Mentioning Buddhism in public

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Cittasanto
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:52 pm

Fede wrote:
Tyler wrote:There isnt anything wrong with mentioning you are buddhist in public but it doesnt go without its consequences....
As a Briton, i can completely, categorically tell you that any time anyone here has found out I'm Buddhist, it has always engendered interest, positive discussion and an amiable curious attitude. All consequences, without exception, have been fruitful and pleasant.....
i would also mention that I am half-Italian.
contrary to popular belief, not every Catholic cleric sees Buddhism as a weapon of Satan and a damnable pursuit.
When my parents (who lived in Italy at the time) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, they had the customary church re-affirmation service, and blessing.
I read a Buddhist text, both in English and Italian, for all guests present) and everyone applauded.
The priest himself was utterly delighted that I had participated and included the text....

I am reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Illusion" and it would appear from his observations that Americans are far more 'christianly' oriented-and fanatical than any other race he has come across, to the point of frightening enforcement.
This is my experience also.
The vast majority of people are willing to understand not be ignorant.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Animamia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:05 pm

Thank you for your replies once again :)

I've only spoken to a few people about my beliefs, and those were chosen carefully as I knew they would understand my reasons and accept them. This lady who slated me was from the US. I've never experienced or heard in my presence these views before. But she was not discriminating, just argumentative and obviously misinformed. That is truly terrible what happened, Tyler. You would think in this modern world where we are supposed to be intelligent and civil, people would know better. Well, the joke is on them, as I can't think of a better example of ignorance.

The people that I have actually told have been very curious. Upon telling my best friend some basic principles she is reading about Buddhism herself with the view that it may well be for her, too.

I read somewhere that Buddhism is the way we can save our planet from the damage we have done and are still doing. As a biology undergraduate I fully agree with this. Of course I would never preach to anyone, but I will definitely encourage and help friends that are looking for it. If only I could get to grips with the meditation now! :)

Regards, Jo x

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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by SamBodhi » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:23 pm

saving our planet: I have a friend who speaks a lot about sustainability and even works for a not-for-profit devoted to this idea. I was tempted to say, "Sustainability? You mean Buddhadhamma right?" :)

Still, I am wondering if this person you encountered on the other board may have heard and misinterpreted something that I also heard once. This is that Buddhists are not supposed to "advertise" stuff that happens to them during meditation. Deeper states or higher states of being are not supposed to be a source of pride and therefore confusion. I do not know if my source is reliable since I cannot seem to recall exactly what I heard or where I heard it (best to let it go then). Still, maybe there was a misunderstanding that this kind of thing applied to the entire experience of being a follower of the Buddha.

with metta,
pung
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
--Upasika Kee Nanayon

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Goofaholix
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:34 pm

pung S wrote:Still, I am wondering if this person you encountered on the other board may have heard and misinterpreted something that I also heard once. This is that Buddhists are not supposed to "advertise" stuff that happens to them during meditation. Deeper states or higher states of being are not supposed to be a source of pride and therefore confusion. I do not know if my source is reliable since I cannot seem to recall exactly what I heard or where I heard it (best to let it go then). Still, maybe there was a misunderstanding that this kind of thing applied to the entire experience of being a follower of the Buddha.
This is a rule for monks, and it only applies to what they say to lay people. I think the idea being to remove the temptation for monks to be able to set themselves up as guru like figures and get a lot of followers based on their spiritual attainments.

It's probably good for lay people also to be mindful of this, I think generally it's considered bad form to claim spiritual attainments publicly also, it's something to keep between yourself and your teacher(s).
“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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Kim OHara
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:25 pm

Animamia wrote:I read somewhere that Buddhism is the way we can save our planet from the damage we have done and are still doing. As a biology undergraduate I fully agree with this. Of course I would never preach to anyone, but I will definitely encourage and help friends that are looking for it. If only I could get to grips with the meditation now! :)

Regards, Jo x
Hi, Jo,
This is off-topic (sorry) but worth telling you about: Eco-Buddhism http://www.ecobuddhism.org/
:focus:

:namaste:
Kim

Animamia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:25 pm

pung S wrote:saving our planet: I have a friend who speaks a lot about sustainability and even works for a not-for-profit devoted to this idea. I was tempted to say, "Sustainability? You mean Buddhadhamma right?" :)

Still, I am wondering if this person you encountered on the other board may have heard and misinterpreted something that I also heard once. This is that Buddhists are not supposed to "advertise" stuff that happens to them during meditation. Deeper states or higher states of being are not supposed to be a source of pride and therefore confusion. I do not know if my source is reliable since I cannot seem to recall exactly what I heard or where I heard it (best to let it go then). Still, maybe there was a misunderstanding that this kind of thing applied to the entire experience of being a follower of the Buddha.

with metta,
pung
Yes this sounds exactly what the lady was accusing me of. She must have misunderstood as you say. Either way I'll not argue, she can have her views and I shall have mine and we need not discuss them :)

Animamia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:34 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Animamia wrote:I read somewhere that Buddhism is the way we can save our planet from the damage we have done and are still doing. As a biology undergraduate I fully agree with this. Of course I would never preach to anyone, but I will definitely encourage and help friends that are looking for it. If only I could get to grips with the meditation now! :)

Regards, Jo x
Hi, Jo,
This is off-topic (sorry) but worth telling you about: Eco-Buddhism http://www.ecobuddhism.org/
:focus:

:namaste:
Kim
Oh thank you thank you! I am just going to bed now and have had to tear myself away from that website, it's fascinating. I may even be able to use this for my ecology class assessment, I will have a proper look through tomorrow. Once again, thank you! x

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Kim OHara
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:14 am

Animamia wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:Hi, Jo,
This is off-topic (sorry) but worth telling you about: Eco-Buddhism http://www.ecobuddhism.org/
:focus:

:namaste:
Kim
Oh thank you thank you! I am just going to bed now and have had to tear myself away from that website, it's fascinating. I may even be able to use this for my ecology class assessment, I will have a proper look through tomorrow. Once again, thank you! x
:namaste:

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beeblebrox
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by beeblebrox » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:18 pm

Kim, Fede, et al, what will happen if you started to wear white robes in Australia, or UK? (In public places?) I think that by looking at it in this way will bring up the actual issue to surface.

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Fede
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Fede » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:36 pm

How do I post a picture from my album....?
I wear Indian style clothes all the time.
In fact, I was married in an Indian chemise and authentic pajama trousers....



mostly, I receive compliments, if anyone says anything...
Never had a raised eyebrow....
The thing is, the UK is such an ethnically-diverse country, Moslems and Hindus wear their traditional clothing all the time, so most people are used to seeing them....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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beeblebrox
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by beeblebrox » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:42 pm

OK, I'll believe you. :spy:

:anjali:

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Fede
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Fede » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:16 pm

[img][IMG=http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/8983 ... 57u.th.jpg][/img]

Sorry if this is incorrect, but it's the best I could do.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Ytrog
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Ytrog » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:54 pm

I've told a number of colleagues on different that I stayed in a monastery for a week (5 days) last year and they all responded positive, some curious some even enthusiastic ("I wish i could!"). So from my experience there is no need to stay in the closet about being a Buddhist.

I hope this helps the OP and any other who has doubts about telling others who they are. Just remember: don't be too eager to tell people. Don't force it down their throats. :anjali:
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:12 pm

beeblebrox wrote:Kim, Fede, et al, what will happen if you started to wear white robes in Australia, or UK? (In public places?) I think that by looking at it in this way will bring up the actual issue to surface.
I used to!
some people looked at me funny, but no problem!
mainly it was curiosity!
you can see me in my Anagarika wrap here http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 679&type=3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; or http://manapa.multiply.com/profile" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

there are other photoes of how I used to dress on Uposatha or group nights a few years ago before my Anagarika days
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Goofaholix
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Post by Goofaholix » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:23 pm

Cittasanto wrote:I used to!
some people looked at me funny, but no problem!
mainly it was curiosity!
Until they notice you've got no eyebrows ;), then they'll think you're an escaped mental patient who has recently had a labotomy.
“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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