Being A Buddhist

Dicussions on Buddism

Archive for the tag “follower”

Buddhism values poverty! true or false?

Few days ago I had a discussion with One of  my best friends about money. What I understood from it was, that she’d been mis-informed, that poverty is as same as consolation in life. Even though I tried to point out that it is not  so, and that Buddhism does not recommend poverty for laymen, my attempt was in vain. She showed  agreeing in some ways but again returned to her own misconception stubbornly. With some people I’ve seen that it so. Sometimes there is no other choice, even if they are great friends,  but we have  to let them realize the truth themselves, even if it could give them   bitter experiences later.  I realize that it may be same with her on this subject as she shows on openness to analyze it, but only wanting to stick to what she wants to believe on it. Anyway what made  me feel for her is that the fact that she is running a small business herself. So  this kind of myth would or could never help her to progress in whatever way, but to suffer.  I’m hoping she’d have good karma to get away from any miserables and move on happily.

However it would be, I think it shows another a worldwide popular myth that could be seen nowadays.  That is,  that the Buddhism values poverty. Even more, some people go further by acknowledging this as the reason for poor Buddhist countries to exist, which is a most untruthful fact. Likewise, if someone  says him as  a Buddhist-layman, and then if he assess the poverty as a value he would have, concerning Buddhist teachings, that his opinion clearly shows, how shallow he knows about the philosophy he says to follow.

If there’s anyone having such empty ideas, they should look into how some counts and other laymen had had been advised to live happily by his holiness lord Buddha. And they should correct their perceptions and their life styles. Buddhism has clear instructions to  how to make this current life  happy. It’s true Buddhism focuses on how to end the sufferings completely. So people assume that all teachings are on enlightenment. But looking into the teachings in whole shows that majority part of sutta/sections are told to laymen and on how to make their lay-lives happy, contented and successful.

If someone adheres to such mis-conceptions, like my friend, without having analyzed it to see whether it’s true or not (as Dhamma says), but if chooses to stick to them just because that they’ve heard it from someone  or felt it that way themselves, then it’s clearly  their delusion/moha working on it blindly. Main Buddhist teaching that a follower should remember when trying to understand something,  as to my understanding, is Kalama sutta.

About Meditaton more – what is and how to

earlier post on meditation  : On Meditation

Statue of Lord Buddha meditating - from an ancient temple in Sri Lanka

World’s Greatest Teacher of Meditation

Well, first of all, meditation is a method to deal with the mind. People nowadays seem to go to various kinds of therapists to deal with many issues in it.  This is good and really is a very helpful way. But as I’ve seen the  progress of it depends on the communication between both parties and the ability and experience of the therapist. If those were excellent you’ll get great outcome.  But it depends. Anyway it also is depended on you if you are the one who have the therapy. As I understand it, because of the way you allow yourself to understand how your mind works, how past has affected you and also the environment, i.e. society has affected your mind. Means how much you’ll allow to see with openness, honesty,  etc about yourself.

It’s the same when it comes to meditation. If you allow yourself to see with an open, honest mind without accepting or rejecting what you experience, and  if you got the right resources, you’ll get more success from meditation, than anything else in dealing with mind. But then, you have to have the proper guidance for the real success. But it is you who find answers. You’ll only have to have guidance from an experienced meditator to deal with the difficulties that occur in your path.

It doesn’t say you’ll always have to have such a person to start meditation. There are a lot of types, that can be started with simple instructions gained, like from a book or site, and be developed successfully on its early stages. But this is something that most of experienced teachers say when they advice in public in my country ” you better have some one to guide you” so I’m also repeating it here as I’m not a one to challenge them in it in my stage.

However, when looking into the history at his holiness lord Buddha’s time, there had been lot of  Bhikkus who had gone to faraway places after having learned how to do a suitable type of meditation from his holiness lord Buddha. So they had deal with it alone after having instructions first. But then they had world’s greatest teacher’s instructions. Also there were incidents  Bhikkus returning  with problems, like what led to the incident of Karaneeya Mettha Sutta. But that doesn’t say everyone had problems. If you got the intellect even with some knowledge you should succeed, that is as to what I’ve learned about Buddhism. Because It all circling around basics of Buddhist Philosophy. So it’s better you get some knowledge if you are interested in going into deep in meditation, because it would be just a hanging in the same stage thinking you doing great but without.  And in short what I’m trying to say is, try to learn the basics of this Philosophy if, you are serious. Listen to Damma or read good books and get to know it, then you’ll have some idea of how you should proceed when you practice alone.

Having said that, there are lot  of resources in the web for free to learn Buddhist teachings. And if you ask me about free, they should be for FREE ( not solid books, they cost, you know that!) , because if anyone is thinking otherwise, well theirs may have great content but I doubt they are truly the followers. Also you can check my posts on Resources tab under ” THE BUDDHIST ” tab on this blog. If you ask me ” http://www.dhammatalks.net  ” is a great one that I’ve used.

Fortune of a Buddhist

In my last post:  Basics: How to know your path I have said that ” to go along the path, you need to start analyzing using Dhamma. For that  at least basics of Dhamma are needed “

His holiness Buddha has stated anyone wants to achieve enlightenment (nirvana) , should be equipped with four assets to start and continue. They are :

  1. Kalyana mittha sevana :      Having spiritual friendship, good companionship, good comradeship , admirable friendship.  i.e. association with kalyanamittas( spiritual friends). When you have spiritual friendship You would be able to have the second
  2. Dhamma savana:     Listening to true Dhamma .This will guide you to have the third.
  3. Yoniso manaikara:     Noble thoughts or thinking with mindfulness and  intelligence. This will guide you to have the Fourth.
  4. Dhammanudhamma patipada:     Practicing Dhamma or living according to Dhamma.


Basics: How to know your path

What is the  meaning of being a real Buddhist?

A real Buddhist is someone who is following the path to liberation.

But what is this path?.

If anyone want to go along any path they have to find about it, right?

So how could we find it?

Simple. Lord Buddha Has clearly described how to find your path in Dhamma, the second of  the triple gems . On my post: Buddhism and the difference from other paths“, I mentioned what  His Holiness Buddha has said about Dhamma.

Last is:

intellectuals should  individually  experience Dhamma

Why intellectuals? Does that mean, we have to assess our intellects, before starting to follow? NO : That would be just a waste of time. Because that, Dhamma has  clearly instructed on how to become an intellectual. Of course  that is why, we should have  proper advise on Buddhism i.e. not to go astray. (Ah don’t worry! I will be posting, in near future, regarding “proper advice”. Until then…”How to know your path”).

So! How could we become intellectuals?

there’s only three things you have to start with. Just Three, but Extremely Important! ( Kalama sutta )

  • Do not Accept (or agree ) at once with  what you’ve come across
  • Do not reject (or disagree ) at once with what you’ve come across
  • Analyze it deeply with what you already know of Dhamma and then decide. (That means our present knowledge)

This is the  base to become an intellectual. If you don’t start your path with it you are stuck. ( they could always be used for thinking in generally , too)

What about part “should  individually  experience ” ? This happens when you do the third step above.  Learning Dhamma accurately, is the next important key to  find your path.  But only knowledge wouldn’t do the miracle. To go along the path, you need to start analyzing using Dhamma. For that  at least basics of Dhamma are needed . If not, you might  end up using misconceptions (a wrong idea or impression.) for original Buddhist teachings, thinking that you are doing great, Who knows?

Everything you’ve learned should be based on  your own intelligence. Never should take someone’ idea without analyzing.Also it would simply break above three steps. A person’s  Knowledge of Dhamma is something that  always will grow, if you keep on learning it. So scope of analyzing ability would eventually grow developing the scope of intellect.

Keep practicing Dhamma with what you’ve started and you will be always be on the right track of your expedition.

Wish You all the success with your expedition!

Buddhism and the difference from other paths

A picture - statue of Lord Buddha.

A statue of Lord Buddha

We can see a lot of religions in this world. But if we analyze Buddhism is not in the category of religions. It can be said as a Philosophy. It contains the path to enlightenment found By lord Buddha.

Buddhism Cannot also be called as a science. Sciences can be changed when new knowledge emerge. But Buddhism is knowledge that has been tested and proved by lord Buddha, the founder of it. Later so many people had followed the path and gained success.

It is true you can’t go back in history and check what others had done.  History is also a part of any community. But You always can analyze and check Buddhism in real life.

Buddhism is a free path that anyone can always come and check, if it suits to their lives, understandings or they can leave. of cause they always can  come back again if wanted or just leave for ever. No one forces to follow anything or anyone. Lord Buddha has never forced it on anyone.

What his holiness Buddha has said is:

  • Dhamma is well told in whole i.e. at the start, at the middle and at the end.
  • The path has to be understood and experienced by own intelligence of each person. (Anyone can only show you the path but can’t take you alone it.)
  • Dhamma is true at any time it yields without delay.
  • It is wise enough to tell anyone to come and check it.
  • each person should establish or it in own mind (realize true meanings) for success in path
  • intellectuals should  individually  experience Dhamma

(These are in the gata we use to honor Dhamma,

 Svàkkhàto Bhagavatà Dhammo,
Sanditthiko akàliko ehi-passiko,
Opanayiko pacchattam veditabbo vinnuhi’ti.

resources: http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books13/Chanting_PALI-and-ENG.pdf.pdf   and see the section     ” SUPREME PRAISE OF THE DHAMMA “

)

So  it  is our own liking to practice Buddhism or not. Only thing it needs to follow is the need itself (to follow). I.e. desire to practice Buddhism. Practicing Buddhism Is not suppressing our feelings. It’s analyzing  and understanding the reality (truth)  of everything about us.  One who follows the path would eventually reduce sufferings and finally  put all in to an end.

What is Dhamma?

Preaching of Dhamma

A Venerable thera preaching Dhamma

Dhamma is the teachings of His holiness Buddha.

As I discussed in my post  “Why there are branches in Buddhism” Dhamma today is what has retained with the time.

Venerable Sangha is the community that protect Dhamma by dedication for future generations. We can learn it from Sangha or nowadays there are a lot of resources to be found if searched. i.e.  books, ‘articles in media’ ( news papers, web etc.), Blogs, Audio and video recordings of Dhamma preachings, Buddhist broad castings, etc.

But it is important to learn from trusted sources. Tripitaka and Venerable Sangha can be considered  the best resources.

I hope to give available information on these resources I can find in a future post

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