Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:03 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby dagon » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:05 pm

What my perception of what the OP was saying is that there have been significant negative impacts on Asian people through the denigration of the cultures and Buddhism as part of the dis-empowerment process that was such a feature of colonialism. Furthermore that we should recognize these facts and reflect on them in what we say when we are finger waving at events in ‘traditionally Buddhist countries’. If we are brave (or stupid) enough to try and judge other people in other culture we should do so on all the facts – not just those that are convenient and acceptable to us.

In my view decolonization has been a blessing for those in the west because it has seen the erosion of many of the views of the past – liberating us to see the Dhamma with less dust in our eyes. The reality for many other peoples is that they still have to struggle with the legacy of the colonial past in the present.

There is no racial difference in Buddhism. Racism and Buddhism are mutually exclusive in that Buddhism is about truth, knowledge and understanding whereas racism is based on ignorance, belief is self. Truth cannot have ethnic or geographical boundaries and the same can be said of non-truth and ignorance.

Personally I find the terms Asian and western Buddhism somewhat perplexing and not useful. My belief is that the Buddha taught the truths that he discovered through his enlightenment – truths that are not limited by any direction or time. The only thing that I can perceive as being a difference is the so called secular Buddhism – nice that some are taking on some of what The Buddha taught but I don’t believe that it fulfills my needs to end my suffering.

To try and hold to account any group to what has happened in the past requires a belief in permanence. But this does not preclude the inter-generational effect of what has happened in the past (as I know too well from my interaction with the Aboriginal communities). If the body gets struck it hurts, if you touch the same spot even lightly afterwards it hurts, if you go to touch it again the pain response sets in even before contact.

If we are to be honest then we should acknowledge that there are posts made on DW that clearly touch bruises on the basis of race and culture. These are comments made by a few without proper reflection before, during and afterwards. Such comments are normally made in the context of generalizations about populations from actions of individuals or minorities. The important question is how we should respond to such comments. Clearly we should have love and compassion to both those who make the comments and those affected by the comments. If we ‘belong’ to a group that the comments are directed against we need to develop equanimity so that our own practice does not suffer. While we cannot change the past we should be mindful that our comments may not be skillful or wholesome. While the Buddha clearly taught us that we should not dwell in the past he did clearly teach us that we should reflect appropriately on the past to inform what we do now and in the future.



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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:36 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby dagon » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:44 pm


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:23 pm

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:31 pm

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:53 pm

I thought your point about the term "Western Buddhism" being code for "not the Buddhism Asians do" was a sharp one.
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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby rohana » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:01 pm

"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:28 pm

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby zavk » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:47 pm

With metta,
zavk

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:48 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby dagon » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:34 am

I see Buddhism as a bamboo grove. It started from a single plant deposited there by karma. As the bamboo grows out from the center the center tends to die and what mainly show are dry brittle canes. As the grove expands it meets different environments and can grow differently. In some places it is taller, in some it is thicker, greener …… In some places it meets barriers .. In other parts a child sees a small plant on the edge and is filled with wonder and plants it in their garden at home; or a farmer decides that I will take a plant and start my own grove so that I do not have to wall so far to collect canes. Some times when the center had died the bamboo starts to grow back to its origins. In all the situation the bamboo is the same but also different.

Which is the best bamboo?

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:22 am


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:33 am


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:55 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:00 am


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:03 am


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:05 am


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby zavk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:45 am

With metta,
zavk

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:54 am



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