How many of you believe in BUDDHA

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Smartalk, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Smartalk

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    How many members believe in Buddha?

    How many members are practising Buddhists and what tradition do you belong to?

    Do you believe it to be; a religion, a philosophy or both?

    What are your views if any?

    PLEASE no derogatory remarks or comments, constructive criticism, opinion only

    I have been a practising Buddhist for the past five years and belong to the Kadampa, Mahayana tradition, NKT. Having been involved and participated in other religions, I have studied and put their beliefs into practice. I was brought up Catholic, turned to Spiritualism, attended Church of England services. But I have to admit that Buddhism is the only one you can truly put to the test and see instant results. It is based on fact and not blind faith. Many people are turning to Alcohol, drugs, spending large amounts of money in the hope of finding True Happiness, only to become more unhappy and disillusioned. True happiness comes from within and has to be sought with sincerity and cannot be bought. People need to find and recognise there true self and this can only be found with inner quiet and stillness. Considering over one fifth of the worldÂ’s population is Buddhist and increasing, gives me hope that the world is slowly on the way to becoming a better place.

    With much love

    Smartalk





     
  2. Krusader

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    my family practices Buddhism but im not a firm believer in religion as a whole.
     
  3. Capt_obivous

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    I consider myself an atheist, but there are many concepts in Buddhism that make a lot of sense to me.
     
  4. Deno

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    PLEASE no derogatory remarks or comments, constructive criticism, opinion only

    I've been around here long enough to know better then this, if you don't want comments you don't like , don't post a thread. lol

    I personally don't think it matters what you believe in as long as you believe in something positive. I don't think there is a "GOD", but having something to hold onto or someone to depend on when your alone is a comfort. Religion no longer keeps people from doing wrong things, there was a time in the past this was not so.

    Sorry for all the edits I am a bit dyslexic
     
    #4 Deno, Aug 16, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  5. Industrialsize

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    Many Buddhists are Atheists......the question of whether or not "god' exists is considered a fruitless question to many Buddhists........Do I believe in Buddha?...Interesting question....I am a practicing Buddhist in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition.........I believe that "Guatama" was a real man in history and is what most people think of when they say buddha........Many buddhist traditions,especially tibetan, consider MANY people who have lived through the ages to be Buddhas, achieved enlightenment. Do i believe that Buddha is a God??? Absolutely not......
     
    #5 Industrialsize, Aug 16, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  6. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    believe in Buddha? Prince Gautama was a historical figure who actually existed; beyond that I would need a clarification of the question

    prep school buddy introduced the teachings of zen to me, I then dug up the historical roots, and read heavily the texts of the oldr schools, Pali Canon,Jataka Tales, etc., so heavily influenced by the Mahayana school & zen

    basic influence in my life, guiding my fundamental outlook, but as far as practicing, would need a sharper definition there as well
     
  7. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

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    I've read up on it, and a lot of the morality teachings make a lot of sense. The history on it is intriguing, much of it historically documented. But I'm not a follower.
     
  8. earllogjam

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    Buddhist with a small "b" here. I practice sitting meditation at home and go to a Zen Center occasionally to receive instruction and have interviews with the abbot. It is a Renzai Buddhism sect. I am not interested so much in the dogma of Buddhism but rather its practice as a tool for living well. I do not worship Buddha as a god in the Christian sense but the rituals of worship mostly revolve around being thankful and giving reverence to a wise teacher.
     
  9. Axcess

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    Because the idea of an creator god isn't part of buddhist doctrine but you can believe in god if you want and being a buddhist . According to buddhism the buddha isn't a god only a teacher of enlightment . However some buddhists worship him as some sort of god .
     
  10. SpoLLe

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    I believe that the whole concept is OK. Better than any other religion. But I still cant get myself to believe in a deity. My beliefs are all based on altruism.
     
  11. Axcess

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    According to buddhism The Buddha isn't an deity , is only a man and teacher .
     
  12. Phil Ayesho

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    I don't need to "believe" in Buddha.
    Buddha is an actual historical figure... not a myth nor tale that relies upon "belief".

    Buddha is NOT a god... just a guy.



    And Buddhism is a religion.... it qualifies as a religion on two levels...
    1- because it makes statements about the continuation of the personality beyond death.... something for which it offers no evidence and, therefore, has no proof is valid.

    And
    2- because it relies on a threat, or promise, of post mortem consequences as an inducement to modify the behavior of the living; another claim for which no evidence exists.

    Buddhism's principal dishonesty lies in its claims that non-being is the ultimate goal... but the bottom line is that as long as you fall shy of perfect, which is pretty easy, you get another go-round on the wheel of life.

    Thus these two foundational precepts...the transmigration of souls and karmic debt, are effectively nothing more than a comforting fiction assuring the believer that they can escape death.

    This is the defining trait that places Buddhism squarely in the category of a religion.


    Other than these two delusional 'beliefs'... Buddhism is perhaps one of the most effective religions in terms of presenting a solid moral framework that the practitioner can actually employ to achieve a calmer and more compassionate state of mind. Offering more than mere words... it presents its followers with proven techniques and methodologies that require personal attention and effort.
    In Buddhism there is no forgiveness for transgressions thru any exculpatory admission or claim to regret.

    The only thing that exculpates transgressions is right action.... therefore, Buddhism offers no easy out... it demands better actions over the long haul.




    And the term "philosophy" is bandied about pretty freely.

    No belief system that is illogical or based upon unsupported assumptions can qualify as philosophy.
    The cornerstone of all philosophy is logical consistency and the resolution of paradox.


    What many think of as "philosophies" are actually rationales... or "beliefs' predicated upon unwarranted assumptions and considered by the person holding them to be immune from critical analysis or argument.

    NO philosophy is beyond challenge and analytical examination.
    They must withstand scrutiny, or be dismissed.
     
    #12 Phil Ayesho, Aug 16, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  13. Not_Punny

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    Like, I don't know if I believe the turtles and mud... oh, sorry, that wasn't Buddhism. :rolleyes:

    - - - - - -

    I like parts of Buddhism, but I can't swallow the whole pill.

    In fact, there isn't one single religion on this planet that adequately covers all the bases.
     
  14. Axcess

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    Actually is a little more complicated than that because in buddhism the concept of eternal soul is rejected . So the question would be who or what get reborn if we not have soul ?
     
  15. Industrialsize

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    Actually......while Buddhism speaks of re-birth.....Most Buddhist teachers will tell you that you needn't "believe" in ANYTHING that you haven't experienced......One of my teachers, a very well educated highly placed, American Lama, used to tell us that he had NO IDEA if the concept of death and re-birth were true...and whether or not you held such a belief was of NO matter...
     
  16. tripod

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    Really well said Phil!

    Geeze Louise!!! Are you a flippin' nihilist?

    You have left out that most schools of Buddhism offer practitioners a system of precise control over their thoughts. Zen Buddhism has allowed me greater control over my temper over the years and Westerners who practice Buddhism can almost ALWAYS improve upon their consciousness level, which usually leads to a better human being.
     
  17. Phil Ayesho

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    Well, yes, and there are "christians" who don't believe Jesus is the son of God... but, are they really christians?

    A religious dogma is NOT an ala carte menu... Americans in particular are famous for picking and choosing which aspects of a faith they will accept, and dismissing the rest.


    The fact is that Buddhism DOES believe in a soul.... but in a soul that seek non-being. Re-incarnation and Karmic Debt ARE foundational concepts in buddhism.

    People who decide to invent their own flavor of "buddhism" are NOT practicing buddhism...
    They are practicing something Buddha-esque.... which is fine... but it should not be conflated with the actual sutras.
     
  18. tripod

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    What should really be said is that some Christians believe that Jesus wrote the bible and some Buddhists think that the sutras are Buddha's actual writings. Jesus nor Shakyamuni Buddha wrote anything that anyone knows of.

    The sutras and the bible were written by men and copied and translated many times over as the works traveled from the regions that they originated.

    To live in the 21th century and take the sutras or the bible at face value is maybe a bit naive and there is great discussion in the Western Buddhism movement about the importance of these relics in our modern world.

    Some Sino-Zen buddhists are taught to "kill the Buddha" and spend most of their time in shikantanza or zazen, with the Rinzai schools focusing on koan meditation in addition to their normal meditation practices.

    Sutra chanting is a bit old fashioned and seems a bit self serving to be obsessed with earning merit in the next life... again, there is great discussion about it's importance and inclusion in Western Buddhism in the 21st century.

    Some schools chant more than others and some focus on sutra reading more than others... Tibetan Buddhism has to be one of the oldest forms of Buddhism around and they seem to have all of the details worked out about the afterlife. The zen schools are some of the newest schools and they are not so sure about the afterlife. They do believe in reincarnation but don't seem to get lost in the details like the Tibetans do.

    When you die in Tibet, someone chops your body up in fine tiny chunks with a Cleaver and feeds it to the vultures with the bones first, then the innards and finally the muscle and skin. They do this in order to achieve maximum merit for the next life. When zen Buddhists die, they are cremated.

    One of the best Soto school zen sayings is "Nothing Special."


    I think that pretty much sums up how the Soto schools look at life and death... Shunryu Suzuki says about dying, "You die on one hand and then on the other... you do not die." They don't have an elaborate system of demons and demigods, nor do they have a worship of Buddha like a God. It's basically "to do" or "not to do".

    Nobody has to believe in Buddha, he existed and was a man, there is no dispute about this.
     
    #18 tripod, Aug 19, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  19. Phil Ayesho

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    Zen is not really traditional buddhism...
    Its what happened to buddhism as it filtered thru the Taoism of China.

    In that regard, the aspects of Zen buddhism that you speak of are actually Taoist in nature... not buddhist... and taoism says nothing at all about a soul, the survival of death, re-birth or karma.
     
  20. MarkLondon

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    Karma and re-birth. Does it apply to whole lifetimes, or could it be interpreted as each day is new, and conditioned by all the previous days, or moments, even? Instant karma, in other words. Actions and decisions definately have consequences.

    For me the key difference between Buddhism and other major religions is the lack of compulsion or submission to dogma, or requirement for belief, even. As I understand it Gautama invited us to try a system of exercises and judge their effectiveness ourselves. If we found it effective or valuable, we should continue in them. If not, then don't.

    My interpretation of the teachings is that there is no "immortal soul", but a spark of life that transmutes. I've heard of one Western Order exercise which is to look at a photograph or yourself as a child, and realize that you are not the same person.
     
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