Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ? - Dhamma Wheel

Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby brightside77 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:51 am

Please Don't Take This as a :soap:

For my own practice this represents a distillation - something I can adhere to on a daily basis that "gets the job done":

Practice Lovingkindness and Revoke Self-Centeredness
Be Present in this Moment
See What's Really Happening and Accept It - Stop Trying to Filter Reality
Be Grateful
Practice Right Speech
Always Give Your Best Effort
Be A Moral Person
Lighten Up, Smile, Spread Happiness :smile:

Blessings to you and your loved ones - may you have good health, be happy, and enjoy the contentment the practices of selflessness and compassion bring.

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby appicchato » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:05 am


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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby SarathW » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:05 am

It is funny you ask that!
I want to ask “Whether we are trying to make Buddhism bigger than Ben Hur”
I enjoyed that film by the way. :popcorn:
The problem is Buddhism is so simple but hard to comprehend. Sometimes we get into the analysis paralysis.
Sometimes I have to remind myself “Just let it go”
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby manas » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:40 am

Hi brightside, thanks for sharing that. I can relate to the desire for simplicity. This comes from a slightly different angle, but: sometimes when I'm walking down the street, caught in a temporary hell of my own creation, worrying about this and that, I stop myself and ask, "but what problem do you have right now? You are walking down a street in a peaceful Land, there are trees around, birds singing...yet your mind is full of stress? Just walk! You're just a man walking down a street, that's all. Right now, let there be just this much: walking..."

Good to simplify things when the situation warrants it :)

But, when it comes to the practice as a whole, we really do need to develop the entire Noble Eightfold Path, all eight factors. While trying to live and practice with simplicity, there is no short cut or quick fix, as far as I know, that is going to eradicate craving and thus dukkha, apart from this. But yeah we do what we can, according to our current level. Even just a little is better than nothing at all. Even just a moderate amount is better than just a little. That's how I see it.

Last edited by manas on Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:21 am


Nothing wrong at all with those 9 things you list... but haven't you just complicated Buddhism further by adding yet another list to an already enormous corpus of exegesis that already exists on Buddhism?

I think those things you mention all find a natural home already under the existing schema of the Noble Eightfold Path...

Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby Crazy cloud » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:24 am

your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby Anagarika » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:45 pm

I try to look at this question as the 9 point "list" being the house in which one resides day to day, and the Dhamma as the solid foundation upon which the house sits. Yes, Buddhism is complex, but it's the complexity and breadth that gives it, IMO, so much stability.

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby dagon » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:12 pm

Buddha and the Dhamma made it as simple as possible.

I have made it more complicated for a lot a reason
• I think it should be more complicated so I look for complications
• I am fighting against many years of conditioning by our society
• I do not live in the present eg often I am more concerned about what will be the effect of reaching levels of development that I am unlikely to achieve in this lifetime
• I have not purified my mind to the extent that I should have by strictly following the moral code and by developing the corresponding positive attributes – yet expecting realization to come through study and meditation.

Maybe others can identify with some of these issues.

Yes I have reflected and have and/or, intend to act on what I have recognized.


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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:53 pm

I see the opposite trend as more dangerous. Teachers dumbing down the Dhamma for simple foks who don't want to make the effort to understand what is currently beyond their pay grade.

“Just be good, fulfil your duties to society, offer alms to the monks, and you will go to heaven. Maybe you will attain nibbāna in some future life if you accumulate enough perfections.”

The Dhamma is deep like the ocean, but it's a gradual training. You should not plunge in to the middle of the oceasn or attempt cross it without learning to swim, sail, and navigate.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby cooran » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:10 pm

Well said, Bhane! :bow:

With metta and respect,
---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 ---

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Re: Has Buddhism Been Made To Be Way Too Complicated ?

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:19 pm

There is a certain, "enlightenment or bust" philosophy among some buddhists, and sometimes the basics, which the OP portrays so well, get thrown out with the bath water. I should remind people that not everyone is willing or able to reach enlightenment, and even for those that can or will, the basics are still just as important, and never to be ignored, if fact its my theory that without a thorough grounding in the basics, enlightenment would not even be possible.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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