Author Topic: Interfaith and Buddhism  (Read 427 times)

Offline ground

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 09:36:15 pm »

Trying to incorporate emptiness into emptiness is the path of busyness.  :fu:

 This is exactly what I think is wrong with the approaches I listed above. They don't take the Buddhist view of emptiness very seriously. Any interfaith system needs to take emptiness and deslusion and nature of self (or non-self) head on.
What's the use of 'interfaith'? All faiths are emptiness. Proliferation of simplicity into complexity.

sHEESH ......

What's next, "Just Sit"?

Actually, I'm starting to agree with ground :)

That, I think, is a mistake.

Quote
I was setting up for using the blind men and the elephant example for how Buddhism looks at an aspect of reality but no one tradition can grasp the totality of Reality.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

Not true.



This is an image of the Refuge Tree used in the Kagyu lineage.  The peole seated above and around Vajradhara, the ones with halos?  These are enlightened being that were lineage holders as well.  They grasped the totality of reality.  The Gelug, Sakya, and the Nyingma have such people as well, as to Zen Patriarchs and so on.

The only reason it vccan't work for you right now, is because you don't believe it will.  Belief is a powerful thing.  In another trhead I mentioned quitting smoking after 40 years.  No mean feat.  I was able to do it, because I believed it could be done - really believed.

No matter what others here may say, you can mix different faiths and have them work.  You can be both a Buddhist and Christian, if you really believe it will work.  Read the work of Thomas Merton.  He was a Franciscan who was very successfull is creating a fusion of Roman Catholic and Buddhist contempative practice.  Worked with the Dalai Lama.  He believed it could be done.  Not only that he believed it should be done.

Another way to look at is as confidence.

I trained as a racing driver.  I learned pretty quikly is that some things on the track are damned-near impossible unless you absolutely believe you can do it.  If you go into a turn at racing speed with even the slightest hestiation, born of doubt, you'll fail.  You'll end up in the weeds, the hospital, or morgue.   If you doubt, you're dead.

The same applies to spiritual practice.  If you believe, you can accomplish the impossible.

Wow ...  :teehee:

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2017, 01:31:47 am »
I was setting up for using the blind men and the elephant example for how Buddhism looks at an aspect of reality but no one tradition can grasp the totality of Reality.

Could you define exactly what you mean by "Reality"?

Offline ZenFred

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2017, 03:12:21 am »
I was setting up for using the blind men and the elephant example for how Buddhism looks at an aspect of reality but no one tradition can grasp the totality of Reality.

Could you define exactly what you mean by "Reality"?

No I can't define it exactly, because I agree that it's beyond description. Most simply though Reality would actually be the same as reality (without the R). Reality is the set of all things that exist. If God exists He is necessarily part of Reality.

Offline ZenFred

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2017, 03:42:36 am »
Why do we need theism? There is no creator in Buddhism, since it's taught the universe has always existed in some form.

If you want a connection to a power greater than yourself, then you can call on the names of celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas. Buddhism doesn't require a theistic god.

  I'll answer using the elephant teaching again.
  Why do you need theism? I don't think you do. I personally believe it is most likely that you as a Buddhist have full access to enlightenment/God's presence and salvation thru your tradition or even without a tradition.

  Why do I need theism? Because that explains my experience of reality slightly better than non-theism. Prayer and study of scripture is a more rational response, for me, to the aspects of truth I experience.

  It's important to point out you can't be just totally relativistic. Most religions would disagree with me and would say not all paths are the same and naturally theirs is the only or least best path. So it's not whatever you want to be believe and religious exclusivity is a harmful force. There are also many other harmful and dangerous aspects with pretty much any tradition. There are Buddhists who use their religion to charge large sums out of celebrities in the west promising them success thru Buddha or quasi-Buddhist doomsday cultists. Even mainline religious communities has some negative aspects I how it is sometimes implemented. Like Christian emphasis on sinfulness if misunderstood could lead to paralysising guilt.

Ultimately because of the glorious and infinite nature of divine reality any words I use will fall short. I use the word God, which is a terrible word to use, because in some sense I do encounter a reality that is loving and powerful and has a will for us and gives us messages. Yet this reality is without full description and does not have a human personality and has physical form. God doesn't have a gender. He/She can not be manipulated or controlled by rituals and is not bound by human understanding or expectations. Yet he keeps his promises and hears those who pray to him.
 
Likewise words I used like presence and salvation fall apart outside of a theistic tradition. But I believe "God" is "found" outside of theism. The emptiness and satori you all expelrience in meditation is God. It's not my version of God that you somehow mistake, Jesus undercover or anything. But you encounter divinity and correctly perceive aspects of that divinity, even if those aspects are that it's unpercievable. If zen can talk out both sides of the mouth, so can I :)

   

Offline Solodris

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2017, 09:36:45 am »
People, you all know what the real desire is. I don't need to spell it out to you what the Ajahn Brahm story about the two bad bricks is, and if there is a conditional element to persuade you to go towards such provision of an exact ecological measurement to promote such existence, I don't really see the problem.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2017, 01:36:41 am »
I was setting up for using the blind men and the elephant example for how Buddhism looks at an aspect of reality but no one tradition can grasp the totality of Reality.

Could you define exactly what you mean by "Reality"?

No I can't define it exactly, because I agree that it's beyond description. Most simply though Reality would actually be the same as reality (without the R). Reality is the set of all things that exist. If God exists He is necessarily part of Reality.

OK, but do you accept that human religions are only dealing with a small subset of all that exists?  It's like a group of insects speculating about how the earth was formed.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 01:40:59 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2017, 01:39:25 am »
But I believe "God" is "found" outside of theism. 

Why call it "God" then?  The word has so much baggage associated with it.  A neutral word like "transcendent" might suit your purposes better.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 06:30:27 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline ZenFred

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2017, 09:44:58 am »
I was setting up for using the blind men and the elephant example for how Buddhism looks at an aspect of reality but no one tradition can grasp the totality of Reality.

Could you define exactly what you mean by "Reality"?

No I can't define it exactly, because I agree that it's beyond description. Most simply though Reality would actually be the same as reality (without the R). Reality is the set of all things that exist. If God exists He is necessarily part of Reality.

OK, but do you accept that human religions are only dealing with a small subset of all that exists?  It's like a group of insects speculating about how the earth was formed.

  That's a depressing analogy but yes it's a valid one. Maybe I should stick with Spinoza on both this and the calling this thing "God". So Spinoza says that God is of infinitely perfect attributes. Infinitely loving, infinitely wise, infinitely powerful and so on. Humans have those same values but in finite amounts. Being human there is an infinite distance between our understanding and God's. Infinity - 100 = infinity

  You have an other suggestions than God? If I use other titles like Universal Mind, Monad, or even Hebrew names then I think people wouldn't have any idea what I'm talking about. Maybe that's the point though. What I mean when I say God has basically nothing to do with when a Baptist says God. They are completely unrelated.

  The best concept lately that's been helpful is a Sufi one (also seen in the Song of Solomon). I am the lover seeking the Beloved. But this is also in reverse that my Lover seeks me her beloved. I say her because I am male, but the Lover is genderless. So there is an aspect that is diety like that is seeking and actively loving. A Being that one can speak to and who speaks back. Yet, it is also not like a diety. Her love is everywhere and is not limited to religious moments or places, all of existence participates in the loving making dance. This is a mystical understanding. It's not pantheism or panentheism or theism. It's any -ism, it's a direct experience. Maybe I learned something from the Zendo after all :)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2017, 12:45:42 pm »
I’ve had a lot of anxiety and depression in my life. I therefore receive peace and consolation from the belief that this is my final rebirth, and that my future Buddhahood is assured in the grace of Amida Buddha.

I don’t claim to have proof in support of this belief, but if it turns out to be untrue, I’ve lost nothing:

Quote
I have no idea whether the Nembutsu is truly the seed for my being born in the Pure Land or whether it is the karmic act for which I must fall into hell. Should I have been deceived by Master Honen and, saying the Nembutsu, were to fall into hell, even then I would have no regrets.

The reason is, if I could attain Buddhahood by endeavoring in other practices, but said the Nembutsu and so fell into hell, then I would feel regret at having been deceived. But I am incapable of any other practice, so hell is decidedly my abode whatever I do.
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/tannisho-all.html


I've also had problems with low self-worth and self-esteem. It's refreshing, then, that Jodo Shinshu teaches we are accepted by Amida's compassion, just as we are.

This makes me feel more grateful for my life, and more wanting to live in such a way that shows appreciation for others, just as Amida has been compassionate to us. 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 01:00:39 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline ground

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2017, 01:27:47 am »
I don’t claim to have proof in support of this belief, but if it turns out to be untrue, I’ve lost nothing:
I like this statement. It makes evident the psychological trick of beliefs that are aiming at attainments after death. The point is that even if the belief is false it will never turn out to be false. Why? Because it is aiming at attainments after death. In this way such a belief is superior to beliefs that are aiming at attainments in life.
The only issue that remains is doubt that always accompanies belief. So a drawback of such a belief is that there is nevertheless one thing to be achieved in life first: certainty.  Otherwise the realization of the positive psychological effects of such a belief in life is continually threatened.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 01:37:54 am by ground »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2017, 01:12:55 am »
The best concept lately that's been helpful is a Sufi one (also seen in the Song of Solomon). I am the lover seeking the Beloved. But this is also in reverse that my Lover seeks me her beloved. I say her because I am male, but the Lover is genderless. So there is an aspect that is diety like that is seeking and actively loving. A Being that one can speak to and who speaks back. Yet, it is also not like a diety. Her love is everywhere and is not limited to religious moments or places, all of existence participates in the loving making dance. This is a mystical understanding. It's not pantheism or panentheism or theism. It's any -ism, it's a direct experience. Maybe I learned something from the Zendo after all :)

Maybe you need a break from all these concepts and explanations?

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Interfaith and Buddhism
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2017, 02:13:56 am »
I’ve had a lot of anxiety and depression in my life. I therefore receive peace and consolation from the belief that this is my final rebirth, and that my future Buddhahood is assured in the grace of Amida Buddha.

I don’t claim to have proof in support of this belief, but if it turns out to be untrue, I’ve lost nothing:

Quote
I have no idea whether the Nembutsu is truly the seed for my being born in the Pure Land or whether it is the karmic act for which I must fall into hell. Should I have been deceived by Master Honen and, saying the Nembutsu, were to fall into hell, even then I would have no regrets.

The reason is, if I could attain Buddhahood by endeavoring in other practices, but said the Nembutsu and so fell into hell, then I would feel regret at having been deceived. But I am incapable of any other practice, so hell is decidedly my abode whatever I do.
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/tannisho-all.html


I've also had problems with low self-worth and self-esteem. It's refreshing, then, that Jodo Shinshu teaches we are accepted by Amida's compassion, just as we are.

This makes me feel more grateful for my life, and more wanting to live in such a way that shows appreciation for others, just as Amida has been compassionate to us.
...At least it let's one think that their is somebody who will excuse wrong-doings at least... or?

That is how "Religion" get's their growd. Politic and a promised Land.

The discussioner here might tell my person if the hope is otherwise...

Effort kept arosen is hard, not to just say: work (dana, sila, bhavana (panna)) Everybody telling different sells loans/debts. Nobody will ever do your work for you, or carry your debt when getting heavy.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 02:23:46 am by Samana Johann »
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