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thalassa
03 Oct 2014, 05:13
We have a lot of Shinto stuff, but not too much Buddhism...and I saw this decent documentary the other day with Chickadee and thought I'd share it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7ZIpVKZaI4


I'm not Buddhist, but I find a few things in the practice and philosophy to be useful...so I'll probably post those at some point too.

Feel free to add stuff!

anunitu
03 Oct 2014, 05:15
I like this,I have studied some of their beliefs and find them interesting.

B. de Corbin
08 Oct 2014, 02:23
To me, the most amazing thing that the Buddhists have discovered is that, while we all know that our minds affect our bodies, they have found that it is also possible for the mind to affect itself.

And they have developed a whole suite of techniques to do this.

Thoth
11 Oct 2014, 23:57
Continue in the abyss of buddhism, and one will encounter the Bardo Thodol translated as the book of the dead. It is sacred, and an intricate guide through the afterlife as a spirit. Very interesting indeed.

B. de Corbin
13 Oct 2014, 05:42
The key concepts of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path.

There are many different ways of understanding these things. I'll explain the Four Noble Truths, but won't be at all surprised if other's understand them differently.

The first is:
Life is Suffering (Dukkha). Now, the first reaction I had to this was "Hey! Wait a minute! Sure, there is suffering, but life is other things as well." But there is a problem with the translation.

As I understand it, the word "Dukkha" means both "suffering" and "anything which is temporary."

So the way to understand this is actually - in life, a person will suffer. Even when one is happy, it is a temporary state which will inevitably turn to suffering. The health you have now will fade in old age. The money you have now will be lost through the vagaries of economics. The people you love will go away or die.


The Second Noble Truth is:
The cause of suffering is desire. We want - we want to be healthy, we want to have money, we want to love and be loved, we want to be right. We want the things we believe to be true to be true, we want to teach others what we have learned, we want the world to be a better place. When we have something good, we want to keep it - and continue to enjoy it.

There is no end to what we want.

We suffer because we don't get what we want, or, when we do, we eventually lose it.


The Third Noble Truth is:
Suffering can end. Once a problem has been identified, and the cause of the problem is known, the problem can be solved. This is what I like about Buddhist thought - the perfect logic.

We identify the problem - suffering, we know the cause - desire. And the cure for suffering is now obvious. End desire and one ends suffering.

Easier said than done though. One also needs to know how to end desire in a manner that does not require a lobotomy.

So...

The Fourth Noble Truth is:
The Eightfold Path is the way to end desire (without brain surgery).

As a Westerner, I'd say that The Four Noble Truths are the theory, while the Eightfold Path is application. If I get a chance, I'll come back to the Eightfold Path soon - although this is where it can get complicated...

B. de Corbin
14 Oct 2014, 05:04
The Eightfold Path:

So the Eightfold Path, then, is how you think, act, and what you do in order to overcome suffering. It's kind of like Buddhist morals and ethics, but it is also more than that because, rather than being a mere list of do's and don't's which one is supposed to follow "for the good of (humanity, one's self, god)" it is intended to change one's "head space" (way of thought). By changing one's way of thought, one changes one's relationship to all things in existence - including the self and others.

It should not be thought of as a step-by-step approach. A person works at doing all at the same time. But - it is progressive, in the sense that as one moves forward in any of the eight categories, one will find the other seven easier to move forward in.

The parts of The Eightfold Path are:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

When I get back, I'll take a look at my understanding of the first two - Right View and Right Intention, which constitute "Wisdom."

B. de Corbin
16 Oct 2014, 12:01
The first two items listed in The Eightfold Path fall under the category of “Wisdom.”

Wisdom sounds like such a high-falutin’ thing… I feel much more comfortable regarding them as “thinking clearly and seeing/understanding things as they really are.” With that understanding, let’s take a look at number 1 – Right understanding, or “Perfect Vision.”

At first, this one seems like a cheap trick, the kind of cheap trick that every two-bit cult leader pulls on the gullible.

Right understanding means (to begin with. I’m just a beginner. These things deepen as you move forward) accepting the Four Noble Truths as both noble and true. In other words, to achieve enlightenment, a person must believe that what the Buddha said is good is good, and what he said is true is true.
Or, to put it cynically, “I have the answers you are looking for. Trust me and do as I say, Buddy!”

However, it’s not quite like that – no, not like that at all.

The Buddhist is often quoted as saying ““Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

So not only is blind faith not required, it is an error.

The upshot of all this is that a person cannot just buy into Buddhism. It needs to be inspected, evaluated, and judged. Those Four Noble Truths are laid out in the form of a logical argument which arrives at a conclusion. The rule (this is pretty Western of me) in evaluating logical arguments is that if any one step is incorrect, the entire argument is invalid. Therefore: if life is not made up of suffering (either directly, or indirectly), AND if the cause of that suffering is not due to desire, AND if it is not possible to end that suffering, then the remedy – The Eightfold Path - cannot serve as a cure.

Think carefully and choose wisely!

B. de Corbin
24 Oct 2014, 06:37
Number 2 in the Wisdom category is Right Intention, or the desire to put what one has learned into practice.

To paraphrase the Buddha on this: It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to know what to do if you continue to act like a jerk. In other words, a person has to want suffering to end, and act on it, needs to forgive self and others for mistakes or bad behavior - which does NOT mean making excuses for one's self or for others, but understanding that everybody is suffering, and that everybody is at a different point on the path to becoming better - and that the practice of "compassion" (kind-hearted understanding) is far superior to anger and revenge - if one wants to rid one's self of suffering.

To put it another way, our inherent imperfection is something we need to try to rise above, but also need to accept as a fact of life. And, like other facts of life (gravity, for instance) we need to accept it, deal with it, work with it, while simultaneously avoiding falling off a cliff, or pushing someone else over...

B. de Corbin
28 Oct 2014, 09:58
Warning! This will quickly devolve into an essay on Karma. Be forewarned!

The next section in the Eightfold Path is generally referred to as Ethics - What concrete physicals actions to do, or to not do, in your relations with others. This constitutes three parts: Right Speech (how to talk and when to keep one's mouth shut) , Right Action (what to do or not do), and Right Livelihood (how to earn a living. Buddhism is very practical...).

Before I get into details, let's take a look at the magic word "Karma." Most religions have ethical codes, either explicitly stated, or implicitly implied. Frequently, you find that there are penalties for violating those ethical codes - for instance, covet your neighbor's wife once too often and go to hell. Engage in hubris and get squashed like a bug. In Buddhism, it's Karma.

The word "Karma" means something like "action; work." It is also the mechanism that determines whether you will be reincarnated as a planarian or drug addict or king of the universe. It also gives you paybacks for your actions in the here-and-now - whether that is good or bad.

Now I have some serious problems with this.

The first problem I have is that I can't quite swallow the idea of reincarnation. Sorry - I can't. I'm not going to go all Eastern and reject what I am pretty sure is true - I don't have to worry about being reincarnated as a turnip because I won't be reincarnated at all.

On the other hand, I really have a great deal of respect for the logic and reason of the Buddhist thinkers, and it may well be that I am wrong about this. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday, but, for now, the upshot of this is that my hypothetical next life has nothing to do with my interest in Buddhism. I’m looking for something to make the pain go away, in this life…

The other serious problem I have with Karma is that it would seem to require some kind of great cosmic bookkeeper, keeping track of the doings and the effect of the doings of every living thing, and figuring out just rewards and punishments – which will, also, miraculously, all out work together in some kind of unimaginably complex dance – and this thing would be following me around? Talk about hubris!

I can’t quite bring myself to believe in a consciousness that is capable of doing that. See, I also suffer from atheism.

Fortunately, that doesn’t matter.

Nope, not at all.

Despite all this, I do accept the idea of Karma. In fact, it is obvious and clearly true. The reason for the existence of Karma is that we live with/in/through Maya, or Illusion.

I’ll be back to finish this little essay on Karma when I can, then I can get on with the main show.

Shahaku
28 Oct 2014, 20:18
I'm gonna take a different approach and talk about Buddhist history and culture, which should compliment Corbin well. It's been a long time since I studied this so if I miss some small details, feel free to fill in the gaps.

Buddhist teachings say that we're simply in another cycle, that all of this has happened in some way, shape, or form before. And it will end and come again. So, we'll stick with the history of this particular cycle.

The Buddha's Enlightenment

Buddhism was created by a man named Siddhartha Guatama. He was a prince and at his birth (which is a pretty interesting story I'll get to later if someone reminds me), his father was told he would be a great leader or a great priest. Since his father wanted him to be a great leader he sheltered him and let him see no suffering. When Siddhartha reached an age he demanded he be allowed to see the city and so he went out. While among his people, he saw suffering for the first time. Illness, old age, and death. This set him on a path to discover enlightenment.

For some time he travelled as an ascetic. Lore holds that he ate only one grain of rice and drank only one drop of water a day for months. This is where the image of the emaciated buddha comes from. Finally, Siddhartha realized that he wasn't coming any closer to enlightenment through his efforts and determined, he sat beneath the Bodhi tree and waited for enlightenment to come to him.

While he sat, he was tempted by Mara and his daughters in an account that is strikingly similar to the temptation of Jesus. When Mara had exhausted himself Siddhartha put one hand to the ground and called on the Earth to bear witness to him. That is when Siddhartha became the Buddha and enlightened.

From there, the Buddha developed a following and taught others the path to enlightenment. One particularly fascinating aspect of Buddhist history is that it is believed the Buddha himself allowed women into the order. The term Buddha refers to "enlightened one" so, depending on the sect, there are seen to be many Buddha's that have followed the original Buddha.

The Buddha's Past Lives

Buddhist around the world recognize that the Buddha lived previous lives. It is core to their teaching, reincarnation on the path to enlightenment. I want to share a couple stories about the Buddha's past lives.

There are several stories about the Buddha's sacrifice. In one, he came upon a tiger (or lion or wolf depending on the version) who had cubs to feed and was starving herself. Seeing her need, the Buddha laid down his weapon and gave himself as a meal to the tiger so she and her cubs could live. This teaches a core value of self-sacrifice that is important in Buddhist belief.

Another interesting story of the Buddha's past lives explains why some Buddhists are okay with going to war. At one time, the Buddha was on a barge with three other passengers and he came upon the knowledge that one passenger was planning to kill the other two. The Buddha made the decision to kill the murderous passenger and save the lives of the other two. In doing so he took the bad karma of the murder upon himself, but also the good karma for his intent was to save two lives and to prevent the murderer from incurring more karma himself.

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Buddhist Culture

Monastic vs Lay

Buddhist monastics are the priestly class. Buddhist monks and nuns typically live in a monastery, separated from society in general. Generally, they are initiated as children. In some cultures, it is typical for all male children to be ordained and spend some time living the monastic life. It is a right of passage, in which they eventually return to there families. Monastics that stay face a challenging life.

Their 8 main rules include:
They cannot have intercourse, steal, kill a human being, or falsely claim enlightenment (or supernatural powers)
They cannot touch a woman sexually, speak lewdly, complement sexually, or help another break the rules.

They have many more rules that this (a couple hundred I believe) but the first set will automatically get them expelled from the monastery and the second set will get them in serious trouble.

Monastics are not allowed to accept money. In the strictest monasteries, they still walk down to the community every day with offering bowls that people put food and drink in for them.

The lay followers of Buddhism use the monastic class to perform the rituals of life and as advisors and in some cases confidants. The monastic class performs rituals of birth, rights of passage, and rituals of death for the lay community. They also teach them about karma and how to live a good life, so they can hopefully be reborn in a way that will help them to become enlightened.

Lay followers sometimes take up some of the vows of a monastic. For instance, they may make a vow not to steal. Or they may make a vow not to have intercourse for a month. This is believed to bring them good karma. However, they almost never take up all the vows of a monastic, and rarely do they make any vows for life, it's usually only for a short period of time.

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The Spread of Buddhism

Buddhism started in India and spread to Sri Lanka around the 300 BCE. From there it spread into Asia, to Tibet, China (100AD), and then Japan (500AD). When Europe started to colonize Asia, the ideas started their move West, though aspects of Buddhism had already worked their way into Western culture before that (see the story of Josephat and Barlaam).

During this process, Buddhism underwent many changes. The biggest one was the split between Mahayana and Theravada (you may see Theravada referred to as Hinayana. This is not the preferred reference of the practitioners. Hinayana literally means "small vehicle" to Mahayana's "big vehicle". It's kind of insulting.)

The main difference between the two is the ultimate goal. Mahayana Buddhists have to goal to become bodhisattvas (future Buddha's) with the ability to set up there own mini worlds where people will reincarnate and live forever until they have gained enough knowledge for enlightenment. Theravada sticks to the enlightenment goal. Their views on the Buddha also differ, but I'm going to have to find my notes on the flash drive my photographer has and get back to the cause the details are vague right now and I don't trust the internet...

Theravada Buddhism is pretty much the same across the board and is mostly found close to India (though Buddhism isn't very common in India anymore). Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, etc. Mahayana Buddhism is what you will find in Tibet, China, Japan and generally elsewhere. Mahayana Buddhism has many different schools and ways of thought, many different paths to enlightenment. This is why when people try to generalize the teachings of Buddhism I tend to get my panties in a twist ;)

The Mahayana schools of Buddhism include the Tantric school, which is different than Hindu Tantra, just to be clear, the Pure Land school (which believes in chanting Amitabha's name to reach his world as a reincarnation), and the Zen schools to name a few. They are many and varied. Many and varied. Many and varied. Can I say this enough times?

Buddhism has a tendency to mesh with the religion of the place it is found. Due to this, many people say that Buddhism isn't a religion so much as a way of life. In some ways that's true. However, they do hold specific beliefs about deity and the afterlife so I don't feel it's completely accurate. More to the point, the monastics don't care what you believe specifically because they are detached from it. This had led to even more variations in the practice and customs surround Buddhism.

An interesting example is Buddhism in Japan. There, Buddhism coexists right alongside Shinto. Generally, people go to Shinto temples for rites that affirm life, while they go to Buddhist temples for rites that affirm death. That is the main distinction. One interesting aspect of this is the mizuko rituals performed at some designated Buddhist temples in Japan. The most well known one is the Purple Cloud temple. Mizuko rituals are made to an aborted fetus, in apology and to make amends that they lost their opportunity in this life. It's an interesting topic to read up on and a new spin. More on that later...

B. de Corbin
29 Oct 2014, 04:19
Thank you, Shahaku! I have only a vague awareness of the culture surrounding Buddhism - it is fascinating and beautiful and highly developed. The art is magnificent! And I read with fascination...

But for me (and I want to emphasize those two words) what the Buddha taught is more important than the culture surrounding Buddhism. It's the difference between being a "scholar of" and a "practitioner of" Buddhism. To me (there's those two words again :o), it seems like those Westerners who adopt the outward appearance of Eastern Buddhism rather than the developing the practices the Buddha taught are a lot like what we call "fuzzy bunnies" - play actors.

However, Buddhists (at least, according to the Dalai Lama) respect other sects of Buddhists, even when they disagree with them. The reason for this has to do with Maya (illusion) -

Everybody is on a path, but everybody is at a different point on the path. In real life, if two people are on the same path, and look at the same tree, each will see it differently. (You can do an experiment: Set a cardboard box on a table and look at it. Move one foot to the left, or to the right, or forward, or backward, and the box will look radically different. Did the box change? No, that's an illusion. What changed was the perspective of the viewer).

So, two people on the same path, looking at the same tree will each see it differently. Arguing about "who sees it correctly" is foolish - and very un-Buddhist. The same is true of the Buddhist path. Respect the view of others, knowing that they stand somewhere else on the same path...

Now, I am going to take a brief look at Buddhism and reincarnation, because, right after stating that I don't buy it, Shahaku wrote:


The Buddha's Past Lives

Buddhist around the world recognize that the Buddha lived previous lives. It is core to their teaching, reincarnation on the path to enlightenment.

So, the question comes up: "How can Corbin be Buddhist and not believe in reincarnation?" A very, very valid question...

Everybody knows that Buddhists and reincarnation go together like cars and gasoline. What's up with that?

The answer to that is the same answer that always goes with "Everybody knows..."

What everybody knows is wrong.

The Buddha never, ever taught anything about reincarnation. Never. Not once.

What he did teach, and what is central to Buddhism, is "rebirth." Rebirth and reincarnation are not the same thing.

What he taught is that the idea of a "permanent self" is illusion, and that the reality is that one is constantly being reborn, or renewing the self (I want to be quick here. For those who are interested, do a search for "Buddha reincarnation" and you'll find a wealth of information).

Here is a quote from "About Religion" to give you an idea:


The Buddha taught that what we think of as our "self" -- our ego, self-consciousness and personality -- is a creation of the skandhas. Very simply, our bodies, physical and emotional sensations, conceptualizations, ideas and beliefs, and consciousness work together to create the illusion of a permanent, distinctive "me."

The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” He meant that, every moment, the illusion of "me" renews itself. Not only is nothing carried over from one life to the next; nothing is carried over from one moment to the next. (http://buddhism.about.com/od/karmaandrebirth/a/reincarnation.htm)

This idea (not reincarnation) is central to Buddhism for a very simple reason - if we had "permanent selves." we could not change.

If we can not change, then there is no hope of escaping suffering.

If there is no hope of escape from suffering, then the 3rd Noble Truth and the 4th Noble Truth are false.

If the 3rd Noble Truth and/or the 4th Noble Truth are false, the the Eightfold Path is invalid, and the whole thing falls apart. Might just as well watch TV...

Shahaku is speaking truth when she writes that most Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and hold it as central to their belief systems.

However, it isn't at all necessary. The Buddha never taught it.

anunitu
29 Oct 2014, 04:39
Thank you Be. D. for opening my eyes,BUT the bright flash of eternal truth have once again blinded me forever...Good bye and thanks for all the fish...(And don't forget your towel)

B. de Corbin
29 Oct 2014, 04:47
Thank you Be. D. for opening my eyes,BUT the bright flash of eternal truth have once again blinded me forever...Good bye and thanks for all the fish...(And don't forget your towel)

When two eyes go blind, use your third eye, you goofball ;).

anunitu
29 Oct 2014, 05:09
Glad I could be of assistance....I will be in my Karmic shelter watching reruns of scooby doo

B. de Corbin
29 Oct 2014, 09:10
The Return of Karma

I recently spoke about some aspects of illusion – the illusion of permanence, and the illusion that different perspectives describe different things. But to understand the operation of Karma, we need to look at the illusion of the reality of existence.

What I am about to write is based on what the Dalai Lama, the well know philosopher Bertrand Russell, and an ancient Greek named Zeno told me…

Here’s the lowdown –

Is the table I am resting my hand on real? Yes. Are you real? Yes. Are cigarettes real? Yes. Was that phone call from my wife real? Yes.

O.K., that’s a whole lot of reality. Where, then, is the illusion of existence?

This is the illusion of existence – that many things exist… They don’t. There is only ONE thing. The table, my hand, you, cigarettes, phone calls, and even my wife are not separate, individual things (formally termed “discrete” things). They are all parts of ONE thing, and cannot, and do not, have any existence in isolation from one another. To believe that they do is to fall into the illusion of existence.

For example – as I write, I am resting my hand on the table. The table supports me.

As the table supports me, I think of you, the reader, and how best to explain my thoughts in an understandable way.

As I am thinking of you, and being supported by the table, the phone rings, so I stop writing, leave the support of the table, forget about you (just for a moment, I promise!), and listen while my wife asks me to pick up a pack of cigarettes on the way home.

After saying “Sure,” I hang up, return to the support of the table, and begin thinking about you again (see? I told you), at which point I realize that this particular sequence of events forms a perfect example to show you that all things are connected, and that the idea of things existing as discrete phenomenon is an illusion.

Change any one of those things and this would be a different piece of writing…

At this point, you may be thinking “Ah! Clever Corbin! I see what you did there. You’ve connected things in your mind. But when I think of things being connected, I think of real, physical connections. Your little trick isn’t foolin’ me!”

So, let’s take a look at real connections – for instance, the scientifically important idea of causal connections, where event “A” occurs, which causes event “B,” as in: “The nurse got Ebola because she was exposed to a patient who was in the contagious stage of Ebola.”
Here, too, is the illusion of existence. Causal connects cannot and do not exist as discrete sequences of events. The illusion that they do comes about because, in order to think about things with our limited consciousness, we need to treat them as if they were discrete sequences of events, and that fools us into believing that they are.

For example, I can say “I had a fight with my wife last night because she was nagging me.”

In this example, my wife’s nagging is treated as the cause of a fight (A causes B).

But a moment of reflection makes it clear that this is such a gross oversimplification of what actually occurred that imagining that this causal connection is an explanation is absurd.

What caused my wife to nag at me? What caused that? And what caused that? And so on…

What caused me to fight when she nagged me? What caused that? And what caused that? And so on…

Follow this line of questioning for a bit and it becomes clear that all events, from the dawn of time to time’s twilight are involved in one, continuous, ongoing chain of causal connections.

The existence of discrete things and events is an illusion.

Reality is ONE thing, which we cut up into imaginary chunks for our convenience – and then forget that we have done so.

Obviously!



So how does this lead to Karma? I bet you’ve already figured that out…



If I do a jerky thing, I contribute to the overall jerkiness of all things, which I then experience because I am directly tied into the overall jerkiness of all things.

If I perform an act of kindness, I contribute to the overall kindness of all things, which I then experience because I am directly tied into the overall kindness of all things.

If I can’t manage to be kind, maybe I can manage to avoid being a jerk. You know, do like the doctors do – First, do no harm.

This is how Karma operates without a Great Cosmic Bookkeeper.

Sometimes we get the opportunity to see this very clearly.

If I bark at my wife and she barks back, I know what I have done to her.

If I bark at my wife and she reacts with kindness, I know what she has done for me.

This takes a whole hell of a lot of self honesty… ethics help, so, on to Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood.

B. de Corbin
29 Oct 2014, 15:24
Addendum regarding reincarnation:

Earlier, in response to what Shahaku had written regarding reincarnation, I stated that the Buddha never taught reincarnation. Based on what I knew at the time, this was correct. However, since then I have done further research and it turns out I was not quite correct. There actually ARE teachings attributed to the Buddha regarding reincarnation. But, whether this is actually teaching the truth of reincarnation is a subject of debate.

Depending on who you ask, the Buddha may have taught the truth of reincarnation.

Or he may have been using reincarnation as a metaphor.

Or the teachings of reincarnation may have been later additions to his teaching, and attributed to him.

Or he may have used reincarnation as a trope to encourage his non-educated audience to act ethically.

Or because he had an extremely long teaching career, he may have changed his views on reincarnation over time.

The idea of rebirth is still important, though, but one may or may not believe in reincarnation. The Daili Lama certainly does...

Shahaku
31 Oct 2014, 10:02
Because Corbin vaguely mentioned it. Imma gonna put on my lecture face and talk about art. FYI, for those that don't know, my major was in studio art, which also required a heavy dose of art history. Since I didn't and don't care for European art history, I took to studying Asian and African art (hence the image of an African mask for my pic on here). In other words, I actually have a serious educational background here and do know what I'm talking about. And I'm telling you, Buddhist art is magnificent. As a matter of personal opinion of course. I will ask you to bear with me on images since I have to pull them from the net. I don't have access to the university catalog anymore, unfortunately.

Buddhist art covers everything from the giant statues around India and the general area to the Maitreya Buddha's you can pick up all over the place, even here in America (that would be the fat Buddha). From the start of Buddhism to the modern day.

This is a pretty typical statue that is displayed showing the Buddha touching the earth. I mentioned this previously. It refers to Siddhartha Guatama at the time he was tempted by Mara and called upon the earth as his witness. At times these depictions will either show him sitting on lotus blooms or sitting under the Bodhi tree.
https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRXjoB7utHUAxBtM2FLom4vtPCxpuZE0 k2ocj1yK9pr1NC6CMZI (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shamansmarket.com%2Fsacred-items%2Fbuddhist-tools%2Fstatues.html&ei=08hTVN4wkvjJBIbCgLAM&psig=AFQjCNG1_AkvwUMKfjRfleqCFXbZCFZ1Fw&ust=1414863405762276)



That's a modern version and this is a bit more historical:

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQZr7jEXbdkFfK-ICygt4qoThVfc47zlSzE3YNQr2kTu63VJA7u (http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fepoc2.cs.uow.edu.au%2Fbrooklyn_m_ 15000_ws%2Fsimilarity%2Findex.php%3Fo%3D94270%26sh owstats&ei=jMVTVMfUJcL-yQSDzILgDQ&psig=AFQjCNGNSdPvsUDDEScMsK8x_l1ajzziMA&ust=1414862480540966)

One of the biggest issues with the most ancient Buddhist art is that it's been lost. Even many of the great statues were destroyed when India was taken over by Pakistan (my history not related to art is a lot more shaky so someone can fill in those details). Statues such as this one which are amazing for the effort that would have had to gone into them for scale alone

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You also have statues of the Buddha laying down, representing the story of his death (an interesting one I'll get back to)
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3Nl76TbQ8err9_QXL2ezpu36AolNjO RuK-0t-7kIgVApDTszE4Q



And the Maitreya Buddha, a topic to return to.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTik-_zbEre5zcl2UgqG0zP0JauYi-2G5cRm5DO4KySX-HzX4Q2
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQUBABhhRAPDfJl93hL3h0pzoRq1mVaa _yy1Uk6V5ObMs9YEU35

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These are all just examples of statues that have been seen throughout Buddhist history. There are also paintings, murals, texts (of which the calligraphic nature of some texts can be considered art), textiles, and meditative art like mandalas.

On mandala's. Often the purpose is to focus the mind and contemplate an idea. And at their heart is the transience of all things. Mandalas are traditionally made of colored sand, poured into a design. They are intricate in their details and take a significant amount of time to make and the monks typically contemplate the meaning of a particular mandala the entire time the make it, anywhere from a few hours for something small and simple to years for large and intricate mandalas. Then, when it's finished, it's swept away, symbolizing how all things come to an end, the transience of nature. I find this whole ritualized process very beautiful and full of meaning, often more so than the many other forms of art found in the Buddhist world and culture.
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcStHP81u_00eVvK6Q84zYjKreBh8z1hv jyB2UadnbQVCwQNTTTohQ

Paintings. Paintings often depict stories of the Buddha's life, or one of the many boddhisattvas, or future Buddha's.

Apparently I'm reaching my limit... I will come back to this.

kazumi
29 May 2015, 23:32
These (type of) Buddhist teachings really appeal to me. (Maybe subconciously influenced by things I've heard?) Before reading into it better, I had similar ideas about how to 'end suffering'. And that other translation of dukkha really makes sense! I read yet another in The Noble Eightfold Path The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi, but this one clears it up. I look forward to reading more by you two.

& as a side note, I've been getting more interested in Alchemy too. Being inspired by those two can work out well, I think. Still to read the Golden Tractate a few times though :p I remember reading it as a recommendation somewhere on this forum...

B. de Corbin
03 Jun 2015, 11:46
< Quote of Roland's post has been removed by Staff >

Pardon my ignorance, I am but an egg.

Let me make sure I understand: the "second turning" is to Buddhism what Christianity is to Judaism - an evolution, amplification, correction, and addition (IF one is a Christian), and the "third turning" is what Mormonism is to Christianity - an evolution, amplification, correction, and addition (IF one is a Mormon)?

In other words, one chooses to accept or reject based on one's own lights? Or ignorance, as the case may be.

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Hey Rolond. I intend to reply in much more detail later, once in home and have a computer available, but I just wanted to ask what's your experience? Where are you coming from, getting your information, etc?

His Tibetan guru, he said.