Buddhism discussion

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by gryphonart, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    I've always been drawn to Buddhism, but have also always eschewed "joining" an organized religion in favor of self morality/spiritualism. About 2 months ago I started practicing meditation. I didn't start to seek any kind of enlightenment, rather to help ease anxiety and depression. However, it has lead me to a renewed interest in Buddhism while looking into different forms and practices for meditation.

    Without getting too long winded, the more I've looked into it the more drawn to the basic principles I feel. The Four Noble Truths, at least for me right now, are on point. The Eightfold Path describes many of the things I try to live by, and others I would aspire to. The Five Hindrances are exactly what got me into a state of stress and depression in the first place, and also what I struggle to overcome in meditation practice. Last night I got into reading about the steps to Calm Abiding and could actually pinpoint right where I was at (stage 2).

    Links for the curious:
    The concept of hitting bottom, or experiencing suffering before being able to start on the path also hits home. Unlike many other religions, Buddhism stresses that the light is within you (is in fact your natural state) rather than an omniscient external god. The idea of oneness with nature, the concept of what "mind" is, the principle that helping others is beneficial to yourself, these are all things that I agree with and came to secularly.

    So to the point(tl/dr):
    Are there any practicing Buddhist in here?
    If so how did you get there?
    Is Buddhism an actual "religion" or more of a guide for living well?
    Am I actually a Buddhist if I'm not necessarily interested in becoming a Buddha or Bodhisattva (teacher), but do embrace the concepts?

    I have many more questions and principles in mind, but will stop there so as not to overload the OP and give some others a chance to chime in. I'm also aware I'm lumping together different forms of Buddhism here, but for a start it's the general concepts I wanted to mention.
     
  2. Fat Abbot

    Fat Abbot Brown Belt

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    I have my own sense of spirituality but I fully believe in certain aspects of Buddhism like reincarnation, karma and working toward eventual enlightenment.

    When Buddha became enlightened he remembered everything from all his past lives all at once That would make a person the best expression of themselves possible, knowing exactly how you came to be.

    Also I judge religions based more on their actions than their words (like I do ppl) and Buddhism has very little blood on it`s hands compared to the other major religions Judaism, Muslim and Christianity, so among organized religions it gets a lot of respect from me.
     
  3. hohner

    hohner <img src="http://i.imgur.com/EWpXCps.png">

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    I'm not a Buddhist but their teachings resonate with me more than many other religions.
     
  4. Senzo Tanaka

    Senzo Tanaka Silver Belt

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    My problem with Buddhism is how rigid it is. If you are a true follower of Buddha then you are expected to comply to the following:

    Eating only between noon and sundown
    No sex (or masturbation)
    No drugs or alcohol
    No lying
    No dancing
    No music
    No jewelery

    Those are just a few of the rules. No music? Seriously? There are some nice ideas in Buddhism such as no lying, no stealing and no killing of any creature but to me these are just common sense.

    A rational minded person shouldn't need a rule book to live their lives. Take from every religion and philosophy what applies to your life and moral creed.
     
  5. afrdzak

    afrdzak Brown Belt

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    I do not affiliate myself with any religion or systematic way of thought.

    My wife, however, considers herself Buddhist.
    She does not think of it as religion, but rather as a way of life and thinking.
    She occasionally goes to temple..has been trying to get me to go with her.

    Have you read Siddhartha?
     
  6. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    Abbot, very much how I always thought of Buddhism. However, just lately I find myself in a position where I have more or less stumbled into practicing many of the elements involved. The more I read about it, the more I feel like a Buddhist.
     
  7. A.A. Riggs

    A.A. Riggs SAXOPHONE

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    There's rather a misapprehension when it comes to nomenclature. There's a difference between what we call ourselves, and all that that implies, and what we in fact truly are. The disparity between the two is often grist for calling someone a hypocrite, but honestly calling someone a hypocrite is such a lame criticism I'm sorry I brought it up.

    What I mean to say is religion IS a guide for living well, whether you want to ascribe religious "vibes" on Buddhism is up to you but doing so kinda detracts away from the idea behind Buddhism.

    When we call ourselves Buddhist, we are aligning ourselves with a thing -- however, Buddhism is a singular and introspective journey that works toward removing these structures: alignments, preconceptions, and unchecked desires. Inasmuch, all religion works toward improving the soul. It's all the bullshit trappings that tend to give it a bad name. That's all an illusion.

    The pitfall to Buddhism is passivity.
     
  8. Senzo Tanaka

    Senzo Tanaka Silver Belt

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    The first thing you'll want to do is get rid of that avatar. No smoking or touching yourself in Buddhism.
     
  9. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    That's true for some forms of Buddhism, the most strict of them. The general concepts are not nearly that restrictive. It's possible to be Buddhist without all that, or it would not be the 4th largest religion in the world :)
     
  10. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    Here you go, the stricter form is for those preparing for Monastic life. "Sexual Misconduct" does not refer to sex or masturbation as a whole, but things like adultery and rape:
    http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/precepts.html
     
  11. afrdzak

    afrdzak Brown Belt

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    True.

    Another good read is American Shaolin. It isn't exactly a Buddhist book, but the backdrop is in Buddhist temples and hits on some Buddhist ways of life.

    Buddhism is tangential to the actual story.
     
  12. NorCalNinja

    NorCalNinja Odins Triangle

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    Not into Buddhism, but Id be down for a Taoism discussion.
     
  13. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    Interesting, though from what I've read hard work is stressed in Buddhism. Buddha showed the path, but he ain't gonna take you there. You have to be determined and focused and do it yourself... not very passive.

    I don't see non-violence as passive either, and sloth/torpor/laziness is one of the Five Hindrances.

    I'm not sure I consider myself Buddhist but seem to be leaning that way which is in part why I started this discussion. Thanks for the input!

    Your wife seems to think much like i do right now, never been to temple but will probably check one out just out of curiosity.

    I read Siddhartha many years ago, like 30. I was just thinking last night I need to read it again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  14. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    Wanted to talk a little more about what I meant by asking if it was an actual religion. Buddha is not worshiped as a god, and there are in fact many Buddhas, Siddhartha being just the first. It says that state is achievable by every person at any time. It recognizes other paths to enlightenment, Jesus is considered a Buddha to many. The goal is not to achieve a Heaven, but the reward is more of a oneness with the Earth and everything on it. A lot of these things differ from other organized religions and seem more of a philosophy.

    I mean, a lot of people are into guys like Tony Robbins to coach them on how to live better, but that is not a religion. Seems Buddhism would fall somewhere in between following him or following something along the lines of Christianity.
     
  15. Nnedd

    Nnedd Centaur Booty Belt

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    I know several Buddhist monks of various sects of Buddhism. I get along with most of them, but they seem like most other organized religious people. Mind you, these are monks who have temples and followers and shit, not run of the mill buddhists.

    One guy took a vow of non contact, so he doesn't touch other people. Fuck you bro, touch my hand! My mom runs with those people, and I tell her, "One day, I'm just going to walk by Ajhan and bear hug him." She doesn't think that's funny.

    My mom is tough to handle, and at a food fair to raise money for a temple, she incited one of the cooks (a buddhist who is at the temple cooking for them daily) to literally try to ring her neck. I think that says alot of you are able to incite a buddhist to violence.

    My acupuncturist really wanted me to go talk to a monk that she's been hanging out with. So I go in and they all sit around speaking Korean for a long time and eating, then we go sit cross legged and she asks questions then tells a whole bunch of stories, then we give her 40 dollars and leave. There's more to the story than that, but that's the gyst of it.



    So, what I'm saying is, buddhists are like everyone else. They have their bullshit just like the rest of us. Hang out with enough of any group, and the sheen rubs off.
     
  16. afrdzak

    afrdzak Brown Belt

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    If you ask a Catholic, Buddhism is the same as atheism.
     
  17. A.A. Riggs

    A.A. Riggs SAXOPHONE

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    I think the hard work referenced by Buddhism is conquering the self's baser desires. It's not that Buddhism kills your ambition, but ambitionless people will use Buddhism as an excuse for non-action. That's the pitfall, but not necessarily the defining characteristic. With Buddhism it's easier to relegate oneself to non-action than "other" ways of living, which harp on ritualization.
     
  18. gryphonart

    gryphonart Black Belt

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    Nnedd, yeah... I've come across some weird stuff already. Some people travel thousands of miles to prostrate themselves in front of a tree. I fail to see the point in that. I don't see how "no touching" is a benefit, but as a monk he's probably celibate so maybe he fears human contact will incite lust. Again, sounds pretty insecure for a Buddhist monk. The Ascetics also seem a bit crazy, punishing/starving yourself to reach enlightenment... though Buddha did get away from that in the end. I suppose some self destructive behavior I've indulged in in the past can be considered Asceticism, but if so it was subconscious.

    Not all that far off base. There is no divine being other than the one we can all become, no creationism, a strong emphasis on self awareness (kind of an oxymoron since the goal is oneness), and an affinity for the earthly. Put that way it sounds closer to Atheism than Theism.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  19. Fat Abbot

    Fat Abbot Brown Belt

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    That`s why you don`t ask christians for their views on other religions. You`re not gonna get a logical answer.

    Not too long ago the vast majority of christians would have felt completely justified in killing a pperson for believing in something different than they do. That says a lot about them and their religion in general.
     
  20. Slick_36

    Slick_36 Born Again Primitive

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    As a philosophy, Buddhism really resonates with me. A little while back, I was looking in to incorporating the teachings in to my life. I'm a Christian, but I think the two actually compliment each other in a lot of ways. Jesus and Buddha are not so different outside of name. I need to look back in to it, I don't know why I didn't keep up with it.
     

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