New Views on Buddhism

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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hkvanx
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:51 pm

New Views on Buddhism

Post by hkvanx » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:08 pm

Hello, I was born in SE Asia and grew up in a "Buddhist" household. My parents would take us to the temple on the religious holidays. We lit incense for our Buddha shrine, idols and ancestor pictures in our home every day. I grew up in Buddhism as it was my culture (family events, traditions, mystical rituals, etc). I did not have formal education or understanding of the teachings. It was more word of mouth ideas that I heard from my parents, family and friends.

When I got in my 20s, I started to read about the actual Buddha teachings myself. I realized how little I knew despite being immersed in it as part of my environment growing up. I also realized that a lot of what we practiced was not taught by Buddha. He did not wanted to us to worship him, other idols or ancestors. The road to enlightenment is done by the individual.

I am not even sure if my parents or siblings are aware of what I realized. This way of life is all they know from what they were heard and grew up in. I am contemplating whether to tell them what I learned or just let them continue on their path.

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Queequeg
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Re: New Views on Buddhism

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:47 pm

Ideally, I'd say putting what you know into practice might be the best conversation starter. Maybe they will ask you what's up, and then you can talk about it with them.

If you look at the Suttas, you'll see the lay life is different than the monastic life - even the teachings given to lay and monk were different in the Buddha's time. For lay people, the Buddha advised honoring the rites appropriate to one's place in the lay world - and that included paying homage to the gods, and to the extent the Buddha was added to the pantheon, I don't think the Buddha minded, and rather encouraged it - see the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, particularly the instructions for building the four stupas. Also, see the final instructions to Anathapindika.

If it risks causing an argument and estrangement, avoid bringing it up too directly. The Buddha also counseled that some proceed on pasada - they are like a one eyed person; their one eye should be protected. If they are constantly critiqued and corrected, it might cause them to lose their one eye. Protect the mind of pasada.
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

SteRo
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Re: New Views on Buddhism

Post by SteRo » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:25 pm

:good:

Thank you.

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KeithA
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: New Views on Buddhism

Post by KeithA » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:56 pm

hkvanx wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:08 pm
Hello, I was born in SE Asia and grew up in a "Buddhist" household. My parents would take us to the temple on the religious holidays. We lit incense for our Buddha shrine, idols and ancestor pictures in our home every day. I grew up in Buddhism as it was my culture (family events, traditions, mystical rituals, etc). I did not have formal education or understanding of the teachings. It was more word of mouth ideas that I heard from my parents, family and friends.

When I got in my 20s, I started to read about the actual Buddha teachings myself. I realized how little I knew despite being immersed in it as part of my environment growing up. I also realized that a lot of what we practiced was not taught by Buddha. He did not wanted to us to worship him, other idols or ancestors. The road to enlightenment is done by the individual.

I am not even sure if my parents or siblings are aware of what I realized. This way of life is all they know from what they were heard and grew up in. I am contemplating whether to tell them what I learned or just let them continue on their path.
I would suggest that people listen to what we do, not we say. If you incorporate what you have learned into your daily life, then your parents may see a change and an opening to talk about it will appear. Or not. Trust your gut.

I am struck how this same situation occurs with Judeo=Christian folks here in the West.

_/|\_

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