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

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

Post by Aloka » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:33 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:19 am

With some groups there IS quite a lot of pressure to fit in. In those circumstances walking away might be the best option.
Yes, its a good idea to investigate carefully before getting too involved, because I think there are probably a few cult-like groups around who call themselves "Buddhists".

.

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

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:51 am

Aloka wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:33 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:19 am

With some groups there IS quite a lot of pressure to fit in. In those circumstances walking away might be the best option.
Yes, its a good idea to investigate carefully before getting too involved, because I think there are probably a few cult-like groups around who call themselves "Buddhists".
I think there's a degree of conformity in all Buddhist groups, if for no other reason than people are following a particular teacher/school/method/interpretation.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:22 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:19 am

With some groups there IS quite a lot of pressure to fit in. In those circumstances walking away might be the best option. This does require a degree of confidence.
The pressures can be quite subtle sometimes, including "group think". I've even come across it in Buddhist groups. :tongue:
Sure. Then the only problem is the one where you think you ought to fit in. That then becomes another dhamma to let go.

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

Post by binocular » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:00 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:33 am
binocular wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:05 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:34 am
Yes, of course. We don't have to act/react the same as others in order to fit in, or whatever.
Essential to fitting in is to act like others.
But you don't have to fit in. You don't have to conform because of peer pressure.
Hm ... This keeps coming up over and over again .... how can I elucidate it better ...

Peer pressure is actually a minor problem in reference to what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about mutual intelligbility. If you go some place where everyone speaks Italian, but you insist on speaking English, what does that make you? How well can you communicate with others and they with you? What can you gain from going there, if you don't speak Italian and refuse to learn it?
It's like that with people who go to some religious/spiritual venue, but do their own thing while there.

The purpose of fitting in is to be able to gain the knowledge that a particular community has and to obtain the social and other benefits of being a member of said community.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:17 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:00 am

But you don't have to fit in. You don't have to conform because of peer pressure.
Hm ... This keeps coming up over and over again .... how can I elucidate it better ...

Peer pressure is actually a minor problem in reference to what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about mutual intelligbility. If you go some place where everyone speaks Italian, but you insist on speaking English, what does that make you? How well can you communicate with others and they with you? What can you gain from going there, if you don't speak Italian and refuse to learn it?
It's like that with people who go to some religious/spiritual venue, but do their own thing while there.

The purpose of fitting in is to be able to gain the knowledge that a particular community has and to obtain the social and other benefits of being a member of said community.
[/quote]

Exactly. If you want the benefits to be gained by fitting in, then you can fit in. If you don't want those benefits, then you can walk away, or lurk on the periphery if that's what feels safer. Problems occur when people want the benefits, but don't want to fit in. Even that is easy to deal with once we realise that it's self-inflicted, and doesn't have to be that way.

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

Post by binocular » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:35 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:17 am
Exactly.
I'm not sure we're on the same page.
If you want the benefits to be gained by fitting in, then you can fit in. If you don't want those benefits, then you can walk away, or lurk on the periphery if that's what feels safer. Problems occur when people want the benefits, but don't want to fit in. Even that is easy to deal with once we realise that it's self-inflicted, and doesn't have to be that way.
See my above example with language.

Similarly, if one doesn't learn the "Buddhist language", one cannot obtain the benefits of Buddhism. And then, given that Buddhism is a path to the Dhamma, one can only stare at the gate of the Dhamma.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by binocular » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:40 am

lostitude wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:08 pm
binocular wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:20 pm
Why on earth would you bow if you have reservations about it? (Assuming you're not in a situation where you'd be at gunpoint and told to bow or get shot.)
Not to offend other community members, for example.
Why visit a community that one doesn't belong to nor has any intention to belong to??
And if one has the intention to belong, then why not do as the community does?
Spiritual advancement through self-contempt and self-humiliation? Indeed, this is preached in some religions. But it only makes sense if one has accepted the religious doctrine to begin with.
That's really not what I said.
Forcing oneself to bow and to follow the rituals in an attempt to thereby convince oneself of the truth of that religion -- that's just absurd.
I think you misread me.
No, but I addressed a conclusion that can be anticipated from what you said. In order to make the exchange more concise.

- - -
sunnat wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:43 am
"One can be in the situation where one doesn't see the point of doing something, does it anyway, and feels uncomfortable doing it -- while the doing of that activity is motivated by fear or anxiety. It's how some students do their homework or study, for example. I think many religious people are this way as well."

to overcome this imposed behaviour, these acquired latent tendencies, detach from them. They are anicca and thus not self. Calmly recognise them as arisen, observe them being and observe them pass away. Gently, if a situation triggers that arising, don't shy away from that situation in order to not feel.
That requires taking for granted precisely that teaching that one is reluctant to take for granted to begin with.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:15 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:35 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:17 am
Exactly.
I'm not sure we're on the same page.
If you want the benefits to be gained by fitting in, then you can fit in. If you don't want those benefits, then you can walk away, or lurk on the periphery if that's what feels safer. Problems occur when people want the benefits, but don't want to fit in. Even that is easy to deal with once we realise that it's self-inflicted, and doesn't have to be that way.
See my above example with language.

Similarly, if one doesn't learn the "Buddhist language", one cannot obtain the benefits of Buddhism. And then, given that Buddhism is a path to the Dhamma, one can only stare at the gate of the Dhamma.
You can understand enough of Dhamma to practice very effectively without joining a group. Many do, especially in the West and especially on this forum. If you want those benefits specific to a particular group, then the choice is yours to pay the price by joining it, or dropping the wanting.

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

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:22 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:15 pm
binocular wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:35 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:17 am
Exactly.
I'm not sure we're on the same page.
If you want the benefits to be gained by fitting in, then you can fit in. If you don't want those benefits, then you can walk away, or lurk on the periphery if that's what feels safer. Problems occur when people want the benefits, but don't want to fit in. Even that is easy to deal with once we realise that it's self-inflicted, and doesn't have to be that way.
See my above example with language.

Similarly, if one doesn't learn the "Buddhist language", one cannot obtain the benefits of Buddhism. And then, given that Buddhism is a path to the Dhamma, one can only stare at the gate of the Dhamma.
You can understand enough of Dhamma to practice very effectively without joining a group. Many do, especially in the West and especially on this forum. If you want those benefits specific to a particular group, then the choice is yours to pay the price by joining it, or dropping the wanting.
Some people join a group so they don't have to learn a lot of Buddhist language, instead being content to follow an established approach. Others join a group for some like-minded company, or for a combination of reasons.
Some people try several different groups before finding one they really like. Others don't have any local groups to try.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:52 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:22 pm

Some people join a group so they don't have to learn a lot of Buddhist language, instead being content to follow an established approach. Others join a group for some like-minded company, or for a combination of reasons.
Some people try several different groups before finding one they really like. Others don't have any local groups to try.
I've known all those situations. In the context of the OP, though, none of them are show-stoppers. None of them remove a path-factor.

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

Post by Akashad » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:08 pm

Butters wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:01 am
@Pulsar

Thanks for your kind words, they made me smile :)

@Akashad

I see, so it was a philosophical question. Thanks for your answer.
Thank you for your answer Butters.I'll try to sound less arrogant in the future.I can be a bit self centred but I appreciate your eagle eye observations you trully have a talent of seeing through bs.i also was truly struggling with this issue of devotion I wasn't just being stubborn for no reason.Thank you kindly.🐢😊🙏

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

Post by sunnat » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:12 am

"One can be in the situation where one doesn't see the point of doing something, does it anyway, and feels uncomfortable doing it -- while the doing of that activity is motivated by fear or anxiety. It's how some students do their homework or study, for example. I think many religious people are this way as well."

to overcome this imposed behaviour, these acquired latent tendencies, detach from them. They are anicca and thus not self. Calmly recognise them as arisen, observe them being and observe them pass away. Gently, if a situation triggers that arising, don't shy away from that situation in order to not feel.

'That requires taking for granted precisely that teaching that one is reluctant to take for granted to begin with.'

not wholly. Always, eyes wide open. Go in with awareness. Observe the reluctance. Observe the taking for granted. If it is wholesome, beneficial, accept it. If it is unwholesome, not beneficial, don't.

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

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:41 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:15 pm
You can understand enough of Dhamma to practice very effectively without joining a group. Many do, especially in the West and especially on this forum. If you want those benefits specific to a particular group, then the choice is yours to pay the price by joining it, or dropping the wanting.
Doing your own thing is not admirable friendship.

Admirable friendship is the whole of the holy life.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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

Post by SDC » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:44 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:41 pm
Admirable friendship is the whole of the holy life.
But what if there are no admirable people? Or just very few? Then no Dhamma?

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

Post by binocular » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:27 pm

SDC wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:44 pm
But what if there are no admirable people? Or just very few? Then no Dhamma?
Then, sammasambuddha, or paccekabuddha. Or business as usual.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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