What is Buddhism?

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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SunWuKong
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What is Buddhism?

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:03 am

A religion
B psychology
C philosophy
D yogic practice
E path to the supernatural
F other
G all the above
H none of the above
I combinations of the above
?????
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SunWuKong
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:27 pm

LOL no one will to take a stand?
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marting
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by marting » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:35 pm

It's an English word.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:28 pm

Religion.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:07 pm

Doctrine of the Buddha
ism

noun
1.
a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice:
This is the age of isms.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ism
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SunWuKong
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by SunWuKong » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:13 pm

I ask because i frequently hear "this is Buddhism" and "that isn't Buddhism" - and because i vote for G. All the Above.

I prefer to call my practice a "Buddhist Practice" as opposed to saying "I am a Buddhist" because I'm a monotheistic unitarian christian yogi as well. Anyway looks like the thread is failing...
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:38 am

"Buddhism" can refer to two things:
1. Buddha's teachings (the Buddhadharma).
The essence of the Buddha's teachings is
the perfect and complete liberation from the suffering that results from one's clinging to the experience of a self.

2.The institutions of lineage which have formalized the preservation of the teachings over the past 2500 years.
That includes everything from rituals to robes to various practices.

It's a philosophy in that it can be understood intellectually
It's a religion in that it can be experienced intuitively
It can also be a very expensive hobby for some.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:37 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:13 pm
I ask because i frequently hear "this is Buddhism" and "that isn't Buddhism" - and because i vote for G. All the Above.
I think "G. All the Above" is the best answer out of the options you offered us but, really, Buddhism doesn't align neatly with any of our Western paradigms. That's why you hear so many conflicting definitions, none of them quite correct.
As an institution it aligns very closely with our notion of a religion, but as a field of study it's all over the place. (Thanks, PvS, for suggesting that distinction.)

:namaste:
Kim

Simon E.
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:41 pm

Buddh-ism is just another peg to hang our hats on. Another identity to define ourselves by.

Buddhadharma however, is the means to liberation from samsara.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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catmoon
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by catmoon » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:17 pm

It's a religion, but not a theistic one. You might want to look at a little book from Oxford University Press titled "Buddhism" by Damien Keown.

He really tears the question to bits, lays out all the parts on the table, organizes them and comes to a conclusive answer.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Tiago Simões
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by Tiago Simões » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:24 pm

I don't understood why people have a hard time calling Buddhism a religion. I think we cary some preconceptions about religion itself.

Wiki:
There is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. It may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, prophesies, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:49 pm

Buddhism offers salvation for oneself and others. That is, complete, transcendental freedom from all sufferings and the perfect realization of innate qualities of compassion and wisdom. This clearly puts it in the realm of religion to me.

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SunWuKong
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Tiago Simões wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:24 pm
I don't understood why people have a hard time calling Buddhism a religion. I think we cary some preconceptions about religion itself.

Wiki:
There is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. It may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, prophesies, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual.
See here, one definition of "religion" that Buddhism neatly fits into. Personally I accept the supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual, so it's a fit. I am aware that there are explanations as to why it isn't a religion, but they just seem like... explanations.

Buddhism, particularly Mahayana, it closely allied with several schools of belief in India. Vedanta in particular. Also yoga accepts the concept of God, but in a very limited way, God is only a part of the consciousness available for human awareness, outside that there's no God in the world. Buddha comes very close to this when he discusses Brahman with a member of the Brahman caste in one of the suttas. I think it is a true statement that Buddhism does not teach belief in a God, it is atheistic, but in a limited way. To outright say "Buddhism is not religion" is not a clear statement of fact.
Last edited by SunWuKong on Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SunWuKong
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Re: What is Buddhism?

Post by SunWuKong » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:55 pm

catmoon wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:17 pm
It's a religion, but not a theistic one. You might want to look at a little book from Oxford University Press titled "Buddhism" by Damien Keown.

He really tears the question to bits, lays out all the parts on the table, organizes them and comes to a conclusive answer.
Thanks, theres a PDF for that!
http://dl4a.org/uploads/pdf/Buddhism%20 ... 0Keown.pdf
“Nothing holy, just vast empty space!”

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