A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
Post Reply
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:04 pm

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Rick
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:17 pm

Thanks for posting! My friend, who's a longtime Surya Das student, has the least Zen stink of any Buddhist I've ever met.

My three favorites:

The Lama, during our private chat, said Buddhism isn’t true, but it works.

I’m thinking of starting each day by chanting, D’oh.

The Laziness ...
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:03 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:17 pm
Buddhism isn’t true, but it works.
I'm not sure that Wizard of Oz confession is appropriate in all situations... but I thought that was funny. A very Deli Lama thing to say. I can hear that Long Island accent... The Buddha of Massapequa.

The Laziness... well, that carries too much Protestant Work Ethic judginess. He's talking about the basic natural state of a human being who is not worried about... whatever the world gets us worried about... uptight whi'peepo business. We need to problematize that hyperactive mind set and establish that the relaxed mind as the baseline... :smile:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Rick
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:29 pm

"Buddhism isn't true, but it works" ... this resonates with me buncha. I see it as yaw (yet another way) to point to emptiness. And, ya know, emptiness is where it's at, baybey.

I'm a huge fan of the Protestant work ethic ... NOT! Some call the human mind lazy by nature. Sleepy, ignorant, deluded ... these all work for me, but lazy? Not so much.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

narhwal90
Posts: 820
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:24 pm

OTOH if you all will pardon a Douglas Adams reference, when the various products and tendencies of the mind are occasionally revealed, perhaps the relevance of work ethic might have an analogy with the astronauts of Krikkit emerging from the dust cloud, witnessing the universe and the race collectively decides "Its going to have to go" and begin a 2000 year war to make it happen.

I find its uncomfortable to get sucked back into the straitjacket of views and desire and frustration and anger, even if its familiar. More practice makes it easier, faster to get back out of them again, maybe not get sucked in so far as last time.

User avatar
Rick
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Rick » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:49 pm

Gotta reread Adams, I forget how crazy brilliant he was.

Btw I just found out that my Surya Das student friend was at the retreat from the article and he got to know the author a bit. Said the guy was clearly skeptical to begin with ... then gradually melted, particularly during group chanting.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:22 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:24 pm
I find its uncomfortable to get sucked back into the straitjacket of views and desire and frustration and anger, even if its familiar. More practice makes it easier, faster to get back out of them again, maybe not get sucked in so far as last time.
I know I've gotten to baseline when work on Monday morning is a jarring shock to the system.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:32 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:49 pm
Gotta reread Adams, I forget how crazy brilliant he was.

Btw I just found out that my Surya Das student friend was at the retreat from the article and he got to know the author a bit. Said the guy was clearly skeptical to begin with ... then gradually melted, particularly during group chanting.
People are often skeptical of the chanting... chanting, especially in a group can be quite an experience
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
LastLegend
Posts: 3083
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by LastLegend » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:04 pm

What does the article say?
Very very clear superbly miraculously clear lol.

Interesting was told that the observer will get to a point it doesn’t know itself, yet there is the only remaining thing that knows.

User avatar
Rick
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Rick » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:47 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:32 pm
People are often skeptical of the chanting... chanting, especially in a group can be quite an experience
My problem with chanting is that being a trained-up-the-wazoo musician, I shift into analytical performance mode, which spoils the spir'tual vibe.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 9654
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:20 am

Rick wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:47 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:32 pm
People are often skeptical of the chanting... chanting, especially in a group can be quite an experience
My problem with chanting is that being a trained-up-the-wazoo musician, I shift into analytical performance mode, which spoils the spir'tual vibe.
Not to go off topic, i'll make this a one-off, but:

Approach chanting more like Kirtan or something, and less analytical. Buy yourself a shruti box and just go to it, this is one way to get out of that mindset. The book Harmonic Experience by W.A. Matthieu is pretty good for this. It was the last book I read on theory lol, if you can even call it that.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

tkp67
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by tkp67 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:27 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:20 am
Rick wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:47 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:32 pm
People are often skeptical of the chanting... chanting, especially in a group can be quite an experience
My problem with chanting is that being a trained-up-the-wazoo musician, I shift into analytical performance mode, which spoils the spir'tual vibe.
Not to go off topic, i'll make this a one-off, but:

Approach chanting more like Kirtan or something, and less analytical. Buy yourself a shruti box and just go to it, this is one way to get out of that mindset. The book Harmonic Experience by W.A. Matthieu is pretty good for this. It was the last book I read on theory lol, if you can even call it that.
look at brain scans of people meditating and chanting

Seems in many ways the sciences are hipper to the real benefits as they are measuring them through the scientific process not in measures that require heavy anecdotal comparisons made from the view once achieved.

PeterC
Posts: 1047
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by PeterC » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:35 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:03 pm
Rick wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:17 pm
Buddhism isn’t true, but it works.
I'm not sure that Wizard of Oz confession is appropriate in all situations... but I thought that was funny. A very Deli Lama thing to say. I can hear that Long Island accent... The Buddha of Massapequa.

The Laziness... well, that carries too much Protestant Work Ethic judginess. He's talking about the basic natural state of a human being who is not worried about... whatever the world gets us worried about... uptight whi'peepo business. We need to problematize that hyperactive mind set and establish that the relaxed mind as the baseline... :smile:
I suspect a lot of what the writer is describing is something you see a lot with these “I’m not a Buddhist but I went on a meditation retreat” things - they experienced the mind starting to settle down, and they conclude that that’s what Buddhism is all about, and don’t persist

Fortyeightvows
Posts: 2296
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:37 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:37 am

[quote=PeterC post_id=503946 time=1568345746 user_id=5626]
I suspect a lot of what the writer is describing is something you see a lot with these “I’m not a Buddhist but I went on a meditation retreat” things - they experienced the mind starting to settle down, and they conclude that that’s what Buddhism is all about, and don’t persist
[/quote]

Very good observation

tkp67
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by tkp67 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:02 pm

In the degenerate age riddle with incorrigible belief the buddha works in means that are not reliant belief because most humans are incapable.

They need a quite mind to observe causation and build a basis for their own enlightenment.

The degenerate age indicates a shift in how we realized buddha but should we really believe the transcendental powers of buddha are less potent in this age because it is harder to see outside of ourselves? Isn't that simply manifesting doubt in the minds of those who have opened the door to buddha nature?

Maybe I am wrong?

User avatar
Rick
Posts: 2092
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: A skeptic's musings on Buddhist practice

Post by Rick » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:48 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:20 am
Approach chanting more like Kirtan or something, and less analytical. Buy yourself a shruti box and just go to it, this is one way to get out of that mindset. The book Harmonic Experience by W.A. Matthieu is pretty good for this.
Makes sense ... and the book looks good, thanks!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Post Reply

Return to “Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Anders, Astus, Dan74 and 81 guests