It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
I just don't find Buddhism to be consistent with a closed mind. In fact, Siddhartha realized Buddhism by being open-minded.
I was speaking to a Pali speaking Sri Lankan Buddhist last weekend who did comment on how much we lose in the translation from Pali to English.
And how it makes the path seem so much more serious and dour than it is (or words to those affect).
You might be interested in this: http://content.dhamma.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Path-to-Enlightenment-I.pdf
There is also a second volume.
It is sort of a how-to book (although not written at a childish level) which claims that many of us make Buddhism more difficult than it needs to be.
I agree with Genkaku and Karasti. To me, the purpose of meditation is to bring clarity of reality. Reality is not always pretty.
Of course, the next step is to focus on what do with that new clarity, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant.
With McDonalds, I guess in one view you can view it as if you're working for McDonalds, you're working for an industry that promotes eating of animal products. Then again, I think only monks are bound by those restrictions. I'll get back to you sometime later.
You need to check out the basic 5 Precepts. There is an interpretation factor involved.
Religiosity is declining at a rapid pace. Especially with technology as it is nowadays. But do the two have to be mutually exclusive? I read the Scientific American, the Astronomy magazine, and watch tons of documentaries. I like knowledge and learning and knowing...but when it comes to the universe as a whole and my part in it, my vehicle of choice is the nembutsu.
@Carlita I replied on my phone earlier so kept it short. Avalokiteshvara (how long it took to memorize that spelling!) is the original Sanskrit name of the bodhisattva.
...In Buddhism, the deities were interpreted differently to serve the needs of the people and culture. Is this bad? Maybe. ...Of course, it may be a matter of Mahayana versus Theravada.
Interesting post, Kannon.
No, religion and science don't have to be mutually exclusive. For example, the Pope is now discussing climate change! But all too often, such in discussions about evolution, religion has preached against science (just ask Galileo!). I may be going a step too far in this, but the frequent Christian disdain for evolution continued and grew into today's disdain for science in general, including climate change. America is full of science deniers at this point in our history, and I think much of it is because of latent religious beliefs.
Yes, I feel there is a problem when religion begins to interpret reality differently "to serve the needs of the people and culture". When we get sloppy and start doing things like that, the principles taught by Buddha also can be adjusted "to serve the needs of the people and culture".
But that's just me.