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What exactly is Buddhist practice?

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

So it occurred to me, what exactly is Buddhist practice, and what is its effect? For a non-Buddhist observer, the practice appears to be the outward form — a long row of Tibetan monks chanting, a solitary person sitting in meditation, someone doing many prostrations in front of a Buddha statue.

For the person doing the practice, the outward is a representation of the inward, and it is the inward that is more important. The chanting monks may be reminding themselves of the compassion of Chenrezig, the solitary meditator may be deepening his sense of emptiness, the person doing prostrations may be trying to reduce their stubbornness.

The outward can be a way into the inward, following the hints of one’s sincerity. But after a while, one can carry the inward along with onesself, and the outward becomes no more than an occasional reminder.

lobsterFosdickShoshin1David

Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What exactly is Buddhist practice?

    Nutshell answer...."Kindness"

    Longer version...(minus all the bells & whistles...)

    To become familiar with the workings of the mind and this familiarity breeds compassion & contentment...

    In other words...
    One changes the way one looks at things and the things one looks at change..
    and through this ongoing awareness, neuropathways rearrange...

    BunkslobsterDavid
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    That is how I understand things @Kerome. ✅🙏🏽💗

    However what if the outward is a broken priceless bonsai or a homeless beggar? Could we sense the shine amidst the dust and broken branches? In that reflection that unearths we find our distortion, reality and perfecting. 👤

    Long live the Three Jewels:
    Diamonds, Pearls ... and Friends of The Diamond Buddha ...

    BunksDavid
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Yes but... what about Buddha Amitābha? Wouldn’t he want you to practice on your own?

  • @Kerome said:
    Yes but... what about Buddha Amitābha?

    What about her? Fo is the Chinese word for Buddha. So Fo Amita Baa is the Buddha Lamb.
    ... eh wait ...

    Wouldn’t he want you to practice on your own?

    Nobody is alone. Even in their own head, practice puréeland or ... oh wait we are all alone. Always.

    Tee hee. Proximity is not assimulation/merger.

    Namo Amitābha

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @Kerome said:
    Yes but... what about Buddha Amitābha?

    What about her? Fo is the Chinese word for Buddha. So Fo Amita Baa is the Buddha Lamb.
    ... eh wait ...

    Amitoufo (pronounced Arm-ee-toe-fo)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Where is the train to the Pure Land? Oh wait...

    lobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    I see Buddhism as a process of ever greater awareness and its application in the art of transforming suffering to grateful understanding or simply joy.

    My practice is the cultivation of skillful means through meditation and trial and error. It entails the mixing of the outer and inner worlds and is not complete without social engagement at one end and solitary meditation on the other.

    I see the eight spokes of the wheel as "skillful" or "harmonious" rather than "right".

    Shoshin1BunkslobsterFoibleFull
  • This is my understanding, as I have been taught, have read, and have experienced. However, I do not cling to it too tightly because once every 5 to 10 years some new insight worms in and I realize that what I THOUGHT I understood was so incomplete that it has to change, sometimes significantly. And when we think we are becoming wise, all we have to do is look at what we thought we knew some years ago, and realize that we were ignorant .. and probably still are!
    And that is what I love about Buddhism .. it is constant new learning and that is exciting in itself.

    Everything evolves will come to mean nothing is true

    ~Friedrich Nietzsche~

  • ChoephalChoephal UK Explorer
    edited September 5

    I would suggest tentatively that all Buddhist practises are aimed at reaching one pointedness of mind which is the access to insights beyond verbalisation and concepts. The aim of mantra or vipassana or shi-nay is that one pointedness which in turn gives rise to what was always there beneath all pairs of opposites.

  • The practice of awakening.
    AKA: Depends upon which Buddhist you ask.

    Peace to all

    lobster
  • What exactly is Buddhist practice?

    Bunksperson
  • AngusAngus Vietnam New

    Is there online buddhist practice now ?

  • AligggAliggg CA USA New

    http://eiskjelonen.simplesite.com/ A good read,. To all the ignorants who live in ok situations, and love Buddhism, by watching videos, but do not notice the follower guru of this religion of peace spends $25000 an hour on premium level covert body guards and event security team, trying to defend this by saying that the death of the current Dalai Lama causes instability in Tibet.
    People there live in poverty not because of China, but because of the beliefs that makes those people live like primitives and believe in a dysfunctional religion.

    lobsterKerome
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @Aliggg said:
    http://eiskjelonen.simplesite.com/ A good read,. To all the ignorants who live in ok situations, and love Buddhism, by watching videos, but do not notice the follower guru of this religion of peace spends $25000 an hour on premium level covert body guards and event security team, trying to defend this by saying that the death of the current Dalai Lama causes instability in Tibet.
    People there live in poverty not because of China, but because of the beliefs that makes those people live like primitives and believe in a dysfunctional religion.

    Its a large, diverse world, thinking you can make everyone be just like yourself is a recipe for misery. I had hoped we had all learned that lesson during the last century, I'm hoping we don't need to learn it again.

    Walker
  • A good read

    For whom?

    Looks like we will never know. Or in my case not bothering to read ... :p

    The Troll in you lives on to suffer in ever decreasing cycles. On ya bike! >:)

    Did I do good? ;)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited September 12

    Yes that was one who got through the vigilant screening of new entrants. He does seem to have had a pretty singleminded purpose... but hey, gone now. Banished back to the nether realms.

    I actually took a look at the site he was promoting, it was not a good read (he lied). Just more of the same anti-Dalai Lama-ism.

  • @Angus said:
    Is there online buddhist practice now ?

    There is!
    You can find it on secondlife as an example ...
    https://secularbuddhism.org/supportive-virtual-buddhist-communities/

    or ... start a thread with this question ...

  • What exactly is Buddhist practice?

    Happiness ...

    I'm reminded of what a friend in Europe's Dharma teacher once said to his Sangha, when a question was asked in regards to happiness and Dharma practice....

    "Beware of the unhappy Buddhist...They are not really practicing....just being intellectual"

    Hence why

    "When the intellect ventures into where it does not belong, it becomes lost in it's own confusion !"

    ~One of Christmas Humphry's books on Zen~

    Keromelobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited September 25

    @Choephal said:
    I would suggest tentatively that all Buddhist practises are aimed at reaching one pointedness of mind which is the access to insights beyond verbalisation and concepts. The aim of mantra or vipassana or shi-nay is that one pointedness which in turn gives rise to what was always there beneath all pairs of opposites.

    I like that but I feel this understanding is a natural result of digesting the dharma in a specific way. To have that as the "goal" could be problematic if it is reached.

    What is next?

    howlobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Some meditative experiences whisper that while
    one pointedness of mind is still perception bound it's simply another step among many on the journey towards suffering's cessation.
    Going, going, always going on, always becoming!
    What mastication's over a future potential step does not divert ones attention away from fully attending to ones present step.

    lobster
  • ChoephalChoephal UK Explorer

    Aye...one pointedness isn’t an end in itself. It’s a necessary way to re-collect ourselves.
    Or that’s what I’ve heard.

  • What is next?

    A great question I always ask ...

    In alchemy this is coagulate and dissolve.
    In Christianity it is Cods Will Be Done
    In Buddhism it is the constant returning to Beginners Mind Present @how mentions
    In Taoism it is the yin turning to yang

    Next ...

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