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Author Topic: For OMCASEY, Buddishm, life, suffering  (Read 8736 times)
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« on: June 19, 2010, 18:19:10 »

Hi All and Hi OMCASEY hope you get to read this,

Firstly i dont consider myself as limited by boundaries of religion nor denomination and they do not create a person a person creates them.
I am currently spiritualist and when i say i am spiritualist i dont mean i am bound top believe and follow all of spiritualism nor does it restrict me from beliving in other beliefs instead i mean that at this time in my spiritual development the closest most relevant belief system is spiritualism and so to express my beliefs in one word and not in depth when someone asks my belief i say spiritualism.

So i have recently decided to read some buddhist theory and started examining the theories of reincarnation and karma and then studying the four noble truths and the eight fold path

for those who are unaware of these the four noble truths are suppose to be the guidance notes on how to rid onesself of suffering as is the eight fold path but the eight fold path is more so a set of rules rather than guidance.

Anyhow i decided to do an honest self anysalis and ask me self how many of the rules on the eight fold path do i follow and it was more than half it was almost all of them and i think most people who are devoted to been a better person thus most people on this site also fall into the same catogory as following more than half of these rules. So if we follow a majority and its suppose to rid us of suffering then why am i still suffering.


I mean of course life is full of suffering and i dont mean i am suffering in any major way but most people will agreee that life aint exactly bliss. and in the four noble truths it says to rid oneself of suffering follow the eight fold poath and i follow most of it without even knowing.

I mean am not saying oh look here am still suffering and so is everyone yet we follow these am just simply stating that until death i dont think following these rules will cease suffering i think they will definatly make you a better person but as for ceasing sffering i dont think its likely because suffering is part of life its what makes living living.

just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this and if you could provide me with any information about this om or thoughts you have on this.

also i will probs write a post on desire and cravings in relation to buddhism cause i had a thought about that today .i mean am not picking faults in the religion by no means because i think that buddishm is one of the good religons am just finding out errors in the equations

thanks
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 18:48:14 »

what is the second noble truth?

the cause of suffering is attachment. 

you can't just follow the 8-fold path blindly (or use it as a barometer to check your status) because you will then turn it into an attachment just like all religious doctrine becomes. 

like all spiritual traditions, the 8-fold path is multidimensional and it serves as a guideline, not rules.  when i say it is multidimensional, i mean that it has different meanings depending on you level of "initiation" (which is self induced, i don't want to make it sound like an occult tradition).  At some point in your practice you learn to see the "bigger picture" as is related to that tradition, thereby expanding the practical application of said tradition.

but, you're still playing with fire.  if you have limited control of your focus and are easily sucked into things then be careful because it's just as easy to get sucked into "buddhism" as "christianity".  I know people always see buddhism as a "philosophy" and not a "religion".  hogwash.  Buddhism has just as many ego traps as anything else.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 18:48:14 »

logoVisit the website of Astral Pulse creator Adrian Cooper.

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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 19:48:46 »

I think it would be safest to say that Buddhism is a philosophy around which several different religions have formed.

The eightfold path is indeed a guide to ridding one's life of attachment, and learning to become observant of one's own psyche, so that one's mental focus can be monitored. It is a philosophical system of ethics and introspection. Cultural instances of Buddhism, however, are almost inevitably religions. Tibettan Buddhism comes complete with a pantheon of deities, bodhisattvas, and other entities. Amitahba Budhhists believe in a special transcendent realm of mental salvation. Therevadans also have spiritual deities, albeit in a more restricted way. Zen and Chan Buddhists might probably skirt the edge... they are among the few that don't add too much to the original teachings, beyond their distinctive takes on meditation and koan contemplation.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 23:35:03 »

i remember in my first world religions class in college the professor thought she was all kinds of clever and wanted to stump us all with a koan.  she gave us the koan and told us that if we could answer it by the end of the semester then we would get an A on the final exam.  i gave her two answers at the end of that first day.

i got an A on my final exam.

i guess it was really only one answer and one observation about koans in general.  i told her that none of us could really answer it because that wasn't really the point.  the point was the contemplation of the koan, which she agreed.  i had never heard of a koan at the time but it seemed appropriate.  i think she simply asked us "who is the other".  my actual answer was, i am the other.  she was dumbfounded.  she was legitimately shocked i think. 

here's my main complaint though.  each person's journey is unique.  buddhism is how sidhartha gautama (if there were such a being) came to his realization of this reality.  sidhartha's path will not work for anyone else.  bottom line.  each person has to find their own "8-fold path".  what buddhism is in many people's minds does not lend itself to self-discovery.  i know that it seems much less dictatorial than other so called religions, but that doesn't mean it is.  i guess in "rusty's world", if i can't trust the roots of christianity (which i think is egyptian/babylonian sun worship wearing a different outfit, what makes me think i can trust buddhism?

it may seem more honest, but i don't trust it.  the only thing i trust and will vouch for is my reality, but there's no reason for me to share that with you.
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 01:25:28 »

Hi guys thanks for your replies but am baffled not by mysteries of buddishm but what the hel is a koan lol?

And your right about buddism and you can only trust your reality cause you have experienced it and so by experiencing or sampling bits of buddism is where you can decide yes budhism works or certain theories work or no its all rubbish but either way i ll need to experience it to try it and even if i do fall in to those traps of which you mentioned then i will; still learn because it will be a learning experience lol.

but all in all you guys are right

Do you think suffering is essential to physical life because without suffering we would not experience certain things and so only when our physical life is complete can we rid oneself of suffering?

I m not saying in death although to majoritise i am saying that but i mean mabye in that abstract being or his followers of buddha mabye he had experienced and fulfilled his earthly goals and so no longer suffered?
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 02:37:36 »

it's not about that, not about 'fulfilling your life's purpose' or whatever.

it's about revelation, at some point you become aware of your own truth.

mastery of your reality.

a koan is like a riddle, but it's not a riddle.  it is a question or a phrase that you contemplate.  the "answer" comes to your through understanding, but you can't explain that answer to anyone else, it has to be experienced.  it's kind of like a mantra in a way.  it's usually given to you, by your master, to contemplate.

the old 'tree fall in the woods' is a koan, so it the 'what's the sound of one hand clapping'.

but there are all kinds of koans, google them.

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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 04:05:14 »

or 'the sound of silence'.
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 05:13:54 »

Just showing my presence-- listening for now......


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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 06:21:36 »

Some people do feel that Koans can have "acceptable" answers though.

For instance, the teacher might present a shoe, and say, "What is this?"

One student might pick it up, and declare that it is a fan, and use it thusly. Another might point to the teacher. Yet a third may ask what is being pointed at.

Usually, Koans are meant, as you said, to facilitate contemplation and understanding of metaphysical truths about reality itself- therefore, responding with a metaphsysical obeservation prompted by the question is usually looked upon favorably.  cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 06:57:09 »

lol i googled koan and i dont have any knowledge of budishm or not so much so i never understoof most of them and the ones i did understand were as relevant as how much dog food a dog eats in comparison to how many fleas he had they just had no snesible relation to the question asked nor correlation of one object to the other in the same sentence/phrase.

i guess they can be assumed and you can say oh yeah this is whats meant by the phrase but because there so crazy there is no answer at all it just becomes a phrase that is recited in the mind until finally you assume that thats the answer

so now i know what you mean about koans and they have no explainable answer because insane questions cant be explained in a sane answer lmao
haha like cftravelr said the sound of silence which mabye in one scenario that contemplator would think what is the sound of silence ? whilst in another the word silence might be taken as a noun and thus personified and so in this case the sound of silence depends on the sound that silence makes lmao

but as still water and pr both said i can see how they can be percieved in diffrent ways lol. haha thanks guys i think am gonna pick a koan from the selection box lol and mediate on it in bed and see what answer i get lmao

So your saying its about revelation and personal truth pr...... am not dumb but the question is gonna sound dumb because i am trying to keep it simple because its 7am and i have nt slept yet haha.................. if were all humans and suffering is universal then obviously that means that the solution of suffering and fulfillment is nt in personal truth but in the truth of being human not personal truth because personal truth would mean thats its not universal its individual? i have more thoughts on that but i ll ponder them before expressing them later.

Hi omcasey i just remeber reading that post about the ringing were you replied and mentioned some buddhist stuff so thought you had a knowledgeable budhist back ground and thus why your name is in the thread title just to make you aware of this thread and ask opinion. what do you think about suffering ect?

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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 14:16:59 »

It's not universal.

the perceived experience of suffering is entirely personal.

and the "solution" to one's suffering is only found through personal experience.

i've always read "suffering" in this context to mean a lack of awareness of your true state.  like the adam and eve story, they ate from the tree of knowledge of "good and evil" (duality) and fell from paradise (forgot their nature).
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2010, 13:09:07 »

My home town is 25 KM away from the place where Sidhratha Gautam (Buddha) got enlightened. I used to visit that place quit often when I was studying in college. If you go there, you will be highly surprised to see that “Buddhism” has much more rituals and rules than any other religion. I have seen it very closely. I used to see monks sitting under tree practicing meditation, and if you go nearby they will run. They run away from social life and not usually get interacted with the people. I was highly motivated by Buddhism that time, but when I saw the condition of the followers, I pulled myself away. To achieve the state of “enlightenment” is a biggest ego I have ever come across.

As far as I have learned so far, we react according to “situation” and all golden rules are just bookish things. Infact how can you run from sufferings? Or how can you win over? If you are running/winning over suffering that simply means you are running from pleasure as well. If there is no suffering how come we will know what pleasure is? Buddha didn’t follow any rules; he simply discovered it (by NOT following any rule). He knew his true self and people around him started worshiping. We all need rules by which we can know GOD, true self or whatever you call it. We cannot simply believe that if you “Do Not Do” anything; you can achieve what you are looking for. And that tendency made rules, religions and cults.

I do not think that ‘I’ need to run from sufferings, because I love enjoying life I have. And If I love being human, I will have to suffer also. Infact I want suffering so that I can know more pleasure. I do not have any desire to cut myself from parties, social life and sit in a jungle and find my true self. If I can not find myself here then any jungle is not going to help me either.

By getting involved in all my daily social activities, I am also on my way o self discovery. I am aware of my daily activities and watch things closely and by doing this, Deep down I know that I am not the one who is enjoying or suffering. I am something else. So, I need not to run from sufferings, I am just a “witness”.

In the beginning I tried everything what I could, from Buddha to Frank. Then at last, I realized that this is me, and I will have to find my own things. I have got the clue (by reading them) and now the journey is of my own. And I am reaching where I wanted to, and I am seriously enjoying it. 

I hate all those mental game of Koan and other zen teachings. That is just a mental exercise and not an inch more than that. Infact logically you can never reach to your true self.

Why so much fuss about suffering? Why can’t we question pleasure? The more you run, the more you suffer and that is the key.  The day you will know the meaning of pleasure, you will know that there is No suffering and No pleasure, and it is just “it is”.
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2010, 04:38:32 »

Buddists are kind of foolish, they are pacifists for the most part. You guys remember what happened in Burma, the rebillion. The Budists attacked the military unarmed and was slaughtered, what the hell did they expect.
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2010, 07:07:55 »

Buddhists do fight- think of the Shaolin monks or Tibet's army. They do seem very slow going about it though... all that conscientious objection stuff. I guess you can sort of consider the buddhist history of violent resistance like that of the ents from Lord of the Rings. They will fight, but it takes a lot of convincing.
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2010, 21:25:38 »

HAHAHA ... ents are relative. I think it's awesome how Shaolin monks are pretty much the most lethal human weapons. Has anybody ever researched liquid body armor (shear thickening fluid)? If the shaolin monks were to get there hands on this excrement, it would go down like dragon ball z.

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,usa3_042104.00.html
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2010, 13:00:39 »

not really
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2010, 00:46:43 »

I've been a Buddhist for 15 years. I'm on my way to becoming a good mahayanist.  grin

But... I definately trust Buddhism. It's gotten me through so many proplems... so many. I keep coming back to "and they figured it out 2500 years ago???"  It's like the cathedral of space that is revealed under the sands of the desert of confusion. And it's right there! Buddhism wasn't an invention... it was a discovery.

There is no point to Buddhism. I think that is the point and what makes it so beautiful. Even "technnique" is done away with. It's so beautiful...

If there is a point it goes something like... "Stop! Just sit your butt down and relax!" That's it!  grin

Buddhism is an empty shell... so you can't really criticize it properly. All it's saying is... Stop - so you can see what is happening to you. Like I said... that's pretty much it....  tongue The rest is just fluff. All the Buddha was really saying is to meditate. And not to meditate on something. Meditate on nothing. Make time. Make real time. Pure time. Just sit down and see what happens. Do nothing. And everything becomes clear...
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2010, 02:16:40 »

I mean, I do that anyway, why do I need to call it Buddhism? 
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 13:07:08 »

It doesn't need to be called Buddhism. But it also doesn't not need to be called Buddhism.  wink

I guess you can look at it this way:

If it is an idea that has a name, and can be propogated through writings and traditions, it allows more people to become aware of it. You do practice meditative silence... but would you have thought of it on your own? You read about meditative traditions, and people who had made it a lifestyle. And the reason why these texts and articles were availible is because traditions and ways of thought have been established which propogate them. Do you really think you would have thought of doing this if you had never read about meditation, had never encountered another person who practiced or knew about the concept, and had no suspicion it existed as a technique? I mean, maybe you would have sat around doing nothing from time to time, but you probably never would have thought of actively seeking to sit and do nothing, and to actively not think of anything in the meantime.
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 14:47:21 »

I appreciate the exposure, sure (though I honestly first learned about 'meditation' as mindfulness in psychology).  But unless you can make people not be addicts for being told how to live, I worry that something like "buddhism" (or anything really) would do more harm than good in the long run.  The reason I don't call myself a buddhist is because i learned what needed and then moved on.  I recognize the value of solitary practice, because in the end, all you really have is your self.  (not yourself)

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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2010, 19:29:03 »

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(though I honestly first learned about 'meditation' as mindfulness in psychology)

I am not really sure what you mean by this. What meditative practice is there in psychology that is not actually meditation? I know some James and some others had a practice of introspective relation, but this is different from the typical idea of meditation, and seems like it would better be called metacognition.
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« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2010, 21:14:02 »

Buddhism does not fly away from uffering or social life.

Buddhism is a different path.

Generally people seeks the path of joy and fun. We search for pleasurable things, we love dancing lights and groovy sounds, we get in extasy with beautiful bodys, we get powerful sensation doing sport, and so on.
Humans love sensations. The attachment to sensations has a downside: we are also more vulnerable to bad things and bad sensations.
Thats why Buddhism demands firts, that one should be more reasonable and seek less funny and pleasurable things. And that may sound like running away for many people.
But when you start to follow the Path totally, you will see that in fact you become more alive, more lucid and mind clear.

For an outsider, meditating seems like a boring thing.

For a meditator, its like taking a bath in the cold waters of a river, a in a sunny morning.

Why is there suffering? Because we are. Because we crave and get greedy about things. We wish, we suffer. We are like dancing whirlpools or hurricanes. Never stopping.
We suffer because we are clouds of conscience. As soon there is life, there will be always suffering.

According to buddhism, one needs to Nibbana (i used Nibbana here as a verb, since thats more logical than saying that Nibbana is a state). Then suffering stops.
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« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2010, 00:47:16 »

stillwater, you could describe mindfulness as a quality of your mind during meditative practice.  it has been a topic of increasing research since the late 80's early 90's.  mindfulness is defined usually as a purposeful focusing of one's attention on the present moment without discrimination.  so meditation is a practice that utilizes mindfulness in a specific way.  that's how i was first introduced to the notion of meditation, which is the only reason i brought it up.

kazbadan,

again, i actually learned about attachment and the human propensity for it from psychology.  habituation, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, all stuff you learn in psych 101.  the cumulative point to take away is that people avoid pain and move toward pleasure and they become "attached" to the behaviors that help them avoid pain and seek pleasure the most. 

so why do i need buddhism to learn that?

i'm really not knocking buddhism, i'm just saying that i learned many of the principles of buddhism through much different avenues.  so if these principles are seemingly universal (which they appear to be in a lot of ways), why do i need to limit myself by claiming to be a buddhist?  and i know what you're gonna say "buddhism is about not limiting oneself", etc., which in principle i don't disagree with.  my point is just that one you go further and further into defining your experience you limit it.  take note of my signature. 

in the end, reality is a subjective experience, and if there really was a siddhartha gautama then his teachings apply to him.  they can be an inspiration, a starting point, an outline, etc., but the way of the buddha (and i know we're all the buddha, the buddha nature lives in all of us) will only be relevant to the buddha.  you have to use his example to jump start your journey, which you must complete on your own, and clinging to a definition of oneself as "a buddhist" isn't doing that.
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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2010, 15:26:22 »

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stillwater, you could describe mindfulness as a quality of your mind during meditative practice.  it has been a topic of increasing research since the late 80's early 90's.  mindfulness is defined usually as a purposeful focusing of one's attention on the present moment without discrimination.  so meditation is a practice that utilizes mindfulness in a specific way.  that's how i was first introduced to the notion of meditation, which is the only reason i brought it up.

That is interesting. I knew there was a period 70's and later where meditation received a lot of research attention, but I wasn't aware it was part of a larger subheading of research projects; the idea of mindfulness does seem now more like just another name for meditative mindset, so I suppose the two ideas are near synonomous.

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so why do i need buddhism to learn that?

i'm really not knocking buddhism, i'm just saying that i learned many of the principles of buddhism through much different avenues.  so if these principles are seemingly universal (which they appear to be in a lot of ways), why do i need to limit myself by claiming to be a buddhist?  and i know what you're gonna say "buddhism is about not limiting oneself", etc., which in principle i don't disagree with.  my point is just that one you go further and further into defining your experience you limit it.  take note of my signature. 


Like I was getting at before, I think it is less a question of needing Buddhism, and more a quesiton of Buddhism just being one of the major vehicles (no-pun intended) through which these ideas have been passed to society and propogated. If it wasn't Buddhism, it would have been Upanishadic meditative yogas, but the ideas would have propogated somehow. It is not so much to me that we needed Buddhism to have these ideas, but rather just that we owe a debt to the tradition for having been one of the major modes of their transmission.

Quote
in the end, reality is a subjective experience, and if there really was a siddhartha gautama then his teachings apply to him.  they can be an inspiration, a starting point, an outline, etc., but the way of the buddha (and i know we're all the buddha, the buddha nature lives in all of us) will only be relevant to the buddha.  you have to use his example to jump start your journey, which you must complete on your own, and clinging to a definition of oneself as "a buddhist" isn't doing that.

Archaeologists are pretty sure there was a Sakyamuni, and obviously his life did not happen exactly like the Brahmapada or any of the other accounts describe, as theses are dramatizations. It is probable he never even left his family in his endeavors. The truth of the matter lies somewhere between a mundane existence and the legends that have been passed. Anyone's guess where.

And I agree about avoiding calling yourself anything. I guess I also get iconoclastic with labels, since if you use one word or another, it sets off a chain reaction of expectations and judgements based on what that word implies to the person in question. It is better in my opinion to say that you have interest in one tradition or another, but that your beliefs or understandings are your own.
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« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2010, 16:32:29 »

And I agree about avoiding calling yourself anything. I guess I also get iconoclastic with labels, since if you use one word or another, it sets off a chain reaction of expectations and judgements based on what that word implies to the person in question. It is better in my opinion to say that you have interest in one tradition or another, but that your beliefs or understandings are your own.

And that's my point exactly.  As I said, I'm not knocking Buddhism, just proposing that when you claim a label like that you're doing a few things.  First, you're limiting yourself by saying that you're one thing and not another.  This isn't to say that Buddhists don't use "non-buddhist" practices or whatever, it's just the principle of narrowing down your possibilities.  Second, you're associating yourself with something that you will have "preconceived" notions about.  And even if you abandon most of those notions consciously through your practice, there will still probably be an underlying expectation of what a buddhist is.  And finally, the same issue as number 2 only on a collective level.  Other people have preconceptions, they then treat you in a specific way and you then react in a specific way that may not be what you truly feel (self-fulfilling prophecy). 

Let me say this clearly, I have ZERO problem with Buddhism.  I would never call myself a Buddhist, but I have spent a lot of time over the years learning about the Buddha Sakyamuni (which was his clan name right?  like his family's surname) specifically, as well as the modern form of Buddhism and I really appreciate the culture.  But from the perspective of a "solitary practitioner" I find it much more effective to renounce allegiance to any tradition (a little dramatic i know).
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