If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:37 am

Like the title says, if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow? (for example Daoism, Atheism, etc.)

I think this serves to be an interesting question, for it shows where else our philosophical leanings may be when the Dhamma is left out of the equation. Personally, I'd go with Stoicism. I find a lot of parallels between it and the Buddha's teachings.


***Please take the question as a hypothetical scenario. We don't need a repeat of the "What if you knew rebirth didn't exist" thread here. It's just for fun.***


Looking forward to some interesting answers. :anjali:
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:41 am

Another parallel here
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:08 am

Yes, a different question but one that's very related. Thanks for posting.
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Digity » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:54 am

I'd be nothing.
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:54 am

Benjamin wrote:Like the title says, if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow? (for example Daoism, Atheism, etc.)
...
***... It's just for fun.***

I is not a buddhist and does not follow anything.

Is this fun? :sage:
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby James the Giant » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:00 am

I'd be a militant atheist terrorist.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Reductor » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:21 am

I suppose I'd be a hedonistically inclined man with materialistic, annihilationist views, since those attitudes seem most natural to me. :tongue:

I'd lie awake at night fretting about death. I'd spend my days sick over life.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Aloka » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:00 am

if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow


I didn't follow any tradition, religion or philosophy before I was a Buddhist - so it would still be the same.

.
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:22 pm

Well, I found it fun. Maybe interesting is a better choice of word.

I didn't mean this to be a parallel of the other thread posted here; a sort of "What would your life be without Buddhism" type of thing. I'm asking if you had a second choice as far as a religion or philosophy goes, what would you pick besides the Buddhasasana?

Didn't expect so many people to be so cut and dry :shrug:
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:30 pm

The thing is, in my case I spent decades hunting through the religions on offer, and they were all found wanting, so there really isn't another game in town that I can see.

I was fond of Daoism for quite a while, so I might've ended up doing various qigong exercises instead of bhavana.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:46 pm

daverupa wrote:The thing is, in my case I spent decades hunting through the religions on offer, and they were all found wanting, so there really isn't another game in town that I can see.

I was fond of Daoism for quite a while, so I might've ended up doing various qigong exercises instead of bhavana.


Just don't go practising those 'Harvest Flowers' exercises, unless it's the solar variety.
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Coyote » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:46 pm

Interesting question. I may have stuck with Christianity.
If not that, them probably an agnostic "still searching". It's really hard to say.
I like Greek philosophy, and stoicism appealed to me too, though I like Plato a lot more. I'd probably look there for guidance and inspiration.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:48 pm

Like the title says, if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow? (for example Daoism, Atheism, etc.)


If I could, I'd be a Christian.
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Benjamin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:57 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Like the title says, if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow? (for example Daoism, Atheism, etc.)


If I could, I'd be a Christian.



You still can be. Could you explain?
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby rohana » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:58 pm

Hopefully I would not be a nihilist and choose something like Vedānta instead. Cultivation of samādhi is the next best pleasure if nibbāna is not on the menu.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:00 pm

A jerk, probably.
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.
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:20 pm

Benjamin wrote:Like the title says, if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow? (for example Daoism, Atheism, etc.)


I'd be a pagan as I like nature, stone circles and dressing up... :tongue:
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Aloka » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:42 pm

Aloka wrote:
if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow


I didn't follow any tradition, religion or philosophy before I was a Buddhist - so it would still be the same.

.


On second thoughts....maybe in a parallel universe I'd invent my own religion, sit on a high throne in exotic robes as its queen... and have people prostrating to me, feeding me strawberries and icecream and begging me for my wisdom teachings .... whilst I blessed them on their heads with my dessert bowl, as they filed past my high queeniness in an orderly line.


:mrgreen:
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:00 pm

Benjamin wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:
Like the title says, if you weren't a Buddhist, which tradition or religion/philosophy would you follow? (for example Daoism, Atheism, etc.)


If I could, I'd be a Christian.



You still can be. Could you explain?


I mean that you have to believe things that I seem to be incapable of believing, and see the world in a way that I cannot. If I could get over those little hurdles, I would be attracted to the following.

The sense of complete and immediate salvation granted as an act of grace, and with no reservations or sense of it being deserved.
A link to a strong literary and musical culture that I grew up with, but have never fully been a part of.
A deeper understanding of some of the most impressive people that I have met, who claimed to be Christians.

These things would be nice; and this choice is a way of honouring a religion which I generally find to be benign and accepting.
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Re: If you couldn't be a Buddhist, what would you be?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:46 pm

Greetings,

LonesomeYogurt wrote:A jerk, probably.

:D

My answer would be similar to Aloka's but the question is inherently conflicted, because it allows for "the hindsight" that comes from Buddhism, yet doesn't allow one to accept Buddhism as one's view.

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)
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