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Offline Anatta

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Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:58:20 pm »
Kia Ora,

This is open to Buddhists and non Buddhists ( a free for all) ;) ;D

If you had to sum Buddhism up in one word, what word would you choose  ? And Why ?

Metta Zenda :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline MadelineB

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 12:55:34 am »
sāsana
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Offline Tanya W

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 01:02:30 am »
Buddha nature...

...because our inherent capacity to know and love directly are simultaneously the ground of our journey (where we start from), the path of our journey (how we make our way), and the fruition of our journey (where we are going).
'Though it is the nature of mind to create and delineate forms, and though forms are never perfectly consonant with reality, still there is a crucial difference between a form which closes off experience and a form which evokes and opens it.'
- Susan Griffin

Offline YBtheOutlaw

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 01:50:26 am »
'reality'
buddha started his journey seeking for the truth, the true cause of suffering. and he discovered it and showed to the world the reality of our existence.
 if you asked for two words i would have said 'cause and effect' which is the most basic concept in buddhism. explained simply, 'everything happens for a reason, if you want to remove something remove its cause.'
We all are animals of the same species

Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 01:12:25 pm »
Kia Ora,

Buddhism=Mindfulness

Metta Zenda :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Jill F

Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 03:56:06 pm »
OK, I'll bite on this one.  I read a lot about Buddhism once upon a time, and have incorporated elements of it into my unique take on things.  In light of the fact that one word that sums it up to me does not quite exist in the English language, I will make one up. (And it's still far from perfect.)

Antiego

Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 04:32:51 pm »
OK, I'll bite on this one.  I read a lot about Buddhism once upon a time, and have incorporated elements of it into my unique take on things.  In light of the fact that one word that sums it up to me does not quite exist in the English language, I will make one up. (And it's still far from perfect.)

Antiego

Kia Ora Jill,

Another good oneworder to your credit...

However you might find this quote from a Zen teaching of interest :"One is simple one's experience.Ones ego is the abstraction from these experiences. Ones ego should be viewed as a "convenient" analytic device!"

Metta Zenda :)

"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 09:42:50 pm »
Before I knew much about Buddhism I'd naturally automatically think of a place, which is my one word: "Tibet".

Buddhism is sometimes, in USA at least, so closely tied up with the Dali Lama and that form of Buddhism, that Tibet is always discussed as well. Near where I live, there's a monastery of Buddhist monks from Tibet that was founded in the 1960s and they still live there. Whenever I go to the religious/philosophical section of a book store and look at Buddhist books, most of them are about the Dali Lama. Many times in the media, just the Tibetan monks are shown whenever Buddhism is mentioned, so much of the richness, variety, and complexity of the Dharma is lost.

I also always think of the Monk burning himself back in the early 1960s,even though the protest was regarding Vietnam, not the Tibetan invasion.

Now that I know a little more about Buddhism, my one word is "Dedication".

To practice Buddhism, it seems like a lot of hard work is involved. To really practice, one needs to constantly be training themselves, learning more, opening up. It's so easy to just close down, get into our groove, and never want to get out of it. It takes a lot of strength to stay open, grow, learn, and love.
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Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 10:35:11 pm »
Before I knew much about Buddhism I'd naturally automatically think of a place, which is my one word: "Tibet".

Buddhism is sometimes, in USA at least, so closely tied up with the Dali Lama and that form of Buddhism, that Tibet is always discussed as well. Near where I live, there's a monastery of Buddhist monks from Tibet that was founded in the 1960s and they still live there. Whenever I go to the religious/philosophical section of a book store and look at Buddhist books, most of them are about the Dali Lama. Many times in the media, just the Tibetan monks are shown whenever Buddhism is mentioned, so much of the richness, variety, and complexity of the Dharma is lost.

I also always think of the Monk burning himself back in the early 1960s,even though the protest was regarding Vietnam, not the Tibetan invasion.

Now that I know a little more about Buddhism, my one word is "Dedication".

To practice Buddhism, it seems like a lot of hard work is involved. To really practice, one needs to constantly be training themselves, learning more, opening up. It's so easy to just close down, get into our groove, and never want to get out of it. It takes a lot of strength to stay open, grow, learn, and love.

Kia Ora Henry,

That too is a good descriptive  oneworder, and knowing  what I know(through 'experience') about  meditation and the different levels of consciousness, this monk not only understood sunyata but truly walked the path..."Form is Emptiness-Emptiness is Form !"

Metta Zenda :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Jenna Stannis

Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 11:14:22 pm »
Overrated

Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 01:25:26 am »
Overrated

Kia Ora JS,

Excellent answer...

Many who don't understand what Buddhism is all about think along those lines, just as many who 'do' understand what it's all about think along the same lines ...

Just the same, I would be interested to find out why you think it is overrated ?

I'm not pressuring you for an answer, so you don't have to go into any detail, if you don't feel like it...

On a profound level your oneworder sounds quite Zenish(I'm impressed) ...You're not a Zen practitioner by any chance are you ?  ;) ;D

Metta Zenda :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Jenna Stannis

Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 07:58:36 pm »

I would be interested to find out why you think it is overrated?

On a profound level your oneworder sounds quite Zenish


Well, that you consider my answer to sound quite Zenish probably goes some way to explaining why I think Buddhist teachings (in this case Mahayana Buddhism) are overrated. That is, if you ignore the mystic and eccentric precepts (like not wearing particular adornments or abstaining from a bit of music and dance) you're left with some really obvious life lessons, which basically tell you how to suck eggs. I mean, anyone who really needs to be told not to steal, not to kill and not to lie probably won't be huge advocates of Buddhism anyway. I know that there are many approaches to Buddhism and its history murky -- with practitioners and commentators arguing over whether it should have a more or less spiritual foundation -- but when it comes down to it, it's pretty obvious stuff. I mean, going by the most basic, natural precepts, I could call myself a Buddhist... or not. I just don't see why I would.

Of course, being overrated is just one criticism I have of Buddhism. Other criticisms include the way the nontheistic religion (secular system of self-improvement?) is structured with regard to its practitioners, such as where women are placed. Or the Buddhist approach to reason, which Christopher Hitchens summed up in his book God Is Not Great as practitioners "[putting] their reason to sleep, and [discarding] their minds along with their sandals". And while I am a nihilist myself, I sure wouldn't want to knowingly inflict that particular world view on anyone else, which Buddhist teachings seem to do. And, continuing with thoughts of the top of my head, there's also the matter of the Buddhist stance on abortion, which, like many other vexing issues, including violence, power, wealth, etc., appear to reflect, more or less, the ethics and values of the country where a particular flavour of Buddhism is being practiced.

amZo

Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 08:04:43 pm »
"Never trust a man in a tunic"


Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2014, 09:02:41 pm »
Well, that you consider my answer to sound quite Zenish probably goes some way to explaining why I think Buddhist teachings (in this case Mahayana Buddhism) are overrated. That is, if you ignore the mystic and eccentric precepts (like not wearing particular adornments or abstaining from a bit of music and dance) you're left with some really obvious life lessons, which basically tell you how to suck eggs. I mean, anyone who really needs to be told not to steal, not to kill and not to lie probably won't be huge advocates of Buddhism anyway. I know that there are many approaches to Buddhism and its history murky -- with practitioners and commentators arguing over whether it should have a more or less spiritual foundation -- but when it comes down to it, it's pretty obvious stuff. I mean, going by the most basic, natural precepts, I could call myself a Buddhist... or not. I just don't see why I would.

Of course, being overrated is just one criticism I have of Buddhism. Other criticisms include the way the nontheistic religion (secular system of self-improvement?) is structured with regard to its practitioners, such as where women are placed. Or the Buddhist approach to reason, which Christopher Hitchens summed up in his book God Is Not Great as practitioners "[putting] their reason to sleep, and [discarding] their minds along with their sandals". And while I am a nihilist myself, I sure wouldn't want to knowingly inflict that particular world view on anyone else, which Buddhist teachings seem to do. And, continuing with thoughts of the top of my head, there's also the matter of the Buddhist stance on abortion, which, like many other vexing issues, including violence, power, wealth, etc., appear to reflect, more or less, the ethics and values of the country where a particular flavour of Buddhism is being practiced.

Kia Ora JS,

Thanks for the insight and very constructive criticism , I can't really debate any of your points, which I must add are valid ones (valid, in the sense they highlight the limited grasp that many have when it comes to what Buddhism is all about) This I might add is not a criticism/attack on your person, I'm just stating what I have observed(with others) in the past on the same/similar topic ...

However, I'm under the impression you are coming at this from a limited study of the "commercial" forms of Buddhism, and have not personally been involved in any 'internal' research so to speak...So I would agree, from this view point Buddhism does seem like any run of the mill religious belief system "Do this...Don't do that...Etc etc"

I normally find the first few sentences of any criticism (constructive or otherwise) of Buddhism is enough to show whether a person has only explored the entrance way and not what lies inside/beyond ...

You have express your well thought out opinions (which I most appreciate) and I also accept that if there's going to be any change in your understanding of Buddhism (in its pure form) it is going to have to come from within...(and possibly only when hell freezes over) ;) ;D

Thanks again JS...

Metta Zenda :)   

In my humble opinion Buddhism differs from most other forms of spirituality and or religions, in that paradoxically it is 'self'-generating and at the same time 'self' dissolving, no external supernatural forces are involved, just the pure study of inner science 'the science of the mind' by the mind ...One can use the mind to understand logic, but one can't used logic to understand the mind... And this it would seem is the down fall/Achilles heel of most atheistic thinkers who claim to have an 'open' mind when it comes to things metaphysical ...
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 12:03:25 am by Anatta »
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 12:20:28 am »
"Never trust a man in a tunic"

Kia Ora Nikko,

That's not a oneworder  -so no marks for your answer ;) ;D

Metta Zenda :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Sandra M. Lopes

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2014, 06:43:20 am »
Buddhism in one word is, for me, 'happiness'. But that's quite a mouthful! Before we experience happiness, we need to experience 'freedom' — another difficult concept, and it means, being free from our habitual tendencies that constrain ourselves. How do we do that? With 'mindfulness'. Sounds easy, right? :) It isn't!

And this ties to the excellent single word suggested by JS, 'overrated'. I think that she was quite keen in saying:

Quote from: JS
[Buddhism]... when it comes down to it, it's pretty obvious stuff

Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! The beauty and appeal of the teachings of the Buddha is that IT'S ALL OBVIOUS! The problem is that we just don't really experience it as obvious, and that's why we need our training!

Let me take a typical example, which beginners (even this 7-year-beginner typing here) take for granted as obvious, but then act as if it isn't. Classical Buddhist meditation focuses often on one concept, "impermanence". For the scientifically-minded, we could call this "entropy": given time, everything changes and eventually fades away.

Obvious!

So we read that simple teaching, "contemplate impermanence" and say, "D'uh, that's so obvious it's not worth the effort. Of course things change. I know that. Nothing stays ever the same, either at the macrocosmic level, or down to quantum particles. What a stupid thing to contemplate!" and then we stand up, kick our toe on a table, a vase drops to the ground, gets shattered into a thousand fragments and we go: "Oh SHIIIIIIIT why oh why did I got this vase to break? It was a gift from my grandma! Irreplaceable! Damn damn damn damn! I'm so unlucky! I'm so STUPID! Why does this all happen to me?"

Right. Intellectually, sure, we know that everything is impermanent and changeable. But when we face impermanence staring us in the eyes, what we do? We go nuts. We expect things to last forever. We're terribly disappointed, frustrated, anxious, or even very angry when something breaks apart or changes. In fact, we can say "impermanence impermanence impermanence" the whole day — because it's obvious! — but then get scared looking at the mirror and thinking: "oh no, another wrinkle... and I'm going bald! I need some treatment! Perhaps a face lift and some new shampoo..."

Or, to go to extremes, our favourite pet dies — and we're heartbroken and frustrated that this just happened to us at the worst possible moment in our lives, and that it seems so unfair, after so much love and care we have given to our pet, and the money we spent in treatments... why, oh why, did our pet die just now?

But of course every living being must die some day. We know that. We just hope that it never happens. And when it does, we're incredibly sad.

So on one hand, we say that the Buddhist teachings are obvious and overrated, but then we act as if we believed the exact opposite!

So, indeed, JS, Buddhist teachings are pretty much "stating the obvious". In classical Buddhist terms, it means "looking at things as they are, not as they appear to be." The issue is that we believe the exact opposite. We know that entropy is widespread in the universe, because we have studied that at school (or read on Wikipedia), but we still get sad and frustrated when things break apart or change. We know that our actions have consequences, but we still hope to avoid those consequences. We know that we cannot buy happiness, but we still spend money in it. We know we have all the tools to find that ever-lasting happiness inside of us, but we pretend that we need "something else from someone" to get those tidbits of happiness. We say we have free will, but we behave as if we're constrained by our feelings, our friends, our enemies, our society, and so forth. We are somehow aware that things are not as they appear to be, but still pretend that they are.

So we accept the "obviousness" of the Buddhist teachings, but then we behave as if the reverse is true and become incredibly disappointed.

Well, the good news is that there are methods and techniques to take to heart all those "obvious" things and stop being frustrated because things are not as they appear to be. That's all there is. But getting there is anything but obvious!
Don't judge, and you won't be judged.

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2014, 08:44:57 am »
Kunley

Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2014, 07:08:12 pm »
Kunley

Kia Ora Oriah,

Thanks.......

I had to look this person up....Sounds like a very interesting character...And from what I gather some Tibetan monks who went to the West (especially to the US) also practiced what he preached but took it to the extreme (straying off the middle path) ...They behaved like kids let loose in a candy store...

I like his poem BTW....

I am happy that I am a free Yogi.

So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.

I can have sex with many women,

because I help them to go the path of enlightenment.

Outwardly I'm a fool

and inwardly I live with a clear spiritual system.

Outwardly, I enjoy wine, women and song.

And inwardly I work for the benefit of all beings.

Outwardly, I live for my pleasure

and inwardly I do everything in the right moment.

Outwardly I am a ragged beggar

and inwardly a blissful Buddha.



Metta Zenda :)
 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 08:59:05 pm by Anatta »
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Anatta

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2014, 07:17:24 pm »
Buddhism in one word is, for me, 'happiness'. But that's quite a mouthful! Before we experience happiness, we need to experience 'freedom' — another difficult concept, and it means, being free from our habitual tendencies that constrain ourselves. How do we do that? With 'mindfulness'. Sounds easy, right? :) It isn't!

And this ties to the excellent single word suggested by JS, 'overrated'. I think that she was quite keen in saying:

Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! The beauty and appeal of the teachings of the Buddha is that IT'S ALL OBVIOUS! The problem is that we just don't really experience it as obvious, and that's why we need our training!

Let me take a typical example, which beginners (even this 7-year-beginner typing here) take for granted as obvious, but then act as if it isn't. Classical Buddhist meditation focuses often on one concept, "impermanence". For the scientifically-minded, we could call this "entropy": given time, everything changes and eventually fades away.

Obvious!

So we read that simple teaching, "contemplate impermanence" and say, "D'uh, that's so obvious it's not worth the effort. Of course things change. I know that. Nothing stays ever the same, either at the macrocosmic level, or down to quantum particles. What a stupid thing to contemplate!" and then we stand up, kick our toe on a table, a vase drops to the ground, gets shattered into a thousand fragments and we go: "Oh SHIIIIIIIT why oh why did I got this vase to break? It was a gift from my grandma! Irreplaceable! Damn damn damn damn! I'm so unlucky! I'm so STUPID! Why does this all happen to me?"

Right. Intellectually, sure, we know that everything is impermanent and changeable. But when we face impermanence staring us in the eyes, what we do? We go nuts. We expect things to last forever. We're terribly disappointed, frustrated, anxious, or even very angry when something breaks apart or changes. In fact, we can say "impermanence impermanence impermanence" the whole day — because it's obvious! — but then get scared looking at the mirror and thinking: "oh no, another wrinkle... and I'm going bald! I need some treatment! Perhaps a face lift and some new shampoo..."

Or, to go to extremes, our favourite pet dies — and we're heartbroken and frustrated that this just happened to us at the worst possible moment in our lives, and that it seems so unfair, after so much love and care we have given to our pet, and the money we spent in treatments... why, oh why, did our pet die just now?

But of course every living being must die some day. We know that. We just hope that it never happens. And when it does, we're incredibly sad.

So on one hand, we say that the Buddhist teachings are obvious and overrated, but then we act as if we believed the exact opposite!

So, indeed, JS, Buddhist teachings are pretty much "stating the obvious". In classical Buddhist terms, it means "looking at things as they are, not as they appear to be." The issue is that we believe the exact opposite. We know that entropy is widespread in the universe, because we have studied that at school (or read on Wikipedia), but we still get sad and frustrated when things break apart or change. We know that our actions have consequences, but we still hope to avoid those consequences. We know that we cannot buy happiness, but we still spend money in it. We know we have all the tools to find that ever-lasting happiness inside of us, but we pretend that we need "something else from someone" to get those tidbits of happiness. We say we have free will, but we behave as if we're constrained by our feelings, our friends, our enemies, our society, and so forth. We are somehow aware that things are not as they appear to be, but still pretend that they are.

So we accept the "obviousness" of the Buddhist teachings, but then we behave as if the reverse is true and become incredibly disappointed.

Well, the good news is that there are methods and techniques to take to heart all those "obvious" things and stop being frustrated because things are not as they appear to be. That's all there is. But getting there is anything but obvious!

Kia Ora Sandra,

Yet another down to earth masterpiece in Buddhist understanding...

Metta Zenda :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Sandra M. Lopes

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Re: Buddhism-Summed Up In One Word
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2014, 03:46:43 pm »
Ooooh someone mentioned Drugpa Kunley!!! :-)

Aw to be honest, his words are NOT to be read by an absolute beginner, or they will scare them off, thinking that Buddhist masters are completely insane and totally out of bounds...

My own main teacher is quite fond of quoting Drugpa Kunley at all times — at least to his students who are familiar with his keen sense of humour, he wouldn't do that on a public teaching where he doesn't know the audience — and one day I asked him if I could read Drugpa Kunley's biography. He let me read it during one of our silent retreats, as "bedside literature", and I have to admit that I cried and cried with laughter :-)

Well, you're supposed to have fun and be happy during retreats, right? :-)

So, yes, I'm definitely a fan of Drugpa Kunley too. But he also has some very profound teachings, like the following one, which includes a short aspiration prayer that I tend to repeat often to myself, specially when in front of one of my teachers.

One day, Drugpa Kunley was in front of a famous statue of Guru Rinpoche (also known as Padmasambhava, the Indian teacher who brought the Vajrayana teachings to Tibet and founded the first permanent monastery). He did his prostrations and then said, loudly, so that everybody around him heard: "In the past, you and I, we were exactly the same. You were diligent and that's why you've got a statue; I was lazy, and that's why I do prostrations to you!"

This humourous little story is just to make us remember that all enlightened beings have exactly the same nature as we have; they are not "special" or "superhuman" or "divine". The only difference they have is that they weren't lazy, they practiced with diligence, and achieved enlightenment. We can do exactly the same, because we have access to the same teachings, the same good teachers, and have the same qualities and skills as they have. All we need is to stop being lazy!

(to Zenda: *hugs* and thanks for the kind words, but, as you know, nothing I write ever comes from my own experience, I just ape my good teachers who are so good at explaining things!)
Don't judge, and you won't be judged.

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