Thursday, April 6, 2017

Are you normal? Mind Training (video)

Leonard Bullen (Bodhi Leaf 42); ASAP Science; CC Liu, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly

Buddhism: A Method of Mind Training
Because there is suffering in your heart...
When we hear something about Buddhism in the daily news, we usually think of it having a background of huge idols and yellow-robed monks, with a thick atmosphere of incense fumes. We never feel that there is anything in it for us, except, maybe, an exotic spectacle.
Is that all there is in Buddhism? Do the news photographers take pictures of the real Buddhism? Do the glossy magazines show the fundamentals or the externals?
Let us see, then, what Buddhism really is, Buddhism as it was originally expounded and as it still exists underneath the external trappings and trimmings.
Although generally regarded as a "religion," Buddhism is basically a method of cultivating the mind.

It is true that, with its long monastic tradition and its emphasis on ethical factors, it possesses many of the superficial characteristics that we Westerners associate with religion.

However, it is nontheistic because it affirms that the universe is governed by impersonal laws rather than any creator-god. It has no use for prayer, for the Buddha, the Dharma (Teaching), and the Sangha (of enlightened disciples) are teachers, exemplars, not gods. And it regards devotion not as a religious obligation but as a means of self-development and expressing gratitude. So it is not a religion at all from these points of view.
Again, Buddhism knows "faith" only in the sense of confidence, conviction, the temporary setting aside of doubt long enough to test something and be sure, in the way recommended by the Buddha.

Why "believe"? Come and see for yourself.
A Buddhist is not expected to have blind faith or to believe in anything merely because the Buddha said it, or because it is written in ancient books, or because it has been handed down by tradition, or because others believe it. (See the Kalama Sutra).

One may, of course, agree to take the Buddha Dharma, the Doctrine made known by the Enlightened One, as a working hypothesis and to have confidence in it. But one is not expected to accept anything unless reason accepts it.

This does not mean that everything can be demonstrated rationally and empirically, for many points lie beyond the scope of the intellect and can be cognized only by the development of higher faculties. The individual can confirm it with certainty, whereas others will still need to follow the path for themselves to confirm it for themselves.

But the fact remains that there is no need for blind acceptance of anything in the Buddha's doctrine. More

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