Are there Buddhists here?

HillsboroMom

Active member
Is there anyone in this group who is actually Buddhist? Either someone who has converted, or someone who grew up Buddhist? I am interested in learning about the religion. TYIA
 

rossum

Well-known member
Is there anyone in this group who is actually Buddhist? Either someone who has converted, or someone who grew up Buddhist? I am interested in learning about the religion. TYIA
Yes, I converted to Buddhism in my late teens.

IMO the best introduction to Buddhism for a non-Buddhist is Karen Armstrong's biography: "Buddha". That gives an outsider's perspective, so is easier for a non-Buddhist to follow. She doesn't get absolutely everything right, but the great bulk of what she says is correct.

Beyond that, there are hundreds of books and websites explaining Buddhism. Try some until you find what you want.

Buddhist scriptures are huge. I would suggest starting with shorter Theravada texts such as the Dhammapada or the Sutta Nipata.

To avoid all evil,​
to cultivate good,​
and to meditate -​
this is the teaching of the Buddhas.​
-- Dhammapada 14:5​

For the Mahayana, the Vimalakirtinirdesa sutra is relatively short, reasonably easy to understand and contains a few jokes -- see chapters 3 and 4. You also get the 'Feeding of the 80,000' in chapter 10.

A major difference from the Abrahamic religions is that in Buddhism you have to save yourself. You cannot expect any god to do it for you; it is something you have to do for yourself by following the Path.

HTH
 

rossum

Well-known member
You are not the first to ask me this...

Why I am Buddhist

The short answer is that Buddhism works.

The long answer is the same but takes more words. I was brought up as a Christian. When I hit my teens I dropped religion and switched to atheism. That was mainly because I objected to the rather too common, "anyone who does not agree exactly with us is damned for eternity, especially those heretics in that church down the road," attitude I found. After a few years I moved away from atheism, I felt that while it did avoid many of the problems with Christianity it was not itself a solution. I looked at different religions to find something that would work for me. None of the Abrahamic religions attracted me -- as a hangover from my atheism I still had a problem with the concepts of God and soul. Initially I was interested in Hinduism. The background of Indian religion provides a very different world view: less exclusive -- everyone achieves liberation eventually, the concept of karma and a much more relaxed attitude to both other religions and to alternative variants of the same religion. Of the Hindu texts the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras were the ones that attracted me most. In particular there is hardly any mention of gods in the Yoga Sutras. That seemed to be an interesting direction to explore.

Reading round Hinduism I inevitably came across Jainism and Buddhism. Jainism has souls but no gods, or at least no important gods. Buddhism has no souls and its attitude to gods is very casual -- like any other living being they need to become enlightened. A mere god is far inferior to a Bodhisattva, let alone to a fully enlightened Buddha. Buddhism seemed to have the elements I was looking for: non-exclusivity, no soul, morality and while it did have gods, they were unimportant and could easily be ignored. So I tried Buddhism. I studied more on it, went to groups and to meditation classes and found that everything fitted together well and it suited the way I wanted to go.

A frequently quoted Buddhist text is the Kalama sutta which says that if we are to accept something then we have to try it first to check that it is correct:

[The Buddha said:] "Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blameable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them."
This advice applies to the Buddha's own words just as much as to anything else. I followed the Buddha's advice. I tried Buddhism, found that it worked and I have followed it ever since.

There is even some scientific evidence that Buddhism works: see Buddhists 'really are happier'.

Buddhism is a very practical religion. It is a sustained attempt to alleviate the suffering of a less than perfect world. Generally it succeeds. Buddhism works.
 

Hark

Well-known member
You are not the first to ask me this...

Why I am Buddhist

The short answer is that Buddhism works.
What assurances of salvation do you have?
The long answer is the same but takes more words. I was brought up as a Christian. When I hit my teens I dropped religion and switched to atheism. That was mainly because I objected to the rather too common, "anyone who does not agree exactly with us is damned for eternity, especially those heretics in that church down the road," attitude I found.
Best to learn His words again with Jesus Christ trusting Him as your Good Shepherd rather than from a church(es).

There are a lot of believers that do not believe in OSAS. There are many that believes those who do not abide in Him and left behind or denied by Him are not saved or never was saved, but they are not hearing Him when He says He will never cast any one away per John 6:37-40 for why OSAS is true and yet He warns believers that He will cut off and cast away saved believers for not being ready when the Bridegroom comes ( Luke 12:40-49 & John 15:1-8 ). Think of it as excommunication from the Marriage Supper for why they are vessels unto dishonor but still in His House for why OSAS is true.

2 Timothy 2:10-26 from that link tells me that as you are a former believer, you are still saved because He still abides in you ( see verse 13 ). even though you may deny Him as a former believer for why He would deny you, ) see verse 12 ) yet He still abides in you per verse 13.

Paul goes on to share an example of how a believer errs and have their faith overthrown in verse 18. But nevertheless, that foundation remains and so does that seal of adoption in verse 19 for why you are to be called to depart from iniquity, mainly, seek the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer for help to see the lies that turned you away from Him so you can lean on Him as your Good Shepherd to abide in Him & to follow Him once again.

You are still my brother or sister. You are still saved, but you need His help to see the errors of other Christians for why OSAS is true but in living this reconciled relationship with God .. we should trust Jesus Christ to be our personal Good Shepherd to help us to lay aside every weight & sin so that we may be fruitful as His disciples and that our joy may be full when He receives us as vessels unto honor in His House.
After a few years I moved away from atheism, I felt that while it did avoid many of the problems with Christianity it was not itself a solution. I looked at different religions to find something that would work for me. None of the Abrahamic religions attracted me -- as a hangover from my atheism I still had a problem with the concepts of God and soul. Initially I was interested in Hinduism. The background of Indian religion provides a very different world view: less exclusive -- everyone achieves liberation eventually, the concept of karma and a much more relaxed attitude to both other religions and to alternative variants of the same religion. Of the Hindu texts the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras were the ones that attracted me most. In particular there is hardly any mention of gods in the Yoga Sutras. That seemed to be an interesting direction to explore.

Reading round Hinduism I inevitably came across Jainism and Buddhism. Jainism has souls but no gods, or at least no important gods. Buddhism has no souls and its attitude to gods is very casual -- like any other living being they need to become enlightened. A mere god is far inferior to a Bodhisattva, let alone to a fully enlightened Buddha. Buddhism seemed to have the elements I was looking for: non-exclusivity, no soul, morality and while it did have gods, they were unimportant and could easily be ignored. So I tried Buddhism. I studied more on it, went to groups and to meditation classes and found that everything fitted together well and it suited the way I wanted to go.

A frequently quoted Buddhist text is the Kalama sutta which says that if we are to accept something then we have to try it first to check that it is correct:
[The Buddha said:] "Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blameable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them."​
This advice applies to the Buddha's own words just as much as to anything else. I followed the Buddha's advice. I tried Buddhism, found that it worked and I have followed it ever since.

There is even some scientific evidence that Buddhism works: see Buddhists 'really are happier'.

Buddhism is a very practical religion. It is a sustained attempt to alleviate the suffering of a less than perfect world. Generally it succeeds. Buddhism works.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

That is what I believe of referring to man that claim they had achieved something and yet they can offer you no assurances.

Christ has risen and has ascended to God the Father above to prepare a place for us ( John 14:1-3 ). Jesus Christ is in us and is with us always, but whether or not, you seek Him to be received by Him when He comes, He will get those saints left behind as castaways to be resurrected after the great tribulation as vessels unto dishonor in His House. I do testify that when any unrepentant believer or former believer dies, their spirit is with the Lord in Heaven as those who die during the great tribulation are per Revelation 6:9-11 & Revelation 7:9-17

2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

BTW most evangelicals have gone astray by giving the altar call of making a commitment or a promise to follow Jesus which many believers go astray from because they find it is too hard. In an interview with Tony Snow, it is no wonder that Billy Graham doubted he would be received by Jesus Christ when he was not always a "good" Christian since his altar call was "if you are not sure you are saved, come forward and make a commitment to follow Christ." Billy Graham judged himself by not keeping that commitment to follow Christ and yet the gospel he had preached before that hypocritical altar call was given that all those that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved which is the gospel truth.

Anyway... Jesus did warn us that there will be false prophets and false teachers for why we need to trust Him as our Good Shepherd to give us wisdom in understanding His words as He is within us & is with us always to help us to follow Him.

2 Corinthians 13:.5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

You are my brother or sister. You are still saved. so I hope you will ask Him to help you see the truth in His words that others have lied in turning you away from Him. We have been reconciled with God thru Jesus Christ and so we can only live that reconciled relationship with God thru Jesus Christ.

 

rossum

Well-known member
What assurances of salvation do you have?
Buddhism is not Christianity. For a Buddhist, the Christian heaven is just another form of suffering. You are in a six star luxury hotel with anything you want on tap. In the basement, some of your neighbours, who you love, are being horribly tortured. Forever. Are you happy?

Separation from those you love is a cause of suffering. The Christian heaven is eternal separation from some of those you love.

I do not seek salvation, I seek enlightenment.

Best to learn His words again with Jesus Christ trusting Him as your Good Shepherd rather than from a church(es).
I know that I exist. I am less sure that one of the various versions of Jesus preached by different Christian churches exists. I will rely on what I know exists.

All men and gods will attain nirvana eventually.

There are a lot of believers that do not believe in OSAS.
The Buddha divided non-Buddhist religions into 'useful' and 'not-useful'. The useful religions have consequences for actions. The not-useful ones do not. OSAS comes perilously close to being not-useful: "I have just killed five people, but because I am already saved I will not suffer any consequences."

All actions have consequences. Buddhism has neither sin nor forgiveness of sin. It has actions and consequences. Karma does not forgive.

Anyway... Jesus did warn us that there will be false prophets and false teachers
The Buddha was before Jesus, so that warning does not apply to the Buddha.

You have referenced a lot of Christian scripture. Here is something useful from Buddhist scripture:

To avoid all evil,​
to cultivate good,​
and to meditate –​
this is the teaching of the Buddhas.​
– Dhammapada 14:5​

A lot of Christian denominations are lacking in the third of those.
 

Hark

Well-known member
Buddhism is not Christianity. For a Buddhist, the Christian heaven is just another form of suffering. You are in a six star luxury hotel with anything you want on tap. In the basement, some of your neighbours, who you love, are being horribly tortured. Forever. Are you happy?
Are you happy that society keeps hardened convicted criminals behind bars?
Separation from those you love is a cause of suffering. The Christian heaven is eternal separation from some of those you love.
An abused domestic wife should never call the cops to keep her from her abusive husband because she loves him?
I do not seek salvation, I seek enlightenment.
You are saved already for having come to & believed in Jesus Christ. You just stopped being enlightened by Him and became darkened by how other errant Christians have judged. You should apply the same level of skepticism towards Buddhism as you do with Christianity. Do all Buddhist required to be nice people? Has a Buddhist never committed a crime against other people? Do Buddhist ever judge other Buddhist?

I testify of a former Catholic because he had thought the evolution theory was true for why he went astray and eventually got into Buddhism. By meditation, he began to hear voices. No teacher nor any Buddhist helped him when he had asked for help. Do you have any enlightenment to help him? Maybe you know something that his teachers did not know?
I know that I exist. I am less sure that one of the various versions of Jesus preached by different Christian churches exists. I will rely on what I know exists.

All men and gods will attain nirvana eventually.
Evil men and seducers will get worse and worse. Society do not let out hardened criminals and you should look at how Buddhists deals with evil in their communities.
The Buddha divided non-Buddhist religions into 'useful' and 'not-useful'. The useful religions have consequences for actions. The not-useful ones do not. OSAS comes perilously close to being not-useful: "I have just killed five people, but because I am already saved I will not suffer any consequences."
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

2 Corinthians 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

There are consequences. When the Bridegroom comes, He will judge His House first as those left behind for not being ready will receive stripes per the knowledge they had for not being ready when He sends that fiery calamity Luke 12:40-49 on the third of the earth ( revelation 8:7 ).

Being damned as that vessel unto dishonor but still in His House ( OSAS ) is why God has to wipe the tears from their eyes for missing out on the firstfruits of the resurrection that is coming at the rapture event. God will perform that miracle because the prodigal son is still son.
All actions have consequences. Buddhism has neither sin nor forgiveness of sin. It has actions and consequences. Karma does not forgive.
Then no one can get better by enlightenment for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
The Buddha was before Jesus, so that warning does not apply to the Buddha.
Jesus was before Buddha as He testified that He had existed before Abraham as the God men had seen. Scripture provided at that thread; Jesus Christ Before His Incarnation As Seen By O.T. Saints;
You have referenced a lot of Christian scripture. Here is something useful from Buddhist scripture:

To avoid all evil,​
to cultivate good,​
and to meditate –​
this is the teaching of the Buddhas.​
– Dhammapada 14:5​
Yet Karma does not forgive no matter what the enlightenment that comes in this life. If Karma does not forgive for this life, then how can it forgive for the next life?

So have you avoided all that was evil in this life? If not, then explain or clarify how you are still a Buddhist if Karma will not forgive?
A lot of Christian denominations are lacking in the third of those.
Which is why many are not ready because they are not looking to Him as their personal Good Shepherd to help them lay aside every lie, weight & sin to be received by Him when He comes as the Bridegroom for the abiding bride of Christ.

Christ will finish His work even in those that have gone astray and get left behind, but better to seek Him now to get the answers you seek for what lies have turned you away from Him rather than find out the hard way that you have been saved and He will bring you Home the hard way for the Father will chasten & scourge every child He receives so that no sin nor iniquity will be brought into His perfect kingdom of Heaven..

That is where the vessels unto dishonor comes from.

My hope in Christ Jesus is that He is going to recover you before He comes as the Bridegroom. And if He does not, He will still bring you Home because there is forgiveness with Him because He loves you as His own whereby Karma does not.
 

rossum

Well-known member
Are you happy that society keeps hardened convicted criminals behind bars?
No society keeps then there eternally. And it is better than the death penalty; the courts can make mistakes.

You just stopped being enlightened by Him and became darkened by how other errant Christians have judged.
You have no idea what enlightenment is. The only person who can enlighten you is yourself. No God, or gods, can do it.

You should apply the same level of skepticism towards Buddhism as you do with Christianity. Do all Buddhist required to be nice people? Has a Buddhist never committed a crime against other people? Do Buddhist ever judge other Buddhist?
Many Buddhists are imperfect and unenlightened. Many Christians fall short of the ideals of Christianity. The same goes for all religions since humans are imperfect and (mostly) unenlightened.

Yet Karma does not forgive no matter what the enlightenment that comes in this life. If Karma does not forgive for this life, then how can it forgive for the next life?
If you attain enlightenment, as the Buddha did, then you are not born again. If you fail to attain enlightenment then you are born again and again and again until you do so. That means you die again and again and again. Death is caused by birth. If you are not born then you cannot die.

Buddhism is not an Abrahamic religion. You are making many errors by assuming that the standard ideas of the Abrahamic religions apply to Buddhism. They do not.

So have you avoided all that was evil in this life? If not, then explain or clarify how you are still a Buddhist if Karma will not forgive?
Karma can affect this current life and future lives. The Buddhist heavens are temporary, as are the hells. Karma adjusts the punishment to fit the crime. It adjusts the reward to fit the good deed.
 

Hark

Well-known member
No society keeps then there eternally. And it is better than the death penalty; the courts can make mistakes.
And yet prison are not known for reforming all criminals, but God promised no evil shall befall anyone in His coming kingdom of heaven just as death will be done away with as well.
You have no idea what enlightenment is. The only person who can enlighten you is yourself. No God, or gods, can do it.
Yet you believed in Jesus Christ at one time. You were illuminated by Him to believe in Him. That is what the scripture says because no man can come to the Son unless the Father draws him ( John 6:44 ). The Father hides the truth from the prudent & the wise and can reveal the truth to even babes so they can believe in Jesus Christ to be saved ( Matthew 11:25-27 ) That means your believing in Jesus Christ at one time was a work of God per John 3:18-21 because the Father knew you prefer the good that you wanted Him to reprove you from evil deeds to live with God and all that is good forever.

Buddhism isn't going to put an end to all that is evil and it promises no such thing as long as Karma exists with sin & death then there is no end
Many Buddhists are imperfect and unenlightened. Many Christians fall short of the ideals of Christianity. The same goes for all religions since humans are imperfect and (mostly) unenlightened.
Then what makes enlightenment of Buddhism more appealing than Christianity when that hope in Christianity is on Jesus Christ whereas devout Buddhists and errant religious Christians puts that emphasis on themselves? No matter how much the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak therefore what is impossible with man, is possible with God. May Jesus Christ wake you up to your former hope in Him because all those religious Christians judge by putting that hope on you and themselves to make themselves good & be good by their efforts or self enlightenment.
If you attain enlightenment, as the Buddha did, then you are not born again. If you fail to attain enlightenment then you are born again and again and again until you do so. That means you die again and again and again. Death is caused by birth. If you are not born then you cannot die.
So you have no assurance that you have or ever will attain enlightenment because after death you have to see if you get born again, but since Jesus is risen from the dead, He still has you even after you die a physical death, that you have eternal life with Him & that you will die no more.
Buddhism is not an Abrahamic religion. You are making many errors by assuming that the standard ideas of the Abrahamic religions apply to Buddhism. They do not.
You made the error that Buddha is older than Jesus when the words of Jesus says He is older than Abraham and declared Himself to be God..
Karma can affect this current life and future lives. The Buddhist heavens are temporary, as are the hells. Karma adjusts the punishment to fit the crime. It adjusts the reward to fit the good deed.
Then there is no way such an existence for that reality to finally end.

And Buddhism fails in helping my friend who was a Buddhist, for during his meditation, he gained the hearing of voices. So what enlightenment can help him?

But scripture says death & hell, and Satan & his fallen angels, and all that love evil and be so corrupted that they love evil to never stop doing evil, will be cast into the lake of fire eternally so that all the promises of God comes true eternally. That is the end of all that is evil along with death whereby we shall live with the goodness of God and with God forever to never be separated from Him and all that is good ever again.

You need His help to forgive Christians for they know not what they do when they err like that judging other Christians as if they are not His or not saved. Scripture only speaks to correcting one another when one goes astray, and if unrepentant, then withdraw or excommunicate from the assembly until they do repent, but they need not hear the gospel again & go through water baptism, because they are saved. It is a matter of abiding in Christ by walking in the light in fellowship with the father & the Son; 1 John 1:3-9

I can share all the experiences that I have gone through but it would not mean anything to you because you have not experienced them, but there are forces of darkness and Jesus did deliver me from them and not just from my sins when I was led astray by the world and the compromising church, and myself even. I testify that Jesus Christ is my Friend as He has and is keeping me from being that dog that returns to his vomit and keeping me from seeking revenge on those who constantly persecute me in defrauding me and even making me sick; Jesus lifts my head by looking to Him on the cross that He prayed to the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do... just as He did for me when I knew not what I was doing even though saved.

May God remind you when you were illuminated by the hearing of the gospel to believe in Him to be saved and seek His face at that throne of grace for understanding His words to restore to you the joy of your salvation, because He still abides in you even as you are a former believer.

If you had to ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness when you were a Christian, and in Karma, there is no forgiveness, then how can anyone truly achieve enlightenment after walking away from Jesus Christ, believing they never had forgiveness from Him? So you may not have hope in Buddhism, but you will always have Jesus Christ because He has you. So do consider that and pray to Jesus Christ today for help in finding the Truth.
 

rossum

Well-known member
And yet prison are not known for reforming all criminals, but God promised no evil shall befall anyone in His coming kingdom of heaven just as death will be done away with as well.
As I said above, the Christian heaven is an eternity of suffering separated from those you love. "Love your neighbour as yourself," and some of those neighbours are in hell.

Buddhism isn't going to put an end to all that is evil and it promises no such thing as long as Karma exists with sin & death then there is no end
Please read what I post. If you don't want to die, then you have to avoid being (re)born. Everyone who is born dies. To avoid being born again you need to attain enlightenment before death.

Then what makes enlightenment of Buddhism more appealing than Christianity when that hope in Christianity is on Jesus Christ whereas devout Buddhists and errant religious Christians puts that emphasis on themselves?
The Buddha attained enlightenment for himself. Many of his companions also attained enlightenment for themselves. People have been attaining enlightenment for themselves ever since. There are enlightened people alive today who attained it for themselves.

It is not easy, but it is possible. Others have done it.

So you have no assurance that you have or ever will attain enlightenment because after death you have to see if you get born again, but since Jesus is risen from the dead, He still has you even after you die a physical death, that you have eternal life with Him & that you will die no more.
Buddhism is a universalist religion; everyone will attain enlightenment eventually. Even Mara, the rough equivalent of Lucifer, will attain enlightenment at some point in the future.

You made the error that Buddha is older than Jesus when the words of Jesus says He is older than Abraham and declared Himself to be God..
Jesus was born in Palestine about 4 BCE. That is the Jesus I am talking about.

You are criticising Buddhism because it is not Christianity. I am criticising Christianity because it is not Buddhism. The basic moral rules are similar between the two religions; beyond that they are very different.
 

Hark

Well-known member
As I said above, the Christian heaven is an eternity of suffering separated from those you love. "Love your neighbour as yourself," and some of those neighbours are in hell.
If they seek to be with God and all that is good, then the Father would reveal His Son to them to be saved. If they never believed in Jesus Christ, then you have to know that God knows them better than you do for why they never believed in Him; because the only reason I see for why they never believed in Jesus Christ is that they prefer their evil deeds rather than be reproved of them per John 3:18-21.

As for Buddhism, I do not see you mentioning anything about it that suggests family togetherness in the afterlife.

Christianity is gaining families because those who do the will of God is His brother, sister, and mother.

Mark 3:32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

If any one you loved that never believed in Jesus Christ is lost, you still gain more.

Mark 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Please read what I post. If you don't want to die, then you have to avoid being (re)born. Everyone who is born dies. To avoid being born again you need to attain enlightenment before death.
But your reference to Karma is that Karma does not forgive. Can anyone live life without sinning? So regardless of enlightenment, Karma does not forgive. Kind of an unending cycle to me. Unless you are meaning that enlightenment can over ride Karma?
The Buddha attained enlightenment for himself. Many of his companions also attained enlightenment for themselves. People have been attaining enlightenment for themselves ever since. There are enlightened people alive today who attained it for themselves.
I just do not see any of them as sharing what that enlightenment is.
It is not easy, but it is possible. Others have done it.
How? They have to come back after death like a ghost or something and say they have obtained it. Not even Buddha did that.
Buddhism is a universalist religion; everyone will attain enlightenment eventually. Even Mara, the rough equivalent of Lucifer, will attain enlightenment at some point in the future.
I am wondering if Khundalini, an eastern mysticism, where they too, do meditation where sometimes they feel or receive power, fire, love, peace, joy, electricity, unstoppable laughter, speaking in gibberish nonsense, and even scary stuff like possessions, have been given as testimonies.

Is that what Buddhism is referring to as enlightenment? You probably should investigate the similarities because Jesus warned about them to Christians for why many churches are falling in apostasy regarding these spirits of the antichrist. Even those who promote another baptism of the Holy Ghost with evidence of tongues are of that evil for why there is no receiving the Holy Spirit again after salvation from the calling of the gospel when is the promise of the Spirit is given by faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus was born in Palestine about 4 BCE. That is the Jesus I am talking about.
That same Jesus testified that Abraham had seen Him and He is the God I AM for how Jesus had seen Abraham.
You are criticising Buddhism because it is not Christianity. I am criticising Christianity because it is not Buddhism. The basic moral rules are similar between the two religions; beyond that they are very different.
Buddhism sounds like Khundalini, and even Gnosticism. When enlightenment can only be obtained by meditation & yoga, then how is it not the same as receiving of spirits as they seek enlightenment or as Gnostics seek secret knowledge by gibberish nonsense thinking tongues are for private use; hence self edification while they fast & pray & in meditation?

A lot of new age methods are aligning themselves to that same methodology? Do you not see the similarity and why N.T. warned against it?

If enlightenment was a truth to be shared by words, then you would not be using the term enlightenment. So since it is a personal experience to obtain enlightenment, then no one can really say that they have obtained it when it only refers to an experience or a phenomenon.

So my criticism involves more than Buddhism as it also includes that which Jesus & the N.T. had warned believers about as coming into the churches Matthew 7:13-27 & Luke 13:24-30 & 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 & 13:5 & 1 John 4:1-6 & 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
 

rossum

Well-known member
Christianity is gaining families because those who do the will of God is His brother, sister, and mother.
If God has a mother then He is not eternal; He was caused can that cause involves His mother. You need to work on your logic here.

But your reference to Karma is that Karma does not forgive. Can anyone live life without sinning? So regardless of enlightenment, Karma does not forgive. Kind of an unending cycle to me. Unless you are meaning that enlightenment can over ride Karma?
Everyone lives without sinning, because sin is not a Buddhist concept. There are wise actions and unwise actions:

Mind precedes all conditions,​
mind is their chief, they are mind-made.​
If you speak or act with an evil mind then suffering will follow you,​
as the wheel follows the draught ox.​
Mind precedes all conditions,​
mind is their chief, they are mind-made.​
If you speak or act with a pure mind then happiness will follow you,​
as a shadow that never leaves.​
-- Dhammapada 1:1-2​

Wise actions result in happiness while unwise actions result in suffering: "As you sow, so shall you reap."

The enlightened generate no new karma for themselves. Once all their previously existing karma, both good and bad, has been worked out during their remaining lifetime then their karma is exhausted and they are not reborn.

I just do not see any of them as sharing what that enlightenment is.
Follow the eightfold path and you will find out.

How? They have to come back after death like a ghost or something and say they have obtained it. Not even Buddha did that.
Of course not. The point is not to come back. How many dead Christians have come back to tell you about heaven?
 

Hark

Well-known member
If God has a mother then He is not eternal; He was caused can that cause involves His mother. You need to work on your logic here.
That was according to the prophesy regarding when the Word of God becomes flesh as the Son of Man to give His life as a ransom for many..
Everyone lives without sinning, because sin is not a Buddhist concept. There are wise actions and unwise actions:

Mind precedes all conditions,​
mind is their chief, they are mind-made.​
If you speak or act with an evil mind then suffering will follow you,​
as the wheel follows the draught ox.​
Mind precedes all conditions,​
mind is their chief, they are mind-made.​
If you speak or act with a pure mind then happiness will follow you,​
as a shadow that never leaves.​
-- Dhammapada 1:1-2​

Wise actions result in happiness while unwise actions result in suffering: "As you sow, so shall you reap."
For Buddha to point out the evil mind is to point out evil and thus sin. If you cited karma does not forgive, then what is Karma not forgiving? They may not have the concept of sin, but sin is evil and thereby applies.
The enlightened generate no new karma for themselves. Once all their previously existing karma, both good and bad, has been worked out during their remaining lifetime then their karma is exhausted and they are not reborn.
Karma cannot forgive but you can exhaust it out of your life by doing good?
Follow the eightfold path and you will find out.
Thank you for sharing, but there is a contention here.

" Buddhism never asks for blind faith, it seeks to promote learning and a process of self-discovery. "

That is not true when they are telling you about what will happen after you die that you will not be reborn when you obtain enlightenment.
Of course not. The point is not to come back.
Seems like everybody that has come back ought to be sharing stories of previous lives, but only a few remnant claims such thing as reincarnation. One can get information by possession or by genetic memory passed on that could be elusive to those claimants; and they do not all point to Buddhism for how they are living presently to not be born again in another life. They seem to embrace the concept of coming back to life again. Scripture says

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
How many dead Christians have come back to tell you about heaven?
Some have. Some even made it to movies. Even sinners have come back, sharing stories of hell for why they believe in God or Jesus Christ.

I do not put much stock in them because it is Jesus having been risen from the dead and has ascended to Heaven that matters to me.

Here is an article on the unexplained darkness at Jesus's crucifixion citing extra biblical sources aka the secular; on that fearsome darkness.

Roman Historian Thallus Mentions Darkness During Jesus’ Crucifixion

Just hope that God may be peradventuring to recover you by reminding you that the gospel is about Jesus Christ; not the Christians.
 

Woody50

Well-known member
Is there anyone in this group who is actually Buddhist? Either someone who has converted, or someone who grew up Buddhist? I am interested in learning about the religion. TYIA
Anyone who does not accept Christ.

Buddhism is self-worship.

We do that well...
 

Hark

Well-known member
Anyone who does not accept Christ.
It can happen to Christians not grounded in His word where they get persecuted and fall away. Some even go into Buddhism.
Buddhism is self-worship.

We do that well...
Some Christians do that too whether they realize it or not? Anything that exalts them when the credit & glory should go to Jesus Christ is self worship. A believer's commitment to Jesus Christ or the 7 Promises of the Promise Keepers' Program are examples.

Galatians 3:1O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Galatians 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage... 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:.. 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
 

rossum

Well-known member
That was according to the prophesy regarding when the Word of God becomes flesh as the Son of Man to give His life as a ransom for many..
Another logic fail. An immortal God can die. You really need to work on the theology I think.

Karma cannot forgive but you can exhaust it out of your life by doing good?
Actions have consequences. Once the consequences are over there is no more karma left from that action.

"Buddhism never asks for blind faith, it seeks to promote learning and a process of self-discovery."
Read the Kalama sutta: "When you know for yourselves..." That is not blind faith.

Seems like everybody that has come back ought to be sharing stories of previous lives, but only a few remnant claims such thing as reincarnation.
If you want to remember your previous lives, then the instructions to do so can be found in the Visuddhimagga, chapter 13. Be warned that it is likely to take five years or more to reach the level of meditation needed.
 

Hark

Well-known member
Another logic fail. An immortal God can die. You really need to work on the theology I think.
Just going by scripture. The Jews have trouble that scripture actually testify of Jesus and that Moses had written about Him.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.... 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Actions have consequences. Once the consequences are over there is no more karma left from that action.
A person can believe that he has no consequence for living in sin or doing evil to others if he believes that is how one survives in this world.
Read the Kalama sutta: "When you know for yourselves..." That is not blind faith.
Do you believe Christianity is on blind faith? Because it is not for He has risen. If He has not risen, there'd be no Christianity.

Buddhism is telling followers to do all those steps in order to obtain enlightenment and yet to start takes blind faith.
If you want to remember your previous lives, then the instructions to do so can be found in the Visuddhimagga, chapter 13. Be warned that it is likely to take five years or more to reach the level of meditation needed.
Dreams have a way of influencing people into thinking it is real and yet upon awakening, they know that a certain loved one is still dead.

There is that state when someone is half asleep, and yet evil thoughts or unbidden thoughts or just plain odd ball thoughts can come in of what you would normally not think when fully awake.

Meditation has been the means for how strange phenomenon has occurred, especially when voiding all thoughts in one's head.

So what safe guards do you have against self delusion?

If a person believes they had lived past lives, what does that say about new people that had never lived past lives? Where did they come from? So to say that everyone had lived past lives for why they are reincarnated, then there are way too many people in the world since Buddha that one can say one person is now living multiple lives in trying not to get born again for the next life today.
 

rossum

Well-known member
Just going by scripture. The Jews have trouble that scripture actually testify of Jesus and that Moses had written about Him.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.... 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Are you that ignorant of Judaism? The Jews accept the Tanakh as scripture, what Christians call the Old Testament. They do not accept the New Testament as scripture. Your error here is as bad as me saying that Christians accept the Book of Mormon as scripture. To the Jews, the New Testament is not scripture but a set of books wrongly attached to the Tanakh.

You have shot yourself in the foot here with this obvious error.

A person can believe that he has no consequence for living in sin or doing evil to others if he believes that is how one survives in this world.
Strict Calvinists believe that. The elect can sin as much as they want and will still be saved. Others can do as much good as they want and still be damned. That is the kind of religion that the Buddha called "not useful".


Buddhism is telling followers to do all those steps in order to obtain enlightenment and yet to start takes blind faith.
The start of the path is on faith. As you progress on the path you can check that the map you have is correct. Occasionally the cloud thins and you can dimly make out the top of the mountain you are climbing. That is enough to give me confidence that I am on the right path.

Meditation has been the means for how strange phenomenon has occurred, especially when voiding all thoughts in one's head.

So what safe guards do you have against self delusion?
Primarily a good teacher. That and experience.

People long for big thrills. Peak experiences. Some people come to Zen expecting that Enlightenment will be the Ultimate Peak Experience. The Mother of All Peak Experiences. But real enlightenment is the most ordinary of the ordinary. Once I had an amazing vision. I saw myself transported through time and space. Millions, no, billions, trillions, Godzillions of years passed. Not figuratively, but literally. Whizzed by. I found myself at the very rim of time and space, a vast giant being composed of the living minds and bodies of every thing that ever was. It was an incredibly moving experience. Exhilarating. I was high for weeks. Finally I told Nishijima Sensei about it . He said it was nonsense. Just my imagination. I can't tell you how that made me feel. Imagination? This was as real an experience as any I've ever had. I just about cried. Later on that day I was eating a tangerine. I noticed how incredibly lovely a thing it was. So delicate. So amazingly orange. So very tasty. So I told Nishijima about that. That experience, he said, was enlightenment.​
You need a teacher like that. The world needs lots more teachers like that. Countless teachers would have interpreted my experience as a merging of my Atman with God, as a portent of great and wonderful things, would have praised my spiritual growth and given me pointers on how to go even further. And I would have been suckered right in to that, let me tell you! Woulda fallen for it hook line and sinker, boy howdy. If a teacher doesn't shatter your illusions he's doing you no favors at all.​
Boredom is what you need. Merging with the Mind of God at the Edge of the Universe, that's excitement. That's what we're all into this Zen thing for, right? Eating tangerines? Come on, dude! What could be more boring than eating a tangerine?​
-- Zen is Boring, Brad Warner​

If a person believes they had lived past lives, what does that say about new people that had never lived past lives? Where did they come from? So to say that everyone had lived past lives for why they are reincarnated, then there are way too many people in the world since Buddha that one can say one person is now living multiple lives in trying not to get born again for the next life today.
In your immediately past life you might have been in one of the (temporary) hells, an animal, a human being, an alien on a different planet or in one of the (temporary) heavens. There are plenty of places where today's humans might have lived their previous lives.

The ancient Indians worked out something that the Bible authors never did; that stars are actually very distant suns, with their own planets. You will find this in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scriptures. For example, in the Vimalakirtinirdesa sutra the Bodhisattva Vimalakirti feeds 80,000 people from a single bowl of rice fetched from a distant planet. See VKN chapter 10.
 

Hark

Well-known member
Are you that ignorant of Judaism? The Jews accept the Tanakh as scripture, what Christians call the Old Testament. They do not accept the New Testament as scripture. Your error here is as bad as me saying that Christians accept the Book of Mormon as scripture. To the Jews, the New Testament is not scripture but a set of books wrongly attached to the Tanakh.

You have shot yourself in the foot here with this obvious error.
There are prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ.

Below is the prophecy regarding their future Messiah.

Zechariah 14:1Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

This same Messiah was prophesied as the One they had pierced as mentioned earlier in that same prophetic book of the Old Testament.

Zechariah 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

There are other prophecies in the Old Testament that the Jews may have read but are not comprehending as scripture that testify of Jesus Christ.

As it is, it is the words of Jesus as being the God men had seen in the Old Testament that even Christians are not comprehending that He was the God men had seen in the Old Testament before His incarnation as the Son of Man.

So you may be all up on Buddhism, but obviously, you have not been all up on Jesus Christ as a young Christian. Do reconsider learning of Him before neglecting so great a salvation and maybe God will restore the joy of your salvation one day.. or even today.. but I dare say you are still His and He still abides in you for you have been saved since you believed in Him at the calling of the gospel. Although you deny Him now, you are at risk of being denied by Him when the Bridegroom comes for not abiding in Him, but He still abides in you.

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Paul gives an example of former believers but nevertheless he points out that foundation remains and that seal of adoption is not going anywhere for why I call you to go to Him for help in seeing the truth in His words to repent from unbelief so you can be ready to be received by Him as that vessel unto honor in His House, rather than be condemned to be resurrected later on as a vessel unto dishonor but still in His House.

2 Timothy 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

So what those other Christians told you was a lie that you had to believe as they do or you are not saved that turned you away from Him.

Many Christians confuse discipleship or running that race is for obtaining salvation but it is about bearing fruit as His disciples and about obtaining the high prize of our calling as that vessel unto honor in His House which is the eternal glory that comes with our salvation by how saved believers are to look to Him as their Good Shepherd to help them understand and abide in His words by laying aside every weight & sin daily to be ready to go when the Bridegroom comes.
 

rossum

Well-known member
There are prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ.
No there are not. There are prophecies about the Jewish Messiah. The name "Jesus Christ" is not mentioned in the Old Testament at all.

The Jews reject Jesus precisely because of those OT prophecies. Jesus did not:
  • Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
  • Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
  • Usher in an era of world peace (Isaiah 2:4)
  • Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel (Zechariah 14:9).
Jesus fulfilled some, but not all, of the prophecies. At best that makes Him a partial Messiah, not the complete Messiah. The Jewish rejection of Jesus is perfectly reasonable.
 
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