Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:15 pm

Avery wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:Avery,

So how did you end up resolving this issue? Or did you?

Metta,

LE

I haven't yet resolved it. Sumanasara pointed out that it's not necessarily true that we can observe everything which affects the physical world. He said the Buddha taught that karma and rebirth are unobservable by human eyes. So the question for me is, how is reaching a state where you intuit karma any different from reaching a state where you intuit God or gods? This is probably a question for a different thread, but after seeing a country full of Mahayana practices in general (even though I was interviewing Theravada monks) I felt a sort of futility that I hadn't known when practicing Buddhism in the U.S. So, I am starting to approach Buddhism in a different way than before.


I don't mean to drag this off topic, but I find your story very interesting, Avery.
Please feel free to keep sharing as you continue to work with these subjects :anjali:
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:56 pm

thornbush wrote:A twofold question:
Name 3 challenges in our present age/time that you think Buddhism is facing now and why.
Name 3 challenges that you face as a Buddhist in daily life and why.

Thank you in advance :anjali:

Namo Amitabha Buddha!


Three challenges in our present age/time that I perceive Buddhism is facing:
Avarice
self-destruction
Hedonism.

These could all loosely be bracketed under the title of 'suffering'. Call me simple, but, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...."

Three challenges that I face as a Buddhist, in daily life:

Disillusion, laziness, dissatisfaction.

Why?

Stuck in that great big hamster-wheel known as samsara...
I can spin it at varying speeds, and right now it's going like a thing possessed..... :tantrum: :cookoo:
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby clw_uk » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:06 pm

Three challenges to Buddhism


Western Atheists going to the extreme of viewing all religons/spirituality in the same way they view Abrahamic religious thought

People who try to teach Dhamma without the proper knowledge to do so

Superstition


:anjali:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby AdvaitaJ » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:09 am

thornbush wrote:Name 3 challenges in our present age/time that you think Buddhism is facing now and why.

1. Overcoming wrong perceptions based on ignorance and assumption. I'm convinced if more people understood the logical and practical nature of Buddhism, there'd be a lot more people in this country I could talk to!
2. Avoiding Christian persecution. For this one, I think the underlying reason is the ongoing conflict between Christian zealots and Islamic militants. I think many Christians here feel they are under attack by Islamics and, in their frenzy, they lump all non-Christian religions together in their threat-basket out of ignorance. Let me be clear: there are no direct threats from anyone, but they do keep track and take care of their own if they find out you're not of their tribe.
3. Acceptance of the non-conventional aspects: rebirth, devas, hells, etc. These things were probably givens in the Buddha's time and many are probably still widely accepted elsewhere, but we're "too sophisticated" here in the west to be very open-minded to such things. I will admit they pose a challenge to my agnosticism.
thornbush wrote:Name 3 challenges that you face as a Buddhist in daily life and why.

1. Time. Specifically, time for quality practice. When you commute 90 minutes/day and spend another hour-plus exercising because you work nine hours/day at a desk in a fabric-covered box, there isn't a lot left over. Some may ask why I don't change jobs and the simple answer is that I'm too close to the end to switch gears now. The old "give up a little now for more later" mentality.
2. Knowing where to best spend what time I do have. My list of reading materials grows with every visit to this forum!
3. Questions, questions, questions. The only reason I don't post more questions here is that I need time (see bullet 1) to read, understand, and follow through on the answers I've received to the questions I've already asked! And I'll say again how indispensable this forum is to my progress! Thanks to all for their help and guidance.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:12 am

Greetings AdvaitaJ,

AdvaitaJ wrote:2. Knowing where to best spend what time I do have. My list of reading materials grows with every visit to this forum!

This is one of the often unrecognised benefits of Internet forums... they help guide you towards what would be worth reading next.

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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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby green » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:38 am

Manapa wrote:buddhism as a group
1. New age teachers who cherry pick the "feel good" parts, and or claim enlightenment
2. Teachers who have no Dhamma training and pass themselves off as experts
3. The idea Buddhism has a pope and all Buddhists fall in line with them.



You hit the nail right on the head. These are the biggest challenges to dhamma.

When I go to the book store, it is unfortunate that the Buddhism section contains more books by these same incompetent teachers rather than the word of the Buddha. However, the Christian, Islam section contains mostly the Bible or Koran.

Someday, maybe...the Buddhist section will only consist of rows and rows of the Tipitika! :anjali:
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby DarkDream » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:03 am

The three challenges to Buddhism as I see it:

1) A brand of fundamentalism that refuses accept ideas from modern scholarship and science and persists in holding the religious texts as the final arbiter.
2) Diluting and masking the differences between other religions and different strands of Buddhism.
3) Inability to change in response to the modern world and the current level of knowledge in the arts and sciences.

--DarkDream
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:03 am

green wrote:
Manapa wrote:buddhism as a group
1. New age teachers who cherry pick the "feel good" parts, and or claim enlightenment
2. Teachers who have no Dhamma training and pass themselves off as experts
3. The idea Buddhism has a pope and all Buddhists fall in line with them.



You hit the nail right on the head. These are the biggest challenges to dhamma.

When I go to the book store, it is unfortunate that the Buddhism section contains more books by these same incompetent teachers rather than the word of the Buddha. However, the Christian, Islam section contains mostly the Bible or Koran.

Someday, maybe...the Buddhist section will only consist of rows and rows of the Tipitika! :anjali:


You have a Buddhist section in the book store? I do most of my book shopping online now but when I do go into the stores it tends to be HHDL books and books like Buddhism without belief, nothing of any real relevance to the Texts, although I do agree with darkdream that closing off Buddhism could lead to degradation of the path, opening it up can also lead to the same thing, it is a case of shut up and do the practice, look at it, examine it and then decide for yourself, that is a fundamentalist Buddhist. but I think the 1st and 2nd contradict each other to a large extent as what is the difference between diluting traditions and schools, and doing the same with science, both are diluting the path and both done with right investigation can lead to something good, just as doing it blindly will lead to something bad.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby green » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:41 am

Manapa wrote:
green wrote:
Manapa wrote:buddhism as a group
1. New age teachers who cherry pick the "feel good" parts, and or claim enlightenment
2. Teachers who have no Dhamma training and pass themselves off as experts
3. The idea Buddhism has a pope and all Buddhists fall in line with them.



You hit the nail right on the head. These are the biggest challenges to dhamma.

When I go to the book store, it is unfortunate that the Buddhism section contains more books by these same incompetent teachers rather than the word of the Buddha. However, the Christian, Islam section contains mostly the Bible or Koran.

Someday, maybe...the Buddhist section will only consist of rows and rows of the Tipitika! :anjali:


You have a Buddhist section in the book store? I do most of my book shopping online now but when I do go into the stores it tends to be HHDL books and books like Buddhism without belief, nothing of any real relevance to the Texts, although I do agree with darkdream that closing off Buddhism could lead to degradation of the path, opening it up can also lead to the same thing, it is a case of shut up and do the practice, look at it, examine it and then decide for yourself, that is a fundamentalist Buddhist. but I think the 1st and 2nd contradict each other to a large extent as what is the difference between diluting traditions and schools, and doing the same with science, both are diluting the path and both done with right investigation can lead to something good, just as doing it blindly will lead to something bad.



Well, you have an eastern religions section which includes Buddhist books...and yes they are mostly HHDL or fashionable Buddhism books...as a kid they really turned me off from Buddhism, I read the HHDL books and thought if Buddha was so smart, how come the 4 noble truths is so simplistic.

I didn't even know Buddhism had something called the Tipitika. I came across the Tipitika by accident in the library.

The bookstore is the reason why many people think Buddhism has no central text.
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:24 am

green wrote:Well, you have an eastern religions section which includes Buddhist books...and yes they are mostly HHDL or fashionable Buddhism books...as a kid they really turned me off from Buddhism, I read the HHDL books and thought if Buddha was so smart, how come the 4 noble truths is so simplistic.

I didn't even know Buddhism had something called the Tipitika. I came across the Tipitika by accident in the library.

The bookstore is the reason why many people think Buddhism has no central text.



No, Religion section and a small selection of Authors on Buddhism.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby green » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:09 pm

Manapa wrote:
green wrote:Well, you have an eastern religions section which includes Buddhist books...and yes they are mostly HHDL or fashionable Buddhism books...as a kid they really turned me off from Buddhism, I read the HHDL books and thought if Buddha was so smart, how come the 4 noble truths is so simplistic.

I didn't even know Buddhism had something called the Tipitika. I came across the Tipitika by accident in the library.

The bookstore is the reason why many people think Buddhism has no central text.



No, Religion section and a small selection of Authors on Buddhism.



No, small selection of buddhist books by "buddhists" who give their version of what they want Buddhism to be, with none containing the Tipitika. :smile:
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:42 pm

Half a shelf if lucky and no Tipitaka
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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