Search found 285 matches

by Alfredo
Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:39 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Finding a spiritual path (sorry, long post! Question at end)
Replies: 13
Views: 2289

Re: Finding a spiritual path (sorry, long post! Question at

A book recommendation: Eric Leigh Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality (2005, rev. 2012) Some perspective may help. Specifically, the mix of interests you name has been a "thing" for more than a century, and informs much of American spirituality. (I can probably come up with ...
by Alfredo
Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:11 pm
Forum: Tibetan Buddhism
Topic: Tibetan Superstitions
Replies: 23
Views: 3918

Re: Tibetan Superstitions

You're welcome! But is it superstition, religion, etiquette, or primitive science?
by Alfredo
Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:55 am
Forum: Tibetan Buddhism
Topic: Tibetan Superstitions
Replies: 23
Views: 3918

Re: Tibetan Superstitions

Tibetan Buddhists have traditionally embraced a range of beliefs which might be deemed "superstitious" by somebody: *reincarnation, karma, and liberation (including the belief that reincarnations can be identified) *various categories of invisible spiritual beings (ghosts, gods, spirits, Buddhas and...
by Alfredo
Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:44 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Condensed Summarization of Buddhism?
Replies: 32
Views: 5919

Re: Condensed Summarization of Buddhism?

"Buddhism is kind of like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, except instead not knowing whether the cat is alive or dead, we're not sure if a dog has Buddha Nature or not." There, that ought to stop them in their tracks. If not, how about this? "Buddhism teaches that GURU IS GOD. Would you like t...
by Alfredo
Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:03 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: What if Buddhism had become the dominant faith of Europe?
Replies: 28
Views: 3166

Re: What if Buddhism had become the dominant faith of Europe

PS. Roman Christianity tended to view pagan religions as demonic--they believed in the gods, they just thought they were demons. It was out of this conflict that our idea of "religion" (as a complex with beliefs, rituals, a social structure, and a group identity) arose. This would have been handled ...
by Alfredo
Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:56 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: What if Buddhism had become the dominant faith of Europe?
Replies: 28
Views: 3166

Re: What if Buddhism had become the dominant faith of Europe

Okay, I'll play. The Roman Empire was chock full of what we might call "Eastern religions"--the cults of Isis, Mithras, Cybele, and even Judaism and Christianity can be seen in this light. One factor promoting this was the increased trade ties among various far-flung parts of the Empire. While many ...
by Alfredo
Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:00 pm
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?
Replies: 24
Views: 4982

Re: What is the Largest Buddhist Sect on Earth Today?

In addition to nailing down the definition of "sect," we also have to decide what it means to be an adherent of such a sect. (How many Chinese people count as Buddhists--only those who have formally taken refuge, everybody who expresses belief in Buddha, or what?)
by Alfredo
Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:45 am
Forum: Ethical Conduct
Topic: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders
Replies: 93
Views: 19933

Re: Denying you're a Buddhist to outsiders

"I believe Outsider's Tenets. Due to my obscurations, I am incapable of grasping the highest tenet system which is Prasangika Madhyamaka."

There, that ought to shut them up.
by Alfredo
Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:41 am
Forum: Dharma Stories
Topic: Growth in the Essentials of All Religions
Replies: 7
Views: 3934

Re: Growth in the Essentials of All Religions

1. Men are better than women.
2. Being gay is bad.
3. The leaders should wear funny hats.
4. Knees exist to be destroyed (by kneeling, sitting on our legs, tying them into pretzels, etc.)
5. It's important to believe at least one tedentious or unlikely thing.
by Alfredo
Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:53 pm
Forum: Tibetan Buddhism
Topic: Good stretches for postration.
Replies: 39
Views: 8180

Re: Good stretches for postration.

However, doing 108 in a row is probably a bad idea. Being middle-aged, I assumed (perhaps foolishly, in view of what the military people call the "Playstation 3" generation) that my own capacity would lie towards the bottom end of the bell curve. By all means, modify to reflect what is reasonable f...
by Alfredo
Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:28 pm
Forum: Tibetan Buddhism
Topic: Good stretches for postration.
Replies: 39
Views: 8180

Re: Good stretches for postration.

Not really needed for prostrations, though helpful if you plan to sit lotus-style. (There's a lot of variation between people's bodies, so YMMV.) Once you start, you'll get stronger. Try to do 108 to begin with, then assuming that goes well, do 108 in the morning and another 108 in the evening. Add ...
by Alfredo
Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:48 pm
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: about karma: What does a snail have to do to reincarnate? Le
Replies: 12
Views: 2179

Re: about karma: What does a snail have to do to reincarnate

It might chance to be in the same cave as some yogi, and hear the Buddhadharma (or at least the words of the Buddhadharma) that way. Or circumambulate a stupa very, veeeeeery slowly.
by Alfredo
Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:01 pm
Forum: Tibetan Buddhism
Topic: Lost and hesitant to find teacher
Replies: 46
Views: 5661

Re: Lost and hesitant to find teacher

Don't feel guilty about missing practice, if you honestly couldn't do it. If you can't, you can't. Do what you can, and start every day anew. Keeping a daily routine is not nearly as important as being kind, patient, etc. If you are blacking out or experiencing memory gaps (as opposed to just forget...
by Alfredo
Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:46 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Looking For a Teacher..
Replies: 17
Views: 2171

Re: Looking For a Teacher..

Don't listen to all these reasonable people! (What, you're going to trust a bunch of STRANGERS from the INTERNET?) The best thing to do would be to e-mail me all your money right now, so it won't keep you tied to samsara! And here's a mantra to start with: OWAH TAFOO LAYAM (say this again and again ...
by Alfredo
Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:37 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Looking For a Teacher..
Replies: 17
Views: 2171

Re: Looking For a Teacher..

Maybe. How much money you got?
by Alfredo
Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:36 am
Forum: Nyingma
Topic: Yangsi Penor Rinpoche found!
Replies: 42
Views: 8302

Re: Penor Rinpoche Yangsi

Okay, let's pretend that some of us have no idea what you are talking about. Could you please summarize the situation, much as a journalist would, focusing on the who/what/when/where/why?
by Alfredo
Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:32 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Isaiah Buddha???
Replies: 9
Views: 1412

Re: Isaiah Buddha???

Nosta is overlooking violent imagery--not to mention acts--in Buddhism (e.g. the myth told in the Kalachakratantra ), as well as peace-loving themes in the Abrahamic religions. It occurs to me that there IS an indirect connection between Isaiah and Buddhism, via ancient Persian religion, including Z...
by Alfredo
Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:52 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Isaiah Buddha???
Replies: 9
Views: 1412

Re: Isaiah Buddha???

PS. One of the few things I do know about the Book of Isaiah is that according to scholarly consensus, it was written by more than one person. The theory mentioned above probably has in mind Deutero-Isaiah.
by Alfredo
Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:41 am
Forum: Dharma in Everyday Life
Topic: Isaiah Buddha???
Replies: 9
Views: 1412

Re: Isaiah Buddha???

With all respect to the Prophet Isaiah, I see no reason to think that he had any influence on Sakyamuni Buddha. The idea seems not to be a scholarly conclusion drawn from historical and textual evidence, but a crank theory--a rather fanciful association based on certain perceived similarities (while...
by Alfredo
Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:19 am
Forum: Tibetan Buddhism
Topic: Taking on the title Rinpoche
Replies: 17
Views: 2600

Re: Taking on the title Rinpoche

Maybe they could work out a system of badges...

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