Am I a Buddhist

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
edwhys211
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:28 am

Am I a Buddhist

Postby edwhys211 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:32 am

Hi, I was raised Christian but it never made much sense to me and I gave up my religion. Anyway, I have been looking into Buddhism for awhile, and I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and I am open to the idea of karma and reincarnation.

So here is the man part of my question: Some people say in order to consider yourself a Buddhist, you have to fully accept everything in the religion, and some say you are a Buddhist as soon as you start the path by following the Buddha's teachings, and growing and learning through life. Which one is right?

Thanks

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tiltbillings
Posts: 20956
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Am I a Buddhist

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:27 am

edwhys211 wrote:Hi, I was raised Christian but it never made much sense to me and I gave up my religion. Anyway, I have been looking into Buddhism for awhile, and I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and I am open to the idea of karma and reincarnation.

So here is the man part of my question: Some people say in order to consider yourself a Buddhist, you have to fully accept everything in the religion, and some say you are a Buddhist as soon as you start the path by following the Buddha's teachings, and growing and learning through life. Which one is right?

Thanks
Go with the second.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam
Damned if I know.

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

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Kusala
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:02 am

Re: Am I a Buddhist

Postby Kusala » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:04 pm

edwhys211 wrote:Hi, I was raised Christian but it never made much sense to me and I gave up my religion. Anyway, I have been looking into Buddhism for awhile, and I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and I am open to the idea of karma and reincarnation.

So here is the man part of my question: Some people say in order to consider yourself a Buddhist, you have to fully accept everything in the religion, and some say you are a Buddhist as soon as you start the path by following the Buddha's teachings, and growing and learning through life. Which one is right?

Thanks


We're not forced to accept anything in Buddhism. The Buddha encouraged his followers to question everything, even the Dhamma itself.
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Bonsai Doug
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:59 pm
Location: Finger Lakes area of NY

Re: Am I a Buddhist

Postby Bonsai Doug » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:46 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
edwhys211 wrote:Hi, I was raised Christian but it never made much sense to me and I gave up my religion. Anyway, I have been looking into Buddhism for awhile, and I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and I am open to the idea of karma and reincarnation.

So here is the man part of my question: Some people say in order to consider yourself a Buddhist, you have to fully accept everything in the religion, and some say you are a Buddhist as soon as you start the path by following the Buddha's teachings, and growing and learning through life. Which one is right?

Thanks
Go with the second.

I agree.

Old joke, but true:
Q: What's the difference between a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist?
A: The non-Buddhist thinks there's a difference.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead

dude
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Am I a Buddhist

Postby dude » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:27 pm

Buddhism is a practice, not a state of being.
One who practices Buddhism is a Buddhist.
You can undergo initiation as a monk one day and quit practicing the next, sometimes without even knowing that you've quit.
The Buddha stated that even after being accepted into the Order and receiving the precepts from the Buddha himself, one who acts in such and such a way "Is not my disciple and does not understand my teachings." One who acts in such and such a different way, is, and does understand.
People can say what they want, and as it seems you've already found out, they will. There is no Ministry of Buddhism in charge of handing out certificates and deciding who is a Buddhist and who is not.
There is no authority but the Buddha. Since we were not born in the Buddha's lifetime, we look to the sutras for instruction; "Rely on the Law and not upon persons." Reflecting deeply on our own conduct in the light of the Buddha's teaching we ourselves can borrow the wisdom of the Buddha and make our own judgment whether we are disciples of the Buddha and understand his teachings or not.

plwk
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am
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Re: Am I a Buddhist

Postby plwk » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:37 pm

If this is of any help...
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page

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DAWN
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Am I a Buddhist

Postby DAWN » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:21 pm

Dhamma is the path to be walked.
Dhamma is not the believing to be understand.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english


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