Buddhism Gets This Right

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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Give It Time
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Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Give It Time » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:38 am

In our religion, we claim to be Christ's church. His two great commandments are

Love the Lord, thy God.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Yet, week after week, we hear about pretty much everything else but those two commandments. We hear about priesthood, tithing, temples, covenants, Joseph Smith, the present leaders, but we seldom have lessons about how to practice those two commandments, especially the second. A TBM, might argue that teachings about the first are part of the very molecular structure of the first. They have a point, from their point of view, I can see this. However, try to extend it into the second and I say hogwash.

We have bishops who make abstinence from coffee more important than healthy family relationships in the temple recommend interview. How many times have we heard about people leaving the church because they're offended, but then do nothing to call people on the carpet for their rude behavior? How many times have we heard that people need to just give rude, inconsiderate behavior a pass? I get that it's not letting haters get to you. It's actually an important skill to develop, but I never hear in the same lesson, "Hey! All you jerks! Knock it off! Don't you know we're supposed to love one another?" So, no. We really do give a lot of mistreatment tacit approval and I think mistreating each other is actually offending God, so it's also violating the first commandment.

By contrast, I recently attended a lovingkindness meditation session at a nearby Buddhist temple. It's easy enough to look up one of these meditations online, but an example is

Focus on yourself, specifically your heart. Send loving thoughts to your heart. Think these words:

May you be peaceful
May you be happy
May you be well
May you be loved

Then you repeat the process thinking of someone with whom you regularly interact, but have no real attachment (like the ward media specialist, if you don't know that person very well).

And the someone with whom you harbor animosity

Then you expand your meditation to take in your entire ward and do the same.

These meditations can vary in mantra and expand all the way up to taking in the entire global population.

How often does this temple do this meditation?

Every week.

That's right. They practice this intentional viewing of themselves, of others we meet, of those with whom we have discord, with our entire communities every single week. The Lama I spoke to said we all are born with the seed of compassion. We just need to give it a regular boost. These meditations don't have to be limited to once a week. They can be done by an individual everyday and many do. They have replaced my evening personal prayers when I'm not too tired.

Treating others kindly does begin with viewing them kindly. The Buddhists practice this every week. In our Mormon churches, we practice this conscientious viewing each other kindly....well...hmm...almost never.

The Buddhists put us away on what should be our core doctrine.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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SeeNoEvil
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by SeeNoEvil » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:01 pm

Buddhism is a beautiful teaching. During my disaffection from the church I explored many religious thought with Buddhism being one. In the end I sort of created my own guide by pooling various key thoughts from the beautiful traditions I studied. Buddhism was the one that resonated the most and where I have found much peace. I was in the church a long time before I figured it out and have seen much change over the years. In primary we were required to recite The Lord's prayer and the 10 commandments. I sang in the choir for years and we always sang about Christ and God. Somewhere along the line the church seems to have moved from following God to following Joseph Smith and cranked up the bar of what is and what isn't acceptable. Even as a TBM I found that alarming. I was taught to be respectful of all people and religions. That too has changed now with their policies of exclusion. We were taught to be kind to our neighbors but now it comes with the ulterior motive to reactivate or baptize and they are history if they don't comply. Why does this church have to be so complicated! Where did those simple teachings of love and respect go? Buddhism does get it right with their simple thought that truth comes from within.
"Every event that has taken place in this universe has led you to this moment.
... The real question is, what will you do with this moment?" - Unknown

"Never arrive @ a point where you know everything - Korihor57

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Give It Time » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:01 pm

I remember those"raising the bar" changes. They haven't worked. I can say that in hindsight. It isn't that raising the bar hasn't worked, but mothers are getting ever busier and then there's that blasted internet. First it was mere distraction, then it was porn and games. Then it was the CES letter.

Finding truth within, taking ownership of your spirituality, is really important to do.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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LostGirl
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by LostGirl » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:10 pm

We were taught to be kind to our neighbors but now it comes with the ulterior motive to reactivate or baptize
This frustrates me to no end. If I were non member and I heard some of these sorts of suggestions I would be instantly wary of any mormon that wanted to be my friend.

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Corsair
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Corsair » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:26 am

This discussion does a good job of outlining the reasons that I listen to the Secular Buddhism podcast.

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Mad Jax
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Mad Jax » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:35 am

This was my first introduction to Buddhism in the most meaningful way, and it doesn't even mention the religion. Yet it permeates Thai culture and can be seen in the important aspects of it:

https://www.awakeningfighters.com/awakepedia/muay-thai/
Muay Thai’s Philosophy is simple: The body, mind and heart all need to be trained. A good fighter only gets better if all three are in sync. One aspect cannot work without the other this means that physical conditioning can only be effective in a fight if the fighter has the dedication, concentration and discipline. Patience is important. A Muay Thai fighter is taught to move with speed, but he is also required to show common sense and intelligence. Muay Thai, like most forms of martial arts, teaches self respect as well as respect for others, parents, teachers and the community. A Muay Thai fighter is required to have a sense of Brotherhood, help others when the opportunity to do so arises and never resort to fighting unless there is no other option available.
If one is familiar with Buddhism, one can clearly see its influence and effect here without having to say it comes from Buddhism. Show don't tell. This is what truly living a belief yields. A sense of the best elements of it ingrained thoroughly into every aspect of life. I think the thing I like about Buddhism is I felt it without ever having known it, when I enjoyed the camaraderie of being a Muay Thai fighter. To me that's what living a belief is.

On a tangential note, I think it's only fair to defend those members of the church who do show their love for others first and foremost, even when we rightly criticize the culture and current emphasis on doctrine over charity. They're out there. They just don't seem to stand out, sadly.
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Give It Time » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:13 pm

Corsair wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:26 am
This discussion does a good job of outlining the reasons that I listen to the Secular Buddhism podcast.
Wonderful! Thank you!
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Give It Time » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:30 pm

Mad Jax wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:35 am
This was my first introduction to Buddhism in the most meaningful way, and it doesn't even mention the religion. Yet it permeates Thai culture and can be seen in the important aspects of it:

https://www.awakeningfighters.com/awakepedia/muay-thai/
Muay Thai’s Philosophy is simple: The body, mind and heart all need to be trained. A good fighter only gets better if all three are in sync. One aspect cannot work without the other this means that physical conditioning can only be effective in a fight if the fighter has the dedication, concentration and discipline. Patience is important. A Muay Thai fighter is taught to move with speed, but he is also required to show common sense and intelligence. Muay Thai, like most forms of martial arts, teaches self respect as well as respect for others, parents, teachers and the community. A Muay Thai fighter is required to have a sense of Brotherhood, help others when the opportunity to do so arises and never resort to fighting unless there is no other option available.
If one is familiar with Buddhism, one can clearly see its influence and effect here without having to say it comes from Buddhism. Show don't tell. This is what truly living a belief yields. A sense of the best elements of it ingrained thoroughly into every aspect of life. I think the thing I like about Buddhism is I felt it without ever having known it, when I enjoyed the camaraderie of being a Muay Thai fighter. To me that's what living a belief is.

On a tangential note, I think it's only fair to defend those members of the church who do show their love for others first and foremost, even when we rightly criticize the culture and current emphasis on doctrine over charity. They're out there. They just don't seem to stand out, sadly.
Thank you for your post and your reminder. I wrote my OP and it hit me two hours later, I wasn't very compassionate toward the church, now was?! I let it stand, though. I thought that I could just be the odd member in every stake who does these things and if this is so important to me, perhaps I could form my own group. That's when it came to a screeching halt, because that would never get approved and would get me in a mess of hot water.

Last October during the Primary SM, they sang about Jesus. The stories and songs I loved and the life I'd committed to live at a very young age. I sat there and I cried. I cried, because it has been my experience that being compassionate as Jesus would have us live seems to tell the world that they can treat you like a doormat. I cried as my testimony of these most important teachings of the church and to me, silently went into a coma. My bishop was pleased to see me crying. I'm sure he thought my heart was being softened. If he only knew. Anyway, shortly after that, I began to make the connection that martial arts are an important part of modifying too much compassion. Providing the yang to compassion's yin.

I agree with you that training the body, mind and spirit is important. In fact, I've heard such thoughts at church. I usually hear them during a W of W lesson and I will as gently as possible say that the church is misinformed about how to go about it and doesn't pursue this with the systematic commitment that Oriental philosophies do.

Back to the compassion toward the church. There are definitely people who try and definitely people who get a whole lot of it right and I give credit where that's due and I'm off to do a lovingkindness meditation for myself for having slipped in my compassion toward the church. There are worse forms of penance and this one I don't mind paying. It's good to be reminded.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Mad Jax
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Mad Jax » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:38 pm

That's a very humble and self aware post GIT, but I hope you don't think I was aiming anything toward you. It's just something that I try to remind myself to do, and it helps to repeat it "out loud" sometimes. I'm glad you got some value out of it, in any case.
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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Give It Time
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Re: Buddhism Gets This Right

Post by Give It Time » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:25 pm

Mad Jax wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:38 pm
That's a very humble and self aware post GIT, but I hope you don't think I was aiming anything toward you. It's just something that I try to remind myself to do, and it helps to repeat it "out loud" sometimes. I'm glad you got some value out of it, in any case.
No worries. I thought you made a good point and I think sometimes we get caught up too much in criticism, here. There are good people in the church who are really trying.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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