to convert to her religion.
That's a tough one. I'm married to a Jewish woman but she has always respected my Buddhism, and while I've had a couple awkward social moments at her temple, there was never any expectation of conversion.

Is your fiance honestly religious? Does she want you to believe or do something else? I mean, it's one thing to convert due to a sort of cultural expectation, another because your partner is actually fervently religious and wants you to share her beliefs. Frankly, there are a lot of Catholics and Jews I've known who aren't very religious at all, but for whom it is still a looming set of cultural expectations. I imagine if this is the case - if it's more about appearances than individuals religious practices and tenets - there might be a way to make it work. If it's actually about beliefs held with conviction, daily religious practices and such, then it sounds like it might be a rough ride.

Anyone can practice Buddhist meditation and learn from it, but being a Buddhist in religious sense kind of precludes practicing other religions.
She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by Könchok Chödrak »

coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:53 am
coldbeer wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:58 pm Can one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism? I'm asking this as I'm currently in a relationship with a woman in one of these religions and the only way I can get married to her is to convert to her religion.
That's a tough one. I'm married to a Jewish woman but she has always respected my Buddhism, and while I've had a couple awkward social moments at her temple, there was never any expectation of conversion.

Is your fiance honestly religious? Does she want you to believe or do something else? I mean, it's one thing to convert due to a sort of cultural expectation, another because your partner is actually fervently religious and wants you to share her beliefs. Frankly, there are a lot of Catholics and Jews I've known who aren't very religious at all, but for whom it is still a looming set of cultural expectations. I imagine if this is the case - if it's more about appearances than individuals religious practices and tenets - there might be a way to make it work. If it's actually about beliefs held with conviction, daily religious practices and such, then it sounds like it might be a rough ride.

Anyone can practice Buddhist meditation and learn from it, but being a Buddhist in religious sense kind of precludes practicing other religions.
She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
It really depends on how deep your Love goes. If it goes deeper than religion, for her, find it with her. If you find Love in your Buddhism, in the Dharma, in the Sangha, and in the Buddha, and with her, you may have to find a way to do both. I am a Buddhist and I deeply Love and revere the Quran, and would Love to have an opportunity like you do to join the Muslim world where I can be a fully practicing Muslim. This, however, is my personal belief system and I wouldn't push it on others. I don't believe Buddhism is meant to be sectarian though, and I believe the Dharma should be sent all across the religious field. That is all. :heart:
Last edited by Könchok Chödrak on Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by GrapeLover »

coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:53 am
coldbeer wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:58 pm Can one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism? I'm asking this as I'm currently in a relationship with a woman in one of these religions and the only way I can get married to her is to convert to her religion.
That's a tough one. I'm married to a Jewish woman but she has always respected my Buddhism, and while I've had a couple awkward social moments at her temple, there was never any expectation of conversion.

Is your fiance honestly religious? Does she want you to believe or do something else? I mean, it's one thing to convert due to a sort of cultural expectation, another because your partner is actually fervently religious and wants you to share her beliefs. Frankly, there are a lot of Catholics and Jews I've known who aren't very religious at all, but for whom it is still a looming set of cultural expectations. I imagine if this is the case - if it's more about appearances than individuals religious practices and tenets - there might be a way to make it work. If it's actually about beliefs held with conviction, daily religious practices and such, then it sounds like it might be a rough ride.

Anyone can practice Buddhist meditation and learn from it, but being a Buddhist in religious sense kind of precludes practicing other religions.
She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
Even from just a practical perspective, disregarding the Buddhist element, this sounds like a huge recipe for burnout and potentially eventual resentment etc if you'll have to go to such lengths without actually believing in the religion. Seems like a huge undertaking for the sake of a relationship. On paper it seems like it ought to just be a dealbreaker really, but I understand that since you're already invested it won't feel that simple to you.

On the Buddhist side, I would be afraid that your Buddhist practice might eventually become a problem—do they know about it and they're fine with it, not regarding it as idolatry etc?
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by coldbeer »

GrapeLover wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:34 pm
coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:53 am

That's a tough one. I'm married to a Jewish woman but she has always respected my Buddhism, and while I've had a couple awkward social moments at her temple, there was never any expectation of conversion.

Is your fiance honestly religious? Does she want you to believe or do something else? I mean, it's one thing to convert due to a sort of cultural expectation, another because your partner is actually fervently religious and wants you to share her beliefs. Frankly, there are a lot of Catholics and Jews I've known who aren't very religious at all, but for whom it is still a looming set of cultural expectations. I imagine if this is the case - if it's more about appearances than individuals religious practices and tenets - there might be a way to make it work. If it's actually about beliefs held with conviction, daily religious practices and such, then it sounds like it might be a rough ride.

Anyone can practice Buddhist meditation and learn from it, but being a Buddhist in religious sense kind of precludes practicing other religions.
She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
Even from just a practical perspective, disregarding the Buddhist element, this sounds like a huge recipe for burnout and potentially eventual resentment etc if you'll have to go to such lengths without actually believing in the religion. Seems like a huge undertaking for the sake of a relationship. On paper it seems like it ought to just be a dealbreaker really, but I understand that since you're already invested it won't feel that simple to you.

On the Buddhist side, I would be afraid that your Buddhist practice might eventually become a problem—do they know about it and they're fine with it, not regarding it as idolatry etc?
Yes it will be difficult because she is sweet, soft spoken and family oriented type of lady. Some personality traits I was looking for in a partner.

Reciting mantras and bowing down to a Buddha statue would be considered idolatry from their perspective.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by Brunelleschi »

coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pmShe isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
I mean how traditional is she? Obviously, the term boyfriend and girlfriend isn't something that exists in a traditional islamic context - unmarried men and women aren't allowed to spend time alone together. So, she can't be that strict?

Also, praying five times a day is recommended, but not required. This is part of the akham, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahkam

I think if you're serious about marrying her and about practicing Buddhism - you need to sit down and have a long talk about this. Obviously, not the greatest thing to take the shahada and lie (and simultaneously breaking refugee vows if you have them). On the other hand, if you can have a secular wedding - all is good no? Obviously I don't know really know anything about your situation, so talk talk talk with your girlfriend.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

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coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
It is a personal decision of course. But, in my opinion, becoming an actual practitioner of a religion is something to do only if you actually want to do it, not as a prerequisite to marry someone. If it was just a ritual in a church and then being a Muslim on paper, that would be ok I guess.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:53 am
coldbeer wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:58 pm Can one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism? I'm asking this as I'm currently in a relationship with a woman in one of these religions and the only way I can get married to her is to convert to her religion.
That's a tough one. I'm married to a Jewish woman but she has always respected my Buddhism, and while I've had a couple awkward social moments at her temple, there was never any expectation of conversion.

Is your fiance honestly religious? Does she want you to believe or do something else? I mean, it's one thing to convert due to a sort of cultural expectation, another because your partner is actually fervently religious and wants you to share her beliefs. Frankly, there are a lot of Catholics and Jews I've known who aren't very religious at all, but for whom it is still a looming set of cultural expectations. I imagine if this is the case - if it's more about appearances than individuals religious practices and tenets - there might be a way to make it work. If it's actually about beliefs held with conviction, daily religious practices and such, then it sounds like it might be a rough ride.

Anyone can practice Buddhist meditation and learn from it, but being a Buddhist in religious sense kind of precludes practicing other religions.
She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
Basically, you are expected to marry her religion.
Oh, the things we do when we’re in love. While you’re busy kissing, you might as well kiss good bye to Dharma practice, because there won’t be a place for it.
With all due respect to the many belief systems of the world, some faiths have historically shown to be a lot less tolerant of Buddhism than others.
I don’t think a person can simply start believing in something they don’t actually believe in. There’s all sorts of ways to convince yourself that it’s all the same or whatever. But either you believe in Allah or you don’t.
Any unresolved issues will manifest in different ways, money issues, how you fold your socks.
For many people, religious or spiritual beliefs, like political beliefs, add a little definition to who they are as people.
For others, their beliefs are their whole life. And, that’s fine. Everybody is different. Compatibility of differences is the real issue here. Your heart has spoken, but don’t forget to give your gut feelings a vote in this decision too.
EMPTIFUL.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

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coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:53 am
coldbeer wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:58 pm Can one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism? I'm asking this as I'm currently in a relationship with a woman in one of these religions and the only way I can get married to her is to convert to her religion.
That's a tough one. I'm married to a Jewish woman but she has always respected my Buddhism, and while I've had a couple awkward social moments at her temple, there was never any expectation of conversion.

Is your fiance honestly religious? Does she want you to believe or do something else? I mean, it's one thing to convert due to a sort of cultural expectation, another because your partner is actually fervently religious and wants you to share her beliefs. Frankly, there are a lot of Catholics and Jews I've known who aren't very religious at all, but for whom it is still a looming set of cultural expectations. I imagine if this is the case - if it's more about appearances than individuals religious practices and tenets - there might be a way to make it work. If it's actually about beliefs held with conviction, daily religious practices and such, then it sounds like it might be a rough ride.

Anyone can practice Buddhist meditation and learn from it, but being a Buddhist in religious sense kind of precludes practicing other religions.
She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
There are definitely Muslims who are just as nominal about their religious observances as some Christians and Jews, I've known them. That said, it sounds like your possible family-to-be is not. That's a tough situation. I would echo what others have said, starting a relationship based on a coerced conversion to a religion you don't subscribe to is a bad place to start. If they expect actual adherence to the religion, rather than being a Mulsim "on paper" then it's definitely exclusive to practicing Buddhism.

Now, you could still go to a Dharma center and no one will ever kick you out or criticize you, nor is it likely you would be compelled to prostrate or chant. However, it sounds like the family wouldn't be at all ok with you going at all. Still, you need to have an educated guess as to how they would react. Once upon a time my wife was involved with a particular Jewish group that would see Buddhism as idolatry. I read an artcile from them once that said that having Buddha Rupas in a Jews home could possibly induce them to make offerings and "damage their soul" somehow.

Luckily, while she was interested in their teachings, she did not subscribe to these notions in particular and was very respectful of my spiritual practice. Still, I wouldn't ever invite one of those folks into our house for fear they faint at the sight of all the statues and whatnot. I did not talk to them about religion (and they wouldn't be interested anyway, me being a non-Jew, what could I know?); My wife was interested in some of what they taught, but did not subscribe to many of their more exclusive tenets. So, I don't imagine there is anything comparable here.

So basically, under the right circumstances it could possibly work, but it really sounds like the cards are stacked against you.

On the plus side, abstinence from meat and alcohol is not exactly unknown in Buddhism.

It seems like one of those times where being honest about your own feelings and limitations will probably lead to the least painful outcome. The other thing I will say here, and this is not to influence you one way or another, but just to make an observation which I have found to be unfailingly true:

People's "beliefs" change like the wind, most of the time what appears to be "conviction" is something very different. So, you cannot know whether a person with supposed convictions will have those convictions next year. It's a little different with culturally-enforced norms, but then it depends on how closely your daily life is governed by those. Plenty of people from "traditional" families end up in a pretty non-traditional place.

This again makes simply being honest with yourself, with your fiance, and with her family the only sane with to deal with it, because it is not possible to truly predict the outcomes of situations like this.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by tobes »

PeterC wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:19 am
tobes wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:15 am
shaunc wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:01 am My wife is a practising catholic and I've been practising Buddhism since before we met. Next august we've been married for 20 years.
I go to mass with her at Christmas and Easter and she occasionally accompanies me to the Thai buddhist temple.
Neither of us has ever been the recipient of any animosity from either the clergy or lay attendees at either church/temple.

Does let internet Buddhists dictate terms to you
Good luck with your relationship.
:good:

We live in an age of incredible pluralism and diversity. Trying to close the lid on that is a fool's project.
One could say the same of food. We are able to sample the cuisine of many different countries that we had no access to even half a century ago. But just because a chef *could* now make osso bucco with kimchi served on garlic naan, doesn't mean they *should*.

In my humble opinion it's pretty simple. The words of the sutras and the tantras are not consistent with the fundamental tenets of the Abrahamic religions. They can't, as systems, coexist. You have to decide whether you want your osso bucco with dependent origination and anatman, or with eternalism and a creator god. You can't have it both ways. Or perhaps you say: I don't care, I just like the feeling that both of these give me, so I'll do the practices of both - in which case, you're not really following the practices of either.

There is no way to square Exodus 20:5 with MN 72. I'm sorry if people feel otherwise, but there just isn't. I'm neither able to close the lid on any particular intellectual project, nor do I really feel any need to. But those engaging in these projects should be aware of how incoherent they really are.
You're completely missing the point here. Shaun C is a committed, practicing Buddhist, his wife is a practicing Catholic. It's not about him adopting her tenets or vice a versa, and them piling it all together into an inconsistent meal of religious pluralism soup.

It's about them being able to sit at a restaurant together and order different things on the menu, without the paranoia that just because she is eating fish, his lamb will be spoiled.
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

tobes wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:41 pm
PeterC wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:19 am
tobes wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:15 am

:good:

We live in an age of incredible pluralism and diversity. Trying to close the lid on that is a fool's project.
One could say the same of food. We are able to sample the cuisine of many different countries that we had no access to even half a century ago. But just because a chef *could* now make osso bucco with kimchi served on garlic naan, doesn't mean they *should*.

In my humble opinion it's pretty simple. The words of the sutras and the tantras are not consistent with the fundamental tenets of the Abrahamic religions. They can't, as systems, coexist. You have to decide whether you want your osso bucco with dependent origination and anatman, or with eternalism and a creator god. You can't have it both ways. Or perhaps you say: I don't care, I just like the feeling that both of these give me, so I'll do the practices of both - in which case, you're not really following the practices of either.

There is no way to square Exodus 20:5 with MN 72. I'm sorry if people feel otherwise, but there just isn't. I'm neither able to close the lid on any particular intellectual project, nor do I really feel any need to. But those engaging in these projects should be aware of how incoherent they really are.
You're completely missing the point here. Shaun C is a committed, practicing Buddhist, his wife is a practicing Catholic. It's not about him adopting her tenets or vice a versa, and them piling it all together into an inconsistent meal of religious pluralism soup.

It's about them being able to sit at a restaurant together and order different things on the menu, without the paranoia that just because she is eating fish, his lamb will be spoiled.
Yes, this is a good post. It is quite possible to have a different religion from your spouse and have a happy marriage (I'm going on 20 years soon), but I think you need the right kind of relationship, and you need to have an excellent sense of boundaries around the issue, as well as very good communication. This is especially true once children become involved.

Obviously, the more orthodox or fundamentalist one or more of the parties are, the more difficult it will be, particularly wrt to external expression of religiosity, preference for ritual, etc.

This actually involved some conversations in my family which were not easy when we decided to have children.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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tobes
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by tobes »

For transparency, I suppose I should say that I met my current partner at a big teaching by HHDL, whilst she was chatting to the Khandro of my root master....

And that although it has not always been easy, to share practices together, to share a Dharma kinship....is pretty special, and no doubt the panacea that helps us smooth out the roughness of samsara, bringing up a kid in harmony etc.

To have mutual support for practice, encouragement to give up the 8 worldly concerns (rather than enter into them more fully): I'll have to assume this is easier!
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by PeterC »

tobes wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:41 pm
You're completely missing the point here. Shaun C is a committed, practicing Buddhist, his wife is a practicing Catholic. It's not about him adopting her tenets or vice a versa, and them piling it all together into an inconsistent meal of religious pluralism soup.

It's about them being able to sit at a restaurant together and order different things on the menu, without the paranoia that just because she is eating fish, his lamb will be spoiled.
I was responding to your comment which was not as specific as that with respect to the hypothetical and source of the problem. But on that scenario - that’s one of the few situations where Buddhist tenets may be more restrictive than Christian. As a Buddhist he might have more of an issue living with a tirthika wife than his Christian wife would living with an atheist. But either could confess and be ok with the arrangement. So not such a big deal anyway.

Moreover the question with which Op opened the thread was not limited to lamb v fish, namely “Can one be a Christian, Muslim or Jew and still practice Buddhism?”. (And anyway, there’s no issue with lamb and fish on separate plates provided you’re not trying to drink the same wine with both...)
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

If one’s Dharma practice leads one to be more patient, less swayed by passing emotions and trivial events, not succumbing to anger, and so on, and their partner doesn’t engage in such a practice, the partner may resent the calmness of the one who meditates or view them as uncaring, or even distant.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
amanitamusc
Posts: 1928
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by amanitamusc »

coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:03 pm
GrapeLover wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:34 pm
coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pm

She isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
Even from just a practical perspective, disregarding the Buddhist element, this sounds like a huge recipe for burnout and potentially eventual resentment etc if you'll have to go to such lengths without actually believing in the religion. Seems like a huge undertaking for the sake of a relationship. On paper it seems like it ought to just be a dealbreaker really, but I understand that since you're already invested it won't feel that simple to you.

On the Buddhist side, I would be afraid that your Buddhist practice might eventually become a problem—do they know about it and they're fine with it, not regarding it as idolatry etc?
Yes it will be difficult because she is sweet, soft spoken and family oriented type of lady. Some personality traits I was looking for in a partner.

Reciting mantras and bowing down to a Buddha statue would be considered idolatry from their perspective.
How long have you known her? Maybe you have not seen the screaming nagging bitching side yet?Have you heard her fart.
If not get to know her better.
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Manjushri
Posts: 191
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Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by Manjushri »

coldbeer wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:58 pmShe isn't my fiance yet. This isn't only for appearances as she is expecting me to pray five times per day with her, go to the mosque, fast for ramadan, refrain from alcohol, pork and whatever else. Muslims don't play with religion and these rules are meant to be followed to full extent. I'm not sure if I can do this as I have a tough time believing in the tenets of their religion but if I don't conform to her wishes then this relationship is over.
If I may ask, is it really her that expects you to convert and follow the rituals or is it her family that demands so? The reason why I ask is because I'm aware of many couples of differing faiths that would gladly unite and enjoy each others communion, without having to rely on the religious tenets imposed by the families and this could lead your inquiry in different directions

As many other users pointed out, it's perfectly possible to have relationships with people from different religious backgrounds, my long-time partner is Christian for example (though I would risk saying only nominally). However, if you are definitely required to convert to Islam, you're in a considerable pickle.

If you convert without believing in what you're converting, this will put you in a very uncomfortable situation, for as you say, you will be ordered to follow a set of rules and rituals which are bound to become a dispiriting burden for you if you invest no faith in them, and these will likely turn into a source of tension within you and towards your partner. Not only that that, but as a Buddhist, you will find some principles in Islam, morally and theologically, to be wholly incompatible and antagonistic towards Buddhism, if not downright diametrically opposed in certain aspects.
Giovanni
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:07 am

Re: Abrahamic religions and Buddhism

Post by Giovanni »

Brahma wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:56 am Religion shouldn't get in the way of your Love. The Dharma is here to teach us how to Love. If you openly knew who Buddha was you wouldn't even be asking this question.
That is not the purpose of Dharma. Being a loving person might be a second effect for some, depending on the way we see “love”, certainly not all. There are many examples of realized masters who manifested a wrathful personality.
Dharma leads to compassion equanimity and kindness, not to modern concepts like “love” which usually means attachment.
The purpose of Dharma is to leave Samsara, nothing else.
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