Buddhism

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ArcticFox
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Buddhism

Postby ArcticFox » Wed May 07, 2014 12:31 pm

So to some, Buddhism is a full-on religion, to others a philosophy that's compatible with other religions.

I've been reading up on it, and I find its pragmatic approach to life appealing, and a good way to adjust one's thinking in such a way as to reduce stress and bring clarity to thought. I've heard that, as a philosophy, it's perfectly compatible with Christianity, and so I'm thinking very seriously about getting into it as a sort of spiritual "plug-in" to my existing beliefs.

Anyone else think along those lines? Ever tried it?
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ArchAngel
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Re: Buddhism

Postby ArchAngel » Wed May 07, 2014 12:59 pm

I've heard of Buddhist Christians, along with Buddhist Atheists (which, arguably, is most all of Buddhism, being a largely nontheistic religion).

Aside from any supernatural or metaphysical context, I find the core of the second and third noble truths, that desire, passions, craving, and want are the origin of suffering and should be removed, to be philosophically flawed and an escape from life rather than enjoying it; an opposing extreme of hedonism.
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Re: Buddhism

Postby Sstavix » Wed May 07, 2014 2:42 pm

Buddhism is a very interesting religion, and many of its tenants are very similar to some of the teachings of Christ. I also happen to regard the Dalai Lama as a very wise figure (the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, for those that don't know).

That being said, however, I advise caution before delving too deeply into the religion. There are some aspects of Buddhism that aren't necessarily kosher with most Christian faiths, such as the concept of rebirth and cycle of consciousness. It's also interesting to compare the concepts of the afterlife of the ideal Buddhist with Christian ideas. In some aspects of Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to leave the cycle of rebirth and lose all concept of self - in a sense to merge with the universe (multiverse? Something like that). Compare that with the idea of Christian afterlife - especially in terms of, again, a cessation of existence (the "Outer Darkness" in the LDS faith comes specifically to mind, but I'm sure there are others). I've found it interesting that this loss of self is a bad thing in the Christian faiths (e.g. eternal destruction), but something to strive to attain in some of the Buddhist ones.

In any case, be sure to approach it with a mindful attitude, and pray often for guidance.

Finally, a side note - comparative theology is fun! :)

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Re: Buddhism

Postby ArcticFox » Fri May 09, 2014 9:50 am

Yeah part of the challenge is finding sources of information that separate the religious aspects from the purely philosophical ones. Zillions of websites out there, not all of them useful.
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Re: Buddhism

Postby ArchAngel » Fri May 09, 2014 10:09 am

One of the things I've been working on understanding is that both the concept of religion and specific religions themselves are very nebulous and change from person to person. I mean, everybody is wrong except me, but you guys are all wrong in a rainbow variety of ways and it's unfair for me to act like you are that weird shade somewhere between orange and yellow. ;)
But yeah, there are a lot of hokey new-agers who like crystals and shakras or something.

So, yes, there are certain facets about Buddhism that are probably beneficial and a critical analysis could be fruitful. I generally have a disinterest in studying a religion for personal benefit, as I find their premises usually flawed, I don't find the teachings an authority on anything, and if I find something I liked it in, I probably already believed it in the first place (like, hey, be excellent to one another). However, I think it is definitely worthwhile understanding a religion because people believe or believed it and it'll enrich your understanding about those people and people in general. Who knows, something might surprise you.
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Re: Buddhism

Postby Wildebear » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:38 am

I believe in the Holy Spirit, so also practising a select few parts of Buddhism to compliment my faith would be a great redundancy.
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