Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by mahasattva, May 20, 2004.
A very interesting article. Read:
Buddhism is a young religion and still has a lot of change to undergo but is flexible enough to allow for this change. What was preferable to not include at the time will eventually become practical enough to be included.
nephthys - You are talking about Western Buddhism right?
Western with respect to what? I am talking about Bihar/Terai region in modern terms, although a lot of the development took place in Cathay and is therefore still relevant.
I am Buddhist because it teaches acceptance and not the forcing of the religion on to others i.e. Christianity.
Western as in FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order). This is the main school of Western Buddhism, I'm not sure if there are others.
The point of Western Buddhism is that it is adapted for westerners. Not changed but adapted. So for example a fully fledged order member doesn't have any obligation to wear the orange robes. Also the teaching are put in a way that is more digestable, and less alienating, for Westerner.
Sangharakshita writes in "What is the Dharma?" about the history of Western Buddhism. About how it started during the British Empire and how it was becoming more and more acceptable to not be Christian. Apparently people liked Buddhism partly because it offers three things that Christianity and yet has a different belief system at the same time.
These 3 things Sangharakshita argues, are: A central figure (in Christianity it's Jesus, in Buddhism it's Sid), Ethical Practice (in Xianity it's... most of the bible really, in B'ism it's the precepts and the noble 8fold path among others), and an afterlife security (Xianity=Heaven, B'ism=Reincarnation/Nirvana)
In that case I do not of course mean western Buddhism. I am referring to the region where Buddhism was born (modern Tarai/Bihar, at the time the Federation and Magadha) but a lot of important development Buddhism of the religion happened in China. When I say Buddhism is young, I mean all Buddhism.
Mahasattva, thank you soo much for posting this thread. Reading the article both inspired and reminded me why I fell in love with Buddhism. I recently read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind which gave me a mind-ache, and many times it was hard to understand and agree with. Read the article though, has reminded me why I am sitting here reading this Zen book, and why I am writing in the Buddhist section of the hip forums. It has been so inspirational. Thank you.
Thats why I am buddhist!
i can't really be qualified as buddhist, i guess, because i haven't actually undergone any sort of conversion ceremony. if you have to, i'm not sure. i was raised on christianity, but do not follow it. i am much more interested in what buddhism has to offer me and my life.
I don't think there is any real conversion ceremony, basically all you have to do is say that you take refuge in the 3 jewels (the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha). Haha, I remember one night (actually recently) when I found out that was the closest thing to a "conversion ceremony" I found a site with the words in Tibetan (and sanskrit or pali i think?), turned off all the lights, and took the biggest Buddha statue I have (which is about 3 inches tall) and tried to say it in a very spiritual manner. to my surprise, my brother barged in to ask me a question and I freaked out, grabbed the statue, and flopped onto my bed trying to act nonchalant. Heh, it didn't go exactly as planned, so afterwards I just decided that the big ceremony didn't matter, I knew I had really been a Buddhist at heart since last year. So, forget silly ceremonies and just practice what you believe in!
I am a Buddhist because, in my opinion, it is a real path that can lead to liberation.
There are other religions that say believe in this guy and that’s all you have to do.
That isn’t a path! It doesn’t lead anywhere.
As you read something written by a master, remember nothing as to agree with, you have to follow to reach where the master "want" you to go, or where you "want" to go (and not always knowing precisely where, or you would not need him) by following him.
The spirit of the book is the spirit of the master, this is how you have to read.
In my opinion, thought could be useful
Take care, times are troubled
I totally agree with that SharyBobbins! (cool username btw! hehe)
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