Buddism without buddism

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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tomschwarz
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Buddism without buddism

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:40 pm

hello dear friends from behinningless time!

his holiness the dalai lama often teaches secular ethics. and his holiness often makes a point of mentioning that his teachings on secular ethics are not specific to Buddhism. for example he might instruct that:
* one must care for others in order to feel safe/ no fear
* our greatest enemies our inside ourself/ mind
* wealth and riches are by no means a gurantee for happiness
* discipline of sleeping and waking early or not eating after lunch are valuable
* we must strive not to hurt others
etc.... so my question is what is there, other than symbology and reincarnation, which differentiate secular ethics and Buddhism?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:21 pm

tomschwarz wrote:hello dear friends from behinningless time!

his holiness the dalai lama often teaches secular ethics. and his holiness often makes a point of mentioning that his teachings on secular ethics are not specific to Buddhism. for example he might instruct that:
* one must care for others in order to feel safe/ no fear
* our greatest enemies our inside ourself/ mind
* wealth and riches are by no means a gurantee for happiness
* discipline of sleeping and waking early or not eating after lunch are valuable
* we must strive not to hurt others
etc.... so my question is what is there, other than symbology and reincarnation, which differentiate secular ethics and Buddhism?
Well, that's a bit above my paygrade, but I can tell you what differentiates 'Buddism' from 'Buddhism' if you like. :smile:
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:59 pm

First, ethical behavior is only one part of the threefold training in Buddhism. Without the other two, we may become nicer people but we won't be free from the framework of cyclical deluded suffering as described by the Buddha. And remaining enmeshed in suffering, our ability to truly help others is limited.
Second, the motivation for ethical behavior in Buddhism is deeper than the Golden Rule.
We don't consider how we would want others to treat us, but that we vow to save all beings.

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:03 pm

Ah, that is beautiful.- I love you, Dzogchungpa.

Good thread dear friend and well said- as Lama Surya Das wrote, 'Like him [S. Bachelor] I know there is really no such thing as Buddhism; there are only Buddhists.' That article was quoted here:

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=99

I agree with you very much and am gladdened- all I could add is to say, as you mention safety- safety for others and for ourselves is the primary thing... Which isn't necessarily about avoiding danger-- that's a whole other topic! Yet the first step is to be safe people ourselves, and then help make the world a safer place... just one practitioner's view non-view.

Namaste; Peace and Metta,
J.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:54 pm

joy&peace wrote:I love you, Dzogchungpa.
Hush, you'll make dzogchungma jealous. :smile:
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

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Matt J
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by Matt J » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:02 pm

Bodhicitta, for one.
tomschwarz wrote: etc.... so my question is what is there, other than symbology and reincarnation, which differentiate secular ethics and Buddhism?
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:29 pm

I remember Tara's talk one time; she spoke of a girl, who was so alone, and she held her hands together, and imagined someone else was holding her hand; and she said to herself, 'I love you.' This got her through the night. And eventually- she was alright.

Namaste; loving-kindness and peace,
J.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:31 pm

Yepp-o, Bodhicitta is the real deal- well said, Matt J. Same and ^^ (a korean smiley) to you Monlam.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:37 pm

The point is though, Bodhicitta is not the same thing as just Compassion. It's a distinction pointed out in many teachings.
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:38 pm

To me, largely- primarily- it's about being able to entrust ourselves to each other... As Dogen wrote; the great capacity for genuine trust-- necessary to enter the realm of the Buddhas; secondly, & once again with reference to your first post Tom- helping to make the world a safer place, and the rest.. Thank you- everyone; am very glad to be a part of this Sangha- May all, here and elsewhere, be happy, health and at peace! Also- I would say, along with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama's comments about kindness- two wonderful ones are, 'My religion is kindness;' and, 'Be kind whenever possible- it is always possible,' is understanding that kindness prevents suffering, and so forth. May all be healthy, happy, and at peace!
Peace and Metta,
J.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:41 pm

Peace.

Buddhism is primarily about waiting.

Peace.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:42 pm

These kinds of things are upaya, useful in general sense, for non-Buddhists etc. In the Mahayana though there is a big distinction between simply being kind and compassionate in a mundane sense, and acting with Bodhicitta. They are both desirable of course, but only one leads to liberation.
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:44 pm

Peace.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:47 pm

"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:10 pm

I seem to remember this very well - this moment. So very well.

Peace, Johnny.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by DGA » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:04 pm

secular ethics can be very helpful if they keep you from harming others and yourself--and can encourage you to be helpful instead of harmful. That's good stuff. It's not the complete answer if you're a Buddhist, though.

Buddhism promises a means to liberation. First it describes the fix we are all in--the mess we have created for ourselves--and then delineates in close detail the causes of that mess, the possibility for a break with it, and the means to liberation.

That means exists now and is available to us. We have the capacity to actualize it, and we are in a situation to practice well and make it happen.

None of that is available in secular ethics, and that's how Buddhism generally (not differentiating the different -yanas) differs from it.

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by joy&peace » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:29 pm

Yes; well said, kind friend. This is why the Bodhisattva remains until all living beings are liberated. She does not look on them as different- so as long as they are here, she will be here, too. Indeed, one may fathom- since we are inter-connected; we have one karma. We, as Buddhists, or simply as people, are responsible for all living beings. From secular ethics, it is rare to find this universality, or breadth of the goal. As we see that all have buddha-nature, none may be left out- Seeing others as ourselves, goes one step farther even, from seeing all as our family- yet it is certainly inherent in Buddhist tradition to understand we are all one family-- Buddhism goes one step further, and says, the wise view others as oneself.

Secularism rarely has this type of understanding- although it is not to say that such is impossible, and Buddhism alone may reach enlightenment. It is simply the path that Buddhists choose to follow- not necessarily for forcing on others, in any way-- as I mentioned elsewhere, one generally good rule is- to share when asked to share, etc. Although of course, preaching efforts such as may help animals be liberated, used in the good way - Animal Liberation, are very good for the planet and all of us-- help us to breathe, help to heal bad karma, to breathe fresh life into the world... and to heal from old wounds. It is certainly not okay to have animals locked up in cages all the time!

'Secular ethics' in general, does not imply any necessarily goodness--- nor does it imply an understanding of these points, and many others... We understand from various ways, that animals deserve our good treatment-- this includes not harming them. The simplest reason for why vegetarianism is correct, may be - it is entirely unnecessary. A third of India's population is entirely vegetarian, as are many Buddhists- and many of these, never get sick... etc. The Ahi Sutta is a good explanation of this dharma.

Though I said non-persuasion is useful, helpful good-- there are also many Sutras which share preaching guidelines, and definitely say that Dharma should be shared, taught, and increased- Yet there are many instances where it is written and understood - one should attain Buddhahood before trying to teach others; to put it in more lay-terms, one should attain peace before trying to lead others to peace. Otherwise, it is not successful; this is like a person struggling in water, who can truly benefit others only when they are on dry land-- or, alternatively, the example is given of someone whose hands are tied or bound; one must untie one's bonds, before attempting to untie others.

This essential point is very important! To go back again, to the point of liberating beings-- it is definitely the Bodhisattva path to do so, and once attaining sarvajna, this is done most beautifully. Indeed- this world itself is Pure Lands, boundless and Pure, the sutras teach; and once we are able to see this, then there is no falling back. These are considered levels of non-regression; there are sometimes written one or a few, alternatively, sometimes there are considered to be boundless levels of non-regression; it is a matter of view.

Another point of difference, between Buddhism and secular ethics, is that Buddhism is a system of liberation; it includes skillful means and much wisdom- it has many aspects of practice, and these are laid out in Sutras, and by lineages, which trace back to the Buddha. Dogen wrote-- Whoever feels the wind, feels the fire, essentially- whoever benefits from the wind, or the spirit of fire, benefits from Buddha's original enlightenment... I am paraphrasing here, but essentially, as I understand it- this is because it all flows... It's all connected. We connect with Buddha's original enlightenment when we have these experiences-- we connect with reality, beyond conceptions, and get many glimpses, which would otherwise be unavailable to us, through senses alone. This is the beyond-beyond, or the inclusive inclusive, to borrow a phrase from Jundo Cohen.

Likewise, in Buddhism we have Dharma, Buddha and Sangha - the three jewels, to take refuge in; as well as in ourselves, our bodies, and the earth-- and perhaps most importantly; the present moment. These are very helpful and wonderful-- There are also guidelines of how Sangha members should be considered, and the rest-- and following these, allows us to attain the full benefit of a Sangha; which is very vast, and beyond material merits and conception.

None of that is written as dogma, as the goal is to experience reality-- which is the present moment; within the present moment, and contains all places and times. In the words of Dogen yet again; 'Each moment is all being, each moment is the entire world. Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.'

There is much more to share; certainly someone with kindness and insight will continue soon.

Namaste; peace, and loving-kindness,
J.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by lobster » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:28 am

tomschwarz wrote:so my question is what is there, other than symbology and reincarnation, which differentiate secular ethics and Buddhism?
Practice :popcorn:

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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by smcj » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:20 am

so my question is what is there, other than symbology and reincarnation, which differentiate secular ethics and Buddhism?
Bodhicitta, for one.
Practice :popcorn:
And then finally liberation.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: Buddism without buddism

Post by dharmagoat » Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:29 am

smcj wrote:
lobster wrote:Practice :popcorn:
And then finally liberation.
After practice, what is there to liberate?

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