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A place for those who consider themselves Atheist Buddhists, or those who simply don't see this as a contradiction in terms.
Latest Activity: Mar 17
Started by Eisel Mazard Jul 26, 2012.
Started by Philip Jackson Armstrong. Last reply by Philip Jackson Armstrong May 3, 2012.
Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 4, 2012.
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.
You're welcome, James.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 it...it is an individual curve of interpretation.
Joan - once more Buddha doesn't speak of this mysticism. Only Buddhists. Don't listen to Buddhists. Listen to Buddha to understand. "Don't blindly believe what I say. Don't believe me because others convince you of my words. Don't believe anything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts. Don't rely on logic alone, nor speculation. Don't infer or be deceived by appearances." Buddhism is a philosophy that extends or expands on his teachings. I doubt he would agree with most of it.
I am interested in how Buddhism empowers you to take positive thought and action. The practices give me strength but mysticism really turns me off. What experiences have you had?
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