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Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Our dog died last month, and lately I've been doing a five Buddha mandala bardo practice with my four-year-old for him. It's probably dumb to do bardo stuff for a dog but it makes us both feel better and he was a very good boy

It's my first interaction with vajrayana stuff broadly speaking, so that's been interesting what with the visualization and all.

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Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Buddhism thread: Where sinners are forced to swallow the Balls.

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Bhante Sujato has done tons of work in women's ordination (both research and the work of helping bhikkhunis ordained) if you're looking for search terms. This is in a Theravadan context; I'm not sure of references for other traditions

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





I am interested in a post about lotus and knee health. I can get in lotus but it's a bit of a stretch on my ankles and not super comfortable. I don't do it much because I don't want to hurt myself, but I'd love to have actual facts!

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





The same reason Thai (and other) Buddhists chant the straight-up Pali: that's just what they do

Some chant in their own language, some don't. Do whatever you/your sangha wants, it's not going to make a huge difference. I really think most explanation here is going to be more ex post facto justification than principled decision given, you know, what the Buddha said. But as long as you know what it means I'm pretty sure it's fine

I say "gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha" not "I recognize the awakened, the completely awakened, the totally awakened. Amen." It just feels better 🤷‍♀️

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





One of my friends who is a monk is also a magician so I guess so

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Nessus posted:

What would the status of individuals whose brains were somehow cross-linked or put together in a Borg Collective kind of situation be, in Buddhism? I feel from a gut analysis that you're basically just creating a much larger composite being and probably visiting a lot of harm and anguish on the individuals if it isn't consensual.

You're not going to get an "in Buddhism" answer for this because you're going to be able to square most any answer you come up with with buddhism unless you build in an incompatible metaphysics (eg "humans have direct epistemic access to something")

Someone could certainly come up with an answer informed by their practice, but another buddhist could come up with a different answer (and probably did, I'll be surprised if indian buddhist academics from like 1500 years ago haven't said a bunch of stuff about this)

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





FWIW my gut goes with "you can call it a new composite being or a linking together of pre-existing composite brings, but either is strictly-speaking incorrect because it assumes permanence or real substance to conditioned phenomena including me, others, and whatever you want to call the set {me, the others}

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Nessus posted:

My impression is that if you get to the point of some kind of lord cybertrex 9000 ... but it would still be subject to all the problems of any other sentient being.

e: as for the permanence ... There is no ultimate binary division.

Word, I agree on both points

It's kinda weird - I ended up a buddhist in large part because I have a pile of metaphysical and epistemic commitments that I'm pretty serious about (as in, I'm comfortable saying "this is how poo poo works"). I was reading a bunch of buddhist stuff for funsies and thinking "oh, yeah, this is literally true" whereas pretty much every other religion's commitments were either false or you had to work really really hard to make their sentences not false (and ultimately really do a lot of gymnastics to make it work).

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Ein
Zwei
Drei
Kokolorum

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





If you believe the four noble truths, you're a Buddhist. I'm not sure it's a necessary condition but it's certainly sufficient. I don't think you have to take refuge to be a buddhist. Then again, id say that since I haven't formally done so and consider myself a capital b buddhist, write "buddhist" for religion on demographic surveys, etc.

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





If having sex with 20 year olds is inhibiting your practice and that bothers you, then probably stop doing that.

The second part of your post - jealousy - sounds like a fresh wound. Do your best and give it time, same as all things. I don't think there's a particularly buddhist answer here that's separate from the general answers with respect to clinging. But best of luck to you.

E: sorry, just saw the "over a year" part. Real talk, bring this up with your teacher. They'll be able to help, cause it's all just greed hatred and delusion at the end of the day

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Also, from experience, that poo poo can take a _while_ to not be a burning wound. It'll get better. The old standard ex advice of cutting off contact, not looking at them on social media, and doing what you can to not think about them applies. This gets easier as time passes. But none of that is particularly buddhist of course

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





...what?

(Post/username?)

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Goonsay goonsay paragoonsay parasamgoonsay bodhi svaha

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Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Nah, nobody actually cares what other people think about the English word "rebirth." Like, if you go into a Tibetan sangha and start telling them "WELL ACKSHUALLY science can't prove rebirth!" then you're kind of a dick, but if the lama says "rebirth" and you think to yourself "yeah that's probably not a thing, I'll just take that phrase to mean 'the birth of some being whose causal chain is in some way connected with the event of my death,'" who's going to argue with you?

Buddhism isn't like Christianity. Nobody's giving you a faith purity test. It's weird to call yourself a Buddhist and deny one of the four noble truths, but beyond that the metaphysics only matter as much as they matter to you. Buddhism is a religion of empirical practice and results, not the conceptual trappings of that practice and results. It's OK to care a lot about the concepts and to spend a lot of time thinking about metaphysics, but if that's getting in the way of performing the real empirical steps that eliminate suffering here and now, you're doing it wrong.

So, Buddhism doesn't require you to believe with mathematical certainty in rebirth or in any particular metaphysical interpretation (though particular empirical practices might care a lot about them - feel free to choose a practice that doesn't). Additionally, I've found that when people get really worked up about "but science can't prove it," they generally don't have the best understanding of how science works, how it progresses, the current state of scientific belief, and so on.

Believing in "science" as a set of beliefs doesn't work at all, because our current best science is logically inconsistent. We believe in the method of, roughly, changing our beliefs when the evidence necessitates it. That's the scientific mode of inquiry. We know our current science is wrong, but we don't know how it's wrong (otherwise we'd change our beliefs). We know that it does a better job of prediction than past theories, but is still very wrong. The best we can do is to say "OK, look - at the End Of Science, when All The Empirical Data is in, we should believe in all and only those things that are required in the theory that accounts for All The Data. If there are multiple competing theories that explain All The Data equally well, then maybe we'll use parsimony or smth idk, let's hope we have some really great guiding principles by then." But the important part is that we don't really know what the theory at the End Of Science will look like, and it's massive hubris to pretend that it'll be anything like what we believe now* (though in retrospect, the End Of Science theory will be able to explain the current successes and failures of our current theory, and will be able to reinterpret the vocabulary of our current theory into its own language).

So, don't feel so bad. Like yeah, I'm relatively sure that once all the data's in, we won't need a concept of rebirth to explain it. But I'm also sure that the theory won't look all that much like what our science looks like today, so it's not really worth getting too fussed about if you're not the one that's supposed to be coming up with the paradigm shifts that characterize scientific progress. After all, the theory at the end will probably involve SpOoKy AbStRaCt ObJeCtS like "concepts," "functions," "numbers," "consciousness," and "life," might involve things like "good" or "hedons" or "morality," and probably won't involve "Zeus" or "everlasting soul." Whether one concept - that will only retroactively be able to see our current concept of "rebirth" as a flawed prototype of itself - is going to be required-believing at the asymptote of possible knowledge isn't worth suffering over.

*of course it's also kind of silly to talk about "science" as a single set of beliefs that people believe right now at all, but denying that makes my point stronger anyway, so let's grant it for the moment. it makes way more sense to talk about a single set at end of inquiry, so just roll with it

Achmed Jones fucked around with this message at 00:23 on Nov 24, 2020

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