Am I a Buddhist

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

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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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.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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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.
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Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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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
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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.
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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
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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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