Now that we can discuss religion here without having to recommend literature for it all the time, let's discuss Buddhism, shall we?
What are your opinions of each of the three traditions? Do you practice? Thoughts on the Dalai Lama? General discussion on the history of Buddhism?
All topics welcome here. Buddhism general, I guess.
>already on page 3
Damn, board moves faster than I thought it would.
There is so much to unlearn that it's too bad they burned all the libraries.
Care to elaborate? Are you referring to something in particular?
Buddhism is a meta-topic. In the one hand one learns to quite the inner dialog through meditation and emptying oneself and in the other there's a wealth of lost knowledge.
I've been studying Soto Zen Buddhism for the past two years. It's really interesting and has helped me a lot with finding a purpose in life and getting past some of my anxiety problems. I think Vajrayana is interesting but I don't agree with a lot of it. Theravada to me isn't all that applicable in the modern world, but makes some interesting points. Mahayana makes sense in some regards but when some of them worship the Buddha as if he is a God, that runs counter to the point of his teachings. Also I like the Dalai Lama, I think he's a good guy and he is bringing a lot of important issues to light.
I really only have read stuff out of Mahayana schools. The koans and general zany monk antics are probably the most well known, but the actual arguments put forth by Buddhist philosophers are amazing. In terms of scope and complexity they make Medieval scholasticism look tame.
Even if you don't follow Buddhism, you can't deny the knowledge that exists in its teachings. The Buddha knew what he was talking about.
I feel like the only thing I usually see people have problems with is the focus on not killing for any reason. I mean, I wouldn't expect lay followers to not defend themselves, but monks especially have to live by this rule.
Well from what I've studied of it, and I will be honest it is the branch that I am the least familiar with, it seems to have a strong focus on monasticism. I personally think that's not what the Buddha's intentions were with his teachings, and that people in the modern world have a hard time with the rigid monastic life that Theravada promotes. But that's just my opinion. I email and network with plenty of people who are totally calm and educated Theravada Buddhists who are happy with their lives.
>I'm talking about discussing the general religion of Buddhism.
>I still don't really know what you mean about a wealth of lost knowledge, unless you're referring to Dhamma deterioration.
The Chinese alone have burned libraries with a wealth of knowledge we will never know.
How do you expect to discuss something you do not know?
Yeah, the Theravada branch places slightly more emphasis on monkhood than the other sects, but lay life is still existent as well. Generally the biggest difference I see is the teaching that it is extremely rare for lay people to reach liberation, and that if they do so they either immediately seek ordination or they are on their death bed.
Still, I can't think of any monastic practices in Theravada that differ all that much from monasticism in Mahayana (Vajrayana is a whole other subject, and one that I'm critical of).
Maybe there's more of a focus on solitary meditation and veneration of monks, but I'm not as familiar with Mahayana monks.
>but when some of them worship the Buddha as if he is a God
Religion needs it's great men. Lowering the Buddha would ruin Buddhism. Imagine Christianity without the deep love and respect for Christ. Christians would literally be Muslims who just see Christ as one of the numerous prophets and thus nothing special. So while the Buddha shouldn't be worshiped as God, the respect that eastern Buddhists have should never diminish.
>His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could.
I never implied they held all the knowledge.
That idea came from your mind, but since you asked I'd like to know, how do you know something without knowing all of it?
Yeah, I wrote about it a long time ago, but I can write again point by point my issues with Soto:
>Early Ch'an had more fluidity to it with figures like Joshu. There was more emphasis on unpremeditated, spontaneous creativity and manifesting your own personal understanding, which I feel expresses the Dharma more. Dharma discourse in Soto is too structured in a manner to indoctrinate others.
>Anti-intellectual. I feel some of the biggest "progress" or deepening of understanding comes from reading poetry or watching art-house films. The entirety of Ch'an and Zen's message is in Andrei Tarkovsky's Zerkalo. If you get that film, deeply, then you get Zen. I think there should have been more eclectic and expansive discourse on sophisticated artwork rather than regurgitating Dogen quotes over and over again.
>Time spent in solitude is valuable too, and there seems to be a kind of gung-hu attitude about becoming one with the "hive mind" of the Sangha. Because of this, aloneness was a topic that wasn't discussed enough. I feel Toni Packer (check her up) got this idea more.
>Proper Shikantaza posture should not matter. I have met so many Westerners with knee problems. The mind and breathing are the most important. encouraging people to sit full-lotus is crazy.
>People like Brad Warner destroy and distill Buddhism for general audience, and they sound more like Marquis de Sade when they abandon virtue ethics and/or negative consequentialist ethics.
>Idolization of Dogen. Seriously, let's move past that...
>Be more selective. I have encountered so many hipster assholes and racist old men I cannot begin to express the annoyance. I look White myself but have a bit of an accent. This was probably the main reason I left: felt more like a Catholic gathering where people pat each other's backs rather than a sincere practice.
To expand further, I feel like solitude in natural scenery is really the most important thing for Ch'an. check out the documentary "Amongst White Clouds".
Figures like Han Shan and Shiwu understood hat Buddhism was all about.
Creative fluidity is important
*gasshos and flips over*
you work with what you have and hope you're not outright falsifying the message.
Sometimes it's hard for westerners to differentiate between veneration and worship. Of course the Buddha should be worshiped, because he was the most enlightened being of our age who cleared the path for those to escape suffering. This worship is different than, "Hello, can you help me with something in my life", prayer-worship though. It is simply showing great respect for the Buddha.
Also, one last thing,
>Most people don't realize how central money is to the functioning of a Sangha. I heard my Sensei once wanted extra money for his own family. When the Dharma meshes with familial and societal life, it becomes a bit insincere, and you start to realize practice becomes more of a way of coping with financial instability or whatnot. If you have money, you can do far more interesting things that are meditative. You just need creativity. Soto is full of shit thanks to Meiji era influences
I've watched this thread and have come to the conclusion that all you want to do is stroke your own ego.
Burn your Buddha's and bust your mirrors; lose your books and forget about it. You're lost in the woods.
In the Buddha's Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi is the only thing I can think of that isn't entirely scripture, though scripture is the bulk of it.
It's what served as my best introduction to Theravada Buddhism, but it doesn't really get into mentioning differences in schools or anything like that. Most I've read is Pali canon translations and commentaries on them.
Still, Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes on the above book are really good, and I recommend that one to everyone that asks.
Other than that, I hear that Gil Fronsdal has some pretty good books. My copy of the Dhammapada is translated by him. Jack Kornfield is talked highly of as well.
A lot of his stuff is good, but a lot of it is gibberish too due to losing the context and metaphors he used. A lot of Japanese have trouble understanding Dogen's prose too because it's complex Kanji.
Hakuin is a bit easier to understand in this day and age.
You can spend a lifetime studying Dogen, and I really think Nishijima didn't get everything. Also, Dogen's views did change near his death. His death poems were pretty great.
Contrary to misconceptions, Ch'an / Zen did not encourage being an anti-intellectual.
I think a lot of people misinterpret emptiness as being equivalent to dulling the mind or dumbing it down. It discourages clinging to conceptual knowledge as an absolute.
where can I learn/read more about this, I want to take a scholarly journey into this like I did my own religion and Islam. I know jack shit and just asking here probably would just be annoying and not help
Am I wrong in comparing Buddhism to Diogenes? I kind of merge both philosophies into a general harnessing of positive cynicism to be analytical of everything instead of emotional and to attempt to detach myself from unnecessary attachments.
I've always been curious what kind of conversation would occur between Sidartha Guatama and Diogenes.
>should I also download the pali canon?
If you want to.
Here is the vast majority of it translated. Reading through it all takes a good bit of time. I'd recommend some good introductions before delving straight in, but as long as you've got good note accompanying the suttas, they shouldn't be too difficult.
Buddhism from very early on developed into multiple schools that emphasized challenging traditions personally to hone the best methods and to eradicate the less useful ones. Tibetan Buddhism in particular has an interesting system of theological debate with passionate hand gestures.
As it turns out the first Buddha did get a lot right, but there are many very well respected teachers that diverge here and there from his teachings to prove a point.
Mainly though you have two major groups of Buddhists: Monks and Lay Disciples. Monks tend to stick to a very regimented and traditional lifestyle to speed up and expedite the path to enlightenment with like minded individuals. Lay disciples however are people who live outside monasteries and try to honour the teachings of Buddha and his inheritors. Buddha however said that it is the lay disciples who are the most important practitioners because unlike monks that can hide away from the world and focus, lay disciples are still living in the thick of the nature of suffering that is inherent in large cities and highly populated areas.
>is Bhuddism itself a unified religion or is their sectionalism out the asshole like nearly every other religion?
There's always some people pushing sectarianism, but in terms of violence Buddhism's pretty low on the scale in comparison to other religions.
I don't know if I'd use the word "unified", as there are various different schools with views that can vary greatly. The three largest sects are Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.
Theravada is the forest monks in Southeast Asia.
Mahayana is the zen priests you see in most media.
Vajrayana is the Dalai Lama and the weird tulku traditionalists.
Organized? I wouldn't know.
The Buddha practiced many different austerities under different ascetics before achieving enlightenment. It would be pretty far-fetched to think that none of these practices related to Hinduism.
Meditation and veneration of statues is something they have in common, but the Buddha was pretty critical of the native traditions of the time.
I can give sources. I mean a historical Buddha as a person didn't exist. It's all just hagiography, man.
That's why I prefer Ch'an and Zen, and Buddhism really only makes sense when it's mixed with Daoism.
I'll make a new thread for all this stuff later.
Muhammad was a fiction for Arab expansionist agenda. Originally Koran was a Syro-Aramaic esoteric Christian text that was later distorted when translated into Arabic. Arabs also created a fiction of Muhammad as a messenger to justify invasion of numerous countries.
" virgins" original meant "berries on a tree" or something like that
Fucking bot thinks it's spam.
Search for and read pic related. You're essentially a conspiracy theorist that every non-amateur scholar/historian disagrees with.
What's a summary of his argument?
Too bad the overwhelming majority of historians and scholars thinks you're full of shit though.
Explain how Christ didn't exist.
I'm not even going to bother with Muhammad since you're idea is such an unbelievable conspiracy theory that it could only stem from sheer stupidity.
"The assumption that Jesus existed as a historical person has occasionally been questioned in the course of the last hundred years or so, but any doubts that have been raised have usually been put to rest in favor of imagining a blend of the historical, the mythical and the theological in the surviving records of Jesus.
Carrier re-examines the whole question and finds compelling reasons to suspect the more daring assumption is correct. He lays out extensive research on the evidence for Jesus and the origins of Christianity and poses the key questions that must now be answered if the historicity of Jesus is to survive as a dominant paradigm.
Carrier contrasts the most credible reconstruction of a historical Jesus with the most credible theory of Christian origins if a historical Jesus did not exist. Such a theory would posit that the Jesus figure was originally conceived of as a celestial being known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture; then stories placing this being in earth history were crafted to communicate the claims of the gospel allegorically; such stories eventually came to be believed or promoted in the struggle for control of the Christian churches that survived the tribulations of the first century.
Carrier finds the latter theory more credible than has been previously imagined. He explains why it offers a better explanation for all the disparate evidence surviving from the first two centuries of the Christian era. He argues that we need a more careful and robust theory of cultural syncretism between Jewish theology and politics of the second-temple period and the most popular features of pagan religion and philosophy of the time.
For anyone intent on defending a historical Jesus, this is the book to challenge."
Check out the book I linked and read some reviews.
If Jesus was not a historical being, why would the Gospels include him being baptized by John when it would seem ludicrous that the Messiah be baptized by anyone else?
Why would he be said to be of Nazareth; a small city with little religious significance, when the Messianic prophecies of the time claimed the messiah would be born in bethlehem?
Why would crucifixion even be mentioned in regards to the messiah, when crucifixion was the most humiliating way to be executed at the time?
It's because a historical rabbi who started Christianity actually existed, and these events that so confused the messianic prophesies actually took place. If he was an invention, the presence of these elements would make no sense whatsoever.
You heard it here, folks; history just never happened.
It never existed, it's all a hoax. The world was created when you were born, and there is literally no evidence for everything, ever.
>the presence of these elements would make no sense whatsoever.
try to make sense out of the gospel of thomas, please. There's a weird element to early Christianity were things don't have to make sense.
>The world was created when you were born, and there is literally no evidence for everything, ever.
I actually think you could make a valid argument for this if you use German idealism in combination with Dharmic metaphysics.
That would depend on if we're talking about an individual life or existence in itself.
An individual can practice in accordance with the Dhamma and cease to exist, but existence itself is without foreseeable end.
Boredom, or sloth, is one of the five hindrances. It can also be overcome, and this is also not out of your reach.
Ajahn Brahmavamso has this to say on it:
>"Sloth and torpor is overcome by rousing energy. Energy is always available but few know how to turn on the switch, as it were. Setting a goal, a reasonable goal, is a wise and effective way to generate energy, as is deliberately developing interest in the task at hand. A young child has a natural interest, and consequent energy, because its world is so new. Thus, if one can learn to look at one's life, or one's meditation, with a 'beginner's mind' one can see ever new angles and fresh possibilities which keep one distant from sloth and torpor, alive and energetic. Similarly, one can develop delight in whatever one is doing by training one's perception to see the beautiful in the ordinary, thereby generating the interest which avoids the half-death that is sloth and torpor. [...] Sloth and torpor is a common problem which can creep up and smother one slowly. A skilful meditator keeps a sharp look-out for the first signs of sloth and torpor and is thus able to spot its approach and take evasive action before it's too late. Like coming to a fork in a road, one can take that mental path leading away from sloth and torpor."
buddhism believes in reincarnation right? Does that mean that the number of souls in existence is fixed? Where do souls come from? Am I trying to apply a western idea to religion in which it is inapplicable?
>Happiness is attainable in this very life.
Neither Buddhism nor Jainism are about happiness.
The 9th Jhana is extinction of perception and feelings. They are about breaking of the duality of happiness and suffering, neither perception nor non-perception.
A religion consists of four things:
Transcendent discourse (suttas)
Rituals (meditation, statue veneration, etc.)
Community (the sangha)
Order (abbots, novice monks, lay people, etc.)
Buddhism fits the bill on this one.
By the way, does anyone know who it was that defined religion like this? I can't remember and my school's website is broken.
There are tons of gods in Buddhism. They just aren't necessarily important to your practice and progress and progress toward enlightenment. The Buddha taught about devas, pretas, nagas, talked to celestial beings, etc. Some westerners try to whitewash that stuff out of it though because a lot of fedora tippers see Buddhism as some sort of quasi-religious haven for them to participate in.
The path leading up to full realization, and even the higher jhanas, is blissful though.
The act of practicing and making progress on the path brings bliss, it is just that worldly happiness must be seen through and dropped to achieve the true bliss of Nibbana.
I haven't read anything from Nagarjuna. Is there a way you can summarize what he's arguing in favor of?
Rebirth =/= Reincarnation
There is nothing substantial or a "self" that is carried over in rebirth... rather everything is always arising and perishing each moment and compactness of aggregates is an illusion.
There is no soul, the Buddha rejected the notion.
Buddhism teaches rebirth. Similar to reincarnation, but with the fundamental difference that there is nothing that can be said to be "reborn". There is no soul or self, so what is it that continues?
"Transcendent", in this case, refers to anything that is "higher" than the material world. It can refer to supernatural elements, which Buddhism is full of.
To anyone in this thread who thinks you're being wise and helpful by trying to replicate the style of speech of a Zen koan translated into English or something, I'd step back and evaluate whether or not you're just stroking your own ego by posting paradoxical gibberish in a thread with a lot of newcomers and beginner's asking questions in it.
Shits weak desu senpai.
>I haven't read anything from Nagarjuna. Is there a way you can summarize what he's arguing in favor of?
He is basically moving Buddhism more towards nondualism. His arguments are way too complex to summarize here without sounding contrived
There likely isn't one. What's the purpose of a tree in your backyard in relation to your path toward enlightenment? It's just there. The Buddha taught that these celestial realms and beings "exists" in some fashion, but they are beings just like you and me, beholden to the wheel of samsara and capable of suffering. Even devas (deities) suffer and die, and have to work toward achieving nirvana.
>Some westerners try to whitewash that stuff out of it though because a lot of fedora tippers see Buddhism as some sort of quasi-religious haven for them to participate in.
pop culture and wikipedia because I don't know any better
in other words attaining some kind of complete neutrality?
if nothing at all is carried over than how is it a rebirth?
I'm not sure I understand. Is there kind of a soul or spirit, an atomic unit life, or is it more like a life is an organization of smaller "raw materials"?
>There was more emphasis on unpremeditated, spontaneous creativity and manifesting your own personal understanding,
This is completely a modern, romantics-inspired thing though. It's not what Buddhism is about.
It's been said that a deva, because they live in a celestial realm and experience a long life of pleasure, actually have a much harder time achieving liberation than a human being, because there is less of an incentive to try and be free of samsara.
>I'm not sure I understand. Is there kind of a soul or spirit, an atomic unit life, or is it more like a life is an organization of smaller "raw materials"?
I can give you the Mahayana answer based off storehouse consciousness (Ālayavijñāna). Basically old school Zen buddhists believed explicit memory is not stored in brain but another scale that is reciprocally connected to it, think Henri Bergson. This field is always in a persistent connection with the brain whereby explicit memory is consolidated or retrieved in a fragmented manner. Keep in mind, such a reservoir is in motion too and impermanent, but it has some kind of overlapping depth of some sort, and it is also disparate and lacks any core.
It is always giving the illusion of numerical connection with preceding and proceeding moments. It gives the illusion that this moment and the previous one there was a build-up, and that you are a unified, cohesive being when in fact everything is arising and perishing each moment. Check out Dharmakirti.
The more you cling to autobiographical memories and reify the sense of self, the more this explicit memory storage or storehouse consciousness gives illusion of a discrete self. When you die, it is involved in influencing the formation of new volitional formations:
However, there is no "you" that lives on in it.
Consider this thought experiment: each time you think of explicit memory, it is a new instance of "your" self, right? Yet these memories are fragmented and not compact, and they of course do not interact in a manner whereby you have an essence...
That's the argument in Lankavatara Sutra in some more modern terminology
Only that it may be easier or harder for them, depending on the realm they are born into.
Other than that they must follow the same path we have to.
Generally, beings born in a higher realm are so focused on sensual pleasures that it is more difficult for them to practice. Similarly, beings born in a hell realm are subjected to more anguish, making practice harder.
Humans are offered a very rare treat in that we experience neither too much bliss nor too much suffering. Being born into the human realm is extremely rare, and that's why it is wise to practice now while you remain here.
Dharmakirti also seems to argue this:
>"This not only rules out “horizontal universals” (tiryaglakṣaṇa), like blueness, which would have to be present in several blue particulars at one time, but it also rules out “vertical universals” (ūrdhvatālakṣaṇa), or substances persisting throughout time, the numerically identical individual that would be present in each time-slice of a thing. It is only series of qualitatively similar moments that constitute what we conventionally take to be enduring objects, but there is actually nothing that remains numerically the same for more than one instant"
It's the skandhas that create illusion of numerical continuity, and storehouse consciousness is the main one involved in rebirth after cessation of bodily functions.
Herein lies the problem with trying to explain something in meme speak or learning from Hollywood because it (Buddhism) is more akin to muscle memory attained through practice than image. The images cannot replicate reality but merely point in a direction, take it or leave it.
I should elaborate on beings that have it "easier".
Really, the only rebirth that makes it easier to practice is one that requires practice to reach in the first place. If you practice enough and achieve what is known as Once-returning, you will experience one more rebirth in the sense-sphere realm (in a rebirth where practice is made very easy for you, as it is all you will have interest in by this point in your path).
If rebirth after the cessation of bodily functions was not a reality, then there is no reason to practice and you're best off doing something else.
Check out Nobel Laureate's Henri Bergson's arguments of explicit memory being like an explicit cone in Matter and Memory:
>I'm not sure I understand. Is there kind of a soul or spirit, an atomic unit life, or is it more like a life is an organization of smaller "raw materials"?
In a way you could say that consciousness is kept.
Actually you have to keep in mind that "death" in Buddhism refers at the same time to a physical death in a certain life, as well as death "in the mind". Which to say, it occurs every moment, but we are unable to perceive it. Thus when physical death occurs, it's just a more visible kind of death, but has no special meaning aside from being a bridge between 2 different existences.
The type of birth depends on karmic fruits, that is the fruition of past acts and intention, and birth takes place because we want more renewed existences. When the physical matter sustaining the mind runs out, the mind just carries over into a new set of physical matter, but it changes accordingly, which is why you can't just think back and remember previous births (but many small children can tell you stuff they possibly couldn't know about). Thus there's a link between different reborn persons, but you can't say that they're the same person either.
This is not a fully adequate explanation, so I suggest reading about rebirth in Buddhism in books such as The Foundations of Buddhism.
"Hinduism" didn't exist back then. If Buddhism grew out of anything it did from the Sravaka tradition. Devas, pretas and the like were common heritage to all religious people.
The fact is, Mahyana and Theravada don't really disagree on the fundamental stuff like rebirth, except for some revisionist Japanese.
I think if you take out rebirth after cessation of bodily function though, you're left with nihilism because Buddhist ethics is contingent on accepting rebirth as being foundational to draw an ethics from
I'm asking about life not memory. When I say soul, I really mean pneuma, spirit, life force, an animating force independent or otherwise of consciousness. Life in a purely literal sense, the same kind of thing that an amoeba has, or a mushroom
Cool though. So basically there's some big server consciousness and the human brain is just a client accessing it and interpreting in a way that's convenient but incomplete?
>being a bridge between 2 different existences.
I'm saying residues in the storehouse consciousness influence the "bridge between 2 different existences". They're just involved in creating new volitional formations:
I think, as a religious practice for enlightenment, you need to be either a hermit living on the mountains or somewhere else with solitude OR in a monastery. Lay practice is good for personal well-being, but it is not sufficient for enlightenment and ending rebirth.
Sort of interested in learning a little more about Buddhism. Only thing that worries me is I have a pretty severe hatred for the hippy newage wankers who seem to be western Buddhists.
Anyway, where does one start?
This book is a good introduction:
It really depends on if you want to go mahayana or theravada route
fuck vajrayana tho
because life is dukkha...
there is no core to reality, just ceaseless change. everything is like sand that falls through the fingers, and your fingers are sand too but the mind tricks you into thinking it is not.
all your loved ones and family will die. no matter how much feeling of security or stability you have right now, it is an illusion. everything you cling to will eventually be upended.
all pleasurable sensation comes to an end, for it is fleeting. your apparition of a self has no discernible core or compactness, being disparate and within the fiery flux, all arising and ceasing constantly.
life is strife and never involves finding the true green grass
given the myriad of interdependent factors in the flow of life, one can see how it can easily be eradicated in any moment...
you kind of have to realize how dukkha is inextricably tied to impermanence and interdependence before you go the buddhist path, man...
I mean, if you are more affirming of it all, then daoism is better for you. find that elixir of immortality.
And this is why I dislike hippies. I've met a few western buddhists, they're usually pretty fucking out there. Hippies seem to crave being apart from everyone else, more than anything else.
I've worked alongside a few Buddhists from Taiwan. Pretty cool dudes and very much normal people - albeit with a slightly alien outlook. To me, at least. I should add, I met these guys working in an abattoir.
it should be noted when buddhism is forced to be compatible with naturalistic or materialistic outlooks on life, it loses its strict ethical guideline of 8-fold path. buddhism is not compatible with reductive physicalism and such, even though many Western buddhist force it as such. Moreover, Buddhism is not compatible with feel-good new age belief either, since it goes against the whole aim of the practice too.
if you're interested in buddhism for therapeutic purposes, i recommend mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) which has evidence that shows its efficacy.
Furthermore, let me say that mahayana buddhism has always been multicultural. Some of the oldest buddhist practitioners were Greeks and Persians. Check here:
what i am saying is there's a difference between practising a religion for metaphysical vs. therapeutic reasons. MBSR is superior for the latter whereas if you want to do buddhism for metaphysical reasons, I recommend being a bit more careful and scholarly in your approach.
I am not saying temporal existence is bad. I am saying it is dukkha.
Neither perception nor non-perception is not equivalent to non-existence. Also, there is a blissfulness in nirvana outside the duality of pleasure and pain
You can't achieve it with intent, hence why i recommended either monastic or being a hermit for serious practitioners
Buddhists are ultimately trying to achieve parinirvana aafter cessation of bodily functions:
Parinirvana is the ultimate goal of buddhist practice.
You get as many do-overs as you need with Buddhism. You don't need to become enlightened before you die, in fact it is very unlikely. As long as you strive to become a little more Buddhist in this life, and in the next, your karma builds up. That's why you can be Buddhist and still eat meat.
It's not like Christianity where you go to eternal hell for sinning when you die. At worst, you go through one of the 134 hells which are just temporary purgatories where you may get flayed, tortured, boiled alive, dismembered, burned, crushed, frozen, or literally eat shit for a few lifetimes, and you're off to your new life to improve your karma a bit more, one life at a time.
my cat, who i love like my daughter, ran out late at night... i'm worried for her. if she got her, i don't know what i'd do, probably off myself. that's a lot of dukkha right there and you're delusional if you want to experience that over and over again. there is no reprieve except to those who renounce the dust of worldly life
well, nvm, you can interpret in a deontological, nothing wrong with that, just don't make it gnostic
it's very easy to make the misstep and become gnostic about it all. demiurge please spare my cat
>Generally the biggest difference I see is the teaching that it is extremely rare for lay people to reach liberation, and that if they do so they either immediately seek ordination or they are on their death bed.
the trend with the vipassana meditation is the renewal of access to 8 fold path for the pleb.
>He agreed to write articles for SuicideGirls, the online soft porn site.
These statues actually exist to remind that it's absolutely possible to reach. In fact, you're already in it; the problem is, you're focused on the wrong things. Meditation is realizing you were always home.
That's why Buddhism is so monolithic, with no art, literature, and poetry, and different schools, right?
I will tell you a secret: what separates Eastern religious philosophy from Western is the emphasis on personal experience. All the Buddhist philosophers you know practiced daily. They didn't seat in monasteries and created arguments, but were engaged in the practices, making philosophical claims as an attempt to rationalize their experience. Because experiences, even of the same thing, vary from person to person, Buddhism kept growing into different schools and subschools, and undergoing the same process in the present. The fact that Buddhism is grounded in personal practice and understanding is what made its spread so easy and allowed to assimilate with other cultures. Enlightenment is paragon in all school of Buddhism, but techniques and philosophical description of enlightenment differ, and experience is always considered more valid than sophistry.
Hello friends whats he general feeling about Souka Gakkai/Nichiren Buddhism? I live in Japan and some old fuck came up to me and spoke to me about how great it was for like 2 hours, then revealed his intention of making me his 'son' as he never had children and giving me his legacy and his lifes mission to carry out (world peace) (probably through spreading Souka Gakkai)
I'd actually say that Mahayana and Theravada don't disagree on many things. Maybe in the case of Pure Land it's a bit different?
>When I say soul, I really mean pneuma, spirit, life force, an animating force independent or otherwise of consciousness.
A "life force" is recognized, but it's pretty much gasoline for the car and is necessarily there wherever life is, but it does not "cause" life and expires at death.
I would suggest reading "The Foundations of Buddhism" (Rupert Gethin). It's the best introductory material I know, and is not from the point of view of a specific tradition but tries to take a global look while explaining the core of Buddha's teaching.
After that I'd suggest reading "In the Buddha's Words", which is an anthology of discourses from the Pali Canon. This will again be beneficial to get a solid grounding on the fundamental teachings of the Buddha, regardless of school/tradition.
After that you can start exploring Buddhism in whichever direction you want.
The physical characteristics are not to be taken as actual fact. Very simple proof: if the Buddha looked that strange, it would be impossible for people to not recognize him, yet there are many examples of people that haven't seen him before talking to him or just looking at him without recognizing him as the Buddha. He looked just like any other monk, complete with shaved head, but if you saw him "in action" then you'd recognize him.
> with no art, literature, and poetry, and different schools, right?
Art, literature and the like don't necessarily arise out of "spontaneous creativity". And Buddhism is not and never was about that. It's a modern fabrication that has no basis in Buddhism. That's what I take issue with.
Read "The Making of Buddhist Modernism" if you want to know how exactly this works. It's pretty much a must read in any case.
Other than that, of course experience plays a key role in the development and practice of Buddhism, but it's not exactly in the same way that romantic-inspired people present it. They don't actually vary from person to person that much because their core is the same, the person has to recognize what is what and filter accordingly, especially filtering out misleading experiences. If this wasn't the case, the Buddha's words would be fruitless, practicing meditation under teachers would be pointless and the kind of Enlightenment set out in Hesse's Siddhartha would be accurate in the frame of Buddhism.
>r. Everything stoicism boils down to there being two kinds of things: things withing one's control (their mind) and things outside of their control (literally everything else). The things outside of your control are still important, they just can't direct you towards evil or falsehood because you alone are in control of your thoughts and actions.
but then the stoic understands that even his thoughts are not his, his emotions are not his, precisely because he does not control them: he has no clue why he chooses such words, why he has such tastes, why his body is not controllable.
so he goes full reflexivity: he leaves a space between what he thinks he controls and what he is. he applies equanimity towards things outside of him and inside of him. he has the intuition that the physical immobility is interesting and he begins to analyse., thanks to remaining equanimous as much as he can, what happens (likely inside of him) once that he is immobile. then he should become a buddha.
History of Buddhism is especially interesting because it is heavily linked to that mess that is Silk Road studies.
In the recent years I've been particularly interested in Early Buddhism and its spread along the Silk Road, as well as the impact of early Buddhism in post-Han Chinese culture.
Early Buddhism can be better understood if you have some knowledge regarding Upanisadic metaphysics (especially the concepts of Brahman vs Atman); however you can't fully understand Chan/Zen Buddhism without at least a basic knowledge of Daoism and Confucianism (the link between Buddhism and Daoism has been forced a bit too much by some enthusiasts, but it's no doubt that Chan Buddhism is the result of a Chinese digestion of Mahayana Buddhist doctrines).
As a system Stoicism has similarities with Buddhism but it doesn't take into account things like the 4 Noble Truths and Dependent Origination, and without the development of wisdom related to those enlightenment/buddhahood is not possible. However, it's not unthinkable that some stoics intuitively figured these out in one way or the other and became pacekkabuddhas.
what happens to a girl is this:
-as a child, she can be saved by buddhism [or any doctrine not promoting hedonism]
-once she learns to spread her legs, she falls too much, too fast into hedonism
-after decades of her liberation, after her cunt used-up, she is exhausted by the hedonistic life, she calms herself a bit.
If she stumples into a religious person, she is willing to explore her spiritual side, through an exotic religion, since she remains still a hedonist.
Liberated women cannot be salvaged from hedonism. they just love hedonism and love to love hedonism. Sure the grannies are calmed enough to listen to another doctrine a bit, but they are old and remain incapable to make headway since they have been lacking reflexivity all their lives.
The least effort is already too much, and they will swing back into a milder hedonism many times before they reach an intermediate level.
Plus, they are scared of not reaching the goals as they feel the death coming for their relatives and themselves.
The sole female who can be in buddhism [or any religion which is studied AND applied] are little girls and the effect of the spiritual life must be appear before the liberation.
In passing, note that many future-nuns spread their legs, just like the other girls, before going into a monastery. generally, the young nuns became nuns because they think that they were hurt by chads and alphas in failing to understand what women are doing on earth.
the enrolment is different for men, because most men being betas, they experience dukkha far more than the whores. They gain a mild reflexivity quickly and durably so that they can make headway in buddhism.
many bikkhus still long for some meaning through women especially when their results have stalled. they loose faith and go back to their betaness.
you guys have read this ?
>Erik D. Curren Buddha's not smiling: uncovering corruption at the heart of Tibetan buddhism today
>All these ridiculously complicated practices outside of theravada
The Thai meditation masters do little else than grounding their sati in breath-, buddho- or walking meditation.
Ajahn Maha Bua didn't ever let go of his meditation word and attained in nine years.
>I think, as a religious practice for enlightenment, you need to be either a hermit living on the mountains or somewhere else with solitude OR in a monastery.
this is why the christians have their monasteries. but the christians decided to have priests to deal with the populace and monks who actually prACTICE. i THINK THAT this is divide is detrimental. It is better to show the monks practising to the people, instead of telling them, once a week, through the priests, to follow blindly such moral doctrine otherwise they will go to hell.
Christians have not used their powers well when they were trendy, and now that the lost it, they whine that the meditation is through buddhism
How many accomplished buddhists are there? I mean, can you show me a guy who fully realized everything buddhism strives for, like a rolemodel? If you're still practizing you must do something wrong I imagine.
There are nine levels of meditative concentration. The first four are the Four Dhyanas. These are concentrations on the form realm. The next five levels belong to the formless realm. When practising the first dhyana, you still think. At the other eight levels, thinking gives way to other energies. Formless concentrations are also practised in other traditions, but when they are practised outside of Buddhism, it is generally to escape from suffering rather than to realize the liberation that comes with insight into our suffering. When you use concentration to run away from yourself or your situation, it is wrong concentration. Sometimes we need to escape our problems for relief, but at some time we have to return to face them. Worldly concentration seeks to escape. Supra-mundane concentration aims at complete liberation. To practice samadhi is to live deeply each moment that is given us to live. Samadhi means concentration. In order to be concentrated, we should be mindful, fully present and aware of what is going on. Mindfulness brings about concentration. When you are deeply concentrated, you are absorbed in the moment. You become the moment. That is why samadhi is sometimes translated as "absorption."Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration lift us above the realms of sensual pleasures and craving, and we find ourselves lighter and happier. Our world is no longer gross and heavy, the realm of desires (karma dhatu). It is the realm of fine materiality, the realm of form (rupa dhatu). In the form realm, there are four levels of dhyana. Mindfulness, concentration, joy, happiness, peace, and equanimity continue to grow through these four levels.
After the fourth dhyana, the practitioner enters a deeper experience of concentration — the four formless dhyanas — where he or she can see deeply into reality. Here, sensual desire and materiality reveal their illusory nature and are no longer obstacles. You begin to see the impermanent, nonself, and interbeing nature of the phenomenal world. Earth, water, air, fire, space, time, nothingness, and perceptions inter-are. Nothing can be by itself alone. The object of the fifth level of concentration is limitless space. When we begin to practice this concentration, everything seems to be space. But as we practice more deeply, we see that space is composed of and exists only in "non-space elements,"like earth, water, air, fire, and consciousness. Because space is only one of the six elements that make up all material things, we know space does not have a separate, independent existence. According to the teachings of the Buddha, nothing has a separate self. So space and everything else inter-are. Space inter-is with the other five elements. The object of the sixth level of concentration is limitless consciousness. At first, we see only consciousness, but then we see that consciousness is also earth, water, air, fire, and space. What is true of space is also true of consciousness. The object of the seventh level of concentration is nothingness. With normal perception, we see flowers, fruit, teapots, and tables, and we think they exist separately of one another. But when we look more deeply, we see that the fruit is in the flower, and that the flower, the cloud, and the earth are in the fruit.
We go beyond outward appearances or signs and come to "signlessness."At first, we think that the members of our family are separate from one another, but afterwards we see that they contain each other. You are the way you are because I am the way I am. We see the intimate connection between people, and we go beyond signs. We used to think that the universe contains millions of separate entities. Now we understand "the nonexistence of signs." The eighth level of concentration is that of neither perception nor non-perception. We recognize that everything is produced by our perceptions, which are, at least in part, erroneous. Therefore, we see that we cannot rely on our old way of perceiving, and we want to be in direct touch with reality. We cannot stop perceiving altogether, but at least now we know that perception is perception of a sign. Since we no longer believe in the reality of signs, our perception becomes wisdom. We go beyond signs ("no perception"), but we do not become perceptionless ("no non-perception"). The ninth level of concentration is called cessation. "Cessation"here means the cessation of ignorance in our feelings and perceptions, not the cessation of feelings and perceptions. From this concentration is born insight. The poet Nguyen Du said, "As soon as we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, we open ourselves to suffering."We long to be in a state of concentration where we cannot see or hear anything, in a world where there is no perception. We wish to become a pine tree with the wind singing in our branches, because we believe that a pine tree does not suffer. The search for a place of nonsuffering is natural.
In the world of non-perception, the seventh (manas) and the eighth (alaya) consciousnesses continue to function as usual, and our ignorance and internal formations remain intact in our store consciousness, and they manifest in the seventh consciousness. The seventh consciousness is the energy of delusion that creates the belief in a self and distinguishes self from other. Since the non-perception concentration does not transform our habit energies, when people emerge from that concentration, their suffering is intact. But when the meditator reaches the ninth level of concentration, the stage of arhat, manas is transformed and the internal formations in the store consciousness are purified. The greatest internal formation is ignorance of the reality of impermanence and nonself. This ignorance gives rise to greed, hatred, confusion, pride, doubt, and views. Together, these afflictions produce a war of consciousness called manas, which always discriminates self from other. When someone practices well, the ninth level of concentration shines light on the reality of things and transforms ignorance. The seeds that used to cause you to be caught in self and nonself are transformed, alaya is freed from the grip of manas, and manas no longer has the function of making a self. Manas becomes the Wisdom of Equality that can see the interbeing and interpenetrating nature of things.
It can see that others' lives are as precious as our own, because there is no longer discrimination between self and other. When manas loses its grip on store consciousness, store consciousness becomes the Wisdom of the Great Mirror that reflects everything in the universe. When the sixth consciousness (manovijñana) is transformed, it is called the Wisdom of Wonderful Observation. Mind consciousness continues to observe phenomena after it has been transformed into wisdom, but it observes the mind in a different way, because mind consciousness is aware of the interbeing nature of all that it observes — seeing the one in the many, all the manifestations of birth and death, coming and going, and so on — without being caught in ignorance. The first five consciousnesses become the Wisdom of Wonderful Realization. Our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body that previously caused us to suffer become miracles that bring us to the garden of suchness. Thus, the transformation of all levels of consciousness is realized as Four Wisdoms. Our wrong consciousness and wrong perceptions are transformed, thanks to the practice. At the ninth level of concentration, all eight consciousnesses are functioning. Perception and feeling are still there, but they are different from before, because they are free from ignorance.
The classical view on this is that an enlightened lay disciple would either die the very day or become a monk. Of course it doesn't have to be as black and white as this in all societies, but it's something to think about. In any case such a person would lead a life that is very different from everyone else.
The jumping onto has been going on for quite some time, since ideas appropriated from Buddhism are some of the pillars of most new age beliefs. I don't think these cause too much damage to Buddhism, rather they mislead individuals and have negative effects on them.
>can you show me a guy who fully realized everything buddhism strives for, like a rolemodel?
The Buddha himself and, who else?
In the case of more recent people it's not that easy to say because it's pretty much left to your intuition. Enlightened beings won't talk about their attainment. If you never knew the person yourself, it's very difficult if not impossible to gauge this. We can of course throw around names like Ajahn Mun, but this won't be very relevant.
>If you're still practizing you must do something wrong I imagine.
If you're practicing correctly you're not doing something wrong. But it takes a long time for the majority of people in any case, sometimes more than one lifetime. Even among the Buddha's greatest disciples we have the example of Ananda who attained Enligthenment after Buddha's death, he was the Buddha's personal attendant for 40+ years and had incredible memory, yet it took him a bit more than that time to attain liberation.
regarding negative effects I forgot to add that it is in the frame of Buddhism that the effects are negative. If a person is into new age practices and becomes a better person thanks to them that surely is infinitely better than that person becoming violent and angry.
So what is enlightenment supposed to be? Something you learn or something you unlearn.
Heard a comparison where enlightenment is supposed to be like a shopping cart where searching for enlightenment is like us pushing shit into the cart to gain satisfaction without realizing what we're searching is right in front of us.
I find that The Eternal Return can be a wake-up call that can be combined with the eternal evanescence of whatever we cherish :
>The greatest weight. -- What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence -- even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!" Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: "You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine"? If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. (GS 341)
I've never understood what Pure Land was getting at...
It seems to me that it was a folkish morph of mainstream Mahayana beliefs, much like the characters of folk Catholicism symbolize the aspects of salvation through Jesus. I'll say, if I was pursuing Buddhism, I'd like to symbolize the path to enlightenment in a bunch of bodhisattvas, colors, and paradises too.
However, what more is it than chanting a name? It seems to me they describe ascending to the Pure Land to be as easy as that. Is there some nuance I am missing in that assumption? It just seems too easy...
That's part of its appeal. No time consuming worship; just recitation of the name and full faith in the Amida Buddha is enough to reach salvation. When Jesuits first landed in Japan, they called Pure Land Buddhism "the devil's Christianity" because it was so similar. It's my Buddhism of choice.
>After the fourth dhyana, the practitioner enters a deeper experience of concentration — the four formless dhyanas — where he or she can see deeply into reality. Here, sensual desire and materiality reveal their illusory nature and are no longer obstacles. You begin to see the impermanent, nonself, and interbeing nature of the phenomenal world. [...]
Contemplation takes place in a state of ordinary consciousness, otherwise you couldn't direct mindfullness towards the sense entries to discern the kilesas when they arise.
The jhanas are nothing more than a resting place.
Is the rest the text trying to equate stages of attainment with the formless jhanas?
It is the ending of suffering by permanently seeing everything as they are, ie. their true "nature".
>Something you learn or something you unlearn.
Both. Obviously you need to learn the Dharma, but then you have to go beyond learning and, let's say, "live" it. That's why it is said that enlightened beings have discarded even the Dharma. The learning should be seen as the mind learning skills that will let it ascend the path.
At the same there is unlearning, that is the unlearning of delusional ideas born of misled understanding of reality and existence.
What is meant by enlightenment being right in front of us is that it's not something conferred to the person by an external force. It's not something that is "gained" either. It has to be unveiled by shedding the unwholesome with the help of the wholesome.
This is my understanding of it.
I guess the way I would like to worship religious concepts (like the path to nirvana) would be through imagining a realm they are represented in and the characters at play in that realm, such as the new Jeruslaem (Revalation style) or the seven heavens as described in the Quran, so after seeing the full "cosmology" of Pure Land, then realizing it was merely chanting a name, I got disappointed. I am of course assuming that I know nothing about devotion to Pure Land, but there must be some depth one can reach in imagining the "realm" of it, if that makes sense.
I was wondering if there were any sects of Buddhism where contemplation approaches that kind of thinking.
I would say with Christianity as I try to practice would be more like reciting the Rosary and recreating the mysteries than liturgy, though I see what you are getting at. It's the one thing that makes it difficult for me to "dig" what the Buddhists are saying, since their "oblivion" is so final and formless, and without any figment of divinely-inspired imagination that attempting to contemplate an inaccessible but pedantic all-in-one-in-everything can provide.
Any comments welcome, since you guys are more expert than me in Buddhism, I'm biased in the way I would like to believe.
Avoid Sokka Gakkai. It's a borderline cult of personality based around its founder, and it's looking to be little more than a money-making business.
Notice how weird that old man was? That's a technique they actually use in Sokka Gakkai, it's called "love-bomb" or "love-bombing" or something like that. They make potential member feel really good, but once you finally join you get into the nitty gritty of basically doing whatever the founder tells you to do, and practicing what he says to practice.
>for the pleb
Can you clarify why there's anything wrong with lay people getting into meditation?
I know that, historically, pretty much only monks meditated, but lay people practicing it too can't hurt, though.
>You get as many do-overs as you need with Buddhism. You don't need to become enlightened before you die
The problem with this line of thought is that you can never really know where you're going to be reborn because we can't really know our total past kammic accumulation. I'd rather practice for it now, in the extremely rare human realm, than risk existing for millions of more years in heaven and hell realms.
Hippies and new-agers have no real effect on those who wish to legitimately practice.
What I'm disappointed in is seeing monasteries and viharas in the west catering to this crowd. As long as the well-established, eastern schools don't start teaching, "Life is great and you should find your own way" instead of, "Life is suffering and you should try to escape", we should be fine.
I guess what I'm also asking about with what I'm spurting off about are two things, for research purposes too:
1) Is a visual (aesthetic, symbolic, what have you) attempt to approach Buddhism oxymoronic due to the nature of the ideal state of being it teaches?
2) If not, what is most visually engaging form of Buddhism?
>Any comments welcome, since you guys are more expert than me in Buddhism, I'm biased in the way I would like to believe.
I might get shit for mentioning him, but I'm somewhat inclined towards the Alan Watts interpretation. Afaik he claimed essentially buddhism for instance, or zen more particularly, is just a ruse. The intention behind is to take the folly that is already there and drive whoever is listening to rediculous extremes until they become wise.
So they mix tasks you can accomplish to encourage you to try to accomplish tasks that are impossible. Then you become the mosqito that bites the iron bull and live an ordinary life again, but conscious because the destraction has gone.
At least Alan Watts argued you can't attain enlightenmen by meditation. It's when you realize you've been acting a fool where things change, but that's my interpretation. Anyhow, I think the problem with modern buddhism is that people are getting to comfortable with it and make themselves a home in something that was meant to be an intermediate step, not the final thing.
>what is most visually engaging form of Buddhism?
Enlightenment is a multi-dimensional reality that includes light. The depictions of auras are only that, depictions, but to the seer direct experiences. The images are only there to remind you of where to place your consciousness.
Well Nirvana is not oblivion. It is final and formless, but remember that it's always defined with negatives (unborn, not suffering etc) and also that it doesn't exist, doesn't not exist and doesn't neither exist nor not exist either. It is this way because it lies outside the experience of unenlightened beings, and language cannot communicate that.
The kind of worship found in Buddhism pretty much serves only to show your respect to what you're worshiping.
As for Pure Land, it's a bit difficult to talk about what it exactly is universally because every school says something different. However, there are two constants: one is that Amida Buddha accepts beings into his Pure Land, and two is that once you're in the Pure Land, you're going to practice and practice and practice until you attain enlightenment. That being reborn in Amida's Pure Land equates to "salvation" is not accurate, even though Pure Lands are supposed to be the best environments for practice the reborn person will still need to do hard work.
Try reading something like "Taming the Monkey Mind: Guide to Pure Land Buddhism" maybe (I've only read bits and pieces of that one myself), it might give you clearer answers.
>1) Is a visual (aesthetic, symbolic, what have you) attempt to approach Buddhism oxymoronic due to the nature of the ideal state of being it teaches?
Not necessarily, but the visual will only be the visual.
>2) If not, what is most visually engaging form of Buddhism?
Tibetan Vajrayana probably.
>If not, what is most visually engaging form of Buddhism?
>So you see multiple dimension with lights and shit, but does it help you getting laid?
>Are there any cooking recepies to be found in the 5th dimension?
Nice. But I reckon you're not supposed to do anything with your ability to get laid and see tits all around you, but stay put and pretend like it doesn't happen? Why would you want to see tits if you can't grab them?
Sexuality in Buddhism isn't prudish or shunned and shied away from but embraced.
Kek, no. Sexual imagery is used only in tantric Buddhism, and it's not literal sexuality either. Otherwise every tradition worth its salt maintains that sex is a fetter, and that lay people should at the very least avoid "sexual misconduct". Monks abandon sex entirely.
It's just a sci-fi book, has nothing much to do with reality or Buddhism.
There are a hundred or so rules for monastics that governs this.
There are none for laymen because there are no "things you aren't allowed to do". There are wholesome and unwholesome verbal, bodily and mental acts.
It might be of interest to note that homosexuality holds no special place and is simply treated the same as heterosexual matters. The ideas of people other than the Buddha may vary, but he said nothing specific about it.
I'm no expert, but I think so, but there are varying degrees of "sin". Jerking it is preferred to having sex. I don't think you would be kicked out of the Therevada community if you were caught, but there would be some minor punishment.
No, masturbation is fine for lay followers. It's just unwholesome to do it until a habit or addiction forms.
One of the cool things about the vinaya is that the Buddha didn't lay down all these rules at once; he laid them down as he saw they were necessary to be made. This leads to some slight humor when one considers the order in which the rules were laid down.
For example, the Buddha laid down the rule to monks that they can't masturbate. Immediately following this, it also specifies that you can't get anyone else to jack you off.
So apparently, once the Buddha told the monks that they couldn't wank, one monk asked another one to do him a favor.
>modern Buddhist masters
I'm 90-100 percent sure Hsu Yun was enlightened. You can read his stuff. Also I added a pic of him.
I know 100% that Kusan Sunim was definitely enlightened. He could meditate standing and birds would make nests on his robe. I also feel he had real personal insight unlike Shunryu Suzuki. His "ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS OF THE STONE LION" is very good and was renamed "The Way to Korean Zen" when published in USA. There is something very powerful abut his poetry.
Also, I'm not prejudiced, but I can tell you after Meiji Era, Japanese Buddhism changed. Most of the modern ones are not enlightened at all. Ignore Nishijima, Shunryu Suzuki, and all the newer popular Japanese Buddhists.
Supposing you can get close to enlightenment, you'll stop wanting those things anyway.
For starters, the practice can make you more peaceful, more open, more focused and more upright and you can play your PS4 and post (non-hateful, if all goes well) things on 4chin.
Of course, though this wasn't everywhere. Monks are people that are supposed to be on the path to perfection, they are not actually perfect, and some are just pretending. It was like this even in the Buddha's time, and it is like that today too. Genuine communities respected and do respect the rules however.
Because you can be reborn as an alien that lives with the same fundamental principles as human beings, not to mention as life forms below and above humans in terms of comfort. Did you really think anti-natalism would matter when you have nigh-infinite numbers of universes and beings?
Yeah. There are some pretty funny parts in the vinaya, especially concerning sexual matters.
Laymen can if they want to. There is no encouragement nor condemnation for procreation. After all, the Buddha also had to be conceived and take birth.
"Monks" that can marry (as is very common in Japan for example) also do.
What is important is not being married or having children or not. It is to be able to do your best in the spiritual life together with the partner and the children, not thinking them as "yours", showing them great love etc.
Here is Kusan Sunim's "way of Korean Zen". It should have just been called Essential Teachings of the stone lion". I actually think Hua Tou is very good and on the level of silent illumination / shikantaza.
" At times, he allegedly did standing meditation so long without moving that birds came and picked at this cotton clothes to make nesting material for their nests."
Here's some stuff on Hua Tou
Both of Way of Korean zen and Hsu Yun's Discouses and Dharma Words give good instructions for Hua Tou training. I recommend not doing it while you drive a car or ride a bike tho
Yeah, that kind of stuff happened after Meiji era and made Japanese Buddhism more of a familial Buddhism. There is also a dark history of Japanese Buddhist involvement in Nazism and World War II. Read about how Zen meditation was used for nationalistic and war purposes in Nazi era Japan.
Pre Meiji era Zen Japanese Buddhism has a totally different feel.
If humans never procreated then beings would only be born in realms where it is significantly harder to practice the Dhamma.
It is extremely rare and beneficial towards practice to be born as a human. If you have a child if only to prevent him from being born elsewhere, then it was worth it.
>But birth is only guaranteed to ad more suffering.
A suffering that cannot be avoided. If a being has to be born, it will be born, don't worry. Nothing anyone can do will be able to prevent this. Buddhist parents have the choice of directing their children towards proper practice, which is something only positive.
>Buddha was a special case.
He was a special case because he was a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha. Arahants are the exact same as the Buddha when it comes to liberation, they too are Buddhas (just not perfectly enlightened ones). And there were many Arahants back then, and there have been many since. All of them had to be born, of course.
>If a monk can't do it then why should anyone attempting enlightenment
A monk is a monk. He's a special kind of practitioner, his job is to discard all non-essentials in the path to enlightenment. A lay disciple is different.
It is about ending suffering, it's just that your ideas of forbidding procreation simply wouldn't work.
Ignoring the extremely daunting task of trying to convince every human ever to not procreate, it wouldn't even matter because beings are still born in different realms. In hell realms procreation doesn't even matter. You end up there if your kamma is bad enough no matter what.
The number of beings in existence is so unimaginably large that saying "let's just stop having children" isn't feasible in the slightest.
If suffering is choking on your own wishes so to speak and therfor you should try erradicate wishes, this is you still clinging on to them. Not wanting to have wishes is still desire. You just desire to not desire.
Are you really going to waste time here with buddhism 101 tier questions?
At least learn about how desires are classified. Desiring to nirvana, desiring to learn the dharma is not the same thing as desiring money and desiring submission of others.
Does anyone have any good Buddhists to recommend in the Thai Forest Tradition. As someone in Ch'an and Zen, I have a lot of respect for this tradition too from reading a lot on it. There's really not that many differences with it and Ch'an.
It sucks that deforestation in Thailand is starting to serve as barrier to practice. We're nearing the Dharma Ending Age.
Also, what's your opinion on Buddhadasa? He's a bit more controversial.
Why not what?
>Does anyone have any good Buddhists to recommend in the Thai Forest Tradition.
>We're nearing the Dharma Ending Age.
Nah, not yet. Also it might be helpful to keep this story in mind:
>Two friends, it seems, were ordained as monks[...] in Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka. One went off to Pacinakhandaraji, a forest monastery in the east; the other remained at Thuparama. Ten years passed by. One day it occurred to the monk at Pacinakhandaraji that he should invite his old friend to come and practise at this secluded forest monastery. He set off for Anuradhapura. There he was welcomed by his former companion. Over the course of the day the visiting monk was continually waiting for choice foods and other comforts to be provided by servants, attendants, and lay supporters. But none was forthcoming. Instead they wandered through Anuradhapura and got only a ladleful of gruel. As the two wandered through the town, the visiting monk enquired whether his friend always lived in such a frugal manner. When he was told that he did, the visitor reminded him that Pacinakhandaraji was comfortable and suggested that they go there. As they passed the gate of the city the other elder took the road to Pacinakhandaraji.
>'Why do you take this road?' asked the visitor.
>'Didn't you just recommend Pacinakhandaraji?'
>'But don't you have some extra possessions in this place where you have lived so long?'
>'Yes, I have the bed and chair belonging to the Sangha, which have been put away. There is nothing else.'
>'But I have left my staff, my oil tube, and my sandal bag.'
>'Have you collected so much living here for one day?'
>Humbled, the visitor declared, 'For those such as you everywhere is a forest dwelling.'
>Also, what's your opinion on Buddhadasa?
Those are pretty good Thai Forest masters.
>We're nearing the Dharma Ending Age.
Technically, we entered that age as soon as the Buddha died, we just better hope it's still possible to achieve Nibbana, because it's a long time until the next Buddha arrives if that's the case.
>you will never be alive during the time of a living Buddha
>you will never be brought to liberation after hearing just a few sentences from the most enlightened being in existence
>The mind is the one that knows the Dharma. The one who knows is Buddha. The Buddha taught Dharma. He was enlightened to Dharma, but he did not take the enlightened away with him. [...] So we can say there are two Buddhas, that of his physical form and that of his mind. The Buddha said, “Ananda, practice well, develop yourself well. You will blossom in the sasana. Whoever sees Dharma sees me, and the one who sees me sees Dharma.”
>We hear the words and don’t really know what they are about. It gets confusing – Dharma, Buddha is Dharma. But the truth is like this. At first, there was no Buddha. When he realized Dharma, he was given the title Buddha. Before that, he was Prince Siddhattha Gotama. We are the same. We are called Joe or Alice or perhaps Prince so-and-so, but if we realize the Dharma then we too are Buddha, no different from him. So understand that the Buddha is still living.
>Where is the Buddha? What ever we do, truth is there. We think we can do evil and it doesn’t matter, no one sees. Watch out! The Buddha sees. The Buddha still exist to support us to walk the path properly and continuously, but we don’t see, we don’t know it. [...]
>So the Buddha still exists. You should be happy about this. It’s not something to feel sad about. But some feel frustrated and say, ”Oh man, if the Buddha were still here, I would have make it by now. I would be enlightened.” But in truth he is really here, in the path of practice, the standard of right and wrong.
t. Ajahn Chah
Also being brought to liberation after hearing just some sentences was a matter of already present spiritual advancement anyway, there's no way to know whether you'd be like that or would have to work hard.
Desire to begin Buddhist practice is not the same thing because it involves deeply apprehending the three marks and 4 noble truths, which is more of an experiential deep understanding.
1. Impermanence: All conditioned (saṅkhāra) things are an always differentiating process.
2. Anatta: All conditioned and unconditioned thing lack an "intrinsic nature, essential nature" (Svabhava). Buddhism is anti-essentialist and more of a process philosophy.
3. Unsatisfactoriness: Clinging to all things leads to Dukkha (suffering).
And then that leads to 4 noble truths.
I'd add a 4th mark that everything always arises in dependence of something else. That is everything empirical is contingent.
One desire is rooted in ignorance while the other is rooted in wisdom. Desiring to be enlightened is rooted in wisdom, even if it starts as a selfish desire it will stop being so in the path of a correct practitioner.
Pick up a good introductory book like The Foundations of Buddhism and you won't have to ask questions like these.
>What are you going to do the next five minutes after you got enlightened?
Pretty strange question. Enlightened beings don't do anything special after they get enlightened, their lifestyle which necessarily was a completely pure one just before attaining enlightenment continues. In general this means to continue meditating and to continue instructing others.
But I would suppose you don't enter some magical realm after you got enlightened but remain a man who has to shit, eat, and sleep.
Maybe I'm wrong but to me the ideal of enlightenment seems like pointless wankery because ultimately you'll end up the same place where you started from. Only now you can watch space lizards giving eachother blowjobs in some higher dimension.
If you could really get rid of all desire there's nothing wrong anymore with just being some average human living an ordinary life. The desire for enlightenment is pure egocentrism assuming to be too special for whatever is happening now.
>Maybe I'm wrong but to me the ideal of enlightenment seems like pointless wankery because ultimately you'll end up the same place where you started from.
Correct. The point is, there is nowhere to go. What you were looking for was and has always been with you right from the beginning. If you think one has to go somewhere and that the cessation of suffering is not important, then I guess you can consider it pointless wankery. Enlightenment brings about the end of suffering, nothing else.
>Only now you can watch space lizards giving eachother blowjobs in some higher dimension.
>If you could really get rid of all desire there's nothing wrong anymore with just being some average human living an ordinary life.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being "an average human living an ordinary life", provided your life is anchored in Dharma and you're working to become at least a Stream-Enterer.
>The desire for enlightenment is pure egocentrism assuming to be too special for whatever is happening now.
What is happening now?
Buddhists are ultimately trying to achieve parinirvana after cessation of bodily functions:
The karmic fruits in storehouse consciousness influence the "bridge between 2 different existences". If the internal formations in the store consciousness are purified shortly prior to death, one is not reborn and becomes one with the mind of Buddha, Nirvana or blissfulness of cessation perception and feelings (not the same as nothingness). However, if there is monkey mind and clinging to storehouse consciousness, I'm pretty sure new volitional formations will be instantiated in next life based off the karmic fruit:
Here are some good arguments from Henri Bergson about how qualitative explicit memory (or 'qualia') is not stored within structures of the brain itself, even though it depends on emergent hippocampal-cortical dynamics for retrieval and consolidation into the scale or field of storehouse consciousness:
>what is happening now?
Pull my finger. :)
But seriously, I think we aren't really experiencing the now because we're constantly analyzing it. On the other hand I guess this part of the now as well.
Only satori I ever got, or at least what I consider as such, was when I worked out and thought to myself there isn't anything but this life and I will ultimately die and that's it. I felt like a stone fell of my shoulders and pretty calm, but it didn't lasted very long.
That said I don't believe there will be any future lives or reincarnation. This is it. Maybe through pure randomness there will be life again at some point, but it won't be me.
>But seriously, I think we aren't really experiencing the now because we're constantly analyzing it. On the other hand I guess this part of the now as well.
This doesn't clarify what you were trying to say there though.
>That said I don't believe there will be any future lives or reincarnation
Then it's not Buddhism anymore. I think for Buddhism to work, you have to accept rebirth, that is everything is simultaneously arising and perishing each moment and it doesn't end (at least for most people) after cessation of bodily functions. Death doesn't give us the reprieve we so desire, I feel.
The problem with describing the now is that you're essentially taking a stllpicture of something that's constantly moving and changing. I think you knew perfectly well what I meant when I refered to what is happening now, but you asked anyway.
I like the paraconsistent logic of classical Indian Philosophy.
Graham Priest is a good Western philosopher's whose views on Inclosure Schema has a lot of parallels with Nagarjuna.
"Everything is real and is not real,
Both real and not real,
Neither real nor not real.
This is the Lord Buddha’s teaching."
" By their nature, the things are not a determinate entity. Their nature is a non-nature; it is their no-nature that is their nature. For they have only one nature; no nature . . ."
There are no separate and mutually exclusive moments in time. Rather time is a seamless transference of states, as if things ripple into each other, all change is indivisible but the mind discriminates and breaks it up for conventional purposes.
There are a lot of parallels with Henri Bergson, Derrida, and Giles Deleuze's metaphysics with a lot of Buddhism. It's pretty interesting.
One of the closest Buddhist philosopher to them in Dharmakirti.
The thing about both dependent arising and impermanence is they naturally lead to the rejection of svabhava-oriented views such as substance attribute theory, object-oriented ontology, and so forth. In the Western tradition, only some kinds of process philosophy is compatible with Buddhist thought:
In short, one can say Becoming is fundamental to reality and not any kind of ground. There is no ground of reality but simply constant Becoming.
I feel like Lars von Trier's Melancholia and Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice (Offret) do a good job showing what Dukkha is all about...
Tarkovsky's Zerkalo and Stalker are also very good film with a Buddhist message
>In short, one can say Becoming is fundamental to reality and not any kind of ground. There is no ground of reality but simply constant Becoming.
Sounds a bit like daoism. I ching and whatnot.
Daoist and Buddhist metaphysics are very similar but with different goals. The goal of Buddhism is the unconditioned, the unborn, the Absolute of non-becoming, Nirvana (which cumulate in Parinirvana).
Rebirth is simply seamless constant Becoming, a constant simultaneously arising and perishing in which sharp demarcation between decay and growth, subject and object, up and down, and etc. doesn't exist.
The Daoist's Wu Wei is more about affirmation towards the All whereas the Buddhist's mindfulness is more about renunciation to worldly desires.