Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
binocular
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by binocular » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:45 pm

Srilankaputra wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:53 am
For my self, if I go to a temple and an old grandma told me to do something I would do it. Temple is a place to leave the ego behind like we leave the shoes at the entrance.
Framing it as an ego-issue, resistence will build up. That's why people who frame religious/spiritual reluctance as an ego-issue (whether other people's or their own) are so characteristically passive aggressive. Their progress is stunted.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by binocular » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:46 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:26 am
If someone is of the view that a ritual is empty then they should abandon it.
I think they should abandon the emptiness.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Aloka
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Aloka » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:46 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:45 pm

There is a story of a monk who went to a holy mountain which was said to be the abode of Bodhisatta Manjusri praying and fasting and mediating for 7 years. He never saw Manjusri. But in the end when he was getting to leave, he saw an old dying maggot-ridden dog. Stricken with pity, he sucked the maggots out and took the dog to carry it town, when it transformed into Manjusri. But when he brought it to town, only one old woman saw it for who it was and bowed. Everybody else was revolted by the smelly old dog on top of a filthy monk's back.
There are similar stories in Tibetan Buddhism about Asanga, a wounded dog with maggots and Maitreya Buddha, and Naropa and a dog with maggots and his teacher Tilopa.

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JohnK
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by JohnK » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:42 pm

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda, “Ānanda, the twin Sal trees are in full bloom, even though it’s not the flowering season. They shower, strew, & sprinkle on the Tathāgata’s body in homage to him. Heavenly coral-tree blossoms are falling from the sky.… Heavenly sandalwood powder is falling from the sky.… Heavenly music is playing in the sky.… Heavenly songs are sung in the sky, in homage to the Tathāgata. But it is not to this extent that a Tathāgata is worshipped, honored, respected, venerated, or paid homage to. Rather, the monk, nun, male lay follower, or female lay follower who keeps practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, who keeps practicing masterfully, who lives in accordance with the Dhamma: That is the person who worships, honors, respects, venerates, & pays homage to the Tathāgata with the highest homage. So you should train yourselves: ‘We will keep practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, we will keep practicing masterfully, we will live in accordance with the Dhamma. That’s how you should train yourselves.”
From DN 16,Section V [emphasis added]

And then again, there's this (Ajahn Sumedho on his aversion to a particular ritual, well beyond bowing):
http://dharmacompanions.blogspot.com/20 ... -phra.html
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Aloka
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Aloka » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:11 pm

JohnK wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:42 pm
Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda, “Ānanda, the twin Sal trees are in full bloom, even though it’s not the flowering season. They shower, strew, & sprinkle on the Tathāgata’s body in homage to him. Heavenly coral-tree blossoms are falling from the sky.… Heavenly sandalwood powder is falling from the sky.… Heavenly music is playing in the sky.… Heavenly songs are sung in the sky, in homage to the Tathāgata. But it is not to this extent that a Tathāgata is worshipped, honored, respected, venerated, or paid homage to. Rather, the monk, nun, male lay follower, or female lay follower who keeps practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, who keeps practicing masterfully, who lives in accordance with the Dhamma: That is the person who worships, honors, respects, venerates, & pays homage to the Tathāgata with the highest homage. So you should train yourselves: ‘We will keep practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, we will keep practicing masterfully, we will live in accordance with the Dhamma. That’s how you should train yourselves.”
From DN 16,Section V [emphasis added]

And then again, there's this (Ajahn Sumedho on his aversion to a particular ritual, well beyond bowing):
http://dharmacompanions.blogspot.com/20 ... -phra.html

:goodpost:


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Srilankaputra
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Srilankaputra » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:44 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:45 pm
Srilankaputra wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:53 am
For my self, if I go to a temple and an old grandma told me to do something I would do it. Temple is a place to leave the ego behind like we leave the shoes at the entrance.
Framing it as an ego-issue, resistence will build up. That's why people who frame religious/spiritual reluctance as an ego-issue (whether other people's or their own) are so characteristically passive aggressive. Their progress is stunted.
Let me clarify. From the sallekha sutta.
(32) Others will be obstinate; we shall not be obstinate here — thus effacement can be done.
(33) Others will be arrogant; we shall not be arrogant here — thus effacement can be done.
(34) Others will be difficult to admonish; we shall be easy to admonish here — thus effacement can be done.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html

If one wishes these situations mentioned by the OP can be made part of ones training. It's up to the individual.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

Laurens
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Laurens » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:50 pm

You don't need to bow to statues or chant in dead languages if you don't want. Try your best to follow the eightfold path, that is the essence of Buddhist practice.

I used to feel the same about bowing to/showing reverence to the Buddha. Because I had been brought up into Christianity. I saw reverence and worship as something to be avoided.

Now the way I look at it is like this: there was a guy 2500 years ago who was so astoundingly insightful that he developed and articulated a means for understanding life and enduring suffering that it is still relevant today. Think of how the world has changed since then, yet people still find solace in his teachings. That, to me, is worth a bow.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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dylanj
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by dylanj » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:38 am

Not fully.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

SarathW
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:05 am

What Buddha rejected was the clinging to rites and rituals with the belief they lead to liberation.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

sentinel
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by sentinel » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:03 am

Bowing is the mundane homage .
Practice is the superior homage .
:buddha1:

binocular
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by binocular » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:57 pm

Srilankaputra wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:44 pm
Let me clarify. From the sallekha sutta.
(32) Others will be obstinate; we shall not be obstinate here — thus effacement can be done.
(33) Others will be arrogant; we shall not be arrogant here — thus effacement can be done.
(34) Others will be difficult to admonish; we shall be easy to admonish here — thus effacement can be done.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html

If one wishes these situations mentioned by the OP can be made part of ones training. It's up to the individual.
The question is whether one can engage in self-effacement this way without this turning into plain old contempt for oneself, or, conversely, contempt for others.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Justsit
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Justsit » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:34 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:57 pm
...The question is whether one can engage in self-effacement this way without this turning into plain old contempt for oneself, or, conversely, contempt for others.
IMO, yes, it absolutely is possible. I have met advanced practitioners who exhibit no contempt of anyone. That being said, I think it takes many years of practice to eradicate deeply entrenched defilements. In my experience, the more we see what we're all up against, the easier it is to feel compassion for others. Even though I practice in a different tradition, I have no doubt it's the same in Theravada.

So, short answer, yes, possible.

Srilankaputra
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Srilankaputra » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:14 am

binocular wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:57 pm
Srilankaputra wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:44 pm
Let me clarify. From the sallekha sutta.
(32) Others will be obstinate; we shall not be obstinate here — thus effacement can be done.
(33) Others will be arrogant; we shall not be arrogant here — thus effacement can be done.
(34) Others will be difficult to admonish; we shall be easy to admonish here — thus effacement can be done.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html

If one wishes these situations mentioned by the OP can be made part of ones training. It's up to the individual.
The question is whether one can engage in self-effacement this way without this turning into plain old contempt for oneself, or, conversely, contempt for others.
Fall down seven get up eight.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:16 am

From the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta The Twin Sal Trees
The Blessed One proceeded with a great company of monks to the Sal Grove of the Mallas at Kusinārā, on the other side of the river Hiraññavati, and on arriving there he addressed the Venerable Ānanda, saying, “Spread for me, Ānanda, a bed facing north, between the twin Sal trees. I am weary, Ānanda, and will lie down.”

“Yes, Venerable sir,” the Venerable Ānanda replied in assent, and he spread a bed between the twin Sal trees, facing north. The Blessed One lay down on his right side, with one foot resting on the other; mindful and clearly comprehending.

At that time the twin Sal trees were all one mass of bloom with flowers out of season; and all over the body of the Tathāgata these dropped and sprinkled and scattered themselves, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old. Heavenly mandārava flowers and sandalwood powder came falling from the sky, sprinkling the body of the Tathāgata out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old. Heavenly music was heard in the sky, and heavenly songs wafted down from the skies, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old!

199. Then the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ānanda, saying, “The twin Sal trees are all one mass of bloom with flowers out of season; all over the body of the Tathāgata these drop and sprinkle and scatter themselves, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old. Heavenly mandārava flowers, too, and heavenly sandalwood powder come falling from the sky, and all over the body of the Tathāgata they descend and sprinkle and scatter themselves, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old. Heavenly music sounds in the sky, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old, and heavenly songs come wafted from the skies, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old! It is not thus, Ānanda, that the Tathāgata is rightly respected, revered, honoured, venerated, or worshipped. However, a monk or nun, a male or female disciple, who fulfils the greater and lesser duties, who practises correctly, living in accordance with the Dhamma, rightly respects, reveres, honours, venerates, and worships the Tathāgata with the highest reverence. Therefore, Ānanda, be constant in fulfilling the greater and lesser duties, practising correctly, live in accordance with the Dhamma. Thus, Ānanda, should it be taught.”
However, note that later in the same discourse it says in The Four Places that Arouse Devotion
“There are these four places, Ānanda, that the believing man should visit with feelings of religious emotion. Which four? The place, Ānanda, at which the believing man can say, ‘Here the Tathāgata was born,’ is a spot to be visited with feelings of religious emotion. The place, Ānanda, at which the believing man can say, ‘Here the Tathāgata, attained to the supreme and perfect Enlightenment’ is a spot to be visited with feelings of religious emotion. The place, Ānanda, at which the believing man can say, ‘Here was the incomparable wheel of Dhamma set rolling by the Tathāgata,’ is a spot to be visited with feelings of religious emotion. The place, Ānanda, at which the believing man can say, ‘Here the Tathāgata finally passed away in that utter passing away that leaves nothing whatever behind,’ is a spot to be visited with feelings of religious emotion.

“There will come, Ānanda, to such spots, devout monks and nuns of the Saṅgha, or male and female lay disciples, who will say, ‘Here was the Tathāgata born,’ or, ‘Here the Tathāgata attained to the supreme and perfect Enlightenment,’ or, ‘Here the wheel of Dhamma was set rolling by the Tathāgata,’ or, ‘Here the Tathāgata finally passed away in that utter passing away that leaves nothing whatever behind.’ They, Ānanda, who die with believing heart, while on such a pilgrimage, will be reborn after death, on the breakup of the body, in the fortunate heavenly realms.”
Bottom line: Reverence and devotion are wholesome kammas that lead to happy results. They can also be the foundation for correct and dedicated practice in accordance with the Dhamma, which will lead to liberation. Realisation of the Dhamma is not for the dry academic who lacks faith. Wisdom and faith must be balanced.
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Dinsdale
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Re: Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:34 am

binocular wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:57 pm
Srilankaputra wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:44 pm
Let me clarify. From the sallekha sutta.
(32) Others will be obstinate; we shall not be obstinate here — thus effacement can be done.
(33) Others will be arrogant; we shall not be arrogant here — thus effacement can be done.
(34) Others will be difficult to admonish; we shall be easy to admonish here — thus effacement can be done.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html

If one wishes these situations mentioned by the OP can be made part of ones training. It's up to the individual.
The question is whether one can engage in self-effacement this way without this turning into plain old contempt for oneself, or, conversely, contempt for others.
Yes, of course. We don't have to act/react the same as others in order to fit in, or whatever.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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