For beginners there is no such thing as a bad question. Feel free to ask any and all questions here. Member's responses should be made within the "beginner's mind" perspective.
What did Buddhism offer that Christianity can't?
I have my own answer but are interested in others'
I went to catholic church as a child but stopped when I hit my teens. For some reason having a Catholic practitioner tell someone they were going to hell because "they won't accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior" never sat well with me.
The church also gave my family a hell of a time when my grandfather passed. He wanted to have a traditional funeral but have some ashes dropped in the ocean (he was cremated) as he was a fisherman. This didn't sit well with the church and we had to fight for then to hold the service.
My girlfriend brought up Buddhism one day and I started researching. This research lead to zazen at home which led to a sangha. Zen just makes sense to me...no other way to explain it.
Its funny that Buddhism has allowed me to get past my distain toward Christianity.
Christianity seems to chain one to a god
Must pray to god and worship god
If god is displeased in the manner in which one lives their lives then one is punished
Either by exclusion from Heaven or Sent to Hell
Christianity was dark ... with Christians being fed to the lions because they refused to renounce their god
Or the Inquisition Or Salem witch hunts ...
Buddhism was more of a what one does is what one gets
Be good and get good
Be bad and get bad
One looks inward for the answers and not to some god which is unknown
The figure on the altar is much less bloody.
But, definitely, both have wrangled with powerful demons.
It's still all about Life and Death, eternal, or indeterminate. As well it must be.
I Think this is a childish belif in God.
One thet some Christians have and others use to scare Children. If you are bad you go to hell, etc...
This is some what true, but more or less an exageration. If i say thet some stuff, mental states, are forever. How can one go to hell or heven in the first Place. Wuld one not stay wher they are?
I became a buddhist when i whent to Indea in my early 20 : s. There i meet The Dalai Lama thet i chuck hands with. It was a que with meny people. He is a great Lama, up ther with Tsong Kapa, etc. Not as great thought.
I like the liberation and samadi. Bodhisattva is the most difficult.
Zen is more Close to thet heart, not as elaborat.
If you have a painting you will know the state of mind at thet look on it.
I wasn´t attracted to Buddhism. I was attracted to Zen. I wanted enlightenment. Had heard that it would solve my problems all at once and forever.
There are no problems. Nor any forever. Just this "all-at-once", continuing, well, "forever".
I often agree with what you see... this is especially one of those times. It is very useful to examine our "childish belief in God" as well as how it is used to scare children... and also adults. What you say is key for all of us. Agree "Zen is more close to the heart... Bodhisattve is the most difficult".
If I may... it's about spelling, a minor issue indeed.... thet = that. Still, many bows, your message comes across loud and clear.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
To me it always was a quest for the true nature of things.
I remember partying with friends back in the early 70s. For three days and nights, we went from pub to restaurant to private home to pub ..., from Ladbroke Grove to Hampstead to Kensington ..., smoking dope and drinking, all the while engaged in heady discussions about politics, philosophy and life in general. Looking intensely at an issue from all sides to try to find the ultimate answer, I at one stage felt completely exhausted and said: there is not a word I can say. To which a friend of mine replied: there is one word: zen. Well, you know the rest, that kind of got me hooked. I have been "into" zen on and off ever since.
Re. Christianity and Buddhism, I think many of us turned away from religion because we were repelled by the hypocrisy of the organized religion (Christianity) we grew up with. Discovering Eastern philosophy and zen showed us that religion can be something different. Thus, the exposure to zen made us more tolerant of religion in general. Some have even found their way back to Christianity as a result of this new-found acceptance of religion.
and thanks for correcting the Spelling. English is my seconed linguage.
i am not trying to put Christianity down or enything. I am a christian as well as a buddhist.
This is an example of a good belif. Jes 4:3 "And they that are left in Sion, They that have been spared in Jerusalem, they will be called holy, each and every one in Jerusalem that are written amongst them that will live."
When i read and right this, it feels good inside. Like drinking te when thirsty and the te pot is still left there so i can drink te agen.
All sorts of belif are of good, even the childish ones. If i believe in timemachinnes thet have thee legs and looks like two cirkels put together in a ordered manner, the can be a sort of belif. All sorts of withchery can be used to scare people in to submision. So parhaps there are bad belifs too?
Which brings up another point
Is there any religion that allows the freedom of thought and belief to the extent that Buddhism does?
This what I cherish the most about Buddhism - that I must find and experience truth myself. I cannot lean on anyone
By definition, there cannot be any entity between me and it
No one can tell us what constitutes truth
"We take our own chances and pay our dues, the Silver Tongued Devil and I"
Without adopting this principle we cannot take the essential surrender to allow truth to emerge of its own accord
Yes, we have recommend methods but it is us that have to walk those methods - alone
As I see it right now
So what do you need Buddhism for Michael?
Buddhism has an amazingly rich philosophical & intellectual heritage. For me, the basic soundness of its philosophical structure was definitely the initial draw. It's just very grown-up and sensible, in how it approaches theological and existential questions.
What kept me (and keeps me still) was the promise of awakening.
Also - the stories; the literature; the biographies; the poems; the humor; jokes; and the wordplay.
"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andrè Gide
Another related reason I was attracted to Buddhism is that it is a practice, not just a belief: Not only does it give one doctrines to learn and in which to believe, it provides methods and means to put those doctrines into effect and accomplish those doctrines' purposes. Buddhism is nothing if not practical. It gives the How as well as the What and Why.
...And "it" is not an "it".
The mystical-wing of any religion you care to name.
Christianity (Christian-Contemplative ways);
Hinduism (umpteen sects);
...dunno who else...
ps ha-ha!: those "freedoms" in "Buddhism" you posit, I'd say, are imagined and "enjoyed" only by lay-people, not by monastics! Something to take into your larger purview.
There is potential depth in Santeira, Rastafarianism and Pop-Zen.
However as others have suggested, you have to find it.
For example the Zen meditation posture known as 'hanging on a cross' is suitable only for god like practitioners. Extreme profits like $Muhammed PBUH extolled by the zenniths of Saudi are worth listening to for their peity (when fashionable). Thinking all dharma is guaranteed superior negates one important component ...
Us! Did you guess?
Be sincere. Practice. Love Cod/God or your cushion but above all ...
... be above All. Above Allah. Better than Buddha. Christ Like. And kind to the fish ...
What does it mean »be kind to the fish«
I grew up with my mom taking us to Buddhist temples up until I was 10.
Afterward was never involve any types of religion or Buddhist practices and still not.
Few months before the gold price dropped from the all time high of $2000/oz
one of my co-worker sent me a YouTube link he thought of interest to me
of a zen teacher lecturing. I watched the video for 30s and lost interest.
Few months after the gold price dropped below around $1200
Then my second bigest "mental suffering" in my life
and financial lost happened.
I become isolated and started going thru lots self help
And self improvement books to figure out what I did wrong.
The irony was I end up finding and watching that exact same zen
teacher video! I even told my friend about it...and he looked at me funny and
said that he shared the video with me a few months ago.
Through the first few pages from one of the book the teacher wrote was
my first personal break through glimpse of the suffering paradigm
and is forever grateful.
Through gold I found greed,
Through greed I found suffering,
Through suffering I found teacher,
Through teacher I found zen.
Gold was zen after all.
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