Seeking

Buddha "Don't worship anything". Buddhists "With folded hands I turn to you". Me "Huh?".

Recommended Posts

As the title says really. I went to a couple of Buddhist meetings and none of them could answer why they do this. Its in direct contradiction to their founders wishes and yet, they do. Stranger still was they prickled at me pointing it out. I know what you're going to say "Its a token of respect" etc but really its just worship/deification in another form.

 

Its odd because out of all of the spiritual paths I'd thought that they would have had the most self awareness. Given the nature of their day to day it seems like a given. Guess not. If you do, why? Do you see the cult of personality that surrounds this guy and his achievements, much like every other prophet, when he didn't want that at all. From what I can tell (and my knowledge of Buddhism could fit on the back of a stamp) his aim was liberation. Pure and simple. The rest is mere commentary. The devout however seem to tie themselves up in knots over pointless things or sit there spinning empty wheels thinking they're getting somewhere. I found it quite odd and didn't go back again. Prefer my solo practice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect it's human nature to be in awe and to revere.

Also, in the West, a certain amount of deification is built into our very paradigm of viewing the world, (even if agnostic or atheistic, it's built into the very fabric of our languages); our minds are formed with a heavy dose of christianization to it, so reverence lends to worship so readily...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it does seem that way. It struck me as strange because Buddha transcended all of that and forged his own path. The story I'd heard (maybe apocryphal, I haven't researched) was that his "Don't worship anything" statement was an admonishment to those who were seeing him as more than them. If you wish to be like he do as he did, no more no less. This simple truth seems to go over the heads of the devout is virtually every faith I've noticed.

 

Thought I'd ask on here as there seem to be a few Buddhists here. The reception at the meetings to this question was quite frosty though. You'd have thought I just flipped the tables over or something. Even the not joining in that part seemed to irk them, although it was hidden under a layer of faux tolerance but you could see they were miffed.

 

There's something about the West. It just renders everything artificial whether it intends to or not. I do agree about what you said with the language as it shapes our minds, which influence our behaviour, which dictates our life. You see it with anything it imports from East be it food, forms, norms or inspiration - it "McDonaldizes" it into something simplistic and derivative with the subtle complexity removed to create mass appeal. And yet in all this time its never birthed a wholly new or original system since the days of Alchemy and even that came from Egypt. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Seeking said:

As the title says really. I went to a couple of Buddhist meetings and none of them could answer why they do this. Its in direct contradiction to their founders wishes and yet, they do. Stranger still was they prickled at me pointing it out. I know what you're going to say "Its a token of respect" etc but really its just worship/deification in another form.

 

Its odd because out of all of the spiritual paths I'd thought that they would have had the most self awareness. Given the nature of their day to day it seems like a given. Guess not. If you do, why? Do you see the cult of personality that surrounds this guy and his achievements, much like every other prophet, when he didn't want that at all. From what I can tell (and my knowledge of Buddhism could fit on the back of a stamp) his aim was liberation. Pure and simple. The rest is mere commentary. The devout however seem to tie themselves up in knots over pointless things or sit there spinning empty wheels thinking they're getting somewhere. I found it quite odd and didn't go back again. Prefer my solo practice.

 

 

 

You ask other humans who are on a spiritual journey themselves to answer the question to a statement given thousands of years ago, in a specific context, by someone who had fully liberated themselves. It's not necessary to demean the whole of a path or place because someone(s) along the way who have not yet reached the end point themselves, and so do not yet know the resulting answers, cannot answer you right now.


Your own sense to (subconsciously) exalt one path or one group of people (in this case Buddhists) over another makes you bristle when they fall short of your expectations in being able to answer your question regarding what it is to, or why we might or might not exalt anything at all.  It is ok if we all fall short sometimes in understanding; it is a process for everyone. Everyone is trying in their own way, and the effort in giving reverence is still at the end of the day a more noble use of efforts then to look upon others in condescension.


You say you thought it was a 'given' that someone should know something that they try and live by each and every day. Yet how many day to day things have you ever done before one day waking up a decade later, or decades later, or even life times later to realize you had no idea what it was you were actually doing? We have all been through many lifetimes. We can all have peace and acceptance in our own unknowingness and the unknowingness of others.


And there can also be peace and acceptance in knowing if you allow it- would you allow it? (or will all answers be chalked up to a cynical heart?)  It is valuable to be able to ask your discerning questions from an open heart, especially since it is that you also care about this so much one as to have been vexed by the lack of clarity and seemingly poor reception.

 

 

 

First, let me share a bit about my own experience with you. When I was younger and new to the yoga 'scene', I was very surprised how at the end of every practice everyone would stand around together, hands clasped bowing at one another and saying 'namaste'. I was quiet baffled by it and not sure what to think... or do! I didn't know what it meant. Years later, after having gone through a period of awakening, I began teaching and to my own surprise, found myself, hands clasped at the end of sessions and bowing to my students... spontaneously and naturally! Now even much, much further in my own path and in working with students, I continue to do this spontaneously, naturally... and now, also very deeply. Some times I see in my students eyes the sheepish act of following along and not knowing why, sometimes I see in their eyes contrivance and disingenuous return, sometimes I see resistance, or that they are just tolerating this very strange thing I do! Some refuse to do it at all, some look at a loss as to what what I might be doing, some just love it and do it without knowing much why or thinking twice! It's all wonderful. :) 

 

So...

 


First, like any mudra, there is a connection between paths of energies (meridians), energy centers (ie.,. chakras, palms) and a polarity into the heavens and earth from our body (via bai hui and hui yin). When  we hold a mudra, we create a connection and circuit into the deeper sources of energies of the universe. This particular mudra creates a circuit of insight between the eyes of the palms (PC8- Lao Gong) from the center of the heart and connects to the core of our bodies (chong mai), acting as an axis to root the heavens into this world in an expression of heart-centered reverence.  In xi shen- the human conditioning of ideas, doing this can have all sorts of "meaning", maybe even from an 'unwitting cult of personalities'. But in a human that is pure and clear, whose heart is bright and free, it is easy to feel the reverence, joy and love for life in this gesture. It need not be more or less, it need not be a mind-based idea, nor a passion, nor a theatrical display of unrealized worship.


As for worship itself. It is easy when speaking to a group of religious of devotees as Buddha had, to see that many people have lost sight of themselves and even care for a deeper understanding to something else which they do not fully understand or may misunderstand. This process of relinquishing self-awareness, self-understanding, and becoming impassioned by projections, can create delusion. In addition, worship is often part of religious ritual and this adherence to conformity and decorum can also lead people to become mindless. This is what the Buddha means to address. It is not that the veneration of deities, religions or rituals should have to cause this, but nonetheless, many people prefer this process to their own processes and unconsciously choose to allow themselves to become obscured even as they attempt to become aware. So when the Buddha tells us not to let anything- including spiritual processes, become an 'opiate of the masses' he is pointing to this, which is not the same as suggesting that we cannot love, extol or revere from the goodness of our hearts in the most simple of ways.


This gesture or any form of love, devotion, reverence or worship are not "just a token"... unless we make it one. And it doesn't have to be an act of subversion, sublimation, ignorance, mindless exalting nor self-diminution ... unless we make it one.


Just as making love has certain postures and connection that can exalt us to bliss and to heavenly insight, so can these same acts cause harm, violence and depravity when done without consciousness. Because they are powerful.


The wish to give honor, to love, to have reverence, to commit to what we care about and to devote ourselves in those processes that are a part of worship, need not become an act of contrivance, falsity or gesture in mass delusion and they don't need to cause fear.

 

The Buddha taught this mudra and held many other mudras during his meditations in enlightened devotion and commitment to our potential for Liberation. They are all beautiful forms of transmissions, from the universe, to our hands and in to our hearts, so that we may better express the loving-kindness, compassion and acceptance that is the light of essence within us all.

 

Edited by Small Fur
  • Like 9
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Small Fur said:

You ask other humans who are on a spiritual journey themselves to answer the question to a statement given thousands of years ago, in a specific context, by someone who had fully liberated themselves. It's not necessary to demean the whole of a path or place because someone(s) along the way who have not yet reached the end point themselves, and so do not yet know the resulting answers, cannot answer you right now.

 

Surely then its a case of the partially sighted leading the blind? None offered to say "I'll ask someone who knows more and get back to you as thats an interesting question". Instead they just plough on with no insight. The irony of this wasn't lost on me, was it on you?

 

3 hours ago, Small Fur said:

Your own sense to (subconsciously) exalt one path or one group of people (in this case Buddhists) over another makes you bristle when they fall short of your expectations in being able to answer your question regarding what it is to, or why we might or might not exalt anything at all.  It is ok if we all fall short sometimes in understanding; it is a process for everyone. Everyone is trying in their own way, and the effort in giving reverence is still at the end of the day a more noble use of efforts then to look upon others in condescension.

 

You seem to be projecting a lot whilst simultaneously not hearing what I'm saying. Quoting myself:

 

"If you wish to be like he do as he did, no more no less. This simple truth seems to go over the heads of the devout is virtually every faith I've noticed."

 

Therefore there is no exaltation nor condescension present or intended. Just curiosity and the open mind of a child who asks questions to that which they wish to comprehend. Emperors new clothes but in a real life setting. Also I've spoke to Christians preachers and Muslim Imams etc.. as well about similar contradictions in their way and they also reacted similarly. Not surprising due to emotional investment and group think so its not just Buddhists even though they were the start of this example. Cults of personality as I said and all this brings. 

 

3 hours ago, Small Fur said:

You say you thought it was a 'given' that someone should know something that they try and live by each and every day. Yet how many day to day things have you ever done before one day waking up a decade later, or decades later, or even life times later to realize you had no idea what it was you were actually doing? We have all been through many lifetimes. We can all have peace and acceptance in our own unknowingness and the unknowingness of others.


And there can also be peace and acceptance in knowing if you allow it- would you allow it? (or will all answers be chalked up to a cynical heart?)  It is valuable to be able to ask your discerning questions from an open heart, especially since it is that you also care about this so much one as to have been vexed by the lack of clarity and seemingly poor reception.

 

Not so much the followers but I would definitely expect the guide to know where he was going, yes. Otherwise you can sit there in all the robes and tinkle tingshaws as much as you want. If underneath it lacks experience/development then that person is doing those in his care a disservice with his imitation of evolution. This is rife in many fields. Can the fake lead you to a real place or does that mean you're destined to spin empty wheels?

 

3 hours ago, Small Fur said:

First, let me share a bit about my own experience with you. When I was younger and new to the yoga 'scene', I was very surprised how at the end of every practice everyone would stand around together, hands clasped bowing at one another and saying 'namaste'. I was quiet baffled by it and not sure what to think... or do! I didn't know what it meant. Years later, after having gone through a period of awakening, I began teaching and to my own surprise, found myself, hands clasped at the end of sessions and bowing to my students... spontaneously and naturally! Now even much, much further in my own path and in working with students, I continue to do this spontaneously, naturally... and now, also very deeply. Some times I see in my students eyes the sheepish act of following along and not knowing why, sometimes I see in their eyes contrivance and disingenuous return, sometimes I see resistance, or that they are just tolerating this very strange thing I do! Some refuse to do it at all, some look at a loss as to what what I might be doing, some just love it and do it without knowing much why or thinking twice! It's all wonderful. :) 

 

So...

 


First, like any mudra, there is a connection between paths of energies (meridians), energy centers (ie.,. chakras, palms) and a polarity into the heavens and earth from our body (via bai hui and hui yin). When  we hold a mudra, we create a connection and circuit into the deeper sources of energies of the universe. This particular mudra creates a circuit of insight between the eyes of the palms (PC8- Lao Gong) from the center of the heart and connects to the core of our bodies (chong mai), acting as an axis to root the heavens into this world in an expression of heart-centered reverence.  In xi shen- the human conditioning of ideas, doing this can have all sorts of "meaning", maybe even from an 'unwitting cult of personalities'. But in a human that is pure and clear, whose heart is bright and free, it is easy to feel the reverence, joy and love for life in this gesture. It need not be more or less, it need not be a mind-based idea, nor a passion, nor a theatrical display of unrealized worship.

 

This is wonderfull and highlights what I'm speaking of nicely. BTW have you ever looked into the ancient and venerable art of Yoga to discover its true age and origin? I think you may be surprised. But then, if a lie takes you to the truth is it still a lie? I wonder... Do you?

 

3 hours ago, Small Fur said:

As for worship itself. It is easy when speaking to a group of religious of devotees as Buddha had, to see that many people have lost sight of themselves and even care for a deeper understanding to something else which they do not fully understand or may misunderstand. This process of relinquishing self-awareness, self-understanding, and becoming impassioned by projections, can create delusion. In addition, worship is often part of religious ritual and this adherence to conformity and decorum can also lead people to become mindless. This is what the Buddha means to address. It is not that the veneration of deities, religions or rituals should have to cause this, but nonetheless, many people prefer this process to their own processes and unconsciously choose to allow themselves to become obscured even as they attempt to become aware. So when the Buddha tells us not to let anything- including spiritual processes, become an 'opiate of the masses' he is pointing to this, which is not the same as suggesting that we cannot love, extol or revere from the goodness of our hearts in the most simple of ways.


This gesture or any form of love, devotion, reverence or worship are not "just a token"... unless we make it one. And it doesn't have to be an act of subversion, sublimation, ignorance, mindless exalting nor self-diminution ... unless we make it one.


Just as making love has certain postures and connection that can exalt us to bliss and to heavenly insight, so can these same acts cause harm, violence and depravity when done without consciousness. Because they are powerful.


The wish to give honor, to love, to have reverence, to commit to what we care about and to devote ourselves in those processes that are a part of worship, need not become an act of contrivance, falsity or gesture in mass delusion and they don't need to cause fear.

 

The Buddha taught this mudra and held many other mudras during his meditations in enlightened devotion and commitment to our potential for Liberation. They are all beautiful forms of transmissions, from the universe, to our hands and in to our hearts, so that we may better express the loving-kindness, compassion and acceptance that is the light of essence within us all.

 

 

Indeed but, much like the Buddhists I spoke to, you seem a tad miffed by the question (as evidenced by your tone but text is a limited medium, so...) and there is a lot of rationalization going on. The simple point was why do they not do as he said/did but as some middleman (who hasn't got where he was) did? Every religion, as far as I can see, does this to some greater or lesser extent. How many enlightened people have they produced? None. The definition of madness is doing the same, expecting different results. And yet people do then fool themselves as they make no progress. The self deception, ambivalence and general lack of insight is the point here. A surface level understanding. A dumbing down of profundity. The engagement of hollow rituals with no gumption to ask why.

 

Or in other words, the partially sighted leading the blind. Usually right off the end of a cliff or into a dead end of stunted awareness. All because no one dared to ask the questions which, in Buddhas case, he directed you to ask as a way of keeping balance and checks. Its right there in what he said to prevent this from occurring. And yet it did, does and will continue until people think about what they are doing like the man did himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @Small Fur for that insightful response and your continued presence here.

Much to ponder from this question and the responses so far.

 

I'm grateful to all.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read the Pali suttas they are full of people paying homage to the Buddha and we never see the Buddha saying "oh no don't do that" 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...with a well known example of the Buddha calling witness/recognition and respect to the Earth/goddess after the battle with mara.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dhammapada

Chapter 8: Thousands

 

107. "Although for a century a man performed the rite of fire in the forest, if he for a single moment he honored an enlightened one, this reverence is better than the sacrifice of fire for a century"

 

Other translations

 

107. "Though for a hundred years one should tend the sacrificial fire in the forest, yet if only for a moment one should worship those of perfected minds, that worship is indeed better than a century of sacrifice"

 

The meaning of the verb to adore or it is only to revere, the Buddha will have used a literary figure destined to extol the teachings of the dharma and its exponents, the enlightened ones, or it must be understood literally. I am not the one to solve that question.

 

In the mind of the Westerner (perhaps cellular memory) the teaching "You will not have other gods in front of me" is always installed, and the Enlightened One is clearly not the Judeo-Christian God and any change to another religion or set of beliefs will trigger strong internals resistances.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this link is inline with your thinking

 

https://www.quora.com/Did-the-Buddha-tell-people-to-worship-him

 

Quote

According to Theravada Buddhism

  • When it was made to know the disciples that Buddha would realised in four months time, most of the puthujjana bhikkhus (i.e who had not attained any of megga) felt extremely depressed and didn't know what to do. They just stayed close to the Buddha, hardly even leaving his presence. But there was a bhikkhu named Dhammarama who kept to himself and didn't go near the Buddha. His intention was to strive most ardently to attain arahatship before the passing away of Buddha. Other bhikkhus misunderstood his behaviour and said to Buddha, 'This bhikkhu does not seem to have affection or regard or reverence for you. He has been staying by himself while all the other bhikkhus are staying close to Buddha.' Dhammarama then respectfully explained to Buddha why he had not come to see the Buddha and also reported that he had been striving utmost in insight meditation practise.
  • The Buddha was very pleased and said, 'My son Dhammarama, you have done very well. A bhikkhu who loves and respects me should act like you. Those who made offering of flowers, scents and incense to me are not really paying homage.Only those who practise the Dhamma are the ones who truely pay homage to me.'

-

  • Vakkali, it will be of no use to you by always keeping close to me, looking at my face. You should practise concentration meditation. For indeed, only the one who sees the Dhamma sees me. One who does not see the Dhamma does not see me.

-

  • Driven only by fear, do men go for refuge to many places -- to hills, woods, groves, trees andshrines. Such, indeed, is no safe refuge; such is not the refuge supreme. Not by resorting to such a refuge is one released from all suffering.

-

  • Be a lamp onto yourself. Be a refuge to yourself. Don‚Äôt take yourself to external refuge.Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast as a refuge to the truth. Work at your own salvation with diligence.

-

  • Ananda, why does the order of Sangha expect this of me? I have taught the Dhamma completely. I have 'no teacher's fist' (in which certain truths are held back). You should live as islands unto yourselves, being your own refuge, seeking no other refuge. Those monks who in my time and afterwards, live thus, seeking an island and refuge in themselvesand in the Dhamma and nowhere else, Those zealous ones are truly my monks and will overcome the darkness (of rebirth).
  • Ananda, it might be that some of you think 'The master in instruction has vanished, now we have no master.' It should not be seen like this. What I have taught and explained to you as Dhamma and disciplines (Vinaya) will, after I pass away, be your master.

(Source ‚Äď Tripitika)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, thats exactly what I was thinking. Much like Lipstick Lesbians there are lots of Chapstick Buddhists meaning they only cling to the image and apply a surface veneer of insight to appear "spiritual/enlightened". Lip service if you will and in the process disrespect not only the man but also the whole point of his teachings.

 

Its interesting to see the cult of personality angle was that rife while he was still alive. Given time its only magnified. Like I said, they spin empty wheels thinking they're getting somewhere and clap each other on the back for their "progress" (or lack thereof) and how awesome they are at being spiritual.

 

Granted the nature of the ego is to be slippery but it just makes me wonder. Can so many swathes of people have so little insight? The guy outlined a step by step plan for getting there, what to see, what to expect and what to avoid if you lacked the wherewithal to do it yourself. This article refers to "Toothless Buddhism" and makes a very good point about the McDonaldization of it all:

 

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/diluted-buddhism/

 

And its of this that I speak and hope others that read will comment too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Seeking said:

Thank you, thats exactly what I was thinking. Much like Lipstick Lesbians there are lots of Chapstick Buddhists meaning they only cling to the image and apply a surface veneer of insight to appear "spiritual/enlightened". Lip service if you will and in the process disrespect not only the man but also the whole point of his teachings.

 

Its interesting to see the cult of personality angle was that rife while he was still alive. Given time its only magnified. Like I said, they spin empty wheels thinking they're getting somewhere and clap each other on the back for their "progress" (or lack thereof) and how awesome they are at being spiritual.

 

Granted the nature of the ego is to be slippery but it just makes me wonder. Can so many swathes of people have so little insight? The guy outlined a step by step plan for getting there, what to see, what to expect and what to avoid if you lacked the wherewithal to do it yourself. This article refers to "Toothless Buddhism" and makes a very good point about the McDonaldization of it all:

 

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/diluted-buddhism/

 

And its of this that I speak and hope others that read will comment too.

 

Hi.

 

I've been a practicing Buddhist for more than 20 years but although I belong to a 'sangha' peripherally I don't attend any group meetings and so on - and actually when I did I didn't really like them.  Some of this is because I live in the West and Western Buddhism is beset by a number of issues and while I am committed to dharma as a way this doesn't mean I want to make it part of my social life.

 

I found that many western Buddhists are just frustrated Christians - or to put it another way they adopt Buddhism without ever addressing their preconceptions about what it means to be spiritual and so on.  In fact quite a few think they are practicing an atheist religion - and/or look at Buddha as a kind of Eastern Socrates both of which are wide of the mark.

 

There's a huge tendency also to want to market Buddhism to certain target audiences and sell it as a therapy - mindfulness and so on - or to focus on the admittedly striking cultural aspects such as Tibetan art and so on.  It is kind of understandable but ultimately irrelevant.

 

However in the type of Buddhism I practice (Vajrayana) there is a lot of praying and devotion is cultivated ('mo gu' in Tibetan).  It took me a long while to understand why this might be.  To give a quick background to why - there are three types of perception.  The first is object based where we deal with things as in the ordinary world in terms of function and form, the second is 'imaginative' where we deal with whole images such as in dreams and visions etc. and the third is called pure perception where the true nature (dharmakaya) is revealed.  Pure perception is looking directly at reality without any intermediary and is non-conceptual .... and thus beyond also any kind of serial mentation or object orientation.  In the first two kinds of perception we have vehicles which guide and orient us - such as name/form, ideas and concepts, images and so forth.  But in the third there is no such anchoring - but the yogi practitioner needs to be able to navigate in this kind of open space and it is aspiration or intent that does this.  Prayer - as in Guru Yoga or even just normal refuge prayers is a way of focussing aspiration towards the goal - the Buddha mind, dharmakaya ... the union of wisdom and compassion etc.

 

That for me at any rate is why Buddhists pray and prostrate ...and though it looks externally just like a religious act, internally it is perhaps something different.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Seeking said:

Thank you, thats exactly what I was thinking. Much like Lipstick Lesbians there are lots of Chapstick Buddhists meaning they only cling to the image and apply a surface veneer of insight to appear "spiritual/enlightened". Lip service if you will and in the process disrespect not only the man but also the whole point of his teachings.

 

We are no deeper or purer than those we denigrate...

 

7 hours ago, Seeking said:

 

Its interesting to see the cult of personality angle was that rife while he was still alive. Given time its only magnified. Like I said, they spin empty wheels thinking they're getting somewhere and clap each other on the back for their "progress" (or lack thereof) and how awesome they are at being spiritual.

 

Yes "they" do...  

 

 

7 hours ago, Seeking said:

 

Granted the nature of the ego is to be slippery but it just makes me wonder. Can so many swathes of people have so little insight? The guy outlined a step by step plan for getting there, what to see, what to expect and what to avoid if you lacked the wherewithal to do it yourself. This article refers to "Toothless Buddhism" and makes a very good point about the McDonaldization of it all:

 

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/diluted-buddhism/

 

And its of this that I speak and hope others that read will comment too.

 

It is good to practice with a mirror 

 

c2xuOUUI3Nhfp6obaN7eKJkHzUw3MjdGWz3WS6Rh

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Apech said:

 

Hi.

 

I've been a practicing Buddhist for more than 20 years but although I belong to a 'sangha' peripherally I don't attend any group meetings and so on - and actually when I did I didn't really like them.  Some of this is because I live in the West and Western Buddhism is beset by a number of issues and while I am committed to dharma as a way this doesn't mean I want to make it part of my social life.

 

I found that many western Buddhists are just frustrated Christians - or to put it another way they adopt Buddhism without ever addressing their preconceptions about what it means to be spiritual and so on.  In fact quite a few think they are practicing an atheist religion - and/or look at Buddha as a kind of Eastern Socrates both of which are wide of the mark.

 

There's a huge tendency also to want to market Buddhism to certain target audiences and sell it as a therapy - mindfulness and so on - or to focus on the admittedly striking cultural aspects such as Tibetan art and so on.  It is kind of understandable but ultimately irrelevant.

 

However in the type of Buddhism I practice (Vajrayana) there is a lot of praying and devotion is cultivated ('mo gu' in Tibetan).  It took me a long while to understand why this might be.  To give a quick background to why - there are three types of perception.  The first is object based where we deal with things as in the ordinary world in terms of function and form, the second is 'imaginative' where we deal with whole images such as in dreams and visions etc. and the third is called pure perception where the true nature (dharmakaya) is revealed.  Pure perception is looking directly at reality without any intermediary and is non-conceptual .... and thus beyond also any kind of serial mentation or object orientation.  In the first two kinds of perception we have vehicles which guide and orient us - such as name/form, ideas and concepts, images and so forth.  But in the third there is no such anchoring - but the yogi practitioner needs to be able to navigate in this kind of open space and it is aspiration or intent that does this.  Prayer - as in Guru Yoga or even just normal refuge prayers is a way of focussing aspiration towards the goal - the Buddha mind, dharmakaya ... the union of wisdom and compassion etc.

 

That for me at any rate is why Buddhists pray and prostrate ...and though it looks externally just like a religious act, internally it is perhaps something different.

 

 

 

Thank you, that is a very interesting response. The point about frustrated Christians is interesting as Buddhism seems to be the default go to for so many who drift away from that way of thinking. Also you're so right about its "exoticism" as that ties in with the diluted Western version and its marketing. At least they know who they are aiming for, eh?

 

Personally from my (limited) experience of it they've over complicated what was intended as a direct path to enlightenment. There are massive disparities between what the man himself said/do and what others do. Like the blind leading the blind in many respects and people are too invested in this image and hype to see the reality. That being:

 

How many enlightened people has this (or any other method, throwing it out there) produced since they were shared with the world?

 

Its a uncomfortable truth but a truth nonetheless. The mark of madness is doing the same thing again while expecting different results.

Share this post


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

 

We are no deeper or purer than those we denigrate...

 

 

Yes "they" do...  

 

 

 

It is good to practice with a mirror 

 

c2xuOUUI3Nhfp6obaN7eKJkHzUw3MjdGWz3WS6Rh

 

I do believe these are the "thinly veiled insults" your friend spoke of previously. Have you ever considered getting "off the internet" because the time and effort you put into 9000 posts could've got you to the promised land and back. Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not meant to be insults, not even veiled, just direct pointing out of your offensive, misogynistic comments.

I don’t appreciate them and want to let you and the community know that. 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Seeking said:

 

I do believe these are the "thinly veiled insults" your friend spoke of previously. Have you ever considered getting "off the internet" because the time and effort you put into 9000 posts could've got you to the promised land and back. Just a thought.

 

Not meant to be insults, not even veiled, just direct pointing out of your offensive, misogynistic comments.

I don’t appreciate them and want to let you and the community know that. 

 

Already living in the promised land… 

Thanks for the advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Seeking said:

 

Thank you, that is a very interesting response. The point about frustrated Christians is interesting as Buddhism seems to be the default go to for so many who drift away from that way of thinking. Also you're so right about its "exoticism" as that ties in with the diluted Western version and its marketing. At least they know who they are aiming for, eh?

 

Personally from my (limited) experience of it they've over complicated what was intended as a direct path to enlightenment. There are massive disparities between what the man himself said/do and what others do. Like the blind leading the blind in many respects and people are too invested in this image and hype to see the reality. That being:

 

Intended by who?  You know the mind and intention of the Buddha better than all the millions of Buddhists round the world?

 

4 hours ago, Seeking said:

How many enlightened people has this (or any other method, throwing it out there) produced since they were shared with the world?

 

Its a uncomfortable truth but a truth nonetheless. The mark of madness is doing the same thing again while expecting different results.

 

How many people have become enlightened through practicing Vajrayana?  Many - I don't know the exact number.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by that last remark - but Buddhism works by growing confidence through listening, study and application.  As it begins to work for you - you gain the confidence to continue.  This is hardly just repetition.

 

I think it is fair enough to speak as you find - but your critiques so far lack any really substance.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Seeking said:

 

I do believe these are the "thinly veiled insults" your friend spoke of previously. Have you ever considered getting "off the internet" because the time and effort you put into 9000 posts could've got you to the promised land and back. Just a thought.

 

 

He can't - he is 'Steve on the internet' - and that's that.

 

 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

 

He can't - he is 'Steve on the internet' - and that's that.

 

 

 

Says the guy with 15,536 posts!

 

:P

 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Apech said:

 

That for me at any rate is why Buddhists pray and prostrate ...and though it looks externally just like a religious act, internally it is perhaps something different.

 

 

I think there is another reason with which you may not agree...

Ngondro makes use of the ego to weaken the ego, or at least to help put it in its proper perspective, reduce its dominance, and to prepare for a purer perception of reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, steve said:

 

I think there is another reason with which you may not agree...

Ngondro makes use of the ego to weaken the ego, or at least to help put it in its proper perspective, reduce its dominance, and to prepare for a purer perception of reality.

 

I kind of agree ... but I'm not sure if you can actually use the ego to weaken the ego ... I see it more about just admitting that there's 'something' greater than you (ego) as I see the refuge assembly to be illustrative of the continuum of buddha-nature.  It's like you've come across the Holy Grail in the woods and you cannot help but bow before it because it is so ... awesome (there I used that dreadful word).

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All religious paths have an outer ‚Äėcommon‚Äô face and a hidden ‚Äėinner‚Äô face.

 

The common folk use worship, prayers and mantras as means of generating favour, luck or some sort of gain (in merit, in spiritual growth, a better rebirth etc).

 

The hidden aspect of ‚Äėworship‚Äô is internal‚Ķ meaning that one isn‚Äôt actually worshiping something¬†outside of themselves - but¬†they do use an outer form as a means to generate¬†a state of deep inner humility which opens up¬†the space¬†necessary¬†to allow the divine aspect ¬†of themselves to arise. This is what Buddha or Guan Yin or some other deity represents - a divine quality within.

 

Observing these two approaches will look the same to an onlooker… ritual respect - whether its bowing or lighting incense or some other ritual. But what’s happening on the inside is very different.

 

Its worth knowing that what you think you see is also subject to the outer and the inner form of seeing :) 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites