Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
chownah
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by chownah »

Dinsdale wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:46 am
polo wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:48 am If you have a good life and well provided for you could spend your time on contemplation. You could have a cup of hot coffee in front of your fire place and a good book on Abhidhamma or Psychology of Buddhism.
Many working people don't really have such luxury by the time they finished their job they get home they are tired. They just want to watch TV after dinner and go to sleep.
You need to be really keen to read books on Buddhism. This is the second part that concerned intellectual. I don't know if any of you on this forum will agree with me that you need to be some kind of intellectual- by that I mean you need to be well educated to be able to comprehend books on Buddhism.
So I come to the conclusion that people who really understand Buddhism is a small minority of the Buddhist society.
I may be wrong but let's hear what more experienced and well read members of the forum have to say on this matter.
My experience of Buddhism in the UK is that is mostly a middle-class interest.
My experience of Buddhism in Thailand is that it is pretty much everyone.
chownah
polo
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by polo »

Dinsdale wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:46 am
polo wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:48 am If you have a good life and well provided for you could spend your time on contemplation. You could have a cup of hot coffee in front of your fire place and a good book on Abhidhamma or Psychology of Buddhism.
Many working people don't really have such luxury by the time they finished their job they get home they are tired. They just want to watch TV after dinner and go to sleep.
You need to be really keen to read books on Buddhism. This is the second part that concerned intellectual. I don't know if any of you on this forum will agree with me that you need to be some kind of intellectual- by that I mean you need to be well educated to be able to comprehend books on Buddhism.
So I come to the conclusion that people who really understand Buddhism is a small minority of the Buddhist society.
I may be wrong but let's hear what more experienced and well read members of the forum have to say on this matter.
My experience of Buddhism in the UK is that is mostly a middle-class interest.
Good of you to give your comment Dinsdale. Of course some of the comments here said there are lots of people who are not well educated but still able to understand Buddhism and follow his teaching. Of course that is true but then those are the minority.
We must not forget Buddhism doesn't say if you read this suttas and repeat these mantras your soul will be saved.
I believe even if you don't acknowledge Buddha as an Enlightened being or even respect him( by not bowing in front of his statute) you will still achieve the same results if you follow his teachings, Why? because it is scientific.
polo
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by polo »

polo wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:36 pm
Dinsdale wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:46 am
polo wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:48 am If you have a good life and well provided for you could spend your time on contemplation. You could have a cup of hot coffee in front of your fire place and a good book on Abhidhamma or Psychology of Buddhism.
Many working people don't really have such luxury by the time they finished their job they get home they are tired. They just want to watch TV after dinner and go to sleep.
You need to be really keen to read books on Buddhism. This is the second part that concerned intellectual. I don't know if any of you on this forum will agree with me that you need to be some kind of intellectual- by that I mean you need to be well educated to be able to comprehend books on Buddhism.
So I come to the conclusion that people who really understand Buddhism is a small minority of the Buddhist society.
I may be wrong but let's hear what more experienced and well read members of the forum have to say on this matter.
My experience of Buddhism in the UK is that is mostly a middle-class interest.
Good of you to give your comment Dinsdale. Of course some of the comments here said there are lots of people who are not well educated but still able to understand Buddhism and follow his teaching. Of course that is true but then those are the minority.
We must not forget Buddhism doesn't say if you read this suttas and repeat these mantras your soul will be saved.
I believe even if you don't acknowledge Buddha as an Enlightened being or even respect him( by not bowing in front of his statute) you will still achieve the same results if you follow his teachings, Why? because it is scientific.
Oh, I forgot something important, what do i mean by scientific? Well, Buddhist vipassana meditation can help many mental problems ( but not serious one like bipolar) but those who have problems sleeping or having problems in relationship.
A lot of buddhist abhidhamma teaching are very scientific to say the least.
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TLCD96
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by TLCD96 »

It seems more like "free time" :quote: is a luxury than practice is; I think this is more of a product of our culture than it is a trait of Buddhism. Ajahns say to practice at all times, not just when we get home from work. Even then, part of our practice may involve being willing to not turn on the TV and grab a donut to disengage or escape (if you have time to watch TV you have time to meditate!). Another part may be putting some of our very little money towards our practice in form of paying for trips to a monastery or retreat - ideally a retreat which doesn't cost thousands of dollars to attend. Whatever our circumstances, the four noble truths are always relevant, as is the responsibility we have for ourselves.

Maybe another part is the lack of resources. It's hard to find time to practice when everyone around you is telling you or paying you to do otherwise. Having other practitioners near you serves as a reminder that it can be done.
All of us are bound by birth, aging, and death.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by confusedlayman »

it is for intellectual but not for rich alone, even poor if he can grasp can read it.
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
Spiny Norman
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Spiny Norman »

confusedlayman wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:18 pm it is for intellectual but not for rich alone, even poor if he can grasp can read it.
I'm bog Irish, and it's beyond me. Fortunately.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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Akashad
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Akashad »

Hi Polo,

I'm studying a double degree in nursing + biomedical science.I also work and have very limited time.Instead of coming home and watching tv I find myself listening to dhamma talks or contemplating dhamma maybe watching Gaia if I'm really bored.

Its very hard for me to unwind to movies or books.It stems from this really strong sense of urgency of the 4 messengers which is old age,illness and death and the ascetic.I dont know why but for example I use to watch a book vlogger on you tube,she could read up to 6 books a day.contantly updating her stats,surrounded by books her whole life revolved around books.such dedication and almost laser like focus on books.And I remember being very inspired to read books and getting lost in different times and worlds and characters.

Then it hit me.

Why?..

I don't understand why.what purpose does it serve?when death comes will it matter how many books I've read,how many worlds I've escaped to.That's when I realised watching TV and reading books have just completely lost the appeal for me.i am not saying it's bad I'm just not interested anymore.i find the only books I concern myself with are textbooks and tv shows just the news.So the rest of my time goes to contemplating dhamma and watching dhamma related videos.

People watch tv when their bored but I tend to derive a lot of happiness and piti from dhamma related activities.so when I come back from work tired and people unwind by watching tv I unwind by meditating or engaging in dhamma discussions etc.its a matter of choice and interest.so i wouldn't say you have to be intelligent you just have to follow your source of piti or have an INTEREST.it all all boils down to Choices.

Metta🙏
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Akashad
biomedical science
Me too. Good choice ;) 👍🏻

:)
“Aṅgulimāla, I have forever stopped"

MN 86
polaris
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by polaris »

Dinsdale wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:47 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:18 pm it is for intellectual but not for rich alone, even poor if he can grasp can read it.
I'm bog Irish, and it's beyond me. Fortunately.
What exactly is a "bog Irish". I don't know about "bog Irish" but I do know Irish "Guinness Stout" a black thick beer- taste quite good( I have stopped drinking totally- bad for my urinary problem I am afraid).
Bog irish reminds me of the bog man they found buried for long years and perfectly preserved was that in Ireland or England, I think in England isn't it?
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Sam Vara
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Sam Vara »

polaris wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:02 am
Dinsdale wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:47 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:18 pm it is for intellectual but not for rich alone, even poor if he can grasp can read it.
I'm bog Irish, and it's beyond me. Fortunately.
What exactly is a "bog Irish". I don't know about "bog Irish" but I do know Irish "Guinness Stout" a black thick beer- taste quite good( I have stopped drinking totally- bad for my urinary problem I am afraid).
Bog irish reminds me of the bog man they found buried for long years and perfectly preserved was that in Ireland or England, I think in England isn't it?
Noun
bog Irish pl (plural only)

(derogatory) People of low-class Irish ancestry. ▼
Note that it is derogatory, so best used only when you are sure you will not give offence!
Spiny Norman
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:22 am
polaris wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:02 am
Dinsdale wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:47 pm

I'm bog Irish, and it's beyond me. Fortunately.
What exactly is a "bog Irish". I don't know about "bog Irish" but I do know Irish "Guinness Stout" a black thick beer- taste quite good( I have stopped drinking totally- bad for my urinary problem I am afraid).
Bog irish reminds me of the bog man they found buried for long years and perfectly preserved was that in Ireland or England, I think in England isn't it?
Noun
bog Irish pl (plural only)

(derogatory) People of low-class Irish ancestry. ▼
Note that it is derogatory, so best used only when you are sure you will not give offence!
Yes, it's one of those terms you can safely apply to yourself, but not to others (unless they are close friends). :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!
polaris
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by polaris »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:22 am
polaris wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:02 am
Dinsdale wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:47 pm

I'm bog Irish, and it's beyond me. Fortunately.
What exactly is a "bog Irish". I don't know about "bog Irish" but I do know Irish "Guinness Stout" a black thick beer- taste quite good( I have stopped drinking totally- bad for my urinary problem I am afraid).
Bog irish reminds me of the bog man they found buried for long years and perfectly preserved was that in Ireland or England, I think in England isn't it?
Noun
bog Irish pl (plural only)

(derogatory) People of low-class Irish ancestry. ▼
Note that it is derogatory, so best used only when you are sure you will not give offence!
Oh, is that what it means. Low-class Irish ancestry. I used to run a guesthouse and from my experience I met many nice Irish backpackers. They were friendly and nice may be I was lucky to meet so many good Irish people ., where are the bad ones? They don't come his way? Oh, I even like the Irish accent. It's kind of cute.
Spiny Norman
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Spiny Norman »

polaris wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:07 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:22 am
polaris wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:02 am

What exactly is a "bog Irish". I don't know about "bog Irish" but I do know Irish "Guinness Stout" a black thick beer- taste quite good( I have stopped drinking totally- bad for my urinary problem I am afraid).
Bog irish reminds me of the bog man they found buried for long years and perfectly preserved was that in Ireland or England, I think in England isn't it?
Noun
bog Irish pl (plural only)

(derogatory) People of low-class Irish ancestry. ▼
Note that it is derogatory, so best used only when you are sure you will not give offence!
Oh, is that what it means. Low-class Irish ancestry. I used to run a guesthouse and from my experience I met many nice Irish backpackers. They were friendly and nice may be I was lucky to meet so many good Irish people ., where are the bad ones? They don't come his way? Oh, I even like the Irish accent. It's kind of cute.
Back-packing is mostly a middle-class thing, so you've probably never actually met bog-Irish. They use the bad "f" word - check out Father Ted. Obviously it's a feckin parody.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
Justsit
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by Justsit »

Dinsdale wrote: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:55 pm Back-packing is mostly a middle-class thing, so you've probably never actually met bog-Irish. They use the bad "f" word - check out Father Ted. Obviously it's a feckin parody.
...
ROFL. Great craic! :tongue:
bodhifollower
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Re: Is Buddhism for the rich and intellectual?

Post by bodhifollower »

No it's not for the rich. Most people have access to the internet. Even poor people. And you can learn a lot online. You don't need to read that much, maybe one chapter a day. And the biggest thing of all, there wasn't books on buddhism in the time of Goatama Buddha. The Buddha would teach for awhile then return to his dwelling alone. Whatever he taught that was buddhism. And those people became Arahants, think about it. There are also lots of monk and they are not rich. People in asia usually go to temples to learn from monk and they are very poor, but loads of them have a good idea of the dhamma. This isn't an intellectual pursuit. Buddhism is about morality, practice, and insight. It's about applying what you've read. Reading and wisdom are two different things. If someone said to you focus on your breath and contemplate on the repulsive nature of your body then you could become enlightened. You don't money to memorize that.
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