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  • kleelibby@webtv.net
    Hello, My name is Karen, and I live in west central Florida. I have had an interest in Buddhism for many years, have read several books, and yesterday
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 2, 2003
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      Hello,
      My name is Karen, and I live in west central Florida. I have had an
      interest in Buddhism for many years, have read several books, and
      yesterday attended a lecture at the local library.

      I came away from the lecture a little confused. I have heard of Zen
      Buddhism, and the group presenting yesterday spoke of Nichiren Buddhism.

      It seems to me that there are many different types of Buddhism. How do
      I determine which is right for me? I have been invited to a weekly
      meeting at a member's home this Wednesday, and hope that it will be
      appropriate for me to ask questions at that time.

      Thanks for any assistance and information.

      Karen
    • Kindnsruls@aol.com
      Karen, Yes, there are many traditions of Buddhism. The Buddha s teachings spread to many cultures, and each one of them has their own, or many lineage s, and
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 2, 2003
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        Karen,
         
        Yes, there are many traditions of Buddhism.
        The Buddha's teachings spread to many cultures, and each one of them has their own, or many lineage's, and traditions within.
        The base is the same.....but depending on which cultural filter you are looking through there are many words for the same terms, and differing emphasis put on different aspects of the Buddha, and the Dharma.
        (The Three Jewels are Buddha, Dharma, (Buddha's teachings), and Sangha (Spiritual Community).
        It is a very vast subject, and can be very confusing when you first approach it.
        The same way as there are many forms of Christianity based on a common base belief, with differences of perception/belief surrounding that base......Christianity just appears less confusing to us because it is so deeply embedded in our own culture therefore familiar  :D
         
        Nichiren Shoshu is a "unique" Buddhism......and the above does not apply.
        It began in Japan.
        It is based on the belief that a Japanese priest named Nichiren who lived about 750 years ago was/is the next Buddha foretold by Shakyamuni before he entered his Nirvana, who would come to earth to teach sentient beings.
        The rest of the Buddhist world still awaits Buddha Maitreya.
        The religion practices the teachings of this one Japanese priest exclusively, believing all other teachings to have been "provisional" and no longer holding the power to enlighten.
        Nichiren's words are law.
        Nothing that came before Nichiren holds any importance.
        It's Three Jewels have been changed to The True Buddha, (Nichiren), The Law, and the Priests........these are huge differences.
        NSS holds Nichiren to be the True Buddha, and rejects all other teachings, and teachers.
        The tradition holds that Nichiren discovered the Mantra, and Mystic Law of the Universe hidden within the Lotus Sutra....which is Nam Myho Renge Kyo......and that this practice, and this practice alone will lead one to enlightenment.
        You need do nothing else but this practice.
        The practice itself is mantra recitation along with recitation of select passages from the Lotus Sutra (Gongyo) performed before a scroll (Gohonzon) which has been through a ceremony to enlighten paper, and ink (The Opening Of The Eyes) and so is therefore considered itself to be the Living Buddha.
        You will be taught to chant for wordly, and material gain.
        Study Nichiren's teachings.
        All other teachings are to be abandoned.
         
        This is quite different from the traditional Buddhism of Tibet, which came from India, was nurtured for centuries, and is based on uncovering the Buddha Nature within through study, and meditation based on the Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha of how he himself attained liberation. A path passed down through generations of lama's, saints, and highly realized masters in direct lineage from Buddha himself.
        A tradition that encourages education on all levels, all disciplines, all philosophies.
        The development of wisdom, and knowledge.
        In this way, and through meditation we learn the truth of the teachings through personal experience, and not just because someone in a robe told us it is so.
        Buddha himself admonished his followers not to accept anything he taught until they found it to be true within their own experience.
        The basic teaching is that we suffer in cyclic existence....death, birth, sickness, old age, death, over, and over again because we misunderstand the true nature of our own minds, and that of reality.
        It is an inner journey of discovery.....of removing obscuration.....of awakening the Buddha Nature within.
        Buddhist = "one who seeks inwardly."
        Within Tibetan Tradition we learn to unlock the workings of the conventional mind, and see through it's delusory state.
        To interrupt the chain of causation of cyclic rebirth into suffering.
         
        I would suggest you do some study before investing yourself too strongly in NSS.
        While it is a loose "form" of Buddhism......it is a very narrow path.
        Much of it in direct opposition to the traditional teachings.
        I speak from experience.
         
        Please study Tibetan, and other traditions before joining a group who has already discarded this treasure of accumulated wisdom for their own ideas.
         
        There are three "buddhisms" which appear on all of the cult awareness lists,
        They are Nichiren Shoshu, (NSS), It's "splinter" group Soka Gaikai, (SGI), and New Kadampa Tradition, (NKT)
        These groups should probably be avoided until one has at least learned enough of Buddhist Philosophy to understand what one is getting into......make an informed decision.
        If once studied, one chooses one of these paths.....well that would be different.....however these groups reach out to those who have little knowledge of Buddhist Tradition, and don't have any base knowledge to see the disparities.
        They actively proselytize...in NSS it is called "Shakabuku", and involves attacking the faith, and beliefs of others....members get recognition/rewards at the temple for how many new members they can bring in......again something you will not find in traditional Buddhism.
        One is either drawn to dharma....or one is not.
        If one is drawn to, and seeks out teachings they will be taught......but Buddhism does not have membership drives.  :D
         
        I hope this has helped in some small way.
         
         
        May All Beings Be Happy.

                Joyce
      • Alan McCoy
        = It seems to me that there are many different types of = Buddhism. How do I determine which is right for me? I have = been invited to a weekly meeting at
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 3, 2003
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          => It seems to me that there are many different types of
          => Buddhism. How do I determine which is right for me? I have
          => been invited to a weekly meeting at a member's home this
          => Wednesday, and hope that it will be appropriate for me to
          => ask questions at that time.

          Great question and one I had to ask myself when beginning my Buddhist
          studies.

          In our area we have a few different flavors of Buddhism represented. There
          is a Tibetan group of lay practitioners that meets once a week and is
          affiliated with a monastery in Phoenix, AZ. There is also a Thai monastery
          where a handful of monks live, practice, and hold several prayer and
          meditation sessions during the week. And there is a Vietnamese temple that I
          haven't had a chance to check out yet.

          My son and I (he is 9 and has chosen to study with me) have taken our refuge
          vows with the Lama (Garchen Rinpoche) from the Tibetan monastery in Phoenix
          and have been leaning more toward the Tibetan Drigung Kagyu lineage in our
          studies.

          But this doesn't prevent us from attending services and meditation classes
          at the Thai monastery. As one of the monks there put it, "Buddhism is like a
          house with many windows." He then pointed to the large Buddha statue in the
          middle of the meditation room. "This statue is the goal. The Zen Buddhists
          may come through this window. The Vietnamese Buddhists may come through that
          window. Of course, the Tibetan Buddhists would have to come through the door
          because they wear the very large hats. <g> But we all have a common goal."
          Practices, traditions, and even the way you sit when meditating may be
          different, but the destination is the same.

          The best thing I can recommend is to read, read some more, and then read
          even more about all the different types of Buddhism you are interested in.
          Talk to practitioners from the many schools of Buddhism. Join email lists
          (like this one!) for the different paths. Buddha himself said, "Do not
          blindly believe what others say, even the Buddha." There are many wonderful
          teachers out there, but there are also many who practice for their own
          gains, rallying "followers" to boost their own egos.

          Whichever path you choose, take the time to explore it "fully" --
          wonderfully and truthfully.

          Alan
        • Oelund Fairking
          Go back to the basics-the foundational beliefs of the eightfold path. Most of the Great vehicle practices which you describe differ only in the technics used
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 3, 2003
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            Go back to the basics-the foundational beliefs of the eightfold path.
            Most of the Great vehicle practices which you describe differ only in
            the technics used in bringing about the understanding of emptiness
            and selfless ness, but your guideline as to what is essential
            buddhism lay in the basics. In so much as in christianity with the
            Apostolic creed, which (rightly or wrongly) give the foundational
            beliefs common by which one can adjudicate pure christian faith, so
            it can be said that the eightfold path, the teachings of emptiness
            and selflessness will be your distinguishing measure of the original
            teaching from the hybrid and extraneous.

            Again, the various branches are tecnics to bring about an integrated
            realization of buddhist truth-zen by introspection, Pure land by the
            vehicle of faith, Tibetan practices by mind exercises of
            viualizations and of vocalizations. All have their merit, and it is
            more the process of exploration to find that practice for which you
            are suited. beware of any exclusivism! Anyone touting that they have
            THE WAY to the exclusion of other means and other teachers is
            probably in it for the money or the ego fluff.

            Drudche








            --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, kleelibby@w... wrote:
            > Hello,
            > My name is Karen, and I live in west central Florida. I have had an
            > interest in Buddhism for many years, have read several books, and
            > yesterday attended a lecture at the local library.
            >
            > I came away from the lecture a little confused. I have heard of Zen
            > Buddhism, and the group presenting yesterday spoke of Nichiren
            Buddhism.
            >
            > It seems to me that there are many different types of Buddhism.
            How do
            > I determine which is right for me? I have been invited to a weekly
            > meeting at a member's home this Wednesday, and hope that it will be
            > appropriate for me to ask questions at that time.
            >
            > Thanks for any assistance and information.
            >
            > Karen
          • dzogchenstudent@xemaps.com
            ... For those of you that don t have Joyce handy :-)......and are new to Buddhism, I do recommend the book. It covers pretty much all the fundamentals of
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 3, 2003
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              Thank you, Joyce......That is the most complete recitation of Nicherin and SGI I have read so far.  I also went to my "Buddhism for Dummies" book to see if they mentioned Nicherin and SGI...they do but not as completely as you have nor does it mention New Kadampa at all. So thank you for your help.

              For those of you that don't have Joyce handy :-)......and are new to Buddhism, I do recommend the book.  It covers pretty much all the fundamentals of Buddhism, meditation, etc., differences of schools.  The book is my third introduction book and by far the best......the others were insufficient or put me to sleep faster then War and Peace :-).......................rookielynn

              Karen,
               
              Yes, there are many traditions of Buddhism.
              The Buddha's teachings spread to many cultures, and each one of them has their own, or many lineage's, and traditions within.
              The base is the same.....but depending on which cultural filter you are looking through there are many words for the same terms, and differing emphasis put on different aspects of the Buddha, and the Dharma.
              (The Three Jewels are Buddha, Dharma, (Buddha's teachings), and Sangha (Spiritual Community).
              It is a very vast subject, and can be very confusing when you first approach it.
              The same way as there are many forms of Christianity based on a common base belief, with differences of perception/belief surrounding that base......Christianity just appears less confusing to us because it is so deeply embedded in our own culture therefore familiar  :D
               
              Nichiren Shoshu is a "unique" Buddhism......and the above does not apply.
              It began in Japan.
              It is based on the belief that a Japanese priest named Nichiren who lived about 750 years ago was/is the next Buddha foretold by Shakyamuni before he entered his Nirvana, who would come to earth to teach sentient beings.
              The rest of the Buddhist world still awaits Buddha Maitreya.
              The religion practices the teachings of this one Japanese priest exclusively, believing all other teachings to have been "provisional" and no longer holding the power to enlighten.
              Nichiren's words are law.
              Nothing that came before Nichiren holds any importance.
              It's Three Jewels have been changed to The True Buddha, (Nichiren), The Law, and the Priests........these are huge differences.
              NSS holds Nichiren to be the True Buddha, and rejects all other teachings, and teachers.
              The tradition holds that Nichiren discovered the Mantra, and Mystic Law of the Universe hidden within the Lotus Sutra....which is Nam Myho Renge Kyo......and that this practice, and this practice alone will lead one to enlightenment.
              You need do nothing else but this practice.
              The practice itself is mantra recitation along with recitation of select passages from the Lotus Sutra (Gongyo) performed before a scroll (Gohonzon) which has been through a ceremony to enlighten paper, and ink (The Opening Of The Eyes) and so is therefore considered itself to be the Living Buddha.
              You will be taught to chant for wordly, and material gain.
              Study Nichiren's teachings.
              All other teachings are to be abandoned.
               
              This is quite different from the traditional Buddhism of Tibet, which came from India, was nurtured for centuries, and is based on uncovering the Buddha Nature within through study, and meditation based on the Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha of how he himself attained liberation. A path passed down through generations of lama's, saints, and highly realized masters in direct lineage from Buddha himself.
              A tradition that encourages education on all levels, all disciplines, all philosophies.
              The development of wisdom, and knowledge.
              In this way, and through meditation we learn the truth of the teachings through personal experience, and not just because someone in a robe told us it is so.
              Buddha himself admonished his followers not to accept anything he taught until they found it to be true within their own experience.
              The basic teaching is that we suffer in cyclic existence....death, birth, sickness, old age, death, over, and over again because we misunderstand the true nature of our own minds, and that of reality.
              It is an inner journey of discovery.....of removing obscuration.....of awakening the Buddha Nature within.
              Buddhist = "one who seeks inwardly."
              Within Tibetan Tradition we learn to unlock the workings of the conventional mind, and see through it's delusory state.
              To interrupt the chain of causation of cyclic rebirth into suffering.
               
              I would suggest you do some study before investing yourself too strongly in NSS.
              While it is a loose "form" of Buddhism......it is a very narrow path.
              Much of it in direct opposition to the traditional teachings.
              I speak from experience.
               
              Please study Tibetan, and other traditions before joining a group who has already discarded this treasure of accumulated wisdom for their own ideas.
               
              There are three "buddhisms" which appear on all of the cult awareness lists,
              They are Nichiren Shoshu, (NSS), It's "splinter" group Soka Gaikai, (SGI), and New Kadampa Tradition, (NKT)
              These groups should probably be avoided until one has at least learned enough of Buddhist Philosophy to understand what one is getting into......make an informed decision.
              If once studied, one chooses one of these paths.....well that would be different.....however these groups reach out to those who have little knowledge of Buddhist Tradition, and don't have any base knowledge to see the disparities.
              They actively proselytize...in NSS it is called "Shakabuku", and involves attacking the faith, and beliefs of others....members get recognition/rewards at the temple for how many new members they can bring in......again something you will not find in traditional Buddhism.
              One is either drawn to dharma....or one is not.
              If one is drawn to, and seeks out teachings they will be taught......but Buddhism does not have membership drives.  :D
               
              I hope this has helped in some small way.
               
               
              May All Beings Be Happy.

                      Joyce


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            • kleelibby
              Dear Joyce, Alan and Drudche, Wow! Thank you all so much for your comprehensive responses. I have a feeling that this group in my area may not be what I am
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 3, 2003
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                Dear Joyce, Alan and Drudche,
                Wow! Thank you all so much for your comprehensive responses. I have
                a feeling that this group in my area may not be what I am looking
                for. Where I live is so rural, I was thrilled when I saw that there
                would be a group meeting here. I will do alot more reading to become
                familiar with the other lineages.
                Thanks again,
                Karen
              • Axel Hinze
                ... Karen: pls. allow another comment of someone who has made contact to several traditions/schools (I don t like the word sect for its connotations). In
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 4, 2003
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                  > Again, the various branches are tecnics to bring about an integrated
                  > realization of buddhist truth-zen by introspection, Pure land by the
                  > vehicle of faith, Tibetan practices by mind exercises of
                  > viualizations and of vocalizations. All have their merit, and it is
                  > more the process of exploration to find that practice for which you
                  > are suited. beware of any exclusivism! Anyone touting that they have
                  > THE WAY to the exclusion of other means and other teachers is
                  > probably in it for the money or the ego fluff.

                  Karen:

                  pls. allow another comment of someone who has made contact to several
                  traditions/schools (I don't like the word 'sect' for its connotations). In additon
                  to what Drudche said, I would invite you to have some reading for yourself.
                  Find a book about "Buddhist Basics", which tries to explain the basic thinking
                  of the path in plain words, best with quotes/citations to the so-called
                  "Pali canon" (which is regarded to be the oldest complete collection of Gautama's
                  Teachings. Upon this, you will find the need to practise - Buddhism is very
                  much about practise. Learn to meditate - the basic, sitting technique is
                  always the same througout all traditions. Practise for yourself or with a little
                  group of other interested until you feel somewhat comfortable with that, and
                  then simply visit the groups and teachers availabel in your surrounding,
                  until something within you responds. It is a very delicate vibration, but with a
                  very strong imperative. Then you will know you have found what you have been
                  looking for - at least for a start.

                  _()_ Axel
                • kleelibby@webtv.net
                  Axel, Thank you for your thoughts and good suggestions. I will follow your sound advice. Karen
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 4, 2003
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                    Axel,
                    Thank you for your thoughts and good suggestions. I will follow your
                    sound advice.
                    Karen
                  • Snoopy
                    Hi Karen. We appear to be at the same junction....Please share what you find and I will do likewise...This will also give other members the opportunity to
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 4, 2003
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                      Hi Karen.
                       
                      We  appear to be at the same junction....Please share what you find and I will do likewise...This will also give other members the opportunity to advise /comment.
                       
                      Snoopy
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 10:48 AM
                      Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] Re: New Member and Questions

                      Axel,
                      Thank you for your thoughts and good suggestions.  I will follow your
                      sound advice.
                      Karen



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                    • kleelibby
                      Hi Snoopy, For now I am doing alot of reading. Keep me posted on how you re doing :) Karen ... and I will do likewise...This will also give other members the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 5, 2003
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                        Hi Snoopy,
                        For now I am doing alot of reading. Keep me posted on how you're
                        doing :)
                        Karen




                        --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "Snoopy" <snoopy.doo@n...> wrote:
                        > Hi Karen.
                        >
                        > We appear to be at the same junction....Please share what you find
                        and I will do likewise...This will also give other members the
                        opportunity to advise /comment.
                        >
                        > Snoopy
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: kleelibby@w...
                        > To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 10:48 AM
                        > Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] Re: New Member and Questions
                        >
                        >
                        > Axel,
                        > Thank you for your thoughts and good suggestions. I will follow
                        your
                        > sound advice.
                        > Karen
                        >
                        >
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