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Interfaith Principles

Hello all!

My name is Travis Lish and I am a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) from Boise, Idaho U.S.A.

I am working on building an interfaith appendix and would like to get some feedback from some who know more about the teachings of Buddha than me.

I am looking for quotes, passages, or scriptures from the Buddhist faith that teach principles of living your life in a noble manner. Living your life in an upright way. living according to high moral standards.

Are there any selections that come to mind?

Thanks!

Bunksmmo

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The entire Pali text of Suttas is a lesson in living life in - as you describe - a 'Noble Manner'. In fact, as Buddhism has no eternal, omniscient, omnipotent God, the entire scope of the Buddha's teachings are precisely about that.

    In fact, the Buddha's first teaching in Deer Park, to 5 of his previous companions (who then went on to ordain and follow the Buddha as their Master) consists of the 4 Noble Truths.
    'Noble' because they are indisputable, inarguable and proven simply by our living.

    You can read about the 4 Noble Truths here.

    The Dhammapada is a synopsis of every teaching the Buddha ever gave, in palpable and easily-digested 'bytes'.

    The entire Access to Insight website is pretty much where it's all at, with regard to the Buddha's teachings.

    I think you'll probably have enough material there to get you started - and keep you going for...Oh, maybe - 30 years....?

    :lol:

    The two first links are pretty good places to start.

    Be advised that many 'Buddha' quotations are more often than not "wise and pithy" words ATTRIBUTED to the Buddha. Much of the catchy short-and-sweet wisdom often found overlaid on a picture of the Buddha, never even passed his lips.

    Enjoy your journey - and welcome to our forum!

    Bunksmmolobsternamarupa
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @Federica is right, passages abound. There have been several threads on this forum specifically about quotes that you might be able to dig up.

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/17248/would-you-mind-sharing-some-quotes-from-buddha

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/22512/favorite-buddhist-quote/p1

    You might be able to find others but there is a lot to start there.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 2016

    You might also take a look at the lojong teachings (mind training) which are later developed teachings to put into practice. The instruction is quite specific. These aren't common to all streams of Buddhism rather they are mainly practiced in certain schools of Tibetan Buddhism. I mention them because they are quite specific to what to actually practice in a day. They are comprised of different slogans and one could focus on one slogan per day or however they feel is best. I believe the teaching would have been lost but I think it was Atisha travelled to Indonesia (from Tibet) to study and he brought them back with him. He noticed that his 'impossible behaviour' step brother or some such greatly benefited from them so this convinced Atisha to try to teach them widespread.

    http://www.tricycle.com/meditation-buddhist-practices/lojong/train-your-mind-lojong-commentary-judy-lief

    And here is wikipedia where you can find more of the history and so forth:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lojong

  • tlishtlish Utah New

    This is so interesting! Thank you all for your responses.

    I am really trying to wrap my head it all. So I have a question. As I am searching through some of these sources I have been thinking about how some Christian principles may or may not correlate with something similar in Buddhism.

    So in Christianity, we speak of Faith is a God or supreme power and Hope in him and his saving power.

    Is there anything in Buddhism that can correlate with the ideas of hope or faith?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @tlish said:
    Is there anything in Buddhism that can correlate with the ideas of hope or faith?

    Faith is quite important in some forms of Buddhism for example the Kagyu tantric tradition. However as many Buddhists tend to be Gnostic/knowledge/experience led, rather than 'hopelessly devoted', the closest is maybe 'refuge'.

    If you mean hope in the Divine. Not a requirement.

    We take refuge/hope in three aspects of Buddhism.

    The Buddha as the personification/epithany of the awakened.
    The Dharma as the scripture/teaching of the Buddha.
    The Sangha as the priests/monks/nuns/company within Buddhism.

    http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/refuge.html

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @tlish said:
    This is so interesting! Thank you all for your responses.

    I am really trying to wrap my head it all. So I have a question. As I am searching through some of these sources I have been thinking about how some Christian principles may or may not correlate with something similar in Buddhism.

    So in Christianity, we speak of Faith is a God or supreme power and Hope in him and his saving power.

    Is there anything in Buddhism that can correlate with the ideas of hope or faith?

    At the risk of sounding provocative, the Buddha was born around 500 years BEFORE Christ.
    Christianity began to take shape about 60 years after his death, but it wasn't until about 400 years after Christ's death, that the Catholic Ecumenical council recognised Jesus as the son of God and therefore God incarnate.

    So if anything, one should reverse the question....
    Is there anything in Christianity that can correlate with the teachings and Guidance of the Buddha?

    The answer is, of course, plenty.
    Just take the sacred teachings of Christ, and omit God from the equation.
    There, you pretty much have the template.

    lobsterdhammachickStraight_Man
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    edited March 2016

    Here's a good YouTube video comparing Jesus and Buddha.

    Bunks
  • Faith in Buddhism is more 'not messing up my mind' rather than appealing to a deity (thought there are practices similar to appealing to a deity). So this 'not messing up my mind' is like having confidence before a performance or sporting event kind of faith. It is more like 'confidence' than 'faith'. More like "I am going to play my best and not worry" rather than "divine intervention will make my tennis shots go in the lines more". That said there are some appeals to beings such as Padmasambhava or the Buddha practiced by some Buddhists and I think Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism was mentioned which incidentally is my gurus lineage of Kagyu.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    MN 61 is a good one, in my opinion. I think the underlying idea/practice is common to all religions.

    Traveller
  • Is there anything in Buddhism that can correlate with the ideas of hope or faith?

    Another thing that might gel with Mormons who get their own planet, is 'Pureland Buddhism'.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/subdivisions/pureland_1.shtml

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @tlish said:
    Hello all!

    My name is Travis Lish and I am a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) from Boise, Idaho U.S.A.

    I am working on building an interfaith appendix and would like to get some feedback from some who know more about the teachings of Buddha than me.

    Hello Travis and welcome to NewBuddhist. I would be very interested (if you don't mind sharing) how this interfaith appendix will be used.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @yagr said:

    @tlish said:
    Hello all!

    My name is Travis Lish and I am a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) from Boise, Idaho U.S.A.

    I am working on building an interfaith appendix and would like to get some feedback from some who know more about the teachings of Buddha than me.

    Hello Travis and welcome to NewBuddhist. I would be very interested (if you don't mind sharing) how this interfaith appendix will be used.

    Good point. Thanks @yagr, well spotted.....

    I think it would be pertinent to reveal precisely what your aim is, @tlish , in order to establish privacy, and reproduction of member input.
    Not that there is any resentment, but it's a valid consideration.

    yagr
  • I am looking for quotes, passages, or scriptures from the Buddhist faith that teach principles of living your life in a noble manner. Living your life in an upright way. living according to high moral standards.

    Are there any selections that come to mind?

    How about doing a course? I am sure they will find resources if you are unable to use Google to find quotes.
    http://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/page/correspondence-course-2

    If you would like a Noble platitude, quip or sound byte ... How about, 'Be kind'. Still working on that one <3

    yagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @lobster said:How about, 'Be kind'. Still working on that one <3

    Of course you are. What kind of crazy world would it be if people stopped working on a thing once they got good at it? <3

    Shoshin
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    ^^^^^^
    On the other hand, what kind of a crazy world would it be if people kept working on a thing once they got good at it?

    yagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    ^^^^^^
    On the other hand, what kind of a crazy world would it be if people kept working on a thing once they got good at it?

    Well, it might be a new Crustaceous period...or is that Cretaceous period?

    lobster
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran

    Hello @tlish I highly recommend you take a look at the Dhammapada. It is an early compendium of Buddha's wisdom and has many verses about living upright and nobly.

    In addition, you may be interested in reading the Metta Sutta (Sutta and Sutra are interchangeable words and mean "thread" as the teachings were preserved into song/scripture/writing via combining and threading together)

    There is an absolutely amazing book called In the Buddha's Words and it contains quite a stellar collection of excerpts from the canon pointing to precisely what you are seeking.

    You can find a copy on Amazon or probably at your local library.
    http://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Words-Anthology-Discourses-Teachings/dp/0861714911

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2016

    @sova, I too recommended the Dhammapada. I also provided a link.

    It's always helpful when assisting someone who has no idea where to look, by giving them a link to look at..... ;)

    And 'Sutta' and 'Sutra' are not strictly speaking, 'interchangeable words'. They refer to the teachings of the Buddha but the former is Pali, the latter, Sanskrit. The former refers to the Theravada School, the latter to Mahayana.

    I think it advisable to be absolutely clear, particularly given the OP's complete ignorance on Buddhist matters.
    And I do not say that to be insulting.
    I state it as a natural consequence for someone who is an adherent of a totally different calling, and who is tentatively exploring a different avenue.

    :)

    meteorshower01
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing great lakes Veteran

    @federica well if the distinction is important to you, i offer my apologies, to me "sutta" and "sutra" are completely equivalent, just in terms of local language. the meaning transcending language. what is this "totally different calling" if i may ask? i share what i can of what clarity i glean, but in no way do i declare any route supreme... refuge in the buddha, dharma, and sangha is all one needs

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2016

    @sova said:
    @federica well if the distinction is important to you, i offer my apologies, to me "sutta" and "sutra" are completely equivalent, just in terms of local language. the meaning transcending language.

    I understand, as any Buddhist would understand. To a non-Buddhist, they may wonder what the terms are, what the languages are and WHY they would be interchangeable....

    what is this "totally different calling" if i may ask?

    If you read the OP's first post, you will see that she is a Christian and Practising Mormon.
    She knows nothing about Buddhism, or very little AFAI can gather.

    i share what i can of what clarity i glean, but in no way do i declare any route supreme... refuge in the buddha, dharma, and sangha is all one needs

    It's not what the OP needs.
    Did you read all of the first post?

  • tlishtlish Utah New

    Hello everyone! Thank you for responding! I appreciate your kindness and I have been able to learn a lot by browsing through the links that you have shared with me.

    There were some questions as to how the manual would be used. The hope is to eventually hold group workshops to help with self reliance and build empowerment. If you would like to take a look at our website, I will post a link here:

    religiousfreedomandbusiness.org

    I am working on a rough draft and will only be using scripture sources provided. I will not be quoting any of you for the manual.

    Thank you. I hope this answers any questions.

    yagr
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    The hope is to eventually hold group workshops to help with self reliance and build empowerment.

    Somewhere or other, the Buddha Gautama was quoted as saying, "It is not what others do and do not do that is my concern. It is what I do and do not do -- that is my concern."

    This may be tricky, but I think it is important.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2016

    @tlish said:
    Hello everyone! Thank you for responding! I appreciate your kindness and I have been able to learn a lot by browsing through the links that you have shared with me.

    There were some questions as to how the manual would be used. The hope is to eventually hold group workshops to help with self reliance and build empowerment. If you would like to take a look at our website, I will post a link here:

    religiousfreedomandbusiness.org

    I am working on a rough draft and will only be using scripture sources provided. I will not be quoting any of you for the manual.

    Thank you. I hope this answers any questions.

    Thank you so much for responding. That sounds like a very wholesome plan.
    The only thing I would ask, for my part - and this is from me, I do not claim to represent anyone else's views - is that somehow, and in whatever way, Buddhist wisdom you might choose to impart is not transformed into some kind of new-agey "you can do it!" message.

    Buddhism has been transmitted as such a message by those who, doubtlessly meaning well, have offered some teachings as character-building and selfhelp gems, but in 'soda-lite' wording....

    Buddhism is (I'm sure I don't need to tell you ) far, far more profound than that.

    Furthermore, there are certain professions which Buddhism considers unwholesome and unskilful.

    Monks, these five trades ought not to be plied by a lay-disciple... Trade in weapons, trade in human beings, trade in flesh, trade in spirits [intoxicants] and trade in poison.

    Gradual Sayings III, p. 153. (AN 5.177)

    And what, monks, is wrong mode of livelihood? Trickery, cajolery, insinuating, dissembling, rapacity for gain upon gain... And what, monks, is the right side of merit that ripens unto cleaving to a new birth? Herein monks, an ariyan disciple, by getting rid of wrong livelihood, earns his living by a right mode of living...

    You can find them a more comprehensive outline, here.

    It would be unskilful if you allied Buddhist teachings with any line of business concerned with any of the above outlets....

    Also, look up Viktor Frankl. He was Jewish and had a seemingly endless capacity for forgiveness. Currently, I can't get enough of this guy's wisdom.

    yagrlobster
  • tlishtlish Utah New

    I appreciate you sharing a bit about the profound teachings of the Buddha. I do appreciate what you have shared with me and have learned a lot about the different perspectives between religions.

    I can assure you that the project I am working on avoids the "you can do it!" tone and it a very deep and detailed instruction manual to help people find peace by living a noble and productive life (none of the professions mentioned in Gradual Sayings III would be promoted). My primary purpose of visiting this board is to widen my perspective to adequately represent the teachings of Buddha in a way that a Buddhist would approve.

    As I have attempted to match religious principles to teachings, (again the purpose is to create a manual that people of all faiths would be comfortable with) I have had difficulty with certain principles. For example, a principle in our manual is that through obedience to the commandments of God, we will find happiness in this life.

    While studying some of the texts that you kind people have referred me to, I have noticed that similar teachings do exist, but that rather than obedience to God, a Buddhist may strive to live according to the eight fold path, and therein find peace.(I don't pretend to be an expert, I apologize if I am mis representing beliefs)

    Is it incorrect to find a correlation in these teachings?

    Thank you all.

    p.s. I love Victor Frankl! I read his book Man's search for meaning and loved it!

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2016

    @tlish said: As I have attempted to match religious principles to teachings, (again the purpose is to create a manual that people of all faiths would be comfortable with) I have had difficulty with certain principles. For example, a principle in our manual is that through obedience to the commandments of God, we will find happiness in this life.

    While studying some of the texts that you kind people have referred me to, I have noticed that similar teachings do exist, but that rather than obedience to God, a Buddhist may strive to live according to the eight fold path, and therein find peace.(I don't pretend to be an expert, I apologize if I am mis representing beliefs)

    Is it incorrect to find a correlation in these teachings?

    Not at all. Just be mindful of which teaching came first.

    There is a danger here (and I feel I myself may fall prey and victim to it) that one might begin comparisons with a not-entirely-unconscious tendency towards 'one-upmanship'.

    THis is not my intention, conscious or otherwise, because such actions would be unskilful and inappropriate.
    What I will say - with fervent hope of being understood correctly - is that the teachings of Jesus Christ are in many ways identical, if not similar to those of the Buddha.

    The "complication" arises when God is brought into the equation.
    I don't mean that disrespectfully.
    I was a practising catholic for many years, so I have seen the other side of the coin.

    To be blunt - and again, I must emphasise I speak only for myself - I didn't see the point or rationale of bringing God into it.
    A christian can lead a truly wholesome, blessed and virtuous life through dedication to God.
    A Buddhist can also lead a truly wholesome, blessed and virtuous life without any dedication to God.

    If both people stood up and described their behaviour, efforts and tendencies, without mention of God, anyone might be hard-put to tell the difference between them.
    The fundamental (and admittedly, grossly simplified) difference between a Christian and a Buddhist is that a Christian puts it all "out there",whereas a Buddhist takes it all "in here".

    A Christian surrenders their life to a Deity, and dedicates his/her life to a devotion of a supreme Being who ultimately requests his followers love him and dedicate their lives to his praise, grace and Omnipotence.
    For a Buddhist - the Buck stops here. This is where the rubber hits the road, baby, and ultimately, it's your call, your decision and your path - but you'd better be prepared to take the consequences, because you're the one with the bat, and the ball is heading your way....

    But the creeds they live by are really not so very different.

    lobsterShoshindhammachick
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    From where I sit, the idea that "god" could be something/someone ELSE is always going to screw the pooch. It's OK as a phase -- the beliefs that separate what is believed and what is believed in -- but as a longterm diet, belief just causes indigestion.

  • @tlish said:

    Is it incorrect to find a correlation in these teachings?

    I would say so. B)

    Remember many here are following different beliefs as well as practicing dharma. Many of us [me for example] are more inclined to interior knowledge than dogma from Buddhist or Joseph Smith/Angel Moroni sources. We might seem very critical of nonsense, fantasy in ourselves, our beliefs or even our interpretation of interior processes ...

    Thank you all.

    p.s. I love Victor Frankl! I read his book Man's search for meaning and loved it!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2016

    A couple of more things to add to this construct:

    @tlish said:
    I appreciate you sharing a bit about the profound teachings of the Buddha. I do appreciate what you have shared with me and have learned a lot about the different perspectives between religions.

    Have you learnt, may I ask, a lot about the similar or same perspectives between them?

    My primary purpose of visiting this board is to widen my perspective to adequately represent the teachings of Buddha in a way that a Buddhist would approve.

    I don't think that should be the primary objective: You should aim, wherever possible, to ensure that you adequately represent the teachings of the Buddha in a way that any reader of your material would appreciate.

    As I have attempted to match religious principles to teachings, (again the purpose is to create a manual that people of all faiths would be comfortable with) I have had difficulty with certain principles. For example, a principle in our manual is that through obedience to the commandments of God, we will find happiness in this life.

    Yes, we have a huge difficulty with that principle too. It's something we have all variuously tried to get our heads round.

    While studying some of the texts that you kind people have referred me to, I have noticed that similar teachings do exist, but that rather than obedience to God, a Buddhist may strive to live according to the eight fold path, and therein find peace.(I don't pretend to be an expert, I apologize if I am mis representing beliefs)

    The primary objective in following the Buddha's teachings is to understand the source, or origin of suffering, and to transcend or rise above it. The Buddha stated, that this was the purpose of his 'ministry' - to teach 'stress' (Dukkha) and the process of eliminating it.

    Is it incorrect to find a correlation in these teachings?

    I don't think so. The most direct correlation I can think of, within the bible, is this one:

    "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
    ...yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these"
    .…

    Jesus is essentially advising his disciples to not be concerned about the day-to-day trivia but to put their faith in God, and that He will provide.

    The Buddha advises that the origin of dukkha is craving/grasping/ill-conceived desire. (Some 'desires' are beneficial....) By eliminating these negative traits, a person can attain a detachment from trivia, and focus more on what matters: Leading a wholesome Life, indicated by following the Eightfold Path.

    There is nothing in the Path which conflicts or contradicts what God would encourage.

    In fact, it is often stated (and I am one of the major proponents of this suggestion) that one can perfectly follow one's chosen Theistic Religion very easily, while still incorporating every single Buddhist Principle there is, with it.

    Vice-versa is however, more potentially problematic.

    pommesetorangeslobster
  • tlishtlish Utah New

    I have learned that both the teachings of Buddha and my beliefs have similar themes, but are also very different.

    I can recognized that both teach and guide people to progress and make personal improvements in their lives.

    One thing I would like to ask. Again, please forgive my ignorance. Generally speaking, Buddhists don't believe in heaven, but seek nirvanna as the ultimate goal?

    How would a Buddhist attempt to explain where we came from before our current life, and where we can potentially reside eternally? Or is there an end to time?

    Is Nirvanna something that can last in an eternal state?

    Shoshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 2016

    In Buddhism heaven is a different concept than in Christianity. In Buddhism heaven is not the creator deities paradise. In Buddhism heaven is a place that good beings go and it is a happy place where things like love are experienced. The problem with heaven though is that there is too much pleasure and you are distracted from the dharma whereas if you have suffering that sobers you up to study and meditate. Another problem with heaven is that evil or even just suffering people are expelled from heaven whereas a Buddha or bodhisattva does not reject you because you 'don't fit in heaven'. A bodhisattva will never give up on you by definition even if you are in hell (which is temporary in Buddhism).

    Another set of problems still related to heaven is that it is still a realm of suffering due to the suffering of pride. And also in Buddhism heaven is not permanent. When the good karma you did in life runs out the beings in heaven see that their beautiful raiment and their bodies are decaying and getting weaker much like humans who had a very wonderful life also have their bodies and faculties get sick and weak. At that time the person in heaven especially experiences their suffering because they know that it is uncertain where they will go next. They could go to hell next or back to heaven again or animal or human or hungry ghost or asura. There has been infinite karma in their past and any piece of that karma could ripen and so it is uncertain what realm they will go to next. This is why a lot of Buddhists hope to be a human rather than a deva (in heaven). As a human there is enough suffering to sober one to practice the dharma. But there is not so much suffering (as in hell or a hungry ghost) that you are overpowered and unable to practice. Also a human has an intellect to recognize the difference between good and bad developments unlike an animal that does not have so much intellect to distinguish or understand concepts.

    There is another idea of a realm to be in addition to nirvana and heaven in Buddhism and that is a 'pure land'. This is in Tibetan Buddhism and Pureland Buddhism. In Pureland Buddhism most of your practice is devotional to hope to be reborn by Amitabha Buddha in a pureland. I don't know much about it. In Tibetan Buddhism the bodhisattvas actually create purelands wherever they are (even on earth) and this has to do with the teacher student relationship between a bodhisattva and someone who they are teaching the dharma to. 'Pure' can be recognized in essence as whatever is needed to learn the dharma.

    Nirvana is beyond the desire realm first of all. The desire realms are: hell, hungry ghost, animal, human, asura, deva. Nirvana is also beyond the form realm. Nirvana is also beyond the formless realm. In the mahayana liberation is also liberated from Nirvana itself. Liberation from both Nirvana and Samsara. In Tibetan Buddhism Karma Kagyu there are basically four teachings when it comes down to it. Reflect on the subject of impermanence remedies attachment to this life's activities. Reflecting on the faults of samsara and on karma, cause, and its result remedies attachments to the pleasures of samsara. Meditating on loving-kindness and compassion remedies attachment to the pleasure of peace. Cultivating the supreme bodhicitta is the antidote for not understanding the method by which to achieve enlightenment.

    Shoshinlobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @tlish said:
    I have learned that both the teachings of Buddha and my beliefs have similar themes, but are also very different.

    I can recognized that both teach and guide people to progress and make personal improvements in their lives.

    One thing I would like to ask. Again, please forgive my ignorance. Generally speaking, Buddhists don't believe in heaven, but seek nirvanna as the ultimate goal?

    How would a Buddhist attempt to explain where we came from before our current life, and where we can potentially reside eternally? Or is there an end to time?

    Is Nirvanna something that can last in an eternal state?

    The Buddha pointed out that suffering comes whenever one mistakenly appropriates any of the aggregates either as what we are or as ours. The aggregates are form(physical body), feeling, perception, thoughts and consciousness.

    If they are truly seen for what they are, questions such as where we came from before our current life, and where we can potentially reside eternally? do not arise. In this way one is "freed" from birth and death and attain the "deathless".

    "This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

    "As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established

    This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.than.html

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 2016

    @tlish , Excellent responses from both @Jeffrey and @pegembara .

    One thing I would add to Jeffrey's extremely thorough response is that many experts and interpreters of the Dharma also relate that the post-death realms (of which Jeffrey speaks, specifically Heaven and Hell) can also be interpreted quite accurately as 'states of Mind'.
    In other words the Realms one might visit after Death are actually also ever-present in day-to-day proceedings.
    So while we speak of 'visiting the Hell/Heaven realms after dying, it's important to note that (1) they are impermanent abodes, and (2) they are active, psychologically, from day to day. Sometimes, they overlap, or in your mental state, you could even be "inhabiting" more than one at any given time!

    See here... (in-depth descriptions of each realm)

    And also here. (Note: the 4 additional realm mentioned in this link are not representative of ALL Buddhist teaching, but of this particular school. It's interesting in any case....)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited March 2016

    As far as living your life to high moral standards is concerned, I am surprised no one has mentioned the 5 precepts, which are things that lay followers of the Buddha commit to not doing such as killing, or the paramita, which are the 'perfections' that Buddhists strive for.

    There are some pretty good articles on Wikipedia about both concepts, I am still fairly new to Buddhism and will avoid trying to give the full lecture :)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Precepts
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pāramitā

    lobsterShoshin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    I like Thich Nhat Hanh's version of the Buddhist Five Precepts:

    The Five Mindfulness Trainings
    The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

    Reverence For Life
    Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

    True Happiness
    Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

    True Love
    Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

    Loving Speech and Deep Listening
    Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

    Nourishment and Healing
    Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

    Shoshinmeteorshower01tlishdhammachick
  • EonTrinityEonTrinity Evansville, WI New

    Hey there Travis. Welcome to the boards!

    Not sure if you are still watching this thread, but I thought I would throw my two cents in.

    I wouldn’t worry about who was born first (Jesus or Buddha) – it was long ago and to most Buddhists I know the past is a dream anyways (and the future is fantasy – there is only now).

    That said, I think it is safe to say that both Jesus and the Buddha were both teachers who practiced compassion and sought the ultimate fulfillment of fellow humanity.
    There are some Christian groups who follow a more mystical approach, who have teachings very similar to Buddhist teachings. Some even think that Jesus was exposed to some of the teachings of the east during his teenage years. Ancient Christianity was very diverse and had many sects with many beliefs -much like the differences between Mormonism and Catholicism.

    Thanks to the roads built by Alexander, ideas were able to move back and forth with people causing a mystical intermingling of spiritual thought. And the further east you get, the more influence the spirituality of the east could have influenced various budding Christian groups. And as ancient Hindus have been documented as being in Ancient Rome, there is no reason why Buddhists could not have been there as well. They could have even taken Christian ideas and concepts back east with them on their travels.

    I personally prefer to think of Jesus and the Buddha as spiritually complementary, here to teach us different things. Spiritual brothers as it were. Not in opposition at all.

    I would suggest if you want to know more about the similarities/differences, you should check out “Living Buddha Living Christ” by the zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. He wrote another book on this topic as well. His writing is crisp, clear, easy-to-read, and non-judgmental. He calls for a bridge to exist between these two great diverse religions.

    My best to you on your path!

    ET

    tlishBunks
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