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Why is Buddhism becoming so popular?

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  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • image

      Indeed the perception of Buddhism has changed over the years as more people have a better understanding of the Buddhadharma. Observing the trends, I am quite optimistic of the Buddhist development not only locally but also abroad, especially in the Western countries where many venerables and masters have been putting much attention to.

      There is one point I would like to make note however: the newspaper article does stress on the right understanding of Buddhism, and also practises like Meditation which is very important. However Buddhism is essentially beyond a philosophy. I love Buddhist philosophy, but also recognises that such truths realised by the Buddha is beyond any/simply a system of thoughts. It is also a way of life. It is a Culture of Blissful living.

      The majority of us have the concept that all religions are the same: they all teach us to be good. Indeed, most religions teach to avoid all evils and do all that are good. However, apart from practising virtuous deeds and avoiding unvirtuous and evil conducts which is very important, purifying one’s mind is the underlying tenet of Buddhism. We recognise that the Mind is the source of it all - bliss, sufferings, Greed, Hatred, Ignorance, they are all caused by the Mind.

      Many have turned to Buddhism for solutions to their lives, or seek a happier existence... for the innate desire of all mankind is of Bliss. Rare opportunity is it for one to meet the dharma, Rarest is it for one to meet one who live a Noble Life. And as Buddhists - we all try to live a Noble Life.

      Below is a conversation recorded by an American Ven. Jue Hsing who is a disciple of my Master:

      Ven. Jue-Hsing

      A scholar once asked, "Buddhism seems a great theory, and I find it useful. Is Buddhism a Philosophy?"
      "Master Shen-Kai once said 'Buddhism is not Philosophy but beyond Philosophy,'" I replied.
      "Why so?" The scholar asked.
      "Philosophy is a system of thoughts based upon logical reasoning." I answered. "However, Buddhism is about realizing truths while detaching from thoughts."

      Why is Buddhist so attractive in this era? It is because Buddha was just like a scientist - although not a materialistic one. He had taught us ideas and ways that scientists had only discovered recently - or has never discovered . It is a science of the Mind - the teachings of Buddha are also like Science. He teaches the teachings, but you do not blindly follow his teachings. You "experiment" it, just like Science. Once you find that the teachings is up to your experience, and that it is Right, then you follow it and live up to it. Buddhism is against dogmatism. As the Kalama Sutra says:

      "Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the
      spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience.Do not believe in anything simply because you
      have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do
      not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is
      written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and
      elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is
      conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

      - the Buddha


      Buddhism is one that is very compatible with modern world and modern living. In fact - it will always be compatible as long as we have yet liberated our minds.

      “If there is any religion that would cope
      with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.” Albert Einstein

      "Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity", Albert Einstein


      Buddhism also shares another common view with Albert Einstein, in that of expanding our compassion to encompass all other sentient beings into Unity. In this way there shall be no more wars or violence. Buddhism had no records of religious war in history at all as Buddha taught non-violence, non-aggressing, Loving Kindness (Metta) and Compassion (Karuna). The Buddha's Love is no ordinary Love - It is Love that is selfless, as the teaching of No-self emphasized in Buddhism. It is unconditional. He does not discriminate who is who, for he loves even one who is deluded by ignorance and is "evil". He bears no hatred for such beings at all...

      "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.", Albert Einstein

      And yes, it is spreading very fast in the Western Countries.... this was even foreseen centuries ago by Padmavamsava, a highly enlightened Buddhist Saint who brought the Dharma into Tibet. It was also mentioned in other tantras apart from this. Padmavamsava said this in a famous prophecy:

      "When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheel, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the world and the Dharma will come to the land of the Red Man."

      In this prophecy, Iron Bird refers to our Aeroplanes, Horses running on wheels refers to land transport like cars, Dharma means the Truths, teachings taught by the Buddha, while "Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the world" refers to the recent persecution of Tibet by Chinese, causing Tibetans going throughout the world (in exile), thus allowing Buddhism to spread. (otherwise Tibet would still have been a nation closed to foreigners)

      Indeed the time has come for such occurence. Throughout the world Buddhist missionaries to spread the dharma has been very successful - the Westerners have been very receptive to the teachings of the Buddha. My Master has also foreseen the needs to spread the Dharma to the West - the conditions were right. Towards the end of his life, he has been very busy going back-and-fro between Taiwan and the U.S.

      In terms of Statistics, Buddhism is currently the Fastest Growing religion in Australia, Canada, and noteable several countries in Europe, and is also growing very fast in U.S, where the percentage of Buddhist Population in U.S quickly rose from near zero to 2% of the population (around 5 million Americans are Buddhists currently) in recent decades, and the numbers of Buddhists are still rising steadily over the years. What's more, the Dalai Lama has in last year became the most popular religious leaders in the cities which were polled in Canada.

      Anyway, a Happy Vesak Day, it is the 2549th year since Buddha entered into parinirvana. Hopefully all of you can visit a Dharma Centre or a Buddhist Monastery to observe and take part in the Vesak ceremonies (including the symbolic Hot Showering of the Baby Buddha). Have a nice weekend Smile

      If you have any questions regarding anything, let us discuss them here Smile

      Edited by An Eternal Now 20 May `05, 9:28PM
  • badzilla's Avatar
    32 posts since Mar '05
    • i oso wonder why so many ppl believe in this religion?

      u believe in reincarnation.

      ok.

      for example im feeling down

      distressed

      devastated

      i think i commit suicide oso nvm

      coz why?

      reincarnate mar.

      the most i go to hell?

      dunno how u all believe lar.

      got hell? at the same time got reincarnation.

      contradicting.

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Originally posted by badzilla:
      i oso wonder why so many ppl believe in this religion?

      u believe in reincarnation.

      ok.

      for example im feeling down

      distressed

      devastated

      i think i commit suicide oso nvm

      coz why?

      reincarnate mar.

      the most i go to hell?

      dunno how u all believe lar.

      got hell? at the same time got reincarnation.

      contradicting.

      Buddhism is beyond simply a belief system that is to be followed. Buddha has himself experienced and seen the truth - and he, out of compassion, teaches these precious truth to us. However he does not ask us to blindly believe, but to see for yourself, experience it. This is as part of avoiding Dogmatism. On the other hand, things that we have not seen or experience, we keep an open mind. This is also avoiding dogmatism.

      "i think i commit suicide oso nvm"
      If a person were to think of such things, according to Buddhism, such a person is very foolish and ignorant. A Human birth is a very precious thing - as it is the best opportune time to practise the Dharma. Because of this even some of the Devas (heavenly beings) like a human rebirth.

      Not only that, such a cause will certainly create karmic consequences that leads to more miseries and sufferings. The way to remove suffering is not by this. If a person is suffering, depressed, instead of seeking a solution to this suffering, instead he brought on more sufferings to himself. Such a person is thus very foolish.

      Buddha was a teacher of Liberation - that is to remove all sufferings from our Minds through Enlightenment and Liberation. In summary, a liberated mind no longer holds to the view of "Self", thinking "I am this... I am that...", "This is MINE...", etc etc... all the miseries are caused by the "I"... that also leads to the 3 poisons of Greed, Hatred, Ignorance. A fully liberated person's mind is completely calm, at peace, in equanimity, abiding in Nirvana where craving and clinging/attachment has ceased. Such a person abides in the Highest Bliss, of Nirvana. This is also the permanent way of removing sufferings - not by Indulgence in other things, or silly actions like committing suicide.

    • A person who committed many evil deeds in his life may be reborned in the Hell realm to suffer for kalpas of years which is a very very long time. But eventually after his karma is exhausted he may be reborned in a higher realm – perhaps the Spirit or the Animal realms. There they have to suffer more bad karma… before being able to be reborned as a Human again. Such is usually a case for a person to have committed the karma for hell rebirth.

  • DriftingGuy's Avatar
    6,923 posts since Feb '05

    • Is it possible that one adopt the teachings and philosophies of buddhism without the belief of supernatural things such as heaven/hell/reincarnation etc?

      I mean I can identify myself with some of the teachings and ways of life but I find it hard to believe in the existence of Buddha as a being in heaven etc

      Question

  • badzilla's Avatar
    32 posts since Mar '05
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
      Buddha has himself experienced and seen the truth - and he, out of compassion, teaches these precious truth to us. However he does not ask us to blindly believe, but to see for yourself, experience it.

      .

      buddhism is ÎÞÉñÂÛ

      i hope u can read the 3 words.

      hmm. WHO? WHO's the one who judge anyone, everyone? If im not wrong. If one attains enlightenment, he/she finally becomes buddha. Yes, and who is the one to judge if you attains enlightenment? There must be someone who judge. Yeah? It's all human thinking i would say. WHO JUDGE Buddha? if you say that he's the one who judge. how can he judge? And Buddha is not the creator of all living things, he cant be the one who judge.

      well. If i dont suicide. ok. i lead a gd life. i do not kill, nor hurt anything. i am not a buddhist. i die of old age. WHAT becomes of me? there is no consequences and there's no difference between believing or not. u see.

      Because of this even some of the Devas (heavenly beings) like a human rebirth.

      What's your point? Question

      Buddha was a teacher of Liberation - that is to remove all sufferings from our Minds through Enlightenment and Liberation. In summary, a liberated mind no longer holds to the view of "Self", thinking "I am this... I am that...", "This is MINE...", etc etc... all the miseries are caused by the "I"... that also leads to the 3 poisons of Greed, Hatred, Ignorance.

      I would say, as long as you're a human being. You will surely have these 3 characteristics. I dont believe there's a perfect person once that person believes in Buddha.

      A fully liberated person's mind is completely calm, at peace, in equanimity, abiding in Nirvana where craving and clinging/attachment has ceased. Such a person abides in the Highest Bliss, of Nirvana. This is also the permanent way of removing sufferings - not by Indulgence in other things, or silly actions like committing suicide.[/b][/quote]

      How? i dont think there's one extremely dedicated buddhist can forever, be calm and at peace.

      *dont worry i wont commit suicide for the sake of reincarntion(which i think is crap). hmm, it's really cheeeem...

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Originally posted by DriftingGuy:
      Is it possible that one adopt the teachings and philosophies of buddhism without the belief of supernatural things such as heaven/hell/reincarnation etc?

      I mean I can identify myself with some of the teachings and ways of life but I find it hard to believe in the existence of Buddha as a being in heaven etc

      Question

      Rebirth is a major concept in Buddhism, in fact we don't only get reborned when we die. We are reborned every single passing moment. "Birth and death" happens in a split second continuously... in such a short time that we are unable to be aware of it. As such there is no permanently existing self. However only in deep meditative state that you will be aware... but there are also many people who have experienced this.

      The 6 realms, are Seen by Buddha himself with his supernormal powers. Such supernormal powers are not really superstitious things. Even today there are many venerables/monks or perhaps even laypersons who have such powers. This is a byproduct of deep Samadhi (one pointedness, concentration) practise. Somewhere along your path to Buddhahood you will surely develope such powers, but it is IMPORTANT not to have this as your goal to your spiritual practise.

      Why Buddha is like a scientist? Because he experienced the truths, told us, but that is not good enough. We have to experience it... "experiment" on it... like a "spiritual scientist". Not simply blindly following it. For me, I believe in rebirth and the different realms although I have not recalled my previous life yet... (i'm also new to Buddhism Razz) because of many many stories I heard and even some sort of evidences.. and is also a scientifically possible phenomenon.

      If you cannot fully believe in Rebirth, most importantly, start reading about Buddhism, start practising, attend dharma talks, talk to dharma teachers or venerables if you have doubts or clarify your understanding, and keep an open mind. Because in whichever case, if we do not keep an open mind, we fall into the trap of dogmatism, insisting that our views must be right.

      Edited by An Eternal Now 20 May `05, 10:47PM

    • buddhism is ÎÞÉñÂÛ

      i hope u can read the 3 words.

      Yes I can read after changing my IE encoding. Wu Shen Lun... not sure if u mean atheist? Buddhism is not atheist (it is a little extreme) but more like agnostic. Meaning whether God exist or not isnt something important in Buddhism; it is not even a Religion if your definition is that as a religion we must worship a supreme being or deities/gods. However... we believe that heavenly beings exists (devas)... but we do not worship them. Also Buddha did not accept the view of a Creator God. Buddha himself has already refuted claims by the Mahabrahma, king of the 1st Jhana Brahmic world where even devas below this heavens treat him as all-knowing Creator. Information about this could be found here: http://buddhism.sgforums.com/?action=thread_display&thread_id=98028&page=2

      hmm. WHO? WHO's the one who judge anyone, everyone? If im not wrong. If one attains enlightenment, he/she finally becomes buddha. Yes, and who is the one to judge if you attains enlightenment? There must be someone who judge. Yeah? It's all human thinking i would say. WHO JUDGE Buddha? if you say that he's the one who judge. how can he judge? And Buddha is not the creator of all living things, he cant be the one who judge.

      Enlightened people will surely know they are enlightened (well, because they're enlightened)! Laughing So how is enlightenment likened? It is likened to a person walking in a dark room (symbolising ignorance) and finally turning on the light (wisdom). Everything just comes clear to him. A wise person will know, an ignorant person would not know. Since Buddha has awakened his Prajna liberation wisdom, he will know. This enlightenment is undoubtable - it is stated a lot of times, and also said by people who have experienced themselves, because it is Real beyond Real. Even attaining the first stage of Sainthood, Sotapanna (Stream-enterer), one of the 10 fetters, "Doubt", is already permanently removed and that person is destined to be liberated, as he has truly experienced the essence of No-self. After Buddha defeated the Maras (devils) who tried to obstruct his enlightenment, he was asked, "Who is your witness that you have attained these realizations?" He put his hand to the earth and said, ‘The earth is my witness’. At which time, there was an earthquake.

      Are there anyone with such enlightening experience in the modern world? Well, I can tell you from what I know, there are a lot of such people. (But they have not attained complete Buddhahood - that would take a much longer time and effort. But ultimately we practise to reach Buddhahood). Even in this forum, there are some people who have reached certain degrees of realisation. Longchen who posted in this forum, for example, have experienced the state of "Pure Awareness". A pure state of awareness can be experienced directly in deep meditation, where mental faculty becomes silented and what is left is only Pure Awareness, your true nature (instead of a false egoic 'self'). In a way, he has reached certain degrees of enlightenment (although he has still a long way to go.). But not only in this forum - there are many other enlightened persons that I know - in the whole Singapore, in the whole World, and even much more whom I did not know. Don't think that there is nobody whose mind is completely pure. There are! Such persons are not ordinary people, they are liberated saints and Bodhisattvas (pu2 sa1).

      But even though we have not reached this level of realisations yet , Buddhists all practise and sharpen 'Awareness'. Awareness of Mind, Speech, Action. If our minds arose a bad thought, if we are Aware, then there will not be any more room for this bad thought to continue... like a chain, like waves. It ceases upon the awakening of Awareness. Like for example.... if you can focus well onto the teacher teaching in the class, then you wont be daydreaming of other things. So Similarly, if you are Mindful of your Mind, Speech, Actions, sentient thoughts would not arise. You also will not scold bad words or unskillful words. You will also not do bad conducts that harm yourself and others. Your mind will be at peace.

      If we can constantly stay focus in the Now moment, (instead of dwelling in the false illusive past or future), being Aware, practises meditation, then one day you will experience the state of "Pure Presence", a state of Unified Oneness.

      As I have mentioned above, Albert Einstein said these:

      "A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

      In this state of Pure Presence, one goes beyond the optical delusion of his consciousness to see himself seperate from the rest of the universe. There is simply pure luminous Oneness. In this state Time no longer exist... such an experience is beyond time and space, beyond the impermanence of arisen forms in the universe. In pure Oneness, there is no Enemies, no Discriminations, there is no Greed, Hatred, Ignorance. There is definitely no more "Evil", as this is the pure state of mind. There is selfless Compassion that fills the entire universe. As being gone beyond the consciousness delusion, this is called Reality. Your true nature.

      In fact there are other religions that have similar experience of "Pure Awareness", a state of Oneness (where the Subject and Object cease; where you and the universe Unifies into ONE whole). It is mentioned in Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and many Christian Mystics and other religions. But Buddhism puts emphasize on No-self and Conditioned Arisings as it is required for one to attain complete liberation (even beyond merely the state of oneness where a subtle 'I' still exist, attaining genuine realisation of No-self). I will not elaborate on this as I have yet to attain such states, neither do you. Until then, we should cultivate hard. I usually never talk about such things to someone who is still new to the understanding of Buddhism... but thought might as well explain a bit to ans ur question. Sorry for being the most unskillful dharma speaker Very Happy

      But seriously it'll be great if you read the basics of Buddhism as it will help you in understanding further. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/basic-guide.htm

      well. If i dont suicide. ok. i lead a gd life. i do not kill, nor hurt anything. i am not a buddhist. i die of old age. WHAT becomes of me? there is no consequences and there's no difference between believing or not. u see.

      Like I said above in the article,

      The majority of us have the concept that all religions are the same: they all teach us to be good. Indeed, most religions teach to avoid all evils and do all that are good. However, apart from practising virtuous deeds and avoiding unvirtuous and evil conducts which is very important, purifying one’s mind is the underlying tenet of Buddhism. We recognise that the Mind is the source of it all - bliss, sufferings, Greed, Hatred, Ignorance, they are all caused by the Mind.

      So even if you are the best among the world - You donate generously, you take part in all kinds of virtuous deeds in relieving poverty of the world, what you are attaining is at most the virtue to be reborned in a Heaven realm - until you have completely liberated from the Samsaric cycle. Under delusion the Maha Brahma, the Brahma who claimed to be Creator, believed himself to be permanent, with no Death. But the Buddha sees beyond his delusion - that even this realm of Brahma is impermanent - and can exist only for billions of years in which later will be destroyed together with the universe.

      Because of this even some of the Devas (heavenly beings) like a human rebirth.

      What's your point?

      I'm trying to point out that a human birth is so precious, that even the heavely beings would like to have the opportunity to be borned as a human to cultivate the path of liberation.

      Buddha was a teacher of Liberation - that is to remove all sufferings from our Minds through Enlightenment and Liberation. In summary, a liberated mind no longer holds to the view of "Self", thinking "I am this... I am that...", "This is MINE...", etc etc... all the miseries are caused by the "I"... that also leads to the 3 poisons of Greed, Hatred, Ignorance.

      I would say, as long as you're a human being. You will surely have these 3 characteristics. I dont believe there's a perfect person once that person believes in Buddha.

      Like I said, Buddhism is not merely a belief-system. It is not like any ordinary religions. It does not demand that you blindly follow him - blindly put your dogmatism and faith into it.

      To attain freedom from the false egoic 'self', and the 3 poisons, one has to cultivate well. Liberation is truly possible, there has been no lack of liberated persons since Buddha's times. (the number of liberated persons, Arhants, are far more common in Buddha's days than today as recorded in the scriptures. but there are still such saints)

      An Eternal Now - A fully liberated person's mind is completely calm, at peace, in equanimity, abiding in Nirvana where craving and clinging/attachment has ceased. Such a person abides in the Highest Bliss, of Nirvana. This is also the permanent way of removing sufferings - not by Indulgence in other things, or silly actions like committing suicide.

      How? i dont think there's one extremely dedicated buddhist can forever, be calm and at peace.

      One does not need to be "dedicated" in the sense that he chants all day, meditates all day, preach all day, just to be liberated. There are many many liberated persons. You may be amazed by some of their tranquility if you have the opportunity to meet such persons. I was.

      Edited by An Eternal Now 21 May `05, 12:13AM
    • Oh one more point: the word "Buddha" means Awakened One/Awareness.

      Update: I have found something which might be relevant.

      • Why is Buddhism Becoming Popular?

      Buddhism is becoming popular in western countries for a number of reasons, The first good reason is Buddhism has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies. It also includes (for those who are interested) a deep understanding of the human mind (and natural therapies) which prominent psychologists around the world are now discovering to be both very advanced and effective.

      http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/5minbud.htm

      Edited by An Eternal Now 21 May `05, 12:24AM
    • Originally posted by DriftingGuy:
      Is it possible that one adopt the teachings and philosophies of buddhism without the belief of supernatural things such as heaven/hell/reincarnation etc?

      I mean I can identify myself with some of the teachings and ways of life but I find it hard to believe in the existence of Buddha as a being in heaven etc

      Question

      Eh wait...

      who told you Buddha was a being in heaven? Buddha was a man from India mah... his attainments are all attainable by us. Even Buddhahood itself.

      Edited by An Eternal Now 21 May `05, 1:19AM
  • badzilla's Avatar
    32 posts since Mar '05
    • Originally posted by An Eternal Now:


      Eh wait...

      who told you Buddha was a being in heaven? [b]Buddha was a man from India
      mah... his attainments are all attainable by us. Even Buddhahood itself.[/b]

      now i see. Buddha was just a man after all..... heh. thanks for the long explaination btw. =) cheers to each of our own belief.

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Happy Vesak Day!

      Yes - Buddha did not claim to be a god, nor God, neither do we worship him.

      We pay reverence to him as he is the World Honoured Teacher.

      May he guide you towards Enlightenment.

  • pinkgal's Avatar
    82 posts since Apr '05
    • badzilla...u believe in ur religion it's ok..cos each of us has our own religion & belief..but religions don't teach us to critisize other religions Smile

  • badzilla's Avatar
    32 posts since Mar '05
    • Originally posted by pinkgal:
      badzilla...u believe in ur religion it's ok..cos each of us has our own religion & belief..but religions don't teach us to critisize other religions Smile

      Very Happy right. But sometimes i guess human being can go overboard. Well, we may be trying to knock some sense into some ppl, but ended up trying too hard. and. people will of course disregard it that you are critising other religions. a bit sad lar but ok..ok. peace.

  • pinkgal's Avatar
    82 posts since Apr '05
    • Originally posted by badzilla:
      Very Happy right. But sometimes i guess human being can go overboard. Well, we may be trying to knock some sense into some ppl, but ended up trying too hard. and. people will of course disregard it that you are critising other religions. a bit sad lar but ok..ok. peace.

      to some ppl,it may seems overboard and end up wanting to knock some sense into other ppl..but pls..if ppl wanna go overboard abt it,it's their problem..we can't do anything..juz let them be Wink

  • DriftingGuy's Avatar
    6,923 posts since Feb '05

    • No i don't literally mean that Buddha is in heaven... Just that I am willing to adopt the teachings, philosophies and way of life of Buddhism... but not the supernatural,mystical aspects of it thats all..

      And I wonder if thats ok? Cheers Wink

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Originally posted by badzilla:
      we may be trying to knock some sense into some ppl

      I guess you have been too attached to a particular dogma.

      We are not concerned about dogmas and blind faith.

      Keeping an open mind, having tolerance, is very important.

      The reason why there are wars (religious being one major cause in many case) in the world is precisely because each person has his own dogmas and view of point, and he is very attached to it.

      I understand that each of us have different views - even Buddhists. But the most important thing is that we do not become attached to them. Attachment only causes miseries and sufferings.

      Buddhists have never fought wars in name of Buddhism in history at all. Buddhism has until now remain as peaceful.

      Instead of trying to evangelise one's faith, we should focus on promoting virtuous and meritious thoughts, speech, and acts. We should help each other, and spread the message of Loving-Kindness and Compassion. We should work together to clear the world of Greed, Hatred, Ignorance, and make a Pure Land out of this world.

      When the minds are pure, the land is pure. Just like Amitabha's Pure Land.

      How come Buddhists don't evangelise or preach aggressively - yet it is rising in popularity? Buddha has made a statement about Speech before:

      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      Kinds of speech to be avoided by contemplatives

      "Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to talking about lowly topics such as these -- talking about kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not -- he abstains from talking about lowly topics such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

      "Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these -- 'You understand this doctrine and discipline? I'm the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You're practicing wrongly. I'm practicing rightly. I'm being consistent. You're not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You're defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!' -- he abstains from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue."

      -- DN 2

      Ten wholesome topics of conversation

      "There are these ten topics of [proper] conversation. Which ten? Talk on modesty, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release. These are the ten topics of conversation. If you were to engage repeatedly in these ten topics of conversation, you would outshine even the sun & moon, so mighty, so powerful -- to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects."

      -- AN X.69

      Edited by An Eternal Now 22 May `05, 11:34PM
    • Originally posted by DriftingGuy:
      No i don't literally mean that Buddha is in heaven... Just that I am willing to adopt the teachings, philosophies and way of life of Buddhism... but not the supernatural,mystical aspects of it thats all..

      And I wonder if thats ok? Cheers Wink

      This is also your karmic affinity with the Buddha.

      Anything - no matter how you treat the Buddha - even insulting the Buddha (not pointing at you or anyone in this forum), the Buddha simply says "This is also karmic conditions." Smile

      You can start attend dharma talks, read Buddhist books, attend courses, and start practising in life. It is OK if you cannot accept certain aspects as our understandings of the world is limited, our human organs are still unable to perceive many things in this vast universe.

      If you can really practise well, I'm sure one day you will reach the same realisation and understandings as the Buddha.

  • badzilla's Avatar
    32 posts since Mar '05
    • i heard that even buddhists now have “shi(1) ge(1)” like hymms. During funerals, they sing too! Chants aside? And some even have the purple cloth drape across their shoulders. Yes, and i feel that they are quite similar to another religion. Unfortunately, it seems that the real meaning of the cloth draping across the shoulders is being abused, it is more like an insult. Well, im not aiming at all of the buddhists, but some.. Sadly…

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Originally posted by badzilla:
      i heard that even buddhists now have "shi(1) ge(1)" like hymms. During funerals, they sing too! Chants aside? And some even have the purple cloth drape across their shoulders. Yes, and i feel that they are quite similar to another religion. Unfortunately, it seems that the real meaning of the cloth draping across the shoulders is being abused, it is more like an insult. Well, im not aiming at all of the buddhists, but some.. Sadly...

      I am not sure what they sing in the funerals.

      But it is perfectly OK to have choir in Buddhism. The culture of singing in Buddhism has been for a very very long time. More than centuries, apart from sutra chanting.

      My dharma centre also promotes our own Choir and our songs. Anyone who wants some Buddhist songs, can message me, give me their MSN contacts, I'll be more than glad to send them.

      "And some even have the purple cloth drape across their shoulders."

      i'm not sure what you meant by this though.

  • pinkgal's Avatar
    82 posts since Apr '05
    • Originally posted by badzilla:
      i heard that even buddhists now have "shi(1) ge(1)" like hymms. During funerals, they sing too! Chants aside? And some even have the purple cloth drape across their shoulders. Yes, and i feel that they are quite similar to another religion. Unfortunately, it seems that the real meaning of the cloth draping across the shoulders is being abused, it is more like an insult. Well, im not aiming at all of the buddhists, but some.. Sadly...

      the shi ge has the chanting scripts in it..go and buy 1 and listen..it's gd Wink
      well..u're indirectly aiming at all the buddhist u noe..but as a buddhist,i wun argue back..u can aim at all the buddhist as u like..it's ur freedom..i can't stop u rite..mayb u shd start to understand other religions too and not juz tryin to talk bad things abt other religions ya??different religions shd also be together in harmony

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Originally posted by badzilla:
      i heard that even buddhists now have "shi(1) ge(1)" like hymms. During funerals, they sing too! Chants aside? And some even have the purple cloth drape across their shoulders. Yes, and i feel that they are quite similar to another religion. Unfortunately, it seems that the real meaning of the cloth draping across the shoulders is being abused, it is more like an insult. Well, im not aiming at all of the buddhists, but some.. Sadly...

      Oh about hymns... Buddhists have hymns for milleniums already wot.

  • catch a falling's Avatar
    3 posts since Jun '05
    • Dear all,

      In 2003, there was a Buddhist Hyms Song Writing Competition. It was an international event organised by Fo Guang Shan. It was the first of its kind in Singapore.

      Last year, the semi-finals in Singapore was held in July. Around 20 participants competed in the semi-finals, each of the participants was given a trophy, but only the top 3 winners received prizes.

      The 3 winners and another 3 participants (one of which is a Roman Catholic) then represented Singapore and competed with more than 80 groups from 50 over countries and cities (including Brazil, Spain, Portugal, France, USA, Canada, Hong Kong etc) in the Grand Finals held in Taipei. The Grand Finals was held in September, it lasted for four days. The Singapore participants won a few awards. Fo Guang Shan has selected a few songs chosen from all the entries and cut an album, most of the songs are very commercial in terms of melody and song arrangement. The songs can also be heard online.

      Fo Guang Shan organised another song writing competiton again this year, but we were told it is going to be the last. The first round was a closed selection, which just ended on 27th June. The semi-finals in Singapore will be held on 17th July and the Grand Finals will be held in Taipei this September.

      I will keep everyone updated.

      Amitabha

    • Many very highly educated Westerners that studied Neurology, Quantum Physics, Psychology etc became Buddhist as they realise Buddhism goes beyond the parameters of science into an area totally outside the purview of science to seek ultimate happiness beyond which there is nothing to achieve. The parallel between Buddhism and science ends with the stand on law of causation and Buddhism surpasses modern science in facing problems of achieving mental liberation.

      They are also attracted by the non-dogmatic approach in Buddhism and the common sense to question and finding the truth by oneself.

      Thomas J McFarlane wrote to show how modern scientific and Buddha's teachings reveal the same results, and touches on the essential nature of energy and matter, the relationship between subject and object, and the limits of language in understanding and describing reality.

      French Buddhist monk Ricard and Vietnamese-born astrophysicist, Professor Trinh Xuan Thuan of University of Virginia, wrote a book . This book explores questions such as how did the universe come into being and what is the meaning of human life against the blackness of infinity? Both authors provide plenty of data that support Albert Einstein's declaration that "if there is any religion that could correspond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism".

      Mr Matthieu Ricard worked for his PHD degree in biochemistry at the Institute Pasteur. After completing his doctoral thesis in 1972, he decided to forsake his scientific career and concentrate on Tibetan Buddhist studies. A judge in UK is Buddhist. There are around 5 million Buddhists in USA, and 700000 in France. The numbers are still growing very rapidly. There is a European Buddhist Union with official website, introducing their schools and monasteries. The monasteries and Buddhist schools in Australia are all listed on a website, with a sitemap guiding the visitors to search for the different schools in different parts of a vast country.

      It is very obvious that many well educated people, including the highly educated ones in the West (not just any ordinary degree.. but PHD and doctorate in advance Science) view Buddhism as Science and Education and appreciate its tolerance towards social progress etc as modern; while on the other hand many young people in Singapore view Buddhism as superstition and old-fashioned. The Buddhists in the West are also very well organised.

      Perhaps it is time for us to learn from the Westerners to be more organised (how about a Asian Buddhist Union with a website guiding visitors to different counties and provinces and cities etc? it is not easy but not impossible), how to change the wrong impression of Buddhism in our country and in other countries, in order to spread the Dharma and help more people live an intellectual and blissful life.

  • Moderator
    An Eternal Now's Avatar
    17,258 posts since Sep '04
    • Hello, I agree with you that Buddhism is beyond modern science in many ways. Especially when one contemplates/meditates, he will realise and rediscover for themselves the things that Buddha taught.

      As for Singapore, I feel that common folk beliefs and practices are somehow associated with Buddhism due to a lack of understanding in Singapore. That is due to our folks Chinese culture and our ancestors practises which sometimes are mixed with the worship of Buddhist figures. I think the karmic conditions in Singapore is quite different from the Westerners various ways - Westerners are becoming more receptive to the Dharma. Hopefully so are the Singaporeans Smile

      Hopefully this age will become the age of Enlightenment, the age of Pursuing Bliss for humanity.

      As for...

      (how about a Asian Buddhist Union with a website guiding visitors to different counties and provinces and cities etc? it is not easy but not impossible)

      can you explain more detailed what you meant by this?

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