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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: Feb 4
Started by Philip Jackson Armstrong. Last reply by Philip Jackson Armstrong Aug 15, 2013.
Started by Dave Salyers. Last reply by Napoleon Bonaparte Jul 11, 2013.
Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 4, 2012.
Joan...Probably equally sad is my ability to communicate what I experience. About 40 years ago I read a book about Siddhārtha Gautama. My interpretation of one simple concept was the most life altering event I ever experienced. Desire is the cause of my all suffering, all negative emotions. Everything that hurts me is self inflicted. And when I let desire go and accept reality, I live mindfully and don't waste the time I have to live needlessly in pain or distraction. Schizotypal sounding statement perhaps but true, and this understanding has made my life very not sad! The point is pretty much one sentence drastically changed my life, you don't need some paradigm outside of yourself to find enlightenment so to speak. Buddhisim is to the words of Buddha the same as Christianity is to the words of Jesus; obfuscation. Some people like the extra layers of abstraction of Buddhism vs Buddha. But Buddha said it best, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” It's so simple. Sad that people so often miss Buddha's message because of his followers.
Philip said:"I find it sad that people can't see the difference between Buddhism and the teaching of Buddha. Buddhism is a cult, team, social group, religion, whatever, it takes more than one person to belong. Not even close to what his message is.The message is not out there. It is inside you. You just have to find it. So sad."
I respectfully disagree. Buddha's teaching is out there, however it is less practiced than preached by many Westerners.
I cannot necessarily say "rightfully so" that Eastern practitioners look down on Western "Buddhists" (which is incidentally a fairly recent term (1801 compared to its inception for the practice/teachings) however there is that stigma of it being a "cool" religion like Scientology is among celebs.
It was the Dalai Lama himself that made me feel terrible about my own practice, having seem him speak in DC. Until I realized that it is highly unlikely to get Buddhist "immersion" in the states without a decent income or savings because few monasteries are self supported, and the demand is higher.
So yes, "Buddhism" as we know it according to the native peoples who live it as opposed to practice it could be construed as a cult, or a social formation, however I do not not think it belies those that may have altruistic intent there. They are viewed with a jaundiced eye for not being born into it.It's a form of snobbery.
Also, what else would you call someone who chooses to adopt the the teaching/discoveries of the Buddha? I would be interested to know.
The quest for enlightenment - which to me is self enlightenment, not a deified one, is not sad, and to me THE most important part would be the 4 Noble Truths about acknowledging that my pain is your pain, we are a collective individual in that regard...etc.
Laars Zwarte, I like meditation as well; time for quiet, thoughtful reflection of events and their consequences as well as looking at possible options for remedies. I know it is possible to make matters worse and therefore I like thinking through to their logical, anticipated end.I don't like trying to figure out what God or Zeus or Thor or Ra would have me do.
I believe all I need is the clarity to see a problem, the vision to imagine a preferred goal, the energy to explore for options, the courage to try the one that holds the highest probability of success and then set to work.
Phillip, I understand you feel sad about ... I am not sure. What is it about Buddhism that makes you feel not sad? Am I missing something that I could learn from you?
Just going to dive on in...
Buddhism's truths should be the human tenets, just as Christianity preaches love thy neighbor (conditionally, of course) but practices it far less than Buddhists do. I do not care for the mysticism in any religion, but there are redeeming qualities.
I would like to pick it up again, since meditation is also very useful to rewire and rest our brain.
Atheism is more practical in that it does not require me to find the rationale behind an allegedly all-seeing/all-knowing invisible entity.
Some consider us base or less intelligent because we do not ascribe to their beliefs, however I am inclined to agree we may be more prone to introspection that "tossing it up to g-d's will". Being accountable. That's about it.
I find it sad that people can't see the difference between Buddhism and the teaching of Buddha. Buddhism is a cult, team, social group, religion, whatever, it takes more than one person to belong. Not even close to what his message is.The message is not out there. It is inside you. You just have to find it. So sad.
I enjoyed Buddhism as a way of seeing the world and creating new frames. I didn't like the mysticism, as I didn't like the mysticism of so many traditions. Atheism has no such barrier for me. If anything, it forces me to look within for decision making. I couldn't find any guru that had instand answers that worked. James, I am so glad to learn that Buddhism helped you overcome drinking. I like your statement, "I just thanked Buddhism for showing me the way."
Welcome, Laars. I think that even though I was not approaching it from an atheist point of view, Buddhism really turned my life around: it helped me to stop drinking. I did not thank any God for that, I just thanked Buddhism for showing me the way. The Dhammapada is what did the trick.
Good day all,
New guy here, I go by Laars.
I am/was a sometime Buddhist - lapsed in the moment, but Atheism has been more on my radar lately. Especially during and after the US election where it was crammed down our throats.
I was not raised with religion, and I "chose" Buddhism...it made the most sense to me as to what I might ascribe to were I to "practice". However I have had my share of difficulties with it, too. Some judgmental types who would tell me how I should practice.
Anyway, here I am, and I look forwards to some lively discussions. Thanks.
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