15

The way I was taught Buddhism: identifying oneself with anything is a fetter. Self-identification is a form of clinging, and as such it inherently leads to conflict between "this" and "that", hence suffering. Ego is a box made of stuff we identify with. Ego is not just being selfish, it is what makes us tremendously vulnerable. Externally, avoid defining ...


15

Honestly I would say that it's not even a grey area. For me, investing in stocks in the meat industry is not in keeping with right livelihood. To quote the Vanijja Sutta in full "Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and ...


15

I don't suppose that any of us are qualified to advise you on your marriage or the optimal duration of it. In theory, I really don't think it's fair to say that Buddhist love is non-romantic. The Nakulamata Sutta (AN 4:55) is a perfect counter-example; it is a promise the Buddha gave to a blissfully married couple to be united again in the next life. The ...


13

There's an apocryphal Christian story, that I heard or read long ago -- where somebody asks someone else (possibly a Buddhist): Have you ever thought of becoming a Christian? ... to which the person replies: If you mean a good Christian, like your Christ -- I don't have the courage. But if you mean being a bad Christian, like you -- I ...


12

At a higher level the 8 fold path consists of 3 fold training: Development of morality Development of control or mastery over the mined Development of knowledge of the reality pertaining to one's mind and cognitive process There is nothing in the above which a lay person cannot develop or not reap benefits by developing. Being a monk you have less ...


12

Think of the followers of your former religion as people who believe that the earth is flat. There's no point getting angry at them. It's ok to argue with them in social circles if you feel it might be useful to some and if you are confident that you can handle it. But if it is getting to the point that you start shouting at them or trash talking at them, ...


11

If someone is willing to be blessed the Buddha's way, then I could think of no more suitable & special words than the words from the Mangala Sutta that tells us what are the blessings in one's life: To not associate with fools. Those who drag us down with their foolishness; drunkards, layabouts etc. To associate with the wise. Those who ...


10

You are mixing up the monk's life with lay life. Lay people are only expected to follow the five precepts on regular days and the eight precepts on Poya days. So they can still get married and have children. You can still attain enlightenment while being a lay person. Visaka was a Sothapanna. But she married and had many children. A monk's life is more ...


10

It varies by sect. These questions generally attract a bunch of people who think you are advocating in-your-face Christian style evangelism. The patterns I'm going to describe appear to be true for the US, Europe and Russia. SGI. Works the hardest to gain new members and at least back in the 70s (80s?) was willing to send people out to interact with ...


10

This series of questions is quite involved and surely a book could be written to properly assess the status of how well a very traditional monastic community is holding up in modern times. But a few things did come to mind that can be easily stated. Your comments are from people who are not currently part of the monastic tradition. They've made their ...


10

This is going to be one of those Zen answers that tend to irritate people. When I asked my teacher this question, he said something like: Mission, hmm... You want to be told what to do? Why? This is not meant as teasing, it's a sincere invitation to sit and contemplate your personal answer to the above.


9

I had a similar experience when I wrote a program that would kind of simulate the experience of past lives that the Buddha talks about. It randomly distributes your previous births around various kinds of beings into the distant past: +--------------+------------+------------+------------+ | Being | Born | Died | Age | +-----------...


9

I started to read a book, The Buddha's Teachings on Prosperity written by Bhikkhu Basnagoda Rahula. This book says: The Buddha recognizes and admires happiness The Buddha wants laypeople (lay society) to be happy, prosperous, ethical The Buddha says that worldly happiness (sensory satisfaction) and the happiness of renunciation (giving up sensory ...


9

When ever you question something that is supposedly controversial, they tell you to read more on buddhism Leaving aside Buddhism even in any forums if you ask some basic questions some may not always be motivated to answer. This response is nothing much to do with Buddhism but more to do with internet culture. This is termed as Help Vampires. See: The Help ...


9

Well... I hate to say it (wink-wink)... but... having that rage and seeing that other religion as a collection of "lies" and those people as "liars" does say something about your level of realization in Buddhism. Yes, not very good. You must change the way you relate to both, change the way you see it. Buddhism must not be handled as if it was a position of ...


8

In a way it's up to you how you self-identify. For a long time I struggled with calling myself a Buddhist. I come from an atheist background so identifying with a religion of any sorts was a struggle. These days I would call myself a practicing Buddhist if asked. For me Buddhism only makes sense to the extent that I practice it. It isn't a set of beliefs ...


8

The real answer is that one cannot - it is the caring that causes the suffering: Seek no intimacy with the beloved and also not with the unloved, for not to see the beloved and to see the unloved, both are painful. Therefore hold nothing dear, for separation from the dear is painful. There are no bonds for those who have nothing beloved or unloved. From ...


8

The wise endowed with virtue shine forth like a burning fire, gathering wealth as bees do honey and heaping it up like an ant hill. Once wealth is accumulated, family and household life may follow. By dividing wealth into four parts, true friendships are bound; One part should be enjoyed; Two parts invested in business; And the fourth set aside ...


8

Can a non-Buddhist get Nirvana? Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam etc. are just words, conventional language. What is important is the teaching and practice of the teaching. In the famous Maha-parinibbana Sutta, there is a passage where the Buddha explains to the wandering ascetic Subhadda, that "in any doctrine & discipline", that does not contain ...


7

In Zen we are not taught to abandon things. Instead we are taught to let go of our attachment to things. The key here is that it is not the things themselves that make us suffer, but it is our attachment to these things that make us suffer. Eliminating the things themselves is different than learning to liberate yourself from your own attachment to these ...


7

As long as what you are doing is not immoral in my case I would go along with what the others are doing. Main point is by doing this you should not accumulate more fabrication. One way is to reduce contact through it is not very effective, which you are trying now. The more effective way is to go along with the crowed but what every you do be mind full of ...


7

What do you think, how many generations shall do that nice life that we have at the moment (do "we"?) Assembling and metabolizing the Dharma should point away from short-term perspectives. The Buddha - in my understanding - proposed a kind of living, a kind of needs, a kind of "time-table" for a life (little for physical needs, lot for reflecting, meditating ...


7

This answer is based in the Mahasi Sayadaw Tradition. Do you have any regular breaks during your day? Like short minute breaks or lunch breaks. If so you could use these breaks as "stations" for re-centering yourself before going back into the storm. With 12 hour working days it's understandable that there is not much time for formal meditation. The best ...


7

Routine is a good thing to have for a Buddhist, I believe. While this will vary person to person based on their circumstances, these are my suggestions to incorporate in a daily routine of a lay Buddhist. Throughout the day continue to maintain and develop the 10 skillful deeds. efface and prevent the 10 unskillful deeds. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/...


7

I guess the reason why you were feeling hopeless is that you were anxious about the past, a memory ... but the past isn't something you can conveniently change. You were also anxious about the future ... "I don't think a girl who know about my past will accept my love" ... but the future too is something you can't easily change ... it's beyond your control ...


7

The "passion" you talk about sounds like a craving for something which you haven't defined. Your question seems to be asking, "I crave something (I crave something to feel passionate about), but I don't know how to find the object of my craving. Can Buddhism tell me how to find what I crave?" I think that basic Buddhism teaches one to recognize that "...


7

Ugga, a rich layman, said in a sutta of the aṭṭhaka-nipātā (AN 8.22): With confident heart I paid homage to the Buddha. The Buddha taught me step by step (anupubbikakathā), with a talk on giving, ethical conduct, and heaven. He explained the drawbacks of sensual pleasures, so sordid and corrupt, and the benefit of renunciation. And when he knew that ...


7

She is your Buddha, your dharma, and your sangha. Love the world through your love for her. Your marriage is your refuge and your bodhimandala. It is the place where you will awaken - no less perfect or profound than any other vow you may take. Don’t let your attachment to the idea of perfection ruin this opportunity.


6

In one instance a head of a group of actors asked from Buddha if his profession is a good one and whether he could go to heaven because he provides entertainment. Buddha refused to answer this question three times. But when he insisted on, Buddha's answer was, Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, ...


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