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Mentioning Buddhism in public - Dhamma Wheel

Mentioning Buddhism in public

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Animamia
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Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Animamia » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Hi all

I've just posted my opinion regarding a completely unrelated matter on a public forum. Someone commented positively on my non-judgemental and empathetic response to a debate. I then mentioned I have recently taken refuge in Buddhism and am trying not to be judgemental or get angry etc. I was then slated by another person, and told it is against Buddhism beliefs to mention Buddhism at all in public, amongst other things.

I have been trying to learn as much as I can but I have not seen this anywhere? Is this correct, that I should not explain my behaviour or views as a result or related to being Buddhist?

Thank you for any advice x

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Hickersonia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Hickersonia » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:11 pm

Interesting... I look forward to reading replies to this. I have never been told anything like that. I don't necessarily care to discuss it with everyone, but I don't think I have to hide integral parts of my thought process when t apples to why I act thee way I do about things.
Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

perkele
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby perkele » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:24 pm


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Goofaholix
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:26 pm


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:29 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:41 pm


Animamia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Animamia » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:42 pm

Thank you. That is a relief. I thought I'd done something really bad.

The person was not opposed to Buddhism, they were in fact preaching to me the right and wrong ways to follow - telling me that judgement and control of behaviour is a Christian view and things. I'd not based what I said in the debate on anything to do with Buddhism. I just explained to someone who was interested the reasons behind my thinking.

I really appreciate your opinions, I feel so much better :)

Animamia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Animamia » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:50 pm

Sorry I didn't explain correctly. She didn't say I shouldn't mention Buddhism at all in public, what she said was that I should not show pride in Buddhism or use it as an explanation for the way one would act. I don't know if this makes any difference.

x

perkele
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby perkele » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:25 pm


Tyler
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Tyler » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:12 pm

There isnt anything wrong with mentioning you are buddhist in public but it doesnt go without its consequences. We have to remember that with any term to describe an identity comes with a certain amount of weight that will effect someones judgement of us and our practice. I try to remember that i can effect others thru following the dhamma without them knowing im a buddhist. This allows me to guage someones receptiveness to buddhism and i know when the time is right to let them know that its my spiritual beliefs that guide my behavior.

Here is an example of it backfiring on me when someone found out i was a buddhist too soon:

I was working a new job at a call center and would meditate on breaks. I thought i was choosing a spot where no one else would go as i didnt want anyone to get the wrong idea. One day i was meditating and felt eyes on me. I didnt stop. when i got back in from my break i heard a rumor was going around that i was outside sitting in a strange position and talking to myself. It went around that i was some type of Muslim or pagan and people were increasingly more uncomfortable around me. I thought it would make things a little better to reveal myself as a buddhist. It made things a little better but i got teased a lot. I was called a hippie and a pothead amongst other things that didnt bode to well in this apparently professional enviornment. It wasnt a surprise to me when i was let go upon my first and very minor customer complaint.

It was interesting how the stigma on who i was and what i was doing changed based on peoples stereotypes. I went from a good skilled employee to a dangerous Muslim to a stupid hippie in the matter of a few days. I was so much better off when they had just felt the dhamma thru my character instead of clouding their opinions with stereotypes.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:23 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Goofaholix
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:34 am


Tyler
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Tyler » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:34 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:27 am


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Fede
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Fede » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:57 am

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Cittasanto
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:52 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Animamia
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Animamia » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:05 pm

Thank you for your replies once again :)

I've only spoken to a few people about my beliefs, and those were chosen carefully as I knew they would understand my reasons and accept them. This lady who slated me was from the US. I've never experienced or heard in my presence these views before. But she was not discriminating, just argumentative and obviously misinformed. That is truly terrible what happened, Tyler. You would think in this modern world where we are supposed to be intelligent and civil, people would know better. Well, the joke is on them, as I can't think of a better example of ignorance.

The people that I have actually told have been very curious. Upon telling my best friend some basic principles she is reading about Buddhism herself with the view that it may well be for her, too.

I read somewhere that Buddhism is the way we can save our planet from the damage we have done and are still doing. As a biology undergraduate I fully agree with this. Of course I would never preach to anyone, but I will definitely encourage and help friends that are looking for it. If only I could get to grips with the meditation now! :)

Regards, Jo x

SamBodhi
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby SamBodhi » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:23 pm

saving our planet: I have a friend who speaks a lot about sustainability and even works for a not-for-profit devoted to this idea. I was tempted to say, "Sustainability? You mean Buddhadhamma right?" :)

Still, I am wondering if this person you encountered on the other board may have heard and misinterpreted something that I also heard once. This is that Buddhists are not supposed to "advertise" stuff that happens to them during meditation. Deeper states or higher states of being are not supposed to be a source of pride and therefore confusion. I do not know if my source is reliable since I cannot seem to recall exactly what I heard or where I heard it (best to let it go then). Still, maybe there was a misunderstanding that this kind of thing applied to the entire experience of being a follower of the Buddha.

with metta,
pung
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
--Upasika Kee Nanayon

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Goofaholix
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:34 pm


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Kim OHara
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Re: Mentioning Buddhism in public

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:25 pm



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