Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Santi253
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Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by Santi253 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:19 am

What do you think of church or religious organizations that take an inter-religious approach to spirituality, such as Unity, Unitarianism, or the Centers for Spiritual Living?

These organizations often have Buddhist meditation group meetings at their churches, including Western Theravadin Vipassana groups, while also selling Buddhist books in their church bookstores, along with incorporating Buddhist concepts into what they teach on the pulpit.

I've attended Unity and Unitarian churches in the past (different churches with a similar name), but since converting to Buddhism about two years ago, I don't feel any need for them.

While I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking, I think the whole law of attraction teaching, that we can somehow bend the laws of the universe with our minds, goes a little too far. It's why I don't belong to Soka Gakkai as a Buddhist today.

I used to believe in the law of attraction, and I think I have a healthier, more realistic view of life without it. If you read The Secret, for example, it says you can eat all the junk food you want, and still get thin, as long as you don't look at fat people. (Not joking.)

At the same time, I appreciate the incorporation of Eastern and Buddhist concepts that they attempt to incorporate into their philosophies.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Garrib
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Re: Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by Garrib » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:05 pm

Santi253 wrote:What do you think of church or religious organizations that take an inter-religious approach to spirituality, such as Unity, Unitarianism, or the Centers for Spiritual Living?

These organizations often have Buddhist meditation group meetings at their churches, including Western Theravadin Vipassana groups, while also selling Buddhist books in their church bookstores, along with incorporating Buddhist concepts into what they teach on the pulpit.

I've attended Unity and Unitarian churches in the past (different churches with a similar name), but since converting to Buddhism about two years ago, I don't feel any need for them.

While I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking, I think the whole law of attraction teaching, that we can somehow bend the laws of the universe with our minds, goes a little too far. It's why I don't belong to Soka Gakkai as a Buddhist today.

I used to believe in the law of attraction, and I think I have a healthier, more realistic view of life without it. If you read The Secret, for example, it says you can eat all the junk food you want, and still get thin, as long as you don't look at fat people. (Not joking.)

At the same time, I appreciate the incorporation of Eastern and Buddhist concepts that they attempt to incorporate into their philosophies.
I used to go to a meditation group at a Center for Spiritual Living. We did mostly breath awareness at the abdomen and brahma vihara practice. The teacher was affiliated with the Insight Meditation Society, and was also studying under a Tibetan teacher...I never went to any other services at the "church" but I was happy with the meditation.

My parents used to go to a Unitarian Universalist church, and they met some Buddhists there - I think it really did broaden their understanding of what it means to live a spiritual life. They studied Ken Wilber books a bit. It seemed pretty interesting.

Santi253
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Re: Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by Santi253 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:07 pm

Garrib wrote:
Santi253 wrote:What do you think of church or religious organizations that take an inter-religious approach to spirituality, such as Unity, Unitarianism, or the Centers for Spiritual Living?

These organizations often have Buddhist meditation group meetings at their churches, including Western Theravadin Vipassana groups, while also selling Buddhist books in their church bookstores, along with incorporating Buddhist concepts into what they teach on the pulpit.

I've attended Unity and Unitarian churches in the past (different churches with a similar name), but since converting to Buddhism about two years ago, I don't feel any need for them.

While I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking, I think the whole law of attraction teaching, that we can somehow bend the laws of the universe with our minds, goes a little too far. It's why I don't belong to Soka Gakkai as a Buddhist today.

I used to believe in the law of attraction, and I think I have a healthier, more realistic view of life without it. If you read The Secret, for example, it says you can eat all the junk food you want, and still get thin, as long as you don't look at fat people. (Not joking.)

At the same time, I appreciate the incorporation of Eastern and Buddhist concepts that they attempt to incorporate into their philosophies.
I used to go to a meditation group at a Center for Spiritual Living. We did mostly breath awareness at the abdomen and brahma vihara practice. The teacher was affiliated with the Insight Meditation Society, and was also studying under a Tibetan teacher...I never went to any other services at the "church" but I was happy with the meditation.

My parents used to go to a Unitarian Universalist church, and they met some Buddhists there - I think it really did broaden their understanding of what it means to live a spiritual life. They studied Ken Wilber books a bit. It seemed pretty interesting.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I definitely think that, overall, these churches are a positive thing.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.matthewsatori.tumblr.com

Santi253
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Re: Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by Santi253 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:01 pm

Another religious organization I forgot to mention, which attempts to encompass all religions, is the Bahai faith.

There was a time when I was considering to become a Bahai, but I didn't feel comfortable meeting in a stranger's house, rather than an actual church building.

Another reason why I didn't become a Bahai is because it's been a hundred years or so since the religion was founded, and the world doesn't seem to be any more of a peaceful place than when the Bahai faith started. The Bahai faith promised that the world would progress toward world peace, if I'm not mistaken.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.matthewsatori.tumblr.com

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L.N.
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Re: Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by L.N. » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:03 am

Santi253 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:01 pm
Another reason why I didn't become a Bahai is because it's been a hundred years or so since the religion was founded, and the world doesn't seem to be any more of a peaceful place than when the Bahai faith started. The Bahai faith promised that the world would progress toward world peace, if I'm not mistaken.
I think you're right. Here is a presentation regarding the viewpoint. This discussion reflects the view that things are moving in that direction. (Also interesting to note how Bahai discuss Buddhism.)
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Javi
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Re: Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by Javi » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:13 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:03 am
Santi253 wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:01 pm
Another reason why I didn't become a Bahai is because it's been a hundred years or so since the religion was founded, and the world doesn't seem to be any more of a peaceful place than when the Bahai faith started. The Bahai faith promised that the world would progress toward world peace, if I'm not mistaken.
I think you're right. Here is a presentation regarding the viewpoint. This discussion reflects the view that things are moving in that direction. (Also interesting to note how Bahai discuss Buddhism.)
This is ultimately the downfall of all prophetic and messianic movements. Much ado about nothing.

Some of them get really good at reinterpreting themselves though
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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L.N.
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Re: Unity Church/Unitarian Church/Centers for Spiritual Living

Post by L.N. » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:23 pm

Javi wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:13 pm
Some of them get really good at reinterpreting themselves though
That might be. Not sure whether this and this are examples of attempts at reinterpreting, or well-intentioned (though strained) attempts at finding common ground. Maybe both.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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