jcsuperstar wrote:i was thinking about just what we bring with us from our lives into the practice of the dhamma.
i come from a working class background, heavily influenced by anarchist philosophy (i had an ongoing corespondece for years with noam chomsky) and years spent in punk bands.
i first came to buddhismt through zen under a japanese priest who had been a marxist
i carry with me certain assumptions(?), i dont think things should be writen in "intelectual" speak. but rather in common language that the "everyman" can grasp. this comes from my anarchist background
i'm a meditator, not a scholar, this i think comes from my working class background...
am i seeing patterns where they really dont exist or do you think who we were pre buddhism plays an important role in who we become as buddhists?
whats your story?
It depends on what you mean. A moral upbringing is very valuable, because it is a good foundation for moral conduct in one's life.
However, if you had moral or immoral consciousness before you were born, you would be drawn to having moral or immoral parents to begin with. Having moral or immoral parents, then, is simply karma, relishing in it achieves nothing, being mindful of either is always beneficial.
I would guess that a person with a moral upbringing is likely to be a Buddhist, to practice and meditate, but while this superficially seems wonderful, much of our Buddhist practice may simply be the cycle of cause & effect, re-manifesting... You're born with kusala citta, so you're born with kusala parents, being born to kusala parents, you grow up as kusala adult... Then you die and the process starts all over again. In this infinite cycle, what enlightenment or liberation from suffering is gained from this? None at all.
In this sense, a wholesome upbringing is worthless. A wholesome upbringing cannot help a person escape from hell or transcend samsara. It is through mindfulness and the Four Noble Truths that a wholesome upbringing is even gained