Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

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Luca123
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Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:35 pm

I have no intention whatsoever to push my point of view or to put Theravada Buddhism in good or bad light, since I think noone is interested in my opinionon this, however I feel my duty to share the conclusions I have reached on Theravada Buddhism in this opne letter.
Feel free to ignore it if you want.

My spiritual path has been quite long and full of difficulties.
In my early age I was raised as a Catholic, I feared God` s wrath for every time I committed a sin and I could not stand the idea of a Hell.
I was living in fear and always afraid of what I was doing.
Challenged by an atheist, I came to research the basis of Christian religion, discovering, afer a long time, than there was no factual basis on what I was taught.
I studied the Bible and find that there are many contrdictions with modern science, I went to discuss with physicians about the miracles
I found out that miracles are mostly considered spontaneous remissions of cancer, there is not much to be a miracle there
I went to Medjugorje several times and found nothing there.
At the end there was nothing, either you have blind faith on Jesus or you have nothing to support your faih on, so I decided that I should move on
I became a materialist.
When I confronted my fellow believers, they all replied me that miracles are not so much important (then why make such claims about miracles at all I wonder) and that the real truth is about Faith
Since there are however many religions in this world, I asked them why believe in Christian religion instaed of any other, and could not get any reasonable answer
I was thinking the soul is the mind and the mind is the brain
Once you die, you are finished
Then a new challenge came for me: if I am my brain where am I?
I went reading many books of philosophy and could not find any reply
So I moved to Zen
With Zen I was thinking to get an answer as it is the doctrine of the non –duality
I left my work and come to Japan ten years ago
For ten years I trained almost every day, including the participation to more than 15 sesshins.
Sometimes I was beaten so hard by the monk during the sesshin that my shoulder came out blue in the process.
I found out that all the studies that I have done at University (I am engineer) were just trash
They would not have helped me to grasp the truth
The more I practised the less I knew
After ten years, I started to feel quite bad, I started considereing Theravada
This is why I am writing you this

After having studied Theravada Buddhism for a while I came to the conclusion that it has enormous similarities with Christian religion
Despite the obvious differences in teachings, the concept is very similar, if not the same
With Buddhism we have a Buddha, with Christian religion we have a God
Both are presented as historical people but we have no definite proof that any of the two has actually lived
Then we have monks in Buddhism and priests in Catholicism, both of them believe with all their hearts, but none of the two can offer any proof or evidence of their faith
Monks with high stages of enlightnment claim to have had an insight about the true nature of the self, several saints claim to have visited heaven and hell
No difference
Monks with less training are still able to get some result from meditation, but so priests and faithfuls in Christain religion claim to have the same
So here no difference, as none of the results can be chown to non-believers
Christians believe in the Will of God, Buddhists believe in karma, which should be working as a law.
However, they can see no proof of this law working, that is, they can not predict the result, same as Christians can not predict the Will of God
So no difference
Christains believe in Heaven and Hell, Buddhists believe in reincarnation, however, you can not show heaven and hell and no monk has given verifiable details of the process of reincarnation
So no difference here as well

Some enlightened monks claim to have seen past lives and to be able to withstand the most severe pain with a smile, but for some reasons I have heard of no monk showing such resistance to pain
So it is again all about belief

In the end, I am thinking there is no real difference between Christain religion and Buddhism
It is all about faith

By chance, I had the oportunity to discuss the above with a Buddhist monk recently who told me that there are 200000 monks in Thai not capable of telling any lies that could swear that they are benefiting from the teachings of Buddha, I replied that I could say the same for Christian religion: there are millions of Christians who believe that God made their life better

At the end maybe it all goes down to decide which religion you like more, they are all the same: I will go for Tao, I have always liked that symbol

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SDC
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by SDC » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:04 pm

All the best, Luca.

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kirk5a
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by kirk5a » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:05 pm

Hi Luca, thanks for sharing. Your letter is very focused externally. But how about beneficial qualities as they actually are present right within? Ten years of Zen training and nothing to report in that regard?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Wri
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Wri » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:09 pm

It seems your kamma is leading you to being a materialist. That's fine, but you don't need to go around trying to disprove every religion you come across because they don't fit your view. Quite frankly, you're wasting your time and peace of mind. Just practice what you see fit.

By the way, as far as we know, blind faith was discouraged by the Buddha himself:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

soapy3
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by soapy3 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:09 pm

Luca123, You might want to read a copy of "What The Buddha Taught" by Walpoa Rahula. It is in many libraries and used book venues. You can also find a free PDF edition via Google. It is SHORT and clearly describes what Theravada Buddhism is. I don't think you understand Theravada Buddhism completely. You might want to read that book before you send that letter to anyone. No offense.

Don't give up on wanting evidence, even if it is something only you experience and can't show to anyone else.

Luca123
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:14 pm

kirk5a wrote:Hi Luca, thanks for sharing. Your letter is very focused externally. But how about beneficial qualities as they actually are present right within? Ten years of Zen training and nothing to report in that regard?


Where are Buddhist people better than Christains

Luca123
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Wri wrote:It seems your kamma is leading you to being a materialist. That's fine, but you don't need to go around trying to disprove every religion you come across because they don't fit your view. Quite frankly, you're wasting your time and peace of mind. Just practice what you see fit.

By the way, as far as we know, blind faith was discouraged by the Buddha himself:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


I am bot trying to disprove anything
I am just discussing with honesty without trying to push anyone to believe in this or that

:anjali:

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kirk5a
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by kirk5a » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:18 pm

Luca123 wrote:Where are Buddhist people better than Christains
You're reverting to an external focus. I think you've already proven to yourself there's no real benefit in that. But what if you were to develop wakefulness for yourself? Have a look at what Ajahn Lee says about taking refuge on the level of inner qualities.
When you have mindfulness and alertness constantly established in the body, the body in and of itself, wind, fire, earth, or water in and of itself — whichever seems easiest and most comfortable — keep with it as much as possible. When you do this, the body will wake up, for you aren't letting it simply follow its natural course. To bring mindfulness into the body helps keep it awake. The body will feel lighter and lighter as we keep it in mind. Alertness is what enables us to be aware throughout the body. When these two mental qualities enter into the body, the body will feel agile, pliant, and light. In Pali this is called kaya-lahuta. The mind will also be awake and will give rise to knowledge in and of itself through its own "sanditthiko" practice — i.e., the person who does the practice will see the results for him or herself in the here and now.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... awake.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Luca123
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:21 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Luca123 wrote:Where are Buddhist people better than Christains
You're reverting to an external focus. I think you've already proven to yourself there's no real benefit in that. But what if you were to develop wakefulness for yourself? Have a look at what Ajahn Lee says about taking refuge on the level of inner qualities.
When you have mindfulness and alertness constantly established in the body, the body in and of itself, wind, fire, earth, or water in and of itself — whichever seems easiest and most comfortable — keep with it as much as possible. When you do this, the body will wake up, for you aren't letting it simply follow its natural course. To bring mindfulness into the body helps keep it awake. The body will feel lighter and lighter as we keep it in mind. Alertness is what enables us to be aware throughout the body. When these two mental qualities enter into the body, the body will feel agile, pliant, and light. In Pali this is called kaya-lahuta. The mind will also be awake and will give rise to knowledge in and of itself through its own "sanditthiko" practice — i.e., the person who does the practice will see the results for him or herself in the here and now.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... awake.html


Same as here
https://alntv.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/ ... er-to-god/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Please check

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kirk5a
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by kirk5a » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:37 pm

Luca123 wrote:Same as here
https://alntv.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/ ... er-to-god/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Please check
Not at all. Hot showers, basketball, cut grass, children.. all very fragile external conditions. Nothing about mindfulness at all.

But anyway, here we are comparing again. What difference does that make TO YOU? Do you wake up a happier person after a solid night of comparative religion? Find something of value within yourself, for yourself my friend. :anjali:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Luca123
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:54 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Luca123 wrote:Same as here
https://alntv.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/ ... er-to-god/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Please check
Not at all. Hot showers, basketball, cut grass, children.. all very fragile external conditions. Nothing about mindfulness at all.

But anyway, here we are comparing again. What difference does that make TO YOU? Do you wake up a happier person after a solid night of comparative religion? Find something of value within yourself, for yourself my friend. :anjali:


Why do you consider mindfulness so important for a Christan

befriend
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by befriend » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:10 pm

in the shorter and longer discourses on the lions roar sutta Buddha explains why mindfulness is the only path which produces the 4 types of noble persons. Christianity is different from Buddhism because in Buddhism you can see the characteristic of non self in all experiences. if there is no self then there is no one to suffer. logically if one were to cultivate the perception of impermanence, suffering and non self, they would arrive at a place without suffering, because our experiences are cumulative. if everything is impermanent, how can there be suffering? Christianity does not allow you to see impermanence, suffering or nonself, therefore cannot produce people who see the true nature of reality.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

Luca123
Posts: 269
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:20 pm

befriend wrote:in the shorter and longer discourses on the lions roar sutta Buddha explains why mindfulness is the only path which produces the 4 types of noble persons. Christianity is different from Buddhism because in Buddhism you can see the characteristic of non self in all experiences. if there is no self then there is no one to suffer. logically if one were to cultivate the perception of impermanence, suffering and non self, they would arrive at a place without suffering, because our experiences are cumulative. if everything is impermanent, how can there be suffering? Christianity does not allow you to see impermanence, suffering or nonself, therefore cannot produce people who see the true nature of reality.


Has anyone in Buddhism achieved non suffering?
Then why not prove it

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Wri
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Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Wri » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:38 pm

Luca123 wrote:
befriend wrote:in the shorter and longer discourses on the lions roar sutta Buddha explains why mindfulness is the only path which produces the 4 types of noble persons. Christianity is different from Buddhism because in Buddhism you can see the characteristic of non self in all experiences. if there is no self then there is no one to suffer. logically if one were to cultivate the perception of impermanence, suffering and non self, they would arrive at a place without suffering, because our experiences are cumulative. if everything is impermanent, how can there be suffering? Christianity does not allow you to see impermanence, suffering or nonself, therefore cannot produce people who see the true nature of reality.


Has anyone in Buddhism achieved non suffering?
Then why not prove it
Those who suffer less and less find that they have a declining need to prove themselves (and you can't prove your subjective feelings in a physical world anyway). They find less need to defend themselves or try to prove others wrong or right. They simply give information. If you were reducing your suffering, you would probably experience this instead of asking endless questions.

So are you helping yourself here, or are you just trying to make everyone else see the world the way you do?
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

Luca123
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:46 am

Re: Open letter to the English Theravada Buddhist community

Post by Luca123 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:41 pm

Arhants go great lenghts to teach others
Showing they can not feel pain would help to convince many people maybe
It costs nothing to them
Why simply not do it
I am asking a simple question
Last edited by Luca123 on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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