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Jun

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  1. You are on to something! You might yet understand what I'm trying to get across. This is the stance of most Buddhist sects today. Who knows? And it is the esoteric teachings that the Buddha himself did not agree with. He denied rituals and mumbo-jumbo stuff. My stating that fact however has led to me being labelled a True Believer™ trying to peddle True™ Buddhism. Heavily coloured by Christianity and American culture I might add. The Ganga basin. Based on archeological and textual evidence the Buddha's death is put at 397 BCE. Wars have been fought in the name of Buddhism, yes especially in Japan and Korea. Buddhism itself does not support warfare. The teachings of the Buddha are explicit on this - Ahimsa. To be sure these are not correct terms to be used. But that is the nature of English. From my webpage I'm preparing. The Eightfold Path contains everything needed for virtuous living, clarity of understanding and the attaining of wisdom. The Noble Eightfold Path is the rejection of extremism and the embracing of reason. It is an active analysis of the world around us, not taking anything for granted, pragmatic rationality and moderate activity. One who follows The Noble Eightfold Path lives a life free of emotional, cultural, ethnic or dogmatic hindrances. The Noble Eightfold Path is a difficult path. It is tough having to make up your own mind and accept responsibility for your own actions, instead of just doing or believing what everyone else tells you to do or believe. You don't get to blame anyone else if something goes wrong. It means living honestly and openly with yourself. The Four Noble Truths The Four Noble Truths are a lifetime’s reflection. They require an ongoing attitude of vigilance and they provide the context for a lifetime of examination and self-perfection. Suffering is the common bond that we all share. Everybody everywhere suffers regardless of age, race, culture, religion, etc. From the most privileged to the most desperate and underprivileged, and all ranges in between, we all suffer. The Four Noble Truths are truths to reflect upon. They are not absolutes; They are not The Absolute. The Fourth Noble Truth states that there is the Eightfold Path to end suffering. One cannot have absolute suffering and then have a way out of it, so the Four Noble Truths cannot be absolute. I'm not sure how long it will take for me to get back to this discussion, I need to take a break from the online world - Sayonara. Rev R. may be able to offer a fresher perspective on what I've said?
  2. So many misconceptions. So many are also comparing the ideas of the Buddha with those of the religions of the West - different methods of thought. This is very true. Funny that many Americans are somehow releaved by the possibility that reincarnation is real. The original suttas and sutras in Pali and Sanskrit is where you will find these teachings. Everything I've presented here is to be found in the texts of Buddhism. Again, I'm not pushing any one traditon over another. Just poining out that what some claim is Buddhism is in fact not. I am still searching for the real teachings free of all the mumbo-jumbo too I might add. In no way can I claim that how I practice is any truer. By reading back through the teachings we find that those things that have been elaborated upon by later teachers were not mentioned by the Buddha at all. Many things were even rejected by the Buddha, but are now accepted by "Buddhists." The oldest known texts date from the first century AD. Not my version Dave, the teachings as presented in the earliest texts. You don't have to believe what I say at all. You or any one can research and find out for yourselves. I started out practicing Shingon-shu esoteric Buddhism, only to read through some of the earlier texts and find that the Buddha rejected the very magical incantations and supernatural stories that the Shingon-shu had been practicing for over a thousand years! Ths iled me to read through all of the earlier texts and investigate all the sects and what they taught. Everything I present here is based on over twenty years of research into Buddhism - and not from the point of view of any one particular sect or teacher. Heck, even Zen gets it wrong! Can I play tennis with a golf-club? Ordinary, yes. Anyone can achieve it, yes. Without Buddhist teachings? Only through discipline, meditation and wisdom. That is the core practice. It is what defines Buddhism. Buddhism is a form of yoga. Remember that the Buddha was a yogi - he had practiced with all the major schools and underwent some very rigorous training in order to realise what he did. At the core of Buddhist practice is meditation. In one sentence you have contradicted yourself then. You have made my point too. Well, to start, the very word reincarnation is not to be found in any of the early texts of Buddhism at all. What the Buddha taught was REBIRTH. He took the commonly held idea of (the Hindu) reincarnation, and threw it out. The Buddha states quite clearly in ALL texts "Belief in a soul is NOT the Dharma." One only needs to read the early texts to see how various sects have added their own spin on things. It is generally agreed that the Buddha and his clan did exist. The fact of the matter however is that it doesn't matter one bit to the teachings of Buddhism. Please re-read my opening post.
  3. Hi Dave, Firstly, It is not my version of Buddhism that I am discussing. But Buddhism freed of the cultural and metaphysical trappings that have coated it. I offered my little rant free of the opinions of my tradition. No one is right or wrong by the way. But there are practices within some traditions that go against the very teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha taught that one is not to accept supernatural beliefs, or to depend upon supernatural beliefs and such. But there are clearly those traditions that do. So that, by definition, is NOT Buddhism. Buddhism = the teachings of the Buddha. As I've said, the predominant version of Buddhism that one is going to encounter today is RELIGIOUS Buddhism. Buddhism practiced as a RELIGION with all the supernatural trappings, talk of superhuman beings and such. This is NOT Buddhism. A person is clearly NOT practicing what the Buddha taught if they chant his name and expect something in return. The Buddha wa s trying to remove all the religious metaphysical stuff from peoples minds. Trying to make them realise that that stuff is all created by man and uneccessary. He rejected all those beliefs. There are those traditions today however that practice the very things that the Buddha said were a hindrance to practice, things that he rejected. If the Buddha rejected such things and said they are NOT accepted in Buddhism - then those who practice them aren't following his teachings. Michael, Read through some of my past posts. The current Dalai Lama recognised in China was chosen by poll. The whole theistic bent of Tibetan "Buddhism" is based upon one of power and authority - that is far removed from the teachings of the Buddha. Is Tibetan "Buddhism" really Buddhism? Many here know my stance on this issue. Ruby, In Asia, there is no term "Buddhism." Buddhism is a Western term. In Asia one says "I'm a follower" or "I practice the Way" or "I'm a Dharma follower." Carl Jung was a follower of Buddhism. The scietnific attitude and content of Buddhist teachings led Albert Einstein to say, "If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism."
  4. Hey, don't forget the LORD SATAN! Hail SATAN!
  5. Oh yes there is. I pity you your inability to be free. Your inablility to question and your inability to see reason. I pity you that you must follow the teachings of an iron-age fictional book, rather than find your own path and live it fully. Oh, and I pity that you can't praise SATAN, the LORD of ALL!
  6. I promised an explanation of what rebirth is all about, and why reincarnation is NOT a part of Buddhist practice. In thinking through a way to explain this simply I soon realized that there are still a great many things that are being mistakenly passed off as “Buddhist†practice. I’ve done enough finger pointing here on this forum, so now I will simply attempt to present an outline of what Buddhism is, and is not. It is up to you to then decide if what is being presented by any one group is in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings. Please forgive my little rant if it runs off in different tangents. I will try to outline the original doctrine of the Buddha in brief, stripped of all the cultural trappings and metaphysical speculations that has gathered around it during its long journey through a dozen Asian countries. The central message of the Buddha has become obscured by metaphysical and spiritual mumbo-jumbo. Some of that metaphysical mumbo-jumbo is now believed by many - yes even Buddhists - to be “Buddhism†despite being against the very teachings of the Buddha. Well here goes - In a nut shell, the core practice of the Buddha’s teaching is discipline, meditation and wisdom. Wisdom is the goal and meditation is the process towards achieving wisdom. Discipline through observing precepts is the method that helps one to achieve meditation. This is it - the core of the practice of Buddhism. Nothing else is required. An understanding of the Four Noble Truths and a general following of the Eight Fold Path - and you have it. I have spoken here quite a bit on the four types of Buddhism. 1. Religious 2. Academic 3. A cult 4. The basic practice - basic Buddhism Prevalent today is what is called “religious†Buddhism. Buddhism practiced as a religion. This is basically what everyone here comes to discuss. This includes all manner of superstitions, the chanting of “prayers,†belief in gods and deities, belief in heavens and hells, reincarnation (transmigration of a “soulâ€), magic spells, talismans, auspicious days and observances,…. Etc Many people today, including many “Buddhists†practicing in temples, do not understand the meaning and teachings of Buddhism. Yes, even monks in temples can be wrong. Often unknowingly, sometimes deliberately (Yes, in many Asian countries Buddhism is a legitimate tax-free occupation). Even in Asia, one can visit a temple and see people offering incense, prostrating to the statues, offering fruit and rice and praying to the Buddha as if he were a god able to grant wishes. This is NOT Buddhism at all. Statues are teaching tools, they simply serve to remind us of the teachings. They do not represent a belief in gods and deities. Likewise the Buddha is not a god. He’s dead! He offered this teaching as a means of helping us to realise our true selves, to overcome our self-imposed suffering and delusions. The Buddha stated that we alone have the ability to become happy, realise escape from delusion and suffering, and become compassionate. Any reliance upon religion or superstition goes against the very teachings of the Buddha. In introducing his teachings, the Buddha borrowed the religious terms of the time (2,600 years ago in India, there were 62 religious cults). The main religious thinking of India 2,600 years ago centered on the idea that a “God†had created everything; “God†rewarded those who prayed to him; “God†was responsible for the lives of men; and “God†sent men either to heaven or hell. The Buddha did not support any of these beliefs. He had been brought up within these teachings and rejected them. He rejected the commonly held belief in “God.†He rejected the commonly held belief in heaven and hell. He rejected the commonly held belief in a “soul.†But in order to be on common ground with his audience he often used the same religious terminology. Those listening would hopefully grasp what he was alluding to and then he could proceed to develop his ideas from this common ground. Dharma, karma, nirvana, moksha, niraya, samsara, atman are all words that the Buddha borrowed from the religions of his time. But in his teaching the Buddha gave very rational and unique meanings and interpretations to those existing religious terms - meanings that were VERY different from the then accepted ideas. The Buddha’s technique of teaching was different from that of the religious teachers of the time. Each religious teacher supposedly “knew†the answers to all questions posed to them. The Buddha however was honest to those who questioned him and based his teachings on everyday experience and observances. On one occasion the Buddha was walking along the edge of a river with some followers when he noticed a piece of wood drifting downstream. “What do you think of that piece of wood? What will happen to it?†One follower responded, “It may land on an island in the middle of the river.†“It may get saturated and eventually sink to the bottom,†another said. “It may be picked up, dried out and used as firewood.†said another. Now who is correct? Who can accurately predict the fate of the piece of wood? The Buddha then explained that our lives are just like the drifting wood on the river. Full of uncertainty. His method was to take lessons from everyday life so that his teachings were relevant to life, rooted in the here and now. He emphasized that as humans we must think freely, by using common sense. By simply following superstitions and ceremonies and prayers one can never be free to use our own minds. The Buddha stated, “I never had any teacher or divinity to teach me or tell me how to gain enlightenment. What I achieved I did by my own effort.†There is no obligation or compulsion to believe anything or accept any doctrine within Buddhism. Buddhism is simply seeing and understanding - a scientific attitude of mind. The Buddha invited all his followers (and his opponents of other religions) to challenge his teachings from every possible angle. To test everything he said. When people claimed there was a “God†(Brahma) he said, “Prove it.†One of the traditional epithets of the Dharma is “ehipasyika†(meaning literally “come and seeâ€). Legitimate Buddhist practitioners are encouraged to challenge the teachings, to tease them and test them, and pull them apart to see if there are any things that the Buddha was wrong about. It seems that many so-called "Buddhists" these days are happy to simply accept the teachings as they are, without questioning. How does one know if what they are told by their teacher is right? How does one know if the Buddha as right? Maybe he was wrong! He could have been! He was just a man after all. The Buddha did not appropriate on himself the role of a “God†or of a prophet of “God,†in order to validate his teachings. His teachings were derived from his own unaided efforts and he invited EVERYONE to test them out. Buddhism recognizes no creeds whose uncritical acceptance is expected of its followers. I think I’ve repeated this enough to get the message across, so on to the main topic - rebirth. The Dharma is concerned solely with the here and now, with helping us to resolve our personal hang ups through increased self-awareness and inner honesty. All the rest of Buddhism we can let go as the religious trappings of an ancient culture utterly inappropriate for the practice of the Dharma. Reincarnation involves the retention of an individualized "soul" from one life to the next. This was the basic belief of India at the time of the Buddha. The Buddha however rejected this belief. The Buddha rejected the belief of an everlasting "self." The Buddha instead referred to rebirth. Now there are two understandings of rebirth - that of the Theravada tradition, and that of the Mahayana tradition. In Theravada it can be explained using the analogy of playing pool. When you play pool and you hit one ball with another to send it in a given direction, the ball which is hit does not retain anything of the ball which hit it. It is a transference of energy - the bumping of the ball by another. It can also be likened to the transference of a flame from one candle to another. Some within Theravada say that it is consciousness that is transferred, some say simply an energy - the energy that binds us together with the universe. To this I would say - phooey! Why? Because now we have a speculative theory in play, and the Buddha didn’t deal with speculation. When people talked to the Buddha about things that were clearly speculative he simply said, “Sorry, Homey don’t play dat!†Within Mahayana, rebirth is the awakening of our Self to ourselves in this life. As our old "self" - our ego self - dies, a new self is born. This is rebirth. We are in fact being reborn each and every second. is it important to know all about rebirth? No. Is it important to the practice of Buddhism? No. Is it a belief that must be adhered to in one form or another depending on the tradition one follows? No. Buddhism is not concerned with such things at all. Oh, and once again, any tradition of Buddhism that claims that Buddhists believe in reincarnation is NOT a school of Buddhism at all! It matters not how many centuries they've been teaching reincarnation or how many sutras thay have in referrence to it - It's NOT Buddhism.
  7. I do not feel anger nor hatred, but when I see the cultural destruction that has occured in other lands by Christians and their self-righteous doctrine of hatred I wish there were some way to make them accountable for the damage they have caused in the name of their "God."
  8. You attribute your own abilities to a fictional supernatural power?! Anyone else in there with "God" or is he alone?
  9. Is Myth Busters sh!t? I've never seen it, but I've seen it advertised everywhere.
  10. It was SATAN! He is talking to you. HAIL SATAN!
  11. This is an incorrect use of a word. The word "hentai" simply means "perverted." Something can be pornographic but not hentai. Also, anime or manga can have a "hentai" theme, but it is not referred to as "hentai." Hentai is not a classification or genre of film and comics. The term hentai is used frequently to refer to people of a sexually perveted bent. But it is never used as a genre of film or comics.
  12. The reason why I highlighted those bits in red. It's good to hear things from someone in the know. Now, how do we go about getting this on Myth Busters?
  13. Yes, my bad choice of wording. I should really just say I don't know and will wait to see for myself. "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind...."
  14. Well, I still don't know what to think. I'm of the opinion that there is just some strange coincidences going on. I'm not convinced that there are ghosts or voices from the dead. I've spent the day looking into this very topic and I'm just not convinced. Granted I'm not in Japan yet to speak with my son alone and in depth, but still I don't buy it.
  15. I was a nasty man.... Nasty is necessary to wake up these whimpy, pussy types! C'mon son, pull your head in, and throw it back as good as you get!
  16. I just listened to the audio clips on that site. They seem legit if you read what you are supposed to be hearing. But, I also noticed that if you tell yourself the voice is saying something else, with similar sounding syllables, you hear that just as well. Some of them are actually pretty lame. Agreed. I have seen no actually scientifically verifiable evidence to support any of the claims made by the EVP camp. I've seen no evidence that people can see/hear ghosts either. I think that it has something to do with the mind - imagination and incomplete understanding of everything around us. Perhaps our myths and tales of ghosts have couloured our very expectations.
  17. Really? Where? By whom?
  18. That would be an excuse in Australia to take them before the Anti-discrimination board or sue them for all they are worth.
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