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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:29 am
by Akashad
Hello,

I'm not sure if buddhism with all the bowing and chanting and rituals is for me.I use to be very self reliant on inner qualities like my own virtue and kind deeds but now tried to go to external things and don't feel authentic. I don't feel really inspired when I visit temples or monasteries.I had a really bad experience which usually involved women in their 50 or 60 seemingly asking me rudely not to wear a beanie in the meditation hall.I'm not sure why they couldn't just tell me this nicely since it was my first time.Or stand in a single line while giving pibdapata.none of them had any Metta they were quite rude even when I couldnt use the sink but It was broken they just said can you read? ...theres like drug addicts on the train more polite.long story short, it put me off monasteries and but even before that I'm not into rituals.like once you start talking about devas and nagas I have an out of body experience,its not that I don't believe they exist I do I just don't care.and I often don't bow all the way I really don't see the point.

i am very respectful to others.I just dont want to keep putting on an act. also can't seem to place a lot of emphasis in Buddha the way Christians do God.I find myself mostly communicating to the universe and nature but I am inspired by all Buddhas mostly by their boddhisatta story or their teachings but I don't have that temperament.Like when bad things happen and I pray to Lord Buddha I don't have that.I mostly say just bear it or do metta but don't involve any deities.

I think I meditate fine without visiting monasteries sometimes much better.I find monasteries very loud and people talk a lot and it's disturbing to the mind.Being rude to participants also doesn't help.some people are genuinely nice at the monasteries but I still don't have that ritual based temperament.It seems like a drag.i want to just focus on developing inner qualities like being honest and keeping the sila and meditating and learning about karma and the noble truth without all these rituals.

The only thing that binds me to monasteries is dana because I want the monastics to succeed and I know they need food and necessities but I'm not there to bow around and be pious and hang around people who think rules are more important than being rude.maybe I can just do my offerings and leave.What do you think do you think I can leave out all the religious stuff and just stick to practical things like keeping precepts and meditation and succeed in this path?🐢🙏

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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:11 am
by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
Can I still follow the path without being buddhist/religious?

Yes.


SN Goenka retreats would be what you are looking for, may be among many others.

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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:14 am
by dhammacoustic
of course you can.

live ethically, establish a firm faith , and keep training your mind. that's all you need.

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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:45 am
by SarathW
When you started to follow the path, all your concerns will disappear.
You have those concerns due to the self-view.

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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:22 am
by sentinel
SarathW wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:45 am
When you started to follow the path, all your concerns will disappear.
You have those concerns due to the self-view.
Not really , going to monastery does has this distressing situation not because of self view
and some just never bothered .

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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:43 pm
by SarathW
I agree.
I hardly go to a temple, because I can't see the purpose of going there unless I want to look after the monk by helping them and giving Dana. The problem is you find those distractions even in a Dhamma discussion forum. That is why some people do not like Dhamma forums either.

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

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:23 pm
by cappuccino
Buddhism isn't Buddhism

it's a timeless, ancient path……

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:19 am
by pegembara
I too am not a fan of ritualistic Buddhism but have no problem with the bowing and chanting.
If you have trouble with the bowing, you need to honestly question why?
“For he whose freedom of mind is not fully mature, Meghiya, these five things leads to maturity.

“It can be expected, Meghiya, that for a monk who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, that he will be virtuous, that he will live restrained with the Pātimokkha restraint, and will be endowed with suitable conduct and resort, seeing danger in the slightest fault, and will train in the training rules he has undertaken.

“It can be expected, Meghiya, that for a monk who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, that he will have talk that is very austere, that is suitable for opening up the mind, and that leads to absolute disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, peace, deep knowledge, complete Awakening and Emancipation, such as: talk on wanting little, talk on being satisfied, talk on complete seclusion, talk on disassociation, talk on stirring up energy, talk on virtue, talk on concentration, talk on wisdom, talk on freedom, talk on knowing and seeing freedom. Such talk as this he gains as he desires, he gains without difficulty, gains without trouble.

“It can be expected, Meghiya, that for a monk who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, that he will be a monk with energy aroused for the giving up of unwholesome things, for the taking up of wholesome things, steadfast, of firm endeavour, one who has not thrown off the burden in regard to wholesome things.

“It can be expected, Meghiya, that for a monk who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, that he will be wise, endowed with wisdom that leads to seeing rise and disappearance, with noble penetration, that leads to the complete destruction of suffering.

https://suttacentral.net/ud4.1/en/anandajoti

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:54 am
by chownah
If you can see the path then you can follow it.....this is the same for everyone no matter if they are "buddhist" or not......
chownah

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:52 am
by Akashad
pegembara wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:19 am
If you have trouble with the bowing, you need to honestly question why?
Yes i honestly find it meaningless.

Its a statue.

Is it just me that sees this.

Its like when people buy diamonds and get excited about it.
its a damn rock.

I think the best way to show respect is to practice meditation or keep precepts not bowing down to statues. I'm sure it's the thought that matters but it doesn't fit my temperament if i force myself to do that i'd be faking it and i'd rather not live that way. :anjali:

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:01 am
by sentinel
Look at it another way , if you bow to your parents (sincerely) that is an acceptable gesture of gratitude towards them nothing wrong . But , if you don't , instead you chose to be kind and care for them , that is filial piety a good virtue to be cultivated . Either way is not contradicting .

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:02 am
by Dan74
Akashad wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:52 am
pegembara wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:19 am
If you have trouble with the bowing, you need to honestly question why?
Yes i honestly find it meaningless.

Its a statue.

Is it just me that sees this.

Its like when people buy diamonds and get excited about it.
its a damn rock.

I think the best way to show respect is to practice meditation or keep precepts not bowing down to statues. I'm sure it's the thought that matters but it doesn't fit my temperament if i force myself to do that i'd be faking it and i'd rather not live that way. :anjali:
The physical act of bowing and prostrating effect changes in the body-mind.

When you say "it doesn't fit my temperament" I get that of course and taking it is not the answer. But fitting the Dhamma practice to your temperament isn't the answer either. Hopefully eventually the temperament will begin to 'bend' (bow?) to the Dhamma too.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:56 am
by Akashad
Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:02 am
Akashad wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:52 am
pegembara wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:19 am
If you have trouble with the bowing, you need to honestly question why?
Yes i honestly find it meaningless.

Its a statue.

Is it just me that sees this.

Its like when people buy diamonds and get excited about it.
its a damn rock.

I think the best way to show respect is to practice meditation or keep precepts not bowing down to statues. I'm sure it's the thought that matters but it doesn't fit my temperament if i force myself to do that i'd be faking it and i'd rather not live that way. :anjali:
The physical act of bowing and prostrating effect changes in the body-mind.

When you say "it doesn't fit my temperament" I get that of course and taking it is not the answer. But fitting the Dhamma practice to your temperament isn't the answer either. Hopefully eventually the temperament will begin to 'bend' (bow?) to the Dhamma too.
I don't think the Dhamma belongs to Buddhism or Religion or Rituals.I think it's part of Nature regardless if we bow down to statues or not.

For example the law of karma doesn't care if you believe in the Buddha or not.Its not your dharma or my dharma it's just Dharma.Karma doesn't depend on us believing it exists or not.

So when you say "But fitting the Dhamma practice to your temperament isn't the answer either" i'm not sure what Dhamma that is.Is it the Dhamma that burning incense and bowing to statues will lead you to nibbanna. Because that's not my understanding of Dhamma. Its not the act of bowing down or burning incense that's purifying the mind it's the Intention behind it,how is it that my meditation practice which is done with the purest intention somehow inferior to people burning incense and bowing some of which if we are being honest are done mechanically and how is it people can bow down and chant and still manage to be rude to me in a meditation hall of all places.Like its just mind boggling i could never finish chanting and bowing and be mean to someone in a meditation hall,i mean jesus just the fear of karma actually rebounding back to me is enough to stop me. They clearly value religion and rituals more than good intentions.if that's your dhamma then i don't want it.I think too many conflicts have been caused by religion and its really taking the essence away.


The Buddha taught 40 meditation objects to suit people's temperament.Its because people have different temperaments.Some are more faith based or devoted and others like me are not. Some people attain nibbanna by contemplating impermanence others by contemplating anatta and others dukkha. Its not a only my dharma is the right dharma so you should bend towards my dharma.I am not asking religious people to stop chanting,lighting incense and bowing, i'm just saying i don't wish to do that.

I have complete faith in the Buddha and i respect him by practising what he taught.If a Buddha or a Boddhisatva or noble person appeared in front of me i would bow down because i know i would be doing it sincerely out of the bottom of my heart,but i'm unfortunately i can't do the same when i'm bowing down to a statue. That's 15 minutes of my time i could be using to meditate.

I understand some people use bowing and chanting to centre the mind and that i can actually understand and receive better than people bowing out of mechanical ritual or appearing pious,but i don't need that in my own personal practice just because of the force of habit of returning attention on the object over and over again has made it easier to just establish connection so to do things like chanting and bowing would actually derail it as it's making my object less clear.

I think the Buddha is the Dhamma and Dhamma is the Buddha.my way of showing respect is practising meditation and keeping precepts and making dana to support the sangha. But i think the Dhamma is more important i'm sorry im just gonna be real for a second we talking about let go let go let go and Nibbanna.I don't think we are going to take The Buddha or the Sangha with us,The Buddha has already passed into Parinibbanna,i have my mind set on Dhamma practice and less on rituals and bowings.I don't need anymore of that.I'm officially done with religious rites.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:04 pm
by Akashad
cappuccino wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:23 pm
Buddhism isn't Buddhism

it's a timeless, ancient path……
I agree.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:10 pm
by sunnat
Akadshad. Why do you use this emoticon: :anjali:?
:anjali: