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  • hardie karges 10:06 am on August 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , , Franz Ferdinand, , Occam's Razor, , , , ,   

    Buddhism for Dummies, Hold the Salsa… 

    My 6th grade teacher was correct: our mouths cause most of our problems. Samma Vaca is Right Speech, part of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. Of course, Ms. What’s-her-name knew little or nothing of Buddhism but that makes no difference. Buddhism is at its best as common sense, and that’s what the Eightfold path is all about. Three of the paths that comprise the Eightfold Path you might already know from the Franz Ferdinand song ‘Right Action,’ which also trumpets (and guitars) Right Thoughts and Right Words.

    The other components of the path include Right Intention, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration (meditation), depending on translations and personal proclivities. For example, ‘mindfulness’ is all the rage in online Buddhist circles, but ‘awareness’ or even ‘consciousness’ might be a better translation of the Pali word sati (Sanskrit smrti), since they’re easy to use in any normal conversation, while ‘mindfulness’ is rarely used outside of Buddhist or meditation circles (though ‘mindful’ might be).

    And that’s the way I like my Buddhism, down-to-earth and easy to understand. Zen tries to get all Dadaesque, in its effort to go beyond language, but only confuses many people in the process. And Vajrayana puts the magic in the wand for those who need that, but none of that is really necessary for the Buddhism that the Buddha envisaged. And those early guys admittedly tried to make it more complicated, too, even grouping the Eightfold Path into a three-part collection of ethics, meditation, and wisdom, without really changing anything in the process. Sometimes the simplest way is the best, just like Occcam’s Razor, for a smooth close shave, haha…

     
  • hardie karges 10:58 am on May 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, Covid, , , , , , , human sacrifice, , murder,   

    Buddhism 499: the Worst Experiences Sometimes Teach the Best Lessons… 

    And while this may not be one of the Four Noble Truths or one of the folds of the Eightfold Path, it is one of the mystic truths of Buddhism, often cited by the Dalai Lama and very easy to digest in its simplicity. It is easy because it is intuitive, even if it somehow defies common sense. How could the Covid pandemic teach a valuable lesson, after all? Well, if it teaches us how to deal with Global Warming, then that would be valuable, wouldn’t it? And just that it may very well do.

    Think of it as the veritable kick upside the noggin that I could never explain with so much bloggin,’ haha. Didn’t Hitler teach us something? Didn’t slavery? No religion ever prohibited slavery, or even spoke disapprovingly of it, until very recently. It’s even doubtful that murder was considered a sin, until around the time that the Buddha, and then later Jesus, thought to specifically mention it. Why? Wasn’t that obvious? Probably not, sad to say. Because while we stand aghast now while contemplating human sacrifice, they didn’t. They lined up for the privilege.

    So, score one for cultural relativism, and let’s stand reproached for our modern arrogance. Is human sacrifice okay, then? Of course not. We know that now, that every life has value, and it’s only a question of when it begins, right? But isn’t there also a question of when it should end? This is part of the ongoing dialectic towards a higher—and more convenient—truth. What about Global Warming, then? How does that fit? We must live in harmony with Nature, somehow, some way. We don’t need to live with Dodge Charger V-8’s with four-on-the-floor and dual Holley four-barrel carbs, though. We already proved that. Now we need to relearn some of our other previous lessons.

     
  • hardie karges 6:42 am on April 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , , ignorance, , , , , ,   

    Buddhism of the Present Moment: Averaging Past and Future, Science and Superstition… 

    The one who can control himself, can control the world—his world…

    Sometimes the only way to remove hatred and ignorance from our lives is to remove the haters and ignorant people from our lives. And fortunately, that’s still possible, as our increasingly crowded world still has some empty places yet to be traversed and social ambitions yet to be fulfilled. But what happens when there is no place to hide, when social mobility comes to a standstill? Where do we go then to find peace and quiet, to find love, knowledge, and acceptance, where before there was only ignorance and hate?

    The obvious place to go is inside of course, deep inside, within our own minds and consciousness, both terms that I use with some trepidation, science-lover that I am, when what I really mean is memory. Because other than the constant (live) stream of sense perceptions that occur in real time, then all we really have is memory, which is anathema to the present-moment Buddhist or Eckhart Tolle disciple, but which is nonetheless a major part of our conscious waking moments.

    Besides those two there are only dreams, which occur in present time but in an undefined space, and conscious thinking, which some ‘non-dualists’ and latter-day Buddhists (‘thoughts without thinkers’) insist is not really real, but which nevertheless occupy reams and tomes of studied critiques and analyzed comparisons for the only purpose of knowledge itself, any benefits to be derived in subsequent interactions with the same world of biology, chemistry, and physics, or language, history, and psychology, from which it ultimately came in the process of experiment.

    And none of that can reasonably be denied, though it could certainly be claimed that we have spiritual lives that are bigger and better than all that. And I would tend to agree. So, the challenge is to make sense of it all, science and meditation, or action and renunciation, so that we can combine lives of action with our spiritual lives, which should also include science, and not just deep introspection, which was all that Buddha—and Plato—had. The answer is implicit, of course, in the Middle Path.

    Because that concept of the Middle Path works not only between Buddha’s luxury and lack, or the Mahayanist dichotomy of existence and non-existence, but still works for a modern secular dichotomy between introspection and science. And that is the supreme beauty of Buddhism, of course, that it is an ongoing dialectic, in which wrong choices are corrected. The Buddha himself wasn’t perfect, and even accepted a lesser status for women, which often figures prominently in misguided Buddhist theses for past lives and reincarnation, hint hint. But we can correct the mistakes of the past with the revelations of the present. And so we must.

     
  • hardie karges 12:50 pm on May 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Buddha, , Echkart Tolle, , , Hawking, , , , , Wittgenstein,   

    Pandemic Sutra on the Concept of Change in Buddhism 

    The Buddha wasn’t perfect, and he knew that, regardless of the speculations of some later Mahayanists and their need for transcendent divinity of which the earthly manifestations are just that—nasty, mean, brutish, and short, like life with the sea serpent Leviathan of Hobbes without Calvin. Why else would he have referred to us as no-soul ‘heaps’ of inconsequential ‘skandhas’ with little to commend us but the causes and conditions to which we are subject and of which we are so much a part?

    Zen troublemakers took the Mahayana transcendental position a step further by claiming perfection for all of us, but I’m not sure how that works out except as a point of convergence with some Christian transcendentalists who also think similarly, and so might actually save the world from its own self-destruction if enough people from enough different places could ever agree on any one thing for long enough for us to stop fighting and allow the world to heal from our destructive abuse of it.

    (More …)
     
  • hardie karges 12:15 pm on March 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AA, arahant, , Buddha, dimension, Fake Buddha Quotes, , , Murakami, passive voice   

    Buddhism Redefined: Suffering is inevitable. Pain is optional… 

    Or so I say. Read carefully. That’s not the famous quote, of course, and in fact, it is almost a refutation of the original quote, which goes something like: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”—but not quite, a refutation, that is. Because anything worth saying is certainly not worth refuting, even if it is almost the opposite of what is being asserted. And what is being asserted, in most cases of this quote, is that this is a quote from the Buddha, which it is almost certainly not. But this illustrates how fervently Americans want Buddhism to agree with Western psychology, if not religion.

    And as proof of the falsity I send you to the well-known and superlative website Fake Buddha Quotes, which goes into the origin at some depth and with much commentary. Here’s a hint: It also likely predates the usual retort that it is from Haruki Murakami, and may even derive from the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step playbook, which is apparently full of such zingers, even the one about “drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick,” haha. Hey, it’s not easy coming up with pithy quotes every day! Just ask any self-styled guru on any FB self-help group.

    But the expert is also of the opinion that it is ‘congruent’ with Buddhism, which is probably a vague enough way to phrase it, in form and substance, given its geometry connection, that he may very well be right, somehow some way, as long as he is not explicitly saying that it is foundational to Buddhism. Regardless, I would be of much less the same opinion, and categorically assert that my reversal of the quote is much closer to the foundations of Buddhism, in which the Buddha categorically asserts that suffering exists, no mention of options, unless you want to jump to the conclusion that removal of the causes is a viable option.

    Which is true, if you have the training of an arahant or Bodhisattva, which very few of us do, even on a good day. So I would assert that my reversal of the famous quote is more correct than the original, from a Buddhist perspective, which it may or may not ultimately be, but that’s my take. So in this thought experiment, suffering is something of a dimension, our dimension, of primarily mechanical waves, not light, which appears to us as an overwhelming force, or a higher dimension, and gravity, another force, or a lower dimension, same thing (let’s leave the strong and weak quantum ‘forces’ for another day).

    Then there are the causes of this suffering, whether it is truly a dimension of not. The four Noble Truths explicitly state that craving is cause, but it DOES NOT state that it is THE (one and only) cause, and this is a common misconception of Buddhism, especially among argumentative American Buddhists, which says as much about Americans as it does about Buddhists, and brings us back to the reasons that we’re having this thought experiment in the first place, i.e. Westerners like to argue fine points, not to sharpen the cutting edge, necessarily, but to wield it widely. Note: Sanskrit has no definite articles in its grammar.

    Finally I think the important point is that pain, indeed, is optional. Indeed we know that drugs exist to alleviate pain, and can do so quite effectively, so there’s that. But there’s also the fact that dimensional suffering doesn’t necessarily have much to do with pain at all in the first place. It’s almost more like a passive grammatical voice in which we are objects of a preposition, or proposition, and not true subject. And that may speak volumes. Buddhist suffering is like suffering for your art or you child. It doesn’t have to hurt. And it requires practice, faith, and joy…

    Source: https://fakebuddhaquotes.com/pain-is-inevitable-suffering-is-optional/

     
  • hardie karges 1:14 pm on March 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buddha, , , , Dyaus Pitra, , Mata, mise-en-scene, mutation, , Prithvi, , ,   

    Buddha in the Raw: Nature is the Dharma of Birth… 

    People come and go. Events come and go. But dharma is always there, hand in hand with Nature. In fact, in at least a couple or three SE Asian languages, the word for ‘Nature’ itself translates from the original Pali/Sanskrit as ‘Dharma of Birth,’ jati in its original meaning as ‘birth’ long before it came to supplant varna as the most common word for Indian caste, in a more polite form connected to job description, apparently, as if birth were all about some inherited profession, and not the deep ancestry, mostly defined in the popular imagination by color, varna, long before we could count mutations on the y-DNA sex chromosome, and ultimately define the haplogroup in stages, simply by its imperfections in transmission, just like all attempts at eternal life. Breathe deeply.

    And thank God for that Y-chromosome, so that we can reproduce sexually, rather than by other lesser means and mixtures. But the dharma is intrinsically involved, and that is the point, whether in molecular makeup or some concept far removed, in language, DNA’s lofty handmaiden, jealous of DNA, even long before its discovery, and desirous of co-opting that proclivity into the various nominal grunts and syllabic sonic glides that connect hard consonants verbally into molecular syllables capable of standing alone but always looking for partners to run with, creating words and sentences and paragraphs and histories, all under the auspices of simple reproduction, conceptually rather than biologically, and capable of moving through space without stepping incrementally into the medium of space, but rather capable of quantum leapfrogging through the intervening leagues in an instant or less, with or without the materialistic crutches of light and sound.

    We are imperfect creatures of the void and the stuff, any dualism merely implied but not intended, since the 1 and the 0 of stuff and void are ultimately reconcilable into a common source whether conceptual or mathematical, and who’s to know the difference anyway? Dualism and non-dualism are but snapshots in time, incapable of independent existence, and often confused for far greater achievements than they really aspire to. For insertion of the thing into the void is merely the mise-en-scene for a movie into which we were born and from which we will die, scarcely even pretending to know the reasons why or wherefore, simply that it is thus and will be recorded as such by any witness capable of the feat. There are more important things to do and accomplish in the short time allotted to any given system of biological life, and that is the task to which we are beholden as children of the Sun and Moon, in their earthly representations, Dyaus Pitra and Prithvi Mata, Sky Father and Earth Mother, reproducing throughout an uncertain infinity. It is thus. Let old mourning become new mornings, and rebirth can occur in spirit, not flesh…

     
  • hardie karges 1:05 pm on December 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , , ,   

    Snarky Buddha Tweet: Special Sale on Kindness and Compassion, all at reasonable rates… 

    I’m looking for something in everyone’s eyes: honesty, kindness, consideration, and compassion, smile optional, must be willing to re-locate. Laughter is the best medicine, no prescription required. Love comes with a warning…

     
  • hardie karges 2:35 pm on November 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, ,   

    Snarky Buddha Tweets: Karmic Fallacy of Posthaste Ex-Post Facto… 

    When in doubt, do nothing—quickly. Meditate or contemplate, the choice is yours. There is no call to action. You don’t have to take the bait. And you certainly don’t have to fight to the death, literally or verbally. For all that, there just isn’t the time. The last word is for the biggest ego and the smallest mind…

     
  • hardie karges 2:08 pm on November 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, , Cowboy, Kung Fu, Western   

    Kung Fu Consciousness in a Cowboy Western World… 

    Sorry, grasshopper. Your dreams can’t all come true. So I guess a few will have to do. Life can sometimes be frustrating for humans and other sentient beings. So said the Buddha. Almost eight billion people on this planet, and our best friends are cats and dogs, go figure…

     
  • hardie karges 12:47 pm on November 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddha, ,   

    Snarky Buddha Tweets… 

    Idealism and nihilism cancel each other out. The real world is imperfect but hopeful, sometimes cruel, sometimes kind. I can see your heart, but I can’t read your mind…

     
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