Buddhists are losers?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:06 am

Not so:

The Buddha taught for everybody's sake. It's up to the person individually, to pick up the baton and run with it.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby manas » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:46 am

In reality, there are no 'losers' just as there are no 'winners', because both labels are merely perceptions arising in a judging mind.

I met a homeless woman in the city recently. We had a bit of a chat and I could see by her body language and a certain expression in her eyes, that her self-esteem was pretty low. I'm pretty sure that a mean-spirited person would say she was a 'loser' since she seemed to possess little more than the clothes she was wearing, a bag full of stuff and the hat she had out to collect the odd coin or two that strangers would toss in. But I did not perceive her in that way at all. I actually said to her that she ought not to feel bad about herself, that we are all here to help each other, and considering the charity dished out to the wealthiest (I recently read that the wealthiest folks in Australia quite legally juggle things so that they pay little or no tax!), her getting the odd coin or two, freely given, is nothing to feel bad about. That as human beings we are all inherently equal; and that how much money we have, the clothes we wear, our so-called 'status' in society, none of these things matter as much as simply having a kind heart (which I could perceive in her).

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:00 am

Quite some time ago, I remember watching a documentary on television, titled I think, "The Silver Nomads" (I have tried to Google it and have found nothing. Amazingly!) about retired people in Oz, buying themselves mobile homes and perpetually circling Australia (Which apparently can take 4 years!) They either sell their homes, or rent them out....
Anyway, one particular man had at one time, been an eminent and respected Psychiatrist. Unfortunately, the pressure of the job got to him, and he ended up having a nervous breakdown, and eventually, his wife divorced him. he lost virtually everything. So he bought himself a second-hand motorbike, packed a backpack and his 'saddle bags' with whatever he had left - and decided to circumnavigate Australia.

Up to that point, he had done this twice.
And every stop he made, he earned money by doing odd jobs and helping others.
More interestingly, with every stop he made, he disposed of something of his. He grew to own and possess fewer and fewer material things, until he was left with the most meagre of basics.
And he was emphatic that it was this action alone, that made him happy, serene, contented with his lot, and gave him an indescribable lightness.

It was a truly wonderful tale, and one that has stayed with me ever since.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:02 am

Oh My. Goodness....

Look what I literally just found....
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby ihrjordan » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:49 am

Denisa wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:It's funny because many times the buddha was deemed a nihilist and it's true...

nihilism
noun
■(Philosophy)extreme scepticism maintaining that nothing in the world has a real existence


Don't have the reference, but I remember reading Buddha saying something like: "There's nothing whatsoever worth clinging and with a core."

Noun: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. Not sure where you got your definition of nihilism but idk, the definition I pointed out seems very in line with the Buddhas teachings :candle:
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:01 am

ihrjordan wrote:
Denisa wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:It's funny because many times the buddha was deemed a nihilist and it's true...

nihilism
noun
■(Philosophy)extreme scepticism maintaining that nothing in the world has a real existence


Don't have the reference, but I remember reading Buddha saying something like: "There's nothing whatsoever worth clinging and with a core."

Noun: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. Not sure where you got your definition of nihilism but idk, the definition I pointed out seems very in line with the Buddhas teachings :candle:

Which definition is that: the "nothing is real" definition or the "rejection of principles definition"? The latter is patently untrue because a primary focus of Buddha's teaching is moral principles.
Peace,
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby culaavuso » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:36 am

Mkoll wrote:Which definition is that: the "nothing is real" definition or the "rejection of principles definition"?


SN 12.15: Kaccānagotta Sutta wrote:But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.


AN 10.94: Vajjiyamāhita Sutta wrote:When this was said, one of the wanderers said to Vajjiya Mahita the householder, "Now wait a minute, householder. This contemplative Gotama whom you praise is a nihilist, one who doesn't declare anything."

"I tell you, venerable sirs, that the Blessed One righteously declares that 'This is skillful.' He declares that 'This is unskillful.' Declaring that 'This is skillful' and 'This is unskillful,' he is one who has declared [a teaching]. He is not a nihilist, one who doesn't declare anything."
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Denisa » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:55 am

Thank you, Mkoll for bringing the question, and valued culaavuso for the Sutta references.

Almost forgot, ihrjordan, the definition I gave is from Kingsoft PowerWord 2009 Oxford Edition.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:10 am

Thanks, culaavuso.
Peace,
James
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Disciple » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:07 pm

A good thread going on here. Sadly, I would say Buddhism has done a great deal to damage my ambition and work ethic and because of that I'm paying a big price as I'm in my mid twenties and haven't even finished college yet. On top of that I feel like I have become more "anti social" as lot of the things that people around me talk about seem to be so meaningless and trivial in which I just tend to remain quiet and not say a word. That in turn makes you a weird outcast in this society.

I do not know if I should pursue Buddhism anymore. I feel like I'm suffering a great deal in my worldly life.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:52 pm

Disciple wrote:Sadly, I would say Buddhism has done a great deal to damage my ambition and work ethic


Then you were doing it wrong. Buddhism doesn't teach to become a vegetable.

and because of that I'm paying a big price as I'm in my mid twenties and haven't even finished college yet.


Scapegoating? Maybe you just had the wrong major or are more suited for something else. Not everyone can be a doctor, engineer, physicist, etc.

The Buddha had a tremendous amount of work ethic, as did all of the arahants.

"Though my skin, my nerves and my bones shall waste away and my life blood go dry, I will not leave this seat until I have attained the highest wisdom, called supreme enlightenment, that leads to everlasting happiness." (Majjhima Nikaya 70)
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:52 pm

:goodpost: , David.

~~~

Disciple,

Scapegoating is the right word for it. You are blaming your own shortcomings on Buddhism. It's your lack of energy that is at fault, not Buddhism's lack of energy.
Peace,
James
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby bharadwaja » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:26 pm

Disciple wrote:A good thread going on here. Sadly, I would say Buddhism has done a great deal to damage my ambition and work ethic and because of that I'm paying a big price as I'm in my mid twenties and haven't even finished college yet. On top of that I feel like I have become more "anti social" as lot of the things that people around me talk about seem to be so meaningless and trivial in which I just tend to remain quiet and not say a word. That in turn makes you a weird outcast in this society.

I do not know if I should pursue Buddhism anymore. I feel like I'm suffering a great deal in my worldly life.

Hi Disciple, throw Buddhism out of your life if you are sure you have something better to replace it in every way. Else simply throw out those bits of Buddhism out that are preventing you from progressing. In time you may find that the bits you threw out were not Buddhism at all. But be rational about it.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:05 pm

Disciple wrote:A good thread going on here. Sadly, I would say Buddhism has done a great deal to damage my ambition and work ethic and because of that I'm paying a big price as I'm in my mid twenties and haven't even finished college yet. On top of that I feel like I have become more "anti social" as lot of the things that people around me talk about seem to be so meaningless and trivial in which I just tend to remain quiet and not say a word. That in turn makes you a weird outcast in this society.

I do not know if I should pursue Buddhism anymore. I feel like I'm suffering a great deal in my worldly life.


May I offer some thoughts, as an eternal college student?

It's hard to accept _ and only now I'm begining to accept it _ that the things you were sure that would make you happy don't actualy make you that happy. That doesn't mean that you become, like David said, a vegetable. You can apreciate something without being very attached to it.

So, it's not that college and a job are pointless. It's just that it's not as important as you thought it was. Once you accept this, you should be on a good direction. There may be many other problems, obviously. But this one must be seen for what it really is.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:04 am

Disciple wrote:Sadly, I would say Buddhism has done a great deal to damage my ambition and work ethic

Buddhism doesn't "damage" anything. Buddhism is the path we choose to walk. It is wonderfully laid out. If we stumble, we have only our own clumsiness and tripping to blame. The map is faultless. It is we who read it incorrectly.
and because of that I'm paying a big price as I'm in my mid twenties and haven't even finished college yet.

And how do you suppose Buddhism is to blame for that? There are many students who practise Buddhism who do extremely well in their studies...

On top of that I feel like I have become more "anti social" as lot of the things that people around me talk about seem to be so meaningless and trivial in which I just tend to remain quiet and not say a word. That in turn makes you a weird outcast in this society.
Again, sorry but.. that problem is of your own making. Once again, I know quite a few Buddhists in F/T education who socialise quite happily with others, with no problems at all. They're not social outcasts, weird or even considered peculiar by anyone. Are you sure you're not projecting a fear of how others may perceive you, to explain your own feelings of 'separation'..?

I do not know if I should pursue Buddhism anymore. I feel like I'm suffering a great deal in my worldly life.

The 4 Noble Truths take some beating, don't they?
They are wonderful and perfect just as they are. It is WE, who keep persistently shooting ourselves in the foot... If you are suffering, then you must seek within for the cause....
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Disciple » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:22 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
The Buddha had a tremendous amount of work ethic, as did all of the arahants.

"Though my skin, my nerves and my bones shall waste away and my life blood go dry, I will not leave this seat until I have attained the highest wisdom, called supreme enlightenment, that leads to everlasting happiness." (Majjhima Nikaya 70)


Work ethic when it involves getting free from samsara, but what about ordinary worldlings such as myself who have to make money and have responsibilities? From the Buddhist pov, ordinary worldly life seems so meaningless and dull. There's no way you can deny that.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Disciple » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:29 am

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:
Again, sorry but.. that problem is of your own making. Once again, I know quite a few Buddhists in F/T education who socialise quite happily with others, with no problems at all. They're not social outcasts, weird or even considered peculiar by anyone. Are you sure you're not projecting a fear of how others may perceive you, to explain your own feelings of 'separation'..?


If I'm not mistake the Buddha strongly advised against "useless talk" and only talking when it is necessary otherwise talking about useless subjects is a violation of right speech and results in unwholesome kamma.

That's a perfect recipe to become alienated and withdrawn from peers, but I can see how that makes sense for monks. Just not for laypeople.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby culaavuso » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:11 am

Disciple wrote:Work ethic when it involves getting free from samsara, but what about ordinary worldlings such as myself who have to make money and have responsibilities? From the Buddhist pov, ordinary worldly life seems so meaningless and dull. There's no way you can deny that.


A work ethic at skillful kamma applies in either case. If lay life seems meaningless and dull, perhaps ordaining and applying a work ethic towards liberation would be useful. If the choice is made to make money and have lay responsibilities, then having a work ethic towards that goal is a skillful way to enact that choice. Making the choice to live a life that seems meaningless and dull and not putting forth any effort is a choice, and the consequences of that choice will follow. The Buddha taught cause and effect along with the capacity to learn to make different choices. The teachings on Kamma include all four types, not just the type leading to liberation. There are discourses of the Buddha that advise householders regarding the means to make money and fulfill their household responsibilities, including the recommendation that householders be energetic.

AN 4.235: Sikkhāpada Sutta wrote:Monks, these four types of kamma have been directly realized, verified, & made known by me. Which four? There is kamma that is dark with dark result. There is kamma that is bright with bright result. There is kamma that is dark & bright with dark & bright result. There is kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma.


DN 31: Sīgālovāda Sutta wrote:Inasmuch, young householder, as the noble disciple has eradicated the four vices in conduct, inasmuch as he commits no evil action in four ways, inasmuch as he pursues not the six channels for dissipating wealth, he thus, avoiding these fourteen evil things, covers the six quarters, and enters the path leading to victory in both worlds: he is favored in this world and in the world beyond. Upon the dissolution of the body, after death, he is born in a happy heavenly realm.
...
Who is energetic and not indolent,
In misfortune unshaken,
Flawless in manner and intelligent,
Such a one to honor may attain.


Disciple wrote:If I'm not mistake the Buddha strongly advised against "useless talk" and only talking when it is necessary otherwise talking about useless subjects is a violation of right speech and results in unwholesome kamma.

That's a perfect recipe to become alienated and withdrawn from peers, but I can see how that makes sense for monks. Just not for laypeople.


The Buddha also advised speaking when it is beneficial and affectionate, which can make the speaker dear to others and create relationships among lay people. Practice of the sublime attitudes may be useful in this regard. This can mean focusing on whether the other person is happy or suffering and responding appropriately without focusing on the judgement of their content as useless.

AN 5.198: Subhāsitavācā Sutta wrote:Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?
It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.
A statement endowed with these five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people.


The Buddha also advised on meaningful lay relationships.

DN 31: Sīgālovāda Sutta wrote:These four, young householder, should be understood as warm-hearted friends:

(1) he who is a helpmate,
(2) he who is the same in happiness and sorrow,
(3) he who gives good counsel,
(4) he who sympathises.
...
In five ways, young householder, should a clansman minister to his friends and associates as the North:

(i) by liberality,
(ii) by courteous speech,
(iii) by being helpful,
(iv) by being impartial,
(v) by sincerity.


This same sutta discusses the expected results of both wealth and friendship:

DN 31: Sīgālovāda Sutta wrote:The wise and virtuous shine like a blazing fire.
He who acquires his wealth in harmless ways
like to a bee that honey gathers,
riches mount up for him
like ant hill's rapid growth.

With wealth acquired this way,
a layman fit for household life,
in portions four divides his wealth:
thus will he friendship win.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:09 am

i think the statement in the citation of OP is accurate, one can hardly succeed in both fields: spiritual and secular, so ought to make a choice and if the choice is in favor of spiritual way of life then any interest in worldly success needs to be put aside, because for the majority of ordinary people it would be a distraction

and logically, if the Dhamma is meant as a way of attaining nibbana which cuts short the string of rebirths and stops becoming, why take interest in activities pertinent to what must eventually be abandoned?

the advices Buddha would give lay followers are good and dandy, but in his heart he knew that applying them still doesn't bring the nibbana closer

by the 'biddhist' i understand one whose goal is nibbana

wasn't Buddha himself a loser, when he left his comfortable and 'successful' life to seek liberation?
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:44 pm

LXNDR wrote:i think the statement in the citation of OP is accurate, one can hardly succeed in both fields: spiritual and secular, so ought to make a choice and if the choice is in favor of spiritual way of life then any interest in worldly success needs to be put aside, because for the majority of ordinary people it would be a distraction


Majority, perhaps, but not all. Anathapindika and Citta and several others were rich merchants in the Buddha's time and still reached noble levels, sotapanna and even anagami. In modern times, S. N. Goenka was a successful businessman but also quite successful at teaching Dhamma and apparently very advanced in the Dhamma too.

and logically, if the Dhamma is meant as a way of attaining nibbana which cuts short the string of rebirths and stops becoming, why take interest in activities pertinent to what must eventually be abandoned?


Because while one is still a layman, one has responsibilities to have a Right Livelihood, to take care of oneself and their family.

wasn't Buddha himself a loser, when he left his comfortable and 'successful' life to seek liberation?


No, he was quite famous, quite the "celebrity" as people sought him out and wanted to find him, to learn from him. Even in worldly terms, this is not considered being "a loser." Winner and loser doesn't have to refer to wealth or income and in fact often refers to prestige.
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