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Switch to Forum Live View Catholic or Buddhist? Could use a friendly ear
9 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2009 - 11:20AM #41
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

razd wrote:

One last thing I forgot to ask: Is it true that Buddhists are "agnostic"? (I've even heard them described as "atheist".) This is scary for me at this point. I see prayer flags and incense and people bowing or prostrating themselves... and I want to do this too, although I don't know who they're praying to (??)... If I'm going to survive a transition like this, I'm going to need to pray throughout the process.

Is it a non-personal type of being that Buddhists pray to? Is it OK to pray in front of an image of the Buddha?

Thanks in advance!
d.



Buddhism is not a monolith. There are atheist Buddhists, agnostic Buddhists and Pan[COLOR=red]entheistic Buddhists. One thing they all have in common is, none of them believe in a creator - although some may believe in and pray to deities... In short, whatever your belief is, you'll find a home in Buddhism because there are 84,000 Dharma Gates.[/COLOR]

But this link to a Pure Land Buddhist (or is it Jodo Shinshu?) site may help; [COLOR=red]LINK and another LINK[/COLOR]

And if you'd like to explore more, there are some wonderful Dharma talks - [COLOR=red]LINK[/COLOR]

[COLOR=red]Disclaimer; [/COLOR]I am not a Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land Buddhist - I belong to Zen, so this is about the extent of the information I can provide as far as Buddhists who do actually worship a form of "God".

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9 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2009 - 12:40PM #42
razd
Posts: 56
[QUOTE=Chiyo;1000234]Buddhism is not a monolith. There are atheist Buddhists, agnostic Buddhists and Pan[COLOR=red]entheistic Buddhists. One thing they all have in common is, none of them believe in a creator - although some may believe in and pray to deities... In short, whatever your belief is, you'll find a home in Buddhism because there are 84,000 Dharma Gates.[/COLOR]

But this link to a Pure Land Buddhist (or is it Jodo Shinshu?) site may help; [COLOR=red]LINK and another LINK[/COLOR]

And if you'd like to explore more, there are some wonderful Dharma talks - [COLOR=red]LINK[/COLOR]

[COLOR=red]Disclaimer; [/COLOR]I am not a Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land Buddhist - I belong to Zen, so this is about the extent of the information I can provide as far as Buddhists who do actually worship a form of "God".[/QUOTE]

84,000 thanks :)
Namaste -
D.

P.S. I like Zen a lot too.
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2009 - 1:06PM #43
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

razd wrote:

84,000 thanks :)
Namaste -
D.
.



I bow to you in Gassho and wish you all the best.

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9 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2009 - 12:02AM #44
razd
Posts: 56
Thank you once again, Chiyo.
I bow to you too - whether or not there's a "right way", lol.  :)

Even if the path still meanders or branches off, the conversation here has helped me see my freedom to walk in whatever direction seems right. I hope everyone else here feels that freedom too.

Viva Beliefnet. :)
Namaste-
d.
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2009 - 10:35PM #45
lookingforinsight
Posts: 587
razd,

I'm coming late to this conversation but I thought I'd like to encourage you to pursue  both paths as long as it seems to work for you. To some extent Christianity and Buddhism can be reconciled, and until you're completely comfortable with both, you may never feel the need to choose between the two. I know many people who incorporate practices from both religions into their spirituality. Purists will criticize such practices, but pay no attention to them. You are the only judge of what will work for you. I believe God has supplied us with a wondrous variety of ways to get to know Him/Her/It. So I doubt God would be bothered by tweaking the 'recipes' to make it your own, so to speak.

Besides the wonderful books that have already been recommended to you, you may also be interested in "The Cloud of Unknowing" which is a book on Christian meditation written in the 14th century by an anonymous English monk. It's remarkable similar to many Buddhist forms of meditation, and may seem less (culturally) exotic to you.

Please keep us posted on your journey.

In friendship,
looking
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 10, 2009 - 6:46PM #46
REteach
Posts: 16,577
[QUOTE]Even if the path still meanders or branches off, the conversation here has helped me see my freedom to walk in whatever direction seems right. I hope everyone else here feels that freedom too.[/QUOTE]

When we were younger, we were backpackers.  I think religion/faith/spirituality is a lot like a backpacking trip. 

The point of the trip is the trip itself--not just to get back to the trailhead. 

Some days will be uphill, some downhill, some on the flats.  Maybe a few days you can pitch your tent and spend some time exploring the nearby mountains, streams and lakes.  Some days will be rainy and some sunny.

I recall one day that was up, up, up, and in the rain, too.  I sounded like I was about 4 years old--"are we there yet? are we there yet?"  It would look like we finally reached the pass, turn a corner--and still more mountain.  ARGH!

We finally reached Elbow Lake.  It stopped raining.  It was above tree level, so the lake was surrounded just by boulders.  The clouds were pouring silently in through the pass at the end of the lake.  We could almost jump up and touch them. And silent.  It was awe-some. (The hyphen is deliberate.  I mean literally awe-inspiring)  Worth every step of the gawdawful uphill slog in the rain.  But we couldn't know that until we got there.  I have had life experiences that were a lot like the climb to Elbow Lake. 

I have also asked God "what is the meaning of life?"  God laughed at me.  Let me tell you, it is weird to have God laugh at you.  He answered--the meaning of life is in the living of it. 

So ask questions.  Explore.  Pause a while and contemplate the campfire.  Climb a few peaks and watch the sun rise or set.  The answer is in the journey.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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