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A quote from Batchelor that I like

vinlynvinlyn VeteranColorado...for now Veteran

Some debate what "Buddhism" is. I like this quote from Batchelor's "Buddhism Without Belief":

"Depending on which part of Buddhism you grasp, you might identify it as a system of ethics, a philosophy, a contemplative psychotherapy, a religion. ... That which contains the range of elements that constitute Buddhism is called a 'culture'".

And it seems to me that an individual is free to utilize Buddhist concepts in any or all of those ways. Let the cherry picking begin.

Just my view.

lobsteranatamanHamsakaShoshin

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

    I thought you never read SB unless it was through threads on here, or pithy quotes....?

    Oh no, hang on...

    That was me.

    Bit by bit, I swear in this way, I shall read his entire works without ever picking up a book, or buying one....!

    I don't like cherry-picking.....

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    That's life.

    Shoshin
  • 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

    I think we discussed this before, but didn't we deal with the difference between 'cherry-picking' and using different aspects from different traditions....?

    Just as a point of discussion, as you used the term....

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Where most folks try to keep their coloring inside of the lines
    others see value in working with free range crayons.
    Personally I think both have something to teach the other.

    vinlynShoshin
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    I agree, How.

    But my point here is that each individual -- whether "Buddhist" or not -- has the personal freedom to adopt (or not to adopt) Buddhist principles as a system of ethics, a philosophy, a contemplative psychotherapy, a religion, or an entire culture. And if someone else doesn't like it, well, tough -------.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    When baking cherries, almonds and apricots can be added . . . or ones particular favourites.

    We do adapt, we do focus on aspects that interest or inspire us. I feel it is important to value and respect the different approaches and insights of others. Sometimes the nature of the path changes quite radically with our developing understanding.

    Some of us are initially alienated or suspicious of a particular approach. However very often it is the differences that either confirms our present position or offers us an unconsidered possibility. <3

    Uniquely this forum offers diversity. I feel that is healthy.

    Long Live the Flying Speghetti Monster [oops - what a giveaway]

    Jeffreyvinlyn
  • DakiniDakini Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    I saw a headline on the cover of Buddhadharma mag today. It asked how the new "mindfulness movement" will impact Buddhism. Apparently, what started out as a health-related and to some extent physician-recommended "relaxation response" has developed further into meditation + mindfulness practice. So more and more elements of Buddhism are being plucked and incorporated into a "secular" physical and mental health practice.

    That's interesting. Buddhism doesn't have an exclusive claim on these elements, either. They could just as easily be said to be borrowed from Hinduism, or generically, "Eastern Traditions", fwiw. But it's interesting that Western medicine and psychiatry are recognizing the value of these practices.

    Hamsakalobster
  • robotrobot Veteran Veteran

    I've never had any enthusiasm for religion or rituals, but I'm glad there are those that do have dedication to specific traditions and lineages.
    Left up to guys like me, the Buddhadharma would be lost in a very short time.

    lobster
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @robot said:
    I've never had any enthusiasm for religion or rituals, but I'm glad there are those that do have dedication to specific traditions and lineages.
    Left up to guys like me, the Buddhadharma would be lost in a very short time.

    No, guy's like you are not here because you are losing it, and this is what I love about the dharma, that nagging feeling will always be there to lead you to where you find yourself now, and allow you to come to realise what you already knew....

    ...\lol/...

    Jeffrey
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    I have found retroactively that there are dharma teachings that explain how to make use of prayer and I suppose other rituals. My teacher gave a talk about the seven branches of prayer: 1 entering the practice (or mandala).. could be getting off on the right foot; for example if you were meeting a queen you might bow or curtsey ... 2 offering generosity such as giving a host a bottle of wine or some present.. for a Buddha you could give riches, your understanding, all your flaws, everything possible of fantasy?? 3 appreciating being in the mandala or group.. for example you could notice the taste and decor of the host.. 4 asking for teachings... even Buddha did not teach the dharma until Indra asked him.. a little mystical? well doesn't a child ask to be read a story? 5 asking the teacher to stay in the world... hmmm a little mystical I guess, but nonetheless in TB there is a long tradition of saying prayers to keep the Buddha in the world.. actually there is a story of ananda failing three times to ask Shakyamuni to stay in the world and on the third time the conditions (DO) were set so the Buddha would die.. too late! 6 forgot 7 whatever teachings you have received may they go into the world like the ripples from a stone in a pond.. to all beings! why limit us?

    anatamanlobster
  • robotrobot Veteran Veteran

    @anataman said:
    No, guy's like you are not here because you are losing it, and this is what I love about the dharma, that nagging feeling will always be there to lead you to where you find yourself now, and allow you to come to realise what you already knew....
    ...\lol/...

    True, in hindsight everything falls into place. For those with only faith in the Buddhadharma and yet to have some realization, confidence in the source could be important. Later, with experience and discernment, you know the real deal when you see it. Could be a TV commercial or a cereal box.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    or, dread the thought, a religion >:)

  • robotrobot Veteran Veteran

    @anataman said:
    or, dread the thought, a religion >:)

    Or religion for sure. Whatever floats your boat.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Don't over-inflate the quote...

    ...\lol/...

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran

    What is "Buddhism Without Belief"?

    All that is born has to die. Suffering and stress results when one expects things to behave according to one's wishes. And they don't always do that because there is nothing that is truly yours. They are only provisionally yours by mutual agreement and convention. The more you come to accept this the more freedom you realize.

    The Buddha discovered the Dhamma and made it known to the world.
    Dhamma is Dhamma and is not Buddhist, etc.

    silver
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @pegembara said:> > The Buddha discovered the Dhamma and made it known to the world.> Dhamma is Dhamma and is not Buddhist, etc.

    The problem here is that all we have to work with are various cultural expressions of the Dhamma, including recently Secular Buddhism. These cultural expressions are very varied and sometimes contradictory. Are you saying there is an essence that can be distilled out from all these cultural expressions, and if so, what is it exactly? Assuming that there is some kind of essence, do you believe that Secular Buddhism is closer to it?

    Hamsaka
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    The essence is the 4NT, N8FP, 3 characteristics, 6 sense media and DO. The DO is subject of contention whether it refers to 3 lifetime model or not but the others are quite clear.

    The Dhamma at its core is a revelation, not a belief. There is nothing cultural or religious or philosophical.

    Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, before my Awakening, when I was just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the realization came to me: 'How this world has fallen on difficulty! It is born, it ages, it dies, it falls away & rearises, but it does not discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death. O when will it discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death?'

    "In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

    "Following it, I came to direct knowledge of fabrications, direct knowledge of the origination of fabrications, direct knowledge of the cessation of fabrications, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of fabrications. Knowing that directly, I have revealed it to monks, nuns, male lay followers & female lay followers, so that this holy life has become powerful, rich, detailed, well-populated, wide-spread, proclaimed among celestial & human beings."

    Nagara Sutta

    bookworm
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    ""Depending on which part of Buddhism you grasp, you might identify it as a system of ethics, a philosophy, a contemplative psychotherapy, a religion. ... That which contains the range of elements that constitute Buddhism is called a 'culture'"."

    Whatever floats ones raft...Wood from different trees helps keep me afloat...

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @pegembara said:> The essence is the 4NT, N8FP, 3 characteristics, 6 sense media and DO.

    That's your view based on the particular affiliation you have, and it reflects a specific set of cultural assumptions. But people affiliated with other schools would make different assumptions and answer the question in a different way. Or do you think that your approach is the only true Dhamma, and that everyone else is missing the point?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @vinlyn said:> And it seems to me that an individual is free to utilize Buddhist concepts in any or all of those ways.

    Let's not forget that Secular Buddhism has it's own set of methods and assumptions, and increasingly it's own orthodoxy. Perhaps we should cherry-pick from Secular Buddhism too!

    So are you now a Secular Buddhist, or are they too orthodox for you? ;)

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @pegembara said "The Dhamma at its core is a revelation, not a belief." Worth echoing.
    <3

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @silver said:> pegembara said "The Dhamma at its core is a revelation, not a belief." Worth echoing.
    <3

    Revelation sounds quite religious though, so I'm not sure.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:Revelation sounds quite religious though, so I'm not sure.

    rev·e·la·tion

    /ˌrevəˈlāSH(ə)n/

    noun
    1. a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way.

    synonyms: disclosure, surprising fact, announcement, report, admission;
    2. the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world.

    Was thinking in terms of the basic definition of the word - not the last book in the Bible.
    B)

    federica
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    Interesting. So in the Buddha's case was the surprising and previously unknown fact the teaching on anatta? That does seem to have been the innovative teaching.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    That's your view based on the particular affiliation you have, and it reflects a specific set of cultural assumptions. But people affiliated with other schools would make different assumptions and answer the question in a different way. Or do you think that your approach is the only true Dhamma, and that everyone else is missing the point?

    Is the fact that aging, sickness, death, separation from what you loved and association with what you hate a cultural assumption? Is the fact that happiness is impermanent unique to Buddhist, Easterners or Africans?
    What about right view, right speech, right action?

    vinlyn
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2015

    @pegembara said:> What about right view, right speech, right action?

    I'm just observing that you are arguing from the perspective of a particular school, which I think in your case is Thai Forest. People from other schools will have a different view, and I was a little concerned that you were promoting your view as the only correct one.

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    The problem here is that all we have to work with are various cultural expressions of the Dhamma, including recently Secular Buddhism. These cultural expressions are very varied and sometimes contradictory. Are you saying there is an essence that can be distilled out from all these cultural expressions, and if so, what is it exactly? Assuming that there is some kind of essence, do you believe that Secular Buddhism is closer to it?

    I know you weren't asking me, but I asked myself . . . and to some degree, I 'prefer' it over the 'religious' expressions. I entered Buddhism through the secular expression, and it is more coherent with 'the rest of me', personality, activities, thinking trends, and so on.

    I wonder if there is always going to be an 'expression' through which we perceive the Dharma, until 'full awakening' whatever that actually means. We are finite creatures with access to the infinite, but as long as we are still 'creaturely', we'll operate within an expression that suits our preferences.

    It make sense, in that the expression not be too distracting, but more pleasing, easy to look past and deeper within. Something that doesn't ring too many pleasure or aversion bells. And that would 'look different' like individuals are different. Just a thought.

    It would make the idea of a 'correct expression' rather meaningless. It could let a lot of people off the(ir) hook.

    pegembara
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