How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

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James the Giant
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby James the Giant » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:03 am

Interesting stuff everyone, thanks for the suggestions. I'll report back next week how things go with her.
And thanks especially to Bhikkhu Pesala for showing these references. Profound, and completely at odds with SGI. She'll dismiss them instantly as not being from the Lotus Sutra and therefore irrelevant , but I find them valuable and true.
Thanks!
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:27 am

Individual wrote:Where is the compassion?

Where is the compassion in letting a friend continue to follow a wrong path?

The compassion bit is in how and when you tell them. Bash the wrong view not the person.

Once, while Nāgasamāla was walking with the Buddha as his attendant, they came to a cleft in the road, and the Buddha wished to go along one way, while Nāgasamāla wished to go along another, in spite of the Buddha’s warning that it was dangerous. In the end, he put the Buddha’s begging bowl and robe on the ground and left him. Brigands waylaid him and ill treated him, breaking his bowl and threatening to kill him. Thereupon he turned back to the Buddha and asked his forgiveness.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:24 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Individual wrote:Where is the compassion?

Where is the compassion in letting a friend continue to follow a wrong path?

The compassion bit is in how and when you tell them. Bash the wrong view not the person.

Once, while Nāgasamāla was walking with the Buddha as his attendant, they came to a cleft in the road, and the Buddha wished to go along one way, while Nāgasamāla wished to go along another, in spite of the Buddha’s warning that it was dangerous. In the end, he put the Buddha’s begging bowl and robe on the ground and left him. Brigands waylaid him and ill treated him, breaking his bowl and threatening to kill him. Thereupon he turned back to the Buddha and asked his forgiveness.

Hello Individual,

I agree with Bhante Pesala... perhaps what you are suggesting wouldn't be karuna (compassion) but rather its 'near enemy' pity?

metta
Chris
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:24 am

PeterB wrote:To return to the OP, I strongly suspect that ( as another poster has hinted ) this particular issue will resolve itself.One way or another. Sometimes consciously adopting an unresolvable difference is our way of finding resolution to problems that have different and other roots. Sometimes one person in a relationship is subconsciously looking for deal breaker.


That is highly interesting and something that is probably not very uncommon, right?
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:27 am

I think its fairly common Anna, but remember I dont get to see happy folk on a professional basis so that might skew my perception of how common it is. I think it certainly happens.

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:00 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Please educate yourselves about what Nichiren Buddhism teaches then decide whether it qualifies as a sect or just another school of Buddhism.
[Snip]
Nichiren Buddhism is not Dhamma (adhamma).

Hi Bhante,
I have in the past, wasn't impresed.

But it is possibly worth remembering that the Buddha criticised a view even if it was patly/mostly correct, or parlty/mostly wrong. the correct parts don't make the view correct.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:13 am

PeterB wrote:I think its fairly common Anna, but remember I dont get to see happy folk on a professional basis so that might skew my perception of how common it is. I think it certainly happens.


-to my utter dismay, it just occured to me that this is what might have happened between my Ex and me... :jawdrop:
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:53 pm

James the Giant wrote:My friend persuaded me to try her kind of Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, for a few months.
I could tell her the reasons I don't like it, but I feel that would be rude to her, as they are quite serious and fairly insulting reasons, from her perspective anyway.
(To describe the reasons here would definitely be sect-bashing and against the terms of service of any good Buddhist forum.)

So, suggestions?


Greetings --

One possibility would be to focus the discussion on practices rather than beliefs. That is, rather than getting into a fight over true Dharma and the Lotus Sutra, you could say, for instance, that you prefer meditation to chanting, or that Vipassana has helped you reduce your suffering and you want to stick with the prescription offered by good old Dr. Gautama. When you raised this topic on e-sangha awhile back, I seem to remember you saying that Nichiren chanting made you depressed.

You could say the Buddha taught different methods to people with different capacities and the dharma door of daimoku isn't the one for you.

If you start arguing over beliefs, she's just going to defend her position and get angry with you. It's basic human nature. You're never going to persuade her on doctrinal grounds, as there are thousands of pages of Mahayana scripture (including many passages in the Lotus Sutra) intended to counter such challenges.

If Nichiren doesn't do it for you, then it doesn't do it for you. And if she really needs it to do it for you, then maybe your friendship faces some constraints.

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby MrsCogan » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:12 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:You could say the Buddha taught different methods to people with different capacities and the dharma door of daimoku isn't the one for you.


this is an excellent answer and a true one. But I have a feeling your friend won't be moved by it. That means you'll have to just keep saying "it's not for me" and let the fallout fall out. I wish I had a better answer.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:17 am

Comment from the newbie here. What was the resolution to this concern?

I know many people who are former SGI. My understanding is that your friend is supposed to terminate the friendship, because even being in your presence (an "archaic Buddhist") will cause her "bad karma" (that is the teaching, not my view). I am curious to know if she accepted the advice of her community, or chose to remain your friend. I am dealing with a similar situation.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby James the Giant » Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:11 am

I told her, and she was fine with it, she's still my good friend. I was concerned with no justification, it seems. She was disappointed, but she said she understood, and that I had established a "poison drum relationship" with the True Path.
The leaders of the local SGI group have not been so understanding however, with total silence and a cessation of invitations and communication. I guess they take the "bad karma" thing seriously.

Oh well, nothing lost there I reckon...
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:43 am

All's well that ends well.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:17 am

Monkey Mind wrote:I know many people who are former SGI. My understanding is that your friend is supposed to terminate the friendship, because even being in your presence (an "archaic Buddhist") will cause her "bad karma" (that is the teaching, not my view).

This is the typical behaviour for cults. A Sri Lankan man (a Catholic) used to offer alms to me, but his wife was a member of SGI. I went to his house once, then he brought alms to my place for some months, then he stopped coming.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:58 am

One problem with SGI from what I've heard is the way the organization is run. A lot of people become "teachers" or facilitators, and some are not suitable.

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:24 am

Dan74 wrote:One problem with SGI from what I've heard is the way the organization is run. A lot of people become "teachers" or facilitators, and some are not suitable.

_/|\_

The problem are far more than that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:44 pm

Ironically, it was questions like the OP that brought me to e-sangha.com in the first place. I googled "Is {name of organization} a cult", and was directed to the many pages on the subject at ES. (By the way, DO NOT google that question unless your computer has exceptional anti-virus software.) I was very concerned about the behavior of that group based on stories of former members.

However, I have received the instruction to focus on my own dhamma practice, and let others find their own paths. A protest surfaces in my awareness, "But they are recruiting marginalized people and giving them misinformation!" Breath that out, and trust the law of kamma. Then another protest, "But they're spending millions of dollars/ marks/ yen to undermine other lineages of Buddhism!" Breath that out, and trust the law of kamma.

Anyone have better guidance about how to cope with being in a town with a large, active SGI group?
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Laurens » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:50 pm

I think its a wee bit rich for a sect to condemn all of its critics to a "world of hell" whilst they themselves are free to criticise other sects of Buddhism willy-nilly.

Of course you should voice your opinion.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:16 pm

Monkey Mind wrote:Ironically, it was questions like the OP that brought me to e-sangha.com in the first place. I googled "Is {name of organization} a cult", and was directed to the many pages on the subject at ES. (By the way, DO NOT google that question unless your computer has exceptional anti-virus software.) I was very concerned about the behavior of that group based on stories of former members.

However, I have received the instruction to focus on my own dhamma practice, and let others find their own paths. A protest surfaces in my awareness, "But they are recruiting marginalized people and giving them misinformation!" Breath that out, and trust the law of kamma. Then another protest, "But they're spending millions of dollars/ marks/ yen to undermine other lineages of Buddhism!" Breath that out, and trust the law of kamma.

Anyone have better guidance about how to cope with being in a town with a large, active SGI group?



I am not sure if this is better guidance. I don't try to change people's beliefs and the Buddha explicitly recommended against doing so.

Best way is compassion coupled with good example. The harm SGI is inflicting is likely mostly in your imagination. Would those people be better off without it? Would they be practicing Theravada under a reputable teacher? I doubt it.

It is like lamenting why the world is not perfect. Best we start with ourselves and that which we are able to improve. But it can take a bit of practice to begin to see that improving the world is not such a simple proposition.

Good luck!!!

_/|\_
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:16 pm

Thanks, Dan. I get a little preoccupied with conspiracy theories. I have learned to not engage them, big trouble that causes. I really am better off merely shrugging my shoulders and wishing them all well, and staying out of their way. It's just sad that so many people have a negative experience with them, and assume (because that's what their taught) that they are the only form of Buddhism.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Potato » Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:01 am

Dan74 wrote:As for Nichiren railing and ranting against other schools, well, he certainly did that! Maybe there was some point to it at his time? I am not sure. He certainly had a hard time of it.

_/|\_

I am an independent Nichiren Buddhist. I am not affiliated with the SGI or Nichiren Shoshu. SGI and Nichiren Shoshu were united until the early 1990's, when there was a disagreement and they split apart. There are over twenty schools of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan, and my understanding is that both Nichiren Shoshu and SGI are looked at a little askance by the others. In the USA, there are three main Nichiren schools: SGI, Nichiren Shoshu, and Nichiren Shu. Independent Nichiren Buddhists are not officially affiliated with any of the three.

Nichiren's railing and ranting against other schools in his own time can be somewhat compared with Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. Nichiren was deeply disturbed about the corruption he saw in other Japanese Buddhist schools of his day. Nichiren was also imprisoned, exiled, and nearly executed for his troubles.

Are there any other Nichiren Buddhists about?


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