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Non-Buddhists

Just curious, cuz I guess I wouldn't consider myself a Buddhist, but someone who is really interested in a lot of religions and likes Buddhism the best, and feels it is important to be sober and happy, I don't know. But anyway, how many of you wouldn't consider yourselves Buddhists?

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Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I consider myself a Buddhist/Christian. I look for the wisdom wherever I find it, and I consider myself more of a philosophical Buddhist than a religious one.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    Yes and no. It helps people understand aspects of what I believe and how I live my life, but as an identity? Not so much. Generally go with "Skeptic Humanist Buddhist", not necessarily in that order, just to have a starting point with people.

  • VagabondVagabond Explorer
    edited April 2014

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    Yes and no. It helps people understand aspects of what I believe and how I live my life, but as an identity? Not so much. Generally go with "Skeptic Humanist Buddhist", not necessarily in that order, just to have a starting point with people.

    I guess me too. Such an honest thing. I think a lot of people from different religions are like this, but they don't admit it or even consider it.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited April 2014

    @Vagabond My name, country, ethnicity, age, sex, whatever... just whatever. You know? I take everything as chance, or better yet as conditioned. None of these things is something I "own". There's really nothing I can point to that doesn't have its roots in causes and conditions. Just nothing to cling to, and I'm okay with that.

    Good night!

    Jeffrey
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    If you'd like me to be a Buddhist, I can do that.

    ChazlobstershanyinNirvana
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    :)

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Yes, I choose to define myself as a Buddhist. Does not exclude other things, though. I like Sartre, I like Nietzsche, I like Proust, I like Jane Austen, I like Alexandra David Neel, I like Matisse, I like Puccini, I like yoga, I like matcha green tea, I like painting mandalas... Mix all that, pass it through the Buddhist filter and that's my set of skandhas for this lifetime :)
    Am I mispelling skandhas? Have to look that one up!

  • I was a Christian and still feel an affinity with that religion.

    However, the more I study Buddhism the more I realize I have found something I can truly believe in.

    I am honestly amazed how similar Buddhism and other religions are. I've read many times that Buddha taught in different ways to different people depending on their needs, intelligence and current states of development. I can't help but think that for some people Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc, were all the right method to get the points across - at that time or even now.

    However, for other people Buddhism was, and is, the right route. To me it seems to operate at a higher level that puts me in charge of the investigation and knowledge acquisition rather than the more conventional religious path of provide me dogma and rules that I MUST follow or I will be damned.

    Some people would say Buddhism is the thinking man's religion (and woman's of course) and I can see why as to grasp some of these concepts is seriously intellectually challenging - but boy is it worth it!

    lobsterkarmadakpaDandelion
  • @Vagabond said:
    Just curious, cuz I guess I wouldn't consider myself a Buddhist, but someone who is really interested in a lot of religions and likes Buddhism the best, and feels it is important to be sober and happy, I don't know. But anyway, how many of you wouldn't consider yourselves Buddhists?

    A rose by any name is still a rose.

  • 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
    edited April 2014

    Unless it's this kind of rose:

    edit: removed Bad link

    (better...?)

  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran

    I wouldn't really call myself a full "Buddhist" anymore.

    My path is definitely Dharmic, but more Upanishadic with Zen influence.

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

    just fyi @federica - the site you are redirecting to has warnings associated with it (viral software)

  • 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

    really...?

    Weird...it's just a googled image, saved on a new tab...it's 'isolated' so that surprises me...ok.
    Anyone else getting that? I'll take it down if it causes problems...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I follow a path based on Buddha's teachings, so I am a Buddhist, as far as it is necessary to label ourselves. In my regular life, I don't assign a lot of labels to myself. I used to just consider myself as spiritual, a student of the world. Later on, it became more beneficial to me to have a path in place to follow, but that is just my personality. Not everyone needs a well-lit path :)

    Invincible_summer
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran

    @federica said:
    unless it's this kind of rose....

    @federica, McAfee blocks it after the picture shows. It is on McAfee's known bad site list.

    Please find another source, maybe a watering can or hand-held shower pic.

  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    I don't like to call myself a Buddhist, as that tends to put me in a "preconception box" that is sometimes difficult/annoying to explain myself out of (e.g. that the Dalai Lama isn't the Pope of Buddhism, that karma isn't necessarily some universal being that doles out punishments/rewards, etc.) But if I'm pressed to put a label on my beliefs, then yes, Buddhist.

    VastmindYorkshiremanBuddhadragonfederica
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I used to think I was a Buddhist till I got sick. Now I'm just a wannabe

    Invincible_summer
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran

    I am becoming a gentle Buddhist.

    shanyinVastmind
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I think I consider myself more of a truthseeker than a Buddhist. However lately I do a refuge ritual. I still seem uncomfortable calling myself a Buddhist because I don't think I'm on that path.

  • jlljll Veteran

    I dont like to call buddhism buddhism. cos its just another label.

    shanyin
  • jlljll Veteran

    christians, buddhists , muslims, just labels....

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited May 2014

    @jll said:
    I dont like to call buddhism buddhism. cos its just another label.

    Some labels serve to immobilize us and others to set us free.
    I tend to think we are more than our labels, but if I take refuge as a Buddhist, belong in a Buddhist group and find that the Buddha's teachings agree with me, I can be called a Buddhist.
    I don't shout it over the rooftops but I have no problem saying I am a Buddhist when somebody asks me.
    Like I said above, there other sides that make up the person I am but Buddhism is an important part of who I am. Other attempts to define me could go amiss but Buddhism is a label that I feel does not cripple my persona.

  • misterCopemisterCope PA, USA Veteran

    I was raised Christian, then abandoned it. Found Buddhism, but wasn't sure what to call myself. Then I witnessed an argument:

    Guy - "Buddhism is a religion." Other Guy - "No, it's a philosophy." Gal - "I don't think so. I've always thought it was a practice."

    Mind=Blown

    As soon as I thought of it as a practice, not a subscription to a way of thinking, I felt comfortable identifying myself as a Buddhist. Funny thing, though, if I think about Christianity the same way, I'm totally comfortable calling myself Christian again.

    The moral of the story is women are always right.

    ToraldrisKundoBuddhadragonChaz
  • GuiGui Veteran

    Buddhism has taught me that it's not what I am but how I experience reality and what I do about it.
    Call me what you please.

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I'm a career Buddhist but have made myself unemployable... :p

    KundoBarra
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @jll said:
    I dont like to call buddhism buddhism. cos its just another label.

    The whole anti-label thing is getting to be a cliche. Oops, I just labeled and therefore used a cliche.

    federicaChaz
  • I don't like to tell people that I'm a buddhist because than they'll think that i worship cows.

  • 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 can honestly say hand on heart, I have never, in all my born days, had anyone think that about me, once they've learned I am Buddhist.

    You must mix with sum weird folk!!

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

    @heyimacrab said:
    I don't like to tell people that I'm a buddhist because than they'll think that i worship cows.

    In Hinduism, the cow is revered as the source of food and symbol of life and may never be killed. However, many non-Hindus interpret these beliefs to mean that Hindus worship cows. This is not true. It is more accurate to say the cow is taboo in the Hindu religion, rather than sacred. This is just one example of the misunderstandings people have about the Hindu faith.

    http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/things/cow.htm

    mmo
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Yeah, labeling to an extent is kind of required to live in our lives. You can't really exist without doing so. Be kind of hard to do your taxes and so on without applying labels to yourself. That'd be a great way to try to get drinks early though. "Can I see your ID?" "no, because I don't believe in labeling myself and you have to fill in all sorts of labeling information to get an ID!"

    Just like anything else, it's about ourselves and our attachment to our self-imposed titles/labels. Some people label themselves as a Buddhist in order to make themselves, or their religious choice, appear superior to others. In that instance, labeling yourself to prove a point is vastly different from applying labels so that we can communicate with the world around us.

    I can think of maybe 10 people in my life who truly know I am a practicing Buddhist. Friends and family, I mean, not including my Sangha members. A lot of them know I meditate or read, but they don't know I label myself a Buddhist. There's just not much need to tell them unless it comes up for some reason. Some people, it comes up and I just don't say anything. It's too much work that I am not willing to go into to explain to certain people. So if they go on believing I am a Christian, unless there is truly a need to say otherwise, I just let them believe what they want.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited May 2014

    As soon as I thought of it as a practice, not a subscription to a way of thinking, I felt comfortable identifying myself as a Buddhist. Funny thing, though, if I think about Christianity the same way, I'm totally comfortable calling myself Christian again.

    THIS .

    The moral of the story is women are always right.

    Indeed :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    One cushion or too many bottoms?

    KundoTheswingisyellowkarmadakpa
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @heyimacrab said:
    I don't like to tell people that I'm a buddhist because than they'll think that i worship cows.

    Cows are nice though... :p

    Kundokarmadakpa
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Nothing wrong with a bit of cow devotion . . . it is worshiping Bull that one has to be wary of . . .

    karastiVastmindanatamankarmadakpa
  • 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

    nicely done there, @lobster.... :D

    anataman
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    All this anti-labelling thing begins to stench heavily of yet another label.
    But then, some people are not afraid to label themselves as Christians or Jew or Muslim and misrepresent their religion, while with Buddhism people refuse to call themselves Buddhist unless they can live up to what is expected as Buddhist behaviour. Two Chinese friends of mine say they "like" Buddhism but refuse to call themselves Buddhist because they argue "It's too difficult."

    shanyin
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    insightful, thanks dharmom.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Thank you, @shanyin!

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @dharmamom said:
    All this anti-labelling thing begins to stench heavily of yet another label.
    But then, some people are not afraid to label themselves as Christians or Jew or Muslim and misrepresent their religion, while with Buddhism people refuse to call themselves Buddhist unless they can live up to what is expected as Buddhist behaviour. Two Chinese friends of mine say they "like" Buddhism but refuse to call themselves Buddhist because they argue "It's too difficult."

    [sob] It is too difficult. Even the Buddha nearly gave up being a Buddhist and intended to die after enlightenment. Fortunately his interior landscape of gods, got the better of him and he set up the dharma and sangha . . .

    Criticising the Buddha? Not a Buddhist! [more sobbing]

    Just a wandering crustacean not fit to be labeled . . . maybe I will represent myself as a 'Buddhist with Difficulties' . . .

    Could be a plan . . . [cheering up]

    Buddhadragon
  • GuiGui Veteran

    Everyone has their feet on the ground. Is walking difficult or easy?

    Buddhadragon
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @dharmamom said:

    Two Chinese friends of mine say they "like" Buddhism but refuse to call themselves Buddhist because they argue "It's too difficult."

    Yes, it does make my brain hurt at times... :p

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited May 2014

    I can't remember if it was @Citta, who said in one thread the other day, that Asian people are beginning to rediscover Buddhism thanks to the interest sparked by the Buddha's teachings in the West.
    In Buddhanet, under the heading "Buddhism: a modern perspective," the writer says:
    "In Europe generally, the attitude towards Buddhism is that it is very advanced, very rational and very sophisticated. It was therefore quite a shock to me when I came to Singapore and found that a lot of pople here view Buddhism as old-fashioned, irrational and too much tied up with superstitions. This is one of the two attitudes that work against the appreciation of Buddhism here. The other is that Buddhism is so deep and so abstract that no one can ever understand it."
    Chinese people tend to be very bon vivants, so I guess what my Chinese friends meant when they said that Buddhism is too difficult, is rather that it is too difficult to be a good Buddhist, to adhere to the moral ethos without feeling at fault if you slip up. I guess they fear somebody will rap their knuckles for gambling at their weekly Mah Jongg meetings!
    My idea, instead, is, if we had to be perfect to be a Buddhist, there would be no Buddhists left in the world.
    I have many Catholic friends who don't go to Church every Sunday, don't adhere to abstinence till marriage, take the pill, but don't hesitate to call themselves Catholic anyway.

    Cittafedericalobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @dharmamom said:
    I have many Catholic friends who don't go to Church every Sunday, don't adhere to abstinence till marriage, take the pill, but don't hesitate to call themselves Catholic anyway.

    That's why Catholicism is popular. ;)

    Jeffrey
  • MeisterBobMeisterBob Mindful Agnathiest CT , USA Veteran
    edited May 2014

    Not a Buddhist. I'm agnostic. I practice mindfulness. I'll use anything Buddhist that I find helpful though...including mindfulness itself I imagine. lol! Bob

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

    Secular buddhism is now mainstream in the uk, and its got 'mindfulness' as it's hashtag! lol.

    You can even get it on prescription in the NHS in the UK if you suffer from depression, what a wonderful country we live in!

    This was highlighted well on the bbc radio 4 woman's hour programme today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ylkmw.

    karmadakpa
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `   South Carolina, USA Veteran

    I don't like "-Isms." I think they're too abstract and obfuscating.

    However, living in the Bible Belt (South Carolina) I tell people who ask that I don't go to church and that I feel I've graduated from all that. If they're interested I'll say more. The more would entailk words about just going through the motions and using words and slogans.

    Do I "believe" in the Bible? No. The Buddha would not have me bow the knees of my mind down to him or to any book.

    The Light of the world arose in the East. Buddha is a Great part of that Light.

    That is what I believe. I strive to be part of that Light, but often fail...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I'm a Buddhist because I work hard at it. I work hard at painting so I am also a painter. Why do I work hard? That is because I am able to do it and it is enjoyable and I perceive it to be a good path just in my imagination. Only one way to find out.

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