Any Buddhists out there?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Burning ghost
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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Burning ghost » July 25th, 2017, 12:51 am

Synthesis -

I misunderstand? No. Buddhism is about stopping the cycle of suffering.
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Synthesis
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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Synthesis » July 25th, 2017, 11:18 am

Burning ghost wrote:Synthesis -

I misunderstand? No. Buddhism is about stopping the cycle of suffering.
I am not a teacher and should be not be telling anybody anything, but you are correct that Buddhism is about stopping the cycle of suffering, as well as many other things, but this intellectual understanding is only a portal to the practice. The actual practice allows one to manifest Buddhism.

Perhaps it can be compared to talking about love and being in love. If you have never been in love, then one can not truly understand. When object and subject collapse, then, only action.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Burning ghost » July 25th, 2017, 11:26 am

Synthesis wrote:
Burning ghost wrote:Synthesis -

I misunderstand? No. Buddhism is about stopping the cycle of suffering.
I am not a teacher and should be not be telling anybody anything, but you are correct that Buddhism is about stopping the cycle of suffering, as well as many other things, but this intellectual understanding is only a portal to the practice. The actual practice allows one to manifest Buddhism.

Perhaps it can be compared to talking about love and being in love. If you have never been in love, then one can not truly understand. When object and subject collapse, then, only action.
"Practice" meaning what?

"Manifest Buddhism"? More mystical meaningless jargon or does this actually mean something?
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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Synthesis » July 25th, 2017, 11:59 am

Burning ghost wrote:
Synthesis wrote: (Nested quote removed.)

I am not a teacher and should be not be telling anybody anything, but you are correct that Buddhism is about stopping the cycle of suffering, as well as many other things, but this intellectual understanding is only a portal to the practice. The actual practice allows one to manifest Buddhism.

Perhaps it can be compared to talking about love and being in love. If you have never been in love, then one can not truly understand. When object and subject collapse, then, only action.
"Practice" meaning what?

"Manifest Buddhism"? More mystical meaningless jargon or does this actually mean something?
The practice is meditation.

Have you ever been so involved in doing something that time seemed to disappear, that you just became one with your task? That's sort of what this idea gets at.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Burning ghost » July 25th, 2017, 12:45 pm

Most Buddhists don't meditate at all, so I think you've very little ground to base such an idea on. Meditation existed before Buddhism. Ask any Buddhist in Thailand or there about what it means to be Buddhist and they won't mention meditation at all most likely (and like I said earlier large amounts of Buddhist monks in pagodas are homosexuals barely interested in meditation. For poor minorities it is simply an obvious way to live a peaceful and happy life among other gay people)

You may never be able to attain nirvana through meditation alone. I very much doubt there are many individuals that could do such a thing, if any at all. We are all different though so I imagine there are extreme cases.

There is also the fallacy of "ending suffering". It is a lie and in itself deeply destructive by trying not to be destructive. If nirvana is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist then why did Buddha come back from nirvana? He didn't. Nirvana is here and now not some lofty idealism. It is simply you seeing you and being able to suffer properly.

The Dalai Lama hasn't even gotten to where I did apparently so why listen to his nonsense? And he eats meat. Another thing many westerners find hard to understand when they stay in pagodas is that they may very well eat meat for the first time in years without knowing it. Kind of funny when you're sat next to a guy who says he never imagined he'd eat meat again in his life due to his Buddhist views, a guy who had not eaten meat for over 7 years, and there in the Buddhist pagoda he was eating the meat handed out to him. haha!!

Meditation is taught in Buddhism more as a means to make a protective bubble than anything else. It is most certainly a useful tool for relaxation and concentration, other than that if you don't fill your head with something of substance it is of no more use than a samurai sword is to a baby.

As someone once parroted to me, the old adage, "we must all tend our gardens how we see fit."

Good luck to you
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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Synthesis » July 25th, 2017, 2:46 pm

Burning ghost wrote:Meditation is taught in Buddhism more as a means to make a protective bubble than anything else.
Perhaps your thinking in this regard may change over time.

In any case, I wish you all the best on your own path.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Hereandnow » July 25th, 2017, 5:26 pm

Burning Ghost:
Most Buddhists don't meditate at all, so I think you've very little ground to base such an idea on. Meditation existed before Buddhism. Ask any Buddhist in Thailand or there about what it means to be Buddhist and they won't mention meditation at all most likely (and like I said earlier large amounts of Buddhist monks in pagodas are homosexuals barely interested in meditation. For poor minorities it is simply an obvious way to live a peaceful and happy life among other gay people)
Nothing surprising at all about this. Most Christians don't pray,either. Who cares about what most people do?
You may never be able to attain nirvana through meditation alone. I very much doubt there are many individuals that could do such a thing, if any at all. We are all different though so I imagine there are extreme cases.

There is also the fallacy of "ending suffering". It is a lie and in itself deeply destructive by trying not to be destructive. If nirvana is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist then why did Buddha come back from nirvana? He didn't. Nirvana is here and now not some lofty idealism. It is simply you seeing you and being able to suffer properly.
Nirvana is being able to suffer properly?? Look, you don't think there is such a thing as nirvana. And no one can convince you otherwise. Neither does a typical Wall Street analyst. It is only for those who have the sufficient calling. Like anything else. I'd make a lousy first baseman. There are those whe testify to amazing experiences. Of course, they could be lying, but not deluded; after all, delusion is about interpretation, not experience. Feeling so wonderful and full of a mysterious insight is by itself, not an interpretative report. It is what it is. But then, start talking about Jesus' exclusive claim to your salvation and so on, that can be argued.

The Dalai Lama hasn't even gotten to where I did apparently so why listen to his nonsense? And he eats meat. Another thing many westerners find hard to understand when they stay in pagodas is that they may very well eat meat for the first time in years without knowing it. Kind of funny when you're sat next to a guy who says he never imagined he'd eat meat again in his life due to his Buddhist views, a guy who had not eaten meat for over 7 years, and there in the Buddhist pagoda he was eating the meat handed out to him. haha!!
This is blatantly beside the point. A fallacy ad hominem. Who cares what the dali lama did? Gautama Siddhartha didn't.
I would hazard that you have issues that are not about Buddhism at all.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Atreyu » July 25th, 2017, 6:10 pm

Buddhism has the same goal as all the other religions. The only difference between religions is their particular belief systems and specific techniques.

'Meditation' is their specific technique to acquire self-consciousness. Other religions simply have other techniques, but they all come down to the same thing --- waking up and living consciously and intentionally.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Greta » July 25th, 2017, 7:15 pm

This reminds me of the Christian debates, where people speak at cross purposes between a religion's ideals and practice. There is always a potential rationalisation for everything, both pro and non spiritual, either valid or faux valid. I've conducted this debate internally for five years since my last peak experience.

What happens when a fairly rationalist thinker finds herself bathed in overwhelming unconditional love and feels as though she's glimpsed the threshold between life and death - all accompanied by a feeling of bliss far greater than any she'd felt before? The really odd part is that during and after the experience I gained greater clarity than usual and found myself able to readily solve issues and questions that had been niggling for some time.

Was it a delusion or illusion? A lucky brain glitch?

I Googled. Many others had reported very similar.

Was it a runaway dopamine response?

What caused it, and why the post-experience clarity?

Maybe they are just dynamics that can occur in the human brain?

Maybe something like God exists, or spirits of ancestors or the spirit of the Earth as earlier tranches of ancients believed?

Then again, what of Susan Blackmore's studies into near death where she concluded after many years of study that it's just the activity of a dying brain?

But what of Ian Stevenson's studies on kids who seemingly remember prior incarnations where there are a number of cases that seem impossible to explain away, along with NDE cases without adequate explanations?

Maybe something else interesting is going on but it's not been described due to an inherent mental inability of humans (at this stage) to understand? A child cannot comprehend the problems in running an economy so reality may have layers of complexity and relationships that are completely out of our league to comprehend.

Whatever, there are techniques like meditation and prayer that can be employed to help practitioners relax and be receptive (as suggested above by Atreyu). However, I personally find them unbearably tedious :)

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Synthesis » July 25th, 2017, 9:01 pm

Greta wrote: Whatever, there are techniques like meditation and prayer that can be employed to help practitioners relax and be receptive (as suggested above by Atreyu). However, I personally find them unbearably tedious :)
Greta, there are many types of meditation, but when one speaks of Zen, or essential Buddhism, the goal is awareness only. No special feeling, no special states, no special anything. This is why the historical Buddha proclaimed that he achieved absolutely nothing from the enlightenment experience.

People are mistaken when they believe that this is about anything else, but having said that, a state of awareness allows for clarity and the resulting wisdom derived from experiencing things as they are instead of how we think they are. Nothing more.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Spectrum » July 25th, 2017, 10:59 pm

Greta wrote: Whatever, there are techniques like meditation and prayer that can be employed to help practitioners relax and be receptive (as suggested above by Atreyu). However, I personally find them unbearably tedious :)
Unfortunately for most, any human development and progress must go through the learning curve which inevitably involve 'tediousness' i.e. repetitions for the muscles and neurons to establish the necessary program and 'memory.'
However if one can understand the rewards that come with the repetition, then one can make the tediousness and boringness lesser. Note there are tons of benefit one can get from doing regular meditation alone. To get more of out life, one has to do additional mental exercises in addition to merely meditating.
So it is critical one understand what meditation [more returns than prayers] can greatly benefit a person.
Synthesis wrote: Greta, there are many types of meditation, but when one speaks of Zen, or essential Buddhism, the goal is awareness only. No special feeling, no special states, no special anything. This is why the historical Buddha proclaimed that he achieved absolutely nothing from the enlightenment experience.
I believe there is more to Zen Buddhism than 'awareness', 'presentness' or 'in the NOW,' and the likes. Such a state is merely a pre-requirement to perform and live life optimally with one's constraints, limitations and environmental conditions.

I view Buddhism as comprising the following, i.e.
Buddha's 4NT-8FP -A Life Problem Solving Technique.
http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... +technique

Life is a constant 'process' with 'problems' which must be attended to all the time.
Dukkha [often inefficiently translated as 'sufferings'] is a range of constant problems to a person's life.
Buddhism's "4NT-8FP -A Life Problem Solving Technique" deals with ALL of life's problems. The Buddha Story emphasizes the mother of all problems as the existential crisis, followed by anxieties of old age, disease which are related very near to the problem of mortality.

Meditation is merely one strategy and technique to facilitate tackling life's problem efficiently. For example these days, many sport person use various meditative techniques to improve their performance, e.g. think of the next point not about winning, the trophy, the money, adulations, etc.
During meditation a meditator may experience various kinds of oneness with the universe, epiphany, etc. but these are merely a side effects and not critical to the spiritual path.

Buddhism as an organized religion has its pros and cons. However I [btw not a Buddhist officially] find Buddhism is the most complete religion in providing the range of spiritual needs [Philosophy and practices] from A-Z to cater for people with different religious inclinations. Other religions provide only from A to W [Hinduism, etc.] or A to M [Abrahamic] and thus do not provide the full spiritual coverage for humanity.

-- Updated Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:20 pm to add the following --
[b]Burning ghost[/b] wrote: Meditation is taught in Buddhism more as a means to make a protective bubble than anything else. It is most certainly a useful tool for relaxation and concentration, other than that if you don't fill your head with something of substance it is of no more use than a samurai sword is to a baby.
As usual your views are from a very superficial understanding of the full range of what Buddhism is. Update your database with the following;

Buddhist meditation involve two techniques i.e.
1. Samatha - concentration
2. Vispasanna - Insight and rewiring the neurons
1.Most systems of meditation emphasize the Samatha component. The meditator focuses his mind upon some items, such as prayer, a certain type of box, a chant, a candle flame, a religious image or whatever, and excludes all other thoughts and perceptions from his consciousness. The result is a state of rapture which lasts until the meditator ends the session of sitting. It is beautiful, delightful, meaningful and alluring, but only temporary. Vipassana meditation addresses the other component, insight.

2. In Vipassana mediation, the meditator uses his concentration [from 1] as a tool by which his awareness can chip away at the wall of illusion that cuts him off from the living light of reality. It is a gradual process of ever-increasing awareness into the inner workings of reality itself. It takes years, but one day the meditator chisels through that wall and tumbles into the presence of light. The transformation is complete. It’s called Liberation, and it’s permanent. Liberation is the goal of all Buddhist systems of practice. But the routes to the attainment of that end are quite diverse.
https://tricycle.org/magazine/vipassana-meditation/
It is from Vipassana meditation that one can improve the efficiency of one's performance in living one's life, i.e. 'the filling of one head with something of substance.'
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Hereandnow » July 25th, 2017, 11:27 pm

Greta:
What happens when a fairly rationalist thinker finds herself bathed in overwhelming unconditional love and feels as though she's glimpsed the threshold between life and death - all accompanied by a feeling of bliss far greater than any she'd felt before? The really odd part is that during and after the experience I gained greater clarity than usual and found myself able to readily solve issues and questions that had been niggling for some time.

Was it a delusion or illusion? A lucky brain glitch?
Odd that you should mention this about NDE people. I've given them a lot of thought,not so much because there is consistency in their reports, as is often sited as the basis fro believing them, but for other reasons. First, if they are not to be believed in their extraordinary accounts, they are either lying or deluded. They are not lying. I have given them a full hearing and I know when someone is lying and these people are simply not. Mary Neal, Ebon Alexander, and the rest popular on youtube: I mean, to think they are lying one must be a very poor judge of such things. Listen to them and others. It is just as clear as crystal that they did have the experiences they say they had. So that leaves us with delusion, or illusion: they are mistaken, and they did not go to some place and have encounters with spiritual beings. All this was in their heads.

Now we have to be clear: narratives about experiences can be mistaken about the where and who and other "facts" of the experience, but what they cannot be mistaken about is that which is not grounded in interpretation, and that is the bliss they have, and the far greater sense of the Real. These are things that cannot be mistaken, for they don't rest with interpretation. They are intuited, free of assailable content. I mean, you can't tell a person, "no, you really didn't feel happy beyond all measure and common sense." So there is no error here.

And now it gets philosophical. How do we know wht the real is, I mean you and I and the computer here on a desk: what is the measure of the real? Put presuppositions aside and it really comes down to the intuited sense of Being here. Material vs idea? Words that fit on top of this Being here now, which is foundational. That these people had a heightened sense of the Real, and this cannot be refuted (unless you want to call them liars, which they are not) is indicative of something very, very interesting, and gives warrant to credibility that something happened that cannot be explained away in terms of haywire brain activity. After all, and this is a clincher of sorts, and I invoke William james in his varieties of Religious Experiences: what is it to know the world as we do if not brain activity of some kind or other? And then which brain function has the greater claim to the Real? The most intensely intuited as Real.

And what of their claims to stand in the midst of divinity? Can this kind of thing be dismissed? Can one be deluded about experiencing divinity? Now that is an interesting question!




Another premise for me is a private one: I am a threshold personality, of sorts. I live partly int he world these guys describe; a sot of Ode to Intimations of Immortality kind of guy, and

-- Updated July 25th, 2017, 11:32 pm to add the following --

...to continue: and so I have an affinity with them, and puts me a little closer to appreciating their position.

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Greta » July 25th, 2017, 11:56 pm

Synthesis wrote:
Greta wrote:Whatever, there are techniques like meditation and prayer that can be employed to help practitioners relax and be receptive (as suggested above by Atreyu). However, I personally find them unbearably tedious :)
Greta, there are many types of meditation, but when one speaks of Zen, or essential Buddhism, the goal is awareness only. No special feeling, no special states, no special anything. This is why the historical Buddha proclaimed that he achieved absolutely nothing from the enlightenment experience.

People are mistaken when they believe that this is about anything else, but having said that, a state of awareness allows for clarity and the resulting wisdom derived from experiencing things as they are instead of how we think they are. Nothing more.
Yes, meditation masters often warn about excessive interest in metaphysical effects, which can inflate egos and generally distract from the aim of clarity.
Spectrum wrote:Unfortunately for most, any human development and progress must go through the learning curve which inevitably involve 'tediousness' i.e. repetitions for the muscles and neurons to establish the necessary program and 'memory.'
However if one can understand the rewards that come with the repetition, then one can make the tediousness and boringness lesser.
Everyone knows the benefits but how can they understand them if they haven't felt them? So what keeps people motivated to meditate when they know, but don't understand, the benefits? It requires a leap of faith - that one isn't just wasting their time sitting around repeating a mantra, watching an apple or focused on breathing.

-- Updated 25 Jul 2017, 23:18 to add the following --
Hereandnow wrote:... It is just as clear as crystal that they did have the experiences they say they had. So that leaves us with delusion, or illusion: they are mistaken, and they did not go to some place and have encounters with spiritual beings. All this was in their heads.

Now we have to be clear: narratives about experiences can be mistaken about the where and who and other "facts" of the experience, but what they cannot be mistaken about is that which is not grounded in interpretation, and that is the bliss they have, and the far greater sense of the Real. These are things that cannot be mistaken, for they don't rest with interpretation. They are intuited, free of assailable content. I mean, you can't tell a person, "no, you really didn't feel happy beyond all measure and common sense." So there is no error here.

And now it gets philosophical. How do we know what the real is[?] ...
I've wondered about this too. Death is fascinating to those interested in existential issues in the same way as black holes fascinate physicists - the fringes of things tell you something of their nature, where boundaries and delineation lie.

So here we are lying on our deathbed. Recovery measures have failed and your brain has some minutes of oxygen left. There may be strong time dilation effects due to increased immersion. This brings us to bliss. Bliss states are invariably associated with immersion. When one has just died and alone in one's head without even sensory input as a distraction, it's not as though you have bigger fish to fry at the time! :) This is IT. You will be of course be completely immersed in that experience, limited only by disorientation and fear of the unknown.

At this point, your involvement with the world outside has stopped. You now only have one world - the dream world in your head. That is now your only reality (unless someone in the real world grievously damages your head). If you should meet with people you know at this stage of an NDE, how do you know whether it is actually them or if they are a construct of your mind? Or maybe they are, in some odd twisty-dimensional way, both?

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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Burning ghost » July 26th, 2017, 1:05 am

hereandnow -
Who cares about what most people do?
Most people? Doesn't matter how much you dodge around there is simply no denying that Buddhism is about attaining nirvana and breaking the karmic cycle of suffering. If a Buddhist doesn't meditate are they really Buddhist? What defines their belief? I can tell you now quite clearly "meditation" is not one of those of things, although it may be for some.

What is a fallacy?

I have attained nirvana before so I think that means I "believe" it. Lets face it though, "nirvana" is just a fancy term for a state of consciousness. You won't believe me and I cannot describe it to you. Yet you're willing to believe some guy that lived hundreds of years ago didn't eat meat and you should do what he did blindly? How do you know he didn't eat meat? Nah! Not buying into that kind of fanaticism because it is utter nonsense.
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Re: Any Buddhists out there?

Post by Hereandnow » July 26th, 2017, 11:42 am

Greta:
At this point, your involvement with the world outside has stopped. You now only have one world - the dream world in your head.
And there you are, as you have never been before. Of course if one drowns oneself in distractions, the moment will never come, right up to the last breath. But I would call it a world of dreams. Forget what you explicitly may think to define the moment. focus rather on the heightened subjectivity as such. Interpretations vary, but not the gravitas. And this is what is missing from all those blithe dismissals of death, and missing from the lived life,for that matter. (Heidegger is amazing on death).

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