Demarkation Dispute

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Buckwheat
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Demarkation Dispute

Post by Buckwheat » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:22 pm

Continuing based on the off topic posts from this thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 08#p179398" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Kim O'Hara wrote:Maybe we have to keep on saying Buddhism doesn't fit Western domains of knowledge? That calling it a philosophy is wrong, ditto a religion, ditto a school of psychology.
If it weren't for Mahayana, Buddhism could easily be summarised as "a path of self-liberation", which would help to bypass some of the confusions that arise if it's regarded as a religion, or a philosophy, or psychology or any other science etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
I think the problem with Retro's technically very accurate slogan for Buddhism is a) liberation reminds people of religion, and b) the word self, as used in Buddhism, requires a lot of further explaination.

How about "A lifestyle in which virtue and happiness go hand in hand." This is easily accessible to all people. Upon further inquiry one might add: "This is accomplished by dis-arming selfish greed, aversion, and delusion which only lead to frustration and suffering." Upon even further inquiry, one might add that this is done by practicing restraint, awareness, and focus to develop composure in the face of life's challenges.

Something like that. :tongue: Open for discussion.

One goal I have is to frame Buddhism in a way that people can understand, and starts with things that need no further explaination to at least point somebody in the right direction. For instance, the first statement indicates that people should be good (moral) and happy. Happiness based on exploiting others violates this principle. Self affliction violates this principle. Person is now headed in the right direction, doesn't need a dictionary or further discussion to take the first steps. The next phrase gives advice on how to do this effectively. The third just covers even more details. Of course, this digging into the details could go on forever, but I think modern Buddhism needs some better marketing that does not pervert the Buddha's message. A difficult task, and one that many people are working hard to achieve.
Last edited by Buckwheat on Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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DNS
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Re: Demarkation Dispute

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:29 pm

It is a path of self-liberation, but for Theravadins, there are the Brahma-Viharas too, including compassion and we can help others too.

I like ancientbuddhism's signature line:
Secure your own mask before assisting others.

– NORTHWEST AIRLINES
Pre-Flight Instruction
We don't have to be fully enlightened to help others, but if we are still full of ignorance and delusion, it would just be the blind leading the blind. There needs to be some self-liberation first.

Imagine trying to secure the mask of another on a flight with no oxygen for yourself. You will be gasping and struggling for air and not help anyone (including yourself).

Nyana
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Re: Demarkation Dispute

Post by Nyana » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:51 pm

retrofuturist wrote:If it weren't for Mahayana, Buddhism could easily be summarised as "a path of self-liberation"....
The name is already taken. Tibetan dzogchen is called the path of self-liberation (rang grol lam).

danieLion
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Re: Demarkation Dispute

Post by danieLion » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:52 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:The name is already taken. Tibetan dzogchen is called the path of self-liberation (rang grol lam).
Greetings Ñāṇa,
Already taken? I bet they don't mind sharing.
Goodwill
Daniel

Nyana
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Re: Demarkation Dispute

Post by Nyana » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:20 pm

danieLion wrote:Already taken? I bet they don't mind sharing.
T'was meant as a joke....

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