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nenkohainenkohai Veteran
edited June 2013 in General Banter
... will the practicing Buddhists please raise their hands? As a seeker myself, I'm not sure who is a practicing Buddhist and who is not. Further, I sense there may be certain users or contingent of users who would prefer people NOT to be Buddhist. I think its a fair question.

Or could be I'm just not ready for a venue such as this one.



Comments

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    " What this person does or does not do is not my concern. What I myself do or do not do that is my concern ".
    Words attributed to the Buddha in the Dhammapada.
    Invincible_summer
  • so noted
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    Most Buddhist sites are for Buddhist cheerleaders or the folks who wish to hear them.
    If one is looking for evangelical Buddhist expression then it should be pretty easy to find what you want.

    I think the value of this site is that it is more tolerant of dissenting views. It is where folks can explore there own Buddhist experiences without fear of site censure for not towing a particular party line. If this then allows the occasional troll, then I think thats an acceptable cost.
    riverflowperson
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    There are always trolls on every single internet forum that exists. Some people believe they have pure motives, thinking their religion to be the right one, and hoping to sway people (though I don't get the feeling of that so much here). Some people enjoy just ruffling feathers and rocking boats online, especially in religion and politics. Most often, people just disagree, and between that disagreement, and the tendency to easily misread intention in text, and to properly convey what we wish to say in text without the benefits of gestures, tone and body language, it's easy to see why there is conflict.

    Does it matter who is practicing and who is not? It just seems to me that in making a discussion that says "this person is Buddhist and this person is not" it will be easy to discount what someone has to say because they are not Buddhist. Yet all of the members who are either only partially Buddhist, or are simply interested in Buddhism, have plenty to add to the discussion. I do not wish to become so entombed in Buddhism that I cannot value other opinions and discussions, which is why I like it here. I've learned a LOT about Christianity from members here, learned to see it in a different light, mostly because they bring Buddhist and Christianity together.

    It just seems like a bad idea to segregate the group into Buddhist and Not-Buddhist. Even some members of my Sangha are not Buddhist, we hardly exclude them or disregard what they have to say.
    riverflow
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    I practice zazen, the seated meditation often associated with Zen Buddhism. Does that count? On the other hand, I adore chocolate and mayonnaise, so perhaps I should be disqualified.

    Honestly, @nenkohai, I'm not sure exactly what you're after. Is it the bullshit artists who talk the talk but wouldn't be caught dead walking the walk? Is it the "authentic" Buddhists bedecked with artifacts and magic rituals? Is it the people with the foreign-sounding names and perhaps a diploma on the wall?

    I can understand trying to avoid hanging out with the solemn phonies, the much-applauded charlatans, and the humble-pie artists, but who is a phony and who is the 'real deal?'

    If you figure it out, perhaps you'll let me know: I hate doing homework! :)
    howlobsterSabreKundo
  • poptartpoptart Veteran
    I practise. But I don't mind what some might call trolls. It's good to be challenged, it makes you think about what you believe. And there's a fine line between genuine enquiry and so-called trolling.
    swaydam
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    poptart said:

    there's a fine line between genuine enquiry and so-called trolling.

    What is it?
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    Nevermind said:

    poptart said:

    there's a fine line between genuine enquiry and so-called trolling.

    What is it?
    Interesting question.
    There are holes in this but

    Trolling seems entirely about the poster whereas a genuine enquiry is about a subject.
    and
    With trolling, achieving a particular response seems more important than enquiry.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    karasti said:

    There are always trolls on every single internet forum that exists. Some people believe they have pure motives, thinking their religion to be the right one, and hoping to sway people (though I don't get the feeling of that so much here). Some people enjoy just ruffling feathers and rocking boats online, especially in religion and politics. Most often, people just disagree, and between that disagreement, and the tendency to easily misread intention in text, and to properly convey what we wish to say in text without the benefits of gestures, tone and body language, it's easy to see why there is conflict.

    Does it matter who is practicing and who is not? It just seems to me that in making a discussion that says "this person is Buddhist and this person is not" it will be easy to discount what someone has to say because they are not Buddhist. Yet all of the members who are either only partially Buddhist, or are simply interested in Buddhism, have plenty to add to the discussion. I do not wish to become so entombed in Buddhism that I cannot value other opinions and discussions, which is why I like it here. I've learned a LOT about Christianity from members here, learned to see it in a different light, mostly because they bring Buddhist and Christianity together.

    It just seems like a bad idea to segregate the group into Buddhist and Not-Buddhist. Even some members of my Sangha are not Buddhist, we hardly exclude them or disregard what they have to say.

    All true. Plus the fact that Buddhism is not a single entity. There are a number of Buddhisms.
    The operant thing I think is the word 'practice'....the underpinning theory is secondary..i.m.o.
    riverflow
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    nenkohai said:

    ... I sense there may be certain users or contingent of users who would prefer people NOT to be Buddhist. I think its a fair question.

    I thought about that. Would I prefer people to not be Buddhist? And would that make my posts worthless or harmful or inappropriate?

    Maybe in Zen-Buddhism, Permanent Revolution is a cliché, because one cannot simply parrot the sutras, not even the brilliant ones and think that one has got it now.
    The challenge is to forget all that we learned as being true or false and answer the question from the bottom of our own hearts.
    When we spit blood and bile, and disagree a bit, and challenge the official party-line, maybe we actually get somewhere.
    karasti
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Or maybe that just becomes another fixed pattern of behaviour.
  • I practice Buddhism without a licence. Don't tell anyone, it's a serious offence.
    MaryAnneriverflowKundo
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    Citta said:

    Or maybe that just becomes another fixed pattern of behaviour.

    No, the bottom of our heart is the bottom of our heart.

  • 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
    We rarely have trolls here.
    I and other mods don't give them a lot of time, space or breathing room.
    Use the alert button if you suspect anything untoward.
    Thank you.
  • poptartpoptart Veteran
    Nevermind said:

    poptart said:

    there's a fine line between genuine enquiry and so-called trolling.

    What is it?
    It tends to be in the eye of the beholder.

    In any case, trolls are easily dealt with. Takes two to make an argument.

  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    It can be untoward to be disagreed with. Is there a button for that? :p
  • 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
    zenff said:

    .....When we spit blood and bile, and disagree a bit, and challenge the official party-line, maybe we actually get somewhere.

    Sometimes.
    it depends on whether you bite off more than others are prepared to chew.

    ;)
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    I can chew anything to bits.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Trolls, as I see them, are people who go into a discussion of any sort, with the intention of causing problems, with the intention of pushing the buttons of the people just to sit back and enjoy the shitstorm they caused. I don't know that I've ever seen an actual troll on NB. There are members that sometimes seem to enjoy pushing others' buttons or taking stabs at each other but I think that's to be expected and within the realm of normal internet communication. We can still each choose whether to react, and how. I've gotten a lot of lessons on that one, and continue to, lol. I learn a lot via disagreements, here and elsewhere. Not usually because of what anyone says. But because I have to ask myself why I am feeling a certain way, and it usually leads to good answers. There are probably times it seems like I am pushing others' buttons, but that is never my intention, and I try to assume that that is not the actual intention of others here. But when I feel challenged in some thought or belief I have, that's always been a good thing for me.

    I'm still curious, @nenkohai what your intention is in wanting to know that information. It seems almost like you are asking who you should take seriously and listen to, and who you shouldn't.
  • I practice my [Buddhism] path every day. That's the truth. Or is it? Who would know if I'm lying or not? Why would anyone care?
    As long as I don't say or do anything harmful or misleading in the name of, or as an example of, "Buddhism"... it shouldn't matter how or to what extent I am a practicing Buddhist.

    Well anyway, I am a Buddhist- because I say so, and because I do acknowledge and practice the foundations of Buddhism (4NT, 8FP, precepts) to the best of my ability and limitations.

    I'm always very up front about my path and how I choose to walk it; like the fact that I'm a 'secular' or 'atheist' Buddhist; the fact that I don't do formal meditation (at this time); the fact that I'm so not the sutra reading / memorizing type. I have little use for that sort of thing. But I'm honest about that and don't pretend otherwise.

    I honestly try not to judge others on the ways or means of their path (Buddhist or not) but -sometimes- I will step up to defend my own path if someone else thinks they have the right to judge me on it. And sometimes I don't bother with that at all.... just depends on the day I guess. ;)
    riverflow
  • 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
    Nevermind said:

    I can chew anything to bits.

    I would repectfully suggest you don't test that theory.

  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    edited June 2013
    federica said:

    Nevermind said:

    I can chew anything to bits.

    I would repectfully suggest you don't test that theory.

    Shouldn't you be suggesting that other not bite off more than I can chew? :wtf:
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    edited June 2013
    karasti said:

    Trolls, as I see them, are people who go into a discussion of any sort, with the intention of causing problems, with the intention of pushing the buttons of the people just to sit back and enjoy the shitstorm they caused.

    It's rather obvious when that happens. Unfortunately the term is widely abused, being applied in any disagreement. Disagreements are untoward, as Frederica suggests.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    I practice Zen Buddhism. :)
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Trolling simply means deceiving people and getting them to react a certain way. Just because someone goes somewhere and acts like a douchecanoe on purpose doesn't mean they are trolling. Flaming, maybe, but not trolling. It bothers me when the terms are misused too, but it shouldn't, lol

    Troll: someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.

    Flaming: also known as bashing, is hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users, often involving the use of profanity.

    We see some flaming here sometimes, though not often compared to other internet forums. But I'm not sure I can even say I've ever seen what I'd say is an actual troll on here. I'm sure it's happened, but I've personally never seen it.

    Anyhow to stay on topic, I have never felt that there were users here who thought other users shouldn't be Buddhists. I've seen people disagree on what they think certain things mean, especially precepts. I've seen them disagree on things within other traditions. I've seen a few people seemingly suggest to others that perhaps they are bad Buddhists in some way, but that's pretty rare, and even then probably mostly happens due to miscommunication and misunderstanding. The fact is there are people here who are much, much farther a long in their Buddhist practice than others. Many of the people here are pretty new to it. I appreciate the wisdom of the members who have been practicing so long, I think it's invaluable even though sometimes I perceive it as them being judgmental of us less-studied Buddhists. I understand that to be my problem though, and not theirs. I'm glad they stay and converse and share what they have learned, it takes patience to do that. Imagine if the community was nothing but really new Buddhists, LOL. There would be a lot of confusion going around! Some of the more advanced people maybe wish there were more people like them to have more serious, in-depth analytical discussion of sutras and such with. Maybe there is a better place for those sorts, though I think it fits here just fine, there just might not be as many people to comment. When someone is new and looking at some of the more advanced ideas of people who have been practicing for years and even decades or a lifetime, it comes across as a foreign language. I read, but I don't attempt to participate most of the time because I just do not grasp it well enough to do so. I'm interested, I'm just not there yet. It would be like attempting to do high level algebra without having yet learned multiplication tables.

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran
    I am new, and trying to adopt Buddhism, but like @karasti I am limited in knowledge which hampers me as to participation. I read the threads, but like her am too new to this to understand them fully yet.

    I do meditate, though sometimes it feels like intuition plus contemplation mixed in a hodgepodge. I just let it go then.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    nenkohai said:

    ... will the practicing Buddhists please raise their hands? As a seeker myself, I'm not sure who is a practicing Buddhist and who is not. Further, I sense there may be certain users or contingent of users who would prefer people NOT to be Buddhist. I think its a fair question.

    Or could be I'm just not ready for a venue such as this one.

    What is practicing? If you incorporate Buddhist principles into your life, are you a practicing Buddhist? Or only if you buy the whole kit-and-kaboodle 100%?

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I am new, and trying to adopt Buddhism, but like @karasti I am limited in knowledge which hampers me as to participation. I read the threads, but like her am too new to this to understand them fully yet.

    I do meditate, though sometimes it feels like intuition plus contemplation mixed in a hodgepodge. I just let it go then.

    Ha I don't let the underlined stop me from participating. I can usually find a genuine response or those I cannot I just read the thread and don't post.

  • nenkohai said:

    ... will the practicing Buddhists please raise their hands? As a seeker myself, I'm not sure who is a practicing Buddhist and who is not. Further, I sense there may be certain users or contingent of users who would prefer people NOT to be Buddhist.

    Not only am I a Buddhist, but I'm the sickest Buddhist.

    MaryAnnesndymornTheswingisyellowJeffrey
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    I'm practicing @nenkohai. We need a support network.
  • @Lazy_eye

    ^That video always makes me smile and chuckle. :)
  • @MaryAnne...me too. Couldn't resist posting it.
  • nenkohai said:

    ... will the practicing Buddhists please raise their hands? As a seeker myself, I'm not sure who is a practicing Buddhist and who is not. Further, I sense there may be certain users or contingent of users who would prefer people NOT to be Buddhist. I think its a fair question.

    Or could be I'm just not ready for a venue such as this one.

    I've been a Zen Buddhist for many years now. But I'm curious, if I was faking it and only pretending to be a Buddhist on this board, how would you know?
  • CittaCitta Veteran

    Ve haf vays.....mwah hah hah...


    Kundo
  • I apologize. My initial post is born out of frustration. I was angry when I posted that. I am sorry for having done that. I've concluded that I'm not in a good mind-space to be actively participating here. Maybe at some point in the future.

    Again, sincere apologies.
    lobster
  • @nenkohai, I didn't see anything wrong with your post or with the topic you raised. It seemed a legitimate question to ask and it generated an interested discussion. Wasn't offensive in any way and I apologize if my response on the thread was a bit "flip". Hope all is well and look forward to your further posts when you feel comfortable about participating.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    Anger is a tough thing. Once you get space between 'you' and the manifestation of the power and righteousness of anger then you can exist with anger but without generating more and more bad karma. Eventually anger becomes a dharma bell that shows you when something is upsetting you and when you realize that you can see that underneath the anger is a wish to have things in a better way and often a better way for all concerned.

    I didn't think you did anything wrong. My father says he did 7 years of therapy with the culmination of having realized that he is allowed to be a 'prick' sometimes.
    Kundolobster
  • I practice my interpretation of the dharma. I don't call myself Buddhist though as I don't believe in karma or rebirth, in the supernatural sense, that most Buddhists class as core beliefs.
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran
    I would say I am Buddhist and follow the basic principles as well as I understand them but have much to learn yet.

    @Chrysalid You don't need to avoid calling yourself Buddhist because you don't believe certain beliefs; there are no hard and fast rules where Buddhism is concerned. I would have said in the past that I don't believe in karma or rebirth but I now see that they cannot be proved by me to be true or not true and so have an open mind; I neither believe nor disbelieve in them as there is simply no need to make myself sit on one side of the fence or the other, just be here now.
  • I practise Mahayana Buddhism to the best of my current understanding, focusing more now in the Vietnamese tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh (which is basically Chan, though not quite so bewildering as Chan may often seem-- it seems to me to lack the kind of formality of Chinese Chan or Japanese Zen).

    I participate in two sanghas: a local monastery and also a small budding group that meets in town. I used to be more of a "solo freelancer" in the past. Participating in a real flesh-and-blood sangha makes a big difference I think.

    Karma and rebirth (i.e. not reincarnation of a "soul") I don't see as "supernatural" at all, but simply causality understood in light of emptiness and interdependent origination.

    Nagarjuna, Dogen, Chan/Zen and the Huayen school are other areas of interest to me that I find helpful.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Namaste,

    I am _trying_ to be a Buddhist. I follow the Eightfold Noble Path, take refuge daily and try to attend classes and meditation at my Sangha when possible.

    In metta,
    Raven
  • SilouanSilouan Veteran
    I'm not a “practicing” Buddhist anymore. However, I'm open to the wisdom it offers but within certain limits of course, and I continue to familiarize myself with various texts, commentaries, and listen to lectures. My library continues to grow with Buddhist materials.

    Some things learned from my past and now are very helpful in how I grasp things as a Christian especially some of the more esoteric material that I'm drawn too. It is like a synergy thing between the two now. When reading Buddhist material I'm finding it not as difficult to grasp certain things as before, because of the Christian influence.
    riverflow
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    I take refuge in the three treasures and have practised shikantaza daily for 40 years.
    I don't often label myself a Buddhist,
    Not because I'm not a Buddhist but because an attachment to a Buddhist identity can be so much more difficult to identify & let go of than a worldly one.

    I think the Dharma is everywhere to an open mind & a wide heart. Someone posting here who doesn't wish anyone to be a Buddhist is no less a teacher than a Buddhist Evangelist.
    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    nenkohai said:

    I apologize. My initial post is born out of frustration. I was angry when I posted that. I am sorry for having done that. I've concluded that I'm not in a good mind-space to be actively participating here. Maybe at some point in the future.

    Again, sincere apologies.

    Outstanding practice.

    Appreciate your self awareness.

    I hope you know you are very welcome to be angry and frustrated in such a genteel way . . .

    Just remember how convoluted and cloaked some arisings are . . .

    . . . back to your originating post . . .
    I tell everyone, even the Buddha statues and any passing trees, that I am a Buddhist on my way to Buddhahood. I practice formal sitting every morning. That really is the cornerstone of my name calling. Other practices as they arise. In Buddhism, failure is an option. Then we try again. That is why it is called practice.

    :wave:
    KundoriverflowJeffreynenkohai
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