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Thread: Buddhism 101

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    Senior Member lightsun's Avatar
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    Default Buddhism 101

    This will be the beginning of discussing Buddhist principles & precepts. I like it or what will develop into, because it will simplify it. I would like to discuss how attainable / realistic are some of the precepts. In other words are they doable as well as realistic? And most importantly are they attainable?

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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Well.. it depends on what kind of Buddhism also. Mahayana Buddhism believes enlightenment can be aided, that one's path is not completely alone. That there is help through the boddhisattvas, other followers, even ritual. Theravada would claim it's mostly a solitary path. Up to you to decide whether enlightenment is possible, but all things being fair, being solitary is probably more difficult.

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    As to the topic, I'm not into Buddhist concepts for the sake of attainment or enlightment. I simply find it to be a very rational and psychologically beneficial exploration.

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    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Do some Buddhists believe that people like Jesus Christ or Mohammed achieved enlightenment?

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    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightsun View Post
    This will be the beginning of discussing Buddhist principles & precepts. I like it or what will develop into, because it will simplify it. I would like to discuss how attainable / realistic are some of the precepts. In other words are they doable as well as realistic? And most importantly are they attainable?
    I don't understand what this is asking, what do you mean???

    The monk tradition, especially in Theravada and amongst the Tibetans have tremendous numbers of rules to be followed. Unless your a monk or nun, you won't be able to follow all of them. I've seen lists of rules for laypersons, those lists were much shorter. The rules seemed effortful, but doable. Is that what you mean?

    Are yoo asking about what Buddhism is, whats it teaches, what various precepts are, how "attainable/realistic" those precepts are, or what???

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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Do some Buddhists believe that people like Jesus Christ or Mohammed achieved enlightenment?
    I don't know about Mohammed (and from what I can tell, Islam and Buddhism don't exactly converse much.. and there are plenty of Muslims in SE and S. Asia.. so it's not really a geographical difference stopping it).

    As for Jesus, there are many interfaith books written by Buddhists that show admiration for Jesus, and try to find points of agreement with Christianity. As for calling him enlightened, not sure...

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    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I don't know about Mohammed (and from what I can tell, Islam and Buddhism don't exactly converse much.. and there are plenty of Muslims in SE and S. Asia.. so it's not really a geographical difference stopping it).

    As for Jesus, there are many interfaith books written by Buddhists that show admiration for Jesus, and try to find points of agreement with Christianity. As for calling him enlightened, not sure...
    Yeah I read one called Living Buddha, Living Christ that was pretty great, and somebody read some passages of another book on a similar topic to me. I really find inter-faith dialogue illuminating.

    Anyway, sorry to derail. I'm interested in what this thread has to say!

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    Senior Member countrygirl's Avatar
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    Becoming Enlightened

    ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    ISBN 978-1-4165-6584-0

    also good information on this website

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    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Depends which ones you're talking about. There are issues that different schools believe completely different things about, e.g. to what extent rebirth can be understood as reincarnation, whether anger can be or should be avoided entirely. I don't believe in the rebirth stuff, and certainly not in the crazy elaborate system of hells and heavenly realms, but I am aware of evidence that the meditative techniques shamatha and vipassana really do do some of the things they're supposed to, e.g. improve mood and concentration ability (including making measurable size and chemical differences to relevant regions of the brain).

    Whether they make you a better person is probably harder to measure objectively, and that's the ultimate goal. But I have been trying to use Buddhist meditation for the benefits that have been demonstrated. I do feel my self-monitoring ability (Buddhists would call it mindfulness) has improved to the extent that I can notice what processes are causing my mood or behaviour to worsen as they're occurring and so break the negative feedback loop, and haven't had any bouts of the the very depressed mood I had mentioned here before, but obviously I can't prove that it's caused by the meditation or that I'm actually any more mindful. Especially the lack of depressive bouts, as my prospects have also improved significantly since that time.

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