Just wondering what you guys think about Buddhism. I was reading about the basic structure of it today. The business about 6 cycles, Nirvana and levels of heaven seem easy enough to dismiss, but the day to day process of achieving happiness by working on one's self is kind of intriguing. It has no dieties. It seems to be debatable whether it is even a 'religion'. I like the fact that they believe that nothing is eternal and everything is in constant flux. It could possibly be a way to oppose Christian dogma without declaring atheism "I don't want to hear this, I'm Buddhist". Anyway, I'm not jumping in it or trying to convince anyone, just looking for opinions. Thanks
I went from christianity to Buddhism and on then did I realise that as a Buddhist, I'm atheist. The Buddha does not advocate the worship or prayer to any other beings. He only says to rely on your own striving to awaken. Don't think of Nibbana (sorry, I'm a Theravadin Buddhist so I use different terms) as a place of bliss, it is not a place, it is an awakening. The Buddha taught the path to completely awaken - no gods, no worship, no belief system. Practice the path and you experience the things for yourself. You aren't forced to practice anything, for example, the christians have the ten commandments, and the Buddhists have the 5 precepts. No belief required as you can practice and experience things for yourself.
As the Buddha was dying, he was asked who was to be the "leader" of the order of monks and of Buddhism as a whole. He left the dhamma (the teachings) as their guide. And to this day monks practice the system of awakening which the Buddha taught.
So, yes, when I first started reading about it I found it confusing because my first reaction was that there is no god so what is this "religion" based on? As I read more about it, I realised that it's all about "impermanence" - the whole Buddhist message could be expounded from that one word.
Vangelis / Cosmos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOf4SktPDak
"A beautiful sequence generated by Barbarian Software's magnetosphere iTunes visualizer set to Vangelis' Heaven & Hell. This track was the theme music to Carl Sagan's PBS Cosmos series. Captured on a PPC Mac."
Thanks Joan. Vangelis is a great composer. Although he made the name "Vangelis" famous in the english speaking world, it is in fact a common greek name.
Vangelis, when I saw your name, I looked immediately for that lovely piece of music from Carl Sagan's Cosmos.
Thank you for the information of your name.
The problems are when religious folks want creationism taught as science in public schools, or want "In god we trust" on our money and as our motto, or restrictions are put on women and her control of her own body, or deny GLBT the right to marry, or not have children, or not be in Scouts, or put a requirement on politicians that they have to be christian to be elected to public office.
Where is the outcry against these basic violations to our rights?
The subject is buddhism. I am glad you are here to express yourself and help us understand it from your point of view. That implies that I am responsible to express mine.
You are quite correct, buddhism does not intrude on our public education, our political, economic or religious lives. I must be clear on the history of buddhism and not remain silent in the face of claims that buddhism, or any philosophy or religion is about love, care, compassion, empathy, or peace. I hear nothing about justice from any of the organized assembly of people. I hear retaliation, retribution, sabotage, vengeance, reprisal, subversion, and revenge.
The claims of piety cannot replace the images of the ethnic intolerance and extreme nationalism of buddhists in Burma. Nor can the images of women accused of being witches who are burned in Nepal by buddhist monks be erased. Nor can I obliterate the vision of gun-toting monks in Thailand wringing terror throughout the community.
What I want to hear, and what I try to do is to develop the skills of problem solving and conflict resolution so that everyone gets his or her needs met, people and cultures are spared the atrocities of war and that justice resides in each person's life.
People make all kinds of claims about the love, compassion, peace and joy that comes through their beliefs. Show me.
Buddhists are stinking little peasants who need to be kept in their place. They are potentially dangerous idiots. Take the present day situation in Myanmar where, combined with nationalism, Buddhism is a volatile' aggressive force using intimidation and violence to achieve it's objectives. The worst example in modern history is the Imperial Japanese empire of the mid last century where atrocities where committed against Chinese citizenry and Australian prisoners of war. In the name of Bhudda and the Emperor the Japanese military tortured and murdered at will, without compassion, humility or respect for international law. In ancient history Bhuddist wars were prosecuted for the ulterior purposes such as the possession of the tooth of Buddha. Buddhists are creeps and you only need to visit Thailand to be harassed by Monks with supernatural predictions of your future and demands for money. The Monks are hypocrites purporting to live in poverty and in fact amass huge wealth and political influence. I come across Western Buddhists on the Internet espousing the so called virtues of their 'peaceful' religion and invariably take them apart because they are full of shit. They stink.
You need to meditate. Lots of hatred going on there.
Vangelis, do you mean as a sort of punishment for hating religionists - like saying ten 'Hail Mary's' ?
No, I mean to heal your heart. Hatred does more damage to you than to the object of your hate.