buddhist crew? im not saying im a buddhist but...

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Auspicious one, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    i am learning the ways of buddha and buddhist zen masters

    i am in love with all of the alan watts seminars i have downloaded

    anybody else in on this journey?

    i find that zen buddhism really gets to the core of everything

    i dont know alot, and a lot cannot be explained, but i do meditate every night while listening to seminars from alan watts, adyashanti, and eckhart tolle

    no so much as self help but as a journey towards no-thing / no mind

    i find myself more joyful than every before

    my progression on this journy went like this

    I started listening to Tool and their lyrics and you know researching and finding shit out for myself

    Then a while later i downloaded Eckhart Tolle's the power of now off of oink

    then i got adyashanti's seminars

    and then some wayne dyer, and now im on to alan watts

    idk just sharing and seeking fellow OTter buddhists

    i was born and raised catholic btw :mamoru:

    im not trying to seek, i am not trying, im am being....im am consciousness, i am ....
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  2. up|dn

    up|dn ಠ_ಠ

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    I miss my Adyashanti days. I actually felt enlightened and it was grand.

    Not sure what happened. :hs:

    Anyway, there are at least a few other Buddhist-crew people here, so I'm sure you can find some inspiration. Have a look at some of the older Buddhist threads too.
     
  3. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    stop identifying with your mind

    :dunno:

    listen to some alan watts
     
  4. volumecontrol

    volumecontrol New Member

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    Who is Alan Watts?
     
  5. up|dn

    up|dn ಠ_ಠ

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    I've listened to almost every Alan Watts out there. I'm just too cynical, and I like my mind too much.
     
  6. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    you are not your mind
     
  7. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    well what are you participating in?
     
  8. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    im not saying crucify or judge the ego, but listen to it :eek3:
     
  9. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    im dont try to think about it

    it goes on by itself, i think of it as an entity, that is just an illusion

    i am aware of it

    i try to keep my mind clear of it, and i listen to it when is arises, but i dont judge it
     
  11. nebulous

    nebulous all it took was a blow to the head OT Supporter

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    you know, in Hermeticism we have a number of hermetic axioms. One if them is the law of silence. The law of silence is so important, that I rarely even discuss my hermetic practice here, where I am completely anonymous. I am a member of another board which specializes in the issues of the practice of Hermetic magick, Psionics, and other body energy arts such as Qigong and Reiki, but I rarely speak even in this place. There are a number of reasons for the law of silence in hermeticism.

    The first is self preservation. People will not often understand what the Hermeticist has come to know through personal experience. The same is true of any discipline, and I want to make that clear, before people accuse me of grandstanding or braggadocio. People laboring under ignorance of the ways of the hermeticist, can pose a risk to him.

    The second, is to protect people from teachings that might harm them that they may not be ready for. what ever the hermeticist has learned, it has been through blood, sweet, and discipline, and it is these sacrifices that have prepared him for his realization.

    The Third is that the Hermeticism knows that everyone learns in thier own way, and nothing can be forced. To speak on what he knows to an unprepared person, could cause that person to become confused and lost on thier own path.

    There are many reasons for the law of silence.

    But what are the reasons for speaking? Self aggrandizement? Pomp? Of course these things. But their is also compassion and the desire to share something beautiful.

    I think when we speak on meditation, or Zen, we are in a similar predicament. Speaking on some strange altered state of mind that I have experienced on an extended retreat after years of experience with vipassana, is pointless to somebody just learning to cross their legs and sit on a pillow for five minutes at a time without going crazy. But even this time, these tiny five minutes, will yield useful, pragmatic results for the exponent of meditation. There isn't any need to promise them some far off ability to focus their mind in a way they might have never imagined. To them that is unimportant. To them there is only, what is to be gained form this five minutes on the pillow? Why am i here, on this cushion, right now? You are there because you have decided to be there, and to pay attention. If you find that useful, do it. If not, don't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  12. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    hermeticism is like zen in a way because it does not evoke morals in the belief, i have never heard of such a thing and the lack of morals is strong there. morals are a fundamentalist christian thing, and i think that hermeticism is strong because it does not focus so much on morals as it does on self divinity

    i am intoxicated ( i am going throug a thing of alcoholism right now)

    i may not know what i speak of
     
  13. Thislin

    Thislin New Member

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    Sometimes people begin sitting because they think they will have wonderful experiences and altered states of mind and maybe even experience something magical. Often those with such expectations report having such experiences.

    I'm not sure this is healthy or desirable. Your point seems far more germane.

    The majority of Buddhists do not sit, and are not encouraged to do so. Meditative practice is pretty much limited (at least until very recently) to monks through most of the Buddhist world. In Thailand today one can find books on meditation for laypeople, but this is a quite new thing. The idea is still, as far as I know, entirely absent from Vietnam.

    That is not to say that I don't personally recommend and practice it. It is great for achieving little "mini-enlightenments" when one has been taught something that one does not understand. It is also a good way to put things in perspective (the daily irritations of life) and a good way to wind down.
     
  14. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    Thislin has once again made a very good point. Most of the world's Buddhists live in Asia, and the vast majority practice forms of Buddhism that do not emphasize meditation for householders, or laymen as we would say in the West.

    Buddhist rituals are especially sought for weddings and funerals, but Asian Buddhists are no more devoted to Buddhist theology than the average American whose theology is probably pretty sketchy at best.

    China has always been the bell-weather of Asia. It is the center (Middle Kingdom) of the world surrounded by "lesser" Peoples all of whom owe much of their culture to the Chinese model. Chinese forms were widely copied and adapted in Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Manchuria, and it the independent kingdoms of Southeast Asia, like Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet, Cambodia, etc. So what was Chinese religion like prior to the Maoist Dynasty that still rules? Confucius and Taoism both were native to China, but Buddhism was imported along two great routes; the Silk Road, and via the sea into the southern provinces. Confucius was concerned with implementing a stable, productive social order, and that has always appealed to the very practical Chinese. Each individual has his proper place in the social order, and when he conforms to that place then the whole society will prosper.

    Taoism is tougher to define in a short space because there were at least three important streams of it. The first stream you need to be aware of grew out of the folk superstitions of prehistoric China, and shared many of the elements we find in other pantheistic religions. Spirits, ghosts, dragons and magic were common, and can still be found in both Taoism and Chinese folk culture. This form of Taoism developed into alchemy as a search for ways to turn base substances into gold, and acquire immortality. As such, this form of Taoism gave rise to many of the inventions that have made China famous. Keeping track of the heavens in search of auspicious times led to some of the most precise and complete astronomy of the ancient world.

    The second stream of Taoism naturally flowed from the first, and became the Emperor's official state religion. So long as the Emperor conformed to the Mandate of Heaven, his dynasty would rule a secure, prosperous and peaceful kingdom. Every aspect of the Emperor's life had to conform to the auspices, rituals and pronouncements of the leading Taoist priests. When misfortune occurred, it might be a sign that the Mandate of Heaven was being withdrawn, and unless promptly corrected additional misfortunes and popular resistance to the Dynasty might occur. So Confucianism and Taoism worked together as an underpinning of the State, and was a key stone in Chinese culture.

    In the West, when we talk about Taoism generally we are talking about the more philosophical and mystical Taoism best known here from the Tao Teh-Ching of Lao Tse. Lao Tse, who is semi-legendary, supposedly was roughly a contemporary of Confucius. Unlike Confucius, Lao Tse, and other Taoists, focused more on how the individual can live in harmony with himself and the universe, rather than social relationships. This form of Taoism isn't much concerned with theological notions of what happens after death, or even how individuals should relate to one another. Where Confucianism is concerned with the how best to organize the social order, Taoism is more individualistic and has its great appeal to those "liberated" from society by great wealth, or old age.

    There was a fine balance in China between Confucianism and Taoism, but neither completely addressed the popular questioning of "what it all means". People's needs for a system to explain and give meaning to their daily lives and struggles wasn't entirely met. Mahayana Buddhism met that need, and was philosophically close enough to Philosophical Taoism to become an almost instant hit with Chinese culture. A Chinese isn't necessarily just a Confucian, or Taoist, or Buddhist. One might live their social life conforming to Confucian strictures, consult a Taoist fortune teller for a lucky amulet, and be married and buried as a Buddhist. None of those religious affiliations requires weekly attendance at a church, or temple, and there aren't many irreconcilable doctrinal conflicts.

    Mahayana notions about compassionate Bodhisattvas who "lend" their merit to reduce the suffering of all sentient beings is often deemed enough, if one only performs the rituals at appropriate times, chants the correct sutras or mantra, and lives a moderate life. Live according to those premises and one might inhabit a "heaven" for awhile after death before being reborn into "better, more auspicious" circumstances. Now theologically there are some pretty big problems with this approach to Buddhism, but there are numerous sects with very large followings who have been able to find some justification for popular doctrines. The historical Buddha might be shocked and mortified, as are some of the more auster Theravadans and Chan/Zen Buddhists.

    Asian Buddhists aren't so very different from most mainstream Western Christians, Jews, or even Muslims. Do what your church leaders say, perform the rituals, try to live according to the basic fundamentals as you understand them, and get on with your life. Religion around the world is an obsession for a few, but serves many other purposes for most. Our religious group is a place where our status and reputation in the community is affirmed. Our chauvinistic needs are fulfilled by being with those who agree with our world-view. We find solace in the traditions and rituals when we despair, or need hope, or encouragement. The mundane is transcended by something deeper and more "eternal" than we experience in a changing risky world. We go to our religion for guidance when faced with difficult choices, or have a need to consecrate some event in our lives. Almost none of these things requires much theological learning, or understanding. That, most people leave to the priests, the monks and the theologians. "What clever fellows, but not very practical you know. Probably couldn't make change in my business, and if they had to live with my wife they'd appreciate solitude the more."
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  15. Thislin

    Thislin New Member

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    Thanks for that information. It largely confirms my view that in Vietnam Buddhism is as much Chinese Taoism as it is Mahayana Buddhism, and both out of China. I would, however, emphasize the positive aspect of the Mahayana Bhodittsatva tradition on the general population--that is, I would assert that it does more for the people at large than just provide a ceremonial blanket. The tradition, and the natural desire of most people to "be good" leads to the desire to emulate the Bhodisattva, both for personal gain (positive merit) and for moral righteousness.

    Of late there has been some influence in Vietnam from Thailand, the Thais believing (probably correctly) that their teaching is closer to the original Buddhist teaching--where one's objective is to achieve Enlightenment and thereby stop Samsara for oneself and end personal physical existence. The Chinese (actually from Tibet from Sanskrit India) Mahayana tradition de-emphasizes this and puts an emphasis on the Bodhisattva idea of service to others through repeated deliberate rebirth so as to help others.

    While harder for the skeptical Westerner to accept (it is more mythical, or metaphorical), the Bodhisattva tradition (contrasted to the earlier--and Thai--"Erhat" tradition of individual Enlightenment) this later tradition, as exemplified by the Dalai Lama, is also a lot warmer and fuzzier and morally uplifting, than the austere original teaching of life being without purpose and nothing but a struggle to escape personal suffering. When one becomes able to see beyond the "primitive" myths into the real message, it also becomes, to my mind, a good deal more real.

    Japanese Buddhism and its throw offs as seen in the Western Zen approaches, seems to me somewhat of a reversion to the original Buddhist idea of personal "salvation" (I use the Christian term because in the West this fits the thinking pattern). I don't know that this is wrong, but I do think that it needs to be understood better. One gains a certain intellectual tidiness, but perhaps at the loss of the Mahayana moral uplift.
     
  16. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    I'm not as familiar with Vietnamese Buddhism as some others, and Thislin has proven to be an informed observer there. In my posting commented upon by Thislin, I concentrated on the two great paths along which Buddhism entered China. Of course, there was a third and that was through through Tibet where a special form of Mahayana, Tantric Buddhism, developed. The magical aspects of Tantricism did indeed resonate with Chinese folk Taoists. The Mahayana that came over the Silk Road might be said to have appealed to the importance Chinese culture places on social order and community. The sea route along the shores of Southeast Asia tended to be more conservative than either Tantric or Silk Road Mahayana.

    First, Theravada (harking back to the oldest texts in Pali) is an important part of Southeast Asia, especially in Celon and Thailand. The Mahayana Buddhism that traveled the sea routes into China was influenced by Theravada, whilst the Silk Road Mahayana was influenced Gandaran (Greek) culture. Vietnam is somewhat more accessible to China, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find elements of folk Taoism deeply embedded in Vietnamese Buddhism. As a general rule, lots of exceptions I know, Buddhism in Northern China is tinged with values from the West and from the Confucian ideal. The theology of southern Chinese Mahayana Buddhism is a bit more influenced by Theravada, while the general population prefers a Buddhism strongly flavored by folk Taoism. Northerners are also influenced by Taoism, but the form may be a bit more authorative as in State Taoism. If such a thing as a hybrid of Theravada and Mahayana exists, it will be found in Southeast Asia. These are tentative hypothesis, and are untested by field observation. This was to be the subject of my Doctoral disertation, but before completed, I moved on to the study of law where the material rewards were better. Now, after a long career my Mandarin isn't up to the challenge, my little Sanskrit is mostly gone, and I never did master more than a few phrases in Pali. Oh well...

    Interest in Buddhism has been on the rise for a long time in the Western world, but hasn't yet, in my opinion reached "critical mass". Alan Watts once said to me that the trouble with most Western Buddhists was that they were wanna-be faddists. People are drawn to the popular conception of Buddhism to fill a perceived hole in their lives left by a loss of faith in the Abrahamic religions. Some expect some sort of magical experience that will come once they learn the "hidden secrets" of the mysterious East. That isn't necessarily a bad thing since it at least opens the door to a better understanding, and an opportunity to learn the Buddha's Teachings. Increasingly there are more Westerners who become priests and nuns, and that is probably a necessary prerequisite to the eventual flowering of Western Buddhism.

    The flowering of Western Buddhism will come when the jewels of Western culture and the Teaching of the Buddha are fully reconciled. Just as Buddhism adapted to meet the cultural needs and expectations of China, Thailand, Korea, Japan, etc., so it must, to be truly successful, adapt to Western culture. There is nothing magical or essential to Buddhism in sitting on the floor, or wearing a particular color robes, or chanting a Sutra in a dead language that the practitioner doesn't comprehend. Sprinkling a sermon with Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese words and phrases does more to show off the priest's learning than it does to help the congregation to understand more fully the Teaching. These things are not essential to Buddhism, so adaptation to Western culture should not undercut, or mislead people from the fundamentals of our religion. We need to open the doors wider, and appeal to more Westerners who are householders.

    As Thislin pointed out, even when the lay congregation (Sanga) has an imperfect understanding of Buddhist theology, the fundamental Teaching can not but have a salutatory effect on the lives of individuals and society at large. Even imperfect knowledge, and flawed practice can mitigate suffering and improve the lives of an ever expanding number of people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  17. novo

    novo Pokey Man OT Supporter

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    you might want to, it's the direction the universe is headed :dunno:
     
  18. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    yes!

    you all are very knowledgeable
     
  19. LaFinduMonde

    LaFinduMonde New Member

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    who is this "I" you speak of?
     
  20. Mars Princess

    Mars Princess They hatin'

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    Agreed. I enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks to some of the posters here and Wikipedia, I know a little bit more. I'm glad I peeked in this forum today.
     
  21. AO

    AO New Member

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    :squint:
     
  22. up|dn

    up|dn ಠ_ಠ

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    What can I say? My ego fought hard, and won.
     
  23. AO

    AO New Member

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    The ego always wins. Everyone is in love with their mind.

    Why have others transcended it? Why do we desire to transcend it?
     
  24. Auspicious one

    Auspicious one New Member

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    :squint:
     
  25. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    Medically, you are exactly your mind.

    You are not your body, your consciousness exists in your mind, you are your collected memories stored in your brain. The way you react to stimulus is directly controlled by the memories you posses, and that is all you are.
     

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