Believing in a Christian God

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Simon E.
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Simon E. » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:32 pm

Herbie wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
Herbie wrote:I think Simon E. has explained it better: Buddhists dont need to know Buddhism because they rely on their teacher's knowledge. However why they are looking for a teacher in the first place is not clear ... maybe hearsay or other social phenomena ... forums like this here ...

That's is not what I said..
sorry then I have misunderstood your words.
Simon E. wrote: they do need to know the underpinning philosophy of Buddhadharma, they need a teacher to actualise that philosophy.
The knowledge they need from their teacher is experiential..trial and error can only take us so far.
The most common reason for seeking that teacher is suffering ..their own and that of others. Which leads to a search for the source of that suffering.
Which in turn leads to taking Refuge.
OK. Then it seems to be like that:
Through hearsay or other social phenomena, forums like this here someone comes across the philosophy. Then this person has psychological issues (what you call "suffering") and recalls this philosophy's claim to be a potential remedy. Because if he would not have come across this philosphy earlier then he may attend a psychotherapist or psychoanalyst instead. So seeking help from this philosphy he gets into contact with people familiar with buddhism and they tell him that he should seek a teacher to be able to work appropriately with this philosophy. And either potential teachers or buddhists tell him to undergo this refuge ritual because otherwise nothing he is going to do will be successful. So after refuge he is validly called a "buddhist", regardless of how much he knows about buddhism, but still he won't be able to benefit from it unless he finds a teacher. Right?
I am unsure of your motivation...I am out of this conversation.
I hope you find what you need...
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

muni
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by muni » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:41 pm

Refuge in Buddha is to return from deluded state, to awakened.
Refuge in Dharma is to return from deluded views, to understanding.
Refuge in Sangha is returning from polluted state/ disharmony, to purity/ harmony.

A google one: http://www.pureland-victoria.org/cos/o. ... =printable

How these returns happen depends on the at least 84000 ways ( but certainly many more).

A quote from Dzongsar Rinpoche about Buddhist:
All compounded things are impermanent.
All emotions are pain.
All things have no inherent existence.
Nirvana is beyond concepts.
May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:03 pm

Simon E. wrote:I am unsure of your motivation...I am out of this conversation.
I hope you find what you need...
I am just trying to understand. No problem if you quit this communication. I understand. Thank you for your time so far.

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Mkoll
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Mkoll » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:21 pm

Herbie wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I am unsure of your motivation...I am out of this conversation.
I hope you find what you need...
I am just trying to understand. No problem if you quit this communication. I understand. Thank you for your time so far.
If you don't see the derisiveness you displayed in the post you made that Simon E. just responded to...well, I hope you find what you need too.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:57 am

FYI: Conversations that get steered in the direction of general questioning of Buddhist doctrine, or general skepticism about Buddhism or Buddhists are 1) not really encouraged, as there are lots of other places to engage in that sort of thought off of Dharmawheel, and 2) will likely get moved somewhere else.

Open discussion is great, but if one is here to basically expose Buddhism to their own mindset of skepticism (whatever view it comes from), that is best done somewhere else where that kind of discussion is welcome, and this not an interfaith forum. Additionally, it's talk that's only tangentially related to the OP anyway.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso

uan
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by uan » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:01 am

Simon E. wrote:If I can interject here Herbie...the working definition of a Buddhist..a follower of the Buddhadharma, that I have is rather more focused.
A Buddhist is someone that has formally Gone For Refuge to the Buddha Dharma and Sangha, and who has a recognised teacher in one of the historical lineages who has formally adopted her/him as a student.
Really? How many of the tens of millions (hundreds of millions?) of Buddhists in the world do not have a teacher who has formally adopted them as a student? Or even formally gone for refuge? They are not Buddhist? What of a Pratyekabuddha? Not a Buddhist who goes straight to being a Buddha?

You're a knowledgeable practitioner and so is Sherab Dorje, yet you both seem to have fundamentally different definitions of who is a Buddhist.

I know there are folks who are even more stringent in their definition, who have additional litmus tests.

I can see where Herbie would have some confusion (though I don't think he's actually confused).

I would say your definition seems more in line with that of a Householder.

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:57 am

Mkoll wrote:
Herbie wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I am unsure of your motivation...I am out of this conversation.
I hope you find what you need...
I am just trying to understand. No problem if you quit this communication. I understand. Thank you for your time so far.
If you don't see the derisiveness you displayed in the post you made that Simon E. just responded to...well, I hope you find what you need too.
Let me just remark that I am shocked to be accused of derisiveness (by you) and badmouthing (by someone else).

Simon E.
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:31 am

uan wrote:
Simon E. wrote:If I can interject here Herbie...the working definition of a Buddhist..a follower of the Buddhadharma, that I have is rather more focused.
A Buddhist is someone that has formally Gone For Refuge to the Buddha Dharma and Sangha, and who has a recognised teacher in one of the historical lineages who has formally adopted her/him as a student.
Really? How many of the tens of millions (hundreds of millions?) of Buddhists in the world do not have a teacher who has formally adopted them as a student? Or even formally gone for refuge? They are not Buddhist? What of a Pratyekabuddha? Not a Buddhist who goes straight to being a Buddha?

You're a knowledgeable practitioner and so is Sherab Dorje, yet you both seem to have fundamentally different definitions of who is a Buddhist.

I know there are folks who are even more stringent in their definition, who have additional litmus tests.

I can see where Herbie would have some confusion (though I don't think he's actually confused).

I would say your definition seems more in line with that of a Householder.
I dont think that Sherab Dorje's and my definition of what defines a student of Buddhadharma ARE fundamentally different..they both start with Going for Refuge to Buddha Dharma and Sangha..And not in some metaphysical or merely symbolic sense. I would add that this Going For Refuge needs to be public and formal. I am unsure whether Greg would agree with that or not.

I AM a householder...and a dzogchen student.
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

Jesse
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jesse » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:41 am

I think to be a buddhist, one simply needs to honestly practice with an open mind, and even a skeptical one (but still giving a chance to teachings.)

This way one becomes convinced wholeheartedly as the teachings of buddhism are time and again seen as true. Faith is another path but i'm less familiar with it.

Taking refuge can come later on too. There are paths which one does not become a Bodhisattva, but still knows there own nature.

Imho, the 8fold path, refuge in the three jewels etc, are simply the best means by which to practice buddhism, because they all have a purpose in helping us along our way. You can actually become fairly realized before you understand that fact, in the Buddhist sense.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:51 am

Simon E. wrote:... I would add that this Going For Refuge needs to be public and formal. ...
Psychologically this is understandable because if one wants to join a community then the community should witness the commitment that is the prerequisite and the new member will get used in future to see him-/herself through the eyes of the community which supports the discipline to keep the commitment.

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Ayu
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Ayu » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:55 am

Herbie wrote:
Simon E. wrote:... I would add that this Going For Refuge needs to be public and formal. ...
Psychologically this is understandable because if one wants to join a community then the community should witness the commitment that is the prerequisite and the new member will get used in future to see him-/herself through the eyes of the community which supports the discipline to keep the commitment.
This you can not know. You are just guessing.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:59 am

Ayu wrote:
Herbie wrote:
Simon E. wrote:... I would add that this Going For Refuge needs to be public and formal. ...
Psychologically this is understandable because if one wants to join a community then the community should witness the commitment that is the prerequisite and the new member will get used in future to see him-/herself through the eyes of the community which supports the discipline to keep the commitment.
This you can not know. You are just guessing.
I am just taking a psychological stance. There are similar ceremonies in secular environments too. It has to do with the relation individual <-> collective and how to integrate an individual into a collective.
But of course my use of terms may not comply with yours because I am applying words according to my conditioning.
Last edited by Herbie on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ayu
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Ayu » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:02 am

Herbie wrote: I am just taking a psychological stance. There are similar ceremonies in secular environments too. It has to do with the relation individual <-> collective and how to integrate an individual into a collective.
But your interpretation is wrong. For example I took my refuge single at the lama. There was no community as witness. Taking refuge (buddhism) is something very different than being baptisted (christianity).
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:03 am

Ayu wrote:
Herbie wrote: I am just taking a psychological stance. There are similar ceremonies in secular environments too. It has to do with the relation individual <-> collective and how to integrate an individual into a collective.
But your interpretation is wrong. For example I took my refuge single at the lama. There was no community as witness. Taking refuge (buddhism) is something very different than being baptisted (christianity).
I have been referring to Simon E.'s statement.
Last edited by Herbie on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

Simon E.
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:06 am

Your Going for Refuge WAS formal and public Ayu..public need not imply any one other than the Lama and oneself. It is public in contrast to simply repeating a formula to oneself in one's bedroom for example.
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

Simon E.
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:09 am

There is a psychological dimension to taking Refuge..of course. But there is also a dimension which transcends that if the teacher is authentic and the student is ripe.
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

Jesse
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jesse » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:27 am

Simon E. wrote:There is a psychological dimension to taking Refuge..of course. But there is also a dimension which transcends that if the teacher is authentic and the student is ripe.
Just curious what dimension there is apart from that?

Aren't you taking refuge in your own nature, the teachings and compassion (buddha, dharma, sanga.)
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

Simon E.
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:37 am

In the Vajrayana/Dzogchen we take Refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and Lama..these are seen as not simply being symbolic of subjective states or aspects of being..but as having objective reality. The Lama is not different to one's Buddhanature. Neither is the Lama the same as that.
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:00 pm

Simon E. wrote:In the Vajrayana/Dzogchen we take Refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and Lama..these are seen as not simply being symbolic of subjective states or aspects of being..but as having objective reality. The Lama is not different to one's Buddhanature. Neither is the Lama the same as that.
Sounds like the key is surrender.

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Ayu
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Ayu » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:57 pm

Simon E. wrote:Your Going for Refuge WAS formal and public Ayu..public need not imply any one other than the Lama and oneself.
I see that a littlebit different. Formal: yes, public: no. It is not for the public or for the community.
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha & Lama is nothing about "community" in my eyes.
It is public in contrast to simply repeating a formula to oneself in one's bedroom for example.
Yes, there is a difference between taking formal refuge or just saying it to myself. But for me it was more important to get a real connection to the lineage - not the community. The community is a wonderful group to be supported, but they are nothing that I take refuge for.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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