Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

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Marmalade
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Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:23 pm

Hello,

there are practising Christians and non-practising Christians.
I'd like to ask if there are practising Theravada Buddhists and non-practising Theravada Buddhists?
What generally, is considered to be important in defining a practising Theravada Buddhist? Regular meditation, and frequent reading of Theravada scriptures, perhaps?

Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?

Thanks.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)

unspoken
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by unspoken » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:48 pm

Marmalade wrote: Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?
Kindness towards other is important, that's why buddhism have a thing called metta which is like to wish people well and happy always. Be kind
Non-violence and self control is what buddhists train too. When there's no aversion, no dislike or "self". You won't intend to hurt someone else since you think you and others is a "whole".

Metta meditation is something good you can practice.

Generally if you are doing something that is cultivating concentration, normalcy/virtue, wisdom. You are pretty much practicing it. But to make it much better, we do meditate to change the inner self of us so that we able to conduct good act in a much better intention and accumulate something better

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bodom
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by bodom » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:29 pm

]I'd like to ask if there are practising Theravada Buddhists and non-practising Theravada Buddhists?
Buddhism is not a system of beliefs. Buddhism is a path of practice. If one is not practicing the eightfold path one can not be rightly called a "Buddhist" let alone a "Theravadin Buddhist".

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:49 pm

bodom wrote:
]I'd like to ask if there are practising Theravada Buddhists and non-practising Theravada Buddhists?
Buddhism is not a system of beliefs. Buddhism is a path of practice. If one is not practicing the eightfold path one can not be rightly called a "Buddhist" let alone a "Theravadin Buddhist".

:anjali:
I wouldn't go that far bodom. I think you can call yourself a buddhist if you've taken refuge in the 3 jewels and if you follow the 5 precepts.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

plwk
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by plwk » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:12 pm

Some readings...
Lay Buddhist Practice
Suttas/Articles for lay people
Suttas for the Householder

'Engaged Buddhism'...walking the talk...some samples... 1 2 3

Marmalade
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:40 pm

bodom wrote: Buddhism is not a system of beliefs. Buddhism is a path of practice. If one is not practicing the eightfold path one can not be rightly called a "Buddhist" let alone a "Theravadin Buddhist".

:anjali:
That distinction betweeb beliefs and practice corresponds very closely to what I had in mind, thanks, Bodom.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)

Marmalade
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Marmalade » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:46 pm

Thanks, unspoken, I found that very clear and helpful.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)

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Goofaholix
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Goofaholix » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:35 pm

To me a practising Buddhist is somebody who is genuinely trying to follow the Buddhas path to awakening, genuinely trying to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha.

People who go to the temple, take refuges and precepts, make donations etc and maybe try to keep the precepts maybe not but that's all I think of as Buddhist supporters, as they are supporting the Buddhist practioners.

By that definintiion I'd estimate about 5% of Theravadin Buddhists are practising Buddhists.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Refugee
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Refugee » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:40 pm

I would like to think that all those who take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and undertake to keep the Five Training Rules (Precepts) are "practicing Buddhists", even if, for example, they do not practice formal meditation at all. They simply practice at different levels.
My practice is simply this: Avoid evil, do good, and purify the mind.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by m0rl0ck » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:45 pm

bodom wrote:
]I'd like to ask if there are practising Theravada Buddhists and non-practising Theravada Buddhists?
Buddhism is not a system of beliefs. Buddhism is a path of practice. If one is not practicing the eightfold path one can not be rightly called a "Buddhist" let alone a "Theravadin Buddhist".

:anjali:
Well said :bow:
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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adosa
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by adosa » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:35 pm

Marmalade wrote:
Particularly, is the excercise of kindness towards others, and non-violence considered very important?

Thanks.
It's everything.


adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

Marmalade
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by Marmalade » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:49 pm

Thanks for the further replies.
Hello, I am not actually a Buddhist, and I know only some very limited basics about Buddhism. I'd like to know a bit more and to ask a few questions, if that's OK. :)

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phil
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by phil » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:11 pm

bodom wrote:
]I'd like to ask if there are practising Theravada Buddhists and non-practising Theravada Buddhists?
Buddhism is not a system of beliefs. Buddhism is a path of practice. If one is not practicing the eightfold path one can not be rightly called a "Buddhist" let alone a "Theravadin Buddhist".

:anjali:
At this point I would disagree with this because Right Concentration is defined as developing the jhanas, if I'm not mistaken, and the Buddha's teaching to householders that I've seen rarely if ever includes a call to develop jhanas, that call is always prefaced by "Bhikkhus..."

A householder's practice focussing on doing dana and keeping the precepts is still hugely valuable and we are still very much followers of the Buddha's teaching if we go that far....

Keeping the precepts is an awesome undertaking, and sets conditions for deeper developments.

I think the conventional wisdom that all followers of the Buddha practice meditation is either a modern phenomenon or a Western phenomenon, I'm not sure which. We should be grateful for it, even faulty meditation is better than no meditation in my opinion, but I'm not sure the Buddha urged householders to practice meditation except in a few suttas. Happy to be corrected... :smile:
Last edited by phil on Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

mlswe
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by mlswe » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:13 pm

To be a buddhist you train your awareness within the framework of the noble eightfold path and the four noble truths

Anyone can call themselves buddhists

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bodom
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Re: Practising and non-practising Buddhists?

Post by bodom » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:29 pm

phil wrote:At this point I would disagree with this because Right Concentration is defined as developing the jhanas, if I'm not mistaken, and the Buddha's teaching to householders that I've seen rarely if ever includes a call to develop jhanas...
Please see Analayo's Satipatthana Sutta commentary for an in depth look at sutta's that define right concentration not using the four jhana model.
A householder's practice focussing on doing dana and keeping the precepts is still hugely valuable and we are still very much followers of the Buddha's teaching if we go that far....
And you believe dana (generosity) and right action (5 precepts) to be something apart from the eightfold path?

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

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