Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby edwhys211 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:29 am

Sorry for my frequent questions on this board, but I am very interested in Buddhism.

So here is my current set of beliefs: I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and find his quotes and lessons very inspirational and think they are all great teachings to live by. I also accept karma.

However, being an agnostic, I can't say I fully believe in rebirth and the dimensions of rebirth (human, heaven, hell, animal, ghost). Although I believe that after death anything is possible, I feel I cannot fully believe in any concept like an afterlife or rebirth, although I am open to the possibilities. I am certainly intrigued by the concept of rebirth though, probably even more than the concept of heaven.

So back to my main question, would I have to fully believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist? Or are following the eight fold path and five precepts the most important things?


Thank you.

And again, I apologize for my frequent questions.
edwhys211
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:28 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby SamKR » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:37 am

edwhys211 wrote:
So here is my current set of beliefs: I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and find his quotes and lessons very inspirational and think they are all great teachings to live by. I also accept karma.

I am open to the possibilities.

So back to my main question, would I have to fully believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist? Or are following the eight fold path and five precepts the most important things?

No. You don't have to believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist. And it's good that you are open to the possibilities. Believe when you are ready to believe.
Making effort to follow the eight fold path is much more important than forcefully believing in rebirth.
Last edited by SamKR on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
SamKR
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby edwhys211 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:43 am

SamKR wrote:
edwhys211 wrote:
So here is my current set of beliefs: I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and find his quotes and lessons very inspirational and think they are all great teachings to live by. I also accept karma.

I am open to the possibilities.

So back to my main question, would I have to fully believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist? Or are following the eight fold path and five precepts the most important things?

No. You don't have to believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist. And it's good that you are open to the possibilities. Believe when you are ready to believe.
Following the eight fold path is much more important than believing in rebirth.


So when you say believe when I am ready to believe, does that mean I have to accept it sometime in my life, or is being open to the possibility enough?
edwhys211
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:28 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby SamKR » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:46 am

edwhys211 wrote:
SamKR wrote:
edwhys211 wrote:
So here is my current set of beliefs: I follow the teachings of The Buddha, such as the eight fold path and five precepts, and find his quotes and lessons very inspirational and think they are all great teachings to live by. I also accept karma.

I am open to the possibilities.

So back to my main question, would I have to fully believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist? Or are following the eight fold path and five precepts the most important things?

No. You don't have to believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist. And it's good that you are open to the possibilities. Believe when you are ready to believe.
Following the eight fold path is much more important than believing in rebirth.


So when you say believe when I am ready to believe, does that mean I have to accept it sometime in my life, or is being open to the possibility enough?

In my opinion, being open to the possibility is all you need. You do not have to accept it in your life.
SamKR
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:47 am

If these are of any help...can one swallow hook, line and sinker all at once? If not, read on here...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch; in the same way this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch.
The fact that this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch:
This is the first amazing & astounding quality of this Dhamma & Vinaya because of which, as they see it again & again, the monks take great joy in this Dhamma & Vinaya.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Monks, I do not say that the attainment of gnosis is all at once.
Rather, the attainment of gnosis is after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice.
And how is there the attainment of gnosis after gradual training, gradual action, gradual practice?
There is the case where, when conviction has arisen, one visits [a teacher]. Having visited, one grows close.
Having grown close, one lends ear. Having lent ear, one hears the Dhamma.
Having heard the Dhamma, one remembers it. Remembering, one penetrates the meaning of the teachings.
Penetrating the meaning, one comes to an agreement through pondering the teachings.
There being an agreement through pondering the teachings, desire arises.
When desire has arisen, one is willing. When one is willing, one contemplates.
Having contemplated, one makes an exertion.
Having made an exertion, one realizes with the body the ultimate truth and, having penetrated it with discernment, sees it.

Read the story of Elder Cula Panthaka So, if one such as Cula Panthaka, a dullard can make it, what more for the rest of us? 'Required' of a lay folllower? This is what is 'required' and the rest follows as above...
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
plwk
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby DAWN » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:34 am

IMO there is only 3 concepts to be accepted : anicca, dukkha, anatta.
And even, we can not call it concepts, because they can be directly seen and experianced by the wise.

Friendly :anjali:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby Yana » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:17 am

Hi Edwhys211,

Now Having faith in these things could either lead you astray or strengthen your dhamma practice.
For example the only reason i can wake up at 4am in the morning (my only quiet time)to meditate in the cold, is because i believe that if i waste this opportunity and i die the same day.I could end up waiting aeons or forever to be reborn a human again.And not just Any human but a human who lives at a time where the The Buddha's teachings of the Dhamma is available in printed format!
Belief in such things keeps me alert and helps me not waste my time during this lifetime.Now this is very different for someone who doesn't believe in rebirth.They might find other reasons to practice the dhamma.

So you shouldn't believe in anything that you can't or have trouble accepting.As long as you stick with what you are doing now then you are on the right track.

:anjali:
Life is preparing for Death
Yana
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:45 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:15 pm

edwhys211 wrote:However, being an agnostic,


viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9277&start=100#p219443

Ñāṇa and I are having something an exchange on this in another thread, which may be of interest.

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4180
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby Aloka » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:21 pm

edwhys211 wrote:
So back to my main question, would I have to fully believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist?



No, its not necessary to "believe". I've spoken to teachers from 2 different traditions about this and they both said that practice of the Dhamma in this life here and now is what's most important.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3662
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby Digity » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:34 pm

There's so much to work on outside of this topic of rebirth...like developing mindfulness, sila, etc. However, there might come a point where you just have utmost confidence in what the Buddha taught and just begin to accept his teachings on rebirth. For me, it came out of a lack of doubt.
Digity
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby DAWN » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:14 pm

Digity wrote:There's so much to work on outside of this topic of rebirth...like developing mindfulness, sila, etc. However, there might come a point where you just have utmost confidence in what the Buddha taught and just begin to accept his teachings on rebirth. For me, it came out of a lack of doubt.


:goodpost: :bow:

Good reflex.

A conception rime with ation.
Without action it not rime.

:anjali:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:07 am

Was it not in the Kalama sutta where someone debated the Buddha about rebirth.. and the buddha basically said that the practice brings much benefit and rewards here and now in this life.. and then if there is further becoming you are doubly rewarded.

basically saying, shelf it and just practice.
User avatar
Jayantha-NJ
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:54 am
Location: New Jersey , USA

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby daverupa » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:14 am

Jayantha-NJ wrote:Was it not in the Kalama sutta where someone debated the Buddha about rebirth.. and the buddha basically said that the practice brings much benefit and rewards here and now in this life.. and then if there is further becoming you are doubly rewarded.

basically saying, shelf it and just practice.


AN 3.65 wrote:"'If there is a world after death, if there is the fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then this is the basis by which, with the break-up of the body, after death, I will reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world.' This is the first assurance he acquires.

"'But if there is no world after death, if there is no fruit of actions rightly & wrongly done, then here in the present life I look after myself with ease — free from hostility, free from ill will, free from trouble.' This is the second assurance he acquires.

"'If evil is done through acting, still I have willed no evil for anyone. Having done no evil action, from where will suffering touch me?' This is the third assurance he acquires.

"'But if no evil is done through acting, then I can assume myself pure in both respects.' This is the fourth assurance he acquires.

"One who is a disciple of the noble ones — his mind thus free from hostility, free from ill will, undefiled, & pure — acquires these four assurances in the here-&-now."
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4180
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:54 am

Buddha ask us to not to attach to Dhamma. (Dhamma Thanha)

There are no concepts in Buddhism. They are truths. (Four Noble Truths)

However the major difference between, so called Buddhist and other religion is that Buddhist do not believe in Soul theory. The Buddhist path consist of three major categories. (Sila,Samadhi,Panna)
You find Sila and Samadhi (Samatha) in other religions . Panna is not find in other religions.

The good book to read.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf
Please start from chapter 15 :)
SarathW
 
Posts: 2215
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:04 am

SarathW wrote:There are no concepts in Buddhism.


That is just plain wrong, even Buddhism is a concept. Without concepts there wouldn't be words, and Buddhism certainly uses words.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
User avatar
polarbuddha101
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby Digity » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:34 am

Concepts are the raft the Buddha was talking about. Although, at some point we must let go of these too...I imagine that happens when you're on the precipice of Nibbana.
Digity
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 am

Re: Does one have to fully accept all concepts to be a Buddhist?

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:49 am

Hi Polar
May be your are right. The definition for concept is

A: a theoretical construct within some theory
b. a directly intuited object of thought
c:. the meaning of a predicate

Anyhow, what I am saying is until you understand Buddha’s teaching as experience it will be a concept. Once you understand, it becomes a truth. :meditate:
SarathW
 
Posts: 2215
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am


Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Sweet_Nothing and 3 guests