"Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

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"Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:40 pm

I think many of us in the West have asked ourselves "how should a Buddhist or a meditator act?".

I decided to settle that question for myself, by being myself. If I don't act "enlightend" enough or enough like a bad David Carradine impression for others, than so be it. They call it "practice" for a reason.

I recently found a Face Book page by a writer who regularly makes posts poking fun at examples of bad grammar. At least on the internet, I am of the view that when someone begins picking at someone's writing it is a sign that they don't have an argument left. That is why they are going for the style over the content. I decided to give this page a try because the author also explains what the grammar mistakes are which will help me.

I was shocked to read a post from her yesterday that she was raised a "secular Buddhist".

While I do not have a taste for the religious trappings that come with Eastern Buddhism and Asian culture, I have always admired the subculture among Buddhists of kindness and not handling things in a harsh way when there are alternatives.

Meanly poking fun at other people's writing just seems to miss the boat and be a big FAIL as Buddhist, to me.

That is my opinion and it could be completely wrong.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:18 pm

Are they human or is "Buddhist" now a particular species?!

many who call themselves Buddhists do not act like a Buddha.

Same goes with countries and all other things. If we take Bhutan as an example of a Buddhist country when looking at other Buddhist countries we would expect happiness to be the standard of a countries wealth, and all Buddhist countries to be carbon sink holes. but they don't an are not.
and what of monks? if we take Ajahn Mun, Boowa, & Chah as examples, we go to Sri Lankha and hear the chanting, or the towns and see the money use and would think what?
and monasteries, wouldn't be found in a red light district of a Thai city, yet I know of one, and wait a moment prostitution in a Buddhist country? Buddhists prostituting themselves, being pimps treating others badly, or engaging in other forms of wrong livelihood!

and lets not mention Ajahn Boowa's activities against the prime minister of Thailand, or the Sri Lankan sanghas involvement in politics....
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:01 pm

Greetings J4
I decided to settle that question for myself, by being myself. If I don't act "enlightend" enough or enough like a bad David Carradine impression for others, than so be it. They call it "practice" for a reason.

Indeed. Many of us have to contend with a perception amongst many, including many Buddhists, that if we are Buddhist we must be enlightened according to the stereotype in someone else's head. Be careful J4 that you do not succumb to the same error yourself.
I recently found a Face Book page by a writer who regularly makes posts poking fun at examples of bad grammar...
...I was shocked to read a post from her yesterday that she was raised a "secular Buddhist"...
...Meanly poking fun at other people's writing just seems to miss the boat and be a big FAIL as Buddhist, to me.

Personally, I have feel it is more beneficial to concentrate on our own internal mental flora and behaviour rather than the mental culture and behaviour of others seen through the matrix of our own prejudices and assumptions.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:38 pm

Hello all,

I agree with the following:

Ben said: Personally, I have feel it is more beneficial to concentrate on our own internal mental flora and behaviour rather than the mental culture and behaviour of others seen through the matrix of our own prejudices and assumptions.


AND

danieLion wrote:
cooran wrote:Can you give us the Sutta quotes and references please?


Whoever construes 'equal,' 'superior,' or 'inferior,' by that he'd dispute; whereas to one unaffected by these three, 'equal,' 'superior,' do not occur. Of what would the brahman say 'true' or 'false,' disputing with whom: he in whom 'equal,' 'unequal' are not.

Magandiya Sutta (Sutta Nipata 4.9)

[At Veluvana So.na the householder's son approached the Blessed One. The Buddha said:] "Whatever recluses and Brahmans, So.na, hold views about the body, which is impermanent, unsatisfactory and subject to change, such as 'I am better [than you],' 'I am equal [to you],' or 'I am worse [than you]' [likewise 'feeling,' 'perception,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness'], what else are they but folk who do not see things as they really are?

"But, So.na, whatever recluses and Brahmans do not hold such views... What else are they but those who see things as they really are?"

So.no Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 22.49)

Equanimous — always — mindful, he doesn't conceive himself as equal, superior, inferior, in the world. No swellings of pride are his.... His greed gone, not miserly, the sage doesn't speak of himself as among those who are higher, equal, or lower.

Purabheda Sutta (Sutta Nipata 4.10)

Whoever construes 'equal,' 'superior,' or 'inferior,' by that he'd dispute. Whereas to one unaffected by these three, 'equal' 'superior' do not occur.*

*Bhikkhu Bodhi's Note: The "three discriminations" (tayo vidha) are the three modes of conceit: the conceit "I am better" (seyyo 'ham asmimana), and the conceit, "I am equal" (sadiso 'ham asmimana), and the conceit "I am worse" (hino 'ham asmimana).... At Vibhanga 389-90 is is shown that these three become ninefold in so far as each triad may be entertained by one who is truly better, truly equal, or truly worse. One "not shaken in the three discriminations" is the arhant, who alone has completely eradicated the fetter of conceit....

Samiddhi Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 1.20)

So a monk shouldn't be dependent on what's seen, heard, or sensed, or on precepts & practices; nor should he conjure a view in the world in connection with knowledge or precepts & practices; shouldn't take himself to be "equal"; shouldn't think himself inferior or superlative.

Paramatthaka Sutta (Sutta Nipata 4.5)

Now, one who is cleansed has no preconceived view about states of becoming or not- anywhere in the world. Having abandoned conceit* & illusion, by what means would he go? He isn't involved.

*Thanissaro's Note: The Maha Niddesa (Nd.I) explains a variety of ways of understanding the word "conceit," the most comprehensive being a list of nine kinds of conceit: viewing people better than oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself; viewing people on a par with oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself; viewing people worse than oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself. In other words, the truth of the view is not the issue here; the issue is the tendency to compare oneself with others.

Dutthatthaka Sutta (Sutta Nipata 4.3)

Bhikkhus, there are these three discriminations. What three? The discrimination 'I am superior,' the discrimination 'I am equal,' the discrimination 'I am inferior.' These are the three discriminations. The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three discriminations, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning.

Samyutta Nikaya 45:162 (Bhikkhu Bodhi Tr.)

Bhikkhus, whatever ascetics or brahmins in the past abandonded the three discriminations, all did so because they had developed the seven factors of enlightenment.

Samyutta Nikaya 46:41 (Bhikkhu Bodhi Tr.)

Conceit occurs in the mode of self-evaluation, i.e., of taking oneself to be superior, equal, or inferior to others.

Abhidhammattha Sangaha: A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, p. 96

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with metta
Chris
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:56 pm

Ben wrote:Personally, I have feel it is more beneficial to concentrate on our own internal mental flora and behaviour rather than the mental culture and behaviour of others seen through the matrix of our own prejudices and assumptions.
kind regards,
Ben


My belief is that is possible to do both without detriment.

For example, creating this thread probably took 15 minutes of my time and my head space. I've been meditating every day, without missing a day, for about 7 and 1/2 years. Most of those 7 1/2 years have been hour long daily sits. A single day of my practice is 4 times the time/energy I put into this thread. I feel no ill will and I am doing just fine.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Raitanator » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:57 pm

Well, I think the most important point is to aknowledge whether oneself is grammar nazi or not. If not, then what to worry about? We can't change other people, only universal dharma can do that.
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:47 am

I is not thinkin 'acting like a Buddhist' has much meaning. People are forever telling me "I thought Buddhists didn't do..." (insert some behavior that I'm currently performing which has apparently disillusioned the speaker). Ah well. I live in the South and enjoy mocking people's imperfections. Great pastime. Must mean I'm no Buddhist. Good to know. Now I can worship the twin Jesi, Black Jesus and White Jesus, Halleluiah!

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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby danieLion » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:01 am

When our non-Buddhist acquaintances and friends play the "that's not very Buddhist of you/him/her/them" card, a great opportunity arises for us to clear up any misconceptions they might have about the Dhamma (if they're inclined and we're up to it).

My culture (Portland, Oregon/USA) is very perfectionistic due to its addictions to achievement, success, gain, beauty, fame, etc... (which is probably true globally to varying degrees). When our non-Buddhist acquaintances and friends judge our actions as non-Buddhist, they are judging us by standards in many ways irrelevant to Buddhism. Many of us have grown up accepting without question the assumption that religion is mere superstition. We are primed to look for faults in religionists so we can easily dismiss what we'd rather not investigate for ourselves. Ironic: as we also call this "thinking scientifically." "Well," we think, "If this is how Buddhists act, then that just proves that all religions are stupid and Buddhism is no exception."

I'm not really sure what a "secular Buddhist" is, but I doubt they are any less or more likely to act unskillfully than most if not all humans.
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Doshin » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:02 pm

Jhana4 wrote:I think many of us in the West have asked ourselves "how should a Buddhist or a meditator act?".

I decided to settle that question for myself, by being myself. If I don't act "enlightend" enough or enough like a bad David Carradine impression for others, than so be it. They call it "practice" for a reason.

I recently found a Face Book page by a writer who regularly makes posts poking fun at examples of bad grammar. At least on the internet, I am of the view that when someone begins picking at someone's writing it is a sign that they don't have an argument left. That is why they are going for the style over the content. I decided to give this page a try because the author also explains what the grammar mistakes are which will help me.


Is there any difference in being a "grammar fascist" or or a "grammar fascist" fascist ?

If somebody is getting so annoyed with others grammar, that they have to comment on them... why not just let them, uncommented ? Is your writing not just fuelling their fire ?

_/\_

P.S. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
Knowing about dhamma, does not imply knowing dhamma
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Re: "Acting Buddhist" In The West & Grammar Nazis

Postby Dan74 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:33 pm

While I agree that there is probably little to be gained by thinking about other peoples defilements, I confess to sometimes wondering about people's practice when they habitually hurt others. Like in the case of the nasty scandal at Zen Studies Society in NY, I can only conclude that the so-called teacher's Buddhist practice had gone completely off the rails to be able to habitually abuse, hurt and lie. For me, it's a reminder that it is easy to go astray and while we should strive to be honest and sincere, a teacher or a kalyana mitta who is further along the path can be vital.
_/|\_
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