I'm surprised there are no other threads here, because I find Buddhism to be very interesting. I have read some introductory books but find them overwhelming. Here is what I really want to know:
If I were a Buddhist, how would I practice my beliefs in daily life? What would I do? How would I live?
Well, to the best of my knowledge, it is not really a religion in a Western sense. You don't believe anything. You strive to connect to your inner self, and when you manage, you just know. So, as a Buddhist, your life basically is a series of successful and unsuccessful attempts to unite with the Absolute.
true, and I do not believe many Americans have the time nor patience to meditate enough to find the inner absolute. I admire the patience of the Buddhist, and I also admire the calm heart. But Love and Patience of the purest comes from God.
The way you stick your god in every thread, you might as well stick him somewhere else.
The cornerstone of Buddhism is meditation. The basic belief is that through meditation we can increase our experience of positive qualities such as compassion, joy, love and reduce our attachment to negative qualities such as anger, hatred, grasping, envy etc. As well as learning to live completely in the present moment.
For a really good book which explains things simply and has some beautiful meditations such as the loving kindness meditation, i would recommend A Gradual Awakening by Stephen Levine.
When you meditate daily your life changes. You'll find yourself making different choices and treating others and yourself differently. The practice of being Buddhist is in every moment you experience fully. Mediation facilitates that.
Meditate and try and get enlightened, become a Buddha as you have the potential to do so.
Your tree hugging profile picture shows that you've made a good start!
Seriously though, Buddhism isn't really a religion in the conventional sense to they don't have a dogmatic morality of 'do this, don't do that' etc. Its more about personal spiritual development.
Its also about self control. Interesting as Budah couldn't keep food from his mouth.
Does it take too much self controll to restrain ourselves from insults ???
A few things I've read in some of my science research has gotten me quite interested in a Buddhist meditation way of thinking. (Sorry for that convoluted sentence, don't know how to phrase it.) You can always go to the library and read about teaching meditation and Buddhism to children - that can give you a start and then the other books may make more sense. If you're from the West, your entire way of thinking may be so different that you need that very simple starting place.
When you meditate daily your life changes. You'll find yourself making different choices and treating others and yourself differently.
Sounds like trying to find out what you do in your daily life isn't the point, it's not something you have to arrange and DO. It's a natural outflow of your inner self changing and developing.
Book and authors I would recommend
Its easier than you think -Sylvia Boorstein
Anything By the dalai lama
Anything by Alan watts
all of these authors can explain these eastern thougts from a western perspective so it makes easier to wrap your head around some concepts, IMO
also, siddartha by Herman Hesse
Siddartha Gautama was at one point a practicing ascetic, so he would have been more likely to have been quite thin
the symbol of "buddha" is not a depiction of the at same man, anymore than renaissance art of a white anglo saxon jesus
"the style of the statues was influenced by the various cultures that influenced all culture in the sub-continent (India), Greek styles early on, then Roman, Persian and others. And by the cultures in areas where his teachings spread, and now we finally get to the Fat buddha. Buddhism reached China around 100AD, and was wide spread there by 600AD. And we get three theories on Fat buddha, each one probably reinforced the others over time. First the physical image of a Noble was different as was the concept of the results of enlightenment, a Noble was not athletic or a warrior, but a well fed person of leisure. Enlightenment led to material success and wealth and a position at least close to nobility. And a belief that fat men were inherently benevolent , similar to the "jolly fat man", Jolly Ol' St. Nick for example"
Meditation has no real form. It is a journey. Writing every day can be meditation, so can riding a motorcycle along desolate roads. Some backyard mechanics find meditation in swapping out carburetors.
Buddhism IS about being in the moment and nothing more. Nothing less either.
The best description I've ever read of realizing zen, was the understanding that one is not standing in the stream, but is part of the stream.
Thanks to all for your replies. I especially enjoyed your thoughts on meditation, which I understand to be something that is key to the practice of Buddhism. Drifter, your thoughts felt especially relevant to me. I have always been at a loss for naming my feelings of spirituality because I discover the most peace and wholeness when I'm writing or in the woods.
I have to confess I'm a little disappointed that we can't have an open discussion without people making jabs at one another. What a shame.
Daily meditation practice in whatever form is the essence of buddhism. The aim is to cultivate compassion towards yourself and all living things.
I would suggest in the real world just spend time observing your thoughts when you react with anger or frustration to a situation or relationship. The act of being an observer as well as taking part can be enlightening in itself.
Once you are practiced at observing your own thoughts and emotions without attachment, it is possible to begin to change those thoughts by contemplating the suffering of others.
Again the reminder that there is some form of suffering or pain behind each situation can produce compassion for others and yourself.
I find the process facinating.
What does a Buddhist do during the holidays? Celebration, and involvement with typical Christmas time activities. Just curious???
Buddhists can join in on any religious ceremonies they like. So religious holidays like Christmas can be celebrated anyhow.
That's one of the advantages of Buddhism: it mixes very well with other religions or life philosophies.
I think that Westerners have a distorted view of Buddhism.
Yes, at its core, it is a philosophical system rather than a dogmatic one, but Buddhists in the East are every bit as "religious" as Christians are here. In the West we see the philosophy first and think, hey, this makes perfect sense! None of this religious nonsense! In the East, however, people see Buddha as a supernatural being, they pray to him, give him offerings, make pilgrimages to his shrine, etc.
On the other hand, many Christians in China don't look at Christianity as a religion but as a way of life. They see Jesus as someone to emulate, someone with an amazing philosophy that makes perfect sense.
Kind of funny.
As far as what you'd do to be a buddhist, you'd want to follow the noble eightfold path:
and you'd want to practice meditation regularly - although many Eastern Buddhists don't, sort of like how many Christians don't pray regularly I guess.
by sandra rinck 14 years ago
The four noble truths:life is suffering- happiness is only temporary:1. suffering- pain, fear and mental distress2. suffering caused by change- while temporarily happy, changes in this illusion cause suffering ie: death, divorce etc. 3. suffering of suffering- not even death is an escape from...
by johnscott00 11 years ago
In a way there’s nothing very “Buddhist” about the meditation you’ll find on Wildmind. When you pay attention to your breath, or to the sensations in your body as you walk, or when you cultivate feelings of love for another person, you won’t have a sense that you’re doing anything very “religious.”...
by Andrew Petrou 6 years ago
Why do many atheists accept Bhuddism?Many online atheists openly despise religion but have a warm soft spot for Bhuddism which is also a religion with temples, chants, prayers and reincarnation etc.Why is that?
by paarsurrey 12 years ago
Jesus wasnt real. It never happened.
by KrisL 9 years ago
Is there value in Buddhist meditation for people of other faiths?What is the value in Buddhist meditation for people of other religions, such as Christianity? Can it be combined with Christian spiritual practices?
by mischeviousme 11 years ago
I am not saying this litterally, I just think that the ideas are very much the same. Buddha saved us from desire and Jesus saved us from our sins. The idea is that the early Hindu and Buddhist teaching, spread west and were adapted to fit the culture. In India and China, the Buddhas were...
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