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Thread: Ask a Buddhist

  1. #31
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    Did the buddhists of Sri Lanka, including the buddhist monks, fight a very cruel war against their own people the Tamils, that began in 1983 and ended in 2009?

    And did this buddhist war against their own people involve war crimes that are denied even today?

  2. #32
    Senor Membrae Eugene Watson VIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Life is suffering.

    Only those who have let go of all attachments can avail themselves of suffering.

    Those who have done so have found nirvana and are at peace and harmony with the natural world.

    One can then truly meditate with complete clarity of vision centering himself with and harnessing the flow of the Universe.
    exactly lol
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    Senior Member The Great One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Bugs are important and do plenty of things. They definitely have their place in the world.

    The way I look at it (and mind you I'm not a follower of this) is that if you're not consciously doing bad things, or are running on natural instinct, or whatever, you don't get negative karma - or not as much.

    So maybe it could be thought that being a roach for a while somehow balances out the state of things.
    That makes a little more sense, but I'm still kind of fuzzy on the issue.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    Yeah Buddhism seams to be geared toward the same goal of Nirvana that Brahmanism is geared toward, though Brahmanism is polytheistic with monotheistic themes while Buddhism is agnostic. Many of the earlier Buddhist disciples did, indeed revere the gods of their Brahmanistic heritage though. I think that the idea of Buddhism gained popularity in the Western world because many of its ethics are central to the Judeo-Christian tradition while at the same time excluding the necessity of a personal God, and perhaps this was the same reason the formula of salvation through intuition as opposed to submission to a Higher power gained popularity in the East. Buddhism holds similarities to Christianity in that it holds that humans are disposed to imperfection and that it establishes personal etiquette. Gnosticism is even cruder and more reductionist, which is likely the reason it's been concocted in various forms and why it's piggybacked on a number of different traditions and cultures.
    +1

    Oh my interesting thread! I'm glad its you and not me. for the record I have practiced Buddhism for something like 15 years. and other stuff.

    1) Do you find it hard to explain Buddhism?
    2) How similar or different do you consider Buddhism to be to Taoism and also to Hinduism?
    3) To what kind(s) of Buddhism do you feel yourself drawn to? Thoughts on why?
    4) Reincarnation is one of the topics in Buddhism that many people either don't take seriously, stand agnostic on, or ignore. What are your thoughts on reincarnation? Do you prefer the word "rebirth" instead? If so why?
    5) What are your thoughts on the notion of "powers"?
    6) Ken Wilber, when talking about Buddhism, made the point that "reincarnation and "powers" are a lot like abortion, no matter what you say you automatically lose/offend half your audience." Do you find it surprising that apparently half of people who are Buddhist would be offended if reincarnation and powers were not taken seriously?
    7) Buddhism is the most psychological of the major eastern traditions, and the one most open or amenable to philosophic examination. Do you think that helps Buddhism and its being understood by people in this country? Does that lead to people "analyzing" or "being scholarly" instead of actually practicing?
    8) Many Buddhist teachers in the US face the question of how should they present Buddhism to Americans/westerners, and specifically how much should things be done exactly they way they were/are in the east vs how much should things be modified or adjusted for a western audience. thoughts?
    9) How much of Buddhism's popularity do you think is due to it being an "in thing" or a common "I reject your culture/religion and choose this other one instead"-type of social statement vs actual interest?
    10) Why Buddhism vs any other major eastern tradition?
    11) Do you think Buddhism is an easier "entry point" than the other eastern traditions?
    12) What books or authors have you read?
    13) When Buddhism [and yoga] were brought to the West in the 60's, do you feel that things were "Watered down?"
    14) Are there any particular reasons that you haven't read any Buddhist canon or other historical books, for examples by Japanese zen masters from centuries back?
    15) Do you "practice" anything? If so what and how would you describe it?
    16) Many people start a beginning meditation practice, often vipassana or shamatha, and have problems almost falling asleep and they talk about just how "boring" it is? How do you feel about that?
    17) When people find out you are Buddhist what are some of the common reactions? Why? How does that make you feel or think?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    +1

    Oh my interesting thread! I'm glad its you and not me. for the record I have practiced Buddhism for something like 15 years. and other stuff.

    Lots of critical thinking for me. Thank you =P


    1) Do you find it hard to explain Buddhism?

    I do find it hard. It has many facets, I don't know where to begin without launching into a thirty minute lecture. I've taken a liking to explain the story of Buddha's awakening, as most proper thought can be stemmed from those events.

    2) How similar or different do you consider Buddhism to be to Taoism and also to Hinduism?

    I find Hinduism to be more rooted in appeal to authority, more focused on the creators of the universe and those above you in the caste system. I don't know much about Taoism, to be honest, but if I had to take a jab at it I'd say Taoism is very much like Buddhism but without the focus on Buddha. I hear it is highly individualistic in nature. I've got some decent reading material on it, I just haven't gotten around to it. I'm not much of a reader, tbh, and I'll touch on that more in the coming questions.

    3) To what kind(s) of Buddhism do you feel yourself drawn to? Thoughts on why?

    I enjoy thinking of Buddha the person, much as I enjoy thinking of Christ the person. Again, I'll touch on it later in your questioning, but I don't find enjoyment reading others' speculation of intent and beliefs behind the individual, when so much direct source material is available for my mind to turn over. Mayhana Buddhism seems most in line with what drew me in to the line of thought. I have heard of a line of practice that deals primarily in the recorded history of Buddha, I will likely subscribe to that, someday.

    4) Reincarnation is one of the topics in Buddhism that many people either don't take seriously, stand agnostic on, or ignore. What are your thoughts on reincarnation? Do you prefer the word "rebirth" instead? If so why?

    During my studies, I have 'seen' the truth of rebirth. I have come to understand the power in cycles and waves, which I highly relate to the concept of reincarnation. I do not know if I trust my logistic abilities to say for certain anything, though, and will likely remain agnostic on the subject until further thought is injected into my brain.

    5) What are your thoughts on the notion of "powers"?

    Hm. The word invokes much thought. In context of Buddha himself, I do not believe he was divine. I know for certain he did not wish to be thought so, and particularly did not desire to be worshiped as above the man to his right. I'm not sure if I am on to the right thing, reading your next question. I'd like to learn of it.

    6) Ken Wilber, when talking about Buddhism, made the point that "reincarnation and "powers" are a lot like abortion, no matter what you say you automatically lose/offend half your audience." Do you find it surprising that apparently half of people who are Buddhist would be offended if reincarnation and powers were not taken seriously?

    I am not surprised. I know of the story of the disciple who went on his Lord's behalf to argue with Buddha the facet of reincarnation. Utterly convinced Buddha's line of thought was correct, far superior to his Lord's, he wished to be taken as Buddha's, though Buddha declined, and sent him back to further study as he had done prior to their exchange. I'm sure there is logic somewhere deep enough to warrant proper attention, though I have not come across it. Someday I've told myself I'll attend studies, I just cannot bring myself to do it.

    7) Buddhism is the most psychological of the major eastern traditions, and the one most open or amenable to philosophic examination. Do you think that helps Buddhism and its being understood by people in this country? Does that lead to people "analyzing" or "being scholarly" instead of actually practicing?

    I forgot I skipped this one.... I'll have to answer it later in the thread.

    8) Many Buddhist teachers in the US face the question of how should they present Buddhism to Americans/westerners, and specifically how much should things be done exactly they way they were/are in the east vs how much should things be modified or adjusted for a western audience. thoughts?

    I suppose it's a bit like a business. I have no qualms about watering something down to spread to a differing audience, especially if it means keeping the word (and the speaker) afloat. I think proper course of action would alleviate any potential misdirection one would achieve during casual presentation, perhaps through more in-depth study groups and things of the like, for those who are genuinely interested vs. those simply looking to invest their religious emotions into something.

    9) How much of Buddhism's popularity do you think is due to it being an "in thing" or a common "I reject your culture/religion and choose this other one instead"-type of social statement vs actual interest?

    I've always said I'd be Christian if it weren't for the Bible. Buddhism and Buddha himself is simply the most logical focal point for personal advancement, for me. I'm sure other's don't feel the same way, buying into it because it's something to buy into. But I don't know. They can do whatever, I suppose.

    10) Why Buddhism vs any other major eastern tradition?

    During my studies of quantum physics, I don't know. Everything I was learning, everything I was thinking... I just came across it and it clicked. I'm sure it could have happened with anything sufficiently relatable. I dislike that I can no longer pinpoint the 'whys' of many things anymore, it's closer to some large framework I once developed that still stands erect, but I have no fucking clue how it got there or how to work myself inside.

    11) Do you think Buddhism is an easier "entry point" than the other eastern traditions?

    Hm. Yes? I don't know much about other eastern traditions, to be honest. It seems more relevant to today's society than Hinduism, to say something.

    12) What books or authors have you read?

    I'm in the middle of one about Buddhism by George Braziller, after this I have one on Hinduism to read (if I get around to it). Like I said... I'm really not big on philosophy other than what I've thought. Sounds kind of.... uneducated, but it's the truth. I read mostly non-fiction, when I do read. I've read 'Sword and Mind' by Yagyu Munenori. Philosophy just doesn't do it for me, I guess. I'd prefer my philosophical text to be thematic in science fiction novels, lol.

    13) When Buddhism [and yoga] were brought to the West in the 60's, do you feel that things were "Watered down?"

    Likely. Us westerners are a weird lot, contextually. I don't think many of us have the desire to do anything in depth, or something like that.

    14) Are there any particular reasons that you haven't read any Buddhist canon or other historical books, for examples by Japanese zen masters from centuries back?

    Do you have any suggestions? It's hard for me to pinpoint anything, if I were to of read anything of the like it would have been online, and I would not have paid much attention to who was saying what when and why, you know what I mean? I just kind of... take in the information, and it's all part of the same structure.

    15) Do you "practice" anything? If so what and how would you describe it?

    To be Buddha-like, daily. It involves much analysis of my chosen actions throughout the day, and how I could function better. I Ti my actions to death =/

    16) Many people start a beginning meditation practice, often vipassana or shamatha, and have problems almost falling asleep and they talk about just how "boring" it is? How do you feel about that?

    I find meditation boring, in the traditional sense. I've wondered what the qualifications are to constitute a proper meditation. I feel my mind is highly contained, and does its meditating pretty much whenever it feels fit. When I sit down to do it proper, following a set of methodological 'rules', I rarely see it through. So does my personal meditation 'count'? I don't know.

    17) When people find out you are Buddhist what are some of the common reactions? Why? How does that make you feel or think?

    To be honest, not many have found this out about me. I don't really talk about it, and if I do it's in passing reference or something. If someone does find out, I find it most entertaining to tell them the 'surprises' of Buddhism, such as absence of deities and things of the like. I kind of steer clear of the more humanitarian side of it all... no one's really pushed me that far into my thoughts, though.




    If there is anything I can elaborate on, or a line of dialogue you wish to open, let me know.

  6. #36
    Riva
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    To all the other members except Victor-the-troll please ignore this post of mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Did the buddhists of Sri Lanka, including the buddhist monks, fight a very cruel war against their own people the Tamils, that began in 1983 and ended in 2009?
    Why are you asking Jontherobot this question? He is not a Sri Lankan is he?

    That's a political question and not a Buddhism question is it not? Of course it is a political question can't you see? But who am I kidding it is Victor the troll. And why am I answering him I wonder? I must be mad!

    Yes Buddha told his followers to hunt down and kill Tamils because he is a sociopath and it is parallel with all his other teachings.

    And since they ran out of Aborigines to hunt like the whites in Austria they started hunting Tamils because Buddha said so.

    Happy?

    For your information and all others -

    Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka has places of worship to Hindu Gods. Yes they have places of worship for Tamils (and Sinhalese) inside Buddhist temples. How often have you ever heard a place of worship of one religion hosting a place of worship to another in their own premises?

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And did this buddhist war against their own people involve war crimes that are denied even today?
    It was not a Buddhist Vs Hindu war. It was a Jaffna-Tamils Vs Sri Lankan government war.

    Yes the terrorists were of course innocent and didn't ever commit a single war crime? Yes war crimes doesn't justify other war crimes but it was war and it is (even for someone like you) a hard thing to imagine that certain crimes such as those don't take place when wars are fought. But it was indeed a cleaner, less bloody war fought compared to what most wars that take place around the world - hint directed at the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Stop living in a fairytale Victor.

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

    Hmmmm....

    Why am I feeding the troll???

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    To all the other members except Victor-the-troll please ignore this post of mine.

    Why are you asking Jontherobot this question? He is not a Sri Lankan is he?

    That's a political question and not a Buddhism question is it not? Of course it is a political question can't you see? But who am I kidding it is Victor the troll. And why am I answering him I wonder? I must be mad!

    Yes Buddha told his followers to hunt down and kill Tamils because he is a sociopath and it is parallel with all his other teachings.

    And since they ran out of Aborigines to hunt like the whites in Austria they started hunting Tamils because Buddha said so.

    Happy?

    For your information and all others -

    Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka has places of worship to Hindu Gods. Yes they have places of worship for Tamils (and Sinhalese) inside Buddhist temples. How often have you ever heard a place of worship of one religion hosting a place of worship to another in their own premises?



    It was not a Buddhist Vs Hindu war. It was a Jaffna-Tamils Vs Sri Lankan government war.

    Yes the terrorists were of course innocent and didn't ever commit a single war crime? Yes war crimes doesn't justify other war crimes but it was war and it is (even for someone like you) a hard thing to imagine that certain crimes such as those don't take place when wars are fought. But it was indeed a cleaner, less bloody war fought compared to what most wars that take place around the world - hint directed at the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Stop living in a fairytale Victor.

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

    Hmmmm....

    Why am I feeding the troll???
    First of all, dear Lionheart, to call me a troll is to insult me. And insults are against the rules and may lead to banning.

    Second, Westerners are inclined to idealise Buddhism when in reality Buddhism has a very bloody history.

  8. #38
    Riva
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    First of all, dear Lionheart, to call me a troll is to insult me. And insults are against the rules and may lead to banning
    I know that insults are against the forum rules. For your information trolling for reactions could also lead to a ban.

    Yes I'm sorry for calling you a troll. I'm obviously wrong to call you a troll because you are not one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Second, Westerners are inclined to idealise Buddhism when in reality Buddhism has a very bloody history.
    Westerners for your information chocked Buddhism to its near death in so many nations in the past. So Westerners beginning to idealize is ....... well I have no comments on it right now.

    No I'm not going to blame Jesus for that because that was never his message (lolz) and the actions of Westerners can't be conveniently balmed on him.

    And the bloody history of Buddhism is not exactly a ask a Buddhist question is it? Because Buddha never even hinted to be violent ever. But if he did and if you could find such an instance where he encouraged violence it would be appropriate to blame the so called bloody history of Buddhism on Buddha. And that would actually be an appropriate question for this thread.

    The question you asked was a politically motivated question in which you conveniently/trollishly (oh sorry you are not a troll) tried to blame the civil-war of Sri Lanka on Buddha/Buddhism. That is not an appropriate question to be asked on such a thread and thus could be considered as trolling. But like I said if Buddha did ever encouraged violence (if so the civil war in Sri Lanka could be conveniently blamed on him) that question would have been appropriate.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    I know that insults are against the forum rules. For your information trolling for reactions could also lead to a ban.

    Yes I'm sorry for calling you a troll. I'm obviously wrong to call you a troll because you are not one.



    Westerners for your information chocked Buddhism to its near death in so many nations in the past. So Westerners beginning to idealize is ....... well I have no comments on it right now.

    No I'm not going to blame Jesus for that because that was never his message (lolz) and the actions of Westerners can't be conveniently balmed on him.

    And the bloody history of Buddhism is not exactly a ask a Buddhist question is it? Because Buddha never even hinted to be violent ever. But if he did and if you could find such an instance where he encouraged violence it would be appropriate to blame the so called bloody history of Buddhism on Buddha. And that would actually be an appropriate question for this thread.

    The question you asked was a politically motivated question in which you conveniently/trollishly (oh sorry you are not a troll) tried to blame the civil-war of Sri Lanka on Buddha/Buddhism. That is not an appropriate question to be asked on such a thread and thus could be considered as trolling. But like I said if Buddha did ever encouraged violence (if so the civil war in Sri Lanka could be conveniently blamed on him) that question would have been appropriate.
    I do understand that, "Ask a Buddhist", is intended to proselytise the religion of Buddhism.

    And I do understand that you find the debunking the religion of Buddhism offends your sensibilities.

    Fortunately Central adheres to free speech including the right to offend religious sensibilities.

    However free speech on Central is limited by the banning of personal insults.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I do understand that, "Ask a Buddhist", is intended to proselytise the religion of Buddhism.
    Maybe it was/is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And I do understand that you find the debunking the religion of Buddhism offends your sensibilities.
    Lolz.

    Debunking Buddhism is not the real reason that offended me. Now that you know what offended me I wouldn't be surprised if you start exploiting that. But then again I do have my defenses against that too.

    I don't really have to defend Buddhism when it comes to the subject of violence and violent history. But like I said if there is proof of such instances where Buddha encouraged violence ever I'm all ears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Fortunately Central adheres to free speech including the right to offend religious sensibilities.
    Yes I've seen you exploiting this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    However free speech on Central is limited by the banning of personal insults.
    Yes like I said I'm sorry for calling you a troll because you are obviously not one. Again I extend my apologies. Lolz....

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