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  • dharma, doctrine and interpretation....

    I am currently in China, inspired by a disciple "friend" of mine to take on a phd and observe the differences in the way ppl interperate their dharma and doctrine comparitively to local chinese perspective. For example take a monk vs a laymen, equally committed but with roles on different planes of existence.

    So how do you interperate your dharma ( all insights, comments and parameters welcome ) and considering its' progression to the west, when does buddhism ( however modified and on whatever level of commitment ) no longer become buddhism???

    BL

  • #2
    When you compare the monks in Thailand, to the Shaolin monks in China, the perspective of Buddhism "observed" is greatly different. But where one's Buddhism ends, well, that's one hell of a question. Who's to say?? Who has the right to make that judgement?
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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    • #3
      exactly....and this is what my phd paper centeres on...every one thinks they have it nailed, but really , when it comes to one intimate mind vs another:- who "really" knows anyway????!!

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      • #4
        no one knows!

        Only YOU know. I know, but YOU know more than I know and I know more than YOU know.

        hahehahehhahaehhae

        No really though, it is intimate mind vs past judgements
        Becoming what I've dreamed about.

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        • #5
          According to the Buddha, if the teachings do not fit according to the teaching of the Four Noble Truths, then it is not the teaching of the Buddha.

          If your Buddhism does not help relieve your suffering then you are doing something other than Buddhism.

          It's in the sutras, both Mahayana and Pali.
          "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

          "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

          "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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          • #6
            Fa Hui,
            Great answer, probably the most compact I've seen. I wonder though, there are a lot of 'teachings' outside of buddhism that pretty much derive many of the same answers and practices. I would even say most of the post-upanishadic traditions (jainism, buddhism, yoga) seem to play off eachother so much that it really seems like a continuous spectrum of answers that don't really conflict much at all. So, the short version: Can Buddhism exist without scripture or doctrine? Could it be percieved strictly as a practice rather than a well-worked model? In all honesty, the Four Noble Truths don't seem all that novel or deep to me. Can the aim of Buddhism be practiced without Buddhism?
            -Jesse Pasleytm
            "How do I know? Because my sensei told me!"

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            • #7
              the aim of buddhism is to acheive the buddha nature. How you perceive that nature is another mater altogether. As far as I'm concerned, Jesus Christ had a buddha nature and don't quote me, nut I'm fairly sure the guy had never read a sutra.

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              • #8
                The Four Noble Truths are often overlooked as being simple and basic and whatever. But most people don't really take the time to study it and practice it to make it their own. They don't understand that in life we some times experience pain and suffering; we have to, it's a part of life. Even more it's not realized that most of this pain comes from our own clinging and grasping, our craving for existence or non-existence; or for sensual pleasures, which can have a lot to do with craving for existence or non-existence.


                I would even say most of the post-upanishadic traditions (jainism, buddhism, yoga) seem to play off eachother so much that it really seems like a continuous spectrum of answers that don't really conflict much at all.
                I started to think that too, but then I dove further and discovered that the one thing the Buddha and all Awakened Masters talked about was the Third and Fourth Noble Truth: non-attachment, learning how to let go of those cravings. Non-attachment spoke of not getting caught up in any one doctrine, because that's craving for existence, you want the doctrine, idea, belief to be real, to exist when most likely it's all in your head.

                The other teachers didn't teach that. There was an interesting sutra in the Pali Canon that reiterates this. One day some Buddhist monks were walking and there were some other ascetics behind them talking blatantly about metaphysics trying to provoke the monks.

                After the ascetics had gone the monks were talking about what they had heard, then Buddha came up and asked what the discussion was about and the monks told the Buddha what had taken place. The Buddha then gave a discourse about the then 62 wrong views that most to all religious and spiritual traditions hold.

                Right View according to Buddhism is the freedom from any and all particular views, and according to Buddhism this is only done through the practice and understanding of the Four Noble Truths.
                "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

                "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

                "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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                • #9
                  i like the fact that fa hui is willing to define it. a lot of people seem so caught up in the philosophical aspects of this stuff that they seem to forget that buddhism is a very real religion with a very real history, just like christianity or islam. and they they apply the word "buddhist" to everything from jesus to lay skeptics such as myself.

                  i can't tell which is more annoying - the guy who says you have to convert to his religion or burn in hell, or the guy that tells you that you've been a part of his religion all along, you only need to realize it for yourself. actually, they guy who's more annoying is the one that says there's no difference between them...

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                  • #10
                    I guess I'm going to fall into the second category, because I do believe that all gods are one God and that anyone who practices any belief at all earnestly is walking a path toward to the buddha nature.

                    Sutra or no sutra / doctirine or no, anyone who is genuinely sincere in their persuit of spiritual betterment , are all walking the same way......... regardless of the path you take to get there.

                    BL

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                    • #11
                      well, i'm an atheist, so would that make me an exception? or is that just a way of seeking spiritual betterment in a secular way? and if everyone who ever had a desire to grow spiritually is on the same path, what was the buddha's big accomplishment?

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                      • #12
                        Belief in a God or not does not depend on whether you progress spiritually. What good will believe in a God(s) do for you? It sounds so primitive. You have to have faith in yourself to practice, that's the only way you're gonna get anywhere. A meditation practitioner is a problem solver, they are there to deal with the very real issues of their lives.

                        Say two people approach a river and want to cross, what should they do? One decides to kneel and pray, bowing, lighting incense, reading the "Good Book." While the other one goes around and starts looking for wood and such to build a raft.

                        True spirituality is about being able to live life in a very real way, whether you believe in a God or not. You have to get in there and get it yourself, no one's going to do it for you.

                        I guess I'm going to fall into the second category, because I do believe that all gods are one God and that anyone who practices any belief at all earnestly is walking a path toward to the buddha nature.

                        Sutra or no sutra / doctirine or no, anyone who is genuinely sincere in their persuit of spiritual betterment , are all walking the same way......... regardless of the path you take to get there.
                        I used to think like that too. But there are a lot of religions and spiritual traditions that no matter what they do, if they follow their traditions they'll still never get it. No matter how sincere they are. I was once told and then a few personal lessons reiterated it; that good intentions don't always beget good results. This is important because many will try but few will succeed just like in anything else. If you don't have the wisdom or understanding and a mind for adventure and discovery, then you're going to keep seeing that same tree as if you were going in circles.

                        I think I may have said too much.

                        Peace.
                        "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

                        "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

                        "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fa Hui
                          Say two people approach a river and want to cross, what should they do? One decides to kneel and pray, bowing, lighting incense, reading the "Good Book." While the other one goes around and starts looking for wood and such to build a raft.
                          fa hui, you make buddhism sexy.

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                          • #14
                            hahaha

                            I'm wondering if that's a good thing....
                            "For some reason I'm in a good mood today. I haven't left the house yet, though. "

                            "fa hui, you make buddhism sexy." -Zachsan

                            "Friends don't let friends do Taekwondo." -Nancy Reagan

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                            • #15
                              695 posts and finally i make it into someone's profile. cheers!

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