Secular Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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DNS
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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by DNS » Tue May 14, 2019 2:50 am

SarathW wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:43 am
Well, not all of them. There is a sub-sect, the so-called "Jazz Buddhists", among whom Nibbāna is conceived as a useful idea but not something that anyone has ever actually attained
In my opinion, he is an Arahant or at least Anagami.
:woohoo:
That's like saying "God is an atheist" since he (Jazz-Buddhist guy) doesn't believe there are arahants.

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by SarathW » Tue May 14, 2019 2:59 am

Perhaps the God could be an atheist.
Buddha very clearly warn not to objectify Nibbana.
However Buddha very clearly warn not to burn the raft before cross the floods.
The question is whether secular Buddhist are trying to burn the raft before cross the floods.
Last edited by SarathW on Tue May 14, 2019 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by Dhammanando » Tue May 14, 2019 3:06 am

clw_uk wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 1:31 am
Wow


Yes I’m aware that some people claim to be Buddhist yet don’t believe in Nibbana or redefine it to mean something else entirely (I once heard someone say it’s “being the best person I can be”), but personally I don’t see how they can be a Buddhist. Buddhist inspired, sure.
I forgot to post a link to the usenet thread. It's here:

Roadkill Buddhism (for Punnadhammo)
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Bundokji
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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by Bundokji » Tue May 14, 2019 4:38 am

Maybe this topic can be approached differently through contemplating the role of "belief" in Buddhism.

How should one relate to teachings likened by the teacher himself as a raft to be discarded after crossing over? On the one hand, it affirms the importance of belief as necessary for crossing over, but on the other hand, it affirms that the teachings have no value beyond using it to cross over!

The above might put the practitioner in an awkward position on how to relate to the teachings themselves. How are we supposed to transcend something without letting go of it? and how can we let go of it before reaching the ultimate?

How can one understand the middle way with a mind that functions by excluding the middle?

Why this very debate is not another manifestation of the paradoxical nature of the teachings? When a secular Buddhist or a more orthodox one decide to believe or disbelieve in certain aspects of the teachings, are they believing/disbelieving the Buddha? or are they equally believing their own minds?

When we choose to give an authority to another, are we truly following his authority? or our own authority? If the whole thing has nothing to do with authority but with the validity of what is being taught, then, those who suspend judgement or even doubt metaphysical claims seem to be justified based on what they know.

All in my opinion.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by cappuccino » Tue May 14, 2019 4:42 am

Richard Hayes wrote:But then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe deep down inside you really do believe in actual arhants and actual Buddhas.
it is called faith

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by markandeya » Tue May 14, 2019 6:16 am

clw_uk wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:56 pm
DNS


I like inclusivity as much as possible, but at some point, a demarcation needs to be placed, in my opinion. Due to Ehipassiko, Kalama Sutta, and others, I believe secular buddhists can still be included in the banner of Buddhism, if they so identify.
That of course would depend on the type of secular Buddhism. I don't see how a SB which rejects kamma and rebirth because of materialism/physicalism or extreme scepticism can be classed as Buddhism, since that is blatantly wrong view.

:anjali:

Thats not exactly what Stephen Batchelor, actually says, he is often misunderstood, purposely too, what he is often getting at is Buddhism becoming a belief system, where one believes in anything just because it apparently says so in some book, for example, I am a Buddhist, i believe in reincarnation and karma, this defines me as Buddhist, as different from a Christian who believes we have no free will and everything is the play of a God and only one life to save ourself, the whole thing doesnt even make sense and Dharma goes beyond any belief system. Often the supramundane level of sutta is translated into beliefs, using rules of grammar and consolidated with religious systems that were conditioned by previously.

If we are to take literally the suttas, then the Buddha said that nobody can understand Karma, its useless to even attempt it, and that is what Stephen Batechlor has always maintained, his views on reincarnation are to do with the wrongly translated methods in cosmology, with their false measurements in time scales and distances. And that the four noble truths are somehow to do with the ascension.

Its mostly an argument on Orthodox so called Buddhist translations via western sources that he opposes, which are fundamentally wrong and simply intellectual and hold religious bias.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKe2qE_NBKs

:anjali:

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by cappuccino » Tue May 14, 2019 6:21 am

markandeya wrote: nobody can understand Karma, it's useless to even attempt it
Vipaka Sutta: Results

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by markandeya » Tue May 14, 2019 6:43 am

cappuccino wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:21 am
markandeya wrote: nobody can understand Karma, it's useless to even attempt it
Vipaka Sutta: Results
Thats not exactly what I am saying or what Stephen Batcehlor is saying, I cant remember the sutta, if i get time I will have a look for it, the sutta is talking about how the whole process of karma cant be understood, ts far to complicated for an ordinary mind to conceive, hence why he says that if a person is suffering one may have the view that its that persons karma because they did something bad in previous life. i fnd this view quite detestable and often can crush true compassion and is speculative, only a Buddha and awakened person can directly see his own states of previous birth and rebirth.

The above sutta is also part of the problem that has crept into cosmology, that actions lead to lower next life physical rebirths, when cosmology is only dealing with the human states in 14 lokas of being.

Not being a scholar i cant point to every sutta and do not have the right data bases, but there is another sutta where someone asks the Buddha what happens after death and he refused to say because its an impossible question, each individual may have different fates or states in the continuum.

The present level of taking the suttas as literal is a large part of the problem and becomes beliefs or just
putting faith in words,.

:anjali:

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by Aloka » Tue May 14, 2019 7:17 am

markandeya wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:43 am
i fnd this view quite detestable and often can crush true compassion and is speculative, only a Buddha and awakened person can directly see his own states of previous birth and rebirth.
Indeed.
The present level of taking the suttas as literal is a large part of the problem and becomes beliefs or just
putting faith in words,.
This does appear to be the case with some of us on the internet - and in my opinion it can get close to fundamentalism, rather than wisdom, clarity and openness.

.

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by SarathW » Tue May 14, 2019 7:38 am

Not believing in Kamma/vipaka and Bhava (birth) is a problem.
Which means there is no Nibbana.
If I am sure this is the only life I have and there is no result for my action no need for a holy life.
Perhaps secular Buddhist believe in eternalism. (eternal hell or heaven)
Isn't hell and heaven-taught in Abrahamic religions are a type of re-birth?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Aloka
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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by Aloka » Tue May 14, 2019 7:50 am

SarathW wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:38 am
Not believing in Kamma/vipaka and Bhava (birth) is a problem.
Which means there is no Nibbana.
Do you have any direct quotes which say this, please? I'd like to add them to my sutta reference pages.

Many thanks :anjali:

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by SarathW » Tue May 14, 2019 7:56 am

Aloka wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:50 am
SarathW wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:38 am
Not believing in Kamma/vipaka and Bhava (birth) is a problem.
Which means there is no Nibbana.
Do you have any direct quotes which say this, please? I'd like to add them to my sutta reference pages.

Many thanks :anjali:
Sorry, Alok.
This is only my logical thinking. This has to be discussed so I create a new topic.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by markandeya » Tue May 14, 2019 7:58 am

SarathW wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:38 am
Not believing in Kamma/vipaka and Bhava (birth) is a problem.
Which means there is no Nibbana.
If I am sure this is the only life I have and there is no result for my action no need for a holy life.
Perhaps secular Buddhist believe in eternalism. (eternal hell or heaven)
Isn't hell and heaven-taught in Abrahamic religions are a type of re-birth?
:anjali:

This is not how some secular Buddhist go abut teaching meditation, ultimately one doesnt need to believe in karma and or rebirth or even nibbana to practice meditation/vipassana and mindfulness. The west in which SB teaches is in a secular society, and people may or may not have any beliefs, this will not disqualify them to practice, to practice meditation and watch and develop states is not dependant on one having a belief. One may believe in reincarnation and karma and nirvana, that may not always change the state of ones mind if it stays purely on beliefs, creating doctrines installs beliefs systems, I dont think any suttas install a belief system as good enough for liberation of dukkha. So its secular Buddhist practices for a secular society, unless one can only practice meditation once they have started to believe in in everything the Buddha said in the suttas. Also one doesnt need to be ordained as Monk to get the real teachings, no closed hand teaching and also kevatta was a householder if we are to take the Buddhist teachings literally.

How many here believe in reincarnation and have direct insights into their past lifes, i am not saying they dont exists but many have taken it upon as a belief system to answer certain questions that a one life system cant fully explain without a God doing it according to his will.

I am looking and still cant find anywhere where the Buddha cross references himself in the suttas.ie he never said well in another sutta i was talking about this and then if you go to another sutta i said that. Thats not the thread of sutta, sutta threads one citta to the profound states, which then ulliminates buddha.

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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by SarathW » Tue May 14, 2019 8:07 am

The west in which SB teaches is a secular society, and people may or may not have any beliefs, this will not disqualify them to practice, to practice meditation and watch and develop states is not dependant on one having a belief.
These are the people who take twigs, branches, and bark, as the heartwood.
Buddha was aware of them by the way.
Perhaps they are still can be called Buddhist.
But you can attain these levels without being a Buddhist.
Last edited by SarathW on Tue May 14, 2019 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Aloka
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Re: Secular Buddhism

Post by Aloka » Tue May 14, 2019 8:16 am

markandeya wrote:ultimately one doesnt need to believe in karma and or rebirth or even nibbana to practice meditation/vipassana and mindfulness. The west in which SB teaches is a secular society, and people may or may not have any beliefs, this will not disqualify them to practice, to practice meditation and watch and develop states is not dependant on one having a belief
I've always believed in Nibbana but I've never been completely sure about rebirth/reincarnation. However, teachers from both the Vajrayana and Theravada traditions have said to me that this is the lifetime that counts (rather than dwelling on past or future lives) and that moment-to moment rebirth can be seen for myself.

Meanwhile, none of that is relevant to my practice of meditation, which isn't dependent on conceptual thinking in general.


:anjali:

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