Author Topic: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?  (Read 608 times)

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Offline Lectus

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What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« on: October 12, 2012, 03:48:34 PM »
I think a godless "religion" or a philosophy of live, if you want to call it that, makes a lot more sense then religions in general.

Even if there are still lots of bullshit in it. I think enslaving people by fear is worse than trying to help people think with clarity.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 03:50:18 PM by Lectus »
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline Nick

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 03:56:32 PM »
Yes, grasshopper. ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 03:58:47 PM »
I don't really think about it. It just happens.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 04:14:56 PM »
I'd be interested if it made me as tough as this Shaolin monk...



Buddism is probably cool, but not for me. I do like that they don't claim that there is a god (if I understand correctly). But I like the jokes.

A Buddhist monk stops at a hot dog stand and says "Make me one with everything."



Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 06:13:01 PM »
Naturally there's different schools of Buddhism and how you classify Buddhism is different to how you classify other religions, some schools of Buddhism aren't too much different from the other religions out there. I think the thing that fundamentally sets itself apart is the fact it doesn't require dogmatism and it is not based around the commands of any deities but the philosophies and teachings of men and it doesn't claim to be the words of a higher power. What people do with them differs. Buddhism is about making your own path and that is how its multiple schools were set up. It's why it was perfectly normal for it to start with 2 separate schools (Theravada and Mahayana) with separate texts inspired by the words of men and not the innerrant command of the divine. Since then, other schools have started, including Zen (which derives from Mahayana) Interestingly, the man people think of as 'the Buddha' is not the only 'Buddha' and he's only highly regarded because it was his teachings that became so huge, but he was neither the first of his kind (he learned from men before him) and nor was he the last. If you know the story of him become Buddha, you'll know that he spent his time with monks in poverty, these were the monks who taught him - I do not know how much truth the story holds[1] but it refers to real people, Siddartha Gautama and those who came before him. He's by no means an absolute authority, but that doesn't stop dogmatism, it is religion after all and I don't think it'll ever escape that mindset, but the beauty of it is, you're not required to have it.

And generally the lack of dogmatism and lack of deities leads people to argue that Buddhism isn't religion but a philosophy, but because there are religious practices and in some circles and societies there's even dogmatism and similar traits you might see in other religions. I think it would be more appropriate to look at it on 2 levels. The term I've seen coined is 'Philosophical Buddhism'. My knowledge on Zen Buddhism is not vast, but from my knowledge of it, I would put it as philosophical Buddhism. Zen Buddhism is very much about the mind and their emphasis is mainly place on meditation and it can manifest through martial arts. So whilst I do not know much about Zen Buddhism from an academic point of view, I am a martial artist (or was), I studied Shotokan Karate (1st kyu, almost went for my black belt) and actually Zen makes its way into the practice of the martial art. Our association was very traditional, so we weren't only learning to beat the crap out of people as some Karate associations might have you do. The martial art interestingly enough it a means of meditating your mind and it is perhaps why martial arts are generally associated with Buddhist monks, usually the Shaolin Monks, but Zen Buddhism is Japanese and not Chinese and of course Shaolin Monks aren't the only ones who use martial arts, though the Chinese isn't too different from the Japanese (Zen and Chan are pretty much the same thing). For the Japanese, Zen Buddhism was pretty much a philosophy that sat alongside their Shinto beliefs, at least before Christianity came. For Samurai, there was an additional philsophy and of course that was Bushido, which was actually pretty bloody (see definition of my username). ;)

When you start looking at Buddhism from that philosophical perspective and take away the 'woo', you're actually looking at something similar (though, not identical) to humanism, but it's much, much older. I think this is probably why it tends to sit better with certain types of atheists out there. I would say be weary of letting Buddhists have the get-out-of-jail free card, because there are still horror stories out there. But I think with anything, understand Buddhism and all of its schools for what they are. I know people tend to group 'religion' under one umbrella, but of course it's easier to do that than to understand them on a one-by-one basis, to know the merits and pitfalls, to understand the history, the teachings and fundamentally how it all works. I think it all works two ways, don't be blinded by what you like and conversely don't be blinded by what you don't like. :)

Me? I actually consider myself a philosophical Buddhist, simply because I find myself agreeing with a lot of what Buddhism teaches, I don't buy into the woo (karma don't happen) but you don't have to. I could take the humanist route instead, but for me, I feel enlightenment is good for my attitude and keeping your head clear. I don't consider it spiritual, but it's something very psychological. Now, if you were to take that route too, Zen Buddhism is actually a good direction. It might seem odd that I'm not a Zen Buddhist myself, you know with the martial arts, the strong interest in Feudal Japan (jeez, my name's Seppuku and my avatar is Miyamoto Musashi and so's my sig) and I love many of the philsophies associated with the time, well, aside from the sense of war and warriors (though I find them interesting). But, my own philosophies are based on what I like and what I agree with, any labels are only taken to be descriptive and also should my mind ever be clouded I have something definite to remind me of my own values. I don't think I'm the kind to commit to any school, so I just stick to agnostic atheist Buddhist and you wouldn't believe how often that confuses people.  :P

tl;dr?

Is cool bro.  &)
 1. a prince who gives up his material possessions and his wealthy life styles to understand the human condition, it's too much of a sweet story.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 06:19:45 PM by Seppuku »
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Offline Nam

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 07:44:26 PM »
I prefer Jainism.

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This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

Offline kindred

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 11:44:37 PM »
I prefer Khorne worship myself.

No dogma. Just blood for the blood god. He cares not from whence the blood stems from only that it flows.

"Keep calm and carry on"

"I trust you are not in too much distress"

Offline Death over Life

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 11:03:42 AM »
I prefer Khorne worship myself.

No dogma. Just blood for the blood god. He cares not from whence the blood stems from only that it flows.

Fantasy, or 40k? I prefer the 40k version myself, if my avatar doesn't give it away. Between those 4, I love Nurgle the best, then Khorne. Bring on the pestilences and decay!

For actual religions, I'm not much into Buddhism, but the religions I'm fond of are either the Pagans since their stories are not to be taken literally, but be about Nature Worship and care, and some of the philosophical branches of Satanism.

Offline bgb

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 12:35:54 PM »
Is there a Buddist version of the FSM?
The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not.  Freeman Dyson

Offline jdawg70

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 11:51:09 PM »
Is there a Buddist version of the FSM?
Discordianism sorta fits that bill, insofar as it is a) not necessarily deistic, b) is very fond of interpreting many aspects of reality as 'illusionary' or 'transcendent' in some fashion, and c) is in some sense intended as a parody.

It's kind of a stretch to say it's a Buddhist 'version' of FSM, but it's what popped into my head.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 11:20:10 AM »
I think enslaving people by fear is worse than trying to help people think with clarity.

Buddhism tends to enslave people, because it implies a class system. If you have been born into poverty, it's because you deserve it.
I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline kindred

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 04:47:16 AM »
I prefer Khorne worship myself.

No dogma. Just blood for the blood god. He cares not from whence the blood stems from only that it flows.

Fantasy, or 40k? I prefer the 40k version myself, if my avatar doesn't give it away. Between those 4, I love Nurgle the best, then Khorne. Bring on the pestilences and decay!

For actual religions, I'm not much into Buddhism, but the religions I'm fond of are either the Pagans since their stories are not to be taken literally, but be about Nature Worship and care, and some of the philosophical branches of Satanism.

I mean the 40k version. Specifically: the god of righteous fury, marshal honor and honorable combat aspect of him.

Actual religions are, meh. If there is some sort of supernatural chances are good I can't really do shit about it so I'll focus on the shit I can do something about, this world.
"Keep calm and carry on"

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Offline Lectus

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 01:52:48 PM »
I think enslaving people by fear is worse than trying to help people think with clarity.

Buddhism tends to enslave people, because it implies a class system. If you have been born into poverty, it's because you deserve it.

Well, at least it tries to explain that suffering is bound to exist in this world. Poverty could be eliminated if every men became a Buddah and shared what they have. Lack of egoism could be achieved through illumination, the way I see it.

Unlike Christians that say Satan did it and you have to pray. If you're still poor you need more faith.
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 04:44:12 PM »
I think enslaving people by fear is worse than trying to help people think with clarity.

Buddhism tends to enslave people, because it implies a class system. If you have been born into poverty, it's because you deserve it.

Whilst I don't doubt that people end up thinking like that, but it's only taking one part of the principle. It explains that the reason bad things happen to you is because you were bad in a previous life, but it also suggests that if you are good then good will happen to you. Nothing says you have to stay in that life. But the class system fits more on your life forms and it is an idea more borrowed from Hinduism rather than specific to Buddhism and is more relevant to the Hindu principles in reincarnation, but it's that they are several classes of existence - it's not a social class system. Basically, if you have good karma you will be reincarnated into a higher lifeform and if you do bad, it's a lower lifeform. So if you're a really bad human, you might reincarnate as a rat, but if you're really good, you might reincarnate into something more mythological. Also, 'Devas' are one of these high existences, which are Hinduism's deities. The Buddha who is best associate with Buddhism was himself a Hindu and it is often referenced in Buddhists texts, therefore the religiousness of Hinduism is passed onto many Buddhists out there, for example, there is a story of when Siddartha Gautama was approach by a man who did not believe Buddha was a man because he sensed something different about him, so he went through the different Hindu higher existences including gods, their equivalent of angels and so on. But Gautama-Buddha denied being any of those things. It's a story, but it's an example where Hinduism is referenced.

I've never heard of this idea of a person 'deserving' their fate, as though they take on some guilt until I spoke to OAA on this topic, I've only ever heard of it as being a principle to explain why bad things happen and not to judge people...because there is no higher power to judge people. But, as I've said in my previous post, the same negative symptoms of other religions occur in some schools of Buddhism, so I guess it's not so surprising.
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Warning: I occassionally forget to proofread my posts to spot typos or to spot poor editing.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: What do you think about Zen Buddhism?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 05:24:50 PM »
Well, at least it tries to explain that suffering is bound to exist in this world.
I think that has been done several times and, recently, more thoroughly and without reference to "karma" and "reincarnation".

The point is that the study of poverty is best done through sciences and not through navel gazing.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce