Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Taoism better than Buddhism?

betaboybetaboy Veteran
edited October 2011 in Faith & Religion
Because Taoism doesn't have too many rules - and rules create a lot of anxiety (especially the buddhist ones, which are hard to follow). Taoism is all about letting go.

BB
«1

Comments

  • Hi betaboy

    I speak from an established Zen (Ch'an) tradition.

    In Buddhism, we don't have rules to create anxiety, just. We have rules to squeeze the ego, to allow sincere and genuine students to really see what it is that they are holding onto and operating via, it is to enable us to address the root causes of suffering i.e. the realms of egosim. It is therefore, no joke and not a particularly easy feat. But it is also within that context, that sincere and determined genuine students can and will have the opportunity to see themself - and through this seeing, allow them to join the path of transcendental knowing ie the path of Dharma and genuine liberation.

    It is because of this we have rules, and we have systems set in place. But these are not yet the true nectar of practice. That takes time, and energy, focus and genuine sincere determination. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes its wonderful. But we always keep on going, if freedom is our goal.

    That said, I will not say the Buddha Way is for everyone and some people can also get lost even here. Which is why I encourage students to seek genuine guidance, if they can find it.

    I have some exposure to Taoism but I believe it is ultimately a different system and context and Buddhism, the path of genuine liberation and freedom, just suits me much much more.

    Best wishes,
    Abu
  • MindGateMindGate United States Veteran
    BB, I'm beginning to think that you make controversial threads just for the hell of it.
  • Buddhism doesn't cause anxiety. Your own judgments and expectations cause your anxiety.

    Buddha simply offered an explanation and method to guide us to gain insight into the nature of reality and deeper understanding that would lead us away from unnecessary clinging and suffering in the world.

    I think your view of buddhism is skewed from growing up in a judeo-christian culture.

    There are no rules in buddhism. If you want to take up on the precepts, then take them as your moral and ethical guidance to protect yourself from straying away from the spiritual path.

    Buddhists take on the precepts because they want to, not because of fear or anxiety.
  • Actually, I used to be quite enamoured with the Daodejing years ago-- and, in a long, roundabout way, that interest eventually led me to Buddhism.

    The nagging problem I found with Daoism was this: first off, I was interested in the Daodejing (and Zhaungzi, to a lesser extent) without the alchemy and stuff about immortality, etc. But also, as much as Dao fascinated me, and wu wei ("non-action") and so on, I never understood HOW that happened. Exactly HOW does one learn wu wei? What I wanted was some way to learn that, rather than just accept platitudes of "just be."

    At the same time, I didn't really bother to investigate Buddhism much back then due to some negative stereotypes and misunderstandings. They were just prejudices really. There is this very wrongheaded notion also that "Daoism + Buddhism = Zen Buddhism" (Ray Griggs is one who has spouted such uninformed nonsense-- and for a long time I bought into it). The relationship between the two is far more subtle and complex than that-- Daoism is certainly NOT "Zen minus the Buddhism part."

    HOW do you "let go?" The Daodejing nor Zhuangzi really gets to that, whereas Buddhism does-- in fact, it provides several different approaches-- a virtual Buddhist buffet of methods and skilful means. Daoism leaves me nothing to sink my teeth into except for some nice platitudes and some cool ideas. But no application or instruction, except for alchemy and immortality and that sort of thing. Buddhism is rich with complexity, but it isn't complicated.

    "Rules" don't create anxiety. We create anxiety in our minds.

  • cazcaz Veteran
    No Taoism doesnt liberate one from suffering its a religion of Samsara.
  • All I can say is that my Chinese, Taoist neighbour is one of the most anxious people I've ever met. Not that that's a fair example of Taoist belief, but I don't think it's any better than any other religion.

    I've always met anxious Buddhists. And some very relaxed Buddhists. But I venture to suggest that the anxiety is coming from your mind, not from an belief system.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I think people have misunderstood, so let me explain. In Buddhism, there are too many rules for living - right speech, right action, right this, right that. Too many rules for meditation - watching the breath, not getting distracted etc.. Too many rules for practically everything, too many confusing ideas on karma, rebirth, whatever.

    Taoism doesn't have this problem - it is more practical, avoids speculation and ideas, no questions/answers, no formal training or rigorous discipline, just living each moment blissfully.

    This is what I meant. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    @Betaboy

    It doesnt lead to liberation of the mind or unbinding from suffering. Practicality is through recognising what is virtuous and conduceive to happiness now and in the future a disciplined and virtuous mind is the cause of this not some " new age " Idea of living in the moment.
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    In Buddhism, there are too many rules for living - right speech, right action, right this, right that. Too many rules for meditation - watching the breath, not getting distracted etc.. Too many rules for practically everything, too many confusing ideas on karma, rebirth, whatever.
    They're not "rules." They are a path. Chosen, not forced. There are no "thou shall" or "thou shall not's" in Buddhism.

    Just MVHO. Your mileage may vary.
  • I dunno. I'm with Riverflow. In Buddhism those rules are for the purpose of freeing your mind. Though I don't worry about rebirth yet. Just the four truths and eightfold path (Is there a common abbreviation for those things?). I was and still am too a degree intrigued by Taoism but there doesn't seem to be many practices for cultivating enlightenment. But I guess if you think Taoism is better then practice it... feel free to let us know how it goes though. I'd be interested.
  • ManiMani Veteran
    These "rules" as you put them, are merely only guidelines to help prevent us from accumulating vast amounts of karma which will propel us further into samsara, and most likely the lower realms. The positive force from trying to follow the precepts will aid us gathering the conditions to be able to gain a better understanding of dharma.

    It is a fundamental aspect of Buddhism.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    just living each moment blissfully.

    This is what I meant. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.
    The problem is you simply can't live each moment blissfully, if you are out there breaking the "rules".

    :)
  • jlljll Veteran
    Taoism in its purer form exists in places
    like Mount Wudang in china.
    If you check out how they practise Daoism,
    you will be quite surprised how many rules they have.

  • just living each moment blissfully.
    And HOW do you go about "living each moment blissfully"? Its a marvelous idea, and its sounds emotionally satisfying, but without any kind of practice, HOW to you do that? There ARE practices in Daoism, but they are for longevity, alchemy and lots of new-age sounding hocus pocus. But that has noting to do with the Daodejing or Zhuangzi.

    It probably also sounds more appealing because, as @jll points out, most REAL Daoist temples and practitioners are far removed from western eyes. It makes it easier to fantasise about Daoist recluses contemplating the Dao or what have you. Reading the Daodejing without the context of its religious believers, you get a romantically skewered view of what Daoism is supposed to be. It isn't about "living each moment blissfully."
  • to be in a cage fight with another man.
    to win or lose you don't care. you're there because circumstance has set you there.
    now play.
    a man who accepts both winning and losing is a man who always wins.

    i like taoism because it describes flow, which is a natural consequence of buddhist practice.

    this is like asking someone if chicago style is better than ny style pizza.

    people going to be mad. people going to not care. people going to just be happy.
  • Because not everyone has the same inclinations and interests, Buddha taught various methods to different people. Citing this example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that it is wonderful that so many different religions exist in the world. Just as one food will not appeal to everybody, one religion or one set of beliefs will not satisfy everyone's needs. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial that a variety of different religions is available from which to choose. He welcomes and rejoices at this.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited October 2011
    Because Taoism doesn't have too many rules - and rules create a lot of anxiety (especially the buddhist ones, which are hard to follow). Taoism is all about letting go.
    BB
    What rules in Buddhism are hard to follow? I haven't run into any. Are you talking about the 5 precepts? Most of that just comes naturally to people, it's fairly effortless.

    Letting go? You mean, like the gurus who run amok, having sex with their followers, drinking, partying (some of them), etc.? We could do with a lot less of that sort of "letting go".

    Buddhism is more specific about "letting go", it's about non-attachment (another word for "letting go", BB) to ego, to materialism, to preconceived notions of reality, and so forth. In my studies of Taoism (admittedly, not too extensive), I've found very little difference between Buddhism and Taoism. Letting go requires guidelines if chaos and mayhem are to be averted. That's just good old-fashioned wisdom, the kind Buddhism specializes in. I can't imagine that Taoism can be boiled down to one simple platitude of "letting go". There's gotta be more to it than that, and I think you've misunderstood Buddhism, too. Back to the drawing board...

    P.S. No tradition is "better" than another. As the Dalai Lama has observed countless times, they all have the same basic value of kindness, goodness, but with different packaging to suit different cultures and personalities.
  • just living each moment blissfully.
    wow.. why didn't i think about this before?! *sarcasm*
  • What is there to let go of: stress?
  • If you feel that "rules" are problems for you, then you REALLy need rules! Alot of the anxiety and psychological issues of youth today generally comes from lack of clear rules, morality, discipline.

    I don't mean that in a Catholic guilt trippin sense.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I think people have misunderstood, so let me explain. In Buddhism, there are too many rules for living - right speech, right action, right this, right that. Too many rules for meditation - watching the breath, not getting distracted etc.. Too many rules for practically everything, too many confusing ideas on karma, rebirth, whatever.

    Taoism doesn't have this problem - it is more practical, avoids speculation and ideas, no questions/answers, no formal training or rigorous discipline, just living each moment blissfully.

    This is what I meant. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding.
    Thanks for the clarification betaboy.
  • PS FWIW I didn't approach it the way you described it, although I can see why now you see it this way...just avoid all the speculations and discussions FWIW, (internet forums are rife for this :D and are therefore a bit of a trap that way) and find some real life practice, a meditation place in your home, and general perseverence if you are interested in Buddhism again one day.
  • The crux of the issue is not "wanting" rules, and that's okay. Still, Taoism and Buddhism don't serve the same purpose if we're talking about removing the underlying ignorance and craving.
  • jlljll Veteran
    edited October 2011
    A glimpse of Mt Wudang. Home of Daoism.


    and this, in chinese only.but you can still enjoy the video.
  • If by Taoism you mean the ideas of Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi then yeah Taosim is pretty simple as a way of living.

    If you mean Taoism the religion as what is practiced in Mount Wudang for example, then it is very complicated. I think it has as many sutras and rules as Chinese Buddhism, if not more. It even has ranking of 36 heavenly caves and 72 lands (I do not know how to translate this) around China, I come across them occasionally when travelling in China. For the traditional chinese at least, the final aim of Taoism the religion is to Fei Sheng Cheng Xian (become a deity). While in modern time it is more well known for its martial art. Nothing is simple about these.
  • pweic, do the Mt. Wudang Taoists still practice alchemy, healing, and longevity practices?
  • Its funny, because learning methods is how we do anything. Learning to drive a car is difficult, many rules, step on this pedal, step on that pedal, stop here, drive within this narrow space.

    But once you learn, you have freedom. Then, as you drive, its very natural and simple. You understand the framework and just go.

    Your Taoism sentiments seem like excuses and "I don't wannas." Do or do not, its fine with me! The practice you're saying has "lots of rules" isn't too much to learn, and leads to freedom and buoyant joyfulness. In my opinion, its worth learning, worth letting go of the complaining to understand the view.

    My son did the same thing when he started swimming. "Its too hard, I just want to dog paddle." Now, after investing the time to learn, he is accomplished and loves to swim far more than he did before.

    With warmth,

    Matt
  • @Dakini Seriously I dunno, I am more interested in their martial art and scenery.
  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran
    "better"? Anyone - besides @mindgate - stop to think what a ridiculous question this is?
    And the follow-up is worse, assuming that common decency and proper behavior (as in 8FP) are "rules" that are too many or too tough to follow....

    How would an actual buddhist teacher react to this situation?
  • @possibilities My Buddhist teacher (or rather my teacher's lama) would probably say that it may be better for you, now, where you are. At another time, the Buddhist path may be better. Ultimately, he believes the Buddhist path is better for you, but only when you are ready for it.

    So betaboy is not ready for the "rules" and complex teachings. That is OK. That is where he is. He should commit to his path for as long as it satisfies him, whilst being open to new possibilities (no pun intended). Sometimes we need to try our own way, even invent new ones, before we can understand the wisdom of other people's teachings.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Perhaps there is wisdom to be found in both Buddhism and Taoism. Why does it necessarily have to be one or the other?
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited October 2011
    It doesn't. The southern sects of Ch'an Buddhism combine the two. :) Sounds like the best of both worlds.
  • "better"? Anyone - besides @mindgate - stop to think what a ridiculous question this is?
    And the follow-up is worse, assuming that common decency and proper behavior (as in 8FP) are "rules" that are too many or too tough to follow....

    How would an actual buddhist teacher react to this situation?
    My teacher responded to questions like yours by reminding me that if I decide a question is ridiculous, my mind closes to the conditions that bring the question up. This chokes compassion, because our mind doesn't make space for the reality of what is in front of us.

    Or something like that.
  • MindGateMindGate United States Veteran
    edited October 2011
    Anyone - besides @mindgate - stop to think what a ridiculous question this is?
    :thumbsup:
  • Because Taoism doesn't have too many rules - and rules create a lot of anxiety (especially the buddhist ones, which are hard to follow). Taoism is all about letting go.
    Why does it have to be a contest? If you want to be a Taoist, by all means feel free. Nobody's holding gun to your head to make you be a Buddhist...
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited October 2011
    betaboy, have you seen the Taoist discussion boards that are available? There are a couple of them out there...
  • I will say that it was reading the Daodejing that, in a long roundabout way, led me to Buddhism. Once you get some of the basic "logic" behind it, it is easy to understand, and is an easy introduction to Eastern thought in a very general way.
  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran
    edited October 2011

    How would an actual buddhist teacher react to this situation?

    My teacher responded to questions like yours by reminding me that if I decide a question is ridiculous, my mind closes to the conditions that bring the question up. This chokes compassion, because our mind doesn't make space for the reality of what is in front of us.

    Or something like that.
    I agree :-) -- posting this felt like my "old self" got ahead of me .... if that makes sense to a Buddhist LOL

    Sorry @Betaboy! My response was worded a bit harsh. One bit of advice: the better the question the better (typically) the answers.
  • Because Taoism doesn't have too many rules - and rules create a lot of anxiety (especially the buddhist ones, which are hard to follow). Taoism is all about letting go.
    Daoism is actually known for its arcane rituals and practices -- ie, just as many 'rules' as Buddhism, if not more.

    Also, the Buddhist 'rules' are just guidelines. You don't have to follow them, it's just that a lot of people have been doing this for a long time, and so they have worked out what tends to work best. Do you know better than them?

    It sounds like you think something is better because it is easier? But many times the best things in life you have to work very hard for -- the hard work is what makes the eventual reward greater.

    I wish you the best on your journey.

    Namaste

  • Chinese civilisation is based on Taoism and Confucism setting the general moral, ethical and philosphical groundwork prior to the introduction of Buddhism.

    Many aspects of Toaism and Confucism help the propagation of Buddhism greatly in China and throughout Asia.

    However, if you truly studied Buddhism, you've know it's the whole deal, so why study something else when your already a step into the Dharma Gate?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    ...

    However, if you truly studied Buddhism, you've know it's the whole deal, so why study something else when your already a step into the Dharma Gate?
    To be a truly learned person?

  • nah, it doesn't require a university degree to keep the 5 precepts.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    That's not the point at all. A truly learned person is aware of other belief systems beside his own. And in fact, many or most of the people on this site didn't start out as Buddhist...so without an open mind they would have never found Buddhism.
  • MindGateMindGate United States Veteran
    edited October 2011
    That's not the point at all. A truly learned person is aware of other belief systems beside his own. And in fact, many or most of the people on this site didn't start out as Buddhist...so without an open mind they would have never found Buddhism.
    He is referring to after you've already found Buddhism, Vinlyn.
  • Open mind without wisdom and without a clear target = confusion

    If I want to successfully get a master degree in medicine, I probably shouldn't dabble in structural engineering papers if I want to pass and get my degree.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Open mind without wisdom and without a clear target = confusion

    If I want to successfully get a master degree in medicine, I probably shouldn't dabble in structural engineering papers if I want to pass and get my degree.

    I've gotten 4 degrees with minors and supporting work that were not directly related to my majors.
  • Congrdulations on your high IQ, although it does explain your attitude alot. This seem to be a common theme in ancient China when Ch'an was flourishing. Many very very smart people fronting to the Ch'an Masters. They all got schooled in the end. Although, there's no ch'an masters on here :( all the pity :(

  • Because Taoism doesn't have too many rules - and rules create a lot of anxiety (especially the buddhist ones, which are hard to follow). Taoism is all about letting go.

    BB
    I highly recommend that you listen to these dharma talks to understand why precepts are there. How true freedom isn't about doing anything you want without any rules to fulfill your desires. The true freedom buddhists seek is the freedom from our compulsions.

    http://media.audiodharma.org/mp3files/2003-08-07_GilFronsdal_Ethics.mp3

    http://media.audiodharma.org/mp3files/2005-10-03_GilFronsdal_FivePrecepts.mp3
  • The Daoists I have known are very involved with rules - for example have you any idea how many years it would take to become an accomplished Tao Chi master ? Probably decades.
    In addition there are many,many rules pertaining to body strengthening and internal energy cultivation.
    And Daoist meditaion like the microcosmic orbit in which accupressure points , breathing methods ,synchronization of internal organs with planets and internal sounds are used, make watching the in and out breath the essence of simplicity.
    The Tao de Ching extolls a beautiful philosophy, but it is not the sum of all Daoism,more like the flower.
  • I am nothing but love deep resonate truths which emanate from the source. This wisdom are like rare and precious flowers they delight with their profound blessing and radiance, I see such flowers everywhere including Buddhism and Taoism :)
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.