has anyone looked into Buddhism?

by poor places 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • poor places
    poor places

    I've started reading a book called The Modern Buddhist's Bible and I'm liking a lot of things about the religion so far. Of course I don't know much yet, but there seem to be some very good points to Buddhism. One thing I love is the emphasis on "killing" the ego (or whatever you might want to call what Buddhists try to do with their egos!). I like this idea. In my view, a lot of hatred and pain could be avoided by dialing down the ol' human ego.

    Another thing that I like and which I'm sure ex-JWs would love is the tolerant view which Buddhists seem to have toward other religions. In some of the readings from the book I've been getting into, the writers talk about the value of Christianity and Jesus' teachings in general. This is a refreshing viewpoint in comparison to the usual JW intolerance. I'm sure that there are Buddhists out there who are just as intolerant as anyone else, but the writers I've come across so far seem to be tolerant of other religions.

    My purpose in writing this is to find out if anyone on this board has seriously tried getting into Buddhism. If so, how did it go? Are you still a Buddhist? And what was/is the religion like as a practicing Buddhist? Or, if no one has seriously tried getting into Buddhism, what are your thoughts on the religion?

  • JimmyPage

    I'm into a Western version of Zen. I don't believe everything I read about Buddha, just as I don't believe everything I read about Jesus. I just try to glean wisdom from their teachings that can help me in my life. What I've learned about Buddhism has really helped me find an inner peace. I've posted several threads about Zen Living, would love to hear your take on them.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I'm satisfied with the simplicity of the Tao Te Ching and the gospels of Christ at this point. Some day I might explore Buddhism but right now I'm happy with where my compass is pointing.

  • changeling

    Putting aside the "self" and not forming attachemnts is the Buddhist prescription for happiness. I get it. I see it. But it leaves me a little cold. I think that to be totallly "zen" you have to just not give a shit about anything. Doesn't work for me...

    I like the idea of non-judgement and acceptance. I like the idea of being at peace with the earth and all it's creatures.

    In the end, I do with Buddhism what I do with all other philoshophies: I take with me what resonates with me and leave the rest behind. That's my philosophy... :)

  • shamus100

    I looked into it, love, in a very general way.

    I don't like labels anymore, and that's what Buddism meant to me - just another label. It's like 'hey, I'm a buddist now, isn't it neat'? Nah... what changeling said. I'm more agnostic now but am not arrogant enough to keep my mind open that there may be something out there, although I highly doubt it.

    Happy trails, love. Find what works for you. :)

  • poor places
    poor places

    Whoops, I posted a new thread in reply to JimmyPage when I meant to reply. JimmyPage, if you look at the thread called untitled, that one is in response to what you said.

    I'm not sure if Buddhism is so much for people who "don't give a shit" as for those who try to do good works. I kind of see what you mean (in some ways, they're beliefs are kind of stoic, it seems), but I think they're out to do the best they can for people.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    There's a podcast on I-Tunes called "Zencast".

    I've downloaded all the lectures and am about half-way through.

    One thing I like about Buddhism is that it is silent on the existence of a higher power.

    Here's my two problems with Budhism so far:

    1. ) I was a bit surprised to hear that the Dalai Lama said that: " From a Buddhist point of view, [gay sex] is generally considered sexual misconduct."

    Here's the quote in more context:


    Homosexuality in Vajrayana/Tibetan Buddhism

    In a 1997 interview, the Dalai Lama (the leader of Tibetan Buddhism and a widely-respected spiritual figure) was asked about homosexuality. He did not offer any strong answer either way, but noted that all monks are expected to refrain from sex. For laypeople, he commented that the purpose of sex in general is for procreation, so homosexual acts do seem a bit unnatural. He said that sexual desires in themselves are natural, perhaps including homosexual desires, but that one should not try to increase those desires or indulge them without self-control. [4]

    In a 1993 talk given in Seattle, the Dalai Lama said:

    nature arranged male and female organs "in such a manner that is very suitable... Same-sex organs cannot manage well." But he stopped short of condemning homosexual relationships altogether, saying if two people agree to enter a relationship that is not sexually abusive, "then I don't know. It's difficult to say." [5]

    The Dalai Lama was more specific in a meeting with Buddhist leaders and human rights activists in San Francisco in 1997, where he commented that all forms of sex other than penile-vaginal sex are prohibited for Buddhists, whether between heterosexuals or homosexuals. At a press conference the day before the meeting, he said, "From a Buddhist point of view, [gay sex] is generally considered sexual misconduct." But he did note that this rule is for Buddhists, and from society's viewpoint, homosexual relationships can be "of mutual benefit, enjoyable, and harmless." [6]

    The Dalai Lama is well known for his activism for human rights, and this specifically includes equal rights for gays. According to an Office of Tibet spokeman, "His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He urges respect, tolerance, compassion, and the full recognition of human rights for all." [6]

    2. ) Also, like most things in Budhism, precepts are stated like they are self-evident. This includes reincarnation, which to me, is certainly wide open to debate and is not self-evident.

    Other than those two glitches, there's a lot to like in Buddhism.


  • doofdaddy

    As I recall, there is no one "buddhism" but numerous (I think 3 main schools) different sects. I have spent time in McCloud Ganj where the Dalai Lama lives and have spent quite a lot of time in Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. In my opinion, buddhism is like any other religion, an intense heirarchy of priests and nuns who are locked in to mindless repetition when it comes to worship.

    The original beliefs, like christianity, have certain merit but encourage a lone journey in life rather than a collective. Interestingly, after the tsunami in Sri Lanka, I saw christians being far more active in assisting their fellow beings than any other religion.

    By their fruits you will know them?

  • sooner7nc

    I'm reading that same book, as well as having read the book "The Buddhist Handbook". I always will remember something I read in the Handbook, it basically said to take what you liked from Buddhism and if there were things that you didn't feel comfortable with, just leave them alone. It was incredibly refreshing to read something like that in a serious book about a religion and was obviously so different from what had been taught to beleive that it helped me to maintain the interest in Buddhism. Another book that is quite good is "Siddhartha" by Hesse. It, while not neccesarily being a Buddhist book, explores some of the same things.

  • shamus100

    Buddism does consider homosexuality sexual misconduct, but so is mastrubation, love. The Dali Lama knows not to speak out against homosexuality because so many homosexuals are Buddists.

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