Is Buddhism exclusive ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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rightviewftw
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 8:55 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:00 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:35 am
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:49 am


Please ask any buddhist with ten or twenty years experience in Buddhism how they feel ? Before anyone attain any absorption , what joy do they have ?
Do you actually know people who have been practising for 20 years without feeling positive effects?

I've never met such a person, and I can't imagine why such a person would continue.

Perhaps they missed the suttas on happiness in the present life....

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14640

Mike
Have you ever met someone disrobe after over ten or fifteen years in monkhood ?
If they are so happy , no reason to leave the monastic life !
Too many you can find . Or you don't pay attention at all.
Nobody said that it is easy, but so it is with most worthwhile pursuits in life. People disrobe for many reasons and there are several reasons for a Bhikkhu's decline and discontentment. However if one lets "difficult" discourage from trying it is going to be hard to achieve anything in life, it is the impossible factor that should be discouraging and even then just because nobody done it before does not in itself mean that it is impossible to do or that one should not try.

Clearly there are Bhikkhus who are happy and content.

It is hard to get GM ranked in chess, to place in the olympics, to become world champion, to beat the nosebleed holdem games or to get world class expertise in professional fields, probably >95% of people who want to achieve such goals or merely becoming professionals never make it, does not mean that it is impossible or not worth doing. Does not even mean that it is "exclusive" really because one can argue that talent plays relatively miniscule role relative to work ethic, methodology and commitment. Imo talent will separate the top 5 from the top 50 but the top 500 out of millions can get there by work alone generally speaking.

I don't want to liken the pursuit of Dhamma to pursuit of top ranking in competitive fields because it is different in many ways but my point is that people generally prone to doing things half heartedly and giving up.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Tue May 22, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

James Tan
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by James Tan » Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:53 am
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:00 am
Have you ever met someone disrobe after over ten or fifteen years in monkhood ?
If they are so happy , no reason to leave the monastic life !
Too many you can find . Or you don't pay attention at all.
Of course, I know several people who have disrobed, and some who have rerobed after disrobing...

Disrobing is a completely different issue. Your original post seemed to suggest that the majority of practicing Buddhists saw no benefit, which is not my experience.

:heart:
Mike
I did not say no benefit . Only that if Buddhism preach suffering , what is it that in this world is happiness and joyful about . Basically non at the end .
:reading:

James Tan
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by James Tan » Tue May 22, 2018 9:14 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:55 am
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:00 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:35 am

Do you actually know people who have been practising for 20 years without feeling positive effects?

I've never met such a person, and I can't imagine why such a person would continue.

Perhaps they missed the suttas on happiness in the present life....

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14640

Mike
Have you ever met someone disrobe after over ten or fifteen years in monkhood ?
If they are so happy , no reason to leave the monastic life !
Too many you can find . Or you don't pay attention at all.
Nobody said that it is easy, but so it is with most worthwhile pursuits in life. People disrobe for many reasons and there are several reasons for a Bhikkhu's decline and discontentment. However if one lets "difficult" discourage from trying it is going to be hard to achieve anything in life, it is the impossible factor that should be discouraging and even then just because nobody done it before does not in itself mean that it is impossible to do or that one should not try.

Clearly there are Bhikkhus who are happy and content.

It is hard to get GM ranked in chess, to place in the olympics, to become world champion, to beat the nosebleed holdem games or to get world class expertise in professional fields, probably >95% of people who want to achieve such goals or merely becoming professionals never make it, does not mean that it is impossible or not worth doing. Does not even mean that it is "exclusive" really because one can argue that talent plays relatively miniscule role relative to work ethic, methodology and commitment. Imo talent will separate the top 5 from the top 50 but the top 500 out of millions can get there by work alone generally speaking.
Let me ask you a question . Since beginning till now how many years your learning in Buddhism ?
How happy are you ?
:reading:

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Grigoris » Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:41 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:12 am
Tailoring or catering for or available to only a few, selected, restricted , elite and excellent people .
The Dhamma Wheel membership does suggest that. :tongue:
With some exceptions (myself included). :lol:
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am
I did not say no benefit . Only that if Buddhism preach suffering , what is it that in this world is happiness and joyful about . Basically non at the end .
There is no giving up of sensuality without first jhana. The way it works is that one quite secluded starts to attain happiness from meditation, eventually giving up lower pleasure to behold the greater pleasure and tries to attain the superhuman happiness. It is not gloomy as you describe it. In some ways one can be said to be a pleasure seeker, not being satisfied with nothing but the ultimate pleasure.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 9:18 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:14 am
Let me ask you a question . Since beginning till now how many years your learning in Buddhism ?
How happy are you ?
Soon 3 years since i started studying Buddhism and 6 years meditating.
I am probably one of the most happy people in the world in general.

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:20 am

Hi James, Sorry I don't really know what you are trying to say here:
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am
I did not say no benefit . Only that if Buddhism preach suffering , what is it that in this world is happiness and joyful about . Basically non at the end .
Previously you said:
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:49 am
Please ask any buddhist with ten or twenty years experience in Buddhism how they feel ? Before anyone attain any absorption , what joy do they have ?
Since most of my Buddhist friends seem happy, I'd say, they mostly feel happy. :heart:

Mike

James Tan
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by James Tan » Tue May 22, 2018 9:31 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:18 am
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:14 am
Let me ask you a question . Since beginning till now how many years your learning in Buddhism ?
How happy are you ?
Soon 3 years since i started studying Buddhism and 6 years meditating.
I am probably one of the most happy people in the world in general.
Good for you , but , as you said , you will have to abandon the sensual pleasure first which is denying worldly happiness.
:reading:

James Tan
Posts: 739
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by James Tan » Tue May 22, 2018 9:33 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:20 am
Hi James, Sorry I don't really know what you are trying to say here:
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am
I did not say no benefit . Only that if Buddhism preach suffering , what is it that in this world is happiness and joyful about . Basically non at the end .
Previously you said:
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:49 am
Please ask any buddhist with ten or twenty years experience in Buddhism how they feel ? Before anyone attain any absorption , what joy do they have ?
Since most of my Buddhist friends seem happy, I'd say, they mostly feel happy. :heart:

Mike
I am happy for them . But , their happiness is not lasting that's why I said not really happy .
:reading:

binocular
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 9:35 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:20 am
Since most of my Buddhist friends seem happy, I'd say, they mostly feel happy.
The question is whether this happiness of theirs has anything to do with their Buddhist practice.
Or is it that they're happy despite their Buddhist practice?

binocular
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 9:38 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:55 pm
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers!
Or waste one's time with stupid people.
Which is a frequent truism that doesn't explain anything.
It would do, if you understood it.
You should be giving me credit for not appropriating Buddhism.
And for not bringing religious epistemology down to the level of popular women's magazines.

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:40 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:33 am
I am happy for them . But , their happiness is not lasting that's why I said not really happy .
You mean in some ultimate sense? Well, of course, but that doesn't mean that Dhamma practice doesn't improve happiness in this life. There are plenty of suttas describing that:
https://suttacentral.net/an8.54
Dīghajāṇu of the Koliyans asks the Buddha to teach in a way suitable for lay people who enjoy life. The Buddha teaches four practical ways to ensure success in this life, and another four ways to ensure success in the next.
https://suttacentral.net/an4.62
The happiness of ownership, using wealth, debtlessness, and blamelessness.
:heart:
Mike

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:42 am

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:35 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:20 am
Since most of my Buddhist friends seem happy, I'd say, they mostly feel happy.
The question is whether this happiness of theirs has anything to do with their Buddhist practice.
Or is it that they're happy despite their Buddhist practice?
For me, and many people I know, it is the former. Taking up a Buddhist practice increased happiness.

:heart:
Mike

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rightviewftw
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 9:43 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:31 am
Good for you , but , as you said , you will have to abandon the sensual pleasure first which is denying worldly happiness.
Denial is not my style. In my experience denial does not work very well and is doomed to fail unless something is done about it, whilst conditioning perception is superior. If one trains the perceptions one gets no craving at all and what is the denial in what one does not want, there is no denial involved when there is no craving. Even when craving arises one can skillfully deal with it by deflecting it almost. Not-self kind of cancels out will-power and one does not fall back due to lack of will power, one falls back due to lack of development.

Also conflicts and distractions can make one fall back by causing negligence of the development. Craving for sensuality is only one of the hindrances, the other hindrances can make one fall back to sensuality as well. Because hindrances can make one not attain the jhana, the pleasure there not being attained one can become very discontent and fall back to sensuality.

binocular
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 9:48 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:49 am
Please ask any buddhist with ten or twenty years experience in Buddhism how they feel ? Before anyone attain any absorption , what joy do they have ?
They probably have ordinary worldly joys; and then the joy that can come from being committed to something (in this case Buddhism).

Most people who are Buddhists probably engage in their Buddhist practice because this is what they're used to, most Buddhists were born into Buddhism, they never actually chose it among many religions. IOW, they have no particular, personal reason for being Buddhists. While they probably believe that their practice is beneficial for them, their idea of "beneficial" is already informed by Buddhism, not by some independent standard of what would be beneficial.
James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am
I did not say no benefit . Only that if Buddhism preach suffering , what is it that in this world is happiness and joyful about . Basically non at the end .
I dare say that most religious people don't take their religion all that seriously or literally, especially if they are born and raised into it.
Instead, they take their religion for granted and are as neutral toward it as they are neutral toward the air they breathe. IOW, the don't have the kind of problem you talk about.

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