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Offlinemshrmmitch
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Registered: 07/10/04
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Budhism rather than christianity?
    #3261969 - 10/21/04 09:32 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

if anyone could give me personal information on thier life as a budhist it would be greatly appreciated...i have been reading about Budhism and it really interests me but i have noone who is budhist to talk to about it, i am christian now but am questioning if its right for me.....thanks


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: mshrmmitch]
    #3261987 - 10/21/04 09:36 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

they are not mutually exculsive really. Follow the parts of christianity that work for you (compassion for others, turning the other cheek, do onto others etc are all good starts) and do the same with buddhism (detach yourself from obsessive desire, control your own mind, meditate, right thought, speach and action etc)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: mshrmmitch]
    #3262023 - 10/21/04 09:43 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

My recommendation is to think for yourself rather than following a particular faith. However, if you're interested in learning about what Buddhism teaches, you might find this link useful:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/basic-guide.htm


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlineabscisin
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Registered: 10/21/04
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: silversoul7]
    #3262140 - 10/21/04 10:14 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

silversoul7 is, as far as one man can be when discussing religion, absolutely right.

My advice would be to follow the teachings of William Blake. He was the first of the Romantic poets, and held close to him the idea that religion should not be something that one subscribes, if you'll excuse the pun, religiously to. Instead of following a ridiculously rigid dogma based on denying earthly pleasures (as early Catholicism was), Blake encouraged the Romantics to embrace what he called, "the joy of man".

Consequently, he spawned a new kind of religion based on personal findings alone. This was the early beginnings of what is now the Protestant religion.

What I'm trying to say, in a fairly erudite and overly roundabout way, is that you shouldn't subscribe totally to something if you're not in complete accordance with its principles (which, let's face it, very few people are, religios zealots included). Pick and choose what you want to believe in, because in the end, it comes down to nothing more than faith.

You can't subscribe to faith, but you can most certainly align it where you'd like.


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Offlinezionchild
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: mshrmmitch]
    #3262157 - 10/21/04 10:17 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Just remember, Christ (Yeshua) was a "Buddha" (enlightened one), but Buddha was not Christ. Christ taught about the human condition, what is, and what is to come. Buddha laid out guidelines for how to tame the mind and achieve enlightenment, but made no mention of Zion or Babylon. This subject could be discussed for an eternity - I will simply say, having been a devotee of Buddha, Krishna, and finally Christ, my advice is to simply follow Christ (do not necessarily label yourself a "Christian" as so much stigma and confusion is attached to this word) for in His own words, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. However, I do not wish to dictate your beliefs -- listen to your heart, pray for guidance, and decide for yourself. Peace&Love


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Offlinedeff
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: zionchild]
    #3262166 - 10/21/04 10:19 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

"and held close to him the idea that religion should not be something that one subscribes"

"Consequently, he spawned a new kind of religion based on personal findings alone. This was the early beginnings of what is now the Protestant religion."

Ironic, isn't it? :laugh:


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Offlineabscisin
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: deff]
    #3262183 - 10/21/04 10:22 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Very much so. I think if Blake could see what the Protestant religion has become, he'd not only be spinning in his grave - he'd be getting acute motion sickness.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: mshrmmitch]
    #3262492 - 10/21/04 11:16 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I am sitting in my meditation/computer room as I type. The decor is light wood, sky blue walls, slate blue carpet with a five foot matching mandalic round meditation rug at center. The walls have Tibetan fabric wall-hangings and Vajrayana and Hindu framed art, Alex Grey's framed and signed 'Theologue,' a couple of psychedelic stained glass lamps, a low table with Tibetan bronze deities Mahakala and sexy consort with a Tibetan incense burner and a brass and copper incense holder filled with, yup, Tibetan incense, a couple of carved wood meditation figures, a Cambodian carved wood Buddha on a hand-painted Moroccan table with a Morrocan flower vase behind the Buddha and a framed Yoga poster on the wall behind that with a blue glass and bronzed candle lantern hanging on a chain above the table. I could go on, but the point is that our 'Blue Room' (the walls are actually white) is an essentially Eastern and predominantly Tibetan Buddhist theme. It is 'one' room in our home and in our psyches. I wrote a 222 page Doctoral dissertation on Tibetan Buddhist psychology and Western psychology back in 1983, published by Microfilms International, Inc. We also have many many books on Buddhism on our bookshelves in library and hallway here.

However , we both identify ourselves as being Christian. We both realize that 'There are no atheists in foxholes,' which is to say that when we are 'under the gun,' under serious fearful pressure, we do not lock up into the lotus position to meditate and detach, but rather we ask Almighty GOD for help. You may take this witness on as many levels of interpretation as you can muster, from the infantile to the transcendental - all of it comes into play.

I have learned a great deal about the mind through Abhidharma philosophy - the ancient psychology of Vajrayana Buddhism. It has defined the essential stages of Human Spiritual Development to me in skeletal forms that apply universally to every major religion and tradition - the 'Shephard's Crook' ascent from Root to Crown and descent to the Heart, but Grace, Prayer, Miracle, Blessing, Thanksgiving, Forgiveness, Compassion are all words that aptly describe my life experience, and which more accurately define that life experience than the equisite intricacies of the most complex philosophy of Vajrayana Buddhism. To Vajrayana in particuar I owe a great deal, as I do to Plato (Buddha and Socrates being contemporaries half a world apart). Yes, Compassion is the overlapping term between Buddhism and Christianity, but the other terms describe a theistic flavor (not necessarily anthropocentric) that Buddhism has forsaken.

Therefore, the 'living room' of our home is Christian in flavor. It is the largest room with 'cathedral ceiling,' stained glass hanging in front of the picture window, a Gnostic and Entheogenically suggestive esoteric Christian theme on our votive table, Sun-Moon images, wrought iron candlesticks and gargoyles abounding. The outer decor of our home intends to manifest our inner values, so I have elaborated to get the priorities of our inner life communicated to you, in answer to your question. Just as the Neoplatonism of Plotinus may well have been influenced by mendicant Buddhists in Greece, and how Neoplatonism so transformed mystical Christianity both Orthodox and Catholic, we wish to express this formula in artistic representation. Our Christianity has overtly and covertly absorbed certain profound Buddhist teachings in our grasp of TRUTH.

Peace out.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlineabscisin
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Registered: 10/21/04
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #3262590 - 10/21/04 11:31 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Bravo! I immensely enjoyed that read - you certainly know your stuff. Sadly, Abhidharma philosophy is not something I've had a lot of experience with, or indeed Vajrayana Buddhism in general. My experiences are confined to Hinayana and Mahayana - I had a couple of friends in college who dabbled in the arts, so to speak, and brought me along once or twice to see if I liked it. It was very calming, I'll admit, but unfortunately I had other commitments that prevented me from giving it the requisite time and clarity of mind.

Nevertheless, is Vajrayana similar to Christianity in ways other than Compassion? I'm interested to know religious similarities, I believe it helps us to understand a little bit about human nature.


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Offlinezahudulallah
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #3262618 - 10/21/04 11:35 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Your house sounds interesting!

My apartment doesn't have nearly as much substance, except one wall in the living room, which has a coffee table again it. On it are all my books, on three different reciting holders are placed a Bible, a Holy Qur'an (an all Arabic version that is over 100 years old from the Ottomon days) and a simple paperback on Eastern religions (that seems out of place) that attempts to interpret the Bhagavid Gita and other Hindu and Buddhist writ. Against the side wall there is a small glass cabinet, in it is a statue Jesus Next to a multi sided mirror that represents the state of man as a designated mirror to reflect on God's beauty. On the wall behind the Coffee table is an Israeli Flag and a Palestinian flag side by side... everything else in my place is simply decoration and has no real meaning, but its all gradully being replaced...ebay is great for finding anything of substance..  :thumbup:


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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: zahudulallah]
    #3263323 - 10/22/04 02:32 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I was Christian for 8 years and now practice Buddhism. I got to the point where I could no longer except the logical problems of Christianity. Buddhism is more logical, scientifically accurate, AND more effective in helping you be happy.
I think I am happier in many ways than when I was a Christian, but there is some knowledge that is still difficult to accept.

Christianity can definately be a good thing, and I believe that following it closely will get you to heaven. The problem is, in Buddhism 'heaven' is only temporary and you eventually have to come back down after exausting your good karma. Therefore we need a long term solution beyond gaining good karma from positive deeds.

The tough part with Buddhism is that it can be extremely difficult to accept some of it's main tenents. For example: you don't exist, life has no inherent meaning, nothing exists as you know it, only as fluid interdependant appearences, everything you experience is a projection of your mind, and nothing exists from it's own side. If you can get used to those ideas, then I strongly suggest getting involved in Buddhism.

A good intermediary is Vedic Hindu texts like the Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads. I think they contain some ideas very similar to Buddhism, but present them in a theistic way that is easier for Christians to understand. Instead of presenting things in terms of negation and Emptiness, Hindu texts are more personal, God oriented, and mystical.


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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Offlinea_h_w
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3263761 - 10/22/04 07:30 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

i was raised in a christian culture and environment. what i like the most about christ and his teachings is the humanism in it.
the most important thing is love, no doubt. if we were all able to love each other how different life would be. the big problem is that christianity doesn't give any practical insight on how to reach this goal. the problem is that this religion grew to something so huge and so far apart from its original essence that it becomes unbearable to be part of it. so i had to walk away. besides, metaphysical questions were invading me and i couldn't really believe in god as a supreme being, a god to obey and fear. i believed too much in free will to embrace something like that.

i dwelt deeper into metaphysical questions like the meaning of life, its origins, our place in the universe, etc, and i started walking a path of self-discovery. my idea was that the ultimate answer to all metaphysical questions was to be found deep inside us.

this state-of-affairs, self-discovery through experience and without any religious guidance, went on for about seven years. numerous ideas flourished in me, the last and most important was that reality does not exist. what we call reality is but what we perceive of the experience of living. it's limited by our senses, it's limited by our concepts, and we can only have a notion of reality because as a species we perceive reality through similar senses and interpret it through common cultural backgrounds, thus creating a shared image to call real. Eskimos have 20 different words for snow because they can identify 20 different types of snow. for us, with a limited experience on snow, when we see it, it's only snow. so you can expand reality not only through the senses but also through the mind, your interpretation of the world.
there's a lot you can explore with the notion that reality does not exist.

when i started reading buddhist texts there were many times i felt like being at home. it is absolutely based on experience. it tells you: don't believe me just out of faith. try this, see how it feels, study it, try to reach conclusions by yourself. it doesn't' tell you there is evil always trying to tempt you, it says we are bond to desire. it says you can see desire arising in you and take this moment not as bad thing (i'm bad, always wanting to play computer and not study) but as an opportunity to study what desire really feels like and how it affects you. it's extremely practical, not wrapped up in dogma.
and also buddhism doesn't have the notion of a supreme god. buddha was a man, a human being like you and me.

i'm not embracing any religion. like mani, i believe all religions search for the same truth and we can learn from all of them. sometimes they're wrong. the important thing is to search for our own beliefs and not close ourselves down to one unique vision of life, pretending this to be the ultimate truth, disrespecting and disregarding what others have to say about it.


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Offlinezionchild
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: a_h_w]
    #3264328 - 10/22/04 01:03 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

hey ahw - just had a few comments on what you had to say...

"if we were all able to love each other how different life would be. the big problem is that christianity doesn't give any practical insight on how to reach this goal. "

-yes, love is the essence of humanity, egocentrism is the antithesis of love, and both Christ and Buddha taught that we must put others before ourselves. i would argue, however, that Christ gave plenty of 'practical insight' on how to reach the goal of loving others - indeed, this was the root and sole purpose of why he came to Earth - to teach other humans the meaning of unconditional love - He said 'love thy neighbor as thyself' and 'love thy enemy' . how much more practical can you get? the problem isn't the practicality factor, it is the fact that people simply do not perceive the importance of love and the danger of the ego. if people knew better, they would not act as they do. this is why Christ came to earth. Buddha had a similar message -- the problem with Buddhism for me is that it is too complex for most people to comprehend. i've studied Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita (much of Buddhism is rooted in Hinduism - Hindus believe that Sakyamuni (the original Buddha) was an avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu (as was Krisna, and as will be the next avatar who is yet to supposedly come). from studying the Gita, i can say that this clearly is not for everyone. Christs message was simple and to the point - being a 'Christian' is not about following all the bullshit dogma - so many christians are just the opposite of what they claim to be (i.e. our president). for myself, following Christ is all about developing a relationship with the consciousness and message he brought to Earth. The only time i have truly experienced full-blown 'Christ-consciousness' has been on entheogenic substances - these experiences transcend the ability to describe with words - but it has become my goal in life to find this state of consciousness without the aid of plants - it is my belief that a relationship with Christ will ultimately bring me closer to this state. however, i do recognize the importance of meditation as taught by the Buddha and continue to meditate as well as pray daily.

"the problem is that this religion grew to something so huge and so far apart from its original essence that it becomes unbearable to be part of it"

-This is true. so many atrocities have been commmitted in the name of religion that it is impossible to fathom. truly, almost every major devestating event throuhgout human history has been spiritually motivated. i believe that much of politics are spiritually motivated - although the Christ that politicians claim to follow and the one i follow are two very different things. there are many false prophets, as Christ prophecied. So if religion is such a terrible thing, then don't participate in it. you don't have to label yourself as a 'Christian' or go to church every sunday to be a follower of Christ's teachings. Christ was not big on organized religion and recognized the inherent evil it would bring after he left earth.

"metaphysical questions were invading me and i couldn't really believe in god as a supreme being, a god to obey and fear. i believed too much in free will to embrace something like that."

-this remark could be discussed for an eternity. my feelings about 'God' are that first of all it is a word that should not be used because everyone has their own interpretations and associations attatched to this word. God is light. God is love. God is dead. , etc. God is just a term used to describe that which we are incapable of describing, and thus we must understand it in different terms. i agree with you that it is hard to swallow some of the ways 'God' is referred to in the Old testament. however, my philosophy is that Christ was far and beyond any state of consciousness i am ever capable of understanding. if he says 'no one comes to the Father but through me' then i take this word as truth. i do not pretend to understand God, but i think of it is a universal energy, the source of all, the ocean of love which binds the universe, the alpha and omega, the origin of the universe, etc. think of God like this - every individual consciousness lumped together into one super-consciousness or world-consciousness. This is God - aware of every thought, every action, every hair on your head, every rock on the earth, every star in the sky. something has to be aware of all these things at all times, right? this is mass-awareness, or simply, 'God.' i have understood these concepts more intimately while on mushrooms, and thus i know that these states of understanding are not beyond human ability to comprehend. my point is simply that you should not perceive 'God' as a personal God necessarily, but as a mass-awareness of sorts. true Christianity is about following the teachings of Christ - and his message was very simple, yet infinitely profound.

-one last thing i will note is that the importance of Christ's teachings to me are not only spiritual, but also a way of understanding the current state of the world. much of what is going on (particularly with israel) has already been prophecied in the bible. these prophecies are not as present in Buddhism or Hinduism (although Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism all believe a 'Messiah' of sorts is yet to come. for Jews, he has yet to come the first time, for christians, Christ has already come once and will come again, for Rastas, Haile Salassie was the second coming of Christ, for Buddhists and Hindus, the last avatar or representative of Visnu is yet to come). i find that the bible gives me more ability to understand the state of world affairs and prepares me for what is to come unlike any other religion. regardless of whether material reality is but an illusion, a vibrational manifestation of super strings, a holographic projection, or a figment of my imagination, i cannot escape the world which i experience everyday - and this is why i chose to follow the words of Christ. peace&Love


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Budhism rather than christianity? [Re: zahudulallah]
    #3265744 - 10/22/04 09:37 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I find it just as interesting that you are creating symbolism by the placement of said objects. As a seminary student, I had two bookshelves, a crucifix, a red votive, a copy of The Last Supper, and the big item was a Burdines Indian carpet (8'X11') which is now on my livingroom floor it cost $169.00 in 1976 and today the same sort is over a thousand. I painted the walls brown, pulled up the carpeting and put the Indian carpet over a wood floor. I used to sleep on a folded blanket and no pillow. That was 28 years ago - I'm a whole lot older than you and art comes with house and time to collect. The point was to symbolize our spiritual priorities and relate that to those interested, not as a contest about material aquisition. It is interesting that you are creating a space filled with increasingly meaningful objects. That process is exactly what I am intending. Best wishes.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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