To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Yes.
18
86%
No.
2
10%
I don't know.
1
5%
 
Total votes : 21

To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:17 pm

Nibbana is the fourth noble truth, the goal of the path. Considering how often I see people demand proof of other teachings in Buddhism it is a wonder to me no one asks for proof for this, most fundamental aspect of Buddhism. And yet I wager more people in history have personally seen rebirth than have seen Nibbana.

So while we're discussing which parts of the teachings are necessary to call oneself a Buddhist, let's discuss this teaching: the complete ending of suffering, Nibbana.
- Peter

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:32 pm

Greetings Peter

First of all good idea for topic,


I voted yes, if one doesnt whats the point in even practicing (or practicing hard so just keeping basic morality etc)

The whole teaching is about dukkha and its final ending, if there were no ending it be a pointless teaching since it didnt lead anywhere, there would only be two truths and so no hope of a way out

So to in short yes, to be considered a fully devote, practicing follower of the Buddha IMO one has to accept that nibbana exsists and can be reached



Slightly off topic note, i think what we need is to bring all these kind of topics together under a serious discussion of right view, what is included and excluded and how it effects practice. Most of the controversial points i see being discussed are in relation to right view, never right effort, mindfulness, speech etc.


Metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby pink_trike » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:40 pm

Peter wrote:Nibbana is the fourth noble truth, the goal of the path. Considering how often I see people demand proof of other teachings in Buddhism it is a wonder to me no one asks for proof for this, most fundamental aspect of Buddhism. And yet I wager more people in history have personally seen rebirth than have seen Nibbana.

So while we're discussing which parts of the teachings are necessary to call oneself a Buddhist, let's discuss this teaching: the complete ending of suffering, Nibbana.

What's your precise definition of Nibbana? :popcorn:
Vision is Mind
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:46 am

To be clear, by "accept" I mean "accept as something one can attain" and not necessarily something you think you will attain in this life.
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:15 am

To be super simplistic here, you're a Buddhist if you've taken refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. So yes, confidence in the 4NT (dhamma) seems necessary to be Buddhist.

:juggling:
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:37 am

Peter wrote:To be clear, by "accept" I mean "accept as something one can attain" and not necessarily something you think you will attain in this life.


Hi Peter,

From a Mahayana (especially Zen) perspective, Nibbana as "something one can attain" presents some issues. This is not to say that Nibbana is an expendable teaching; just that Mahayana might not define it the way that you have. I'm sure you're familiar with the Diamond Sutra, etc.

LE
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby pink_trike » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:42 am

For me, again, it is the idea that someone "_must_ accept" something to "be a Buddhist" that I find foreign...I wonder if this is an internet phenomenon. In 30 years of living a life that has been saturated with Buddhists, teachers, trainings, and retreats I have never heard this topic even come up for discussion, except now in internet forums. Perhaps this view represents a general lack of access to teachers? Cuz teachers generally slap questions like this down pretty fast and point us back to practice.

Anyways...

I'm cool with Nibbana, but let's not discuss it in too much detail...I'd probably start picking at "attain". :smile:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:01 am

pink_trike wrote:For me, again, it is the idea that someone "_must_ accept" something to "be a Buddhist" that I find foreign...I wonder if this is an internet phenomenon. In 30 years of living a life that has been saturated with Buddhists, teachers, trainings, and retreats I have never heard this topic even come up for discussion, except now in internet forums. Perhaps this view represents a general lack of access to teachers? Cuz teachers generally slap questions like this down pretty fast and point us back to practice.

Anyways...

I'm cool with Nibbana, but let's not discuss it in too much detail...I'd probably start picking at "attain". :smile:


:goodpost:

And yet, some Zen teachers say that one has to believe two things: that the teachings work and that the enlightenment (true nature) is to be found nowhere else but right here.

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_/|\_
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby pink_trike » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:35 am

Dan74 wrote:
pink_trike wrote:For me, again, it is the idea that someone "_must_ accept" something to "be a Buddhist" that I find foreign...I wonder if this is an internet phenomenon. In 30 years of living a life that has been saturated with Buddhists, teachers, trainings, and retreats I have never heard this topic even come up for discussion, except now in internet forums. Perhaps this view represents a general lack of access to teachers? Cuz teachers generally slap questions like this down pretty fast and point us back to practice.

Anyways...

I'm cool with Nibbana, but let's not discuss it in too much detail...I'd probably start picking at "attain". :smile:


:goodpost:

And yet, some Zen teachers say that one has to believe two things: that the teachings work and that the enlightenment (true nature) is to be found nowhere else but right here.

_/|\_


Agreed. Confidence is important. Some will have confidence as a foundation to build a practice on, and some will build a foundation of practice, of working with circumstances, out of which confidence will arise. c'est la vie
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:56 am

their is no must accept anything within Buddhism so no! see the truth for yourself and accept what is true, not accept this and that to be a Buddhist, see and know for yourself
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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"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: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:12 am

Hi Peter

If we take 'buddhist' to mean someone who has taken refuge in triple gem, then i'm not sure whether that means the same as accepting nibbana as achievable. I think for many of us we are initially attacted to the Dhamma because of our own experience of the intractible nature of samsara where everything is dukkha. The Dhamma offers us something that we desire, which is a promise of an end of dukkha. But at that point we may not know, directly know that Nibbana is achievable. So I think that to know, to truely know that Nibbana is achievable, one would need to have tasted Nibbana and be a sotapanna.
Until then, our acceptance of Nibbana is an acceptance based on logical inference or in some small part, faith.
Metta

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:51 pm

pink_trike wrote:For me, again, it is the idea that someone "_must_ accept" something to "be a Buddhist" that I find foreign.

Again, this gets it backwards. It's not like there's a club that you're not allowed in until you accept a set of beliefs. Rather it's that a word needs a definition in order to be meaningful. A Buddhist is defined most sensibly as one who strives to implement the Buddha's teachings. A person who strives to implement some teachings and refuses to implement others, who doubts the Buddha or the Dhamma or the Sangha, who would rather make baseless accusations of mass corruption against sincere practitioners, who rejects thousands of years of tradition for no reason... such a person is not sensibly called a Buddhist. Perhaps someone influenced by Buddhism, perhaps someone on the way to becoming a Buddhist. And there's nothing wrong with being that sort of person. We are who we are. We are at where we are at on the path. There's no point trying to force yourself to be something you are not. Likewise, there is no point cheapening or lessening the path simply to fit where you are at.

Perhaps this view represents a general lack of access to teachers?

I think a teacher can help keep us focused where we need to be focused, can help us from going on irrelevant tangents, and can also help keep us from nurturing wrong views, obstructive views. I think without a teacher it is very easy to form wrong views regarding the teachings. So one with a teacher might say "I don't worry about rebirth in my practice. When I ask questions about rebirth my teacher tells me to not worry about it and get back to my practice." And that might be right for that person. But when one goes further to say "Rebirth is not a part of the path at all. Belief in rebirth is in fact an obstacle to the path" then one goes too far and teaches wrong view. Those without teachers who hear this wrong view are set on a wrong path and they have no one to help straighten them out.

I wonder if this is an internet phenomenon.... teachers generally slap questions like this down pretty fast and point us back to practice.

I think that response works well between a student and a teacher, where there is trust and respect. But if a person is seeking information and gets slapped down they will likely leave unsatisfied. Furthermore, this is a discussion forum, not a practice forum. All we can do here is discuss. If we say "don't discuss, get back to practice" then there is no discussion forum. So yes, I think these sorts of conversations are due to the medium.
- Peter

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:53 pm

Manapa wrote:see and know for yourself

See and know what?
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:05 pm

Regarding having confidence in the Buddha's teachings on rebirth, nibanna, and all the central aspects of Buddhism, I think of it like this:

If I want proof before believing these things for myself, it is good enough for me if someone has died, taken rebirth, achieved liberation, and told us, "I've see this, I don't want it for you, and here's how you can stop it." If I wait to experience it for myself, I'll either be dead and taking another rebirth out of ignorance, or I'll be doubting nibanna for the next umpteen lives. So it is proof positive for me that somebody only a couple of thousand years ago experienced it and told us about it. Unless you think the Buddha was incoherent or kooky, he's etched out a fine path that we can follow.

My two cents :namaste:

Edited to add: I know that many people don't like ritual and fancy Buddhist-stuffs. But I'll you that from my pov, people who struggle with parts of the Buddha's dhamma might find spending time daily really focusing on venerating the Buddha might be useful. I know I might make people mad by saying that, but it's just my opinion
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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:48 pm

Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:see and know for yourself

See and know what?


If the teaching has validity.
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: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:57 pm

Manapa wrote:
Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:see and know for yourself

See and know what?

If the teaching has validity.

How does one see and know for themselves whether a teaching has validity?
- Peter

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:06 pm

Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:If the teaching has validity.

How does one see and know for themselves whether a teaching has validity?


do the practice, see and know for yourself!
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: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:47 pm

1) We can have theory's about what is possible and accept them as true based upon evidence which we trust.

2) We can be doubtful about there being any outcome which is greater than what we have already experienced.

3)We can have confidence that there is always a better outcome and that it is always possible.


I choose #3 and I will follow the advise of those who inspire this confidence in me. Since it is Buddhist teachings and practitioners who inspire this confidence I think it is safe to say that I am a Buddhist. If I were to reject or accept a portion of the teachings without knowing their validity or lack thereof within my own experience that would simply take the wind out my sails so to speak.

Metta

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:49 pm

Manapa wrote:
Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:If the teaching has validity.

How does one see and know for themselves whether a teaching has validity?

do the practice, see and know for yourself!

So the question then becomes: is accepting the possibility of nibbana a part of one's practice? Reflecting on it this way... It seems to me Nibbana is an effect rather than a cause. In that case I'd say it is not necessary to accept Nibbana in order to properly practice the path.

On the other hand... If one does not believe in the goal, will that affect how one pursues the path to that goal? Will one strive with the same earnestness? the same focus? I would guess no.

Then again... As long as one believe it is possible to decrease suffering, while holding no view as to the possibility of completely eliminating suffering... is that sufficient?

Some thoughts to consider.
- Peter

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Re: To be a Buddhist you must accept Nibbana?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:14 pm

Peter wrote:On the other hand... If one does not believe in the goal, will that affect how one pursues the path to that goal? Will one strive with the same earnestness? the same focus? I would guess no.


Hi Peter,

I think we tend to find it quite comfortable to "believe in the goal" without necessarily gaining a sense of earnestness. My feeling is that acceptance of ideas can sometimes stifle the earnest striving to realize their validity. In "Mind in Buddhist Psychology: Necklace of Clear Understanding by Yeshe Gyaltsen" Sraddha is defined..."It is a deep conviction, lucidity, and longing for those things which are real, have value, and are possible. It functions as the basis for sustained interest." This fits what I generally think of as Buddhist faith and it is much better than belief, acceptance, or even confidence.


Metta

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