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Is Buddhism a spiritual/philosophical/religious adaptogen?

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited May 25 in Buddhism Today

As we all know our take on Dharma and Buddhism is [insert evaluation] 😶

Yesterday whilst buying what I thought was macha tea, I ended up with maca - a Peruvian 'ginseng' superfood/adaptogen :3 Tastes nice with muesli, will report back any health benefits ...

... Anyways, I am clearly not mindful enough to go shopping unsupervised. ;) In a similar way, do we adapt dharma to our needs and times? I know I do. For example combining very simple zazen as used by fish allegedly, with a fair bit of Tantra for added flavour. I also like to add the odd bit of Sufism, Alchemy, Gnostic Heresy and Harry Potter spells. In fact anything useful and pragmatic. I iz hopeless case ...
https://www.dailyzen.com/journal/shikantaza

Others are making 'soup dharma', focussing on a single mantra to help with ADHD, cherry picking, insisting on My Dharma 'uber alles', pick-and-mix Dharma and so on.

What is dharma, what is not? Who decides? The Maitreya? The first written records? Your favourite author ... or [shock horror] you? O.o

DhammaDragon

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I find it very interesting to see how close we can get to actually finding out the words of the Buddha. In that way I'm a bit Theravadan... but he is the source of the river, the originator whose shadow looms large over the whole. Yes he was a man just like us, but one of extraordinary accomplishments.

    How much of what we know of Buddhism flavour [insert school here] is a later addition? How qualified are the people who made that addition, to what extent can we trust their wisdom? To me these are the key questions when looking at schools like Mahayana and Vajrayana. The Buddha attained enlightenment - anyone after that is a bit dubious.

    I'm not saying we should throw away the learning of others beside the Buddha, but I am saying that writing a book is comparatively easy, and does not require one to have practical knowledge of enlightenment. The learning should be kept separate, not all blended together, so that one can see the lore and its writer in one piece, and make a choice.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    WARNING: This post contains material of a sensitive nature:

    A note on maca powder (not that it affects you, @lobster ;) ): Having begun my menopausal years and not having had a 'shark week' (look it up) for at least 7 months, I began taking maca powder (dosing it carefully, as warned/instructed on both the packaging and on various associated internet sites) only to find, a few weeks later, I had a totally unexpected period. Well, when you're about to hit the menopause, these things get pretty erratic...oh well, it happens.... and yup. It did the following month as well. And the month after that. Regular as clockwork.
    Did more research. Found that maca powder has a strong effect on oestrogen/progesterone, and can cause hormonal 'upheaval'.

    It's an extremely nutritious compound, but to be taken with caution, ladies.....

    lobster
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Maca is one of those compounds that seems to be marketed as a menopause regulator. Actually to smooth out pesky upheavals. By the number of websites that promote Maca you would think it was great for women. Certainly it has a following.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @federica said:

    WARNING: This post contains material of a sensitive nature:

    A note on maca powder (not that it affects you, @lobster ;) ): Having begun my menopausal years and not having had a 'shark week' (look it up) for at least 7 months, I began taking maca powder (dosing it carefully, as warned/instructed on both the packaging and on various associated internet sites) only to find, a few weeks later, I had a totally unexpected period. Well, when you're about to hit the menopause, these things get pretty erratic...oh well, it happens.... and yup. It did the following month as well. And the month after that. Regular as clockwork.
    Did more research. Found that maca powder has a strong effect on oestrogen/progesterone, and can cause hormonal 'upheaval'.

    It's an extremely nutritious compound, but to be taken with caution, ladies.....

    I'm SO GLAD you posted this, Fede! I've seen that type of tea in the stores, and read a bit about it. I don't do well with most adaptogens, so I avoided it, and now I'm really glad I did! This is very important information! Many women are estrogen-dominant, and shouldn't take that tea.

    Wow, amazing how powerful some herbs can be!

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Tiny aside note: I love the taste of maca and have added a teaspoon to my Green Bull (e.g.: the molotov super healthy energy drink I prepare with multivitamine juice, matcha green tea and wheatgrass)

    As to my molotov Buddhist mix-match routine: mantra chanting on mala, meditation, lojong, lamrim and sutta reading.
    They say the secret to life is in the sauce, and in our Buddhist practice it's in the mix.
    To keep our views fresh, our opinions challenged, our horizons ever-broadening...
    🐉🌹 <3

    lobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    lobster, my take on it is yes we need to adapt dharma to this present day condition. nevertheless retain the core dharma approach , such as the 8-fold approach.honestly trying to adapt the 8-fold path is challenging,rewarding.defenately,a lot of trial and error.so here is my work in progress dharma.i retain some contempary mantra,such as hip-hop phrase,hold up,meaning,take a pause.it's dharma to me to apply right thinking practice. essentially,pause and reflect.another another aspect of practice,is breath and be.just a little bit of my dharma practice.i try to keep it simple in the midst of complexity,to me anyway.by the way great wall art of buddha.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    the question arise,what is dharma?to me any method that reduce stress is dharma to me.i can try to see the angle of buddhism in dharma,in contempary phrases.for example,work hard and play hard.this dharma,is telling me,from a buddhist angle ,a passionate balance,middle way.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    also,songs of inspiration,such as peter gabriel,in your eyes,keeps me going.imo,defenately a dharma song tribute to buddha,what a great song.when i need feel inspire about buddha i listen to it.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    ... definitely a lot of trial and error.

    Hello :)
    Indeed.

    I personally find much in contemporary culture that is a reminder BUT too much of it is distraction, destructive (of well being) and frankly offers no peace of mind.

    I also totally agree with 'stress reduction' as being dharma. For me that includes:

    • Simplifying my life and needs
    • Enjoying and being mindful of simple pleasures <3
    • Buddhist practice (for me that is daily meditation)
    • Trying to be kinder, I say trying because I try ... :3
    • Entering and staying in the moment (aka mindfulness)
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    No, it seems to me none of those things are adaptogens. Your list speaks to discovery and experiential learning, not a dose of some palliative...

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Will_Baker said:
    No, it seems to me none of those things are adaptogens. Your list speaks to discovery and experiential learning, not a dose of some palliative...

    Indeed.
    A dose of palliative adapts itself into?

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    hi lobster. a phrase that comes to mind,is dial it down,when you reference to the distractions in life.that reminds me dharma advise of cessation.my approach is to naturally ease into cessation. ive dscover there are things ive naturally outgrew.life tend to have a way of maturing us,in my opinion.we learn and grow to what is helpfull and what is not helpfull to our individual wellbeing.being aware what buddha address in that no two people alike in brain copacity and function.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    yes the more i think about to counteract distraction is some alone time.the buddha likes to sit under the bodi tree.this suggest spend some time with nature.good dharma practice imo.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    by the way lobster i like your list.those are great approaches of well being.ps,im a crappy speller.my spelling of words i need to work on.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Tee Hee. Learn to spell fast @paulyso B)
    Our beloved moderator @federica is a grammer and spelling stickler. :open_mouth:

    Yes indeed, sitting under a tree was so important to the Buddha that when people wanted to put up a statue of him, he suggested using a Bodhi tree instead ...
    However Buddhism changed under Greek influence and trees, footprints, hands, thrones and trees were replaced by statues ...

    Although there is still some debate, the first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha himself are often considered a result of the Greco-Buddhist interaction. Before this innovation, Buddhist art was "aniconic": the Buddha was only represented through his symbols (an empty throne, the Bodhi Tree, Buddha footprints, the Dharmachakra).
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism

    In a similar way to Buddhism effecting Greek philosophy schools, other cultures and religions have adapted Dharma.

    On an individual level we find the core practices that adapt to our needs. As we change, so do our needs and we again return for fresh inspiration ...

    paulyso
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited May 27

    @lobster said:> What is dharma, what is not?

    I am still trying to figure this out. :p :p

    lobster
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran
    edited May 27

    @lobster said:

    @Will_Baker said:
    No, it seems to me none of those things are adaptogens. Your list speaks to discovery and experiential learning, not a dose of some palliative...

    Indeed.
    A dose of palliative adapts itself into?

    -Temporary relief from suffering...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Will_Baker said:

    A dose of palliative adapts itself into?

    -Temporary relief from suffering...

    Exactly so.
    With temporary relief we can extend the capacity for a permanent solution. Otherwise we just remain caught up in the permenant cycle of dukkha.
    In this sense the temporary changes into the potential for stream entry ... rather than drowning ...

  • WalkerWalker Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Tee Hee. Learn to spell fast @paulyso B)
    Our beloved moderator @federica is a grammer grammar and spelling stickler. :open_mouth:

    ftfy :p

    lobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @paulyso said:
    the question arise,what is dharma?to me any method that reduce stress is dharma to me.i can try to see the angle of buddhism in dharma,in contempary phrases.for example,work hard and play hard.this dharma,is telling me,from a buddhist angle ,a passionate balance,middle way.

    Any way that reduces stress is dharma? One reason some people become alcoholics is to escape stress. The matter is more complex than that. Perhaps, "any method that reduces stress without causing more stress in the long-term" would be more accurate. That's probably what you meant.

    paulysolobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    hi dakini.i was short sighted.thank you for offering the better view.what you said made me think of my own substance abuse,namely,cigarettes.my own stress and pleasure faculty.when stress,i light it up.im definately a chain smoker.it's my personal dukkha.not satisfied with one smoke.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    i once smart mouth to the buddha in my head.i argued to him that cigarettes is a stimulant,not an intoxicant.nevertheless,physical dukkha is the result of my own volition.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Explorer

    sorry lobster of vering off topic.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    Buddhadharma, in the right dose and faithfully put into practice, is meant to be a permanent cure for dukkha.
    Palliatives and bandaids are to no avail🐉 🙏 💕

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks guys B)

    The arising of virtue/natural precept adoption/ethical behavour is a natural outcome and illustration of our genuine capacity.

    The Buddha remained a frugal or simple lifestyle advocate after enlightenment but not to the point of yogic silliness. Traditionally the Buddha was an extreme faster, nearly dead, when he concluded food is a requirement.

    Unless we belong to a Sangha able to facilitate/adapt such a lifestyle, for a modern practitioner, the needs extend beyond living in a forest clearing, sleeping rough whilst travelling etc.

    Most of us are reading here via a comminication media. We are members of a cyber-sangha of sorts, that can inspire, if we allow and follow that potential.

    We may then share and unfold in a way that changes, modifies and self regulates the partial understandings and kinks we may individually need to address ...

    That's my plan anyways ... B)

    DhammaDragon
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