Faith-based against evidence-based

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Sanjay PS » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:25 am

Learning to swim , only comes by swimming .

Just to keep on debating on the mechanics of swimming , the quality of the water, the positions of different swimmers, and those who have swum across , without ever taking the plunge will always be meaningless .......

may we all avoid such hiccups .

sanjay
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:51 am

Sanjay PS wrote:Learning to swim , only comes by swimming .

Just to keep on debating on the mechanics of swimming , the quality of the water, the positions of different swimmers, and those who have swum across , without ever taking the plunge will always be meaningless .......

may we all avoid such hiccups .

sanjay


More or less what I was saying..
Learning about how arrive to Nirvana only comes with Arriving close to there.

Not about discussions about the eightfold path, the 4 virtues, the 6 causes and the 5 con causes.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:53 am

chownah wrote:Is there salvation? How do you know that there is salvation?
And very importantly, salvation from what?
Did you read about it in a book? Did someone tell you that Jesus had given them salvation? Do you have faith in salvation?
If you imagine salvation without you, how would it be?

Also, you have still not answered my questions about your meaning for the Lennon and zen quotes.....I'm interested in how you interpret them.
chownah


I did not understand that Lennon quotes ..

As for salvation, in my head salvation means salvation from fear of death.
As for Jesus, I do not know why you are quoting him, since I have never said I have evidence that he brings to salvation
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby appicchato » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:06 am

I salute all the respondents... :heart:

A few, in particular, rock!...
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:15 am

Since you have no interest in following the path that everyone has followed to reach enlightenment, and only wish to be enlightened, I suggest your plan has a great big zero chance of success (with your current attitude). The principle point of Buddhism is following the path, anyway, not what you get to at the end of the path, thats just a bonus. If you have no interest in the path, then you really have no interest in Buddhism, no ones going to touch you with a genie wand and make you enlightened, a lot of work is involved, and if you don't enjoy the work(or right effort) of following the path, you probably wouldn't enjoy enlightenment either.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Sanjay PS » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:59 am

Matteo1972 wrote:
Sanjay PS wrote:Learning to swim , only comes by swimming .

Just to keep on debating on the mechanics of swimming , the quality of the water, the positions of different swimmers, and those who have swum across , without ever taking the plunge will always be meaningless .......

may we all avoid such hiccups .

sanjay


More or less what I was saying..
Learning about how arrive to Nirvana only comes with Arriving close to there.

Not about discussions about the eightfold path, the 4 virtues, the 6 causes and the 5 con causes.


Gentleman,

You quote " More or less what I was saying " , but by going thus far in all that you have posted , it is clear you that do not want to enter the water , leave aside learning to swim. The Noble Eight Fold Path is trail blazing in its direction and fruits.........and is incomparable due to its quality of here and now , and not after death or some god men waving their magic wands .

Please understand , we all have to learn to let go, to become better in life , thus meeting death happily and knowingly , immaterial whether the death happens in fraction of a second or is a slow painstaking approach. I have much to let go , but realize this clear and present danger. It is difficult for any one to say what is let going , you have to answer that for yourself .

i would request you to let go , when you do finally decide to sit in earnest..........remember , time has no meaning whatsoever ( again repeat whatsoever) , when putting in effort . The two basic qualities , either call it faith based , or science based , are honesty and morality , without this, we will keep running around in circles.........with a complete waste of our time and efforts.

Wishing you the very best in life, and may you become a source of good inspiration to so many others.

sanjay
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The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:06 pm

Matteo1972 wrote:It looks like Zen and the teachings of Ajahn Chah have something in common


Quite a lot, I think.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Justsit » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:30 pm

Matteo1972 wrote:As for salvation, in my head salvation means salvation from fear of death.

You didn't reply to my previous post regarding your question. This is important, because if you don't ask the right question, you will not get the right answer.

OK, so you're afraid of death. Perhaps you might want to explore a question such as, "What is it that dies?"

You know, you can go to Thailand, and visit every monastery there, and speak to many wise people, but if you expect to find enlightenment that way, you will be disappointed. All others can do is point fingers at the moon. You have to discover it by yourself. But I'm sure you know that by now.

Best wishes for your trip. May you find what you seek.
:anjali:
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby chownah » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:37 pm

Matteo1972 wrote:
chownah wrote:Is there salvation? How do you know that there is salvation?
And very importantly, salvation from what?
Did you read about it in a book? Did someone tell you that Jesus had given them salvation? Do you have faith in salvation?
If you imagine salvation without you, how would it be?

Also, you have still not answered my questions about your meaning for the Lennon and zen quotes.....I'm interested in how you interpret them.
chownah


I did not understand that Lennon quotes ..

As for salvation, in my head salvation means salvation from fear of death.
As for Jesus, I do not know why you are quoting him, since I have never said I have evidence that he brings to salvation

I only mentioned Jesus because the word salvation has such a Christian connotation...and because you said you were Christian many years ago. It could be that your fear of death has it's roots in your catholic upbringing....going to hell and all that makes one fear death even more than the usual fear of death which it seems like most all people have...and especially when the hell fire and brimstone is drummed into a child.

The good news is that if fear of death is your main concern then you need not worry about enlightenment because fear of death can be conquered much more easily than obtaining enlightenment. I think you are already perhaps slightly aware of what can vanquish the fear of death. You have talked about learning about self concept and your zen quote can on one way be seen to be talking about the self concept. I have no doubt (although I'm sure that you will have doubt :jumping: ) that if you do learn about the buddha's teachings about having no doctrine of self then you would be able to overcome fear of death.......without even considering whether you achieve enlightenment. Way before you achieve enlightenment you should be able to overcome the fear of death mostly through cultivating an understanding of the delusional nature of self......and this very same understanding of the delusional self can be extended to take you all the way to enlightenment.....although I'm sure that you doubt it :jumping: .

The idea is that you could start doing a serious study of self/no-self/not-self/no doctrine of self right away as a way to address your fear of death while at the same time keeping your eye open to where there might be a teaching more appropriate for you that is directed toward enlightenment.

Did you know that this very same issue of the I or self which was introduced to you in zen is also central to the Theravada teachings and in fact is important to all branches of Buddhism?..?...at least I think they all include it.

I can not overly state how important having no doctrine of self is to my practice. Not only can it help conquer the fear of death but it also can help on controlling or eliminating anger, greed, etc........and these benefits come way before reaching enlightenment.......I would say that having no doctrine of self would be such a benefit to most people that they would value the Buddha dhamma just for that alone and not even worry about enlightenment.
chownah
P.S. I just saw your mention of "non-existence of the I"........that is exactly what having no doctrine of self is all about.....I think you are on the right track....don't worry about enlightenment.....just go learn about the non-existence of the I as it will assuredly help you on your search for enlightenment too.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:59 pm

chownah wrote:I only mentioned Jesus because the word salvation has such a Christian connotation...and because you said you were Christian many years ago. It could be that your fear of death has it's roots in your catholic upbringing....going to hell and all that makes one fear death even more than the usual fear of death which it seems like most all people have...and especially when the hell fire and brimstone is drummed into a child.


Not fear of hell, which is also a big fear, but fear of finishing my existing completely, this is my biggest fear.

chownah wrote:The good news is that if fear of death is your main concern then you need not worry about enlightenment because fear of death can be conquered much more easily than obtaining enlightenment. I think you are already perhaps slightly aware of what can vanquish the fear of death.


There are lots of people who claim to have conquered fear of death, including religious people
Unfortunately, I find their arguments quite unconvincing.
On the other hand, my Zen Master claims that with satori you see that there is no "I" so you have no fear of death, at least for that moment.
This is why I am striving to get satori

chownah wrote: You have talked about learning about self concept and your zen quote can on one way be seen to be talking about the self concept. I have no doubt (although I'm sure that you will have doubt :jumping: ) that if you do learn about the buddha's teachings about having no doctrine of self then you would be able to overcome fear of death.......without even considering whether you achieve enlightenment. Way before you achieve enlightenment you should be able to overcome the fear of death mostly through cultivating an understanding of the delusional nature of self......and this very same understanding of the delusional self can be extended to take you all the way to enlightenment.....although I'm sure that you doubt it :jumping: .


I do not think you can overcome fear of death by a "teaching".
The other day, also, I was thinking that it would actually be good to have death, so if there is an enlightenment, people would be forced to pursue it at least because of fear of death.
Which is more or less my case.
Without death, there probably would be no buddhism and no religions and no look for enlightenment.

chownah wrote:The idea is that you could start doing a serious study of self/no-self/not-self/no doctrine of self right away as a way to address your fear of death while at the same time keeping your eye open to where there might be a teaching more appropriate for you that is directed toward enlightenment.


I do not believe in teachings alone

chownah wrote:Did you know that this very same issue of the I or self which was introduced to you in zen is also central to the Theravada teachings and in fact is important to all branches of Buddhism?..?...at least I think they all include it.


I know, but I am looking for a practical way to get there

chownah wrote:I can not overly state how important having no doctrine of self is to my practice. Not only can it help conquer the fear of death but it also can help on controlling or eliminating anger, greed, etc........and these benefits come way before reaching enlightenment.......I would say that having no doctrine of self would be such a benefit to most people that they would value the Buddha dhamma just for that alone and not even worry about enlightenment.
chownah
P.S. I just saw your mention of "non-existence of the I"........that is exactly what having no doctrine of self is all about.....I think you are on the right track....don't worry about enlightenment.....just go learn about the non-existence of the I as it will assuredly help you on your search for enlightenment too.
chownah


According to my Zen master, understanding that there is no "I" is actually what enlightenment is about.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:07 am

Justsit wrote:
Matteo1972 wrote:As for salvation, in my head salvation means salvation from fear of death.

You didn't reply to my previous post regarding your question. This is important, because if you don't ask the right question, you will not get the right answer.

OK, so you're afraid of death. Perhaps you might want to explore a question such as, "What is it that dies?"

You know, you can go to Thailand, and visit every monastery there, and speak to many wise people, but if you expect to find enlightenment that way, you will be disappointed. All others can do is point fingers at the moon. You have to discover it by yourself. But I'm sure you know that by now.

Best wishes for your trip. May you find what you seek.
:anjali:


Is there salvation?
-> Hope so

How do you know that there is salvation?
-> I do not know, I am just looking for it

And very importantly, salvation from what?
-> Fear of death, pain, boredom ..

Did you read about it in a book?
-> Actually yes, I first started to think about a salvation from fear of death reading Koestlers` "The invisible writing"

Did someone tell you that Jesus had given them salvation?
-> About 1 billion+ Christians believe that Jesus will save them

Do you have faith in salvation?
-> Well, I have nothing better to do than looking for it in the next 40 years

If you imagine salvation without you, how would it be?
-> Difficult question

Also, you have still not answered my questions about your meaning for the Lennon and zen quotes.....I'm interested in how you interpret them.
-> I am not in the guessing business :)
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:10 am

Justsit wrote:Perhaps it would help if you would clearly elucidate what exactly you are seeking?

What question do you want answered?


-> Escape from fear (of death, punishment, ..), pain, boredom ..

-> If there are people, possibly living today, who claim that they have reached this result and what they have suggested for other people to do
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:13 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Since you have no interest in following the path that everyone has followed to reach enlightenment..


Quite a bold statement!
You are implying that everyone has reached enlightenment, or is in the path to do.

Or maybe you are saying that people who have reached enlightenment have worked on this path?
It would be great then to understand who are such people, since they all died centuries ago or maybe they exist but live in a forest
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Justsit » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:53 am

You may find this of interest.
Not written from a Theravadan perspective, but wisdom can be found in many places.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:18 pm

Justsit wrote:You may find this of interest.
Not written from a Theravadan perspective, but wisdom can be found in many places.


Other places where wisdom can be found:
http://www.amazon.com/I-Am-That-Nisarga ... 0893860468
http://www.amazon.com/ESV-New-Classic-R ... ords=bible
http://www.amazon.com/English-Translati ... ords=koran
http://www.amazon.co.jp/The-Power-Now-S ... 0340733500
and another 10232122 books..

Now, had I ten lives to read them all, would I become one inch wiser?
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Justsit » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:28 pm

Many people can learn from reading books, but since you apparently cannot, perhaps speaking to a living person is a better alternative for you. The author of the book I recommended is alive. Why don't you go talk to him? He has very practical advice. :smile:
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:47 pm

There is clearly too much stuff to read on just about any topic........seems you need to develop some discernment about how to find texts with a reasonable chance of being credible.......but of course that would not only require developing discernment but also in having faith that your mind is capable of developing and exercising discernment....and I am fully aware of your lack of faith in yourself.....probably a vestige of your catholic upbringing.

Isn't a lot of this thread about your inability to trust your own judgement.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:47 pm

Hi Matteo,
Matteo1972 wrote:According to my Zen master, understanding that there is no "I" is actually what enlightenment is about.

Yes, the understanding anatta (not-self) is said in the Suttas to be what sets Buddhism apart from other paths:
Though certain recluses and brahmins claim to propound the full understanding of all kinds of clinging…they describe the full understanding of clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, and clinging to rules and observances without describing the full understanding of clinging to a doctrine of self. They do not understand one instance…therefore they describe only the full understanding of clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, and clinging to rules and observances without describing the full understanding of clinging to a doctrine of self.
http://suttacentral.net/mn11/en/

As I see it, there is a problem with the way you have framed the topic:
Matteo1972 wrote:The fact that it is physically impossible to know what a man said more than 2500 years ago, when there were no cameras or taperecorders, did not seem to shaken his faith that what are the words attributed today to Buddha have any shred of evidence

You seem to be asking for historically-accurate evidence of exactly what the Buddha said 2500 years ago. Clearly this is impossible. Here, when people talk about "evidence based" they tend to mean based on their own experience, not on some sort of historical analysis.

And, of course, the Buddhist path does have the same problem as any other path. We have to take it on faith that Nibbana is possible. This is stated explicitly in the Suttas:
"Excellent, Sariputta. Excellent. Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I'm afraid you have no choice but to take it on faith and continuing to practise.

For me the faith/confidence came from personal interactions with bhikkhus and lay people, observing their behaviour (calmness, happiness, and so on). There is advice in MN 95 Cankī Sutta about how to chose a teacher. Notably, it does not say "intellectually analyse his/her doctrine":
Here, Bhāradvāja, a bhikkhu may be living in dependence on some village or town. Then a householder or a householder’s son goes to him and investigates him in regard to three kinds of states: in regard to states based on greed, in regard to states based on hate, and in regard to states based on delusion: ‘Are there in this venerable one any states based on greed such that, with his mind obsessed by those states, while not knowing he might say, “I know,” or while not seeing he might say, “I see,” or he might urge others to act in a way that would lead to their harm and suffering for a long time?’ As he investigates him he comes to know: ‘There are no such states based on greed in this venerable one. The bodily behaviour and the verbal behaviour of this venerable one are not those of one affected by greed. And the Dhamma that this venerable one teaches is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. This Dhamma cannot easily be taught by one affected by greed.’
...
http://suttacentral.net/mn95/en/

Now, if you read the Canki sutta, you'll also find statements about "truth":
If a person has faith, Bhāradvāja, he preserves truth when he says: ‘My faith is thus’; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the preservation of truth; in this way he preserves truth; in this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.

Until we have reached the goal, none of us can be sure of the "truth" and therefore should not be disparaging other possible spiritual paths, which may or may not lead to the "truth". However, as you have observed, we don't have time to practice all possible paths, so we do need to make a choice sooner rather than later.

:anjali:
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:59 pm

:goodpost:
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:55 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Until we have reached the goal, none of us can be sure of the "truth" and therefore should not be disparaging other possible spiritual paths, which may or may not lead to the "truth". However, as you have observed, we don't have time to practice all possible paths, so we do need to make a choice sooner rather than later.

:anjali:
Mike


I think your post makes good sense.

So far, I have found that it not impossible to get kensho with Zen.
I found tens of people who claimed who have reached kensho.
Still, for some reasons, many of them stop practicising Zen after they have reached this, which makes me wonder if this Kensho is really worth striving for.
Talking with an important monk who practiced Theravada for moree than 30 years under Ajhan Chah, I asked him about this and he claimed that Kensho is not really the true Enlightenment Buddha was talking about.
However, he did not disclose whether he had reached Enlightenmnent or not, so I wonder how he could know.
At the moment, I will stick with Rinzai Zen, but I will go to talk with some Buddhist monks in Thai for sure
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