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Buddhism


Guest Veryn
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Is it possible to incorporate Buddhism into paganism? Has anybody done this? I've been beginning to find out a bit about Buddhism as its values in some ways have always seemed to me to be similar to those of pagan or earth related paths.

 

I don't think I could become a full blown Buddhist :P but it would be interesting to include it in my path in some way... maybe? What do we all reckon?

 

:D

Edited by Veryn
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I've come "through" Buddhism, and still have Buddhist inclinations, and I'm not the only one on this board. Take a good hard look at Tibetan Buddhism, and their use of "The Oracle" - they're magic-users, without a doubt. Theravadin Buddhism frowns upon this (inasmuch as it frowns upon anything) but there's a certain amount of magic tied up in the greater vehicle.

 

Don't see why anyone should have a problem with it. Although probably somebody will. People are like that. :P

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I've come "through" Buddhism, and still have Buddhist inclinations, and I'm not the only one on this board. Take a good hard look at Tibetan Buddhism, and their use of "The Oracle" - they're magic-users, without a doubt. Theravadin Buddhism frowns upon this (inasmuch as it frowns upon anything) but there's a certain amount of magic tied up in the greater vehicle.

 

Don't see why anyone should have a problem with it. Although probably somebody will. People are like that.  :P

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Likewise

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If aspects of Buddhism appeal to you then by all means use them - if you have no hang-ups about following a particular and rigid path, and needing to give it a name, then you should feel comfortable incorporating anything you want into your practices. It's your life and your path, so tread it your way. :P

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I was interested in your interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism Fred. I wonder if you can explain for me an apparent contradiction. My initial impression was that Buddhists don't believe in god. Then I read about numerous Tibetan deities. Are they all just metaphors or what?

 

I can relate to your interest in Buddhism Veryn, my introduction to meditation was through the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. On further investigation though it seems highly intellectual which my intuition tells me may not be necessary. The lack of a god/ess as such, along with the need to overcome desire and attachment seems a very steep hill to climb. Maybe this is just where i'm at on my path to the afterlife whatever that might be. Although I don't expect a pagan path is necessrily easy, it just seems more natural to me, for now at least.

 

There's a forum called e-sangha which is a great source of buddhist information for anyone who's interested.

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I was interested in your interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism Fred. I wonder if you can explain for me an apparent contradiction. My initial impression was that Buddhists don't believe in god. Then I read about numerous Tibetan deities. Are they all just metaphors or what?

 

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Different people will give you different answers, I expect. Buddhism - Theravadin Buddhism - doesn't say "there are no gods". What it says is "whether there are gods or not, you should have nothing to do with them". Greater Vehicle sects have a variety of attitudes to gods. Tibetan seems to be inclusive. Before Buddhism arrived in Tibet, Tibet was a very warlike place. You can see the lingerings of this in their artefacts and religious dances. They have thigh-bone trumpets, and drums made out of skulls. These days (meaning, in the past three thousand years or so) zealous individuals have willed their remains to be used for these purposes. Previously, it's easy to imagine these would be spoils of war. "The Oracle" is a seer who goes into a trance in order to answer "questions of state". It's reported that few political decisions (by the government in exile) are taken without recourse to "The Oracle".

Where religions have a lot of "Saints", there is always a degree of doubt as to their standing. Are they Gods, demi-gods or what? Can they contend with other supernatural entities? (Tradition seems to say, Yes.) Tibet has a lot of "Saints". Lohans, Arahants, Boddhisatvas and others who have adopted the mantle of various gods in the way that St. Bridget has (and others have) in the British Isles. I even have a comic book at home about the Green Lohan. I have a suspicion that the Tibetan approach may well be like the Irish approach to the supernatural. There is a Saint for everything, and five miles down the road there will be a different Saint for the same thing.

 

(edited for speling.)

Edited by Fred-in-the-Green
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Different people will give you different answers, I expect. Buddhism - Theravadin Buddhism - doesn't say "there are no gods". What it says is "whether there are gods or not, you should have nothing to do with them". Greater Vehicle sects have a variety of attitudes to gods. Tibetan seems to be inclusive.

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The approach to Gods is as pragmatic as ever, Gods are samsaric beings subject to karma and rebirth like anyone else. They have comitted good deeds in the past and attained a very favourable position for themselves in the next life but because they lacked the insight necessary for a human rebirth they have become empty and spend aeons using up their good karma on luxuries rather than using it's energy to break the samsaric bonds. This can either be a metaphor for earthly people who live fortunate but ultimately hollow lives or it can be held as literal fact. The possible use that the example could be to the observer determines which of these possibilities is true, if you perceive the gods as true beings then they are true beings for you and you may take instruction from their existence. If perceiving the gods as true beings would be an obstacle to your spiritual development then they are simply an allegorical tale which helps you to understand the inequality in the world.

 

Paganism has taken on many aspects of Buddhism from the early days of the Theosophical Society (from which the Buddhist Society eventually grew) so concepts such as karma, rebirth and ahimsa are familiar to many pagans.

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From what I saw among Korean Buddhists and visiting various shrines and temples (usually on top of bloody great mountains), while Buddhism doensn't really have a God as far as Korean Buddhists are concerned, there is a lot of folk Buddhist tradition in which they have incorporated the Deities (and large chunks of the cosmology) from Korean 'shamanist' religion.

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Thanx to BB and FITG for your information. i'm struggling to get my head round it all. I'm feeling a bit out of my depth. I think i'll go back to gazing at the moon :(

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I have pictures of a Korean Buddhist mountain shrine in my Korea gallery if anyone is interested. He's one of the 'medicine Buddhas' (hence the rock balanced on his head)and supposedly guarantees one wish to anyone that climbs his mountain. The mountain was very steep and big so it's the least he could do I suppose! ;)

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This video has either been removed from Facebook or is not visible due to Privacy Settings.
;) Edited by Fred-in-the-Green
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This video has either been removed from Facebook or is not visible due to Privacy Settings.
:lol:

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I'm sorry but I can't move it :rolleyes: I no longer have it on camera and my connection isn't fast enough to mess with it. However if you are a facebooker then it should be visible when you sign in as it's set so that everyone can see it.

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  • 2 months later...

I enjoyed reading this thread, did so more than once!

I am as mixed up in my head as ever because although I have some clairvoyant ability. I read and use Tarot cards and am drawn to Celtic dieties,. But I have recently realised that a lot of my underpinning beliefs ARE more Buddhist in nature. (A solitary Buddhist witch on the Celtic pagan path?) you see what I mean by mixed up :)

I guess I need to go back into my little shed and think more about this situation. Any further thoughts on this subject?

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My path, Gothcraft, is a mix of many things, from nature loving earth bound Paganism, through to bits of witch craft, through to spiritualism, through to re-living past life regression kind-of thing, and I find it all liberating, and creative, not confusing, in the least.

 

I find labels don't help.

 

Didn't know what mine was called until somebody else told me just a few months ago, and I had been living this way 49 years by then.

 

The somebody is only in his 20's!

 

If something works for you by "borrowing" bits and pieces from here and there, or "adopting" parts of other beliefs, I cannot see anything wrong with it myself.

 

Makes more sense to me to evolve your path from what you learn rather than to un-learn and start all over as something else.

 

But maybe that's just my way of thinking.....

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My path and my footsteps are true ,however my heart,mind and eyes are eagar enough to enjoy the view along the way ,therefore there is room in my life to embrace and allow for and appreciate all things ,even if some people call them other names . Very much am tolerent of the serenity of Buddism,and Tao , and am reading a book right now which keeps going missing coz others keep nabbing it to help them !!! lol- books called -The Big Questions-A buddist response to lifes most challenging mystreries-By - Lama Surya Das .Just my two cents worth :)

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Someone could easily take concepts and philosophies from Buddhism, and learn from them. Of course that wouldn't necessarily make you a Buddhist in anyway, or any less of a Pagan, you would just have extra knowledge and understanding to draw from.

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Actually there is very little that does make you a Buddhist in the absolute sense. Buddhism is not a religion, it isn't even a path as such as there are many ways that are called Buddhist. A Christian who seeks to increase his or her understanding of phenomena and increase compassion for all sentient beings could be considered a Buddhist without in any way compromising their Christianity. It is possible to be a Wiccan Buddhist, a Heathen Buddhist, a Pastafarian Buddhist even - atheists are allowed to practice if they so wish! Traditionally a Buddhist is someone who takes refuge vows before the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings) and the Sangha (the collection of people who have taken vows and practice morality) but by this criteria there were no Buddhists for several hundred years after the passing of the Buddha. In the absence of a political need for a formal declaration to be a Buddhist it is generally accepted that an understanding of the four noble truths* and a will to improve yourself for the benefit of others pretty much gives you the right to call yourself a Buddhist if you so desire.

 

*The Four Noble Truths - HH The Dalai Lama (a really good intro to the concepts.)

 

Badger Bob - Buddhist Druid

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  • 2 months later...
(A solitary Buddhist witch on the Celtic pagan path?) you see what I mean by mixed up :)

 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with that. For a start, no religion or spiritual path owns any particular concept or practice. So there's no reason why you can't take ideas from wherever you find them, if they seem right to you. That's my take on it anyway. I have no idea what my path as a pagan is, and my current interest in yoga, so there you go :lol: . I'm also interested in learning more about buddhism, so far I have taken a course in mindfulness, I meditate every day.

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As part of the Revelations series of programmes on sunday nights at 8pm ( i think) they are looking at different religions,i think one of them is about Budism,im not sure which week its on ,but thought it might be worth checking out if you are interested,it started on Sunday and carries on for several weeks :lol:

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You're right Morbidia, one of the shows is about Buddhism (but not this coming Sunday, that one is about a Muslim school).

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On a very very basic level though, couldn't you consider them fairly polar opposites? From what (admittedly little, restricted to school RS lessons ) I know Buddhism is all about breaking the cycle of lives on Earth. While Paganism seems to be centred on keeping the cycle going.. Not saying you couldn't encorpourate them together (i reckon you could mix together most religions/ faiths unless you're wanting to be really devout), but it seems a bit confusing here!

 

Am I missing something blindingly obvious?

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hi Sorbus.

speaking for myself I believe wholeheartedly in reincarnation and am certain I face plenty more yet, and given a choice I would continue life-cyclrs forever. (I just like physical life too much, I guess)

I believe just as strongly in the principles that underpin a Buddhist life, they can be found here:

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/buddhamorals.html

I still have a few to adopt I have to admit, and a few are not awefully practical in a non-monastic life, but I do incorporate everything I can into my pagan practices. Does that help?

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On a very very basic level though, couldn't you consider them fairly polar opposites? From what (admittedly little, restricted to school RS lessons ) I know Buddhism is all about breaking the cycle of lives on Earth. While Paganism seems to be centred on keeping the cycle going.. Not saying you couldn't encorpourate them together (i reckon you could mix together most religions/ faiths unless you're wanting to be really devout), but it seems a bit confusing here!

 

Am I missing something blindingly obvious?

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"You can't win.

You can't break even.

You can't even quit the game."

It's said that all major belief systems attempt to contradict one of these statements. The Buddhist one can be considered to try to contradict "you can't even quit the game." In simple terms, the aspiriation to be a Buddha is to free oneself of desire and completely negate the ego. Supposedly that frees you from the wheel of life.

But have you ever heard of a Boddhisattva?

This is a being who has achieved buddha-hood, or nearly, and delays this in order to strive for better conditions for others here on earth.

 

The "breaking the wheel" does not seem to me to be the crucial tenet of Buddhism. The crucial tenet is the divisibility of the spirit (or, the vital energy). Hinduism is rife with absurdities, such as a man being reborn as an ant or an elephant. In buddhism, the spirit/energy is quantifiable (although no-one has managed to quantify it) and one man may be reborn as a hundred thousand ants, or contribute to the whole of an elephant. Ceasing to be reborn and freeing yourself from the ego does not mean that your spirit/energy dissipates. It may dissipate in the sense that it no longer coheres. But it dissipates in the sense that the energy is re-used by other creatures. Maybe humans, maybe something else. But it is no longer "YOU".

 

There is some evidence to think that the Druids had some beliefs along these lines. I'm told.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Way to Enlightenment has many paths.

 

One of my favourite places on this planet is Samyeling, the Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Scotland. Gaia is very strong there - no conflict.

Edited by Norseman
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I know Buddhism is all about breaking the cycle of lives on Earth. While Paganism seems to be centred on keeping the cycle going...

311957[/snapback]

 

Not quite, Buddhism (certainly in the mahayana version) is about breaking the causes of unhappiness and seeing through the self-delusion, to stop grasping at the "I" and become one with everything. The causes of rebirth are said to be the delusions that we accumulate as a result of our karmic actions and so if we gradually get rid of these delusions we eventually arrive at a state of seeing the world as it truly is. This means that we no longer have to undergo uncontrolled rebirth and can manifest in any way that we choose and for whatever purpose, this underpins the Bodhisattva principle, the vow to keep one foot in the world at the point of enlightenment.

 

Paganism on the other hand sees the cyclical nature of the world as preferable to the uncontrolled blundering of modern life. Rebirth (for those Pagans who believe in it) is seen as a fact that is to be dealt with and happiness comes from living a life of honour and companionship. These could be seen as being the same life as Buddhism but seen from the perspective of making a human life better rather than striving for the next stage of mental evolution. The way I see it is that Buddhism starts off with lofty ideals and a fixed endpoint whereas Paganism starts from the ground up with no particular endpoint other than to go as far as possible. A good Pagan is usually a good Buddhist and the best thing is that you don't have to believe in the Buddha or shave your head to be a good one. Just live the life your live in a manner that is true to your own standards, minimise your negative impact on yourself and others and you will be following the path. In that respect it should be compatible with every belief system, even atheism and pastafarianism.

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