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"Fake" Buddhists?

DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
edited August 2012 in Buddhism Today
In addition to this site, I'm also a member of a Hindu forum. The majority people on that forum are friendly, informative and open. However, there are quite a few who are vocal about their disdain for "neo-Hindus"; those who mold Brahman to fit their own philosophical leanings, those who don't literally believe in the incarnations, etc.

This bugs me, because A.) If I were a Hindu, I would be (in some members definition) a "neo-Hindu"; as I have a different idea of what "god" would be and I don't think Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, etc. actually exist and B.) It got me thinking: If that was what some people would consider a fake Hindu, what would be the characteristics of a fake Buddhist?

In your opinion, how do you know when someone is not sincere with their Buddhism?
Nirvana
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Comments



  • jessie70buddhajunkiejumblespoptart
  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    @Jeffrey

    Okay, this made me laugh. :)
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    @DaftChris, the answer is very simple -- if ... wait, if I answer your question honestly, I'll get myself in a helluva lot of trouble on this forum.

    Never mind.
    IndigoBlueSky9novaw0lf
  • GuiGui Veteran
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    http://tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=4755

    I really do not know if this is true. Tamil resources in general do not like Mahinda... lol.
  • howhow Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @DaftChris
    In your opinion, how do you know when someone is not sincere with their Buddhism?


    Define sincere or not sincere? Are we not just as sincere as we are?

    The answer to such a question beckons to black and white definitions that have little meaning on my Zafu.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    Actions speak louder than words.

    If they have a Zen-like garden with a Buddha seated serenely under bamboo, next to a soothingly bubbling fountain, and they wear loose flowy clothing, with a mala round their neck, it's possible they may pt themselves across as being Buddhist.
    However:

    If they think nothing of swatting flies or kicking the dog;
    If they think taking the odd pencil/pen/stapler from work is no big deal;
    If they think it would be fun to have an affair with the neighbour's hot spouse;
    If they (consequently) gossip about their neighbour's obviously inadequate sex life, and lie about their own prowess;
    If they regularly consume a six-pack of beer and smoke a smelly reefer -

    chances are, Buddhism is not their priority....

    See..... It's all in the 'do', not the 'say'.
    nenkohaidhammachickDrusillaFaithwoods93
  • The "No true scotsman" logical fallacy appears yet again.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    Och aye....
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    In addition to this site, I'm also a member of a Hindu forum. The majority people on that forum are friendly, informative and open. However, there are quite a few who are vocal about their disdain for "neo-Hindus"; those who mold Brahman to fit their own philosophical leanings, those who don't literally believe in the incarnations, etc.

    This bugs me, because A.) If I were a Hindu, I would be (in some members definition) a "neo-Hindu"; as I have a different idea of what "god" would be and I don't think Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, etc. actually exist and B.) It got me thinking: If that was what some people would consider a fake Hindu, what would be the characteristics of a fake Buddhist?

    In your opinion, how do you know when someone is not sincere with their Buddhism?
    Do they willingly break the precepts? But, IMO, it really shouldn't matter what other people are doing or not doing. What should matter is what oneself is doing. So the question should not be "how do you know when someone else is not sincere" but rather "how do you know when you are not being sincere". That is a much better question IMO because it's actually relevant to your own practice. :)

    pommesetorangesRebornDrusillaFaith
  • If you can see the pic..

    these people are not Buddhist imo. They are from the NKT.. protesting the Dalai Lama because he doesn't condone the propitiation of a spirit that has been found to be nothing but controversial ever since it made its first appearance during the Fifth Dalai Lamas life.. it arose in opposition of him.

    Anybody who protests another Buddhist is ridiculous.

    It is controversial, which is why it is known as the Dorje Shugden Controversy.

    His Holiness is likely never going to change his stance on that topic.. he is not going into their homes and preventing them from practicing it. All he has done is said that he recommends one to not do such practices.

    If these people are convinced that they are 100% right then they should have compassion for His Holiness instead of petty picketing protests.
  • I wouldn't worry about whether other people conform to a particular view of "Buddhist" or not. It's got nothing to do with you :lol:
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    It is controversial, which is why it is known as the Dorje Shugden Controversy.
    This is a complicated issue with 2 sides - please don't add to the problem.
  • It is controversial, which is why it is known as the Dorje Shugden Controversy.
    This is a complicated issue with 2 sides - please don't add to the problem.
    That is why I placed "imo" in bold.. because my opinions are my opinions and I am not trying to create more controversy than there already is.

    The very title of this thread is " "Fake" Buddhists".

    That being typed, anybody that posts in here will be posting nothing but their opinions on whether such things should even be thought about or what they consider to be fake or examples of what a fake Buddhist could be.

    In my opinion and example.. a Buddhist protesting another Buddhist is not a Buddhist..

    it is frightening.

    People will respond.. or react, to what they will though.

  • Jeffrey thank you for making me laugh :D
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Actions speak louder than words.

    If they have a Zen-like garden with a Buddha seated serenely under bamboo, next to a soothingly bubbling fountain, and they wear loose flowy clothing, with a mala round their neck, it's possible they may pt themselves across as being Buddhist.
    However:

    If they think nothing of swatting flies or kicking the dog;
    If they think taking the odd pencil/pen/stapler from work is no big deal;
    If they think it would be fun to have an affair with the neighbour's hot spouse;
    If they (consequently) gossip about their neighbour's obviously inadequate sex life, and lie about their own prowess;
    If they regularly consume a six-pack of beer and smoke a smelly reefer -

    chances are, Buddhism is not their priority....

    See..... It's all in the 'do', not the 'say'.
    Oops...I thought so many people on this forum keep saying that the Precepts (which is what you are talking about above) are not rules, only guidelines?

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    If you can see the pic..

    these people are not Buddhist imo. They are from the NKT.. protesting the Dalai Lama because he doesn't condone the propitiation of a spirit that has been found to be nothing but controversial ever since it made its first appearance during the Fifth Dalai Lamas life.. it arose in opposition of him.

    Anybody who protests another Buddhist is ridiculous.

    It is controversial, which is why it is known as the Dorje Shugden Controversy.

    His Holiness is likely never going to change his stance on that topic.. he is not going into their homes and preventing them from practicing it. All he has done is said that he recommends one to not do such practices.

    If these people are convinced that they are 100% right then they should have compassion for His Holiness instead of petty picketing protests.
    I'm not so sure that's true. I thought as Buddhists we were interested in the truth. They feel they have a truth that is being unrecognized by a Buddhist leader.

    I'm somewhat a fan of the DL, but that doesn't mean that Buddhists with other viewpoints should just shut up.



  • Amazing!
  • If you can see the pic..

    these people are not Buddhist imo. They are from the NKT.. protesting the Dalai Lama because he doesn't condone the propitiation of a spirit that has been found to be nothing but controversial ever since it made its first appearance during the Fifth Dalai Lamas life.. it arose in opposition of him.

    Anybody who protests another Buddhist is ridiculous.

    It is controversial, which is why it is known as the Dorje Shugden Controversy.

    His Holiness is likely never going to change his stance on that topic.. he is not going into their homes and preventing them from practicing it. All he has done is said that he recommends one to not do such practices.

    If these people are convinced that they are 100% right then they should have compassion for His Holiness instead of petty picketing protests.
    Curious. I started a thread about Buddhist monks at a retreat not helping me catch flies... that was at a NKT centre outside of York, UK. Maybe that's why the no-help! I actually liked them though, they were nice people, but they sold a book in their shop knocking the Dalai Lama, and I just thought that was a tad silly.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited August 2012
    .....
    If they think nothing of swatting flies or kicking the dog;
    If they think taking the odd pencil/pen/stapler from work is no big deal;
    If they think it would be fun to have an affair with the neighbour's hot spouse;
    If they (consequently) gossip about their neighbour's obviously inadequate sex life, and lie about their own prowess;
    If they regularly consume a six-pack of beer and smoke a smelly reefer -

    chances are, Buddhism is not their priority....

    See..... It's all in the 'do', not the 'say'.
    Oops...I thought so many people on this forum keep saying that the Precepts (which is what you are talking about above) are not rules, only guidelines?

    Where have I indicated they're rules?

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    In your opinion, how do you know when someone is not sincere with their Buddhism?
    Look in the mirror.
    lobsterCitta
  • I'm not so sure that's true. I thought as Buddhists we were interested in the truth. They feel they have a truth that is being unrecognized by a Buddhist leader.

    I'm somewhat a fan of the DL, but that doesn't mean that Buddhists with other viewpoints should just shut up.
    Well I come off a bit too far on one side of the whole thing as I have some resentment when it comes to the organization of NKT.

    If one looks at the history one can see that for hundreds of years this spirit has been creating controversy.

    That is one of the main things that many claim Shugden brings, is disharmony within Tibetan Buddhism and wow has it ever. Really what beneficial contributions has this spirit provided? Are there books written by this spirit, teachings, discourses etc etc?

    For one, it is a spirit. Why would anyone centralize a pratice around something as petty at a spirit.

    The truth as the Dalai Lama sees it is that it is spirit worship and is not at all beneficial to anybody.
    Curious. I started a thread about Buddhist monks at a retreat not helping me catch flies... that was at a NKT centre outside of York, UK. Maybe that's why the no-help! I actually liked them though, they were nice people, but they sold a book in their shop knocking the Dalai Lama, and I just thought that was a tad silly.
    They are human beings, which in general are quite nice :)

    Though it is deeply disturbing all that has gone on with regards to the controversy. It is difficult for me to not get wound up about it.

    I was in the lobby of one of their centers and noticed that they had no books by anybody else but the head of the organization.. that was a bit unnerving as well.



    I apologize for any disharmony I have brought here.. when one is as ignorant as I it can be difficult to think and see clearly.



  • cazcaz Veteran
    If you can see the pic..

    these people are not Buddhist imo. They are from the NKT.. protesting the Dalai Lama because he doesn't condone the propitiation of a spirit that has been found to be nothing but controversial ever since it made its first appearance during the Fifth Dalai Lamas life.. it arose in opposition of him.

    Anybody who protests another Buddhist is ridiculous.

    It is controversial, which is why it is known as the Dorje Shugden Controversy.

    His Holiness is likely never going to change his stance on that topic.. he is not going into their homes and preventing them from practicing it. All he has done is said that he recommends one to not do such practices.

    If these people are convinced that they are 100% right then they should have compassion for His Holiness instead of petty picketing protests.
    No these people are Buddhist protesting for equality among the Tibetan Community against the Dalai lama's policies of segregation.

    Your accusation is inappropriate.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    On this topic " Fake Buddhist " would be someone who violates anyone of the refuge vows knowingly. An Aspiring Buddhist is someone who tries until they get it right :)
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    In your opinion, how do you know when someone is not sincere with their Buddhism?
    Look in the mirror.
    What he said.
    It is my understanding that one should be so
    busy practicing that looking unto others' path would
    be distracting to the one doing the looking over, and
    the one getting 'looked' upon, therefore,
    not being beneficial to any of the beings involved.



    dhammachickLinc
  • cazcaz Veteran
    In your opinion, how do you know when someone is not sincere with their Buddhism?
    Look in the mirror.
    What he said.
    It is my understanding that one should be so
    busy practicing that looking unto others' path would
    be distracting to the one doing the looking over, and
    the one getting 'looked' upon, therefore,
    not being beneficial to any of the beings involved.



    ^^This^^
  • Well I come off a bit too far on one side of the whole thing as I have some resentment when it comes to the organization of NKT.
    No these people are Buddhist protesting for equality among the Tibetan Community against the Dalai lama's policies of segregation.

    Your accusation is inappropriate.
    The underlined would explain a reason why my accusation is inappropriate ;)

    I'll get over it someday.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    I was talking with a friend today and the two of us got off on a 'Buddhist' spam freak who simply cannot be blocked. Every day, day after day, the "daily lesson" comes through. My friend said he tried to contact the guy who sends out this mindless Buddhist stuff and got precisely nowhere. No amount of talk would convince him that his unwillingness to let recipients "unsubscribe" was a pretty stupid form of Buddhism. This guy left both my friend and me feeling about as compassionate as a cat soaked in turpentine.

    Bleah.

    But who knows ... maybe some day he will try out Buddhism.



  • Though it is deeply disturbing all that has gone on with regards to the controversy. It is difficult for me to not get wound up about it.

    I was in the lobby of one of their centers and noticed that they had no books by anybody else but the head of the organization.. that was a bit unnerving as well.



    I apologize for any disharmony I have brought here.. when one is as ignorant as I it can be difficult to think and see clearly.

    I've done 3 working weeks at the centre just because it is the most local centre to me, and on 2 of them I took some recovering addicts from where I work to have the experience of being in a Buddhist centre, and they all loved it. The monks and nuns there seem like really good, kind, loving individuals. I attended their pujas and teachings and although this spirit was mentioned it didn't dominate, by far and away what they taught was standard Buddhists practice, they just encouraged calling on this spirit for assistance, which I don't like, but it's not like they weren't practicing Buddhism in normal ways. They certainly never preached anything negative about DL at anytime or forced this spirit on anyone. I'm not defending them, i'm just sharing my honest experience of them.

  • howhow Veteran
    I was talking with a friend today and the two of us got off on a 'Buddhist' spam freak who simply cannot be blocked. Every day, day after day, the "daily lesson" comes through. My friend said he tried to contact the guy who sends out this mindless Buddhist stuff and got precisely nowhere. No amount of talk would convince him that his unwillingness to let recipients "unsubscribe" was a pretty stupid form of Buddhism. This guy left both my friend and me feeling about as compassionate as a cat soaked in turpentine.

    Bleah.

    But who knows ... maybe some day he will try out Buddhism.

    Can you tell us what brought about his focus on you so the rest of us can avoid it.
  • Actions speak louder than words.

    If they have a Zen-like garden with a Buddha seated serenely under bamboo, next to a soothingly bubbling fountain, and they wear loose flowy clothing, with a mala round their neck, it's possible they may pt themselves across as being Buddhist.
    However:

    If they think nothing of swatting flies or kicking the dog;
    If they think taking the odd pencil/pen/stapler from work is no big deal;
    If they think it would be fun to have an affair with the neighbour's hot spouse;
    If they (consequently) gossip about their neighbour's obviously inadequate sex life, and lie about their own prowess;
    If they regularly consume a six-pack of beer and smoke a smelly reefer -

    chances are, Buddhism is not their priority....

    See..... It's all in the 'do', not the 'say'.
    Now that says it all, very good, you read my mind , that is so so true , nice one :)
  • You don't.

    Its all perception, construction.

    If you want to see people as faking buddhist then you will paint that.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    .....
    If they think nothing of swatting flies or kicking the dog;
    If they think taking the odd pencil/pen/stapler from work is no big deal;
    If they think it would be fun to have an affair with the neighbour's hot spouse;
    If they (consequently) gossip about their neighbour's obviously inadequate sex life, and lie about their own prowess;
    If they regularly consume a six-pack of beer and smoke a smelly reefer -

    chances are, Buddhism is not their priority....

    See..... It's all in the 'do', not the 'say'.
    Oops...I thought so many people on this forum keep saying that the Precepts (which is what you are talking about above) are not rules, only guidelines?

    Where have I indicated they're rules?



    I didn't say that you said they are rules, but the examples you give are all Precepts. And what I am saying is if (note how I worded it) "people on this forum keep saying that the Precepts...are not rules, only guidelines," then how could we criticize people who self-identify as Buddhists but don't keep the not rules.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    Can you tell us what brought about his focus on you so the rest of us can avoid it.
    @how -- I have no clue other than to imagine that because of participation in various Buddhist venues, my name got caught up in his net. I have the same problem in the "Christian" department ... all I have to do is mention the Bible or Christianity on my blog and suddenly, irrespective of my content, I receive teachings or requests that I buy Bibles for some less fortunate person, or join some Christian singles lash-up. The 'Buddhist' fellow is from Malaysia or Indonesia or somewhere in the Pacific. If I knew a way to escape his pseudo-kindness, I would tell you and, more important, escape myself.
  • Peace. With all respect, I believe this question to be superflous, unnecessary. Years ago, I read the words of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet. He noted that just as there are unmindful Christians, Hindus, Jews, etc., there are unmindful Buddhists. This does not mean, however, that these people are not devotees to those religions. Everybody's ability is different, everybody's personal context is different. Let it be. Such questions cause unnecessary and delusional divisions, as we are all part of the same symbian circle/collective conscious. We all have interbeing reqardless of the answer you manufacture. The search for answers to this question will sabbotage anyone's practice. However, what is more beneficial for you will seem paradoxical. Contemplate upon what it is about your self that demands such authenticity of others. The unmindful will hate in others what they hates about themselves.
    Bunksblu3ree
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    ^^

    In general, I agree with what you posted.

    But, if all you discuss on a forum are the things you agree about, then there's no reason to have the forum because you rarely learn anything.

    Personally, I am very strong on the 5 Precepts, because I see them as the minimum. But after being on this forum, I have softened a bit. I have at least learned that a considerable number of people see them in a different light than do I. And even before I "softened" it didn't mean that I expect people to be perfect. To me it's the striving for perfection (which none of us will ever reach) that's important.

    For example, to those on the forum who drink and take drugs, I strongly disagree. But I don't condemn them, nor do I say they are "not a Buddhist".

  • Exactly ^^
    If we see people in different lights over time, and we are attached to them as they were, we 1) had a deluded belief, 2) we deny the permanence of change, 3) and we experience the karma/suffering of attachment.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    Well I come off a bit too far on one side of the whole thing as I have some resentment when it comes to the organization of NKT.

    No these people are Buddhist protesting for equality among the Tibetan Community against the Dalai lama's policies of segregation.

    Your accusation is inappropriate.
    The underlined would explain a reason why my accusation is inappropriate ;)

    I'll get over it someday.



    Im sure you shall as all good Buddhists do, The less pot stirring the better :)
  • Here is a real fake (now dead) Buddhist:





  • As was alluded to earlier, not everybody who uses a certain name consider that it applies to exactly the same range of concepts ; for me, I am still not sure what " it means " to say ' I am a Buddhist.'
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    I have a bit to do with the NKT here in Melbourne - however, like one of the earlier posters, I find the fact they only sell books etc. written by their leader / guru as off putting. Happy to contribute my $10 to the weekly meditation class though - the teacher is great!!

    I went to a retreat at their temple and they had a "puja" on the Saturday night. They had a photo of their guru on a chair at the front of the temple and they all bowed down to it and chanted some song about him.

    I don't bow down to anybody! (maybe that's my ego getting in the way).

    I am going to another retreat up there in a few weeks. I'll be sitting in the cafe reading a book on the Saturday night though...no puja for me!!

    Nice people though...
  • ^^

    In general, I agree with what you posted.

    But, if all you discuss on a forum are the things you agree about, then there's no reason to have the forum because you rarely learn anything.

    Personally, I am very strong on the 5 Precepts, because I see them as the minimum. But after being on this forum, I have softened a bit. I have at least learned that a considerable number of people see them in a different light than do I. And even before I "softened" it didn't mean that I expect people to be perfect. To me it's the striving for perfection (which none of us will ever reach) that's important.

    For example, to those on the forum who drink and take drugs, I strongly disagree. But I don't condemn them, nor do I say they are "not a Buddhist".

    Hi vinlyn,

    what I continue to find puzzling online though, is people who are convinced that they have the only understanding of Buddhism which is relevant and then proceed to control,admonish and ridicule others who try to discuss differing perspectives - I guess it is evidence of how it is easy to give ourselves permission to forget the basics when we believe we are right about a more advanced point.

  • cazcaz Veteran
    I have a bit to do with the NKT here in Melbourne - however, like one of the earlier posters, I find the fact they only sell books etc. written by their leader / guru as off putting. Happy to contribute my $10 to the weekly meditation class though - the teacher is great!!

    I went to a retreat at their temple and they had a "puja" on the Saturday night. They had a photo of their guru on a chair at the front of the temple and they all bowed down to it and chanted some song about him.

    I don't bow down to anybody! (maybe that's my ego getting in the way).

    I am going to another retreat up there in a few weeks. I'll be sitting in the cafe reading a book on the Saturday night though...no puja for me!!

    Nice people though...
    The reason why they only sell books by the author is to avoid confusion of views, practitioners are free to read whatever books they wish. The NKT is Mahayana/Vajrayana tradition it is not uncommon to find other centers placing an image of their guru on a throne as a matter of respect and singing long life prayers for them, The bowing is also another method of respect, practitioners throughout Buddhism bow before the 3 jewels and it is common in Vajrayana to pay the same respect to the Guru who is regarded as the same as Buddha. Hope that clears up a few things for you.

    Enjoy your meditation class. :)
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    This guy left both my friend and me feeling about as compassionate as a cat soaked in turpentine.
    :D
  • what I continue to find puzzling online though, is people who are convinced that they have the only understanding of Buddhism which is relevant and then proceed to control,admonish and ridicule others who try to discuss differing perspectives - I guess it is evidence of how it is easy to give ourselves permission to forget the basics when we believe we are right about a more advanced point.
    This should be the last thing that is puzzling to anybody involved in Buddhism..

    the reason we first come to learn and practice Buddhism is not because we are fully enlightened beings.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran


    Hi vinlyn,

    what I continue to find puzzling online though, is people who are convinced that they have the only understanding of Buddhism which is relevant and then proceed to control,admonish and ridicule others who try to discuss differing perspectives - I guess it is evidence of how it is easy to give ourselves permission to forget the basics when we believe we are right about a more advanced point.

    Yes. I think it's sort of like that book/saying, "All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten".


  • howhow Veteran
    I tend to notice that most Buddhist schools as well as practitioners fall into either the meditative or devotional camp.
    While all claim to be both, all seem to have one or the other as the foundation of their practise. Those who place the primary focus on the devotional usually also apply this practise towards their teacher, which is understandable.
    The devotionally oriented schools nearly always elevate their teacher & his/her understanding above others while the meditative tend to just do it for themselves.
    I doubt that the attachments of one is much worse than the other, just the optics.
    Tosh
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    @how: interesting. And I think you could say the same about individuals, as well.
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    When they ask you for a good book on Buddhism and you ask which aspect they want to explore, they respond with "I'm just looking for some good things to post on Facebook so people know I'm Buddhist"

    That must have irked me more than I thought.

    :scratch:
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    I tend to notice that most Buddhist schools as well as practitioners fall into either the meditative or devotional camp.
    Yes, I've noticed a spectrum with faith at one end and reason at the other - and it often seems like the ends are quite suspicious of each other.
    ;)
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