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#77904 - 10/08/05 12:24 AM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
subdeacon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 83
Loc: Florida
John,
Sorry if you felt preached at. I've been in "Seminary/Grad School" mode for 8 hours a day 7 days a week for the past two months (the school's in a monastery) and I guess it's showing. I wasn't preaching...just trying to defend against some very negative and angry comments made against my faith and God. Any change I desired was that you might not write so disparagingly (or feel so)about, as you put it "her God and her Jesus (or as you put it to me "Your God"). You also called my thoughts garbage. Just to let you know, those are pretty negative ways of writing and pretty intolerant as well. I am not ashamed to say they hurt me. I am not angry, but I was hurt by your views and your words. If my words hurt you, I am sorry. Try re-reading your earlier posts again from another perspective and see how they might be taken by someone who believes in God.

For the record, when you write:
"Just thought I throw this out there and see what type, if any, responses I might get. Peace -" you might not always get the response you want! \:\)

Usually when my friends and I bump heads on religious ideas we decided to drop the issue. I think that's the best thing to do here. This was a bad way to meet, but oh well, can't change that now.

By the way, the post you wrote about your life in NY State with the fairs and festivals, etc. was very nice and brought back some nice memories of my own. It's obvious you're doing something right in this world. You should be proud of the life you're giving your children.

Peace,
Philip

_________________________
"By way of trials and sufferings we must purify the divine image in us...for it is by reforging our senses in the furnace of our trials that we free them from defilement and assume our royal dignity. --Abba Philimon

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#77905 - 10/08/05 12:46 AM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
Sinking Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 577
Loc: Took my ball and went home.
Philip - Now I find myself on the apologizing end. My intent was not to hurt, nor was it to disparage your religion nor you personally.

I've had the 'free will' conversation with my mother-in-law ad nauseum. I've also discussed with her priest/friend (she worked in the Rectory for years). No matter what one says about the issue, it does not justify what goes on in this world. Not as far as I'm concerned. I find the free will justification to be nothing more nor less than than an answer to fill the void where there is no answer. Why do people hurt others? Why are there starving children? Why do people rob, steal, rape? No one can satisfactorily explain to me why God would let this happen (please note that I capitalized God and did not refer to Him as yours or anyone else's). So it was not your thoughts I was calling garbage, though it appeared that way. It was the concept of free will. I apologize.

And, while I do not intend to disparage you or your religion, my words are intended to disparage the religion I was brought up in...can they be two different things? The religion that let me down and the religion that kept you afloat? From where I sit, they are exactly that, two different things. Now there's a concept....I can clearly see how you'd take my words personally. I did not mean them that way. And I apologize again.

I can also see why you think we should drop it here. I disagree. I think we might be able to learn from this type of conversation. For me it was not a bad way to meet. I appreciate your devotion and your willingness to stand up and defend what you love. If you choose to end the conversation here, I'll certainly abide by that. But if you care to carry it on, I'll do my best to be more respectful and more sensitive.

And thank you for your kind words. I AM very proud of the life we've carved out here, especially in the interest of my daughter. We all love it here. I've never felt more at home. Glad it evoked some warm feelings for you...it's the least I could do after having insulted you and your religion. Sorry and Peace - John


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#77906 - 10/08/05 01:47 AM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
subdeacon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 83
Loc: Florida
John,
Thank you for your kind words and of course accept your apology. I hope you accept mine.
Your last post took a knot right out of my stomach. I still want too much at times to please everyone.

I think that the religion you were brought up in and the one that gives me solace can be different. I know that there are some very important differences in world views between Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. From my experience the Eastern view of evil and sin is from a therapeutic point of view. Sin is an illness, so to speak. Our goal in life is healing but also to achieve union with the unknowable God with whom we can still have a relationship (we know God by His Energy but not His Essence). It would take a very long (and probably fruitful to a certain extent)discussion, which is probably beyond the scope of this forum, but maybe through PM's. I dunno. My godmother, by the way, was a Tibetan Buddhist (she said she had been tonsured, or something...don't remember the technical term) by some high level lama from Tibet. She has taught me some things that we share in common with Buddhism (which is why I'd recommend reading the sayings of the Desert Fathers). I've found some things in Taoism and Stoicism that fit well with my faith but do not negate it. That we have free will...I believe. That it justifies evil or explains it simply or makes it more comfortable to deal with pain or suffering? I'd have to say no way! It's much more complex than I wrote about of course (and I'm sure you know that too).


However for the next week or so, I'm going to be tied up with about three exams, two papers, and KP in the seminary kitchen. A 40 year old guy in a dormatory! Oy gevault what was I thinking! \:o

peace,
Philip

_________________________
"By way of trials and sufferings we must purify the divine image in us...for it is by reforging our senses in the furnace of our trials that we free them from defilement and assume our royal dignity. --Abba Philimon

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#77907 - 10/17/05 05:14 PM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
AuthenticMe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 287
Hi All,

I just wanted to add my thoughts about Buddhism. My first introduction to Buddhism (in this lifetime) came from my T, about 7 years ago when I was first recalled my abuse. He recommended a book by Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun, called "The Places that Scare Us." It was like an awakening. She also wrote "When Things Fall Apart," which I cracked again during this most recent round of recovery.

Although I consider my self a Buddhist practitioner, the path has not been without struggle. It was only when I started meditating and studying regularly, in fact, that I was able to tap into the magnitude of SCA on my life. In that way, Buddhism has been amazingly positive. But painful.

Intellectually, I tend to believe the Buddhist presentation of karma. I have, however, "misused" Buddhist teachings on karma to perpetuate my habit of self-abuse: I've done bad deeds, therefore, I will surely experience a bad result, which leads me to anxiety and fear, which reinforces that I'm a bad person, etc.

I have found Buddhism to be of great value and know that my spiritual path will be of great benefit to my recovery. As I was raised a very cynical atheist, this is quite a step for me (though I know some atheists who definitely have a spiritual path).

_________________________
I am a Man.

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#77908 - 10/18/05 03:55 PM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
Sinking Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 577
Loc: Took my ball and went home.
Authenticme - My therapist suggested The Places That Scare Us too. That was very early in my recovery, not sure I absorbed it all. Maybe I should go back and take another look....Peace - John


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#77909 - 10/18/05 05:22 PM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
AuthenticMe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 287
Sinking,

Pema Chodron is very gentle and encouraging. The school of Buddhism that she comes from emphasizes different ways of dealing with and interacting with our emotions, so I find it very relevant during this time.

BTW, I wish I could be where you're "From" right now! All in due time, I guess.

_________________________
I am a Man.

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#77910 - 10/18/05 10:29 PM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Great book!


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#77911 - 10/19/05 12:06 AM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Well, I've just finished reading this amazing thread and I'm hoping and praying/meditating that it will continue. I know that I'm learning from it. As it was suggested that this could continue in PM form, I certainly hope that it doesn't...a lot of us would be left out.

I can't remember a more intellectually stimulating conversation since my first year in college. This little school had the best forum. It was called, "The Saints, Sinners and Skeptics Club." Most of the presentations were much more cutting, sharply critical and downright argumentative than what is read here. But then I've appreciated that. Kinda like that thing about loving ones neighbor. Whoever presented me with that concept knew what they were doing...it seems the most difficult of exercises, for me, of getting along with others.

But this, this discussion, I've not been involved in a conversation of such respect and concern for the other, not even within my own congregation.

You should attend a church council meeting sometime!

My point being, and I didn't elaborate much when I mentioned it, that of having tolerance for others' faiths and religions.
I must admit I'm a christian who is all over the place. I have believed the tenants of my religious instruction, but have rejected the part about Jesus being the only way to heaven. What I've just said would get me kicked out of some christian churches.
Jesus is the only way if that's how you've heard about the kingdom of God, but it's not for the Native American who has revered this land and tired to take care of it. Ya, I know, he had trouble with his neighbor, too. Must be a lesson in there somewhere.
As I said, I do appreciate, that the big three, all teach love for the stranger, but they all fail miserably in the carrying out of that principle.
I like the example that Gandhi gave two waring leaders, of different faiths, when they asked him for his way to peace.
From what I remember, he told them that they should exchange sons and raise them as their own father would raise him, helping the others son with their religion lessons as he would expect the other father to do the same with his own son.
Number one, the fighting might stop for fear of killing ones own son, and the raising the others son into his enemies religion would hopefully teach the man what tolerance truly is.
I think inherent in all of that, would be the element of love, as well. How could one father not love the child if he expected the other father to love his own son?
Simple, sophomoric, maybe, but I've certainly enjoyed your stimulating discussion and I hope that it continues.

Oh, ya, and I'd like to have you as neighbors, too, one on each side.

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#77912 - 10/20/05 03:54 AM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
subdeacon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 83
Loc: Florida
Hi guys, just stopped in to say, hey. Still amazingly busy (it never stops). We've been doing some study of the "passions" (in the classical meaning...the negative aspects of a person...ie when normal hunger becomes gluttony, etc. The root of the word passion is suffering. Pathos,as in pathology, is part of the same root) and also basic spiritual anthropology. My head is spinning. What we've been learning is very relevant to the healing process, though and when I have absorbed it sufficiently I hope to be able to share it in a positive way. We even broached the subject of how betrayals and abuse can traumatize a person and help create passions. I think the example he used was the "prostitute who lived through a series of abuses as a child and young woman." A prostitute is not born, she is made, is what I could make of my notes. It's an extreme example, of course, but still true. I am trying to digest some of this and look unflinchingly at my own mode of being. As with all human beings I see many passions within myself that need transfiguring (not eradication but transformation from one state to another...lust to divine eros, anger to a thirst for justice, gluttony to a hunger for God, indifference to love for all). It's tough seeing where all the broken places are. These are all soul-sickness and a psychology that truly is a soul-oriented therapy is what is needed. I need to marinate in this a bit. Gotta go. I've got to get to Matins at 5am tomorrow and then liturgy. It's my turn to serve in the altar.

Peace to all. I hope to contribute more when I am able.

Philip

_________________________
"By way of trials and sufferings we must purify the divine image in us...for it is by reforging our senses in the furnace of our trials that we free them from defilement and assume our royal dignity. --Abba Philimon

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#77913 - 10/23/05 02:41 AM Re: Buddhism Anyone?
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
John, I'm not a strict, practicing, knowledgeable Buddhist but do believe in many of the Buddhist principles and apply them to my life. At the core I don't think the behaviours espoused are that different than those of Christianity. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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