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Bodhi of Christ

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited April 6 in Faith & Religion

Many of us were brought up as Christians or worse ... :surprised:
No doubt that is uncharitable. However many become atheists, nihilists or trekkies because their Buddhist from child upbringing provided little functional spiritual skills ...

Religion in itself is dependent on the depth of enquiry. That is why Christian mysticism is as deep as any path of revelation. As this is a Buddhist forum, the work of Meister Ekhart is often considered relevant ...

Just as I cherry pick my dharma, I remind myself of the good in Christ. For example:

Be humble
Be compassionate (a possible translation of sympathy through mourning)
Live simply (a possible translation of meek)
Be ethical (a possible translation of righteous)
Be merciful
Be pure of heart
Be a peacemaker
Do not live in fear to do what is right
Be an example to others (“the light of the world”)
Do not murder (the Buddhist First Precept)
Do not commit adultery (The Buddhist Third Precept)
Sin is not only found in action but in intention (the Buddhist concept of volitional action creating karma)
Keep your promises (The Buddhist Fourth Precept)
Turn the other cheek (The Buddhist concept of compassion or karuna)
Do charity because it is in your heart to do so (the concept of dana)
Do not judge (The Buddhist concept of the three poisons: hatred, greed and delusion)
Always be seeking and questioning ("seek and you will find .. ")
Beware of false prophets and judge them by the fruit they bare (the sutta of the Kalamas)
https://appliedbuddhism.com/2010/08/18/can-you-be-a-buddhist-christian/

So Easter? Christ dies! Ay caramba!
Can Christ help Christians? Buddhists? Just irrelevant? Too hard/unrealistic?

Dhammika

Comments

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited April 6

    Much of the good stuff is in there, certainly, but Buddhism seems better organized, more coherent, easier to enter. It's got a raft, you know, and you can actually see it and get on it and start paddling.

    Christianity seems more like a pile of twigs and branches, some of which seem to be useless, and no rope to tie them all together. Have to make your own rope, I guess, and someone has to tell you that it can be done - perhaps that was my problem with Christianity - no guidance worth mentioning, and the focus seemed to be on the useless materials.

    Meister Eckhart may be the only Christian writer I've gotten anything very significant out of, but I haven't read all that many, either - I suppose I got tired of digging through the detritus looking for something solid.

    lobsterKeromeherberto
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    Much of the good stuff is in there, certainly, but Buddhism seems better organized, more coherent, easier to enter.

    Indeed that possibility is more present for Western Buddhists who have cherry picked teachings.

    Having studied the internal Christ, I find value in the inward teachings
    I was not offered the very pragmatic teachings of Evelyn Underhill, I had to seek and find them
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Underhill
    The Cloud of Unknowing and many great inner teachings are not readily promoted ...

    Plus I feel Easter Eggs invented by the Pagans is worth exploring. Especially the empty ones ...

    herberto
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited April 6

    @Fosdick said:> Meister Eckhart may be the only Christian writer I've gotten anything very significant out of, but I haven't read all that many, either - I suppose I got tired of digging through the detritus looking for something solid.

    Yes, there are a few interesting bits, though I find them difficult to decipher. I used to do "silent worship" with the Quakers, which is like sitting in silence and waiting to connect with the "God within" ( or something ).

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I'm still reading Living Buddha, Living Christ by our good friend Thich Nhat Hanh. It's an interesting book that shows a whole series of cross-over points in the respective lore, and a number of encounters between the writer and Christians.

    In particular I find it curious that he says that the Holy Spirit is the best point to truly approach Christianity from the perspective of a Buddhist.

    Enfin, I'm not that connected to Christianity, and so this part of my reading is more to join up the dots between current buddhistic leaning and the Christianity of my grandparents. The religion of my parents is more Osho, who was very all inclusive and often spoke about Buddhism as well.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I think in a way TNH seems to be more 'Christian' in his approach and attitude, than Thomas Merton was Buddhist in his....

    lobsterherberto
  • yagryagr Veteran

    I found reconciliation with Christianity through the line: Christ is the Truth, the ....

    I'm good with seeking truth, in which case, according to the above line, I'm seeking Christ. I found a truth that is more easily digestible in Buddhism, hence I'm Buddhist...and maybe Christian too. I don't know, don't much care at this point either but I've explained it like this to those who care about such things as my eternal 'soul': I have never called myself a Christian, I've never had anyone mistake me for a Christian, but I think Christ might call me one.

    eggsaviorherberto
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Many of us were brought up as Christians or worse ... :surprised:
    No doubt that is uncharitable. However many become atheists, nihilists or trekkies because their Buddhist from child upbringing provided little functional spiritual skills ...

    Religion in itself is dependent on the depth of enquiry. That is why Christian mysticism is as deep as any path of revelation. As this is a Buddhist forum, the work of Meister Ekhart is often considered relevant ...

    Just as I cherry pick my dharma, I remind myself of the good in Christ. For example:

    Be humble
    Be compassionate (a possible translation of sympathy through mourning)
    Live simply (a possible translation of meek)
    Be ethical (a possible translation of righteous)
    Be merciful
    Be pure of heart
    Be a peacemaker
    Do not live in fear to do what is right
    Be an example to others (“the light of the world”)
    Do not murder (the Buddhist First Precept)
    Do not commit adultery (The Buddhist Third Precept)
    Sin is not only found in action but in intention (the Buddhist concept of volitional action creating karma)
    Keep your promises (The Buddhist Fourth Precept)
    Turn the other cheek (The Buddhist concept of compassion or karuna)
    Do charity because it is in your heart to do so (the concept of dana)
    Do not judge (The Buddhist concept of the three poisons: hatred, greed and delusion)
    Always be seeking and questioning ("seek and you will find .. ")
    Beware of false prophets and judge them by the fruit they bare (the sutta of the Kalamas)
    https://appliedbuddhism.com/2010/08/18/can-you-be-a-buddhist-christian/

    So Easter? Christ dies! Ay caramba!
    Can Christ help Christians? Buddhists? Just irrelevant? Too hard/unrealistic?

    The teachings of Jesus can surely help but I've never been fond of this Christ business. I do prefer to celebrate the coming of spring this time of year as I admit to finding the whole Christian concept of Easter confusing.

    Celebrating the birth of Jesus on Christmas can easily be incorporated into the way I have come to celebrate that time of year but celebrating his execution and the birth of a zombie Jesus just doesn't make sense to me. And what does that say about the supposed sacrifice?

    The Jesus I can envision lived for us and was killed due to ignorance. That he came back from the dead just takes away from the meat of his words.

    herberto
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I agree @karasti and this is and has always been my issue with religion. The teachings are insightful and interesting but when you see the practice from Christians, something that Buddhists hold near and dear, it's lacking something extremely important. It is almost as if they don't understand what they are being taught or what they are reading.

    lobster
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    Unfortunately the scandals of the catholic church in ireland have made christianity a no go zone for me. Child abuse, misogyny, homophobia to name but a few problems. A shame that the power and corruption of the mens club in the vatican turns people away from the pure core of christianity which obviously has such a good message. Just because christianity isnt for me doesnt mean i dont completely respect the good origins of it. As for the vatican and the power and the corruption and the abuse, no thank you. A shame also that the original message of christianity has been warped to promote judgement, fear and sin. Those concepts dont sit well with me.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Hozan I agree, but I've found it helpful to keep that within Catholicism as a system. I found I had to, because Buddhism has many abuses similar to Catholicism in its history, as well, and I found I could not reconcile condemning all of Christianity due to the corrupt system that is the Catholic church yet remain a full-fledged Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. Accepting the teachings as valid doesn't have to mean accepting the crap that comes with the label of religion.

    Hozandhammachick
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    IMHO when it comes to Buddhism & Christianity ....Never the twain shall meet They are worlds apart.....

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Not sure what your point is? There is value to understanding the tenents of many religions, it helps greatly with understanding of the world and its people. That doesn't mean you have to adopt them all. Even agreeing that they make good points doesn't have to be in conflict with Buddhism (or anything else). Some people manage to make both work. Whatever works for them, doesn't affect my practice whatsoever. I don't practice Christianity. Just Buddhism, and perhaps a little Paganism that fits in nicely (or could be considered a broader part of Buddhism depending how you choose to view it). But I do believe the basis of what Christ taught was pretty good stuff for the most part. It's not his limited teachings I take issue with. It's the human interpretation of them.

    Hozan
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Shoshin said:
    IMHO when it comes to Buddhism & Christianity ....Never the twain shall meet They are worlds apart.....

    That tells me that you have insufficient knowledge of either.

    If HHDL, Thomas Merton, Jim Pym and TNH can find things to reconcile one with the other, what makes you so expert...?! :angry:

    dhammachick
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks guys, appreciate your perspective <3 I just had a couple of hot cross buns with butter and a cup of tea. No Buddha Wheel buns in the shop ... yet ... ;)

    Meanwhile ... 'Grace' is a special state of awareness that Christian Mysics enter. Perhaps most similar to Samadhi or intense mindfulness for Buddhists. Self goes.
    http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/a-different-view-of-jesus.html

    herberto
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    @karasti said:
    @Hozan I agree, but I've found it helpful to keep that within Catholicism as a system. I found I had to, because Buddhism has many abuses similar to Catholicism in its history, as well, and I found I could not reconcile condemning all of Christianity due to the corrupt system that is the Catholic church yet remain a full-fledged Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. Accepting the teachings as valid doesn't have to mean accepting the crap that comes with the label of religion.

    Wise words @karasti :)

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Shoshin said:
    IMHO when it comes to Buddhism & Christianity ....Never the twain shall meet They are worlds apart.....

    That tells me that you have insufficient knowledge of either.

    If HHDL, Thomas Merton, Jim Pym and TNH can find things to reconcile one with the other, what makes you so expert...?! :angry:

    What's the proof that they are right? Maybe they are all wrong. Is that possible? Or because they are famous people, they ought to be right no matter what?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited April 9

    @techie, you miss my point completely. Quelle surprise....

    Right or wrong about what, exactly?

    'Famous' isn't the point.
    Expert is more appropriate.
    Unless you wish to argue that, as a practising Buddhist, you're more 'expert' than they are....

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Is there really a right or wrong with this, @techie? I think holding staunch views of one religion versus another and an insistence that one is right over the other is the cause of a large portion of the world's problems. It's how churches in Egypt were attacked today. But holding views that it's us vs them and only one can be right in the end.

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Is there really a right or wrong with this, @techie? I think holding staunch views of one religion versus another and an insistence that one is right over the other is the cause of a large portion of the world's problems. It's how churches in Egypt were attacked today. But holding views that it's us vs them and only one can be right in the end.

    You are free to reconcile Buddhism with Christianity.
    Others are free to see both religions as distinct, unique, and beautiful in their own way - and therefore no reconciliation is necessary.

    Live and let live, that's all I am saying.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    That's not how it came across at all.
    It's not a question of right or wrong, or even, if you like, trying to reconcile one with the other.
    It's more a case of respecting the individual viewpoints and seeing the similarities in the messages of both men. No Reconciliation is necessary. It's as plain as a pikestaff they were both coming from the same direction.... How can you reconcile that which is already linked?

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Can Christ help Christians? Yes (he wouldn't be doing his job if he couldn't ...for Christ's sake _)... Buddhists? Some (_those that way inclined)... Just irrelevant? For many(no interest)..Too hard/unrealistic? Time waster (better things to think about) :)

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @federica said:
    That's not how it came across at all.
    It's not a question of right or wrong, or even, if you like, trying to reconcile one with the other.
    It's more a case of respecting the individual viewpoints and seeing the similarities in the messages of both men. No Reconciliation is necessary. It's as plain as a pikestaff they were both coming from the same direction.... How can you reconcile that which is already linked?

    That's your view, that's all. Others are free to have theirs.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    As we know, Noble Silence (turning the other cheek) is the way to overcome the petty squabbles in our mind, Sangha, or other attempts at following the Right Way.

    Perhaps it is whether we follow our precepts, Son of God, Last Prophet, Dalai Trump (bad lobster) or our internal compass.

    I would suggest the ability to broaden our discernment does not mean we need a label such as Shamanic-Tibetan Buddhist, Ultra Theravadin, Buddhist with Christ bits or [insert egoic name call] etc.

    Christ Be With You. Buddha more So.
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/22/buddhists-easter

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    :)

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I can't even reconcile the teachings of Jesus with Christianity let alone Buddha and Christianity but hey.

    federicaShoshin
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