DreamBliss

Could someone explain the Buddhist belief system to me?

Recommended Posts

Another perspective: Buddhist thought can take you down many roads, but in the end, all roads lead back to dukkha -- suffering -- and its reduction.

 

With Christianity, all roads lead back to God. If you begin asking "why?" -- as in "Why pay attention to the Ten Commandments? Why refrain from killing others? and so on -- you can reduce the argument to "Because God wants it that way." And quite often, that's where you end up in some Christian dialogues -- e.g., "The Bible says it (i.e., God wants it), I believe it, and that's the end of it." The "reason," or the impetus for action is to please God. On this count, asking "What would God want me to do?" and perhaps referring to the Bible to decipher what He might want you to do, makes sense. But this is not so in Buddhism. There is no God-head, and there is no mandate to please Buddha. Instead, the Buddhist project is to reduce suffering (note: there is much to say about the translation of Dukkha as 'suffering' but lets avoid that issue here).

 

One might ask of the Buddhist project, "Why suffering?" What is so special about that?

 

Of course no one wants to suffer, but there are lots of things no one wants to experience. So why not go for "To please the Buddha" for "To gain enlightenment," or "To exit the wheel of life and death," or whatever...Why hit specifically on the reduction of suffering?

 

Well... there is no reason. The reduction of suffering as the hub around which the Buddhist project revolves is fundamentally arbitrary. But "arbitrary" here does not indication "better" or "worse," it simply re-states a core Buddhist understanding of the delusional arbitrariness of all things -- i.e., that there is no better or worse in any ultimate sense, and any attempt to establish them as such is delusional (note that there is a "better" and a "worse" in Christianity, and it boils down to that which God wants. Doing what God wants is "better," and not doing it is "worse"). With Buddhism, the reduction of suffering might be a highly favorable "better" (in a limited sense) thing to focus on in the order of world delusions, but carries no ultimate voracity as might the notion of making God happy.

 

 

M

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael, you have to do a lot more suffering before you are ready to begin understanding.

 

But then, you could just be a Daoist and you wont have to suffer unless that is something that moves you.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each of us has that potential to be a Buddha, the supreme state of Enlightenment that frees oneself from the bondage of samsara and kamma. As we travel the path of emancipation, those who are accepting the teachings of the Buddha and earnestly practised as such, are collectively known to be Buddhists, a 'modern term' or if you like to be quaint, 'the follower of Buddha Sakyamuni'. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That one can be free of the myopia (karma)

 

That one can be free of the grasping that holds us to the myopia (karma)

 

that we are not the myopia (karma)

 

as we step into the all encompassing light that encompasses all and nothing - we become and are ever becoming all and everything

 

the multicolored glasses that held us mesmerized in trance fields of illusion (karma) can be no more - and the sleep of our entrainment (karma) and all identity (karma) burns away in the light of abiding in Divine Essence.

 

Believe nothing for everything is already yours - all of time takes not one second - you cannot go to or arrive where you are not already. Other has never existed - a god that is not you is blasphemy - a false god - there is not that that is not you.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel that the belief system, to me, is insight through meditation and application of that insight in order to do what is right in your life. To teach others ways of insight and tell them the ways of being that are correct in the ways of the universe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/19/2014 at 7:35 AM, ralis said:

 

... The Buddhist maps are outdated and the territory has changed in 2500 years.

 

The social order that Gautama assumed doesn't seem to be reflected in the current age, I would agree with you that far.  Begging was a part of monastic life, and with the exception of the remaining forest monks (who still observe the old rules) the acceptance of monetary donations and of work of all kinds to sustain the order and monasteries seems very generally accepted now.  

 

As to the map that Gautama drew to the cessation of intentional activity, that still appears to me to be applicable.

 

I found a description online of the suffocation response, as a subject of scientific interest.  The response apparently has the same symptoms as a panic attack, but it's an involuntary response to a lack of breath instead of to an anxiety.  Navy seals apparently train to overcome the suffocation response through relaxation, that's how they can stay underwater for so long.

 

The difficulty in any conveyance of Gautama's teaching is the requirement that a person experience the involuntary activity that lies on the other side of the suffocation response.  Gautama described relaxation and calm in connection with in-breathing and out-breathing as a part of his way of living, and also the experience of ease and joy.  The true significance of these things cannot be appreciated without familiarity in one form or another with the suffocation response, and through relaxation and calm with the witness of involuntary activity in the body and mind.

 

I would say that Gautama's map (of the cessation of voluntary activity) had holes where he didn't have the science, but the sense he made with what he had is remarkable.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mark Foote
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buddhism neither confirms nor denies the existence of a God. 

 

I think the Buddhists system  Is one that makes very few proclamations at all because of the deeper understanding of the Dharma, which when you really come to understand you come to realize that there is nothing to proclaim.

 

No matter what your beliefs are, Buddhism understand that beliefs don't save you and are not a road to ascension, but that Regaurdless of your beliefs all people suffer and are caught in the endless cycle of birth and death.

 

So what a Buddhist believes is the 4 noble truths, and with that, in the 8 fold path.

 

A deeper understanding of that entails an understanding of the 3 marks; everything suffers, nothing that exist has self, and that everything passes/nothing has permanent existence.

 

A deeper understanding of that Is the understanding of the doctrine of dependent origins which is the understanding of emptiness/sunyatta. 

 

When a person realizes the noble truths and practices the 8 fold path, and truly comes to understand the 3 marks of existing and also the arising of mood, thought, and consciousness both by way of understanding the doctrine of dependent origination, along with a meditation practice then one begins to both lose attatchments to views and to see reality clearly, and to see how the reality they are apart of functions at the most fundamental levels.

 

So many serious practitioners might argue this or that cosmology is true Buddhist belief,  but Buddhism itself is only concerned with the extinguishing of suffering not cosmology. If their belief is not contingent to the three marks of existence, and the doctrine of dependent origins which implies that all things are empty than it is not Dharma. 

 

My understanding is that all things are awareness. So where there is creation there is the experience of being the creator, but the creator is not self existing, and as it would have characteristics as such than it would also be an awareness that has dependencies on other things for both Its existence and it's being as/or, the creator.

 

My understanding also tells me that there are other awareness that preexist any state of existence that you could call creation or creator/God, and that any God would be dependent on these. But none of these could be called "God" or creator by any means.

 

For instance the void. The void is not an object but rather a state of awareness where awareness exist without subjection to form (dimmension), phenomenon (activity/relativity), or anything to be aware of, and Is without beginning or end.

 

This state of awareness would be independent of creation or creator, so could not be said to be a creation of any God, but any God or God would be dependent on the void as a condition or causative factor for their existence. 

 

Just like wood (void) is not dependent on fire for its woodiness, but fire (God) is dependent on wood for its existence and the characteristics of what/how, even how long it exists.

 

So my understanding says that if God has any characteristic such as being infinitely powerful than it would be dependent on infinity or something infinite for that characteristic (just as I believe void is dependent on something for its quality of being absolute in what it is and AN for being a "circrumscribe infinity" in itself.

 

I guess in summary my view the path and practice can illuminate your existing belief system to shed light on any reality it might have been based on.

 

I think that a Christian an practice Buddhism, and that their Christianity will be improved on, but that if they practice letting go then their view to accept what is beyond their view than their view will become more and more clear to the point that they would be rejected by all other Christians.

 

What your view of all that came into could not be called Buddhism or Christianity.

 

Buddhism is really only concerned with the origins and cessation of suffering, and the  path that leads to that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ion said:

I think that a Christian an practice Buddhism, and that their Christianity will be improved on, but that if they practice letting go then their view to accept what is beyond their view than their view will become more and more clear to the point that they would be rejected by all other Christians.

 

One of my favorite teachers was Fr. Anthony Demello.

He was a Jesuit born in India to a Hindu family.

His teachings bridge the gaps between Christianity and other religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, showing effectively the common core spiritual elements.

And as you predict, he was eventually rejected not so much by all other Christians, but by the church itself.

His writings were labeled heresy by Joseph Ratzinger when he occupied the post of censor for the church (which use to be the post of high inquisitor).

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19980624_demello_en.html

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, steve said:

 

One of my favorite teachers was Fr. Anthony Demello.

He was a Jesuit born in India to a Hindu family.

His teachings bridge the gaps between Christianity and other religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, showing effectively the common core spiritual elements.

And as you predict, he was eventually rejected not so much by all other Christians, but by the church itself.

His writings were labeled heresy by Joseph Ratzinger when he occupied the post of censor for the church (which use to be the post of high inquisitor).

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19980624_demello_en.html

Thanks, hadn’t heard of him before, will check him out. 

 

Labelled heresy by the official Catholic Church ... just inspires me to read it more ...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Fa Xin said:

Thanks, hadn’t heard of him before, will check him out. 

 

Labelled heresy by the official Catholic Church ... just inspires me to read it more ...

Ditto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me look up the abridged version-

ATHEISM I don't believe this shit.

BA'HAI All shit is truly shit.

BUDDHISM Shit happens.

BAPTIST FUNDAMENTALISM Shit happens because the Bible says so.

CAPITALISM How much will this shit cost?

CATHOLICISM If shit happens, you deserved it.

:

TAOISM The shit that happens is not the true shit.

 

There it is- Shit happens. 

There is much truth in jest.  Buddhism imo, has very accurate, self evident descriptions of human nature and reality.  It can be distilled down to Shit Happens.  A longer lecture might add- deal with it skillfully. 

Edited by thelerner
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/15/2018 at 1:08 PM, thelerner said:

Let me look up the abridged version-

ATHEISM I don't believe this shit.

BA'HAI All shit is truly shit.

BUDDHISM Shit happens.

BAPTIST FUNDAMENTALISM Shit happens because the Bible says so.

CAPITALISM How much will this shit cost?

CATHOLICISM If shit happens, you deserved it.

:

TAOISM The shit that happens is not the true shit.

 

There it is- Shit happens. 

There is much truth in jest.  Buddhism imo, has very accurate, self evident descriptions of human nature and reality.  It can be distilled down to Shit Happens.  A longer lecture might add- deal with it skillfully. 

I whole heartedly disagree.

 

I think Buddhism is more "Shit is dependent in its arising; nothing happens without conditions, nothing is or happens of itself"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/11/2012 at 3:10 AM, DreamBliss said:

 

 

There is no "Christian Belief System".

Jesus said LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body and soul.   Not believe, LOVE.

Belief is when you refuse to love, you refuse to feel, and you refuse to practice.

Any belief you choose from any "system" will similarly lead nowhere. 

Jesus said when you pray, pray like this : "Our Father who art in Heaven ..."

He is giving practice instructions.   Anybody do them ?   
Or just ship to trendy Buddhism ?   Let me tell you they likewise are not practicing, they argue over other concepts.
Christians go to church because they feel.   If they feel often enough they develop confidence, then maybe they believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Buddha asked people to believe nothing- he encouraged personal cultivation, direct insight, and knowing for oneself.

 

Look at the Kalama Sutta for a short, clear teaching about this. 

 

Even the 4 truths are not to be believed - they are to be experienced directly. Each has a verb associated with it, asking for direct engagement. E.g. the instruction is to -understand- dissatisfaction. 

 

I see the Buddha’s teachings as invitations to run experiments of the mind for ourselves. 

 

This is an Early Buddhist perspective. 

Edited by LinLin
Incorrect autocorrect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, LinLin said:

The Buddha asked people to believe nothing- he encouraged personal cultivation, direct insight, and knowing for oneself.

 

Look at the Kalama Sutta for a short, clear teaching about this. 

 

Even the 4 truths are not to be believed - they are to be experienced directly. Each has a verb associated with it, asking for direct engagement. E.g. the instruction is to -understand- dissatisfaction. 

 

I see the Buddha’s teachings as invitations to run experiments of the mind for ourselves. 

 

This is an Early Buddhist perspective. 

 

 

What do you mean by Early Buddhism?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Apech - Buddhism has been evolving for millennia now. There are many forms. By ‘early’ I personally mean, based on my understanding today, teachings up to second council. Other people will have other definitions. And my own may evolve with time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites