The Buddhism thread | INFJ Forum

The Buddhism thread

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Lerxst, Jan 14, 2012.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 4 users.
More threads by Lerxst
  1. Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Threads:
    122
    Messages:
    2,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Why create this? Because short of a few references I’ve made and seen on other threads, I haven’t seen much posted directly about this. There’s a lot of mention about God and other religions but so far, this seems to have slipped under the radar. So, as a practicing Zen Buddhist, let me introduce you all to it :)

    I'll admit that I'm not a perfect student. I still fall into a lot of the usual traps us human beings tend to. Luckily, Buddhism is as much about he effort as it is about he result!

    I’ll be referencing a lot of texts readily available on the Internet. A lot of them are made “public domain” by their publishers for the sake of education, so feel free to do some reading on your own if you feel like it!

    How did it all start?

    Siddhartha Gautama – was born a prince in India to a wealthy Hindu family. Yep, he was “Buddha”. In his early 30’s he fled his palace, leaving behind his wife and newborn son – keep in mind, this was a Hindu culture back around 450 BC, marriages and families weren’t arranged based out of love. His ultimate quest was understanding human suffering.

    Through much trial and error, he came to terms with what he called “the middle path”. Which is basically what it sounds like; not going too far to any extreme in a belief or practice.

    Buddha, reasoned that others before him have achieved states of Enlightenment and that when a person’s “spirit” was ready, they would eventually achieve that same state. The term for that is Buddha… hence the name of the religion.

    And then?

    During his life, Buddha had disciples that followed him and learned from him. All the while, Buddha never claimed to be a god or related to a god in any way, shape or form - he was actually pretty firm about stating that he was just a human.

    After his death, much like Christianity, his disciples spread out from India. Over time, two forms of Buddhism developed – Therevada and Mahāyāna. The first is the more traditional teaching of Buddha directly. The second is translated as “Great Vehicle” which forms a more worldly approach to Buddha’s teachings.

    Buddha originally taught his students how to achieve enlightenment for themselves, in that if everyone practiced that way, no one would ever have to worry about their neighbors. Mahāyāna focuses more on the world and helping others as well, which was much needed when you look at more of a global picture of the world.

    When Buddhism spread north, it went to a little kingdom full of vibrant colors, different gods and an assortment of beliefs. This was the Mahāyāna portion that spread up there and the Kingdom was Tibet.

    Even though Tibetan Buddhism is popular nowadays thanks to the Dali Lama, its foundation is really based on much of those ancient Tibetan rituals, the Buddhism aspect comes secondary to those.

    From Tibet it spread north into China. At the time it mixed with Taoism and helped form the belief of Chan.

    From China it spread into Japan, where Chan was translated into Zen. Which also formed the foundation for Bushido – “Way of the Warrior-Knight” aka The Samurai.

    So that’s the VERY abridged history simplified for time’s sake!!

    What do you believe then?

    Buddhism is confusing for a lot of people since it’s so drastically different! Since we all know a thing or two about MBTI on here, it’s easiest to say that most religions fall into the “Sensor” aspects of our lives; you’re given a list of rules and a set of practices you’re supposed to follow.

    Buddhism strays off more into the “Intuitive” realm in that you’re given guidelines and an ultimate goal. The rest is left pretty open to whatever works best for you.

    There are some guidelines written down in the form of the “Four Noble Truths” and the “Eightfold Path” (Link can be found here - http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html) which most Buddhists try to stick to and keep in their minds all the time. Straying from them, or finding your own way to go about them, however, is part of the appeal Buddhism has for a lot of people.

    If you read over the Eightfold Path you’ll see the translations are such that they can be open to different views and aren’t strictly “commandments” like Christianity and Judaism have.

    In short… Buddhists believe in living our lives for the benefit of those around us. That life is full of suffering in its natural state, but not dwelling on that suffering and accepting it all as part of life is what will ease that suffering.

    Death?

    Simple answer is that there is no death. One of the Four Noble Truths state that “The origin of suffering is attachment”. Buddhists believe in impermanence, that everything is changing and nothing is static.

    It’s when we hold on to the belief that things are going to always and forever be a certain way that we encounter suffering. It’s the same reason Buddhists don’t actually believe in labeling people as having souls. There is a belief that there’s a certain energy that goes into making us all, but to label that as a “soul” indicates a static state of being and since we are always in a state of change, even in death, there cannot be a soul in the common sense of one.

    Reincarnation?

    Is the common term used for what Buddhists believe. It’s a hard one for people to swallow too! In reality though, there are even scientific principles that reinforce this belief – the Laws of the Conservation of Energy for instance – stating that it can neither be created nor destroyed.

    Life doesn’t just come from no where. For that matter, death doesn’t just cause all the energy that gave you life to disappear either. There’s a constant energy throughout the universe that “recycles” itself. You can see it when a creature dies, their body decomposes, bugs eat at it. They then fertilize the soil and new life emerges from the tinniest plants to the largest elephants. Everything is interconnected.

    Interconnection?

    All of the energy in the universe and on this planet interacts with one another. If you eat a bag of potato chips, you’re consuming the energy that went into creating the bag, growing the potatoes- sun light, fresh water, fertilizer - peeling, slicing and cooking the chips and the transportation of that bag via truck, ship or train.

    Another term people like to use is called Mindfulness. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a rather strong believer in this as well. This is what meditation is really about.

    This is a reason many Buddhists are vegetarians, peace activists, environmentalists, etc. Because we all see how the actions of others and consequences of others affect everyone else around us.

    Meditate… how?

    You see the pictures of people sitting on cushions and kneeling on benches with their legs crossed and arms folded. Really though, meditation can take any shape or any form. You can even meditate while driving a car!

    It’s all about letting your mind go. Now, I’m far from a master in this so I really don’t want to teach anybody (I’m still just a student!), but a lot of people think meditating is about clearing your mind. Yeah, try that! See how well it really works!

    What meditation is really about is identifying, acknowledging and passing along the different thoughts that enter your head. Say, “Yep, there’s a thought” and just keep sitting while concentrating on something such as breathing. Eventually, and I can speak from experience, all your thoughts really become just… thoughts. The reality of how they affect you gets diminished when your brain is capable of identifying them as being just thoughts.

    There’s a lot about the how-to’s of meditating. I’d recommend starting with one of Jack Kornfield’s books about the subject if you’re really new to it. He covers things from the basics of just how to sit, to what to think about and how to focus those thoughts once you realize them.

    So how’s this different than other religions?

    Here’s a short list of the cold, hard, basic facts:

    1. There is no single God
    2. There is no technical spirit and therefore, no afterlife
    3. There is no heaven and no hell
    4. Attachment to things, thoughts, ideas and even people, lead to suffering
    5. There are no strict set of “rules” to follow
    6. People are free to explore and question their teachings
    7. No one is expected to ever become a “Buddha” or “bodhisattva” (teacher that helps others) we just do the best we all can
    8. Everything around us, from the dirt we walk on to the company we keep is “special” to us since its all interconnected – we all come from the same place and are made of the same things, we’re all essentially the same

    Ironically, a lot of what Jesus did in his life and was written about in the New Testament, can almost be paralleled with the life of Buddha and his teachings, if you look past the "religious" aspect of it all. The only difference is, Buddha came about 450 years earlier.

    Buddhism lacks the dogma of other religions. There's no "do this because I say to" when it comes to this religion. It's all about trying it out for yourself and seeing what works. Granted, there are certain things that are expected, but as long as you understand the principles behind it all, there's no single, perfect way to go about any of it.

    Buddhists will defend themselves (you've all heard of the Shaolin Monks?) but won't act out in violence... or at least try not to. As religion goes, it's also never been used as an excuse for violence - there have been some Buddhist uprisings, but they had secular causes and were never started "in the name of Buddha" so to speak.

    Buddhism makes no reference to homosexuality or translations that can be considered towards it. The only references ever made are towards living a proper life, which includes refraining from sexual indecency, but not about not being gay. In honesty, it's really a non-issue.

    Since Buddhism focuses on state of mind over worldly, physical items, Buddhists can practice anywhere from a grassy field to a temple. There really is no single place a Buddhist needs to go in order to practice. Monks, on the other hand, live in temples so they can focus their lives towards the teachings. The temples do provide a sanctuary and place of tranquility for anyone else who needs to study or meditate though.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #1 Lerxst, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  2. Bollington

    Bollington Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    Meh
    Hi, [MENTION=2890]Lerxst[/MENTION],

    I've read a bit of Buddhist philosophy and know a few practicing Buddhists, and though I would class myself as an atheist I find it fascinating. Thank you very much for writing this thread, I hope it develops because I would love to read some more thought on the subject. I hope my interest of it as philosophy doesn't offend anyone...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. OP
    Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Threads:
    122
    Messages:
    2,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    One of the things I've always liked about Buddhism is the pure amount of tolerance involved. It really is compatible with nearly any religion when you get right down to the core values... even atheism. There are even a lot of Catholics and Jews that practice Buddhism outside of their churches because it is really versatile.

    Since there's no aspect of God involved with Buddhism, there's really no conflict on that level. You could believe in Allah, you could believe in God, you could believe in the rocks and trees, or you could believe in nothing and still be going down the Buddhist path.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Stu

    Stu Pre-Pottery B Neolithocrat
    Donor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Threads:
    209
    Messages:
    12,138
    Featured Threads:
    15
    Likes Received:
    11,176
    Trophy Points:
    1,751
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Turdetania
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    Insouciant
    can i still drink myself to oblivion every night?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Kmal and muir like this.
  5. muir

    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Threads:
    39
    Messages:
    11,092
    Likes Received:
    1,219
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Great thread, thanks for the link!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. Bollington

    Bollington Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    Meh
    You're very right with that, which is why I'm so interested in Buddhism. I used to find the reincarnation thing problematic, but someone explained it a little while ago in the way that you did in your original post and that makes a lot of sense to me. I think I'm content at the moment to absorb more information, viewpoints and philosophies and just try and live my life in a way which benefits others, hopefully come to more of a sense of peace with myself, and avoid all the shit that goes with most religions! :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. MisterNi

    MisterNi Community Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    ENTJ
    Enneagram:
    3w4
    Thank you [MENTION=2890]Lerxst[/MENTION] that was a very informative primer on Buddhism. :smile:
     
  8. FindingMyself

    FindingMyself Regular Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Threads:
    2
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    n/a
    I'm trying to get more into my Zen practice, myself. I've found that while I agree with the Zen Buddhist concepts, I'm very bad at self-discipline :( I've felt for a long time that if I were to ever leave Christianity again, it would be for Buddhism. Fortunately, thanks to the flexibility of Buddhism (at least in its Western incarnation), I haven't felt the need to.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. paradanmellow

    paradanmellow Community Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Threads:
    6
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    ENTP
    Enneagram:
    6w5
    I'm heavy buddhist at the heart, always seen desire as main cause for suffering and it makes perfect sense without the pomp and drama of the west (not to offend anyone here) so i am fully for it, not so much in the religious sense but philosophically. because it's simple and effective, the best deal there is : D
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. Justbeing

    Justbeing Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9w3
    On a path to enlightenment, eat when you're hungry, sleep when you're tired.

    When you have obtained enlightenment, eat when you're hungry, sleep when you're tired.
     
  11. the

    the Si master race.
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Threads:
    479
    Messages:
    14,397
    Featured Threads:
    9
    Likes Received:
    8,658
    Trophy Points:
    1,112
    MBTI:
    ISTJ
    Enneagram:
    9w1
    Isnt it true that to practice Zen Buddhism one must not practice Zen Buddhism?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. #@&5&49

    #@&5&49 Well-known member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Threads:
    91
    Messages:
    4,278
    Featured Threads:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3,128
    Trophy Points:
    912
    MBTI:
    Inf?
    [MENTION=2890]Lerxst[/MENTION], Thank you for taking the time to write this. I was baptized Protestant and had parents that were Catholic and Protestant. As a teenager I became quite involved with Buddhism as a result of extended family members. Somehow I managed to adopt bits and pieces of all of these religions into my belief system.:juggle: I follow many Buddhist beliefs, but probably fall mainly into an agnostic category. This is an area I'm still exploring. :smile:
     
    #12 #@&5&49, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  13. Justbeing

    Justbeing Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9w3

    True in a way, the idea behind it, is to just be, let go of everything that you see, the sound of one hand clapping is everywhere, you can't miss it ;)

    That comes from a well known Zen Koan:

    A small boy, just ten or twelve years of age, lived in a Zen monastery. Every day he would see many seekers coming to the master to ask for help, methods, techniques, guidance. He also became attracted, so one day he also came in the morning in the same way a seeker comes to a Zen master. With deep reverence he bowed down seven times. The master started laughing:

    ”What has happened to this boy?”

    And then he sat in the way seekers should sit before a Zen master. Then he waited, as seekers should wait, for the master to ask, ”Why have you come?”

    The master asked, ”Toyo” – Toyo was the name of the boy – ”why have you come?”

    So Toyo bowed down and said, ”Master, I have come in search of truth. What shall I do? How should I practice?”

    The master knew that this boy was simply imitating, because everybody he heard came and asked the same questions, so just jokingly the master said, ”Toyo, you go and meditate. Two hands clapping can create a sound. What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Toyo bowed down seven times again, went back to his room, started meditating. He heard a geisha girl singing, so he said, ”Right, this is the thing.”

    He came immediately, bowed down. The master was laughing. He said, ”Did you meditate, Toyo?”

    He said, ”Yes sir, and I have found it: it is like a geisha girl singing.”

    The master said, ”No, this is wrong. Go again, meditate.”

    So he went again, meditated for three days. Then he heard the sound of water dripping, so he said, ”Right now, this is the thing – I have got it.” He came again, the master asked... he said, ”The sound of the water dripping.”

    The master said, ”Toyo, that too is not it. You go and meditate.”

    So he meditated for three months. Then he heard locusts in the trees, so he said, ”Yes, I have got it.” He came again.

    The master said, ”No, this too is not right.”

    And so on and on. One year passed. Then for one year continuously he was not seen. The master became anxious: ”What happened to the boy? He has not come.” So he went to find him. He was sitting under a tree, silent, his body vibrating to some unknown sound; his body dancing, a very gentle dance, as if just moving with the breeze.

    The master didn’t like to disturb the boy, so he sat there waiting. Hours and hours passed. When the sun was setting and it was evening, the master said, ”Toyo?” The boy opened his eyes and he said, ”This is it.”

    The master said, ”Yes, you have got it!”

    This aum is that sound. When all sounds disappear from the mind, then you hear a sound. The Upanishads have made that sound the symbol of the whole, because whenever the whole happens to the part, it happens in that music of aum, in that harmony of aum.




    In regard to your chosen faith, not that there is a problem with it, but Zen applies to everything, every religion is an interpretation of the unexplained, studying Zen, means that you have realised that religion doesn't matter (not just religion, everything).

    Brings to memory one of the first Zen Koans I spent time with:

    Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

    Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

    The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

    "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
     
    #13 Justbeing, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  14. GracieRuth

    GracieRuth Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Threads:
    133
    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    7
    Here is a conundrum. Ideologically I don't relate to Buddhism as it is described because they say the goal is to get rid of all your attachments. My goal is the opposite: as a hard core Romantic, I wish to experience life passionately, to "suck the marrow out of life" "to live life fully so that when I come to die I don't find that I never lived." The odd thing is, that those who know me say that it is quite rare to find a person with so few attachments as I have. I live very simply, and honestly, this is my choice. Yigads, I wouldn't want a big house if you handed it to me on a silver platter, because then I'd have to take care of it!!!! I have my little one room place, with my chickens, my goats, my cats, my garden. I go to bed when the sun goes down, and I get up before sunrise. I cook from scratch, and eat very little. So basically, my buddhist friends say that I make a good buddhist. So honestly, I just don't get it, I guess.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. Justbeing

    Justbeing Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9w3
    That sounds... so peaceful!

    GracieRuth, from what I read, you enjoy life as it comes, you appreciate life itself, you do what you do to survive, that is a very Zen path.

    Everyone walks down a different path, yet more than one person can follow a path of Zen.

    When you wake up tomorrow, go out side and watch the sunrise (which I am sure you do anyway =]) and listen to what's going on around you and clear your mind of unimportant matters, focus on the trees, or the warm vibration from the sun, do this often enough and you will begin to understand.

    I might be young, but I've been at this for a long time now, as much as you can put Zen in to words, you won't ever understand it unless you first be it =]
     
  16. GracieRuth

    GracieRuth Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Threads:
    133
    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    7
    Yeah, I really like zen stories. They just make sense to me. You can always guess how they are going to end. Someday I'll write a book called "The Zen of making Challah (braided egg bread)" LOL The thing is, everything I do is "zen" kinda sorta. It's why I like being Jewish. We take everything that is mundane, and make it iinto the sacred. So feeding my goats is a prayer. Tending my roses is a prayer. I think the Dineh (Navajo) hit it on the head when they tell us to "Walk in Beauty."
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. #@&5&49

    #@&5&49 Well-known member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Threads:
    91
    Messages:
    4,278
    Featured Threads:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3,128
    Trophy Points:
    912
    MBTI:
    Inf?
    Very Nice :smile:
     
  18. Justbeing

    Justbeing Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Threads:
    1
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9w3
    I like that, and to be honest have never really read in to the Jewish religion/culture, but I do find with most religions, they all aim at the same principals as Zen, early christianity was this, same with shinto, but then it was misinterpreted, that's all.

    For example, Christians say that god created us, in his image, he is everywhere and everything, but God is just a label, for what can't be explained, I personally believe that Jesus was just an enlightened fellow, and people in those times didn't know how to interpret his thoughts, since they had never thought about anything like that before, they assumed Father is god, and god must have created everything and we are inferior to him/her/it.

    Heaven and hell, Heaven being the state of mind where you are at one with everything and are filled with pure peace (zen), Hell being the state of mind that most of the world immerses in to, anger, greed, hate, worry... Which is where the phrase "heaven on earth" came from.

    I like religion, in it's oldest form, but I believe that it was never designed to be followed and worshipped, untill someone realised they can use it to invoke fear in the confused.

    It is multiple perceptions, of the same thing.
     
  19. canyouhearit

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9
    I agreee with being mindfull is a great way to train the mind to vibrate at a high level naturally. We are blinded by all the materialism and this creates a line between people. Who has what and who does'nt. Im better than you because I have the fancy clothes.

    We are all one.

    "Zen isnt thinking about 'god' while pealing the potatoes, Zen is simply pealing the potatoes"

    Peace :)
     
  20. GracieRuth

    GracieRuth Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Threads:
    133
    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    7
    But what is "peeling the potatos."
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
Loading...

Share This Page