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BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Buried alive posted:

Hey Guys. I've been perusing Buddhism for a while and I've recently gotten more into it, in my own ways, what with needing a way to deal with climate change providing motivation and the pandemic providing opportunity and all.

One of those ways was to join a Kik group, just to chat and get my feet wet. Some of the people there seem to be SUPER into the idea of other religions being wrong, that certain aspects of other Hindu religions involves consorting with demons, passionately rejecting metaphysical arguements about God, and one of the guys there (who is from Sri Lanka) seems to have quite the hate-boner for anything Hindu in general. Apparently there was a lot of conflict and supression of Buddhism by Indian (or maybe British Colonialist) forces in Sri Lanka in recent history, so it's understandable, but drat. I've also seen a lack of nuance towards other topics in some of the discussions. For example, trying to point out that just because someone thinks X should be legal, that is not the same as saying someone should therefore go out and do X.

.. Some of that is me venting I think, but I'm going to leave it there for discussion and commentary (or not) anyways. My concern is that I've definitely got an appealing vision of Buddhism (and Buddhists) in general mostly engaging in calm inquisitiveness towards such issues. While others (including mods) do intercede to try and calm things down, the fact that these flare ups exist is causing me to bounce off super hard. I guess I'm trying to suss out exactly why. I can feel myself wanting to discuss some of these issues, but a kik chatroom just feels like a poor format to do it in. Especially one where people are getting all up in arms about issues to begin with. Some of it might be miscommunications caused by whatever ESL or cross-cultural issues could be present. Some of it might be me clinging too tightly to my aforementioned appealing vision. Some of it might be the fact that my view of the world in general is doubtless influenced by growing up as a straight white dude in a (supposedly, anyway) 1st world industrialized nation that was a colonizer rather than a colonizee. In the spirit of trying to turn these experiences into a lesson.. I don't know. Wtf do I do next? Just spend some time brooding meditating on why it bothers me so?

P.S. There is a zen place near me that I've been meaning to check out for a while. Maybe I'll finally do that in a month or so when it's deemed safe to do things outside again.

Either find a different Kik group, try to make friends at a temple in your area once quarantine ends, or just ask actual monks your questions. You're second-guessing yourself here because you think maybe you're just being an ignorant privileged white dude and while its good to have that caution or self-awareness in this case your instincts are right. Sri Lanka had a 30 year civil war betqeen the Sinhalese ethnic group which is mainly buddhist and the Tamil minority which is mainly hindu. It ended 10 years ago but there was a lot of death, a lot of destruction, and a lot of human rights violations and theres still a lot of bad feelings and tension as a result of that war.

Long story short, in Sri Lanka saying you're buddhist is almost the same as saying you're sinhalese and saying you're hindu is almost the same as saying you're tamil. Thats why that one dude is so anti-hindu in particular and when you're having discussions on buddhism with these guys you're really having discussions on the civil war which ravaged their country.

BIG FLUFFY DOG fucked around with this message at 06:14 on Apr 29, 2020

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BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Sleng Teng posted:

More vegan oriented but thread is really good:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3729596

e: and not explicitly buddhist, sorry. but the mindset is less western vegan than what I've seen elsewhere because of the op's efforts

Dinos posts in that thread I remember are really good too.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Paramemetic posted:

All composite phenomena are impermanent.

i disagree

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Yorkshire Pudding posted:

I’m going to be posting from the hungry ghost realm

Accidentally went to a pure land. Its cool but nobody here knows how to poo poo post.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Buddhas hate him! One weird trick to achieve enlightenment that boddhisatva's don't want you to know

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




About to lay Chapter 6 of The Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life on you fools.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Spacegrass posted:

I've been a Christian for along time, but Buddhism is something I feel that's in my heart, and really makes alot of sense to me, even though Ive been treating it as a philosophy. Any help for this confused soul?

Entrust yourself to the buddha of infinite light

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Legit though it sounds like you have issues with certain parts or underpinnings of christianity. I'm also curious what your experience with buddhism is. Most westerners treat buddhism as a "philosophy" when they first start exploring it myself included but large parts of buddhist philosophy and ideas that are nominally secular require the supernatural aspects in order to make sense imo.

I would figure out what your issues are with Christianity and then figure out what buddhism does differently (or what you think buddhism does differently after I converted I kept comparing buddhist teachings to bible scripture I learned that made me see that scripture in a different light than how the pastors taught it bu stoll made me feel the religions taught many of the same lessons "under the hood") that makes you feel attracted to it. Then I would read some buddhist scripture and teachings and maybe some small practice. Then you could figure out whether you would be best off continuing your current path, reforming your personal christianity to reconcile your issues with it, or just converting.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Spacegrass posted:

]
Also, the idea of animals and insects having souls makes no sense unless they screwed up in a previous life. How could a just god do that though.

The Buddha himself actually responded to this sort of question about the creation of the universe with the parable of the poison arrow:

Shakyamuni posted:

Suppose there was a doctor who one day had a man stumble into his office with a poisoned arrow stuck in his leg.

"This is bad." said the doctor, "the first thing we must do, before anything else, is to remove this arrow from your leg."

"Stop!" the poisoned man exclaims "before you remove this arrow from my leg I need to know who shot me!"

"How should I know?" the doctor replies "What I do know is that I can't make you healthy until the arrow is removed from your leg."

"And what about his age?" says the poisoned man "Is he young or old? Do you think he's tall or short? Is it even a man?! Could a woman have done this?"

"The arrow is still poisoned!" the doctor cries "We have to take it out! Please, sir, let me operate on you."

"And what of his parents? What were they like? And his childhood? Now that I think of it, I'm sure some sort of trauma must have happened to him to drive him to shooting poisoned arrows at random passers-by. I suppose I should feel sorry for him. But then despite all of that he still shot a poisoned arrow at me. I wonder if it was a short bow or a long?"

Now the doctor loses his patience and he yells at the man:

"Stop asking silly questions! Time is of the essence! If you don't want to die, let me take it out and give you some medicine and then you can ask all the questions you want!"


While its natural to be curious about the circumstances that led to you being shot by an arrow out of nowhere, the answers can only amount to speculation and it ignores the much more pressing issue of having a poisoned in your thigh. In the same way metaphysical questions about the exact nature of god, whether god exists at all, the circumstances that led to the creation of existence are all treated in Buddhism as being like the man who insists on figuring out all the particulars that led to him being poisoned before he will allow himself to be treated. The buddha said on another occasion:

Shakyamuni posted:


ĎWhether the world is finite or infinite, limited or unlimited, the problem of your liberation remains the same.í

regardless of why or how a just god would allow such a thing to occur is completely irrelevant. What matters is that it has occurred. And that it possesses a solution: by following the eightfold path you liberate yourself and end your suffering.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Karma creates a just world hypothesis superficially. Under the hood the injustice of it becomes readily apparent. A person who is born into painful circumstances will often afflict others with pain because its all they know. Karma does not account for these differences or reasons. All it cares about is that pain is inflicted.

Because of this a being born into hell has great difficulty escaping hell. Buddhism may provide one with a moral basis to improve their merit and ascend to higher planes but what are the chances that you will be born into a form where you can hear and comprehend buddhism? As Shantideva said a person who is lucky enough to hear the dharma is like a blind scavenger who finds a diamond while rustling through a pile of poo poo. While living impurely, without guidance, and thinking only of their own survival, they have through no earning of their own something of enormous worth.

Buddhism fundamentally does not believe that existence or karma are just. That is why the goal of the religion is to escape it. Karma is used by buddhists and taught despite its injustice as a sort of improvised weapon. The fight to achieve nirvana is too great, too long, and too difficult to go around passing up potential tools to achieve liberation or make the suffering experienced by the beings of the world smaller even temporarily.

Karma is samsara. So long as you are in a conditioned existence you are subject to it so you would be a fool to ignore it. You would also be a fool however to believe that it is your friend.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Nessus posted:


In the sense of the ethical systems, I do not believe there are great gulfs between Buddhist moral philosophy and Christian moral philosophy. I do think that there are aspects of the narrative of Jesus's life that conflict with aspects of the dharma, mostly involving Christ getting furious a few times and letting it rule his actions.


He was just acting as a wisdom king!

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




There's a reason Buddhism's the one major world religion where it always seems to just merge with the indigenous religion rather when it spreads to a new place rather than replacing it.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Thirteen Orphans posted:

At work (I work in a cafe inside a bookstore) we have an ant problem. They often congregate on the counter, and theyíre had to see, so Iíll wipe down the counter and pick up a dozen of those little guys. Iím stuck; I donít want to kill the ants, but I canít let them get around and into the food and drinks, for obvious reasons. It isnít my authority to call a professional, but can they do anything outside of termination? To me that sounds like being complicit in taking life. Iím curious about the Buddhist(s) perspective to this moral quandary. For the sake of the argument presume I took the precept vow not to take life.

maintaining purity is impossible while engaging with an impure world. this is the reason why monks go to monasteries where they don't engage with the world in order to train and purify themselves. do what you can, accept your bombu nature and that you are not capable of maintaining your purity in this matter, engage in merit transfer so the ants may be reborn in a less squishy form, and use this as a lesson in your own humility.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




I like any story that involves peoples heads exploding and the buddha just going "yeah that'll happen. Let me give you 7.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




echinopsis posted:

Can someone tell me (because I don't know how to ask google this) about the kind of aesthetic surrounding buddhist stuff, especially tantric stuff.

Does that aesthetic arise from some kinds of meditative practices, or is it simply local art trends?

It would help if you posted a picture of what you're talking about with maybe some more detailed questions about what parts of the aesthetic you're most curious about. The use of "tantra" makes me think you're talking about tibetan buddhism but I'm not a vajrayana (the technical term for tibetan buddhism) practitioner so I'm not comfortable talking about it as an authority. Especially when there are tibetan practioners who post actively in the thread.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Nessus posted:

I got a nice thick translation of the Lotus Sutra for the new year's and boy this is some somewhat heavy lifting. I can see why the Soka Gakkai people just decide to say its name over and over; it would be easier.

Of course a lot of this is just the repetition in details.

All of the sutras are very clearly written to make it as easy as possible for monks to memorize them accurately and easily back when they were passed down orally. Now that they're written down they would all benefit from being edited down to be easier to read like what Ambedkar did

BIG FLUFFY DOG fucked around with this message at 05:00 on Jan 13, 2021

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Transferring my merit to beings in Avici but no idea how to do it to a guy 3 towns over by computer

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BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Brawnfire posted:

Hi! I just got finished reading through the thread, and am considering re
ading the previous thread as well because it sounds like there were some interesting discussions therein.

I want to be proactive in following the eightfold path. Since becoming a father, many painful aspects of life have apparently increased in my awareness. Truly fixing myself in the cycle of human birth and death. Recognizing that death will come for my parents in a surprisingly short time. Knowledge that my children are aging and I will never re-experience the beauty or the pain of these moments again. Raising moral beings in a world with such problems. Physical desires and longings that cannot be met. The general fear we all experience.

Obviously some of it is depression, and it makes it hard, it muddies the waters. But reality is what it is, and I want to respond to it in a manner that has the potential to reduce my suffering and the suffering of others around me. Buddhism seems to speak in many of the same terms.

So I may say some stupid things and ask some stupid questions in this thread, if you don't mind. But I wanted to thank the OP for a frank and informative post. I've been looking for some words about Buddhism that are plain speech and not pulling any punches and this seems to really fit, tonally.

consulted amitabha and he said these videos will answer your questions and bring enlightenment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mULvGLOKVCA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssx67FDiYFI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_4AoQvIQ_k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UN8x1ZRdYI

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