When the Monks Met the Muslims

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
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Grigoris
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:45 pm

SonamTashi wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:40 pm
And I'm arguing that sometimes merit is simply the cause for rebirth in the higher realms and nothing more.
For nominal Buddhists too?
Yes, I am conflating dharma with Buddhism, and my point is that I think most major teachers would as well.
I do believe that is called an [unsupported] appeal to authority.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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SonamTashi
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by SonamTashi » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:47 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:45 pm
SonamTashi wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:40 pm
And I'm arguing that sometimes merit is simply the cause for rebirth in the higher realms and nothing more.
For nominal Buddhists too?
Yes, I am conflating dharma with Buddhism, and my point is that I think most major teachers would as well.
I do believe that is called an [unsupported] appeal to authority.
Yes for nominal Buddhists as well.

And that isn't an unsupported appeal to authority. Read my HHDL and Thinley Norbu quotes again. I of course can't quote everyone or even many teachers otherwise it would get overly long. But specifically Norbu's quote says the paths of worldly deities only leads to rebirth in samsara.
Last edited by SonamTashi on Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SonamTashi
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by SonamTashi » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:53 pm

I was also trying to edit my second comment to add more context but I accidentally hit the back button on my phone.

Certainly on an individual level non-Buddhists may accumulate even more merit than nominal Buddhists. We should also rejoice in merit no matter where it is found. In fact I've advocated in the past for Buddhists doing similar humanitarian work as Christians and Sikhs for example. There is certainly much that Buddhists can learn from non-Buddhists, which is why I think ecumenicalism is important. But the value of other religions should not be equated with the value of the dharma. One makes samsara easier. One provides a way out of samsara.

And certainly Buddhism can be misused (afterall, practice with the wrong motivation is a cause for rebirth in the lower realms) or only used for similar purposes as other religions, i.e. rebirth in the higher realms.
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:05 pm

sin is not karma sin is failure to adhere to christian precepts

if one obeys a commandment such as thou shall kill is this no longer a merit in buddhist terms because it was in observance of a christian precept?

Isn't the stain of murder universal and this an intersection in which both practices have similar mores to attain similar value?

Isn't buddha wisdom still buddha wisdom regardless of how it is revealed language used to describe it and a lack of identifying it as such is belief that buddha wisdom can arise from anything but the mind of buddha?

and doesn't this contradiction invalidate the perspective in the first place and also deny all sentient beings have a latent buddha potential?

ever think that perhaps that this potential struggles to reveal itself in all aspects of humanity which is why buddhist truths can exist in all our works?

doesn't mean they aren't buddhist or true if someone else realizes the same dynamic does it?

all of this conflict is based on religion being an absolute means of delusion and throwing the baby out with the bathwater which is that person's life as applied to that belief to understand and the potential merit and wisdom (or detraction from) by putting null value there based on stereotype

I would be interested to understand the justification of bias in that regard.

as far as HHL commentary in my experience Christianity is a means to open people up to humanitarian compassion and that realm does not disappear with emptiness but according to HHL compassion is emptiness if I understand his teaching of the same name. Compassion for all living beings is a part of Mahayana practice. I can't comprehend how it is a poison or why we would not reinforce merits for the sake of karma.

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by narhwal90 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:10 pm

SonamTashi wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:27 pm

Sin is not karma for example. In the Abrahamic faiths, humans are simply punished by a god. The law of cause and effect is simply said to be the way things are, not the will of a god or Buddha. In addition, karma brings many more effects than just what you could equate to God's punishing of sins. For example, sin and punishment doesn't address habitual tendencies, the way karma affects how you experience things (not just what you experience) etc. One concrete example is this: one karmic effect of lying is that people won't trust you, won't take seriously what you say etc. The punishment for the sin of lying is hellfire. One has results in this lifetime, the other is only a result after this life. The concept of the soul and mind in Buddhism is another good example. After all, an eternal soul is exactly what the Buddha rejected with non-self. If we equate the Christian concept of soul with mind, then why did the Buddha reject the Hindu/Jain theory of Atman? Also, this is why eternalism was brought up. The theory of a soul is an eternalist idea, and is completely rejected in Buddhism.
I don't think the Abrahamic attitude towards god is so easily characterized. There are certainly followers to interpet events as punishment (or reward), but many others exist who conceive a continuous relationship with God and use that to support courage and resilience, study and church activity reinforcing and clarifying the relationship. I would not be suprised by a proliferation of perspectives on the matter. I was fortunate enough to listen to a christian study group at work made up of 3 or 4 different traditions. One of the members of the group viewed the tradition of another's as the deepest heresy, in conversation, to his face on several occasions despite both believing in (a) God, having similar bibles and so on. Happily that kind of talk is rare and for the purposes of the study group such things were put aside. I asked a couple of the guys about the disagreements, they responded the issues between the traditions arise from differing interpretations of scripture, different significance given events in the Bible. Some view prophecy as critically important, others are skeptical and so on. I would tend to expect discussions of souls and afterlife to show analagous differences- so it may be hasty to view Abrahamic traditions monolithically.

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Grigoris
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:18 pm

SonamTashi wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:47 pm
And that isn't an unsupported appeal to authority. Read my HHDL and Thinley Norbu quotes again. I of course can't quote everyone or even many teachers otherwise it would get overly long. But specifically Norbu's quote says the paths of worldly deities only leads to rebirth in samsara.
With all due respect: If you asked the Pope which is the true path to lasting salvation, I am sure he will say "Catholicism".

As much as I love and respect the abovementioned teachers and would take their word as gospel regarding the details of Buddhism, I would not expect them to have a nuanced and informed opinion about other religions.

If, as Buddhists, we wish to give substance to our claims then "talking the talk" is not enough. We have to "walk the walk". We have to be the example that shows that Buddhism DOES differ remarkably from all other religions. I do not think we are anywhere near that goal yet.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Queequeg
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:18 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:22 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:28 pm
Buddhists arguing about authentic BuddhaDharma is a matter of refining.
If you consider sectarian BS as refining, I guess so. Because generally that is what the arguments tend to be.
Depending on the teachings you follow, Pratyekabuddha may or may not be awakened.
Which Buddhist tradition does not recognise Pratyekabuddhas as awakened??? :shrug:
Some of it is just attachment to identities. Some of it is full contact debate that leads to refinement. To refine something, you have to grind and heat it. You can't make ouzo just by throwing grapes in a barrel, right? Debate has been a part of the Buddhist tradition since the day of the Parinirvana, at least.

As for pratyekabuddhas, a lot of Mahayana doesn't consider pratyekabuddhas awakened. Lotus Sutra for instance, doesn't consider Hinayana, Pratyekabuddhayana, or even Bodhisattvayana to lead to bodhi. Only Buddhayana leads to bodhi.
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

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Queequeg
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:22 pm

OK, folks, we have unmistakably crossed into a comparative discussion - the moment we start suggesting what someone believes or doesn't believe outside the Buddhist sphere and arguing about that, we have left the scope of this site. You all are invited to take this over to our sister site, https://dharmapaths.com/
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

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:26 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:32 pm
And let us get something clear: I am not arguing for ecumenicism. What I am arguing is that afflicted sentient beings generally gain the same benefits from any religion because they rarely perfect the teachings in their respective religions; generally they just live virtuous lives performing meritorious deeds. The "highest view" of their corresponding religion is rarely ever attained and since merit is merit...
From a Buddhist perspective, though, it still matters what view you labor under, even if you don't perfect it.

That said, if everyone worked on perfecting just secular ethics, like the Golden Rule, samsara would be spinning a whole lot more slowly, for sure.
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

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by ford_truckin » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:30 pm

PeterC wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:26 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:58 am

Could be possible the're all pointing to the same thing but using different language to explain it?
No - the language makes it very clear that we’re talking about totally different things.
You think Sufism, Advaita Vedanta, Gnosticism doesn't lead to enlightenment? I severely doubt that.

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:30 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:24 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:11 pm
The answer is obvious, isn't it?
I would think so, but when people start to argue about whether Pratyekabuddhas are awakened or not, well...

It seems the obvious is not so obvious!
Clearly all Paths are not the same. They certainly differ at the very highest levels of View...
It seems that some people think you start here and work backwards towards accumulating merit/virtue.

Seems they forget that one achieves liberation via the accumulation of wisdom AND virtue/merit.

I think that people fall into the trap of intellectualisation of the Dharma, rather than recognising it is a praxis.
Of course, I agree... :tongue:

I like Bhikkhu Bodhi's little essay Tolerance and Diversity, which touches on many of the issues raised in this thread and concludes:
To the extent that a religion proposes sound ethical principles and can promote to some degree the development of wholesome qualities such as love, generosity, detachment and compassion, it will merit in this respect the approbation of Buddhists. These principles advocated by outside religious systems will also conduce to rebirth in the realms of bliss — the heavens and the divine abodes. Buddhism by no means claims to have unique access to these realms, but holds that the paths that lead to them have been articulated, with varying degrees of clarity, in many of the great spiritual traditions of humanity. While the Buddhist will disagree with the belief structures of other religions to the extent that they deviate from the Buddha's Dhamma, he will respect them to the extent that they enjoin virtues and standards of conduct that promote spiritual development and the harmonious integration of human beings with each other and with the world.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_24.html
:heart:
Mike

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:45 pm

ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:30 pm
PeterC wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:26 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:58 am

Could be possible the're all pointing to the same thing but using different language to explain it?
No - the language makes it very clear that we’re talking about totally different things.
You think Sufism, Advaita Vedanta, Gnosticism doesn't lead to enlightenment? I severely doubt that.
Might lead to an enlightenment or enlightenments. Not bodhi.
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

tkp67
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:02 pm

if we get past comparison how do the collective buddhist perceptions here feel about muslim to monk dialog and how it should be developed?

narhwal90
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by narhwal90 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:06 pm

For my part it would be a privilege to sit down with a Muslim contemplative and talk schools and practices. Maybe attend one of their meditation practices, if suitable.

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:38 pm

The original topic of yhis thread is not about dialogue between Buddhists and Muslims, but rather narratives about how Muslim Invaders destroyed or didn't destroy Buddhism in India.
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

tkp67
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:41 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:38 pm
The original topic of yhis thread is not about dialogue between Buddhists and Muslims, but rather narratives about how Muslim Invaders destroyed or didn't destroy Buddhism in India.
as well as this from the main descriptive below the title
Revisiting the centuries of Buddhist-Muslim cooperative interaction forces us to rethink our stereotypes.

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Queequeg
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:03 am

It's a quote from the article which apparently is an excerpt from a book. There is no discussion of dialogue in the article really.

Read the article.
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

tkp67
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:21 am

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:03 am
It's a quote from the article which apparently is an excerpt from a book. There is no discussion of dialogue in the article really.

Read the article.
So I should naturally omit how I perceive the presentation based on how you perceived it when that is part of the topic proposed?

And for what it is worth, no disrespect intended, did you read the book?

Seems you are trying to define subjective boundaries and I am not adept at divination. I gave that up along with stereotypes and ruminating about history for the sake of rumination. My perceptions are always subject to my basis which is emancipation of all sentient beings regardless of belief which I believe is Buddhist and I say this only to reveal my true intent but not to say I am working gracefully towards it.

That is why I hope you don't take this as contention but clarifying.

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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by PeterC » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:06 am

ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:30 pm
PeterC wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:26 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:58 am

Could be possible the're all pointing to the same thing but using different language to explain it?
No - the language makes it very clear that we’re talking about totally different things.
You think Sufism, Advaita Vedanta, Gnosticism doesn't lead to enlightenment? I severely doubt that.
No, I don’t. They do not teach, either in philosophy or experientially, the same view of emptiness. That’s abundantly clear for Sufism and Gnosticism. For Vedanta, as countless discussions on this site have shown, that tradition’s habit of borrowing Buddhist terminology makes the discussion a little more complicated. But since we were talking here about Judaism/Christianity/islam, I don’t think we need to go down that rabbit hole again.

If you’re saying that you think that, say, Gnosticism by itself leads to the enlightenment of the Buddhas, then you’re saying something in contradiction with every school of the the Dharma. Not that I have anything against Gnosticism or deny that it can make people better. But it is not the same thing as the Buddhadharma.

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Nemo
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Nemo » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:13 am

For the most part it is harmless to believe Pollyanna nonsense and make false equivalencies. Sharing a few traits does not make things the same. We may simply be forced to do this because of the current trend demonizing Muslims. Particularly by Christian Taliban in America. It sucks but fascists ruin everything. Even disliking intolerant religions. If you disagree that Islam is intolerant I suggest you build a stupa in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, etc.
Last edited by Nemo on Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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