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Thread: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

  1. #11
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    Thank you, Shahaku! I have only a vague awareness of the culture surrounding Buddhism - it is fascinating and beautiful and highly developed. The art is magnificent! And I read with fascination...

    But for me (and I want to emphasize those two words) what the Buddha taught is more important than the culture surrounding Buddhism. It's the difference between being a "scholar of" and a "practitioner of" Buddhism. To me (there's those two words again ), it seems like those Westerners who adopt the outward appearance of Eastern Buddhism rather than the developing the practices the Buddha taught are a lot like what we call "fuzzy bunnies" - play actors.

    However, Buddhists (at least, according to the Dalai Lama) respect other sects of Buddhists, even when they disagree with them. The reason for this has to do with Maya (illusion) -

    Everybody is on a path, but everybody is at a different point on the path. In real life, if two people are on the same path, and look at the same tree, each will see it differently. (You can do an experiment: Set a cardboard box on a table and look at it. Move one foot to the left, or to the right, or forward, or backward, and the box will look radically different. Did the box change? No, that's an illusion. What changed was the perspective of the viewer).

    So, two people on the same path, looking at the same tree will each see it differently. Arguing about "who sees it correctly" is foolish - and very un-Buddhist. The same is true of the Buddhist path. Respect the view of others, knowing that they stand somewhere else on the same path...

    Now, I am going to take a brief look at Buddhism and reincarnation, because, right after stating that I don't buy it, Shahaku wrote:

    The Buddha's Past Lives

    Buddhist around the world recognize that the Buddha lived previous lives. It is core to their teaching, reincarnation on the path to enlightenment.
    So, the question comes up: "How can Corbin be Buddhist and not believe in reincarnation?" A very, very valid question...

    Everybody knows that Buddhists and reincarnation go together like cars and gasoline. What's up with that?

    The answer to that is the same answer that always goes with "Everybody knows..."

    What everybody knows is wrong.

    The Buddha never, ever taught anything about reincarnation. Never. Not once.

    What he did teach, and what is central to Buddhism, is "rebirth." Rebirth and reincarnation are not the same thing.

    What he taught is that the idea of a "permanent self" is illusion, and that the reality is that one is constantly being reborn, or renewing the self (I want to be quick here. For those who are interested, do a search for "Buddha reincarnation" and you'll find a wealth of information).

    Here is a quote from "About Religion" to give you an idea:

    This idea (not reincarnation) is central to Buddhism for a very simple reason - if we had "permanent selves." we could not change.

    If we can not change, then there is no hope of escaping suffering.

    If there is no hope of escape from suffering, then the 3rd Noble Truth and the 4th Noble Truth are false.

    If the 3rd Noble Truth and/or the 4th Noble Truth are false, the the Eightfold Path is invalid, and the whole thing falls apart. Might just as well watch TV...

    Shahaku is speaking truth when she writes that most Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and hold it as central to their belief systems.

    However, it isn't at all necessary. The Buddha never taught it.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  2. #12
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    Thank you Be. D. for opening my eyes,BUT the bright flash of eternal truth have once again blinded me forever...Good bye and thanks for all the fish...(And don't forget your towel)
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


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  3. #13
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    Thank you Be. D. for opening my eyes,BUT the bright flash of eternal truth have once again blinded me forever...Good bye and thanks for all the fish...(And don't forget your towel)
    When two eyes go blind, use your third eye, you goofball .
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  4. #14
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    Glad I could be of assistance....I will be in my Karmic shelter watching reruns of scooby doo
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

    witchvox
    http://www.witchvox.com/vu/vxposts.html

  5. #15
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    The Return of Karma

    I recently spoke about some aspects of illusion – the illusion of permanence, and the illusion that different perspectives describe different things. But to understand the operation of Karma, we need to look at the illusion of the reality of existence.

    What I am about to write is based on what the Dalai Lama, the well know philosopher Bertrand Russell, and an ancient Greek named Zeno told me…

    Here’s the lowdown –

    Is the table I am resting my hand on real? Yes. Are you real? Yes. Are cigarettes real? Yes. Was that phone call from my wife real? Yes.

    O.K., that’s a whole lot of reality. Where, then, is the illusion of existence?

    This is the illusion of existence – that many things exist… They don’t. There is only ONE thing. The table, my hand, you, cigarettes, phone calls, and even my wife are not separate, individual things (formally termed “discrete” things). They are all parts of ONE thing, and cannot, and do not, have any existence in isolation from one another. To believe that they do is to fall into the illusion of existence.

    For example – as I write, I am resting my hand on the table. The table supports me.

    As the table supports me, I think of you, the reader, and how best to explain my thoughts in an understandable way.

    As I am thinking of you, and being supported by the table, the phone rings, so I stop writing, leave the support of the table, forget about you (just for a moment, I promise!), and listen while my wife asks me to pick up a pack of cigarettes on the way home.

    After saying “Sure,” I hang up, return to the support of the table, and begin thinking about you again (see? I told you), at which point I realize that this particular sequence of events forms a perfect example to show you that all things are connected, and that the idea of things existing as discrete phenomenon is an illusion.

    Change any one of those things and this would be a different piece of writing…

    At this point, you may be thinking “Ah! Clever Corbin! I see what you did there. You’ve connected things in your mind. But when I think of things being connected, I think of real, physical connections. Your little trick isn’t foolin’ me!”

    So, let’s take a look at real connections – for instance, the scientifically important idea of causal connections, where event “A” occurs, which causes event “B,” as in: “The nurse got Ebola because she was exposed to a patient who was in the contagious stage of Ebola.”
    Here, too, is the illusion of existence. Causal connects cannot and do not exist as discrete sequences of events. The illusion that they do comes about because, in order to think about things with our limited consciousness, we need to treat them as if they were discrete sequences of events, and that fools us into believing that they are.

    For example, I can say “I had a fight with my wife last night because she was nagging me.”

    In this example, my wife’s nagging is treated as the cause of a fight (A causes B).

    But a moment of reflection makes it clear that this is such a gross oversimplification of what actually occurred that imagining that this causal connection is an explanation is absurd.

    What caused my wife to nag at me? What caused that? And what caused that? And so on…

    What caused me to fight when she nagged me? What caused that? And what caused that? And so on…

    Follow this line of questioning for a bit and it becomes clear that all events, from the dawn of time to time’s twilight are involved in one, continuous, ongoing chain of causal connections.

    The existence of discrete things and events is an illusion.

    Reality is ONE thing, which we cut up into imaginary chunks for our convenience – and then forget that we have done so.

    Obviously!



    So how does this lead to Karma? I bet you’ve already figured that out…



    If I do a jerky thing, I contribute to the overall jerkiness of all things, which I then experience because I am directly tied into the overall jerkiness of all things.

    If I perform an act of kindness, I contribute to the overall kindness of all things, which I then experience because I am directly tied into the overall kindness of all things.

    If I can’t manage to be kind, maybe I can manage to avoid being a jerk. You know, do like the doctors do – First, do no harm.

    This is how Karma operates without a Great Cosmic Bookkeeper.

    Sometimes we get the opportunity to see this very clearly.

    If I bark at my wife and she barks back, I know what I have done to her.

    If I bark at my wife and she reacts with kindness, I know what she has done for me.

    This takes a whole hell of a lot of self honesty… ethics help, so, on to Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  6. #16
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    Addendum regarding reincarnation:

    Earlier, in response to what Shahaku had written regarding reincarnation, I stated that the Buddha never taught reincarnation. Based on what I knew at the time, this was correct. However, since then I have done further research and it turns out I was not quite correct. There actually ARE teachings attributed to the Buddha regarding reincarnation. But, whether this is actually teaching the truth of reincarnation is a subject of debate.

    Depending on who you ask, the Buddha may have taught the truth of reincarnation.

    Or he may have been using reincarnation as a metaphor.

    Or the teachings of reincarnation may have been later additions to his teaching, and attributed to him.

    Or he may have used reincarnation as a trope to encourage his non-educated audience to act ethically.

    Or because he had an extremely long teaching career, he may have changed his views on reincarnation over time.

    The idea of rebirth is still important, though, but one may or may not believe in reincarnation. The Daili Lama certainly does...
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  7. #17
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    Because Corbin vaguely mentioned it. Imma gonna put on my lecture face and talk about art. FYI, for those that don't know, my major was in studio art, which also required a heavy dose of art history. Since I didn't and don't care for European art history, I took to studying Asian and African art (hence the image of an African mask for my pic on here). In other words, I actually have a serious educational background here and do know what I'm talking about. And I'm telling you, Buddhist art is magnificent. As a matter of personal opinion of course. I will ask you to bear with me on images since I have to pull them from the net. I don't have access to the university catalog anymore, unfortunately.

    Buddhist art covers everything from the giant statues around India and the general area to the Maitreya Buddha's you can pick up all over the place, even here in America (that would be the fat Buddha). From the start of Buddhism to the modern day.

    This is a pretty typical statue that is displayed showing the Buddha touching the earth. I mentioned this previously. It refers to Siddhartha Guatama at the time he was tempted by Mara and called upon the earth as his witness. At times these depictions will either show him sitting on lotus blooms or sitting under the Bodhi tree.




    That's a modern version and this is a bit more historical:



    One of the biggest issues with the most ancient Buddhist art is that it's been lost. Even many of the great statues were destroyed when India was taken over by Pakistan (my history not related to art is a lot more shaky so someone can fill in those details). Statues such as this one which are amazing for the effort that would have had to gone into them for scale alone

    - - - Updated - - -

    You also have statues of the Buddha laying down, representing the story of his death (an interesting one I'll get back to)




    And the Maitreya Buddha, a topic to return to.




    - - - Updated - - -

    These are all just examples of statues that have been seen throughout Buddhist history. There are also paintings, murals, texts (of which the calligraphic nature of some texts can be considered art), textiles, and meditative art like mandalas.

    On mandala's. Often the purpose is to focus the mind and contemplate an idea. And at their heart is the transience of all things. Mandalas are traditionally made of colored sand, poured into a design. They are intricate in their details and take a significant amount of time to make and the monks typically contemplate the meaning of a particular mandala the entire time the make it, anywhere from a few hours for something small and simple to years for large and intricate mandalas. Then, when it's finished, it's swept away, symbolizing how all things come to an end, the transience of nature. I find this whole ritualized process very beautiful and full of meaning, often more so than the many other forms of art found in the Buddhist world and culture.


    Paintings. Paintings often depict stories of the Buddha's life, or one of the many boddhisattvas, or future Buddha's.

    Apparently I'm reaching my limit... I will come back to this.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
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    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    These (type of) Buddhist teachings really appeal to me. (Maybe subconciously influenced by things I've heard?) Before reading into it better, I had similar ideas about how to 'end suffering'. And that other translation of dukkha really makes sense! I read yet another in The Noble Eightfold Path The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi, but this one clears it up. I look forward to reading more by you two.

    & as a side note, I've been getting more interested in Alchemy too. Being inspired by those two can work out well, I think. Still to read the Golden Tractate a few times though I remember reading it as a recommendation somewhere on this forum...

  9. #19
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Big Thread of Buddhism Info

    < Quote of Roland's post has been removed by Staff >

    Pardon my ignorance, I am but an egg.

    Let me make sure I understand: the "second turning" is to Buddhism what Christianity is to Judaism - an evolution, amplification, correction, and addition (IF one is a Christian), and the "third turning" is what Mormonism is to Christianity - an evolution, amplification, correction, and addition (IF one is a Mormon)?

    In other words, one chooses to accept or reject based on one's own lights? Or ignorance, as the case may be.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    Hey Rolond. I intend to reply in much more detail later, once in home and have a computer available, but I just wanted to ask what's your experience? Where are you coming from, getting your information, etc?
    His Tibetan guru, he said.
    Last edited by Juniper; 05 Jun 2015 at 21:47. Reason: quote removed
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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