Buddhists are losers?

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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:03 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
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.


if one feels he/she can combine the two, good for he/her, everyone decides for him/herself

David N. Snyder wrote:
LXNDR wrote: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.


to provide for a family doesn't mean to be preoccupied with worldly success and affairs, it means doing your bare minimum to keep your family comfortable

you can support your family and still be considered a loser, because you have no career, your salary isn't high, your car model is old, you don't own a house etc. etc.

David N. Snyder wrote:
LXNDR wrote: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.


it feels like you misunderstood my comment, he became a loser by the wroldly standards when he left his life as Siddhartha Gautama
speaking from an ignorant point of view (that is forgetting about kamma for a second) he might have never attained anything and tormented himself to death with austerities and there would be no sought out spiritual celebrity Gautama Buddha
for some reason he quitted the houshold life to seek liberation, so if the Buddha quitted, who are we to hope to be able to achieve anything meaningful, leading a housholder lifestyle?

many if not the majority go forth and attain next to nothing in one lifetime, because it's really difficult, so how much more difficult it must be for those distracted by other duties and activities?
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:53 pm

LXNDR wrote:and there would be no sought out spiritual celebrity Gautama Buddha
for some reason he quitted the houshold life to seek liberation, so if the Buddha quitted, who are we to hope to be able to achieve anything meaningful, leading a housholder lifestyle?

many if not the majority go forth and attain next to nothing in one lifetime, because it's really difficult, so how much more difficult it must be for those distracted by other duties and activities?

LXNDR,

You seem to have a very cynical attitude regarding Noble attainment as a householder or even just practicing the path as a householder. I'm not going to dig out the references, but there are quite a few suttas that show householders attaining one of the first three noble attainments. And there are many more who attained at the moment of death. They wouldn't have attained at death if they hadn't been practicing well in life.

It seems, like Disciple, you are blaming the Buddha's teachings for your own lack of energy to rise up to the difficult challenge of practicing well as a householder. Just because you don't have the energy now doesn't mean others also don't have it.

That also means you can muster the energy and effort to practice better. But I don't see you even attempting to do so if you hold a defeatist view of what practice you're capable of in the household life.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:45 pm

Mkoll wrote:It seems, like Disciple, you are blaming the Buddha's teachings for your own lack of energy to rise up to the difficult challenge of practicing well as a householder. Just because you don't have the energy now doesn't mean others also don't have it.

That also means you can muster the energy and effort to practice better. But I don't see you even attempting to do so if you hold a defeatist view of what practice you're capable of in the household life.


it seems you're blaming me for blaming Buddha's teachings, which i never did, and for my own alleged lack of energy which i don't think i ever made known or gave a reason to believe i'm guilty of

that's terrible, but ok, i'm sorry :bow:

my attitude is not cynical but sceptical

Mahasaccaka Sutta (MN 36) wrote:Before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. Life gone forth is the open air. It isn't easy, living in a home, to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, a polished shell. What if I, having shaved off my hair & beard and putting on the ochre robe, were to go forth from the household life into homelessness?'

"So at a later time, when I was still young, black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life, having shaved off my hair & beard — though my parents wished otherwise and were grieving with tears on their faces — I put on the ochre robe and went forth from the home life into homelessness.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

now why in your opinion Siddhartha Gautama being one step short of the final attainment instead of practicing as a housholder left his home ? he was young, stupid and rebellious? :)
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:37 pm

No need to apologize. Your practice is your prerogative, I'm just giving my opinion.

LXNDR wrote:now why in your opinion Siddhartha Gautama being one step short of the final attainment instead of practicing as a housholder left his home ? he was young, stupid and rebellious? :)

No.

What point are you trying to make?
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:42 am

Mkoll wrote:
LXNDR wrote:now why in your opinion Siddhartha Gautama being one step short of the final attainment instead of practicing as a housholder left his home ? he was young, stupid and rebellious? :)

No.

What point are you trying to make?


isn't it your point that one can successfully practise as a householder and probably even not at the expense of his/her worldly aspirations ?

if it is, then i'd like to know your opinion on the reasons why the Buddha left his householder life given that he didn't do so because of being young, stupid and rebellious
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:57 am

LXNDR wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
LXNDR wrote:now why in your opinion Siddhartha Gautama being one step short of the final attainment instead of practicing as a housholder left his home ? he was young, stupid and rebellious? :)

No.

What point are you trying to make?


isn't it your point that one can successfully practise as a householder and probably even not at the expense of his/her worldly aspirations?

No.

My point is that one can successfully practice as a householder.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:40 am

Mkoll wrote:
LXNDR wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
No.

What point are you trying to make?


isn't it your point that one can successfully practise as a householder and probably even not at the expense of his/her worldly aspirations?

No.

My point is that one can successfully practice as a householder.


so you mean Yes, it IS your point :twothumbsup:

then great, this is exactly what i thought, can you give your opinion about the Buddha's decision?


LXNDR wrote:then i'd like to know your opinion on the reasons why the Buddha left his householder life given that he didn't do so because of being young, stupid and rebellious


if you don't want to answer the question and give your opinion, since you have ignored the request twice, just let me know, i won't persist
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:00 am

LXNDR wrote:so you mean Yes, it IS your point :twothumbsup:

...I give up.

I'm not answering your question, sorry.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:45 am

Mkoll wrote:
LXNDR wrote:so you mean Yes, it IS your point :twothumbsup:

...I give up.

I'm not answering your question, sorry.


haha, i wouldn't think this question could be such a stumper

but if anyone agrees with Mkoll and disagrees with me, i'm interested to know your take on this
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:36 pm

LXNDR wrote:but if anyone agrees with Mkoll and disagrees with me, i'm interested to know your take on this


The Buddha left the household life because he was a samma-sam-buddha. There are billions and trillions of beings for every samma-sam-buddha. If you aspire to be a samma-sam-buddha, then great, go for it, but the vast majority of all beings will never be a samma-sam-buddha; arahant perhaps, but not samma-sam-buddha. And an arahant can be lay or monastic (although a lay person would ordain after gaining enlightenment). One can make great progress as a monk or layman.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:30 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
LXNDR wrote:but if anyone agrees with Mkoll and disagrees with me, i'm interested to know your take on this


The Buddha left the household life because he was a samma-sam-buddha. There are billions and trillions of beings for every samma-sam-buddha.


appreciate you picking it up

samma sambuddha means fully/righly self-awakened, but in the sutta he confesses otherwise

Mahasaccaka Sutta (MN 36) wrote:Before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. Life gone forth is the open air. It isn't easy, living in a home, to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, a polished shell. What if I, having shaved off my hair & beard and putting on the ochre robe, were to go forth from the household life into homelessness?'

"So at a later time, when I was still young, black-haired, endowed with the blessings of youth in the first stage of life, having shaved off my hair & beard — though my parents wished otherwise and were grieving with tears on their faces — I put on the ochre robe and went forth from the home life into homelessness.


so he couldn't leave home because he WAS samma sambuddha, to the contrary, he did so because he WASN'T, in order to become one
and until he became one he couldn't predict this would be his fate

David N. Snyder wrote:If you aspire to be a samma-sam-buddha, then great, go for it, but the vast majority of all beings will never be a samma-sam-buddha; arahant perhaps, but not samma-sam-buddha. And an arahant can be lay or monastic (although a lay person would ordain after gaining enlightenment). One can make great progress as a monk or layman.


why then become a monk and suffer all the travails associated with monastic lifestyle, if arahantship is comfortably attainable leading a household life?
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:02 pm

He was already destined to be samma-sam-buddha, the aspiration was already made and the paramitas were already developed. Most beings will never be a samma-sam-buddha.

Yes, one can make arahant and other noble levels as a layman. Why become a monk? For some, it is a better path, perhaps shorter, but progress can still be made as a lay person.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:50 pm

BTW a BB's essay relevant to the discussion

Lifestyles and Spiritual Progress


David N. Snyder wrote:He was already destined to be samma-sam-buddha, the aspiration was already made and the paramitas were already developed. Most beings will never be a samma-sam-buddha.


then even more so, being predestined he could have stayed at home an gain the same fruit, yet he quitted, so if a destined person needed a lifestyle of a renunciate to fulfill his destiny, so much more a regular worldling

i could be making too broad a generalisation, but there's an impression that in the suttas the topic of attainments, patterns of behavior and specific courses of action tends to be discussed as applied to a monk, i.e

Culavedalla Sutta (MN 44 wrote:"Now, lady, how does the attainment of the cessation of perception & feeling come about?"

"The thought does not occur to a monk as he is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling that 'I am about to attain the cessation of perception & feeling' or that 'I am attaining the cessation of perception & feeling' or that 'I have attained the cessation of perception & feeling.' Instead, the way his mind has previously been developed leads him to that state."

"But when a monk is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling, which things cease first: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, or mental fabrications?"

"When a monk is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling, friend Visakha, verbal fabrications cease first, then bodily fabrications, then mental fabrications."


here the 'monk' reference is used despite the fact that questions are being asked by a layman

whereas as applied to lay followers the topic tends to be merits and not attainments

David N. Snyder wrote:Yes, one can make arahant and other noble levels as a layman.


in the Buddha time it would normally happen due to the lay person direct contact with him, without such luxury the chances are minimal
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:17 pm

LXNDR wrote:then even more so, being predestined he could have stayed at home an gain the same fruit, yet he quitted, so if a destined person needed a lifestyle of a renunciate to fulfill his destiny, so much more a regular worldling
Speculation without solid evidence.

LXNDR wrote:here the 'monk' reference is used despite the fact that questions are being asked by a layman

whereas as applied to lay followers the topic tends to be merits and not attainments
There is a sutta (I don't remember the reference) where the Buddha recommends that householders practice the four foundations of mindfulness. There are other suttas where the Buddha exhorts his lay disciples to practice similar "advanced" parts of the path, but I'm not going to go dig those out. He would speak according to his audience, so he would speak differently to the more advanced and energetic lay disciples vs. "newbies".

Besides, virtue is the foundation of concentration which is the foundation of wisdom. Making merit develops virtue. So making merit is practicing the path.

LXNDR wrote:in the Buddha time it would normally happen due to the lay person direct contact with him, without such luxury the chances are minimal
Speculation without solid evidence.

~~~

If you want to hold the view that you can't attain to stream-entry as a householder, that's your prerogative. My point to you is that attitude is self-defeating. It gives you an excuse not to practice as diligently as you could. If you want to become a doctor but you believe it's too hard to attain, then how well do you think you'll do in school?
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:09 pm

:goodpost:


I like the cut of your jib, MKoll.....
:namaste:

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



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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby No_Mind » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:44 am

robertk wrote:I saw this on another thread.

For all practical intents and purposes, being a Buddhist means that one will quite likely be a loser in worldly terms. Not necessarily a doormat, but quite likely a loser.
There is a real, visible, measurable worldly price that one has to be willing to pay for practicing Buddhism.

Perhaps we can examine this idea on this thread.


It is not a fair statement to make (whoever said it originally, not RobertK). If you live up to all the teachings of Jesus then also there is a worldly price to pay for it.

(Jesus said to His disciples) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God - Matthew 19:24

Buddha never prohibited acquiring wealth while Jesus specifically forbade it.

There is however the issue if Buddhism promotes inaction and procrastination. I love Ajahn Brahm. But in an YouTube video (link below) he appreciates "doing nothing". I understand that he means to take a step back and relax and let go of the whirlwind of life and calm down. To do nothing is often very powerful. Problem is he did not teach the rest of what I said (he often jumps from topic to topic without any coherent sequence). But if a school dropout turned janitor heard it he / she may just be encouraged to do nothing.

It is also the kind of teaching that puts off Type A personalities successful lawyers, doctors, surgeons, brokers, bankers (people who own a car worth at least $ 50,000, like a medium size BMW)

Before anyone mentions Richard Gere .. he is not a Type A personality. Pretty Woman made 25 years back and Chicago 12 years back were only real successes in a career spanning 40 years or more.

Many believe "work is worship" and saying doing nothing is something desirable will make it seem that those who subscribe to it are "losers" of some form. Strong work ethic exists from Germany to Japan as a way of life (I do not consider the Japanese as Buddhists in the way Theravadins are Buddhists; if Theravada Buddhism is an orange then Japanese Buddhism is orangeade; basically downstream versions of pure Buddhism)

4:55 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TM43Ig5KjQ

I quote Ajahn Brahm "That is what you are supposed to do if you are a good Buddhist ... learn how to do nothing" at 6:36
"I know one thing: that I know nothing"
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby SarathW » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:11 am

The word loser should be evaluated from the vantage point of the observer.
To me a loser is a person who did not get what he need.
People become Buddhist and fallow the path voluntarily achieve their individual goals.
Some people want just to be happy and other want to attain Nirvana and in between.
If they achieve their goal they are winners otherwise they are losers.
Having said that my goal is to attain Nirvana but I am just happy to be a Sotapanna.
So even if I do not attain Nirvana I consider myself a winner.
I am a pretty happy Buddhist at the moment so I consider myself as a winner even if I do not become a Sotapanna.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:58 am

No_Mind wrote:Before anyone mentions Richard Gere .. he is not a Type A personality. Pretty Woman made 25 years back and Chicago 12 years back were only real successes in a career spanning 40 years or more.

:rofl:

\You really don't pull punches.
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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:49 am

No_Mind wrote:.....
It is not a fair statement to make (whoever said it originally, not RobertK). If you live up to all the teachings of Jesus then also there is a worldly price to pay for it.

(Jesus said to His disciples) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God - Matthew 19:24

Buddha never prohibited acquiring wealth while Jesus specifically forbade it.

No, he didn't.

An oft-misquoted passage in the Bible is usually given as "Money is the root of all evil."

It's not: the correct quotation reads "The LOVE of Money, is the root of all evil."

There is nothing wrong with wealth; Jesus just warned against greed and excessive attachment to wealth. Proper use and dissemination of wealth, for the good of others, is recommended and lauded however.

Precisely as it is in Buddhism.
:namaste:

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



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Re: Buddhists are losers?

Postby LXNDR » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:21 am

Mkoll wrote:
LXNDR wrote:then even more so, being predestined he could have stayed at home an gain the same fruit, yet he quitted, so if a destined person needed a lifestyle of a renunciate to fulfill his destiny, so much more a regular worldling
Speculation without solid evidence.


just common sense, when you see an athlete working out daily full time you don't think you can repeat his accomplishments going to a gym once a week after a beer

that may sound maximalist, and it indeed is :)

Mkoll wrote:
LXNDR wrote:in the Buddha time it would normally happen due to the lay person direct contact with him, without such luxury the chances are minimal

Speculation without solid evidence.


i don't recall reading a sutta with a description of a lay person attaining a noble level without having interacted with the Buddha first, could be that i haven't yet come across one

Mkoll wrote:If you want to hold the view that you can't attain to stream-entry as a householder, that's your prerogative. My point to you is that attitude is self-defeating. It gives you an excuse not to practice as diligently as you could. If you want to become a doctor but you believe it's too hard to attain, then how well do you think you'll do in school?


not necessarily self-defeating, i just don't expect much from my practice
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