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Poll
Question: Is Buddhism good, bad, or what?
Good   -4 (33.3%)
Bad   -2 (16.7%)
all other answers.   -5 (41.7%)
undecided   -1 (8.3%)
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Total Voters: 12

Author Topic: Buddhism  (Read 2119 times)
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tmcusa2
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« on: May 26, 2012, 05:17:21 pm »
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Last fall, I started Meditation. My teacher used Buddhist concepts as a structure for meditation.
 
I have been studying about Buddhism and Buddhist meditation principles, including the four noble truths and now call myself a Buddhist.

What is your opinion of Buddhism?
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The Mikado
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2012, 05:53:59 pm »
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Western Buddhism is very much an artificial, sanitized product that has very little to do with Buddhism as practiced in Asia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, filled as it is with Chinese Gods, dozens of hells, and Bodhisattvas with comic-book superhero powers.
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2012, 06:01:06 pm »
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I am interested in what the Buddha himself taught. It is my understanding that Buddhism is all about the four noble truths.
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 09:42:43 pm »
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^^ I'm assuming Western Buddhism is that hippie stuff, right?
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 10:01:32 pm »
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One of the pastors at my church was raised in it but rejected it for Christ at age 19.
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 04:00:55 am »
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Western Buddhism is very much an artificial, sanitized product that has very little to do with Buddhism as practiced in Asia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, filled as it is with Chinese Gods, dozens of hells, and Bodhisattvas with comic-book superhero powers.

This. I cringe every time I see well-to-do white hipsters try to engage in meditation or discuss the dharma, or talk about the Eight Noble Plaths and Four Noble Truths. Most religions are also ways of life whether you like it or not.
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 04:10:55 am »
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One of the pastors at my church was raised in it but rejected it for Christ at age 19.

You don't strictly speaking have to 'reject' many of the core conceits of Buddhism for Christ, but Buddhism as practiced traditionally is a lot more than just said core conceits, as Mikado said.

I am curious, though, as to whether your pastor was raised in a legit Buddhist tradition or the anodyne Western hippie version.

Western Buddhism is very much an artificial, sanitized product that has very little to do with Buddhism as practiced in Asia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, filled as it is with Chinese Gods, dozens of hells, and Bodhisattvas with comic-book superhero powers.

This is why, when my best friend began to feel the need for some sort of spiritual community and looked into Buddhism, I was incredibly heartened when she chose one of the more austere sects rather than hipster pseudo-Zen. Her practice might not be the total package that Mahayana in Asia has to offer but it's compelling and legit compared to what most 'Buddhism' in this country is about.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 04:14:22 am by Nathan »Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 04:37:12 am »
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If you want to study Buddhism further the Theravada tradition is the more rewarding. It avoids a lot of the superstition of the Mahayana and its focus on the individual salvation is closer to Western thought.
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 05:09:10 am »
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If you wont to study buddhism further the Theravada tradition is the more rewarding. It avoids a lot of the superstion of the Mahayana and its focus on the individual "salvation" is closer to Western tought.

Agreed that Theravada can be more rewarding to somebody coming to Buddhism from a Western mindset. A lot of the more serious attempts at Buddhism in the West are Theravada; they tend to have fairly respectable people involved or backing them up.

The things that interest me academically and culturally about Buddhism, however, aren't necessarily the avoidance of superstition or focus on individual salvation; the sharp difference of Mahayana-as-practiced from a lot of Western assumptions about religion is a large part of why it appeals to me as a subject of study.
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 12:51:41 pm »
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One of the pastors at my church was raised in it but rejected it for Christ at age 19.

You don't strictly speaking have to 'reject' many of the core conceits of Buddhism for Christ, but Buddhism as practiced traditionally is a lot more than just said core conceits, as Mikado said.

I am curious, though, as to whether your pastor was raised in a legit Buddhist tradition or the anodyne Western hippie version.

Her family is Vietnamese (immigrated when she was 3), so definitely the former.
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 02:44:03 pm »
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The hippie Michael Stipe version of Buddhism is probably more enjoyable than actual Buddhism, which is as full of weirdness and magic as any other religion.


...IMO. Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2012, 03:49:09 pm »
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The hippie Michael Stipe version of Buddhism is probably more enjoyable than actual Buddhism, which is as full of weirdness and magic as any other religion.


...IMO. Tongue

You've accidentally described exactly why the hippie Michael Stipe version is so aggressively irritating to me as an academic East Asianist. Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 04:06:11 pm »
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You clearly don't understand Buddhism, Nathan. I suggest you Google the Four Noble Truths.

We are all but flickering candles, and our ultimate goal must be... to put the candle out.
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2012, 04:18:54 pm »
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You clearly don't understand Buddhism, Nathan. I suggest you Google the Four Noble Truths.

We are all but flickering candles, and our ultimate goal must be... to put the candle out.

This is pitch-perfect, Oakvale. I feel like I'm back at certain meditation centers in Vermont.
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His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 04:24:07 pm »
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You clearly don't understand Buddhism, Nathan. I suggest you Google the Four Noble Truths.

We are all but flickering candles, and our ultimate goal must be... to put the candle out.

This is pitch-perfect, Oakvale. I feel like I'm back at certain meditation centers in Vermont.

Thanks! I'd love to continue this but I've got to light a candle and peace out to Brian Eno records.
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2012, 04:27:06 pm »
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You clearly don't understand Buddhism, Nathan. I suggest you Google the Four Noble Truths.

We are all but flickering candles, and our ultimate goal must be... to put the candle out.

This is pitch-perfect, Oakvale. I feel like I'm back at certain meditation centers in Vermont.

Thanks! I'd love to continue this but I've got to light a candle and peace out to Brian Eno records.

Cool, see you after my master whacks me over the head with an Enlightenment Stick and I make preparations for this year's Tanabata and Obon fires.
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2012, 04:38:46 pm »
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Since there's no diety in Buddhism, are Buddhists atheists?
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2012, 04:44:25 pm »
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Since there's no diety in Buddhism, are Buddhists atheists?

Short answer: That's not a relevant question.

Long answer: There is emphatically not 'no deity in Buddhism'. There are no deities necessary for the core of Buddhist teaching to hold or be workable. There are a sh**tload of deities in every conceivable configuration and at almost every level of being looking at all forms of Buddhism as a group, and anywhere from a sizable fraction of that sh**tload down to none of importance when looking at specific sects. In this way Buddhism is transtheistic, since the question of deities' existence is treated as an ancillary concern. Classifying it as atheism is a Western conceit (in both senses of 'conceit'), similar to how it's fashionable to say that East Asian societies aren't religious.
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His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
The Mikado
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2012, 05:08:49 pm »
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You clearly don't understand Buddhism, Nathan. I suggest you Google the Four Noble Truths.

We are all but flickering candles, and our ultimate goal must be... to put the candle out.

This is pitch-perfect, Oakvale. I feel like I'm back at certain meditation centers in Vermont.

Thanks! I'd love to continue this but I've got to light a candle and peace out to Brian Eno records.

Cool, see you after my master whacks me over the head with an Enlightenment Stick and I make preparations for this year's Tanabata and Obon fires.

Do you think this year Vega and Altair will actually meet?  It's so sad that they end up separated every year.  Sad
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2012, 06:24:22 pm »
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You clearly don't understand Buddhism, Nathan. I suggest you Google the Four Noble Truths.

We are all but flickering candles, and our ultimate goal must be... to put the candle out.

This is pitch-perfect, Oakvale. I feel like I'm back at certain meditation centers in Vermont.

Thanks! I'd love to continue this but I've got to light a candle and peace out to Brian Eno records.

Cool, see you after my master whacks me over the head with an Enlightenment Stick and I make preparations for this year's Tanabata and Obon fires.

Do you think this year Vega and Altair will actually meet?  It's so sad that they end up separated every year.  Sad

I certainly hope so. If only Tentei wasn't such a jerkwad...
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His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2012, 10:22:51 pm »
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One of the pastors at my church was raised in it but rejected it for Christ at age 19.

You don't strictly speaking have to 'reject' many of the core conceits of Buddhism for Christ, but Buddhism as practiced traditionally is a lot more than just said core conceits, as Mikado said.

I am curious, though, as to whether your pastor was raised in a legit Buddhist tradition or the anodyne Western hippie version.

Her family is Vietnamese (immigrated when she was 3), so definitely the former.

I wouldn't be so sure about that.  Vietnamese Buddhism is itself fairly syncretic.
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2012, 06:39:03 am »
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Last fall, I started Meditation. My teacher used Buddhist concepts as a structure for meditation.
 
I have been studying about Buddhism and Buddhist meditation principles, including the four noble truths and now call myself a Buddhist.

What is your opinion of Buddhism?

Goodness, it's been a while. How are you?
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2012, 10:29:30 am »
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Western Buddhism is very much an artificial, sanitized product that has very little to do with Buddhism as practiced in Asia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, filled as it is with Chinese Gods, dozens of hells, and Bodhisattvas with comic-book superhero powers.

This. I cringe every time I see well-to-do white hipsters try to engage in meditation or discuss the dharma, or talk about the Eight Noble Plaths and Four Noble Truths. Most religions are also ways of life whether you like it or not.

Everyone invents their own god. So why cringe?
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Nathan
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« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2012, 08:25:08 pm »
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Western Buddhism is very much an artificial, sanitized product that has very little to do with Buddhism as practiced in Asia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, filled as it is with Chinese Gods, dozens of hells, and Bodhisattvas with comic-book superhero powers.

This. I cringe every time I see well-to-do white hipsters try to engage in meditation or discuss the dharma, or talk about the Eight Noble Plaths and Four Noble Truths. Most religions are also ways of life whether you like it or not.

Everyone invents their own god. So why cringe?

Because well-to-do white hipsters have crappy taste in gods.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

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« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2012, 09:42:59 pm »
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Western Buddhism is very much an artificial, sanitized product that has very little to do with Buddhism as practiced in Asia, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, filled as it is with Chinese Gods, dozens of hells, and Bodhisattvas with comic-book superhero powers.

This. I cringe every time I see well-to-do white hipsters try to engage in meditation or discuss the dharma, or talk about the Eight Noble Plaths and Four Noble Truths. Most religions are also ways of life whether you like it or not.

Everyone invents their own god. So why cringe?

Because well-to-do white hipsters have crappy taste in gods.

What about the ones at my church?
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