Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:11 am

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:..what is not commendable is forcing Buddhism (or any religion), one way or another, to fit into some preconceived idea of what common ground might be.


Impossible, as well.


Is not the bunch quotes you have posted here and on ZFI trying to do just that?


How is anyone being forced? I have presented my views, that's all, which i am realizing, do not mesh with those of some others here. One cannot be forced into a view, can they?

I realize that better now, so in that sense this thread has been helpful, helping me to be more aware, of how the way i see things is probably not something comfortable for many Buddhists. My Unitarian Universalist background, the way my parents raised me, my life experiences and friendships, clearly has effected how i approach the dharma.... just as other people's backgrounds will influence their approach...

Not right or a better way, either, just a bit different.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:11 am

It is not that you are forcing others to believe the way you do. I did not say that. What I did say is forcing Buddhist views/doctrrines to say things they do not actually say.
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: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:39 am

They can't be forced Tilt. You view them as you do, others view the dharma differently. Each school of Buddhism puts a different interpretation and emphasis on some the teachings, no? Each person brings their own background. Nothing and no one can be forced. It's just impossible. Also, i don't recall ever debating the meaning of teachings from the Pali canon with you.

In Zen Buddhism we had a great patriarch Seng Tsan who cautioned specifically against clinging too tightly to any particular view. If there is no teaching of a similar type in Theravadin Buddhism then we simply have another example of a difference.

In discussions like this, at a certain point i eventually recognize the futility of debating and walk away, cause its endless. Usually when i do that its cause i've reflected on Seng Tsan's verses and realized there was nothing left to be said. These are not verses from the Pali Canon, these are teachings of a highly respected Chinese Chan Master.

You may not see the utility in them, and that's fine.

:namaste:

Verses of the Faith Mind by Seng-Tsan

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.

Make the smallest distinction however and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set-up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.

When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail. The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things nor in the inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the Oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves. When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your very effort fills you with activity.

As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness. Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.

The more you talk and think about it the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

Do not search for the truth only cease to cherish opinions. Do not remain in a dualistic state avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.

Although all dualities come from the One do not be attached even to the One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way nothing in the world can offend. And when things can no longer offend it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise the old mind ceases to exist.


:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:26 pm

christopher::: wrote:They can't be forced Tilt. You view them as you do, others view the dharma differently. Each school of Buddhism puts a different interpretation and emphasis on some the teachings, no? Each person brings their own background. Nothing and no one can be forced. It's just impossible. Also, i don't recall ever debating the meaning of teachings from the Pali canon with you.


First of all, to clarify, I am not talking about forcing people to believe in any particular way, but one can certainly force an interpretation of a text, or of what someone has said, to fit one’s preconceived notions about how things should be. There is a word for that: eisegesis.

Your quoting these short passages to show - in your strongly held opinion - that all these different traditions believe and teach more or less the same thing without regard to the broader contexts of the traditions from which the quotes come from is clearly eisegetical.

In Zen Buddhism we had a great patriarch Seng Tsan who cautioned specifically against clinging too tightly to any particular view.


That is a good view to hold, but it does not mean that things can be “interpreted” however one wishes. Also, keep in mind the context of this text is that it is primarily a meditation text.

If there is no teaching of a similar type in Theravadin Buddhism then we simply have another example of a difference.


Actually, not just Theravada, but of Buddhism in general, you might want to do some careful study.

When you have a central text of Hinduism that characterizes Buddhism as follows, it is hard to take seriously the claim that Buddhism and Hinduism teach the same goal:

'The universe," they say, "is without truth [asat],"
Without basis [unstable, without solid ground (apratis.t.ham)], without a God;
Brought about by a mutual union,
How else? It is caused by lust alone.'

Holding this view,
These men of lost souls, of small intelligence,
And of cruel actions, come forth as enemies
Of the world for it destruction.
Bhagavad Gita XVI 8-9.
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: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby chicka-Dee » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:17 pm

christopher::: wrote:I think each of us may simply see things a bit differently. Not sure we can say any one approach toward this issue is better, it really depends on your views, on the situation, on the relationship you have with another person.. on what specifically is the issue at any moment. As I said earlier, I don't interact with many "strongly" commited dharma practitioners in 3D. So, our religious beliefs are just not an issue.

Went to my 30th year high school reunion party last weekend, as well as the wedding of my cousin's daughter. Lots of laughter, talking, hugging, dancing, sharing life stories. Talking about raising children, aging, working, parents getting ill, death... Religion only came up during the wedding, otherwise the focus of all our interactions was the sacred, beautiful and very fragile nature of LiFE. For me, that's what dharma practice is all about.

For me though. I see my friends and family as part of my sangha, not outside it. Their views matter less to me then their life situations, how we might be able to connect, help one another, find common ground...

For me that's key.
:hug:


Beautiful thoughts, christopher. This seems a very authentic approach to practice, to me :namaste:

christopher::: wrote:I have presented my views, that's all, which i am realizing, do not mesh with those of some others here. One cannot be forced into a view, can they?

I realize that better now, so in that sense this thread has been helpful, helping me to be more aware, of how the way i see things is probably not something comfortable for many Buddhists. My Unitarian Universalist background, the way my parents raised me, my life experiences and friendships, clearly has effected how i approach the dharma.... just as other people's backgrounds will influence their approach...

Not right or a better way, either, just a bit different. :namaste:


:goodpost: I believe we each arrive at learning 'Truth' in our own way, and in our own time. Discussions such as these are wonderful ways of exploring our beliefs and attitudes, and of either affirming or changing such attitudes and beliefs. The more self-aware we become of this process, the more we come to repect others' processes, as well. This 'path' is our own to explore in our own individual and unique way, and as awareness expands, the beauty of this becomes more and more apparent. At least, this is what 'I' can 'see', from where I'm standing... :smile:
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:50 am

chicka-Dee wrote:
:goodpost: I believe we each arrive at learning 'Truth' in our own way, and in our own time. Discussions such as these are wonderful ways of exploring our beliefs and attitudes, and of either affirming or changing such attitudes and beliefs. The more self-aware we become of this process, the more we come to repect others' processes, as well. This 'path' is our own to explore in our own individual and unique way, and as awareness expands, the beauty of this becomes more and more apparent. At least, this is what 'I' can 'see', from where I'm standing... :smile:


I'm glad someone out there understands what i'm trying to say. Thanks chicka-Dee. I'm not trying to knock the dharma or knock Buddhism in any way. Just feel other people's personal spiritual beliefs should be given respect, and are indeed something beautiful, especially if its supporting their life, providing some assistance to them when times are hard, when problems arise...

Helping them to cultivate metta, live with joy and peacefulness. I dunno. I've been hanging with family and friends a lot lately, none of them Buddhists, but most so openhearted, joyful, trying their best. It's a wonder to see. And without the dharma!

It might sound like heresy... NonBuddhists cultivating metta, mudita... Is that possible?

Well, i think so...

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:02 am

christopher::: wrote:
I'm glad someone out there understands what i'm trying to say. Thanks chicka-Dee. I'm not trying to knock the dharma or knock Buddhism in any way. Just feel other people's personal spiritual beliefs should be given respect, and are indeed something beautiful, especially if its supporting their life, providing some assistance to them when times are hard, when problems arise...



No one here is saying one should not respect other's spiritual beliefs, though I wonder how far you would take that. All persons' personal beliefs are to be respected because they are religious beliefs? It is, however, a lack of respect to Buddhism to not reflect its beliefs accurately.
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: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:09 am

Saying "only Buddhism provides any value and no other religion provides any value" is one extreme.
Saying "all religions teach the same thing" is another extreme.
Surely we can conceive some points in between?
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:17 am

tiltbillings wrote:
No one here is saying one should not respect other's spiritual beliefs, though I wonder how far you would take that. All persons' personal beliefs are to be respected because they are religious beliefs? It is, however, a lack of respect to Buddhism to not reflect its beliefs accurately.


I think we are each doing the best we can, to practice Buddhism, Tilt. I'm doubtful though, that this can be done perfectly and accurately, until we gain deeper levels of wisdom. Up until that point there will be elements of error, mistakes made, imperfections of practice, misunderstandings and disagreements about teachings, no?

Peter wrote:Saying "only Buddhism provides any value and no other religion provides any value" is one extreme.
Saying "all religions teach the same thing" is another extreme.
Surely we can conceive some points in between?


I dont believe all religions teach the same things, but do believe they provide support for people in similar ways, and have some very similar core features, that are indeed valuable. That may be my Unitarian Universalist upbringing, reflected. Also 48 years of living in the midst of diverse cultures... Just my POV though.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:21 am

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
No one here is saying one should not respect other's spiritual beliefs, though I wonder how far you would take that. All persons' personal beliefs are to be respected because they are religious beliefs? It is, however, a lack of respect to Buddhism to not reflect its beliefs accurately.


I think we are each doing the best we can, to practice Buddhism, Tilt. I'm doubtful though, that this can be done perfectly and accurately, until we gain deeper levels of wisdom. Up until that point there will be elements of error, mistakes made, imperfections of practice, misunderstandings and disagreements about teachings, no?


We do the best we can, but one tries to learn the teachings and does the best not to misrepresent them in order to make oneself feel better.
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: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:43 am

tiltbillings wrote:
We do the best we can, but one tries to learn the teachings and does the best not to misrepresent them in order to make oneself feel better.


Yes, definitely. We should each try our best to do this...
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:44 am

Hi Christopher,
christopher::: wrote:
Peter wrote:Saying "only Buddhism provides any value and no other religion provides any value" is one extreme.
Saying "all religions teach the same thing" is another extreme.
Surely we can conceive some points in between?

I dont believe all religions teach the same things, but do believe they provide support for people in similar ways, and have some very similar core features, that are indeed valuable. That may be my Unitarian Universalist upbringing, reflected. Also 48 years of living in the midst of diverse cultures... Just my POV though.

I don't disagree with anything you say there. There is useful stuff in all (sensible) religions. And of course they all have the basic things like sila and metta as part of their paths.

But after that, in my understanding, they diverge enough that one has to make choices of which one to practise at this particular time, though one can of course get "inspiration" from others. As I've said before, suggesting that those of us that have this understanding are intolerant can come across as a little condescending. The message seems to be: "If only you had my understanding you wouldn't see any contradiction between these paths."

Metta
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:16 am

mikenz66 wrote:
I don't disagree with anything you say there. There is useful stuff in all (sensible) religions. And of course they all have the basic things like sila and metta as part of their paths.

But after that, in my understanding, they diverge enough that one has to make choices of which one to practise at this particular time, though one can of course get "inspiration" from others. As I've said before, suggesting that those of us that have this understanding are intolerant can come across as a little condescending. The message seems to be: "If only you had my understanding you wouldn't see any contradiction between these paths."

Metta
Mike


Hi Mike. I apologize if it came across that way. I was aware when starting this thread that I was using a quote from Bikkhu Bodhi that you yourself has shared numerous times. So I wasnt meaning to sound critical of you.. It was comments made by Tilt and clw_uk, in other threads, that I was concerned with, initially. They have responded here, and we may simply differ in our views... also I think i understand a bit better where they are coming from.

I'm also at a kind of crossroads now, in terms of my practice. I need to decide to either go deeper or pull back, or both. To be honest I havent felt very comfortable at times, communicating with Buddhists online like this, these past few years. I'm realizing that I cant dedicate myself 100%, as others have. Am I a Unitarian, a Jew, an Advaitan, Zen Buddhist, a bit of each, none of the above?

I dunno. In the car yesterday the term "half Buddhist" popped into my head. Like my sons who are half American, half Japanese, thats how I feel. I may need to go elsewhere... return maybe to communicating more with nonBuddhists, as I've been doing these last weeks back home in NY.

Still, when I stopped by Barnes and Noble yesterday the New Age shelves made me laugh, I found no Advaitan books of interest, didnt even go past the Unitarian area, and instead ended up purchasing 7 books on Buddhism... The dharma is where the wisdom lies, for me. I dont see any answers for myself in any other religion...

And yet when it comes to people, not religion, I am drawn to all who are searching for answers with an open mind and open heart...

Also, while i lack a real life sangha, i do feel i have dharma brothers and sisters i can communicate with well. Maybe i should refrain from talking in open forums like this. When I've talked with Ben, Retro, Drolma, heartbeat7, Ven. Appicchato and some others privately, its always been very helpful.

I'm starting to realize that communicating with people you don't really know, in public forums, may not always be a good idea.

Again, this is my challenge, my issues and situation, i need to figure out....

No offense meant to you or others, at all.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby Pannapetar » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:09 am

christopher::: wrote:I'm not trying to knock the dharma or knock Buddhism in any way. Just feel other people's personal spiritual beliefs should be given respect, and are indeed something beautiful, especially if its supporting their life, providing some assistance to them when times are hard, when problems arise...

Helping them to cultivate metta, live with joy and peacefulness. I dunno. I've been hanging with family and friends a lot lately, none of them Buddhists, but most so openhearted, joyful, trying their best. It's a wonder to see. And without the dharma!

It might sound like heresy... NonBuddhists cultivating metta, mudita... Is that possible?


Surely possible.

Very good point. I fully agree with your last posts. I'd also like to mention that our interaction in the "real world" is probably quite different from our interaction on this board. While we spend much time here with debating over subtleties of the dharma, out there Buddhism is just one small piece of a very complex and large world. We don't judge people for their brilliant grasp of the Abidhamma, but for their "human" qualities. I think it is important to remember that all those discourses and teachings have only one purpose, namely to nourish the tree of enlightenment and to bring the flowers of the paramis/perfections to blossom, in other words the "human" qualities.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:48 pm

I think so too, Thomas.

Yesterday my son and I visited with an old friend of mine, Jen, from elementary school. I dropped by her house, to share some music I had, hang out a bit. Noticed she had a big buddha statue sitting in her living room. I mentioned meditation, she said she was always interested. I taught her how to sit! This morning she wrote she just did it again... She'll be dropping by later as she walks her dog, i plan to give her one of these books i bought. I think "How to Practice" by HHDL would be good for her.

The night before i went out with my jr high buddy Ken. Ended up leaving the Dhammapada in his car.

Life moves and connects in interesting ways. And i cant seem to hold on to books!!

:tongue:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:50 pm

christopher::: wrote: I dont believe all religions teach the same things, but do believe they provide support for people in similar ways, and have some very similar core features, that are indeed valuable.


This statement I do not disagree with, but your repeated quoting of a variety of teachers certainly strongly suggested that you were holding to a view that these teachers from various traditions were teaching the same sort of non-duality thingie as if non-dualism is something the Buddha taught. Taking these teachers’ teachings out of their contexts does none of them any justice, no matter how warm and fuzzy it might make one feel. Does Buddhism teach the very same thing as Advaita Vedanta? Not that anyone here has shown. Certainly the towering figures of Hinduism did not think so, nor did the author(s) of the Bhagavad Gita, nor did the towering figures of Indian Buddhism. I am far more inclined to listen to these people than some of the modern teachers who, who with far less knowledge and experience for whatever reason, tend mush things up a bit.

As I said, the above I can agree with; your quoting of teachers the way you have, as if they are all teaching the same thing, I cannot.
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: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby chicka-Dee » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:07 pm

christopher::: wrote:I'm glad someone out there understands what i'm trying to say. Thanks chicka-Dee. I'm not trying to knock the dharma or knock Buddhism in any way. Just feel other people's personal spiritual beliefs should be given respect, and are indeed something beautiful, especially if its supporting their life, providing some assistance to them when times are hard, when problems arise...

Helping them to cultivate metta, live with joy and peacefulness. I dunno. I've been hanging with family and friends a lot lately, none of them Buddhists, but most so openhearted, joyful, trying their best. It's a wonder to see. And without the dharma!

It might sound like heresy... NonBuddhists cultivating metta, mudita... Is that possible?

Well, i think so...

:namaste:


I sure do think so, too. I think we find elements of the Dharma everywhere.. in other religions, philosophies, life-outlooks, everyday wisdom, nature, human interactions and behaviour.. it's all around us. It has universal qualities that penetrate all around us. Last night I watched a video about Zen, and one of the Japanese monks they interviewed said he welcomes people from all sorts of backgrounds to his monastery to practice.. including Christianity, Islam, Jewish, Atheist.. he doesn't discriminate, he welcomes them all. He sees that Buddhist practice and philosophy can benefit people from all walks of life. The word Dharma/Dhamma is often translated to 'Truth', so it makes sense to me that if this is truly so, we would see this Truth all around us, in everything, regardless of labels or categorization or putting things in boxes of all sorts (as we humans tend to like to do).

christopher::: wrote:I'm also at a kind of crossroads now, in terms of my practice. I need to decide to either go deeper or pull back, or both. To be honest I havent felt very comfortable at times, communicating with Buddhists online like this, these past few years. I'm realizing that I cant dedicate myself 100%, as others have. Am I a Unitarian, a Jew, an Advaitan, Zen Buddhist, a bit of each, none of the above?

I dunno. In the car yesterday the term "half Buddhist" popped into my head. Like my sons who are half American, half Japanese, thats how I feel. I may need to go elsewhere... return maybe to communicating more with nonBuddhists, as I've been doing these last weeks back home in NY.

Still, when I stopped by Barnes and Noble yesterday the New Age shelves made me laugh, I found no Advaitan books of interest, didnt even go past the Unitarian area, and instead ended up purchasing 7 books on Buddhism... The dharma is where the wisdom lies, for me. I dont see any answers for myself in any other religion...

And yet when it comes to people, not religion, I am drawn to all who are searching for answers with an open mind and open heart...


I have been struggling with similar questions. So far my approach has been to sample from a variety of teachings according to an inner guide or intuition that leads me along, and so far this has worked pretty well for me. There just doesn't seem to be one 'school' or approach that specifically appeals to me, fully. I'd like to join a sangha and commit myself more fully, but I hesitate to do this, and I'm not really sure why. I just have this part of me that tells me I know what I need, and I do what feels right, internally. But I've also had teachers tell me it's better to focus on one 'way' of practice and go deeply.. I had one teacher tell me it's like drilling for oil.. if you make small holes all over the field, you won't go deep enough to hit oil.. you need to stick with the same hole and keep going deeper... And yet knowing this, I just don't know which hole to 'pick'. Perhaps, utlimately, it doesn't matter as much which hole we pick, as long as we stick with it and keep drilling... I really don't know. In the end, it is a personal decision. Perhaps the hole picks us, more than we pick the hole....
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:21 pm

chicka-Dee wrote: Last night I watched a video about Zen, and one of the Japanese monks they interviewed said he welcomes people from all sorts of backgrounds to his monastery to practice.. including Christianity, Islam, Jewish, Atheist.. he doesn't discriminate, he welcomes them all. He sees that Buddhist practice and philosophy can benefit people from all walks of life.


The Theravadin vipassana traditions are open to whomever wishes to practice them. The teachings are given openly and freely and without expectation.

That, however, is a very different thing from stating in forums such as this that in someway it is all the same.
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: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:44 pm

All teachers from all schools see that Buddhist practice and philosophy can benefit people from all walks of life.
But what does that have to do with the topic of this thread?
Let's do this again...

Saying "Buddhism is only of benefit for Buddhists and no one else" is one extreme.
Saying "All religions bring the same benefits to people" is another extreme.
Neither one represents reality.

I'm realizing that I cant dedicate myself 100%, as others have. Am I a Unitarian, a Jew, an Advaitan, Zen Buddhist, a bit of each, none of the above?

So don't be a Buddhist. Be someone inspired by Buddhism, someone with an interest in Buddhism, someone studying Buddhism. Who cares? Certainly not I. Certainly not any teacher I've ever met.

Saying "If one wants to study Buddhism they must only study that and nothing else" is one extreme.
Saying "It doesn't matter which religion one studies since they are the same" is another extreme.
Neither one represents reality.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Should Buddhists be Tolerant of Other Religions?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:45 pm

christopher::: wrote:I'm starting to realize that communicating with people you don't really know, in public forums, may not always be a good idea.

It's very rarely a good idea, in my opinion. Private conversation with someone you trust is thousands of times better.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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