Buddhism

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Zurkhardo, Dec 1, 2010.

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  1. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Though agnostic, I've always taken a liking to academically exploring other world religions (as I'm sure most of my fellow secularists do). Recently I've become very fascinated by Buddhism, particularly it's practices, ethics, spiritual philosophy.

    It seems to stand apart in a lot of ways, namely in the relative lack of fundamentalism, its atheism, and it's many practical behavioral and psychological rituals (meditation, mindfulness, restraint, etc). I could easily see myself being a Buddhist above all else, even though I have some reservations about other supernatural aspects to the religion (in any case I'm still researching).

    I just wanted to get everyone else's feedback on the matter :)
     
  2. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    I am both Jewish and Buddhist, a mix which is becoming much more popular...as Buddha was an Enlightened One and not G-d, and as I see myself more culturally Jewish and philosophically Buddhist, the combination works for me...what type of Buddhism have you been investigating? Hope you find some comfort in your journey...J
     
  3. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I'm exploring Buddhism in general, including Mahayana, Theravada,and Tibetan. The religion as a whole interests me, and I've yet to settle for a particular school or thought.
     
  4. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Buddhism; basically like Hinduism.
     
  5. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    It certainly shares a similar origin and tradition, but there are a lot of differences, namely a lack of any God or divine authority. It also puts much more emphasis on universality, monasticism, and behavioral discipline and has a different take on karma.

    I view it as somewhat more streamlined than Hinduism, which is a collection of numerous different beliefs and concepts that can often be daunting. Though I did explore that faith as well, so perhaps this is just a natural progression.
     
  6. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    The Hindu Gods are only meant to be individual aspects of the 'real' incarnate. The Rg Vedas says the 'One' preceded everything, gods including.
     
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    True, hence why I mentioned "God or divine authority" in general.

    Indeed, Hinduism is at once polytheistic, pantheistic, animist, and monotheistic, with all of it coalescing to one central Brahman. But in any case, Buddhism rejects any and all divine incarnations and deistic forces of that nature (though some supernatural elements remain).
     
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    The word practice comes up a lot in Buddhism.
     
  9. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Indeed, that's an aspect of Buddhism that really appeals to me. Even if I have yet to see myself truly practice any religion, I feel Buddhism is as close as I'll ever get.
     
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    I've been doing mindfulness training for ages now, and as I was walking recently I was aware of the snow hitting my upper lip and melting. An odd sensation, so I wondered why I'd never really noticed it before. So yeah it's snowing, no big deal, but it meant a lot to me. I guess a single sentance in a religion such as "live in the present moment" or "love your neighbour as yourself" can require the effort of a lifetime, and even then we're most likely to fail to acheive it. I guess that's why they call it practice.

    I guess in the end we just muddle through life doing the best we can, I suppose you could say there's a point to it, most religions suggest there is, ie. better karma, enlightenment, nirvana, heaven, hell etc. but in the end I don't really know what else we can do, other than the best we can. I think where many people go wrong is to study religion and philosophy and become very attached to the parts that appeal to them, so for example being a recluse I think meditation is great, whereas the bits that suggest I should go into the community and serve others get skipped over. So to me Buddhism is more about understanding myself then understanding Buddhism.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2010
  11. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ziggy, that was a very interesting anecdote. I wholeheartedly agree with your method of exploration, in that one views these faiths as philosophies (or attempts at such) and take from them certain values, techniques, or lessons as they apply. Though I'm still largely secular, I find a lot of practical application from Buddhism.
     
  12. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    It truly has reduced my anxiety disorder by helping me realize my imperfections and how temporary everything is...not that it feels that way at times...I have been practicing, as such, for about 4 years and find I like me more (interesting benefit) and that I understand much better how I can be in the world...mindfulness doe help with that considerably...used to have somewhat dissociative states and now feel so much more in the moment...that is both the good and the bad news depending upon the moment!...hope you continue to benefit from your exploration...J
     
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