Why I am not a Buddhist

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
dude
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by dude » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:20 am

Sounds to me like the Malaysian Buddhist communities he's talking about weren't practicing Buddhism at all, Hinayana or Mahayana.
It sounds like a bunch of local superstitions with some Buddhist teachings thrown in and called Buddhism.

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4999
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:59 am

dude wrote:Sounds to me like the Malaysian Buddhist communities he's talking about weren't practicing Buddhism at all, Hinayana or Mahayana.
It sounds like a bunch of local superstitions with some Buddhist teachings thrown in and called Buddhism.
That's a bit unfair. Their religion is a direct descendant of the Buddha's teaching, just as Tibetan Buddhism and Zen are. Each of them has adapted through time to local needs and conditions.
Think of it as genetic drift - the same process that turned some monkeys into gorillas, some into gibbons and some into ... us. :tongue:

:namaste:
Kim

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:33 am

pilgrim wrote: They fail to see that the guy picked up all these wrong beliefs and practices from other Buddhists, so who is at fault here?
I'd suggest that a more pertinent question is where did he pick up his scientific materialism? The most important aspects of the noble path can't be known through the five senses.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:59 am

Ñāṇa wrote: The most important aspects of the noble path can't be known through the five senses.
True, but it can be known through the six senses.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

dude
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by dude » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:03 am

It probably is a bit unfair, or at least inadequately considered, because it's an offhand comment in response to reading it through once.
I should think much longer and carefully before saying anything about the dharma. Confucius said "nine thoughts to one word."
After reading it a second time, though, I agree with almost everything he says, and I'm a practicing Buddhist.
Get what I mean?
Buddhism is not about going to a better place after you die. The Buddha's teachings are instructions for a practice to learn the standards of skillful and unskillful conduct which lead to good and bad outcomes, cultivation of capacity for illusion-free perception of the mysteries of the mind, and bringing forth the buddha-wisdom innate in all livings. These practices have practical advantages and produce tangible results; in the here and now.

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by Nyana » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:58 am

dude wrote:Buddhism is not about going to a better place after you die.
Firstly, "Buddhism" is a term that covers a lot of ground.

Secondly, if one hasn't attained to the arahant fruition, the Buddhadhamma is about achieving a good rebirth as a god or human being. This includes rebirth in the pure abodes for non-returners, and rebirth in heaven realms for stream entrants, etc. For example, see the Vimānavatthu where gods describe their former meritorious deeds that resulted in their rebirth as deities in heavenly mansions.
dude wrote:The Buddha's teachings are instructions for a practice to learn the standards of skillful and unskillful conduct which lead to good and bad outcomes, cultivation of capacity for illusion-free perception of the mysteries of the mind, and bringing forth the buddha-wisdom innate in all livings. These practices have practical advantages and produce tangible results; in the here and now.
Yes, and this doesn't preclude post-mortem good and bad outcomes. Nor does it preclude engaging in recollection of the gods in order to inspire the mind and develop skillful mental qualities. For example, AN 11.12 Paṭhamamahānāma Sutta:
  • Furthermore, you should recollect the devas: 'There are the devas of the Four Great Kings, the devas of the Thirty-three, the devas of the Hours, the Contented Devas, the devas who delight in creation, the devas who have power over the creations of others, the devas of Brahma's retinue, the devas beyond them. Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well. Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well. Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well. Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well. Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment found both in himself and the devas, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the [qualities of the] devas. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

    Of one who does this, Mahanama, it is said: 'Among those who are out of tune, the disciple of the noble ones dwells in tune; among those who are malicious, he dwells without malice; having attained the stream of Dhamma, he develops the recollection of the devas.'

dude
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by dude » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:21 am

Yes, and this doesn't preclude post-mortem good and bad outcomes.

I couldn't agree with you more. Of course it doesn't.
What I say here is in the context of Buddhism and what it says about the state of existence after death (and before birth).
What I'm saying here is in contrast to the proposition that Buddhism is about offering prayers in this life with faith this will lead to rebirth in a heavenly place after death, even if it is only a way station on the path to nirvana.
Advancement in practice is carried out in the here and now, and manifests in this life. If it doesn't, it doesn't manifest in the next life either, as the sutra passage you quote restates, which I'll excerpt in my next post.

dude
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by dude » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:34 am

"Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well..."

So to clarify, the point I'm making is kind of the same as the point I think you're making, if you get my drift. Practice in the here and now produces good results in this life and the next. To wait for good things to happen until after you die is not the Buddha's teaching, so what I'm saying is that if he was taught that, he either misunderstood or was taught wrong.

User avatar
James the Giant
Posts: 792
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by James the Giant » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:24 pm

dude wrote:To wait for good things to happen until after you die is not the Buddha's teaching, so what I'm saying is that if he was taught that, he either misunderstood or was taught wrong.
However, it is the teaching of the Mahayana Pure-Land school of Buddhism. To them, this life is basically prep work, so in the next life (hopefully the Pure Land) they can really get down to business and start practising.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

dude
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by dude » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:22 pm

Point taken. The doctrines are based on the Amitabha Sutra, so it's Buddhism.

barcsimalsi
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by barcsimalsi » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:42 am

If only all the arahants from different sects came into meeting :group: , then Buddhism will be much less conflict.

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 5794
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by Aloka » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:56 am

barcsimalsi wrote:If only all the arahants from different sects came into meeting :group: , then Buddhism will be much less conflict.
Personally I doubt that there are many arahants existing in the various sects of Buddhism in the modern world.,,,but who knows. :)

Reductor
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Why I am not a Buddhist

Post by Reductor » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:08 am

Or more than we think, but fewer than we might hope.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AgarikaJ, Bramo, chownah, denise, Idappaccayata and 63 guests