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Why Buddhism?

Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal DhammaWe(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
For those that have the outlook that all religions are just "different paths to the same peak," why do you have a greater affinity for Buddhism?

EnriqueSpainkarmablues

Comments

  • I can become a Buddha and I will.

    Now you're talking . . . :cool:
    NirvanaDrusillaFaith
  • blu3reeblu3ree Veteran
    edited February 2013
    I was brought up Christian went to church for a long time accepted Jesus into my heart as a child and ever since that day there was something spiritual I didn't quite understand. Then after high school after deciding college was a bit expensive. I began "soul searching" started reading stuff on the Internet and saw something about reincarnation and rebirth at first it seemed like that was pretty far out there. But then I read more and more and saw something regarding meditation this word seemed like it was ingrained inside of me so I decided to check out a zen temple in search of this mysterious "meditation". Always had problems with paying attention then through breathe awareness i became more aware what was happening inside my mind and how it correlated to my body. This was a practice where I could trust myself and truly take charge rather than sit back and let ignorance steer the wheel. The bible talks of meditation but I never really understood it.
    karmabluesDrusillaFaithmithril
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    Well for a start there is no biased God you have to worry about displeasing who will send you to Hell if you don't believe in him, the beliefs youcan see are right just by looking at your everyday life and make sense and also it can help you, converting to Buddhism was the best choice I have ever made.
    karmablues
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I ask the question because I've been talking to some people involved in interfaith dialogue lately, and it got me wondering why we choose the spiritual paths we do. Some of the people I've met believe that all faith systems are expressions of the same ultimate truth. But only recently have I wondered "Well, then why are you a Christian? Why am I a Buddhist?"

    I (unfortunately) have my own prejudices against how theistic beliefs are practiced which prevents me from truly being able to accept all faith systems (for now). But for those that wholly feel that all religions are wonderful expressions of some absolute cosmic reality... why do you choose the path of Buddhism? Why not Islam? Or Zoroastrianism?
    Nirvanakarmablues
  • Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I ask the question because I've been talking to some people involved in interfaith dialogue lately, and it got me wondering why we choose the spiritual paths we do. Some of the people I've met believe that all faith systems are expressions of the same ultimate truth. But only recently have I wondered "Well, then why are you a Christian? Why am I a Buddhist?"

    I (unfortunately) have my own prejudices against how theistic beliefs are practiced which prevents me from truly being able to accept all faith systems (for now). But for those that wholly feel that all religions are wonderful expressions of some absolute cosmic reality... why do you choose the path of Buddhism? Why not Islam? Or Zoroastrianism?

    Buddhism spoke of the 8 nt which at the time slapped me in the face and stuck like glue. It seemed simple which really oiled my gears!
    Invincible_summerLucy_Begooddhammachick
  • Bruce Lee or... Bruce Leeroy, I'm not too sure. If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice. lol

    On a serious note, Bruce Lee's books were a major influence on me growing up. From Bruce, I went to Alan Watts and from there to Buddhism.
    NirvanaInvincible_summermithril
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    Buddhism is generally presented as a path of practice. Christianity and other religions may also have started with a path having the same goal (which I think we'll never know), but at the current time they seem to have lost most of their practicality. To take Christianity because it is most familiar, I was told: "belief in Jesus and it will all be ok. " or "Ask God and he will answer." To me that's not practice, and doesn't lead to better persons and further understanding of ourselves and the world. And since it's that which I felt I needed, I became more interested in Buddhism. It seems very close to its roots and nowadays is still presented as a path of personal practice.

    All the above of course quite generalized as there are also practicing Christians/Muslims/etc and also not practicing Buddhists. But this is how it went for me.
    riverflowInvincible_summerwoods93karmablues
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Gui said:

    There is no room for shirking responsibility.
    No one to blame anything on besides yourself.

    Yes...although some threads on some topics do the opposite.

    Invincible_summerdhammachickmithril
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Sabre said:

    Buddhism is generally presented as a path of practice. Christianity and other religions may also have started with a path having the same goal (which I think we'll never know), but at the current time they seem to have lost most of their practicality. To take Christianity because it is most familiar, I was told: "belief in Jesus and it will all be ok. " or "Ask God and he will answer." To me that's not practice, and doesn't lead to better persons and further understanding of ourselves and the world. And since it's that which I felt I needed, I became more interested in Buddhism. It seems very close to its roots and nowadays is still presented as a path of personal practice.

    All the above of course quite generalized as there are also practicing Christians/Muslims/etc and also not practicing Buddhists. But this is how it went for me.

    Thank you for qualifying that.

    Sabre
  • No received wisdom in Buddhism. The 4NT and the N8FP make so much sense to me.
    riverflow
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    And tbh it is ridiculous to say that all religions lead to the same destination, Christianity supposedly leads to heaven and God and Buddhism to enlightenment. Maybe all the Abrahamic religions.
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    Jayantha said:

    it resonates with me because it fits with my search for ultimate truth

    Can i ask 'how' it fits with your search for ultimate truth?

    And how close are you at finding the 'ultimate truth' ?

    Also, when you say 'ultimate' truth, In regards to what?? Life? Death? Everything? What is it??

    (I dont believe we can find the answers to EVERYTHING !
    So what do you mean by ultimate truth? )

    Do you mean in regards to why we suffer??? Or do you mean something else?

    Thanks! :-)

    Looking foward to your answer because ive always wanted to know what people mean by 'ultimate' truth!
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    @zenmyste - I just answered your question briefly (or gave my opinion) in another thread. What I would mean by an 'ultimate truth' is an absolute truth that we know is true. If we don't know it is truth it is not a truth in relation to us, and only if it is non-contingent is it ultimate. To say that we cannot know ultimate truths is to say that Buddhist doctrine is a work of fiction.

    For me religions are methods. Just like there are fifty methods for learning to play guitar and keep improving, there are fifty methods for learning to live and die and keep improving. This is why I am not a Buddhist. I find Taoism more useful in some situations, simpler and cleaner, and Sufism is a continual inspiration, Rumi and Al-Halaj and all that wonderful writing, and Christianity was my childhood religion and I owe it a lot even though I became allergic to it for a while due to a misunderstanding. A naive love of Jesus as a child is a very valuable thing in later life. Horses for courses.

    lobsterriverflow
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    The Ultimate Truth does not have a statement of description. It can not be stated because what can be stated can be opposed or argued as only partial.

    What Buddhists call the Buddha Nature is 'experiential' for mystics, Buddhists, Taoists and so on.
    http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Buddha_nature

    Buddhism starts with a skilful means. The 8 fold path. It is a workable methodology.
    riverflow
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    Florian said:

    @zenmyste - I just answered your question briefly (or gave my opinion) in another thread. What I would mean by an 'ultimate truth' is an absolute truth that we know is true. If we don't know it is truth it is not a truth in relation to us, and only if it is non-contingent is it ultimate

    So when one speaks of 'ultimate truth' does that not mean 'ALL TRUTHS'

    This is what i couldnt get my head around. I always thought 'ultimate truth' meant ' knowing ALL TRUTH about ALL THINGS!!!




  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    I asked myself: Why Buddhism?

    Then after listening to the dalai lama, I asked myself: Why not Buddhism?
    John_Spencerlobsterdhammachick
  • Brian said:

    Buddhism resonated with me because it was the first philosophy I had encountered in my research that the figurehead of the philosophy himself basically said, "Do not take my word for it. Do not take anybody's word for it. Figure it out for yourself". It didn't require any faith whatsoever. It was pure intellect.


    ...and a pure heart
    lobster
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    edited May 2013
    zenmyste said:

    Florian said:

    @zenmyste - I just answered your question briefly (or gave my opinion) in another thread. What I would mean by an 'ultimate truth' is an absolute truth that we know is true. If we don't know it is truth it is not a truth in relation to us, and only if it is non-contingent is it ultimate

    So when one speaks of 'ultimate truth' does that not mean 'ALL TRUTHS'

    This is what i couldnt get my head around. I always thought 'ultimate truth' meant ' knowing ALL TRUTH about ALL THINGS!!!

    Yes!!!

    Well, yes and no.

    Here is Osho in the 'Discourses'

    'The Indian system of reasoning is not like investigating truth with the help of a lamp. It is like investigating the dark night in the dazzling brilliance of a lightening flash, where everything becomes visible simultaneously. Not that something - a part - is seen now, sometime later another part, later again something more, and so on; no the Indian way is not like that. In the Indian system of investigation, the revelation of truth takes place all at once; everything is discovered at one and the same time.'

    Union with reality would mean knowing reality as it is, all at once. As Plotinus says, it means a union of the whole with the whole, for only the whole can be one with the whole.

    Perhaps it would be interesting to examine just one particular ultimate truth, (we can hypothesis one), in order to see if (logically) it can be known without knowing all the rest at the same time. I suspect that it would be logically (and not just experientially) impossible to know one without knowing them all, but I've never done the calculations.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Namaste all,

    Firstly, I don't have to be able to explain God or fit a pre-made mold of what to believe in when it comes to God. Secondly, while most theistic religions have a "grand plan" for the next life, they tell you how you SHOULD live in this life, but now HOW to. Buddhism focuses on THIS life, how to reach enlightenment and how to live (8NP).

    Buddhism also gives me tools to cope with life, instead of pithy sayings like "God only gives you what you can bear" or "God tests those he loves the most". And I've found more solace in mindfulness meditation and mantras in the past two weeks (having been diagnosed with a fatal disease) than I ever did praying.

    NB to be fair, I do believe in "God/dess/Divinity", but I'm finding less and less solace. Perhaps reaching Enlightenment for me is to drop clinging/attachment to this? who knows? :)

    In metta,
    Raven
    Invincible_summerriverflowkarmablues
  • lobsterlobster Veteran


    NB to be fair, I do believe in "God/dess/Divinity", but I'm finding less and less solace. Perhaps reaching Enlightenment for me is to drop clinging/attachment to this? who knows? :)

    In metta,
    Raven

    Them there Buddhas. They know . . .

    "Does She Really Exist?"

    The scene: a Buddhist conference in Berlin. Among the many panels and presentations, some teachers have come to give workshops as well. One such elder is an eminent Tibetan lama; he has been giving instruction on The Praise to the Twenty-One Taras. It is now time for questions and answers.

    A young man with furrowed brow requests to speak. He asks in broken English, “Rinpoche, for many years now I have been your student. I am committed to the practice but I have the doubt. I am very willing to do the pujas, the visualizations, the prostrations, but it is very hard to have the whole heart in it, because I have this doubt: Tara, is she really there? Sometime you talk like she is a real person, but sometimes you say she is the wisdom of Buddha Amoghasiddhi, or just a skillful means.

    If I could know for sure, I would redouble my efforts. So, Rinpoche, Tara, does she really exist or does she not?!”

    For a few moments the lama ponders, then raises his eyes to meet those of his inquirer. A smile spreads across his face.

    He responds, “She knows that she is not real.”


    http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/web-archive/2008/6/1/between-arhat-and-bodhisattva.html

    om tare tuttare ture soha
    John_Spencerdhammachick
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran

    Namaste all,

    ...Buddhism also gives me tools to cope with life, instead of pithy sayings like "God only gives you what you can bear" or "God tests those he loves the most". And I've found more solace in mindfulness meditation and mantras in the past two weeks (having been diagnosed with a fatal disease) than I ever did praying.

    In metta,
    Raven

    Hmm. I suspect these sayings are just as true for Buddhists as anyone else. It is just that Buddhism would interpret this as a natural process not requiring the actions of a God. But calling it the action of a God is an approximation that will suit some people.
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Hmm. I suspect these sayings are just as true for Buddhists as anyone else. It is just that Buddhism would interpret this as a natural process not requiring the actions of a God. But calling it the action of a God is an approximation that will suit some people.
    That's a good point :)

    In metta,
    Raven
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    Florian said:

    Namaste all,

    ...Buddhism also gives me tools to cope with life, instead of pithy sayings like "God only gives you what you can bear" or "God tests those he loves the most". And I've found more solace in mindfulness meditation and mantras in the past two weeks (having been diagnosed with a fatal disease) than I ever did praying.

    In metta,
    Raven

    Hmm. I suspect these sayings are just as true for Buddhists as anyone else. It is just that Buddhism would interpret this as a natural process not requiring the actions of a God. But calling it the action of a God is an approximation that will suit some people.
    And this is a significant difference because it lifts a heavy burden off our shoulders: the need to convince ourselves that god is good despite the bad things that happen. This gnawing doubt -being unable to reconcile god's goodness with the evil in this world - is absent in Buddhism. To me, this is not just a difference in 'coping mechanisms' of various religions; it is a very important and decisive thing.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    betaboy said:

    Florian said:

    Namaste all,

    ...Buddhism also gives me tools to cope with life, instead of pithy sayings like "God only gives you what you can bear" or "God tests those he loves the most". And I've found more solace in mindfulness meditation and mantras in the past two weeks (having been diagnosed with a fatal disease) than I ever did praying.

    In metta,
    Raven

    Hmm. I suspect these sayings are just as true for Buddhists as anyone else. It is just that Buddhism would interpret this as a natural process not requiring the actions of a God. But calling it the action of a God is an approximation that will suit some people.
    And this is a significant difference because it lifts a heavy burden off our shoulders: the need to convince ourselves that god is good despite the bad things that happen. This gnawing doubt -being unable to reconcile god's goodness with the evil in this world - is absent in Buddhism. To me, this is not just a difference in 'coping mechanisms' of various religions; it is a very important and decisive thing.
    It's not something that bothers me at all. I have long felt that God is not a micro-manager.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 2013
    In Buddhism, God is irrelevant . . . or in my case irreverent - She has no respect for me . . . even in the morning . . . ;)
    dhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    And this is a significant difference because it lifts a heavy burden off our shoulders: the need to convince ourselves that god is good despite the bad things that happen. This gnawing doubt -being unable to reconcile god's goodness with the evil in this world - is absent in Buddhism. To me, this is not just a difference in 'coping mechanisms' of various religions; it is a very important and decisive thing.
    @betaboy

    I've never been able to look at things as either "good" or "evil" - which is probably why I've never been an unquestioning disciple of a path. Even with Buddhism I have questioned things.

    Mine is more that I find it easer to accept the working of karma in my life than handing responsibility to a divine being.

    In metta,
    Raven
  • FlorianFlorian Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I think responsibility is a very big issue. Abandoning theism means taking responsibility and depending entirely on oneself for the outcome of ones thoughts and actions, and this will be a very big deal for any ex-theist who is used to passing the buck. Even now I catch myself occasionally for a few moment assuming that there is some external force or being that will save me from own actions. like the Jesus of my childhood. It's so comfortable and easy. But growing up means taking charge.



    MaryAnnelobsterdhammachick
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