Any Buddhists Here?

by Southland 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Southland

    I was a JW from birth until after I got out of high school. I've drifted away over the last 15 years or so.

    Lately I have found myself missing my sense of spirituality. But I haven't had any desire to return to Christianity, JW or other. I've been somewhat preoccupied about what exactly happens when you die. As I get older, I find myself more increasingly aware of the supposedly limited time I have remaining here on Planet Earth.

    In discussions with friends, I have found some tenets of Buddhism to be pretty fascinating, if nothing else. Many of their explanations actually make sense.

    I actually sat in on a Buddhist meditation session last weekend with nine others. It was pretty interesting. It consisted of sitting on a cushion placed on top of a floor mat, legs crossed, back upright, hands in a circle, meditate for 15 minutes. Then push all cushions and floor mats to the center of the room, walk slowly in a circle around the room again in meditation (called "walking circle meditation"). This was cool because it allowed you to stretch your legs a little.

    This routine was repeated three more times, all in complete silence other than the sound of the gong indicating the transition from sitting meditation to walking meditation. Then we read some pretty profound passages from a book. Then some monotone chanting of a two-page passage. That was interesting because each syllable was pronounced evenly and at the same interval with no verbal pauses at the commas or periods.

    I'll admit to being open minded about the whole thing. I'm curious what experiences anyone else has had with Buddhism.

    By the way, on that web site where you answer a bunch of questions to determine which religion best fits you, I was surprised that Reform Judaism came out #1 followed by Sikhism in the #2 slot.

  • dottie

    I personally haven't had much experience with Buddism, but my brother, who is also out, has been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject, and he is beginning to think that that is the right choice for him...

    Many of their explanations actually make sense

    My brother has found this as well...he likes the fact that there's no "trickery" involved.




    When I was jw I read "Mankind's Search For God". I thought to myself, "Hmmmmm. . . . I think I like this," when I got to the stuff about Buddhism. It made sense to me because it explained how people find peace with themselves, and also explained the afterlife. I am involved with a spiritual group (not Buddhist) and am very much into meditation. My email is open. Hope to hear from you.


    Edited by - ESTEE on 12 February 2003 21:20:49

  • happysunshine

    I'm also doing research. Just keep your wits about you, like anything. Historicaly, Buddhism has ahd its fair share of 'trickery', but tends to be idealized in The West. Not to say don't go with it. One group that seems suspect is the so-called 'New Religions' of Asia. Sokka Gakkai Buddism is one such group. They come from Nichiren Buddism. They have extensive outreach groups, particularly on university campuses- posing as a "Buddhist Club" or something simular. In their homeland they are seen as a cult- complete with polital activism, etc., - but you won't hear about that here. Buyer be ware.

  • Francois

    The oriental masters are quite compelling. I recommend you read Herman Hesse's "Siddartha" for a to-the-point, very real overview of Buddhism. After that you could forge ahead with Goldman and Narcissus (or is that Narcissus and Goldman), same author. In fact most of Hesse's works deal with the search for inner meaning. But his "Siddarth" is his piece of resistance, er, piece de resistance. You can read it in a couple of hours.

    For me, however, the best answers are found in reading many as many different translations as possible of "The Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu. Since Chinese is written via ideographs, it's very hard to nail down one translation and say "This is IT!" However in reading many translations, you begin to develop an insight uniquely your own - like your personality and your Spirit. I started with the Fung/Jane English translations and have been through many since. I recommend this path, as from it you can develop your own "8 right actions" and whatever else appeals to your spirit.

    In short, Buddhism draws conclusions and suggests rules of conduct for you, while Taoism (in its ancient form) provide you with the materials, and you build the house. (warning: stay away from Taoism in its modern form. Like the JWs, it is a form of Taoism that is mainly susperstition, funerary rites, the practice of magic, and other b.s.)


  • Introspection

    With screen names that include a word like 'shunyata' and the content of posts from the past, you can get a sense that some here have atleast looked into it. If you ask me, the reason you won't hear about it is because a Buddhist is not going to jump up and down advertising that particular identity, unless they're some kind of evangelical Buddhist or something.

    I would be wary of any -isms period, even if the original intent and message is a good one. The thing is that just becomes another thing to identify with, but all you really have to do is just see what they have to say and what they do. In fact, in a way you might say Buddhism talks about not identifying with anything, which would include Buddhism itself if you were to really do that. Unfortunately most people focus on the form and the description that any tradition offers, rather than the reality that it points to. If you get too caught up with the tools, then you just end up looking silly in the end. It would be like a scientist pretending to be doing experiments because it's so cool to do science, whereas there's a lot of real things to actually do. Don't hang on to this idea of science either, I'm just using it as an example. It could be anything - you sit when you meditate, you don't pretend to sit. Keep your curiosity, but stay relaxed.

    By the way, I've been working at a Buddhist meditation center for a couple of years now, though I haven't felt like doing their programs there for some time (or practice actually) and I'm leaving in a couple of weeks. I'm sure to some my behavior may look like a slacker, but this isn't about a new kind of conditioning for the mind. It isn't this kind of hard discipline where you try to force yourself to be a certain way, it's very natural. The bottom line is, what better practice can there be apart from the reality of life?

  • gsx1138

    Even though I identify myself as Wiccan I attend a Buddhist temple service every Wednesday night (except this quarter I have night classes). It is the same thing, chanting to start, meditation, walking, meditation, chanting, then a Q&A session where you can ask any questions you want and the master there will try to answer them. Buddhism is far more cerebral than other religions. I also like that there is no hidden agenda. It is also a plus that they aren't interested in converting you or telling you that your beliefs are wrong. Also, after a session I just have this total feeling of calm. All the stress just goes away.

  • Farkel

    : Any Buddhists Here?

    I pretty much am by philosophy, but I don't subscribe to any of the Buddhist religions, nor do I believe that Budda was anything more than just another avatar like Jesus might have been.

    To put it simply, I won't subscribe to any belief system where the main guy has a big, fat belly. Somehow "main guys" in religions shouldn't have big, fat bellys! If they speak for God, then surely, God knows how to put them on the right diet.

    Come to think of it, if Russell and Knorr spoke for God, God would have given them some Viagra.

    He would have given Rutherford some Antabuse, and he would have given Freddie Franz a dick. If Freddie Franz actually had had a dick, he wouldn't have spent all those years telling guys what NOT to do with it. He would have understood what all/most guys know: "dix are for chix!"

    Bad Pun CLASS

    Edited by - Farkel on 11 February 2003 22:9:37

  • Introspection

    Careful Fark, you don't want to incur the wrath of Hotei! You may be reincarnated as a meditation cushion for an obese individual, either that or be a thousand meals for the same one, or both.

  • MrMoe

    I once helped an old co-worker register here, wonder if she still posts or read the forum? Wierd thing is I don't even remember her nick. HA!

    Why does a religious name matter anyhow? Why classify? Just curious. *wink*

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