How to deal with accusations against my practices

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby mongaloid502 » Mon May 07, 2012 5:28 pm

Hi,

I have recently begun to investigate the world of Buddhism and found the benefits of meditation to be profound!(both spiritually and merely in terms of mood/everyday life outlook)
My (christian) parents and friends however seem to be taking issue with my new found practices and to be honest I don't really know how to answer them . I know I shouldn't be worried about what other people think, but the questions they ask are beginning to stir doubt in my own mind. Their accusations of Buddhism are that it is only attractive because:

1) by belonging to it you can touch the infinite
2) you can have joy without concrete religious obligations.

Can anyone help me to understand these claims?
Thanks!
mongaloid502
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon May 07, 2012 5:34 pm

I think you should tell them that 1) doesn't even really make sense and that 2) well, what''s wrong with 2. Do your parents only want you to have joy if it's bound up in religious obligations?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
User avatar
polarbuddha101
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon May 07, 2012 6:44 pm

Your best possible course of action is to remain polite, compassionate, and kind. The best advertisement for the positive nature of your practice is your demeanor when faced with this criticism.

I too come from a non-supportive Christian family. Realize that you've discovered a wonderful opportunity in the Dhamma and try to have compassion for those who persist in delusion. Try and explain your practice if you can, but if they won't listen, then just go on your own and wait for them to see the change it brings in your life.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby cooran » Mon May 07, 2012 7:51 pm

Hello M,

Show them that Christians meditate also:

Christian Meditation Australia
http://www.christianmeditationaustralia.org/

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7517
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby rowboat » Mon May 07, 2012 10:55 pm

Your best possible course of action is to remain polite, compassionate, and kind. The best advertisement for the positive nature of your practice is your demeanor when faced with this criticism.


:goodpost:
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
User avatar
rowboat
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:01 am

mongaloid502 wrote:Hi,

I have recently begun to investigate the world of Buddhism and found the benefits of meditation to be profound!(both spiritually and merely in terms of mood/everyday life outlook)
My (christian) parents and friends however seem to be taking issue with my new found practices and to be honest I don't really know how to answer them . I know I shouldn't be worried about what other people think, but the questions they ask are beginning to stir doubt in my own mind. Their accusations of Buddhism are that it is only attractive because:

1) by belonging to it you can touch the infinite
2) you can have joy without concrete religious obligations.

Can anyone help me to understand these claims?
Thanks!


These are quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger (the 1) and 2)). How come?
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby nobody12345 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:44 am

The strategy could be 2 folds.
One is developing Metta (friendliness/loving kindness/ compassion and etc.).
The other is developing equanimity.
By developing Metta, one should try to develop the quality that is noble and wholesome.
Action speaks louder than words.
By developing equanimity, one also needs to be able to stay aloof and detached when it is proper to do so.
When the Buddha discussed the method of removing of unwanted thoughts/grudges, he mentioned when all the possible strategies is not working, then one should direct attention from that object and not give any further attention to it.
Many times, by living the proper life style of the Buddhist, one can gain some respect from the people who see the Buddhism as something suspicious.
However, in some cases, there are people who hate the Buddhism/Buddhists no matter what.
For those occasions, one also needs to develop the skill of staying aloof/detached.
Don't partake in their meal of negative mental proliferations.
Just remind yourself that those men and women are the owners of their own Kamma so let them own up to it, not you.
Don't get involved.
Let them be.
ps: Both of the strategies need to be developed especially if you are living in the environment that is hostile to the Dhamma/Buddhism such as a fundamental, evangelical Christian community/culture.
Last edited by nobody12345 on Tue May 08, 2012 12:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
nobody12345
 
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:05 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 08, 2012 12:50 am

Greetings,

Dan74 wrote:These are quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger (the 1) and 2)). How come?

:spy:

:popcorn:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby nobody12345 » Tue May 08, 2012 1:09 am

If I may add one more thing about the subject of religions/ infinity/ and etc.
It's more likely you cannot have productive arguments with others regarding the such matters.
Especially when you are arguing with fundamental Christians, it doesn't matter who has better logic and reasoning.
It all comes down to the motto of all the religions (minus true Buddhism) that you should 'believe' first then God will give you the salvation.
Just skip the whole arguments.
Most cases, it's unbeneficial to argue or reason with them.
Your life is precious and you don't have that much time to live.
How long do we live?
80 years? 90 years? 100 years?
Let them argue and speculate things forever and ever.
We got better things to do such as practicing Dhamma so we can accomplish THE ultimate prison break once and for all.
nobody12345
 
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:05 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby ground » Tue May 08, 2012 1:14 am

mongaloid502 wrote:Their accusations of Buddhism are that it is only attractive because:

1) by belonging to it you can touch the infinite
2) you can have joy without concrete religious obligations.

Can anyone help me to understand these claims?
Thanks!


Whether from you parents or Cardinal Ratzinger or both I don't even understand the meaning of those "accusations".

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby Kamran » Tue May 08, 2012 1:40 am

You may want to point out classical Christian meditation books like St. John of the Cross’ The Dark Night of
The Soul. It is my understanding that Christian stages of meditation are mapped out remarkably similar to the Buddhist in their fundamentals.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
User avatar
Kamran
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:14 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby icyteru » Tue May 08, 2012 4:02 am

Kamran wrote:You may want to point out classical Christian meditation books like St. John of the Cross’ The Dark Night of
The Soul. It is my understanding that Christian stages of meditation are mapped out remarkably similar to the Buddhist in their fundamentals.


yes. Bernadette Roberts learn from St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.
read "The Experience of No-Self"
The most complete english tipitaka on the internet world. http://realtruthlife.blogspot.com .
User avatar
icyteru
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:11 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby puppha » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:53 am

Hello,

I know what you can feel as my wife turned born-again Christian about 1.5 years ago (she was a moderate Christian before).

5. "If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart. For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If you were to become angry or upset when others speak in dispraise of us, would you be able to recognize whether their statements are rightly or wrongly spoken?"

"Certainly not, Lord."

"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.'

6. "And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart. For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should acknowledge what is fact as fact, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is a fact, this is true, there is such a thing in us, this is found among us.'

DN01

From my experience, I think it depends what "flavour" of Christianity your relatives are. The more they go on the fundamentalist side of things, the less they will listen to you or consider your choices all right.

Regarding (1), I would say that I don't understand the statement. Buddhism is eminently practical and grounded in this reality. There are no such "fancies" as "touching the infinite".
Regarding (2), I would say that in Buddhism, all the following are religious practices: meditation, reading suttas, informing yourself about the world, discussing with other people, doing the washing up, respecting the 5 precepts, etc. Going to a temple for a formal service is just an extension of the above.

My advice to you is this: it is very easy for you to enter their games. You have to understand that they judge your practice based on their religious framework and prejudices (and this is often unconscious). Do not follow the paths they want to put you on.
Acknowledge what they say is true when it is true, false when it is false, and that you don't know when you don't know. It's perfectly OK to say "I don't know". Even an Arahant does not know everything, but he/she knows enough to be liberated. It's not because you don't know that their answers become automatically the truth.
Also, do not seek their approval. For us westerns, the middle way is quite a lonely path. You can also try to meet other like-mind people at your local monastery, or read/post on this forum. It's good to see that other people are following the same path, it makes you feel you're not that weird!

All the best!

With Metta
User avatar
puppha
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby SDC » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:31 am

Dan74 wrote:These are quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger (the 1) and 2)). How come?


Starts with "T" and ends with "roll".

Nice pick up, Dan.
User avatar
SDC
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm
Location: North Jersey

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby Sokehi » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:25 pm

puppha wrote:Hello,

I know what you can feel as my wife turned born-again Christian about 1.5 years ago (she was a moderate Christian before).

5. "If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart. For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If you were to become angry or upset when others speak in dispraise of us, would you be able to recognize whether their statements are rightly or wrongly spoken?"

"Certainly not, Lord."

"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.'

6. "And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart. For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves. If others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should acknowledge what is fact as fact, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is a fact, this is true, there is such a thing in us, this is found among us.'

DN01

From my experience, I think it depends what "flavour" of Christianity your relatives are. The more they go on the fundamentalist side of things, the less they will listen to you or consider your choices all right.

Regarding (1), I would say that I don't understand the statement. Buddhism is eminently practical and grounded in this reality. There are no such "fancies" as "touching the infinite".
Regarding (2), I would say that in Buddhism, all the following are religious practices: meditation, reading suttas, informing yourself about the world, discussing with other people, doing the washing up, respecting the 5 precepts, etc. Going to a temple for a formal service is just an extension of the above.

My advice to you is this: it is very easy for you to enter their games. You have to understand that they judge your practice based on their religious framework and prejudices (and this is often unconscious). Do not follow the paths they want to put you on.
Acknowledge what they say is true when it is true, false when it is false, and that you don't know when you don't know. It's perfectly OK to say "I don't know". Even an Arahant does not know everything, but he/she knows enough to be liberated. It's not because you don't know that their answers become automatically the truth.
Also, do not seek their approval. For us westerns, the middle way is quite a lonely path. You can also try to meet other like-mind people at your local monastery, or read/post on this forum. It's good to see that other people are following the same path, it makes you feel you're not that weird!

All the best!

With Metta


Excellent posting! Anumodana! :namaste:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr
User avatar
Sokehi
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:27 pm
Location: Germany

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:47 pm

Dan74 wrote:
mongaloid502 wrote:Hi,

I have recently begun to investigate the world of Buddhism and found the benefits of meditation to be profound!(both spiritually and merely in terms of mood/everyday life outlook)
My (christian) parents and friends however seem to be taking issue with my new found practices and to be honest I don't really know how to answer them . I know I shouldn't be worried about what other people think, but the questions they ask are beginning to stir doubt in my own mind. Their accusations of Buddhism are that it is only attractive because:

1) by belonging to it you can touch the infinite
2) you can have joy without concrete religious obligations.

Can anyone help me to understand these claims?
Thanks!


These are quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger (the 1) and 2)). How come?

Hmm, yes, see: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 89,0,0,1,0

Of course, it would be quite understandable for Catholics to paraphrase those arguments in discussions...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10276
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby Judai » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:16 am

mongaloid502 wrote:Hi,

I have recently begun to investigate the world of Buddhism and found the benefits of meditation to be profound!(both spiritually and merely in terms of mood/everyday life outlook)
My (christian) parents and friends however seem to be taking issue with my new found practices and to be honest I don't really know how to answer them . I know I shouldn't be worried about what other people think, but the questions they ask are beginning to stir doubt in my own mind. Their accusations of Buddhism are that it is only attractive because:

1) by belonging to it you can touch the infinite
2) you can have joy without concrete religious obligations.

Can anyone help me to understand these claims?
Thanks!


(1)is the infinite perfect?is the infinite the ONLY perfect thing?
christians view that ONLY god is perfect,with that said can you ever end urself and become this infinite god?no in christianity you are always seperated from god,which means when a christian goes to heaven he will continue to sin and why is that??cause if he cant be god,and god is the only perfect thing,he will always be a tainted sinfull being.
and yes The Buddha is the Infinite higher being the suttas/sutras support this. western buddhists tends to not follow what their holy texts say(go figure)

(2)doesnt make anysense as a question.since we do,do religious practices and they do make us happy

Peace and Love
Judai
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:58 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby cooran » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Dan74 wrote:These are quotes from Cardinal Ratzinger (the 1) and 2)). How come?

:spy:

:popcorn:

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hello Dan and Retro, all,

Yes, a troll I think. The OP has made one post. He hasn't been back in the two months since.

Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 3:24 am
Last visited: Wed May 09, 2012 12:29 am

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7517
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby Doshin » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:32 am

cooran wrote:...

Hello Dan and Retro, all,

Yes, a troll I think. The OP has made one post. He hasn't been back in the two months since.

Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 3:24 am
Last visited: Wed May 09, 2012 12:29 am


"Last visited" is "Last visited, while logged in". One can read this forum without being logged in ;)
Knowing about dhamma, does not imply knowing dhamma
User avatar
Doshin
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:01 am

Re: How to deal with accusations against my practices

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:18 am

Doshin wrote:
cooran wrote:...

Hello Dan and Retro, all,

Yes, a troll I think. The OP has made one post. He hasn't been back in the two months since.

Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 3:24 am
Last visited: Wed May 09, 2012 12:29 am


"Last visited" is "Last visited, while logged in". One can read this forum without being logged in ;)
One certainly can, but the OP reads a bait msg.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Next

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests