Author Topic: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?  (Read 3614 times)

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2016, 06:34:18 am »
People have all kinds of beliefs and disbeliefs, but are these conducive to developing insight and attaining liberation?
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Offline moSh

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2016, 01:46:03 pm »
In basic, I agree with you. I also hope that scientist can soon to prove all the magical things of Buddhism that is right or wrong. But sadly, most of them cannot be rejected or accepted by scientists.

In my point of view, I tend to believe that all the things is written in Sutra are real including reincarnation (not only rebirth), superpower abilities, the exist of Gotama Buddha and many other Buddha. I remember in a Sutra, Gotama Buddha said all the Sangha are only allowed to drink water after refinering. The reason is that Gotama Buddha knew that there's lots of tiny creatures in water (What modern scientists name them bacteria through microscope ). If the Sangha drank water without refinering, they would kill them. The fact that Gotama Buddha knew 2500 years ago is just found by scientist in 20th century. It's miracle.

You're totally right! You've actually moved me to agree with you almost completely! The things that Gotama, and Buddhism in general, knew about the nature of reality are in fact being closer and closer found by science. Like relativity theory, or the idea that everything is made up of vibrations rather than tiny discrete particles.

People have all kinds of beliefs and disbeliefs, but are these conducive to developing insight and attaining liberation?

I suppose, in my case at least, in the initial stages it could be beneficial to have a stronger faith in the path you're setting off on, in order to give you the most effective drive to concentrate and move forward. But of course on the other hand a fixation on them would no doubt be a hinderance!

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2016, 06:13:28 am »
I suppose, in my case at least, in the initial stages it could be beneficial to have a stronger faith in the path you're setting off on, in order to give you the most effective drive to concentrate and move forward. But of course on the other hand a fixation on them would no doubt be a hinderance!

I've found over time that the most important aspect has been developing some confidence in Buddhist practices, not least because without that confidence one can be easily discouraged or distracted.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline moSh

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2016, 10:37:02 am »
Yes I agree, confidence in the practices would be most valuable. Faith in the surrounding features is no doubt more of an extra benefit, at least up until the point at which it becomes overly fixated on.

Offline Lobster

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2016, 03:28:04 am »

Allow me to slightly amend my choice of words, as I've only just now realised what (I think) I meant: mystical!


 :hug:

There are experiences and phenomena that practitioners come across through practice that are currently not widely or usefully explored by science. If you come across them just remember they are of little significance and often a mark of 'pride in progress'. So they are not often discussed openly because people being as they are, can be attracted to such developmental qualities.

From personal experience I know that developing calm and tranquility can effect others, including animals.
The ability to be still in meditation practice, heightens the sensitivity to others external and internal processes.
Mindfulness gives an ability to pick up on quite subtle sense impressions ... and so on ...

I still can not fly incidentally ... :smack:

Offline mysticmorn

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2016, 08:56:49 pm »
OP, your query includes a number of questions, and you added to them as the thread progressed.

Regarding so-called supernatural abilities, those develop naturally and gradually as one's meditation practice advances. As you become more adept at focusing the mind, what happens is that you learn to still the chatter of the monkey-mind, as it's called in Buddhism, the busy left brain that is in charge of our constant thinking and ruminating, our "to do" lists and anxieties, our problem-solving, etc.  With that busy-ness out of the way, the intuitive qualities of the right brain come to the fore.  This can lead to intuitive experiences and eventually, clairvoyance, or clairaudience, and so forth. We also come to experience the proverbial sense of Oneness with All.  For more info on this, check out the book by a neuroscientist who lost the use of her left brain after a stroke, "My Stroke of Insight".  She describes what life is like, how the world is experienced, exclusively via the right brain.  It's a fascinating first-hand account.

Regarding your question about whether Buddhism has doctrines that are faith-based, the answer is "yes".  We're told the Buddha taught about 32 realms of existence, including multiple hell realms, heaven, and so on, though some scholars say that was added to the canon later, after the Buddha's death, due to Hindu influence. It's important to keep in mind the fact that there are many Buddhisms, and some have more of the faith-based elements than others.

And there's always the sticky wicket of rebirth.  Tibetan Buddhism, for example, has full-blown reincarnation, though they never call it that. But reincarnate high lamas are believed to have the power of recall of texts they learned in preceding lives, which facilitates their unusually quick progress as children in their monastic studies.  They are also believed to be able to identify objects that belonged to them in the lifetime immediately preceding the current one, from among groups of identical objects clustered together.  Tibetan teachers never call it "reincarnation", in order not to contradict the Buddha's teachings against belief in a permanent "soul", but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a pretty safe bet that we're observing a duck, and not an elephant. The pre-Buddhist Tibetan spiritual tradition was all about the soul, maintaining its purity, healing it, and so on.

You might feel most at home in the "school" of Buddhism known as Secular Buddhism, which rejects rebirth and other faith-based teachings. To get a grounding in that, you might enjoy a book by the person considered to be the founder of that branch of Buddhism, Stephen Batchelor:  "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist".  Though in the book, he states his position as more agnostic than atheist, saying of rebirth, "We really don't know", we can never know for sure pro or con.

Secular Buddhism is controversial for reasons I don't entirely understand, but it provides a useful orientation for newbies who can't bring themselves to swallow the concept of rebirth, not to mention the rest of it.

 I hope this has been helpful, and good luck to your studies and your nascent Buddhist practice!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 09:01:03 pm by mysticmorn »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2016, 02:07:27 am »
It's important to keep in mind the fact that there are many Buddhisms, and some have more of the faith-based elements than others.

Yes, an important point.  Buddhism is diverse and pluralistic, there are many different schools, all with their own assumptions and methods. 
Though it's interesting to note that Secular Buddhism is the only school which actually rejects the teachings on rebirth and kamma.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 02:13:06 am by Spiny Norman »
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Offline mysticmorn

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2016, 10:51:51 am »
I don't think Secular Buddhism rejects the idea of karma.  It doesn't hold that karma applies across rebirths, though--only to the current lifetime.  And I forgot to mention (for the benefit of the OP) that some Buddhists interpret the Buddha's teachings on rebirth as referring to the process of growth, evolution and change we go through in our daily lives, maturing, learning and hopefully evolving toward Buddhahood as we go through this life.  In this way, we experience many rebirths, small and larger. Though this sounds like something that would come from Secular Buddhism, I've seen this argued by practitioners and scholars from other schools, as well, mostly different Theravada sects.

Offline nirmal

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Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The 'Magical' Side of Buddhism?
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2016, 11:32:10 am »
In this way, we experience many rebirths, small and larger. Though this sounds like something that would come from Secular Buddhism, I've seen this argued by practitioners and scholars from other schools, as well, mostly different Theravada sects.

These ideas are mostly a result of western re-interpretation.  People impose western values on BuddhaDharma and then claim they are stripping away the cultural baggage.  Yeah, whatever.   :wink1:
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 11:44:11 am by Spiny Norman »
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

 


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