Rational Buddhism?

by cappytan 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • JamesThomas

    I'm not hoping to find anything. Someone recommended meditation to me, and said that Buddhists were non-theists. I looked into it and liked everything I saw about Buddhism, except for the supernatural rebirth stuff.

    I can appreciate that.

    You may like reading some Eckhart Tolle. Along these lines there is kind of a 'mindfulness meditation', which can be done all during the day.

    You basically just practice on being more aware of what is going on within the present moment. No beliefs, no scripts, are involved.

    You come to be more aware of physical feelings, like the multifaceted experience of breathing, etc. Also can come a clearer seeing of how thoughts, beliefs, and emotions are just passing cloud-like things, and in no way define your authenticity. In this way one can come to a deeper awareness of ones true and deeper being, by clearly seeing what we are not.

    It's not a forced thing, but rather a way of kindness and patience.

    Many people have found it to be life-changing.

    Good luck.

  • Sail Away
    Sail Away

    The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA USA teaches secular Buddhism. Its roots are in Theraveda Buddhism, but the teachers at IMS focus on Vipassana (insight) and Metta (loving kindness) meditation practices and do not identify with any particular Buddhist lineage.

    Secular Western Buddhist Vipassana teachings are offered freely at www.dharmaseed.org

    Jack Kornfield is an IMS meditation teacher. For those interested in Buddhist psychology, his book entitled, The Wise Heart, A guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology is a must read.

  • John_Mann
    Rebirth it's not just something that happens when you die. It happens all the time. At every moment you are a little different from the past moment. We aren't a thing but a bunch of things. The illusion of continuity between one moment to the other it's called rebirth. At the moment of death it's only a drastic change for your karma (cycle of thought patterns ). Buddhism does not say your consciousness will survive the death experience. It says the impulse of your karma will be the cause for another being arise to existence. This new being will inherit the impulse of your thought patterns. But anyway you can use the concept of rebirth to your daily experience and not to something beyond your death. The fact is you die and reborn at every second of this existence. Just try to be aware of that. Forget anything about your clinical death because it will be an event outside of your life. Pay attention to your every second death.
  • Giordano

    My Wife and I have a decades old friendship with a lady that found some peace and tranquility when she took up Buddhism.

    The other bonus is the people who regularly attend, just like the KH are able to get to know one another after the meditation is over and or at special events. For those with no interest in religion but now find themselves short of friendships this might be something to check out.

    Meditation and perhaps a new friend or two can make that difference as we transition from the JW world into the real world.

    The people she has met seem to be quality professional people, artistic types, curious and interested and involved in the greater community.

    I served with some of them on various boards and in volunteer work and never realized that they were Buddhist's so there's very little to no proselyting.

  • Sail Away
    Sail Away

    The Interdependence Project of New York City offers online courses in secular Buddhism.


  • fulltimestudent

    Some random thoughts.

    1. User100 has an interest in an emaciated Buddha.

    Maybe like this one?

    Without knowing precisely what you've seen, I would suggest that an emaciated looking Buddha-like figure could be Jainist in origin.

    The Jainists may more often go in that direction, whereas Buddhism (as we know it) more likely follows the 'middle road,' - not too much and not too little.

    Having said that, we can find a buddhist Buddha like this also, referring to the Buddha's fasting prior to his eventual enlightenment:

    The emaciated Siddhartha Gautama becomes Gautama the Buddha. This stone sculpture now at the Lahore Museum, dates to the 2nd century AD.

    Reference: http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/yoga-meditation/history-of-yoga/buddha-pournami/

    and we may find a modern statue of Jainism like this, which is anything but emaciated:

    Indian spiritual thought around the sixth century BCE was full of different lines of enquiry. Buddhism and Jainism are just two of many, and it's often difficult to separate them, because the lines of thought often cross and re-cross.

    If you have not come across these ideas before, these two sites may be of interest to you:




    Village Idiot quotes the Dalai lama. Tibetan buddhism in a more modernised format is (apparently and paradoxically) quite popular in both China and the West. In many case its teachers have re-looked at their approach and rationalised their teachings. It is probable that the Dalai lama's decision to leave Tibet (after two years of being importuned by an American ambassador) re-invigorated the intellectual level of that religious sect.

  • fulltimestudent

    An informative essay about emaciated Buddha images. The essayist asserts that most come from what is called the Gandharan area (mostly located within contemporary Pakistan).


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