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Buddhism and religion - Page 4 - Dhamma Wheel

Buddhism and religion

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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christopher:::
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby christopher::: » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:35 am

Last edited by christopher::: on Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
"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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pink_trike
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:36 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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pink_trike
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:40 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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pink_trike
Posts: 1130
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:41 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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pink_trike
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:53 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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christopher:::
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby christopher::: » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:02 am

Many of the great "pioneers" of what is called "religion" shared some of your concerns I think, jeff.

Jesus was trying to point out the problems with the organized religions of his day, Siddhartha set out to find a new way. Lao Tsu offered Taoist thought in part as a critique of organized government, and attempts to control people.

The problem as I see it is the difficulty of trying to throw out the bath water, without tossing the baby. As soon as a baby (new way, vision of our interconnectness, transcendence, living love) is born people try to teach it and organize it, claim it as their own "brand," call it sacred, priesthoods develop, churches and temples are built, money needs to be collected, etc.

The two (organized sociocultural groups and wisdom) are synergistically linked though. The priesthood can create problems (especially when they manipulate or ignore the wisdom) but when the core wisdom is lived truly and transmitted, their efforts can be highly beneficial.

The real problem is ignorance, and then all the unhelpful mindstates and behaviors that arise with it. This is not implicit in religion though, or the religious "impulse," imo. It comes with all human activities and institutions..

Most religions arise as ways of sharing wisdom, improving the human condition. The challenge is to stay true to that.

:heart:
Last edited by christopher::: on Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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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pink_trike
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:22 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

User avatar
christopher:::
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby christopher::: » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:29 am

"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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Sher
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Location: Southeast Alaska, USA

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Sher » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:33 am

What does the _concept_ of religion mean to you personally? How does the _idea_ of religion itself make you feel?

I am totally okay with the concept of religion. The first book I read on Buddhism was Damien Keown’s little book called A Short Introduction to Buddhism. In it he introduced me to Ninian Smart’s model of the Seven Dimensions of Religion. I post a paraphrased version I created below.

Seven Dimensions of Religion based on the Ninian Smart Model


Practical and Ritual -- Practices such as
worship, prayer, regular gatherings, rites of passage

Experiential and Emotional -- Includes religious experiences such as visions, revelations, enlightenment, and general religious ecstasy -- The acute and earth-shaking, as well as the gentler, more mundane religious feelings.

Narrative or Mythic -- Stories that explain and inspire. The "story side" of a religion; includes written as well as oral tales, formal as well as informal teachings, alternative histories, and predictions.

Doctrinal or Philosophical -- The official, formal teachings that underpin the narrative/mythic parts of a religion, though it's important to note that the doctrine doesn't necessarily predate the narrative. Creeds and scripture representing formal teachings are included in this dimension.

Ethical and Legal -- The laws, formal and moral, that shape behavior.

Social and Institutional -- Requires physical form. The Social Dimension consists of the formal organization, such as the church, mosque, synagogue, sangha and other institutions that may come about as a result of the religion; for instance the Salvation Army and Meditation Retreat Centers.

Material -- An outgrowth of religious experience/encounter. This dimension contains all the physical creations of a religion, including buildings and architecture, icons, art, instruments of ritual, music, and symbol. It also includes natural features of the earth which may be important to the system, for instance sacred mountains, stones, holy ground, Jerusalem, etc. The objects of the material dimension may be stunning, elegant works of art, or they may be very simple and plain creations.

I feel that Buddhism, or my practice and sense of Buddhism touches upon or I would like it to touch upon many of these dimensions.

- How familiar are you with the history and origin of the idea of religion (the concept, not the phenomenon)?

Religion is a construct defined by scholars and practitioners in many different ways. There is no one definition of religion that all will agree with! It is hard to say if you feel what you do is religious unless you have a working definition of religion. The term religion was created by people-- Westerners, scholars that needed to explain beliefs and practices of various cultures, so that these beliefs and practices could be studied and categorized. I believe the term “religion” is a relatively new concept –perhaps nineteenth century. This is my surface understanding of he concept.

- Why do you choose to engage with Buddhism as a religion rather than just as a body of valuable wisdom and practices? For me the path of Buddhism and taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha is a sacred way of being in the world; it is a way of moving toward and experiencing happiness (sukha-what I understand the Buddha ultimately discovered). Based on my experience, practice is a sacred activity. Meditation is noble, choosing not to step on the spider has an aspect of the sacred (reverence and respect), pausing to really observe and run my hand across a homing pigeon’s back noting the silky feathers is a mindful moment that, for me, has a sacred element. By sacred I mean reference, respect, mindfulness, and a calm way of being in the moment.

- For you personally, what elements of Buddhism need to be viewed through the lens of "religion"? I am not sure any of the elements “need” to be viewed through the lens of religion. I’m not sure what you mean.

- Is meditation inherently a religious activity? It is a noble activity.

- Is lovingkindness inherently a religious activity? You do not have to be religious to practice lovingkindness. Practicing lovingkindness is also a noble activity . These are the questions I feel able to answer clearly. I am not defending a position, I’m just sharing how I perceive my understanding of my practice at this point in my life.

Sher

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pink_trike
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:34 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Jechbi
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:47 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:48 am


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Jechbi
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:50 am


User avatar
pink_trike
Posts: 1130
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:50 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:52 am


User avatar
pink_trike
Posts: 1130
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:54 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:57 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:03 am


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pink_trike
Posts: 1130
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:03 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:05 am



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