Atheist Buddhists

A place for those who consider themselves Atheist Buddhists, or those who simply don't see this as a contradiction in terms.

Members: 173
Latest Activity: Mar 24, 2015

Discussion Forum

What is different in your life's perspective because of Buddhism.

Started by Philip Jackson Armstrong. Last reply by Philip Jackson Armstrong Aug 15, 2013. 7 Replies

The Teachings of Ethical Culture

Started by Dave Salyers. Last reply by Napoleon Bonaparte Jul 11, 2013. 1 Reply

My power

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 4, 2012. 2 Replies

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Comment by James M. Martin on October 15, 2014 at 7:33am

@MattyLJ, so long as one does not drift into batty Mahayana with all of its saints (bodhisattvas) and the apparent apotheosis of Gautama, Buddhism, viewed as a system of morals and ethics, is practically without peer.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 24, 2013 at 1:54pm

Laars Zwarte may I be so bold to say being silent in face of rudeness implies agreement. Those monks undoubtedly heard the silence more than they heard the words. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 24, 2013 at 1:47pm

Another bit of evidence of hanky-panky in a manipulative, exploitative group under the guise of Zen Buddhism. They just keep sprouting up like cockleburs, a prickly bur that clings readily to dependent, vulnerable, immature, and gullible individuals who seek enlightenment. 

Comment by Laars Zwarte on January 25, 2013 at 6:51am

Can anyone tell me which school of monks wear day glo orange robes? I wanted to speak with them, however the Xtians who were in the restaurant were openly rude to them, ("They don't believe in the bible") so I abstained. I am in Northern Florida. My preliminary info seems to show that they may be Thai monks.


Comment by Laars Zwarte on January 11, 2013 at 10:27pm

You're welcome, James.

Comment by James M. Martin on January 9, 2013 at 7:30pm

Laars, Batchelor is excellent on Buddhism, and was interested in his atheist book too.  Thanks for jarring my memory of that, so I can find a copy for myself.

Comment by James M. Martin on January 9, 2013 at 7:28pm

Joan, the post starting "Isn't it strange..." reminded me of the late Christopher Isherwood, best known for the book that led to the musical, "Cabaret" but to book lovers, for works like A Single Man, Down There on a Visit, many others. He was a young hedonist, heading for Berlin after English upbringing in a military family because Berlin was "where the boys are."  Like many Brits of his time (30s) he eventually settled in Southern California and took up with a young painter.  Over the years, he was a stalwart soldier in the Vedanta movement, which I explored myself.  He was familiar with all the gurus of the movement, including Swami Vivekenanda.  If you are a non-believer, it simply baffles you why Isherwood got all bound up in this stuff.  It appeals to Christians, I can tell you that.

Comment by Laars Zwarte on January 9, 2013 at 2:23am

Not strange at all, Joan. Thus, yes, take what do need as it works for you then discard the rest. This is not to say this same guru could not learn from you or I just as successfully, it is just that some people prefer to not market themselves as such these days.

HHDL is getting a bit crotchety in his latter years, and there are Lamas and Rinpoches out there with more humility who are better able to teach without the "Unwinking Gaze (it's a documentary) of the adoring masses seeking answers from them.

HH comes off less nice in that documentary then people would have us believe, and the line that he walks is precarious. His "I am but a simple monk" is no longer true, because a simple monk would be just that. Not traveling and meeting world leaders and doing all that he does.

I respect him, however I respect the teachings more. Like the sutras, The Truths, The Eightfold Path. Basics to live by that do not include "worship". Having seen "The Unwinking Gaze" made me much less enamored of him, when I had already been questioning his "place" now in the Buddhist hierarchy.

I have yet to reach Batchelor's "Confessions of an Atheist Buddhist" however it is on the to-do. Eckhart Tolle has some good writing too. Pema Chodron also  comes to mind...good for beginners, if a bit dry.

Joan, I was not raised with religion, and even though g-d was mentioned I did believe then, then when Santa was blown out of the water as a child I was saying I was Athiest back then. The only reason I knew what that was is my mother said "that terrible woman (MM O'Hair) had prayer taken out of the schools, and I thought to myself "good".

When I said I was Athiest my mother told me she never wanted to hear me say that again...well, she never did, but never  did I join a church...the word is abhorrent because of all that has gone on and the indoctrination required...the brainwashing. I will not even go to weddings for that reason. Nor do I want anything to do with Xmas anymore. I was a fool.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 9, 2013 at 12:36am

Is it not strange that a person who has wisdom that comes from internal ways of knowing and that resonates with others, eventually turn into gurus with all kinds of mystical stories attached? 

Dreams, imagination, hallucinations, delusions all play into this phenomenon. If we could go on a time machine and sit down with Malachi, Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, perhaps we would hear a reasonable man saying reasonable things; or perhaps a deluded man making wild claims, kind of like Joseph Smith. Then we could easily sort out the wheat from the chaff. 

Not able to do that, we can just believe those things that have valid evidence. That's good enough. I can do that. 

Comment by Laars Zwarte on January 8, 2013 at 8:28pm

Right,  Buddha's history of his being under the Bodhi tree when the earth shook, and so on. It could have had there been an earthquake, but the visitations not so much.

Likely much of that was hallucinations from starving. So there are "mysticisms" surrounding him as well. Then there is Pure Land, Amitabha, etc. I am not a Buddhism scholar by any means, but in simple layman's terms...I agree.

One can live a kind and compassionate life without deifying or mysticizing any of it. Also he would likely have agreed with all of it as well as none of is an individual curve of interpretation.


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