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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    .


    I have a confession to make: I don't believe in Buddha.

    It may be shocking for a Buddhist priest to say so, as shocking as hearing a Catholic priest say he "doesn't believe in Jesus". But it's true nonetheless. I am a Buddhist priest who thinks "Buddha" is largely bunk and baloney.

    At least, I think there's a lot of "bull" to how Buddha is typically portrayed. I think many of the utterly fantastic Mahayana Sutra stories of Buddhas are ridiculous ... hyper-exaggerated ... just unbelievable! (meaning that they cannot be literally believed any more than children's fairy tales). The imagery is incredibly beautiful ... but the tale just incredible nonsense, purely the product of human imagination. I think the image of a "Perfect Buddha" ... either in this world or some Buddha Land ... as a flawless being beyond all human weakness, conflict and ignorance ... is a fable, a religious myth. I think most of the old miracle filled stories are well meaning fictions, sometimes holy lies, and the golden statues and paintings of Buddhas are but depictions of exaggerated dreams.

    Oh, I believe that there was a man who lived whom we now call "the Buddha", but I think what happened over the centuries' is his victimhood to a process of hagiography. A Buddha or Ancestor dies (same for Jesus, saints and holy men in other religions) and ... century by century ... those in the religion (looking from afar at what the attainments actually were on the part of their "religious icon" and with need to depict the top value of the religion) go over the top, start to imagine, fantasize and exaggerate the wonderful nature of the teacher and teaching into something super-human. A flesh and blood teacher who was merely "Great, Profound and Wonderful" must unfortunately becomes someone "Magical, Miraculous and Mythical" ... all to the point of Malarky. The worshipful dip the man in gold, remove all human qualities and gradually turn their hero into a statue, a super-hero. As a result, "Buddha" is no more real than "Beowulf" or "Batman".

    However ... my doubts about make believe "Buddhas" are not important to my Buddhist practice in the least.

    As well, although I do not believe in imaginary Buddhas ... I believe in Buddhas.

    Better said, I know Buddha for a fact!

    How? What? Let me explain.

    I believe in ... I KNOW ... Buddha in many ways, each Real as Real can be.

    One way is to see that such Buddhas (Bodhisattvas too) exist as a paradigm, an ideal, a goal representing the best of the human condition to which men and women can aspire. As I said in a talk last week on Kannon, the symbol of Compassion: It does not matter that she "may not be really real", for we make Kannon "really real" in life:


    I had a hard time, for many years, incorporating into my practice many figures such as Kannon and Jizo ...

    I have come to see "them" as archtypes, representing real characteristics of human life and (since we are just the universe) thus the universe.

    In other words: When we feel in our hearts and act upon Love and Compassion, thereby Love and Compassion exist as real, concrete aspects of the world which our hearts and acts create. There is no "inside" or "outside" ultimately, thus what is inside you is just as much "the universe" and concrete reality as the moon, gravity and the stars. That is "Kannon", in that way a real and concrete aspect and 'force' of the world. Her 1000 helping hands are our hands, and our actions make her real in the world.
    As with Bodhisattvas, so it is with the Buddha, all the Buddhas. Wisdom and Compassion realized in each of us is the realization (meaning both "the discovery" and "the making real") of Buddha in the world. We make Buddha real, Kannon and the other Bodhisattvas too. (Mara and the Devil too if we act badly).

    Next, I believe in the Buddha when I prove the worth of the Buddha's Teachings in my own life. The proof here is right in life's pudding. The Teachings are the Truth of Buddha that we can each verify in our lives. The Heart of the Buddha's teachings ... the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, Non-Self, Non-Attachment, Dependent Origination, the Middle Way, so much more, ... are all here now and can be known to all of us ... worth the whole ticket of admission!

    What's more, I recognize that the fantastic stories, the idealized images of Buddhas ... even the most incredible allegories and hallucinatory images of the Mahayana Sutras ... are merely attempts to convey these wondrous Truths and Teachings, to show their power. Even if I do not take the Sutra stories literally, I can dig what they are trying to say behind the wild way they do it. In that way, even the most bizarre image found in some Sutra tale is True if the Teaching it attempts to convey is True.

    And ultimately, although I do not believe at all in so-called "Awakened Buddhas who have mastered the Dharma 100% and are Perfect Beings beyond all human flaws" ... I believe through and through in "Awakened Buddhas who have mastered the Dharma 100% and are Perfect Beings beyond all human flaws".

    Huh? Sounds like a contradiction there? Sounds like I am speaking out of both sides of my no sided mouth? Well, get over it. This Buddhist Way allows for countless "contradictions" held in total harmony!

    You see, I believe in Buddhas who are Perfectly Buddha, Perfectly Reality ... beyond small human concepts of the "pure" and "impure", fully manifesting and enlivening the Dance of Emptiness. That is a kind of Purity and Perfection when there is dropped all human judgments of the stained vs. the pure. I believe in Buddhas who are always moral, never breaking a Precept ... for there is no Precept that can ever be broken, nothing to steal or do violence to, and no separate 'other' to take or injure in any way. Yes, Virginia, there is a Buddha beyond all thought of lack or flaw! In fact, in the realm of Real Buddha, even small minded judgments of "real" and "unreal" cleanly drop away.

    And when we couple this Great Buddha with the Buddhas we make real in our lives ... by manifesting Wisdom and Compassion in our thoughts, words and acts ... we have a way to manifest that Perfect Buddha right here in the Saha world. We do our best in this life to live Compassionately by the Precepts avoiding harm. We fill ourselves with Prajna Wisdom, seeing this world for the 'dream within a dream' it truly is. At the moment, Buddha and all the Great Bodhisattvas are also real as real can be, walking the earth.

    The extreme and exaggerated stories of Buddhas' powers are but a mental mirror reflection of human imperfections, extrapolated to the ultimate by men based on seeing what men are now not. These images are themselves just 'Made in Samsara'. Paintings of 'Nirvana' are themselves imperfect goods of Samsara! Yet, there is Nirvana, this Perfection swallowing all small human mirages of perfection and imperfection ... and such is Buddha!

    Thus, Buddhas are but fables and lies, Buddhas are human aspirations, Buddhas are True Teachings, Buddhas are Whole and Complete beyond "full" or "lack", Buddhas live and breathe in the world when we live and breath like Buddhas.


    The Buddhist Path is Real



    Liberation is Real



    Buddha is Real



    Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.

    [youtube] [/youtube]
    .

  2. #2

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha

    Thanks Jundo for upholding human reason. A no-mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    gassho
    Greg

  3. #3

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Perhaps we should call this teaching Buddha with the bullshit removed. Priced just right to make admission a good value. Gassho, Shogen

  4. #4

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you Jundo,
    thank you cat,
    not believing is questioning, where else could that lead, if not to buddha?
    _()_
    Peter

  5. #5

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Very nice post, Jundo.

    It is also very interesting that there are passages in the Pali canon, and the Chinese ?gamas, where the Buddha for example shows anger or joy or feels irritated (especially concerning Devadatta). Why keep these passages if not to show that the Buddha was a human after all? I prefer to see him as a master of his art. For example, a master archer is better than novices at archery, does fewer mistakes, and can probably speak more truth about archery than most others. But he can still miss his target once in a while.

    It seems even the Buddha has problems being a perfect Buddha.

    Thank you.

  6. #6

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Jundo, it's posts like these that reaffirm my commitment to Soto and to your no-nonsense teaching style.

  7. #7

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Jundo, it's posts like these that reaffirm my commitment to Soto and to your no-nonsense teaching style.
    Well, Matto, thank you. I am "no nonsense" between my nonsense!

    But not the whole "Soto" world would agree with what I have to say. In our book club, for example, 'ol Master Keizan was truly a fan of the old legends and miracle stories, wasn't he? Dogen was too, although we are talking folks back in the 13th century. Even today, I think that many many folks in the Soto world would not challenge the literalness of many of the old stories and religious figures.

    Actually, I am a "fan" too of what the legends have to teach between and behind the words, although I tend not to take most too literally.

    Gassho, J

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Ah, thank you. I appreciate this one a lot.

    Gassho,

    Jennifer

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Finally someone has the balls to say what needs to be said! I completely agree. Deep gassho to you for this Jundo Sensei _/_

  10. #10
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you Jundo.

  11. #11

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you Jundo, a wonderful down to Earth teaching that encompasses the universe (all of them). Nice to see master TinTin so active again, glad he had the respect to honour the Buddha before running around.

  12. #12

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you, Sensei.

    I'm a newbie to Soto and Treeleaf. I like shikantaza, but I don't know if I'm a Soto person or not, so being new and relatively confused I can't comment on the wisdom of your remarks.

    I don't ever think about Kannon or Jizo, by whatever names they're known around the world, though the former (Kuan Im) has a big following in Thailand among the Sino-Thais, a bit like the Virgin Mary. Having first learned about Buddhism in the Theravada tradition, the Mahayana saints were never mentioned to me. I don't think Thich Nhat Hanh talks about them either.

    I wonder if Soto is Buddhism? I don't mind if it is or it isn't. Indeed, maybe it's better if it isn't. Your comments suggest to me that it both is and isn't, and that seems good to me. Maybe it's "Buddhism with the bullshit removed", as Shogen said, but for many people the bullshit is important and compassion demands that we respect that.

    Nothing shocks me any more. For a Zen Buddhist priest to say he doesn't believe in the Buddha doesn't shock me in the least, because I know he's saying he doesn't believe in projected images as anything other than projected images. (At least I think that's what he's saying.)

    Sorry to go on. I enjoyed your piece, Jundo Sensei, but you can see it's set me off. I could go on .... (and on ...)

  13. #13

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian
    ... I know he's saying he doesn't believe in projected images as anything other than projected images. (At least I think that's what he's saying.)
    Yes, that is what he thinks he is saying too. 8)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    I grew up under similar story centered around religion. That of Santa Claus. From what I have read the name comes from the bastardization of the pronunciation of Saint Nicholas's name. Saint Nicholas, like the Buddha, was at one time a real man. Who did many wonderful things. But climbing down chimneys I am sure wasn't one of them. When I was a kid I believed all the fantastical stories of him. Then there came a day as I grew a little older that I rejected it as just a fable. Now as an adult I have come around to that original belief. With a twist. I now believe in the spirit of Santa. Everyone has in them the ability to express the virtues he idealizes. Just like everyone has in them a Buddha. Through that is what makes them both real to me now. I do respect all the fantastical stories of Bodhisattvas and the Buddha. Just like I enjoy the stories of Santa. I don't believe that they have to be rejected just because one sees through the mystical but can still be embraced and enjoyed. But enjoyed for what they are. At times just metaphors. I don't have to say much more about it because Jundo's words are far better and already explain what I am trying to get at anyway.

    Gassho,
    John

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Arian wrote:
    "but for many people the bullshit is important and compassion demands that we respect that."

    Hi Adrian,
    This teaching must seem shocking/disrespectful if one, like yourself, is rather new to Treeleaf and hasn't seen more of Jundo sensei's teachings. Trust me, from someone who has been around this sangha for a while Jundo sensei has the utmost respect for the traditions of Buddhism. Just watch the "Whattsa Who'sa Bodhisattva?" series and you will see that even though those stories are also wrought with the same mysticism he seems to speak ill of here he still treats them with respect and seriousness.


    Gassho,
    John

  16. #16

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thanks JR
    "Whatsa Who'sa Bodhisattva?" :-D (Where are the smilies?)
    I trawled all over the Board and finally found it - right under this topic!
    My aside about compassion wasn't directed at anyone. It was in my mind, as I'd just been reviewing an article about Buddhist reformers in Thailand and how they have to compromise somewhat with folk-beliefs and practices (magic and superstition), especially in rural areas, or the people would simply not come to them.
    Metta
    Adrian

  17. #17
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Excerpted from the great John Lennon:
    I don't believe in magic,
    I don't believe in I-ching,
    I don't believe in bible,
    I don't believe in tarot,
    I don't believe in Hitler,
    I don't believe in Jesus,
    I don't believe in Kennedy,
    I don't believe in Buddha,
    I don't believe in mantra,
    I don't believe in Gita,
    I don't believe in yoga,
    I don't believe in kings,
    I don't believe in Elvis,
    I don't believe in Zimmerman...
    I don't believe in Beatles,
    I just believe in me,

  18. #18

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    I just believe in me,
    Well, in Buddhism, we do not even believe in that. :shock:

  19. #19
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Oops, yeah, I should've caught that, but didn't, which is interesting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    I really enjoyed this teaching and I agree with it. Very upfront and to the point.

    Thank you,
    Jodi

  21. #21

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    A WONDERFUL, belly laugh filled post at Nella Lou's Madhushala Blog -- The Buddhist Blogger's Crackpot Scale ...

    http://notwoo.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/ ... pot-scale/

    Here is part of it, but the whole list is priceless! Funny and oh so true! (I think I get 10 points for the capitalized "WONDERFUL")


    This can be used to evaluate blogs, comments, articles, Facebook notes and even Twitter. I can also think of a few mainstream Buddhist publications that might want to include it in their editorial policies. The higher the score the closer to woo one gets.
    •A -5 point starting credit. Might as well keep this one as there will be some who can use all the advantages they can get.
    •1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false. This includes fake Buddha quotes, popular interpretations of secondary interpretations of poor translations of original Buddhist writings, blatant historical inaccuracies and distortions.
    •2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous. “Because you and I don’t exist” is not an excuse for anything.
    •3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent. A contradiction is a contradiction no matter how many times one quotes the Heart Sutra as a defense.
    •5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction. Stubbornness is not one of the paramitas.
    •5 points for using a personal theory that contradicts the results of actual scholarship, practice, doctrine and general consensual reality. This would include such things as astral travelers whispering new sutras about the dharma of Lady Gaga to you while you sleep.
    •5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).
    •5 points for each mention of "Chopra", "Tolle" or "saw that on Oprah".

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    What a great little lesson on realism.

    Yes, I have always wondered how did they manage to get away in imbuing all those magic powers onto the Buddha. Perhaps it was the sign of the times?

    At any rate what I like about Buddhism is the fact that you just don't have to believe. You have to practice and see for yourself.

    Thanks, Jundo Sensei.

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you Jundo-oso;

    If only this candidness could be conveyed in every religion.
    Perhaps all beings could live in better harmony; being given a clearer perspective of the message.
    The so Simple Message:
    Be kind to others, Be true to yourself, you are what you think, it's never too late to change your mind.
    http://www3.sympatico.ca/rjmaxwell/irwin.gif

    p.s. Where have i seen that cat before?

  24. #24

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by chocobuda
    Yes, I have always wondered how did they manage to get away in imbuing all those magic powers onto the Buddha. Perhaps it was the sign of the times?
    Perhaps. Or perhaps, those magic powers were real. We can't know what they realized, only what we can realize by ourselves.

    At any rate what I like about Buddhism is the fact that you just don't have to believe. You have to practice and see for yourself.
    Sure, but there is belief in there as well. Belief in dependent co-arising, belief in sa?s?ra, and belief in what the Buddha found out. But then it's absolutely up to you to realize that belief, seeing it with your own eyes.

    Edit: BBCode seems to be off, and can't change it back. Sorry. That's why the quote thing doesn't seem to work, at least not for me.

  25. #25

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you Jundo
    Gassho
    Gary

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    I don't believe in Buddhas, but I do believe in Master Tin Tin!

    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  27. #27

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Thank you Jundo Sensei!

    In a way doesn't everything come down to belief? We can say it's direct experience, but don't we have to have faith that what we experience directly is really how it is?

    Gassho,

    Risho

  28. #28

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    At any rate what I like about Buddhism is the fact that you just don't have to believe. You have to practice and see for yourself.

    Sure, but there is belief in there as well. Belief in dependent co-arising, belief in sa?s?ra, and belief in what the Buddha found out. But then it's absolutely up to you to realize that belief, seeing it with your own eyes.
    Belief isn't a prerequisite for investigation. You can say, "what that Buddha guy says makes a lot of sense; I think I will investigate it." You needn't say "what that Buddha guy says is right, I just know it, I *believe* it--now I'll investigate it.

    I don't believe anything the Buddha said. I don't believe anything Dogen said. I don't believe anything Jundo or Taigu said. I don't believe anything you've said. I don't believe anything *I've* said.

    Do. Check. Act.

  29. #29

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    I came upon this poem by Dogen, which also reminds me of Taigu's lovely talk today about visiting a garden where Amida Buddha is enshrined. Here, Master Dogen was visiting a famous island and mountain in China where Kannon (Guanyin in Chinese) Bodhisattva is said to reside and appear in a Grotto cave ... something like Lourdes in France where the Madonna is said to appear.

    It is called Mount Potalaka (by the way, the source of the name "Potala Palace", home to the Dalai Lama in Llasa, as he is said to be an incarnation of Kannon).

    Dogen writes ...

    [Guanyin is found] amid hearing, considering, practicing, and truly verifying the mind,
    Why seek appearances of her sacred face within a cave?
    I proclaim that pilgrims must themselves awaken.
    Guanyin does not abide on Potalaka Mountain

    .
    .

  30. #30

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Gassho

  31. #31

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Choco says,

    "Yes, I have always wondered how did they manage to get away in imbuing all those magic powers onto the Buddha. Perhaps it was the sign of the times?"

    Perhaps just good marketing to make for a quick buy in without all the required work. Gassho, Shogen

  32. #32

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    In a way doesn't everything come down to belief? We can say it's direct experience, but don't we have to have faith that what we experience directly is really how it is?
    When we are swimming and jumped into that cold water, feel ourselves making strokes and back kicks, at that moment are we still believing what we are doing is swimming? Do we have doubts that we are in water? Or do we know? Not an intellectual knowing, but a knowing that comes up from being chin deep in it...?

    Gassho


    Seiryu

  33. #33

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    ---
    Matto wrote (for some reason the quoting thing doesn't work for me in this particular thread. Someone doesn't want me to quote Matto )
    Belief isn't a prerequisite for investigation. You can say, "what that Buddha guy says makes a lot of sense; I think I will investigate it." You needn't say "what that Buddha guy says is right, I just know it, I *believe* it--now I'll investigate it.
    ---


    If belief isn't a prerequisite for investigation, what made you start the investigation in the first place?

    Perhaps you read something from the Buddha that struck a chord in you?

    Perhaps, just perhaps, there was this little voice in your head telling you that all this that you see as reality, maybe isn't that real after all. Maybe all this suffering isn't what it seems ... And then, maybe you don't agree, or believe in this view of reality anymore ... BAM! That's a belief right there!

    Investigation doesn't come from nowhere - it comes from a belief that you want to check out a bit closer. If you didn't have this belief, perhaps you just had a hunch, chances are that you hadn't acted on it at all.

    That's my bet anyway (but you should know that I am terrible at betting )

  34. #34

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    If belief isn't a prerequisite for investigation, what made you start the investigation in the first place?
    I understand your point here but I think it is not the same thing as belief.

    One definition of belief that I came across was; "Assent to a proposition or affirmation, or the acceptance of a fact, opinion, or assertion as real or true, without immediate personal knowledge; reliance upon word or testimony; partial or full assurance without positive knowledge or absolute certainty.."

    I think when we want to investigate something, like something said by the Buddha, what we are trying to do is see whether or not it is true, by having a direct experience of it ourselves. I do not think we are saying that it is true to begin with, I feel we are saying, "this sounds good, I wonder if it is true, or a load of crap."

    Just some ideas...

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  35. #35

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Those are very good points, Seiryu.

    I still believe though that this investigation we are conducting is more than just a check to see if it's true or not. It is a way too huge a commitment if we didn't have belief or faith that the Buddhadharma actually is true (but we still want to see it with our own eyes).

    Thanissaro bhikku once wrote of faith in Buddhism, "If he [Buddha] had simply wanted you to trust your own unaided sense of right and wrong, why would he have left so many other teachings?". I tend to agree with this.

  36. #36

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Very true. I was thinking about this a little today and I remember about the three pillars of traditional Buddhism. Great Determination, Great doubt, and Great Faith.

    Determination to see into the truth of realty. The falling away of Body and mind.

    Doubt to continue questioning and investigating.

    But the Faith part has me thinking. You are right, that there has to be faith, otherwise why would we even sit in the first place? Sit quietly and stare at a wall for thirty minutes!! Hmmm There has to be faith to begin with to do that. But I think the difference between Buddhist faith and other faith is that eventually our faith is replaced, not with knowledge, but with understanding that has come out of directly realizing the Buddha's teachings. I guess when that happens, faith drops away...

    interesting development....

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  37. #37

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Hi guys,

    very unteresting posts...
    Reading about your ramblings, I just wanted to add my own: you see, in our practice, faith doesn't mean to believe in something or somebody, faith is not a thought or impulse, faith cannot be seen on the map of our thinking land: faith arises from letting our body-mind and the body mind of others fall away. in other words, it is not what takes us to the cushion, to the practice period, to the retreat or the teacher, it is the flower that grows out of practice itself. Faith is another name for : being one with the one and the many. Or better, being neither one nor two. In Buddhism, the beyond is under our very feet. Faith is the body of action itself.
    Faith is the dynamic bowing and stilling, and doing-undoing, working and resting. Carving a Buddha in the flesh, meeting fleshed Buddhas around. Celestial things, legends of old, palaces and Pure Lands, golden flashy sexy deities are mere reflections of this very reality we walk in, metaphorical aspects of the awakened activity. We don't need to buy them.

    But I think the difference between Buddhist faith and other faith is that eventually our faith is replaced, not with knowledge, but with understanding that has come out of directly realizing the Buddha's teachings. I guess when that happens, faith drops away...
    Yes, Seiryu, once you stop believing in Santa, you'll find Santa in true people. In that way, Santa lives, closer to you that in your wildest dreams. That intimacy is faith.

    gassho


    Taigu

  38. #38

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Great Faith and Great Doubt.

    This is why I have great faith in Buddhism, Sotoshu, and why I am thankful to call Jundo and Taigu my teachers. Every religion has an element of the fantastic. And truly, it is the religion that can strip away all the mummery and mysticism and still be wonderfully beautiful, meaningful, and relevant, that I can say I am thankful to have learned from.

    Even Bodhidharma said "don't think about buddhas, your mind is the buddha. Don't use a buddha to worship a buddha." And not only did he say it, but in our faith we are secure enough to say that the sermon this came from probably wasn't even written by Bodhidharma. In fact, we can say that there are even Buddhist scholars that don't believe Bodhidharma even existed in the first place!

    And it doesn't really matter one way or another, because Bodhidharma did write that sermon, even if it was with someone else's hand, and Bodhidharma exists right now, in every one of us reading this forum, in our co-workers, in the customer service representative we talk to when our cable breaks, ad infinitum.

  39. #39

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    This is a good discussion... Anista, I see what you mean now, and from that perspective there is indeed a type of "faith" that comes as part of practice. I think I have negative connotations with the word "faith," because of my exposure to the Abrahamic traditions. It immediately brings up the notions of *unquestioned* belief in fantastical things. But the concept of faith as a *questioned* belief makes a lot more sense.

    Gassho,
    Matt

  40. #40

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Hello friends,

    I'm rather late to the party on this one, but I do appreciate both the video and accompanying discussion.

    Thank you all.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  41. #41

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    that is exactly why i love Soto Zen,
    straight to the point,
    no nonsense,
    100% real and reality


    we get there! euh....we getting anywhere :?:

  42. #42

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: I Don't Believe in Buddha!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiki
    that is exactly why i love Soto Zen,
    straight to the point,
    no nonsense,
    100% real and reality


    we get there! euh....we getting anywhere :?:
    Hi Jiki,

    Well, I am not sure that all "Soto Zen" (whatever that is) would put it just as I did, in the same words. Much of the Zen church can be pretty straight and conservative. However, at heart, I think all are in agreement.

    Gassho, J

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