In one of Osho’s books I came across the phrase ‘I teach you a religion of warmth, love, singing, dancing, music’ and in my experience of neo-sannyas that was actually true, the ashram was very much a place where these things came about. It was an interesting piece of the book ‘The Transmission of the Lamp’, where Osho also talks about how the repetition of a mantra tends to dull the intelligence, and how various traditional methods of religious practice make one cold and inactive.
My experience of Buddhism on the other hand was one of a gradual finding of silence and inner peace. I found it quite cleansing, because you drop so many things that all the bad things go. But in a way, perhaps the good things also go. I certainly found that there was a lessening of energy, like the moving from a more energetic space where one is pulled by desires and pushed by fears to a more quiet place where things moved more slowly.
It happened very gradually, and it is part of getting to know all the different aspects of yourself. In the end, I found I did not agree with the Buddha that life is suffering. Yes, there is illness and death, but how much time do you spend on those things, compared to all the mornings where you enjoy a blissful cup of coffee, the song of the birds and the rising sun? Why should one insist that rather than the mixture of things existence has gifted to you, there should be only bliss?
Buddhism has much to offer, an approach to virtue, a letting go, but in the end for me there was a way beyond just Buddhism. I still come back to it occasionally, to test things against eachother, to compare my Buddhism with a bit of Taoism and a bit of Osho.
Osho truly was a magnificent force of the heart. Reading your sharings on Osho, you can feel it in the heart. Very evocative and warming imagery in so much of the wording. When I read some of these quotes I think about the Buddha's description of the bath powder being suffused with water right to the point of being unable to absorb any more. To me this is at the heart of it all. The warm water of heart meets the dry powdered concentration and it's simply peace in presence.
It sounds lovely @Jeroen. I only have other's words and my own experience to examine enlightenment with but if it's not similar to what you're describing I may be joining you with the Tao.
The further away from the foot of the waterfall, the more peaceful the stream becomes.
Thanks for the wisdom and enjoy the day.
The theme of Buddhism being a practice of not just peace, but also of joy goes to it's origin. in th Lotus Sutra, for example, in the chapter describing the Bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, the leader of these Bodhisattvas emerges dancing in joy.
Buddhism has alwas been intended as a practice of celebration, of joy, embracing the unity of life, both within and without.
Peace to all
"Life is suffering" is a misunderstanding of Buddha's teachings, probably originating from early poor translations. Maybe from the story of Buddha's life and what caused him to renounce?
On one level dukkha translates closer to uneasiness or dissatisfaction. Like a misfit axle on a cart, the ride is bumpy and uneven.
On another level, Buddhism talks about three levels of suffering, illness and death are only the grossest level of suffering. The others are the suffering of change and the suffering of conditioning, which the blisses you mention are part of. All these are in comparison to the peace of Nirvana though, so in a worldly sense enjoying a sunset is much preferable to a broken leg. The meaning of the sufferings of change is that they don't last and the chase for them is an ultimately futile and suffering inducing state in itself.
My point isn't to say don't have a nice cup of coffee in the morning. I too look to these sorts of pleasant moments as a part of my daily fulfillment. I'm just saying your rejection of Buddhist teachings is based on a misunderstanding of what the Buddha said.
Well, in the story of the Buddha’s life he does set out to find an end to suffering. That to me seems a bit foolish, as life is always a mixture of the pleasant and the unpleasant. You will never overcome the fact that when you stub your toe against a plank of wood, for a moment it hurts. And you don’t want to, it is an essential warning signal from the body to the mind.
I think there is an important difference between pain & suffering to point out..
Pain is an inescapable part of living, whereas the suffering related to pain does not have to be so.
Pain occurs as nerve signals sending an alert.
Suffering occurs as the degree to which we grasp after, reject or deliberately ignore that signal.
Suffering does not occur to the degree to which we do not grasp after, reject or deliberately ignore that signal.
Pleasant and unpleasant occurrences are just as subject to suffering's causes as they are to sufferings absence.
Buddha's teachings also take place in the context of multiple lives and realms of existence. The relatively pleasant human lives we have now are pretty uncommon, the existence in the cycle of rebirth is a big part of the suffering Buddha was looking to be free of.
Buddhism is indeed life. It is to be embraced, experienced, celebrated, relished. Most of all, it is to be appreciated. Gratitude is at the core of Buddhist practice. We can say that to practice is to live and to live is to practice. From that cup of coffee or tea to the pain of great loss and the joy of loving reunion. All life's lows and highs and all between are Buddhism. Thus we can say that when we fully embrace our appreciation, our gratitude for all that life places before us, we are truly and fully practicing Buddhism.
Peace to all
That is a little different from how I’ve heard the story told on numerous occasions? What I’ve heard is the story of Gautama and his charioteer who leave the palace and come across an ill man, an aged man and a dead man, and this motivates Gautama to undertake the search which moves him eventually to his enlightenment. So it is suffering in this life that he wants to alleviate.
In my first post I speculated that the Buddha's story may have a place in the misunderstanding. Its a narrative tale that one, might not even be about the Siddhartha and two, is a simplified version of the actual teaching on suffering.
I think eventually a consistent practitioner of Buddhist meditation can rely either on what they uncover beyond the limitations of their own conditioned inclinations
or they can rely on a story repeatedly retold over the last 2600 years.
Peeling back the underlying truth from the obfuscations of my own ego's storyline has been a circuitous enough of a path to appreciate the, going, going, always going on, always becoming, as enough of a compass for this life's journey.