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Old 01-25-2008, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Y-Town Area
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YouTube - Buddhism in America - His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Wallace, Idaho
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Good advice. A lot of people see Buddhism as something mystical and exotic that will instantly transform them into a better person. But as the DL says, Buddhism is probably the most scientifically grounded spiritual tradition there is, and there are no magic spells ... Buddhism holds the keys for wisdom and enlightenment, but it takes discipline and hard work to get there. You have to be dedicated to mindfulness and a meditation practice.

"The purpose of our life is happiness." I agree! I also agree that acquiring material things won't bring us that happiness. You have to find that happiness and contentment within yourself.

I love how he tells people to consider sticking to their own traditions, too. If you were raised in a Judeo-Christian "Creator" mindset, you may find it too hard to change your thought patterns to accept a non-theistic tradition. But he still says you can adopt practices from Buddhism, like meditation, and integrate them into your existing belief system, if it helps to increase your happiness.

It's great! Buddhism is the only religion I can think of where you'd have someone preaching against conversion.
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Y-Town Area
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You echo my thoughts.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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I am reading one of DL's books right now. In general I like his philosophical wisdom, but the part about "sticking to your traditions" really irks me. Christianity offers nothing for me. It doesn't even match the Dead Sea Scrolls, what a joke. I would choose flat-out atheism over Christianity any day.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Y-Town Area
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He doesn't say you have to stick to your traditions. He just suggests that for many people it would seem easier for them.
I grew up in a Christian household. I've attended the Church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Catholic, Bible Churches, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [Mormon].
None of these worked for me. I was not happy until I became a Buddhist.
Everything started to make sense after that. I could also see the benefits of my practice in my every day life which reinforced my practice. Now after 22 years of practicing Buddhism I feel I've chosen the correct path for me.
There are many different paths. You must find the one that best suits you...
whatever it is. We believe you should not be forced into joining or believing anything. If someone chooses to follow the Vajrayana Buddhist path they will be accepted with open arms, but only when they are certain that they have chosen the path they are comfortable with. I wish you loving kindness and success on your spiritual journey.

North America - Dharmaweb
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGlory View Post
I am reading one of DL's books right now. In general I like his philosophical wisdom, but the part about "sticking to your traditions" really irks me. Christianity offers nothing for me. It doesn't even match the Dead Sea Scrolls, what a joke. I would choose flat-out atheism over Christianity any day.
Why would you expect Christianity to match the Dead Sea Scrolls?

I haven't read the Dalai Lama's book, but I have read and heard many of his interviews. I may well be wrong and this --- and someone who has read more of his work than I have please correct me if I am --- but I take his point about "sticking to your traditions" may be speaking to the "trendy Buddhism" in the U.S. that some devout Buddhists see as more of a fad than serious devotion.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Y-Town Area
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As Americans we're used to having most things fairly easy. Most people go once a week and some maybe more to a church. They sit and listen to someone talk, maybe hear someone sing , say a few prayers and then the service is over. There may be varying degrees on the different services but these are the basics.

The Buddhist practice for us is like a baby who wants their mother's milk.
The baby does not know that the mother's milk will make them stronger but
by drinking it, it does. Gradually over time the baby grows and flourishes.
When we start to practice Buddhism we don't realize it will improve our lives and make us grow spiritually but by doing so it does. As time goes by you can reflect on all of the improvements in your life and hopefully those near to you. It takes discipline to practice everyday in our western fast paced lives.
This is where having control over your mind comes into play, instead of letting your mind have control over you. Your mind may tell you that you don't have time to practice today, but that you have time to watch TV, etc.
Having a regular meditation practice will help you realize what your mind is doing so you can practice and grow stronger spiritually.
The average American wants instant gratification. You can have that to a degree but to truly experience the benefits of Buddhism you need to practice patience and after practicing for a while you will be able to see vast benefits in your life which will encourage you to continue your practice.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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Well I guess my point was that he talks in this book (How to See Yourself as You Really Are) about how he thinks the religious diversity in the world is good, and that it encourages different and interesting worldviews. I personally think religions tend to cause wars and intolerance. I like Buddhism (although its not perfect) because it encourages deep thought, introspection, morals, and karma. Buddhism is only loosely classified as a religion, it is much more of a way to grow spiritually and gain acceptance and tolerance of other people.

And Mark S, I have a big problem with all the Nag Hamadi and Dead Sea Scrolls that seem to very much be trying to preserve the TRUE teachings of a spiritually enlightened one, while it was being rewritten by an angry church body.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Earth
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There's a wonderful book called Venerable Father by Ajaan Sumedo, a student of Ajaan Cha of a forest monestary in Isan, the northeast portion of Thailand.

Anyway Ajaan Cha said that buddhism in america is like a new tree, just putting down roots, with lots of potential.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGlory View Post
I personally think religions tend to cause wars and intolerance.
Resources have caused (and continue to cause) most wars. Not religion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGlory View Post
while it was being rewritten by an angry church body.
Which "angry church body" rewrote what?
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