Jewish Buddhism

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Jewish Buddhism

Postby David_2010 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:41 pm

I wasn't sure where to put this, so, please move it if it's not the right place, but, I was wondering if anyone who combines Buddhism and Judaism, or identifies as a JUBU, as they're called. I recently finished reading 'The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Re-Discovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India' by Rodger Kamenetz, and really liked it, and it introduced me to the concept of JUBUs. I wasn't raised in a religious home, but, part of my heritage is Jewish, and it's something I like exploring and learning about, and I was really intrigued by JUBUs, and just wanted to learn more.

If you are a JUBU, how do you combine Buddhist and Jewish practice?, and, if you're not, do you think they're compatible?.

Thanks for any replies :).

David.
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Goedert » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:53 pm

David_2010 wrote:I wasn't sure where to put this, so, please move it if it's not the right place, but, I was wondering if anyone who combines Buddhism and Judaism, or identifies as a JUBU, as they're called. I recently finished reading 'The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Re-Discovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India' by Rodger Kamenetz, and really liked it, and it introduced me to the concept of JUBUs. I wasn't raised in a religious home, but, part of my heritage is Jewish, and it's something I like exploring and learning about, and I was really intrigued by JUBUs, and just wanted to learn more.

If you are a JUBU, how do you combine Buddhist and Jewish practice?, and, if you're not, do you think they're compatible?.

Thanks for any replies :).

David.


Friend,

Oil and water can't be mixed, so is buddhism and judaism.

If you wanna keep ateism up, you can insert meditation practices in your jewish tradition.

Metta Meditation, samadhi and vipassana.

Hope it helps you.
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby convivium » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:04 am

imma jubu... but not a religiously. the reason that they are compatible is because what makes one jew is very loosely defined. we have to have some relationship with the divine. we have to have some values that are in line with the dhamma like mitzvot and community and so on.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby altar » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:36 am

I come from a Jewish family and sometimes identify myself as a Jew, however strictly speaking this is for practical purposes to explain my backround and upbringing (which wasn't strictly religious).
While I admit to being Jewish (of origin) and Buddhist I think a JuBu is the last thing I would call myself.
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Mukunda » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:08 am

altar wrote:While I admit to being Jewish (of origin) and Buddhist I think a JuBu is the last thing I would call myself.


"Admit"? Has an offense been committed by having a certain heritage?
:anjali:
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:19 am

I am actually very curious about this whole topic/phenomenon.
Practicing Dhamma, I would imagine would lead one to the dropping of labels and the self-identity processs.
Perhaps it is something that people of Jewish heritage (and others) do at the beginning of their practice 'career' and then slough off the labels as they progress on the path.
Anyway, its interesting.
kind regards

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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Regular Guy » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:21 pm

Sorry to pop into the middle of this discussion; I've set my google alerts to go off with Jubu is mentioned (but I can't actually see how I would find this thread without linking to it!).

I identify as a Jewish Buddhist. Also, I do see that non Theravada topics are here, as for example, mention of the Dalai Lama.

Coincidentally or not, I've trained in the Tibetan traditions. I think we regard the Theravadins in a very friendly way. I'm also a member of Shambhala.

Consider this:

Look up tonglen, see that this simple approach to basic practice with a mind of helping others, involves visualization.
Coincidentally, this is part and parcel of the Tibetan Tradition, but it's not essential.
Consider finding Rosenberg's book, Jewish Liturgy as a Spiritual System. He is not buddhist at all, but his text reveals the common siddur in the Jewish tradition as a practice text.

There is no conflict, and there is a benefit from joining these two.

Jews need to learn to tune into experience
Buddhists need to learn to set up organizations that actually help people, in practical ways, while we imagine them to be there.

Warmest regards,

Ira Z.
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:06 am

Mukunda wrote:
altar wrote:While I admit to being Jewish (of origin) and Buddhist I think a JuBu is the last thing I would call myself.


"Admit"? Has an offense been committed by having a certain heritage?
:anjali:


If you were Jewish or from a Jewish background, you'd understand. :tongue: Short version: If you're raised Jewish, you are taught to accept your heritage and your religion as much as possible, but most importantly to at least acknowledge and not hide your ethnic identity (result of centuries of Antisemitism).

I personally prefer's Goldie Hawn's saying: "Buddhism is my religion and Judaism is my tribe."
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby kelemich » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:27 pm

in my opinion, u cant practise buddhism and judaism at the same time, but you can practise buddhism as your way of life while you are still living with and identity of a jew, whereby still practising jewish traditions and following jewish law, provided it does not clash the core concept of buddhism -- causing no harm on yourself and others (all sentient beings).

there are some stories whereby some jains (follower of jainism) wanted to become buddhists but buddha advice them to remain their identity as a jain but practising the teaching of buddha. Buddha prioritize harmony in the society, if practising buddhism makes one suffer and leads to quarrel in family, then it brings suffer. Buddha's teaching should bring happiness, joy, freedom and peace but not suffering, harm and disharmony.

i want to share a story with you here, a young man called sigalaka worship the six directions as urged by his father, the buddha saw it and told him:
"Mother and father as the east,
Teachers as the south,
Spouse and family as the west,
Friends and colleagues as the north,
Servants and workers below,
Brahmans and ascetics above;
These directions a person should honor
In order to be truly good.

you can refer here
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ksw0.html

brahman and ascetics can be refered as rabbi in today's context in jewish community, you have to honour them also although you want to practise buddhism. traditions have been handed down by many generations, and the traditions all have meaning, but after long long time, people tend to forget the reason of doing that tradition and therefore only doing the traditions blindedly, without interpreting its meaning. so as a jewish buddhist, it can be quite interesting to continue practising the traditions of the jews but interpret it in a way that can bring joy to you and other beings. becoming a good buddhist can make your mind clear and be able to see many things in a more neutral way rather than a fanatic way. below are some guidelines of how a human should think and believe.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha

"First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words;
Second, rely on the teachings, not on the personality of the teacher;
Third, rely on real wisdom, not superficial interpretation;
And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind, not on judgmental perceptions." by buddha

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” by Buddha

if you can think in such a way, for sure, there is no problem for you to be a skillful jewish buddhist.

i am not a jewish buddhist, i am a buddhist from malaysia. hope my advice can give u an unbiased point of view and can help you.
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:35 pm

I think this is quite interesting- integrating Judaisim and Buddhism - I guess the obvious point of contention would be the God (concept). I wonder if there is a way to overcome this? I would be curious if anyone has managed to do this..

with metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:34 pm

Its not a problem...a leading Jewish meditation teacher* says " God does not exist...God is existance" And that fully accords with the Talmud. The idea of God as an old man in the sky is the popularised version. The equivilant of popularised Hindu versions of Buddhism.



*Jay Michaelson " God In Your Body ".
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:26 am

rowyourboat wrote:I think this is quite interesting- integrating Judaisim and Buddhism - I guess the obvious point of contention would be the God (concept). I wonder if there is a way to overcome this?


One possible way:

The god of the Hebrew Bible is the god of Israel. He even has a name: Jehovah. He reports that he is jealous of other gods. The people of other nations have their own gods, but for the Hebrew people it is Jehovah. Jehovah is a deva who has 'chosen' the Hebrew people as his to watch over. Jehovah even occasionally has conversations with some of the Hebrews and even argues with some and loses sometimes (the story of Lot negotiating down the number of righteous people to find in the city), suggesting that he is not omniscient or even permanent and certainly not perfect.

The above does not really contradict that much in the Bible and the ancient Hebrews probably did consider Jehovah their god, while other nations had their own. Later with greater trade and connections between nations, the god of Israel gradually became known as the God of all nations. But there is no indication that he was ever meant to be the God of all nations based on anything in the Hebrew Bible.
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:03 am

The post just above accords with my reading of the Old Testament(Torah) as well.
_/|\_
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby christopher::: » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:38 am

That's a good book "The Jew in the Lotus"... I enjoyed the conversation between the Dalai Lama and a Kabbalah teacher. They found many similarities in the Jewish and Mahayana cosmologies, were laughing and agreeing about ideas that the other Jewish rabbis present had never heard about. The Kabbalah presents God in a way that's very different from the traditional "old man in the sky" concept, imo.

One thing I like about a number of Jewish Buddhist teachers is they seem to be very nonsectarian, more open to other schools and traditions. You can hear examples of this in Joseph Goldstein's dhamma talks and his own story...

:group:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Annapurna » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:27 am

Ben wrote:Practicing Dhamma, I would imagine would lead one to the dropping of labels and the self-identity processs.

Ben


:bow:

Perhaps it is something that people of Jewish heritage (and others) do at the beginning of their practice 'career' and then slough off the labels as they progress on the path.
Anyway, its interesting.



Yeah. :D

I still think of myself as being a part of a big cosmic phenomenon... :juggling:
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Annapurna » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:32 am

christopher::: wrote:That's a good book "The Jew in the Lotus"... I enjoyed the conversation between the Dalai Lama and a Kabbalah teacher. They found many similarities in the Jewish and Mahayana cosmologies, were laughing and agreeing about ideas that the other Jewish rabbis present had never heard about. The Kabbalah presents God in a way that's very different from the traditional "old man in the sky" concept, imo.

One thing I like about a number of Jewish Buddhist teachers is they seem to be very nonsectarian, more open to other schools and traditions. You can hear examples of this in Joseph Goldstein's dhamma talks and his own story...

:group:


Can it be read online, do you know?

Because stuff like that is extremely interesting for me.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Annapurna » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:50 am

David N. Snyder wrote: is a deva who has 'chosen' the Hebrew people as his to watch over.


Extremely interesting notion. So, if that were so, this 'Deva' would also be teaching his understanding of the Dhamma....
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Satori » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:04 am

Some people have argued that Jesus was Jewish Buddhist or that he spent his lost years in India.. I don't know, but there seems to be a lot of differences between Christianity and Buddhism. But all religions are different, even if they do share traits.

But some say the Church would collapse if it was found out Jesus was Buddhist. :jumping:
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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:16 am

As with all religions there is the exoteric and the esoteric teaching.
The esoteric teaching of Judaism is to be found in the Zohar and The Kabbalah..and they are the key to the Talmud..not, I hasten to add the ersatz Kabbalah endorsed by Madonna and other celebs...the real thing is to be found ( for example ) in the work of the living teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi. It corresponds to Sufism within Islam.


Its is all there. If I had known about it when I was in my twenties I would not have seen to need to adopt Buddhism.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Jewish Buddhism

Postby christopher::: » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:51 am

Annapurna wrote:
Can it be read online, do you know?

Because stuff like that is extremely interesting for me.


I don't think so, but there's a video/DVD you might be able to find..

http://www.blinddogfilms.com/jewinthelotus/

And you can order either new or used versions of the book from amazon, at very cheap rates...

http://www.amazon.com/Jew-Lotus-Re-Disc ... 0060645741

Sanghamitta wrote:the real thing is to be found ( for example ) in the work of the living teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi. It corresponds to Sufism within Islam.



I'm pretty sure that he's the one in the book who had that interesting exchange about Kabbalah teachings with the Dalai Lama...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zalman_Schachter-Shalomi

Schachter-Shalomi was among the group of rabbis, from a wide range of Jewish denominations, who traveled together to India to meet with the Dalai Lama and discuss diaspora survival with him. (The Tibetans, being exiled from their homeland for three generations now, are facing some of the same assimilation challenges faced by the Jews. The Dalai Lama was interested in knowing how the Jews had survived with their culture intact.) That journey was chronicled in Rodger Kamenetz' book The Jew in the Lotus, now also a documentary film...



He's quite fascinating to listen to, that's for sure....




:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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