Questions tagged [philosophy]

The study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. It can also be a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

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191 views

Emptiness and one taste

Might it be true that emptiness can be conceived of as the one taste of mind: that the world of mind has only one reality which is everywhere and always the same, unchanging. Who (which groups or ...
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448 views

Was the doctrine of 'Anatta', accepted as doctrine by modern Buddhism, actually taught by the Buddha?

Understanding of 'Anatta' is key to so much Buddhist meditation practice and philosophy that I've been exposed to but (call me conservative) I gain great confidence when the Buddha himself had ...
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Reconciling anātman and ancestor worship/veneration

Buddhism teaches the concept of anattā or anātman. In short: There is no "soul" or "essence", only "processes" within the framework of the five skandhas. This gives the illusion of the individual ...
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929 views

Do Buddhists put any stock in feng shui, particularly crystals?

My question relates to the view of and position on feng shui harmony by Buddhist traditions in general, and specifically in gemstones (which some believe have physical/metaphysical properties). How do ...
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Does the Buddha speak of the nature of time, vis-à-vis “past,” “future,” and “present?”

Physics shows that what we percieve to be the unidirectional arrow of time is an illusion; that time doesn't necessary "flow" in any direction, and that the concepts of past and present are ultimately ...
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Is there anything in Buddhism analogous to the Christian Eucharist?

I hope to have a go at reading a little about the Eucharist. Because my religious sympathies largely lie with Buddhism, I thought it'd be good to know of anything comparative therein.
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My thoughts don't happen to other people so why are they 'not mine'?

Considering the five aggregates and the sense in which they are all not-self. Thoughts (samskāra) are one of the five aggregates so they too are 'not me' or 'not mine'. In one sense this is a ...
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Is lack of inherent existence the same as 'not real'?

I'm reading Rob Burbea's book Seeing That Frees. The book is about ways of working with emptiness. In the book he says that things lack inherent existence. I'm fairly sure this isnt the same as not ...
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If the literal truth causes confusion, but a lie portrays the truth via a careful misunderstanding, is it really a lie?

Sometimes during everyday conversation, you can notice based on someone's subtle feedback, that they may be misinterpreting something you are telling them. For the sake of the question, please suspend ...
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How to not slip into Nihilism from Vipassana?

I am sensing this disenchantment from letting go. Meditating on impermanence feels like nihilism to me. There is a fleeting moment of joy from the liberation and just watching emotions go by. And I ...
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1answer
137 views

Rebirth and brain death

I am very new to buddhism, so my understanding is very basic. My previous world views were very materialistic and deterministic. It might not be surprising that the most confusing concept I find so ...
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113 views

Rebirth in regard to AI

First time poster here. I am very new to buddhism, so my understanding is very basic. My previous world views were very materialistic and deterministic. It might not be surprising that the most ...
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4answers
4k views

Philosophical and Doctrinal Differences between Theravada and Zen, and its effects

The difference between Theravada and Zen may be like night and day. I favour Zen over Chinese Mahayana because I don't quite prefer the Pure Land beliefs. Hence, I want to compare these two. I ...
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114 views

How does cause depend on its effect?

This philosophical treatment of Nagarjuna by Westerhoff talks about how a cause depends on its effect. I think that this point is a stumbling block for me but in my philosophical interpretations of ...
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Buddhism and the middle path

I am battling with understanding the concept of the middle path. Having read the many articles available, the concept escapes me especially with a view of self and no-self. My understanding is that ...
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94 views

Causation without causes

I just reread Bachelor's translation of MMK. It struck me that the argument against causation was that: A cause has no essence in addition to what it is, else it would not be the final cause. But it ...
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240 views

Difficulties Maintaining Balance In Between Buddhism Teaching in Today’s Lives

I’m not sure if this is a good question to ask but would be great if anyone could shed some lights. Not sure if it’s just me or anyone of you experiencing the same in one way or another? In workplace ...
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Philosophy of life and death [closed]

I think that the following from Nietzsche is the right way to live. I love him who reserves no share of spirit for himself, but wants to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus he walks as ...
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147 views

The alayavijnana and emptiness

I asked a question about rebirth without new awareness, only karmic conditioning. According to the doctrine of the Nidanas, I answered my question saying that: Kamma-bhava [bhava being the 10th ...
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565 views

How can Buddhist believe in Re-Incarnation, when they do not believe in soul? [duplicate]

Part 1: I was studying some of the Buddha's teaching, when I encountered this notion that Buddhism does not recognize 'Atman' or soul. Buddha did not believe in notion of 'Self'; He did not believe ...
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258 views

Are there any alternative formulations of the five skandas?

Considering the 5 skandas of Form Feeling Perception Volition Consciousness I was told during a study group once that this was only one of many possible formulations of the skandas and other ...
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If there is no self what or who is it that gets enlightened?

From reading this answer I come to understand that anatta means the lack of a core that can be conceived as self. If there is no permanent self, then who or what gets enlightened?
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Is Buddhism something that you should study?

Is Buddhism something that you should consider as a field that you should endeavour to study and develop a deep understanding of or is it enough just to simply sit, just as the Zen tradition seems to ...
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957 views

“Mystics” in buddhism? (“There is nothing hidden in my teaching” and the like)

For our next meeting in the "interreligious dialogue" we members are asked to do a statement about the "mystics" in each ones religion. Now, "mystics" is itself a mysterious term, I looked via ...
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Unique particulars

Following on from this question... Is everything (according to Buddhism etc etc) that is empirically adequate a "unique particular". If we found something "empirically adequate" that could not be ...
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275 views

Metaphors in and out Buddhism

One of the questions / answers recently posted here was about "storing" mental states for later. Of course this isn't Buddhist, in the sense that it does not literally describe a selfless person. ...
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Is “nāma” an equivalent of the Western concept of “mind”? Is it used alone?

This answer refers to "mind" as a synonym for "nāma". The only relevant use of that word I have found was "nāmarūpa", which refers to the five aggregates. But is "nāma" ever used alone to signify "...
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Is it true that Physics confirms some of the Buddha's teachings?

I've heard it said that some observations in modern Physics effectively confirm some of the things the Buddha taught. Is that true? If so, could someone provide some examples?
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Do beings without conscious experiences have buddha nature

A philosophical zombie is defined as follows, Zombies in philosophy are imaginary creatures used to illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world. Unlike those in ...
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364 views

Why the nature of things is such as it is?

Namaste. My question is Why the nature of things is such as it is? I think that the question cannot be answered, because it points outside the grasp of our mind, but I am interested in possible ...
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A Buddhist Point of View of Virtual Reality

Buddhism teaches that what is real is experience; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, thinking. From this perspective, is virtual reality, (video games, Oculus Rift, and such) objectively ...
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319 views

So what's the sense of it all?

Perhaps too straightforward question (I know it's too general) but still - when there's the enlightenment why we even exists? If Samsara can be brutal and full of suffering, what's its purpose? To ...
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897 views

Buddhism vs. Nature and Real World

I'm not very experienced in Buddhism but while reading some articles and few books about it I wonder about one key thing.. If I am not mistaken, the compassion with other species is one of the key ...
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649 views

What are conditioned as opposed to unconditioned phenomena?

I have come across the term 'conditioned phenomena'; what is meant by the qualifier 'conditioned'; are all phenomena conditioned, or are some phenomena unconditioned?
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266 views

Impermanence and suffering in Buddhism

I have an intuitive agreement with the idea that impermanence does mean that everything either is or ends in suffering. But I am not sure it makes rational sense. Can anyone explain the arguments ...
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571 views

Do metta practices and anatta contradict each other?

When I was taught the Metta Bhavna meditation practice it was suggested that I repeat the following to myself May I be well May I be happy May I be free Then again repeating the same again to ...
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446 views

What is perfect virtue?

I know of the Buddha nature and I am familiar with the concept of reincarnation so I am not really looking for those two concept as a immediate answer but I seek more of a answer pertaining to ...
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6answers
805 views

Do Buddhists think other religions are wrong?

I appreciate that religion can be many things but I want to consider the more soteriological aspects of religion. If we can take as a premise that religions including Buddhism have a strong concern ...
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Central idea of Buddhism

Is the central idea of Buddhism about being totally objective, see things as what they are and don't have a preference or judgement? If that is correct, then why we should prefer the ideas in Buddhism ...
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485 views

How is the Concept of Consciousness in Psychology Related to the parallel Buddhism concepts?

Philosopher Dan Dennett makes a compelling argument that not only don't we understand our own consciousness, but that half the time our brains are actively fooling us. (The illusion of consciousness) ...
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Is there a scientific book summarizing the orthodox buddhism, the most ancient form of it?

I found many personal book about Buddhism; witnessing; life story; spiritual encounter, experiences, meditation. I never found however a book that explain and summarize the classical Buddhism : a ...
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193 views

On Suffering and Happiness

Is happiness something we should seek? I feel discontent seeking the state of happiness or creating this state of mind when I know that other beings are suffering. For example, if one knows that ...
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456 views

Why is the Yogācāra school called 'mind only'?

I've heard the Yogācāra school of Buddhism called 'mind only'. What does that refer to? Does this school believe that the mind has a real inherent existence but nothing else does? Alternatively is it ...
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What is storehouse consciousness?

I've been reading Peter Harvey's Introduction the Buddhism and I've come across the concept of storehouse consciousness. It's in relation to Yogācāra and Chan Buddhism - originally with Yogācāra. It ...
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Are there different types of craving?

According to Buddhist tradition are there different types of craving? It occurs to me that the following could all be described using the English word craving Being thirsty (for water) Really ...
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What is the difference between Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya?

Within the Trikāya doctrine (the bodies of the Buddha) I've never felt very clear about the differences between the Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya. I believe that the Nirmanakaya is the physicality of ...
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How to calculate the number of years in a kalpa?

Wikipedia's Kalpa(aeon) in Buddhism article says, In another simple explanation, there are four different lengths of kalpas. A regular kalpa is approximately 16 million years long (16,798,000 years[...
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What really Sekha means?

i'm still a bit confused, i know that "sekha" means literally "a learner; in course of perfection" but in some article "sekha" means "a pupil or one under training in a religious doctrine." what i ...
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What is Buddhist Modernism?

This question refers to "Buddhist Modernism" however I'm not sure what it is. It is a term that I have heard crop up in a few other places. Is it a reformation movement within Buddhism? If so what is ...
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Why are the 16 Unwise Reflections (“shall I exist in future” etc.) considered unwise?

In a quest to find the Buddhist meaning of life, I stumbled upon The Unanswered Questions and the Unwise Reflections (Sabbasava-Sutta), and I am surprised that The Buddha actually advised against ...