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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoryOfMyLife View Post

    The way I come to see it, and I feel this is true of a plethora of religions- not just Christianity and Buddhism- is that the same basic stem exists in all teachings.
    Of course.

    You'd love much of the stuff at A Study of Near Death Experiences

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samvega View Post
    I personally believe Jesus would be INCREDIBLY disappointed with what has been done with and to his teachings where as Siddhartha Gautama by contrast would be very proud to see them being followed and practiced much the way they were some 2,600 years ago.
    "Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."--John Lennon, INFP, 1966--

  3. #83
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curzon View Post
    So far Blackmail! is the one who has given the best description of Buddhism coming from a non Buddhist in this whole forum.

    Nothingness!!!!

    Perfect description..
    Blackmail! doesn't know what he's talking about.

    "??nyat? ["Nothingness"] signifies that everything one encounters in life is empty of absolute identity, permanence, or an in-dwelling 'self'. This is because everything is inter-related and mutually dependent - never wholly self-sufficient or independent. All things are in a state of constant flux where energy and information are forever flowing throughout the natural world giving rise to and themselves undergoing major transformations with the passage of time.

    "This teaching does not connote nihilism. In the English language the word "emptiness" suggests the absence of spiritual meaning or a personal feeling of alienation, but in Buddhism the realization of the emptiness of phenomena, at basic level, enables one to realise that the things which ultimately have no independent substance cannot be subject to any irreconcilable conflicts or antagonisms. Ultimately, true realisation of the doctrine can bring liberation from the limitations of form in the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth." Source: Wikipedia entry on Shunyata.

    The idea behind emptiness isn't to feel nothing. That's really off. The aim is to see the everything is interdependent and fleeting, changing, including the contents of your experience, as well as the things you try to make permanent (money, relationships, status). Understanding this helps you shake your fixations and fears, since you're no longer trying to make your SELF permanent. Since desire (thirst) is the ultimate cause of suffering, and the illusion of self is the ultimate cause of desire, insight into the empty nature of self (empty of an inherent, solid identity called "me" or "I") relinquishes desire and suffering and opens the door to peace, interconnection, and love.

    Moreover, many Buddhists (especially those from a Vipassana tradition) practice meditations on metta which translates to kindness or universal/fraternal love. Quite the opposite from trying to feel nothing, wouldn't you say?

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I don't understand what you are trying to say, nor do I know anything about this "recent encounter with hopelessness." But, for what it is worth, in my 15 years of practicing buddhism I have never encountered the word "hopelessness", either by itself nor as a translation for some other sanskrit or pali word. I have, however, read books of american teachers pointing out that things like "hopelessness" "despair" etc are western misunderstandings of buddhism. "People suffer because they want things to be different than they are. Reality is the way it is, the wise person would do well to understand how it is, and to act in accordance with that" is how I would expect a teacher of buddhism to talk.

    Pema Chodron is a very popular author. Personally I really like Traleg Kyabgon's stuff. There are plenty of others out there as well.
    Traleg Kyabgon I'll check that one out. uhh, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche?

    I'd be interested in locating audio material. I have the two core of Chodron's audio presentations, a lot of what she has out there seems to be a little repetative?

    I like audio in that hearing voice inflection seems to impart more information and context than the written word. Face to face is even better, but have no intention of traveling to find someone to sit with.

  5. #85
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    Usually, the Western world understands nothing about the concept of "nothingness" that is prevalent in Buddhism. They would even find it terrifying, believe me, since the aim is to feel nothing. No hate, no love, nothing... so that "we" could disappear forever and for good.
    I should add and alter a bit -

    The effort should be to be mindful of ALL your thoughts, feelings, sensations, emotions at ALL TIMES. And as unnecessary, unskillful thoughts, feelings, sensations and emotions arise View them as what they really are and to let go. So as time, days, weeks, moths and years go by one sees and is able to let go of what is harmful and unnecessary as soon as it arises.

    [All this is taught in Buddha's 2nd sutra.]

    --------------------

    So as Blackmail!! wrote, the final result would be the persistent practitioner feeling NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

    The aim is not to feel NOTHING, but to be mindful at all times and not to be attached to any of the 5 aggregates of clinging.

    So actually it is the final RESULT which would be - Feeling nothing!!!!

    --------------------

  6. #86
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    To point out a small example on how persistent the practitioner should be -

    Once a follower came to Buddha and asked for how long a period per day should a practitioner be mindful, whether it is enough if 2 hours are spent practicing...

    To which the Buddha replied-

    Uchcha sayana weramani
    Maha Sayana weramani

    Which means, at all times you are awake and all times you are asleep....

    You shouldn't let go even if you are attempting to fall asleep.

  7. #87
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curzon View Post
    So as Blackmail!! wrote, the final result would be the persistent practitioner feeling NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!

    The aim is not to feel NOTHING, but to be mindful at all times and not to be attached to any of the 5 aggregates of clinging.

    So actually it is the final RESULT which would be - Feeling nothing!!!!

    --------------------
    I'm still uncomfortable with that language, but I'll stop fussing about it after this post. Even after years of practice, you wouldn't feel nothing. You would still feel things, you wouldn't obsess about them, though. You wouldn't get attached and fixate on them, getting lost in the story. That can be thought of the opposite -- as ULTIMATE feeling, not no feeling, since you need to be present and experience things in order to let them go.

    Even Zen Masters will still feel things. When I was studying in the Kwan Um School of Zen, I once heard a story how when one of the abbots passed away, Zen Master Seung Sahn cried and wailed for an entire night at the top of his lungs. The next day he started feeling better and eventually felt centered again. Rather than saying that the goal is to feel nothing, I think it's more accurate to say that the goal is to feel everything with the intention of not being possessed by your fears and thoughts about those feelings.

  8. #88
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    Look at the end games:
    Buddhists want to ascend from physical existence.
    Christians want to ascend to physical existence with God forever and ever.
    fixed.



    the interesting thing is that both aim to be freed from suffering. they just choose different methods.

  9. #89
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phthalocyanine View Post
    the interesting thing is that both aim to be freed from suffering.

    they just choose different methods; one by the transcendence of physical reality, and one by ascent to physically living in a kingdom of a god.
    Or alternatively, the Kingdom of God is a reference to a psychological place, not a physical one, with God being a reference to perceiving the universe in its original, non-dual state (free from the veil of projections and associations). Both religions used kindness as a tool to shift focus away from the self and towards others, and away from the head and towards the heart.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    I'm still uncomfortable with that language, but I'll stop fussing about it after this post. Even after years of practice, you wouldn't feel nothing. You would still feel things, you wouldn't obsess about them, though. You wouldn't get attached and fixate on them, getting lost in the story. That can be thought of the opposite -- as ULTIMATE feeling, not no feeling, since you need to be present and experience things in order to let them go.

    Even Zen Masters will still feel things. When I was studying in the Kwan Um School of Zen, I once heard a story how when one of the abbots passed away, Zen Master Seung Sahn cried and wailed for an entire night at the top of his lungs. The next day he started feeling better and eventually felt centered again. Rather than saying that the goal is to feel nothing, I think it's more accurate to say that the goal is to feel everything with the intention of not being possessed by your fears and thoughts about those feelings.
    I found the example you shared a good illustration. For my own purposes, I find Buddhist concepts and practices life-affirming. They can help a person open to the richness of everyday life. Wailing for an entire night at the top of one's lungs, sounds like a healthy way to explore the truth of the heart.

    What I've found in my own limited experience in meditating. I more fully experience emotions...the ego armour falls away from the heart. I observe the process and emotionally charged situations loose their power to resurface and create havoc in every day life again. Or give the opportunity to approach a problem rationally and with clear intent.

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