Welcome admin !

It is currently Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:45 am
Pathway:  Board index Zen Discussion Forum Zen Practice & Philosophy Zen Buddhism

the goodness of Buddhism?

Discussions of Zen Buddhism in all shapes and sizes.

the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby genkaku on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:19 pm

What do you think would happen if we stopped (in one way or another) calling Buddhism "good?"

Would the whole structure collapse?

Would it be more honest?

Or ...

What do you think?
Last edited by genkaku on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
genkaku
 
Posts: 3847
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:28 pm

I must be traveling in the wrong circles. Here at ZFI i tend to hear "Buddhism" being knocked more often then its called "good"...

Since we're seeking honesty, any ideas about why that might be?

:O:
::::: Buddha Nature: Heart of the Dharma :::: Tao & Zen (Facebook page) ::::
"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
User avatar
christopher:::
Founding Member
 
Posts: 5208
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:25 am
Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby genkaku on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:57 pm

christopher::: wrote:I must be traveling in the wrong circles. Here at ZFI i tend to hear "Buddhism" being knocked more often then its called "good"...

Since we're seeking honesty, any ideas about why that might be?

:O:


Dear Chris -- The implication of Zen Forum is, it seems to me, that Buddhism is by nature good. Why else would anyone discuss it? Still I am sorry your Buddhism feels in some way bruised or defamed. So for the tentative record, let me say that Buddhism is good, holy, healing, supreme, philosophically-sensible, loving, delicious, nutritious, nifty, mystical, profound, freeing, kool, enriching, ennobling, virtuous, terrific, delectable, dissect-able, historic, meteoric, deeply serious, full of laughter and ... well, I'm running out of breath, but I mean it ... for the moment.

Does that make things better? I hope so.

And I still would be interested in responses to the OP.
genkaku
 
Posts: 3847
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:40 pm

genkaku wrote:
Dear Chris -- The implication of Zen Forum is, it seems to me, that Buddhism is by nature good. Why else would anyone discuss it?


It's good, it's hard, it's a lot of things, and maybe not. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, right? But do we really discuss Buddhism here at ZFI, that much? Seems to me the main thing people discuss here is their practice- which we can call "Zen" practice, "Buddhist" practice, "dharma" practice...

Practice is a verb. Buddhism is an adjective. We might paint these as nouns, but are they, really?

Still I am sorry your Buddhism feels in some way bruised or defamed.


Buddhism isn't mine. I'm actually a pretty lousy Buddhist, when it comes down to it. I talk to God sometimes, still dig the Tao te Ching & Upanishads, haven't yet been totally sold on a lot of the dogma...

Still, the dharma rocks.

So for the tentative record, let me say that Buddhism is good, holy, healing, supreme, philosophically-sensible, loving, delicious, nutritious, nifty, mystical, profound, freeing, kool, enriching, ennobling, virtuous, terrific, delectable, dissect-able, historic, meteoric, deeply serious, full of laughter and ... well, I'm running out of breath, but I mean it ... for the moment.

Does that make things better? I hope so.


I like the original request, for honesty. So no, it doesn't make it better cause i don't feel you're being sincere, above...

And I still would be interested in responses to the OP.


I won't post again until others have had their say.

:Namaste:
::::: Buddha Nature: Heart of the Dharma :::: Tao & Zen (Facebook page) ::::
"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
User avatar
christopher:::
Founding Member
 
Posts: 5208
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:25 am
Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby genkaku on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:36 pm

Practice is a verb. Buddhism is an adjective. We might paint these as nouns, but are they, really?


Chris -- "To practice" is a verb, yes. "Buddhism" is a noun. The question is, to what extent does that noun have any credible meaning except as a verb. Yes, it can take up class time as a noun, but is that its usefulness? Taste is taste, but I would say that as a noun, "Buddhism" is useless ... intellectually delicious, perhaps, but useless for all that ... until someone makes it a verb.

On the 'sincerity' front, I am sorry to disappoint you. If it makes a difference, here is what I wrote on my blog on the same topic.
genkaku
 
Posts: 3847
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby AlasdairGF on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:52 pm

If we stop calling Buddhism "good" to ourselves, then we have to start looking closely at what that 'good' means, and how our own conceptions of goodness, virtue etc stop us from seeing what's in front of our eyes. At the same time, just chucking out goodness is baby-and-bathwater time, how do we balance / reconcile the absolute and the relative? Very difficult, and we do it all the time.

If we stop calling Buddhism "good" to other people, they're going to get the wrong idea about what Buddhism is!
StoneWater Zen in Northampton, UK - zeNN1 @ swz-northampton.blogspot.co.uk
User avatar
AlasdairGF
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:14 am
Location: Northampton, UK

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby partofit22 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:05 pm

forgivable fib ... :)

and no one else but ourselves to forgive it seems-
forgive for the initial need of gold or good-
carats or carrots-
partofit22
 
Posts: 4552
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:36 pm

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:19 pm

genkaku wrote:
Practice is a verb. Buddhism is an adjective. We might paint these as nouns, but are they, really?


Chris -- "To practice" is a verb, yes. "Buddhism" is a noun. The question is, to what extent does that noun have any credible meaning except as a verb. Yes, it can take up class time as a noun, but is that its usefulness? Taste is taste, but I would say that as a noun, "Buddhism" is useless ... intellectually delicious, perhaps, but useless for all that ... until someone makes it a verb.


Yes! My error. I was speaking of "Buddhist" as adjective. All the rest (above) was exactly what i was trying to convey. It's only in relation to verbs (our actions) that Buddhism has meaning, and then only as a pointer to helpful forms of practice.


The question is, to what extent does that noun have any credible meaning except as a verb.


Exactly. It only has credible meaning when functioning effectively in that way...


On the 'sincerity' front, I am sorry to disappoint you. If it makes a difference, here is what I wrote on my blog on the same topic.


Need to head to bed, will check that out tomorrow.

:Namaste:
::::: Buddha Nature: Heart of the Dharma :::: Tao & Zen (Facebook page) ::::
"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
User avatar
christopher:::
Founding Member
 
Posts: 5208
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:25 am
Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby Jok_Hae on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:29 pm

On the 'sincerity' front, I am sorry to disappoint you. If it makes a difference, here is what I wrote on my blog on the same topic.


This totally off-topic, but how do you make the link have a title like that? It would be very good, if you explained to me. ;)

As far as the "goodness" of Buddhism goes, it has been good for me, and that is enough.

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4067
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby Ko_Shin on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:39 pm

Things - Nouns - aren't good or bad.

A table, a mountain, an "..."-ism (including Buddhism) isn't good or bad. They don't have 'goodons' or 'badons' (like electrons or protons in matter) as one of their properties as a thing.

What people do can be harmful or helpful, reduce or increase suffering, good and bad can be applied a little more effectively to those things.

Beliefs too might be labeled as good or bad if the beliefs tend to lead people to do more or less harm in the world.

-isms are just names of a collection of ideas that help us form beliefs and guide our actions and each person will apply his or her own understanding of the same -isms so that decouples them for the most part from actions and beliefs as good or bad.
"Whether the water is cold or warm, only you will know, and it is not something you can describe to others."
Master Hanshan Deqing "Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners" Translation by Guo-gu Shi
User avatar
Ko_Shin
 
Posts: 2896
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:47 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby Kojip on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:16 pm

Buddhism was achingly good for quite a while. In the tradtion I was practicing in goodness was huge. It often turned into a solemn, goodness. The goodness of good people. Death by solemnity. I like Zen, and have let-go of that other tradition because Zen is not "good" beyond being basically good. Which is a relief.
User avatar
Kojip
 
Posts: 2906
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby Carol on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:58 pm

genkaku wrote:What do you think would happen if we stopped (in one way or another) calling Buddhism "good?"

Would the whole structure collapse?

Would it be more honest?

Or ...

What do you think?


Well, this is the "Zen Practice in Daily Life" section of this "Zen Forum International." :lol2: Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that Zen is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism the practice of which we are discussing (?), is calling it "good" part of our practice?

I'm a traditional -- "Don't think good, don't think evil, what is your original face before your parents were born?" -- kind of Zen practitioner. So, when I catch myself categorizing things as good or bad, I try to look more deeply. I have noticed the whole structure collapsing when I look deeply, those things that I look to to prop up my being good and cling to to make sure I'm doing the good thing ... all that stuff just starts to dissolve. What's left? Linji called it the "solitary brightness" or "the true person of no rank" -- others have said wisdom and compassion. We can think of those as good things. But when we do, it's probably a good time to look more deeply.

:Namaste:
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
~Lankavatara Sutra
User avatar
Carol
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 10326
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:52 am
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby FaDao on Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:15 pm

genkaku wrote:What do you think would happen if we stopped (in one way or another) calling Buddhism "good?"

Would the whole structure collapse?

Would it be more honest?

Or ...

What do you think?


I don't believe I have ever applied the word "good" to my practice. I tend to use the terms "it works for me" and "take it or leave it -- no problem".

Namo Amitofo
Fa Dao
FaDao
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby genkaku on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:52 pm

Not to beat a dead horse, but I just looked up the word "good" on an internet dictionary. It has about a gazillion definitions of which I took perhaps the first third:

▸ noun: moral excellence or admirableness ("There is much good to be found in people")
▸ noun: that which is good or valuable or useful ("Weigh the good against the bad")
▸ noun: benefit ("For your own good")
▸ adjective: appealing to the mind ("Good music")
▸ adjective: agreeable or pleasing ("We all had a good time")
▸ adjective: most suitable or right for a particular purpose ("A good time to plant tomatoes")
▸ adjective: capable of pleasing ("Good looks")
▸ adjective: of moral excellence ("A genuinely good person")
▸ adjective: thorough ("Had a good workout")


So, although any of us might restrain our enthusiasm for using such a word, still our mental taste buds may savor the efforts we expend within a context that we consider "good." And I don't imagine we practice with the same sort of intention that we might apply to poisoning the neighbor's cat ... assuming anyone considered such an act "bad" or "evil."

Oh I dunno ... maybe the whole thing is a pig in a poke. :hide:
genkaku
 
Posts: 3847
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby Carol on Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:00 pm

genkaku wrote: And I don't imagine we practice with the same sort of intention that we might apply to poisoning the neighbor's cat ... assuming anyone considered such an act "bad" or "evil."


Well, I haven't considered poisoning the neighbor's cat lately. But, I have considered bad-mouthing someone I'm a bit irked with ... same difference. When I notice myself moving in that direction ... I try to do the same as above. Look more deeply. These things tend to dissolve when looked into.

:Namaste:
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
~Lankavatara Sutra
User avatar
Carol
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 10326
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:52 am
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: on Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:18 am

Carol wrote:These things tend to dissolve when looked into.



:buddha: :<.<: :buddha:
::::: Buddha Nature: Heart of the Dharma :::: Tao & Zen (Facebook page) ::::
"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
User avatar
christopher:::
Founding Member
 
Posts: 5208
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:25 am
Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby Dae Bi on Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:45 am

I think MikeCC_Dharma, hit the nail right on the head. I think this was also the Buddhist way to answer. I make good. I make bad etc. Also, Fao Dao answer, it works for me is also "good." Combine the two together, we then have. Not good, not bad, it works for me.
David

First there is a mountain,
Then there is no mountain,
Then there is.
Dae Bi
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:57 am
Location: Sydney Oz.

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby pink_trike on Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:14 am

What's "good" got to do with it? How can there be "good" or "bad" in the middle ground?
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:40 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby genkaku on Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:43 am

pink_trike wrote:What's "good" got to do with it? How can there be "good" or "bad" in the middle ground?


One of my all-time favorite westerns is "Open Range" starring Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall among others. And one of my favorite lines comes when Costner's character turns to his longtime friend Duvall in a moment of irritation as says, "How about I hold your head under water for just a little while?"

Pretty Buddhist, I think. :)
genkaku
 
Posts: 3847
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 am

Re: the goodness of Buddhism?

Postby MattJ on Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:28 pm

One of my first Buddhist teachers brainwashed me by calling everything "skillful" and "unskillful." :lol2: So now I don't see Buddhism as good, so much as skillful. Which makes sense, because "good" and "bad" is really just "atta" in disguise...
User avatar
MattJ
 
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:16 am
Location: Louisville, CO


Return to Zen Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

 
RocketTheme Joomla Templates

Who is online

In total there are 4 users online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 4 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 157 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:44 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests