Buddhism and religion

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Buddhism and religion

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

Greetings Pink,

pink_trike wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
You'll note that I try to avoid telling others what religion actually is - and repeatedly suggest that we ought to find out what it is through rigorous scrutiny, preferably before we indulge in it.


Except you are willing to classify as something bad. This is simply odd, if not down right weird.

Never used the word "bad", nor did I imply it.


Didn't you just write "Let religion die away" a few posts ago?

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


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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:06 am

pink_trike wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
You'll note that I try to avoid telling others what religion actually is - and repeatedly suggest that we ought to find out what it is through rigorous scrutiny, preferably before we indulge in it.


Except you are willing to classify as something bad. This is simply odd, if not down right weird.

Never used the word "bad", nor did I imply it.


No, you just talked about body counts, exploitation, ansd needing to get rid of it. Who, then, needs to use the word bad?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:11 am

tiltbillings wrote: And channelling it, and, of course, it all that can go horribly wrong, but it can also go quite right. None of this is black and white.

True.

pink_trike wrote:
Jechbi wrote:Organized religions provide a framework for exploring that impulse.

And has a remarkable talent for exploiting that impulse. :tongue:

In some cases, true. Not in all cases. Some forms of Buddhism, for example, are an exception. (And that's not the only exception.)

edit: to fix quote box
Last edited by Jechbi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:13 am

PT: Letting go of this [religious] impulse may be exactly what the good doctor, Siddhārtha Gautama, recommended.


Sure, but not until the other shore is reached. There is a reason the Buddha gave dukkha as the First Noble Truth; it is the engine that drives the religious impulse.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Didn't you just write "Let religion die away" a few posts ago?

Yes, but why assume that means "bad". There are many other reasons to let it die away...antiquated, inadequate, hinderance, delusion, lacking in benefit, superfluous - none of these mean "bad".
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: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:27 am

tiltbillings wrote:
PT: Letting go of this [religious] impulse may be exactly what the good doctor, Siddhārtha Gautama, recommended.


Sure, but not until the other shore is reached.

There is a reason the Buddha gave dukkha as the First Noble Truth; it is the engine that drives the religious impulse.


Imo, you're conflating the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama with this religious impulse of which we know very little about.

Dukkha only drives the religious impulse for people who choose to indulge in the religious impulse. Why not set aside the impulse and get on with the work?
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: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:27 am

pink_trike wrote:Yes, but why assume that means "bad". There are many other reasons to let it die away...antiquated, inadequate, hinderance, delusion, lacking in benefit, superfluous - none of these mean "bad".

You're splitting hairs.

I still don't understand why you are applying this interpretation to all religions, bar none.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:29 am

pink_trike wrote:Why not set aside the impulse and get on with the work?

Great, if that works for you. For other people, other approaches might be more productive at this particular stage. Why force everyone into the same pigeonhole?
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:30 am

pink_trike wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
PT: Letting go of this [religious] impulse may be exactly what the good doctor, Siddhārtha Gautama, recommended.


Sure, but not until the other shore is reached.

There is a reason the Buddha gave dukkha as the First Noble Truth; it is the engine that drives the religious impulse.


Imo, you're conflating the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama with this religious impulse of which we know very little about.


He said, swatting back a perceived fast ball.

Dukkha only drives the religious impulse for people who choose to indulge in the religious impulse. Why not set aside the impulse and get on with the work?


Now for only knowing very little about the religious impulse, you seem to be making some assumptions about what it actually is.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:34 am

Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Why not set aside the impulse and get on with the work?

Great, if that works for you. For other people, other approaches might be more productive at this particular stage. Why force everyone into the same pigeonhole?

Please point to where I advocated "force". This is getting a bit silly. :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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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:36 am

pink_trike wrote:Please point to where I advocated "force". This is getting a bit silly. :smile:

I'm misunderstanding again. What do you advocate?
:shrug:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:42 am

Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Yes, but why assume that means "bad". There are many other reasons to let it die away...antiquated, inadequate, hinderance, delusion, lacking in benefit, superfluous - none of these mean "bad".

You're splitting hairs.

I still don't understand why you are applying this interpretation to all religions, bar none.

Hi Jechbi,

I've been very clear that I think this impulse is an unnecessary obstacle to awaking, no matter what institutional form gathers around it.

Also, remember that I don't think that Buddhism was originally intended to be a religion...so in the context of Buddhism I would describe religion as being an unnecessary corruption as well as an obstacle to awakening.
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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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:43 am

Pink_Trike wrote:Let's not make this a discussion about whether Buddhism should be regarded as a religion or not. I'm more interested in why individuals choose a religious view of Buddhism, or why they don't. I'm not religious and haven't ever experienced Buddhism in any religious way so I'm naturally curious why other people do. I'm more interested in your personal view and experience, rather than what's good for the institution of Buddhism or society. My starting questions for those who engage with Buddhism as a religion are...


Hi Pink_Trike,

You said you were curious about the personal views and experiences of the members here. What do you make of the responses you've received?
You also mentioned that you wanted to try on and explore different viewpoints too. How is that coming?

Kindly,
Laura

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:46 am

pink_trike wrote:I've been very clear that I think this impulse is an unnecessary obstacle to awaking, no matter what institutional form gathers around it.
Well, ok, that might be true for you. Why do you assume it's true for everyone else, too?

pink_trike wrote:Also, remember that I don't think that Buddhism was originally intended to be a religion...so in the context of Buddhism I would describe religion as being an unnecessary corruption as well as an obstacle to awakening.
The reason you don't think that Buddhism is a religion is because you use the term "religion" in an idiosyncratic manner. If you used the term "religion" in the manner in which most people understand it, then your statements probably would be worded differently, and folks around here would be more inclined to find middle ground with you, and perhaps even more agreement.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:56 am

Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:I've been very clear that I think this impulse is an unnecessary obstacle to awaking, no matter what institutional form gathers around it.
Well, ok, that might be true for you. Why do you assume it's true for everyone else, too?


The religious impulse, as spelled out in the First Noble Truth, I find my life unsartifactory, full of pain and uncertainty, is hardly an obstacle. It is a motivation; it fuels the striving for transcendence.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:00 am

tiltbillings wrote:The religious impulse, as spelled out in the First Noble Truth, I find my life unsartifactory, full of pain and uncertainty, is hardly an obstacle. It is a motivation; it fuels the striving for transcendence.

I tend to agree. I'm trying to understand why Pink views it differently.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby pink_trike » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:02 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Jechbi wrote:
pink_trike wrote:I've been very clear that I think this impulse is an unnecessary obstacle to awaking, no matter what institutional form gathers around it.
Well, ok, that might be true for you. Why do you assume it's true for everyone else, too?


The religious impulse, as spelled out in the First Noble Truth, I find my life unsartifactory, full of pain and uncertainty, is hardly an obstacle. It is a motivation; it fuels the striving for transcendence.

I agree that the FNT is a supreme motivation. I don't see this motivation as a religious impulse. I don't know why you do, but since you've chosen not to answer the questions and have contributed mostly one or two line posts that question rather than disclose it is very hard to hold a dialogue with you...perhaps we shouldn't attempt to further in this thread. :anjali:
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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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:06 am

Hi Pink,
pink_trike wrote:I agree that the FNT is a supreme motivation. I don't see this motivation as a religious impulse.
Why don't you? It seems like your issue is with the terms "religion" and "religious," not with the concepts behind them that others mean when they use those terms.

What is it about the "religious impulse" that you feel is not dukkha?
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Buddhism and religion

Postby christopher::: » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:20 am

Sher wrote: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.



This is very good, thank you Sher.

Jeff, I think the difficulty here is that you seem to be advocating an alternative path to spirituality with the assumption that its superior to what presently exists, and that people should all take that route and avoid formal organized religions.

I happen to approach spirituality in a very similar way to what you are advocating, just don't think this means the "traditional" ways are inferior or unneccessary, in any way.

Many paths, many gates. People choose the path and support system that feels right to them...

:namaste:
"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: Buddhism and religion

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:31 am

pink_trike wrote:I agree that the FNT is a supreme motivation. I don't see this motivation as a religious impulse. I don't know why you do, but since you've chosen not to answer the questions and have contributed mostly one or two line posts that question rather than disclose it is very hard to hold a dialogue with you...perhaps we shouldn't attempt to further in this thread. :anjali:


If the one's suffering is the basis for one turning to the Buddha's teachings in order to bring an end to one's suffering, there is no reason not to see it as religious, as a movement towards transcendence.

Gabe has given a good definition of religion, and add to that the wanting of transcendence, that gives a fairly clear idea what I mean by religious impulse, not to be confused with religious institutions. And I would not read too much into the word impulse.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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