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Switch to Forum Live View The Christian Bhuddist
6 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2008 - 11:58AM #1
Lonesentinel
Posts: 2,423
I have heard that one could be both.  How is this possible?  Do the philosphies not compete against eachother?  Any Christians who also follow Buddhist philosophies, I would love to hear how you understand both philosophies and mesh them together, keeping them from conflicting with one another.

I initially thought to put this on the discussion / Debate board, but I didn't want those who disagree with the practice of Buddhism to chime in.  This is just my quest for understanding.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2008 - 1:26PM #2
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
Strictly speaking, they are incompatible. Buddhism denies the existence of a creator god. However, we don't make a big deal about it. I've never heard of a Buddhist teacher refusing to accept a Christian student, or demanding that Christian students stop worshipping their god. It's probably happened somewhere at some time, but it's not common. Most Buddhists live in societies where it is common for people to practice more than one religion.

There's an ongoing discussion of this in the Buddhist forum.
link -> Buddhism Board
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 2:06PM #3
Mettawisdom
Posts: 3
I’m not sure if this thread is alive anymore.  But I thought I’d chime in.  I’m a Christian Buddhist and it is entirely possible.  I don’t want to take up to much time in case I’m talking to no one here.  But let me clear up a few misconceptions, make a couple of points and give a few references.

First, Buddhism does NOT deny the existence of God, as Ren states.  The position that Buddhism takes (if you read the original texts of Buddhism) is that questions of a supernatural nature (e.g. whether or not there is a God, how the world was created, etc.) do not matter, but we should concern ourselves with the here and now.  The story the Buddha told to illustrate this was about a man who had been hit with a poison arrow.  If he were to go the doctor and ask all the questions he might have, he would surely die first.  The same is true with our spiritual lives.  However, faith is an important aspect of Buddhism often overlooked in the west.  The Buddha set forth 2 paths to enlightenment.  First, there is the path that the west confuses as the only path of Buddhism, that of Dharma (teaching or logic).  The Buddha said this path is the easiest to enter because our minds are logical, but the hardest to climb because it is hard to truly discover the truth of our minds using our minds.  The second path is one of faith. The Buddha said those who had pure faith in anything higher than them would be lifted.  He primarily was referring to himself, but the principle is the same.  The idea is that if you have faith in the divine, i.e. the Christ, you will be lifted to that level.  The Buddha said this path was the hardest to enter because human minds are always full of doubt, but that if faith was pure that person would be lifted up faster than the first person.

Second, if you look at the actual teachings of the Buddha as set forth in original Buddhist texts (e.g. the Machyama Nikayia) you will find similar teachings as the Bible, in some cases almost word for word!  I can quote some of these for you if you want.

Besides reading the Bible and Buddhist texts side by side, some books to look at how these two religions are compatible are:  Living Buddha, Living Christ and the Original Christ.

Ultimately, I believe that almost all teachers (e.g. the Buddha and the Christ) taught almost the same thing – they are all from the divine.  They were all connected with God, they just communicated to the people of their culture and time.  It is just because the small minds of people don’t understand the divine or, worse, use religion for political purposes that the divine messages of all teachers gets distorted and we see separation.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 5:42PM #4
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
[QUOTE=Mettawisdom;779093]First, Buddhism does NOT deny the existence of God, as Ren states.[/Quote]

I didn't state that. My statement is in the post immediately above yours. Go back and read what I actually wrote.

Here's a statement from a well known Buddhist scholar, who bases his statements on the suttas.
(link -> source)
[Quote]From a study of the discourses of the Buddha preserved in the Pali canon, it will be seen that the idea of a personal deity, a creator god conceived to be eternal and omnipotent, is incompatible with the Buddha's teachings. On the other hand, conceptions of an impersonal godhead of any description, such as world-soul, etc., are excluded by the Buddha's teachings on Anatta, non-self or unsubstantiality.[/Quote]

And here's a link to a statement of beliefs agreed upon by a conference of Theravada and Mahayana monks. These are the items that all of the Buddhist schools that attended agreed on. Note item number three.
link -> Basic Points Unifying The Theravada and the Mahayana
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2008 - 12:45PM #5
RenGalskap
Posts: 1,420
Let me emphasize that anyone can study and practice Buddhism without giving up belief in a creator god. Buddhism doesn't try to discourage non-Buddhists from practicing Buddhism. In fact, the Dalai Lama has suggested that it's probably better for most people who believe in a creator god to continue worshipping it. Personally, I hope that anyone who is interested in Buddhism has the chance to study and practice it without feeling any pressure to believe one thing or another.

However, the DL has pointed out on a number of occasions that Buddhists don't believe in a creator god. As far as I know, there are no Buddhist schools that allow for the existence of a creator god, and that makes Buddhism and Christianity doctrinally incompatable.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 26, 2008 - 9:45AM #6
xLivinglifEx
Posts: 61
I am also a Christian and a Buddhist. How can we be both? Every Buddhist and Christian has one thing in common: Compassion. We both have the need to help others. To have a virtueous (sp?) life. As Buddhist we don't want to act with voilence and hate. We are to not think wrongly against each other. In Christianity it's the same way. As Christians we are suppose to not hate our neighbors or enemies. We should not have wrong thoughts. That's my view.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 26, 2008 - 10:19AM #7
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799
[QUOTE]MettaWisdom said; Besides reading the Bible and Buddhist texts side by side, some books to look at how these two religions are compatible are: Living Buddha, Living Christ and the Original Christ.[/QUOTE]

Here's another excellent book, called "A Taste Of Water; Christianity Through Taoist-Buddhist Eyes". - LINK
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2009 - 5:53AM #8
RavenCorvina
Posts: 14
I have to admit, I never saw any correlation between Buddhism and Christianity till my third reading of Living Buddha, Living Christ. This is just my view, but I see Christianity as a theistic Buddhist practise. Jesus was a Jew and there have been those who say he went to India. Who's to say he didn't?

I have read the Bible (NIV version) alongside Thich Nhat Hahn's book and find the similarites too much to be coincidence.  I was raised a Christian but left the faith at 17. After exploring several paths, I found Buddhism to be the path for me. I confess I do believe in God but not the BibleGod as portrayed. However, I do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus, which was one of the deciding factors in me leaving Christianity.

Just my 0.02,
Raven
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2009 - 8:13AM #9
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

RavenCorvina wrote:

Jesus was a Jew and there have been those who say he went to India. Who's to say he didn't?

I have read the Bible (NIV version) alongside Thich Nhat Hahn's book and find the similarites too much to be coincidence.



I have no doubts, either, that "India" and the Buddha have been to the Holy Land, figuratively speaking. Jerusalem, from the time of King Solomon to destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. was known to be a major cross-roads of the world, a Trade Route. From the South, the Queen of Sheba came to pay Solomon honor. From the West, Greeks and Romans came. From the East came coveted spices and magi... With all of these people came their customs and their ideas, all thrown into a simmering stew.

Then, too, there is this;[COLOR=red]LINK and LINK[/COLOR]

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 26, 2009 - 5:44AM #10
RavenCorvina
Posts: 14

Chiyo wrote:



[COLOR=#000080]Then, too, there is this;[COLOR=red]LINK
and LINK[/COLOR]


See this makes complete sense to me. For me the reason why I can accept this is because there is no documentation on Jesus' life between the ages of 12 to 33.

But I don't wish to hijack or derail the thread.

Respectfully,
Raven

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