Re: Hey Zoey
- Hi, Zoey and Kaye and All!
I enjoyed the Bill Moyers On Faith & Reason series last summer
with all the discussions on the differences between faith & reason,
how they seem at odds with one another. Perhaps, there
is some overlapping in that we each select our beliefs based on our
individualized experiences and our exposures to organized
"faith" groups. In the end, many of us refine what works for us, and
might ultimately recognize that in truth we are our own teacher and
student. Basically, I would say we all struggle to learn how to live with
and among others. To me, this is why we search for guides and/or
organize ourselves into some acceptable and working belief system.
At the heart of it, we are longing for goodness in ourselves and others.
Anyway, I've copied an excerpt of Bill Moyers interview with Pema
Chodron in which she explains what Buddhaism means to her. I think
it pretty much expresses what Kaye has found as well. And I agree
that any group that uses some form of threats or fear tactics are
nothing more than cult-think, whose true purpose is to control and
manipulate others to their liking and for various power reasons.
BILL MOYERS ON FAITH & REASON
Bill Moyers and Pema Chödrön . August 4, 2006
BILL MOYERS: BILL MOYERS: Welcome. I'm Bill Moyers. We've seen in this
series how faith has a place in keeping an open heart, and reason, a
means of keeping an open mind. In this hour, Pema Chödrön takes us
beyond faith and reason. Her answer to the frenzy of modern life is a calm
mind and a warm heart, the journey and discipline of 30 years as a
Buddhist nun. Buddhism is not so much a religion as it is a way of life.
It marks no divide between the sacred and the secular. And when you get
serious about it, Buddhism touches everyday experience. That's what Pema
Chödrön teaches and writes. In helping many others to find their own
footing on the path of enlightenment, she's also helping to change the
face of Buddhism in America. Once upon a time, this was how most of us
in the West thought of Buddhism -- monks, seeking mental and moral
purification through ancient ritual. Images of great temples. Exotic art.
And the mysterious, serene deity. But it was this man who came to
personify Buddhism for us -- the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of
Buddhism. He fled Tibet when Chinese communists overran his country,
and has since become one of the world's most popular spiritual figures.
I'm just one of scores of journalists to whom he has patiently explained
DALAI LAMA: Religion is not outside. Religion is here. I think essential,
essential in a religion is good heart. Something I call love and compassion
is the universal religion. That's my religion.
BILL MOYERS: In recent years, Buddhism has found a welcome in America,
thanks to books by some of its leading teachers, who point the way to a
practice based on direct experience, rather than belief. Pema Chödrön is
one of those teachers. Here she is, at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck,
New York, where people come to learn about Buddhism. PEMA CHÖDRÖN:
The thing is, what we find if we're not used to sitting quietly with ourselves,
not used to meditation, not used to having any inner solitude in our lives,
we find that we're very threatened by nothing happening.
BILL MOYERS: When she's not on the road, teaching, Pema Chödrön lives,
writes, and meditates at this monastic center in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia,
where solitude replenishes her. For years, she trained as a pupil of the late
renowned Buddhist master, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, of the Shambhala
Buddhist tradition. She wasn't always Pema Chödrön. Born Deirdre
Blomfield-Brown, she grew up in New Jersey. Here she is as a teenager, at
her wedding in the mid-'50s, and with her children. Her grandchildren trick
-or-treat with a Buddhist Batwoman. And even Buddhist nuns have to pump
their own gas these days. Her books sell widely, with titles such as, WHEN
THINGS FALL APART, THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU, and NO TIME TO LOSE.
Her readers not only discover modern insights into ancient practices. They
also come to see how this housewife and mother became what the Buddhists
call a bodhisattva warrior.
BILL MOYERS: What is a bodhisattva warrior?
PEMA CHÖDRÖN: Well, it's someone who takes a vow, actually, which I have
done, and many Buddhists do, that, my main passion in life is to awaken
myself. And I believe that everybody could do that. And I will devote my life
to the degree that I can awaken. To that degree I will devote my life to trying
to inspire other people to believe that they could and, obviously behind all
this is the de-escalation of violence, and aggression, and the escalation of
loving, kindness and compassion, and those kinds of feelings. So the path is
about how the individual works with their own mind, and how that affects the
family, the society, the nation, the world. (end of excerpt)
If you're interested in reading the entire interview, you can google Bill Moyers
On Faith & Reason. There are several other discussions on the topic, all very
interesting. I probably posted some messages regarding this earlier.
--- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "zoey_true"
> no, you don't sound like a cynical person. you sound like an
> intelligent, thoughtful, reflective person. tell me, in your
> opinion, is Buddhism not a religion? please explain.
> thanks, zoey...
> --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "xekweed"
> <xekweed@> wrote:
> > I'd like to take a whack at your question.
> > <snip>
> > ok. here is a question for any philosophisers. you can relate it to
> > eckankar, or perhaps any religion. the bible says, "straight is the
> > gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there
> > that find it." an eck spiritual aid once quoted it at me in a
> > what does it mean to you? anyone?
> > Me: I believe that all religions and cults use ploys like the one
> > above to soften up their followers and set up an acceptance of
> > restrictions and control by the clergy authorities as being key to
> > their salvation. Look at the idea of karma for example. The notion
> > that people live with pain or suffering or poverty because of past
> > evil actions. What a convenient excuse not to help others. It
> > those righteous ones from any responsibility to their fellow man.
> > they just had it ah commin) AND it works on those suffering too- the
> > authorities can have them accept their lousy lot in life because
> > are convinced that they deserve it! Pretty twisted, if you ask me.
> > see no evidence of some invisible force intervening in the world
> > either for good or evil-BUT I do see evil or good as the result of
> > people' actions. We are the only ones who can make this world a much
> > better place for everyone.
> > The bible quote above seems, to me, to say to the faithful: The
> > path is tough and may not make sense, but only the elite few are
> > worthy and strong enough to follow it. We've all heard a version of
> > this load before -haven't we folks?
> > Zoey, I know that I sound like a cynical person but I see
> > religions as a tool to control people and create an elite class. I'm
> > into philosophy and like Buddhism very much- it just makes more
> > to me- we strive to overcome our weaknesses and reach higher levels
> > understanding. No initiations or memberships needed. : D We are our
> > own masters. I strive to do good, not because I fear punishment or
> > seek favor from a god, but because I know it to be the right thing
> to do.
> > What do you think?
> > Kaye