- Dear friends,
I have set up a new folder in the Links section,
Ron's List: Understanding misconceptions of Buddhism
Earlier this year, I have posted a few messages on some general issues on Buddhism. As you may recall, these were partly in response to some unpopular remarks made by Christian evangelical pastor Rony Tan in Singapore.
Contemporary Evangelical Christianity can be traced back to roots in North America. Evangelical churches are usually founded on the charismatic leadership of an individual or a group of individuals, and detailed analysis often reveal differing views and opinions, though subtle, among the different churches. It may be a while before these differences become a distinction further separating these "churches".
I find that very often Buddhists are helpless when trying to defend themselves from unsubstantiated claims on their religion. So, I am setting this folder up so that we can provide the "answers" to any misconception.
I have affectionately named this folder Ron's List.
When Buddhism spread outside of India, the Indian culture was not transmitted together, even though traces of Indian culture is obvious in many Buddhist cultures, for example, Tibetan, Thai, Nepalese and Sinhalese. This is unlike Christianity, which was spread with the Roman culture by and large.
For most of its global transmission, Buddhism fuses with local culture as it spread from one place to another. Most of these cultures would be unknown or foreign to the Buddha. Even the "Indian elements" we may see in some forms of Buddhist practice would be alien to the Buddha, as most of them would have postdated the Buddha by centuries.
I hope this folder will also become an important resource for understanding the historical, cultural and scriptural background to Buddhist concepts and practices.
This folder can be accessed from the Links section on the group's website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/links
Yahoo! login is required.
- Dear Yong Peng,
Op 20-jun-2010, om 1:49 heeft Ong Yong Peng het volgende geschreven:
> Ron's List: Understanding misconceptions of Buddhism--------
N: These are just some personal thoughts about misconceptions.
I think I would avoid labeling as christian, evangelical, etc. I
would rather explain that the Buddha taught about everything that is
real, real for everybody.
I quote from my "The Buddha's Path", the intro:
< The Buddha taught about everything which is real and which can be
experienced in daily life. He taught about seeing and hearing, about
all that can be experienced through the senses. He taught that on
account of what is experienced through the senses there is
attachment, aversion and ignorance. We are ignorant most of the time
of the phenomena occurring in daily life. However, even when we only
begin to develop understanding we can verify the truth of what the
Buddha taught. Seeing, hearing, attachment, anger, generosity and
kindness are real for everybody. There is no need to label what is
true for everybody as �Buddhism�. When we begin to investigate what
the Buddha taught there will gradually be the elimination of
ignorance about ourselves and the world around us.
We read in the Kindred Sayings (IV, Kindred Sayings on Sense, The
Third Fifty, Chapter I, �111, Understanding):
By not comprehending, by not understanding, without detaching himself
from, without abandoning the eye, one is incapable of the destruction
of suffering. By not comprehending�the ear�nose�tongue�body�mind�one
is incapable of the destruction of suffering.
But by comprehending, by understanding, by detaching himself from, by
abandoning the eye�nose�tongue�body�mind�one is capable of the
destruction of suffering.
In the following sutta we read that for the destruction of suffering,
colours, sounds, scents, savours, tangible objects and mind-states
have to be understood. This is the way leading to the end of
suffering. The Buddha taught about realities for the sake of our
welfare and happiness. >
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear yong Peng,
I have to clarify something.
Op 20-jun-2010, om 16:31 heeft Nina van Gorkom het volgende geschreven:
> N: I wrote: These are just some personal thoughts about-------
N: I mean, my own thoughts are 'just some personal thoughts'. I did
not refer to anyone else's personal thoughts.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Nina,
thank you for putting up such a compassionate front for this "series".
Just a few points I like to clarify. First, this is not a "regular series", and only certain "special topics" would I raise and then include in the list. Our usual "business" would still be Pali and sutta study. I hope these can be few and far apart, and by making a list, members can easily refer to earlier posts. I am sure by going through the suttas, we would be covering the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes, we may have to take another perspective, like what the Buddha did not teach but are later influences. This is where it is outside our usual scope of discussions.
I assure these are not "stonewalling" or "witch-hunting" attacks on any individual or organisation. Our basic operating principles since Day One, such as no flaming, and basic courtesy and mutual respect remain unchanged. I am well aware that this is a public forum and I have even made all messages fully accessible to the public. So much so that we can all be honest, gentleman and compassionate in our discussions. For those who use a "nickname" to mask the real identity, the function of the moderator exists to remove unsuitable posts. This forum is not an exclusive club for one-of-the-kind thinking. Political maneuvers and stunts are not welcome, be it Australian-style ;-), Thai, etc., etc., etc. These do not serve us well.
I do not intend to gather opinions on a particular person. It is the essence of a misconception that I am interested to discuss. So, personal opinions should be kept minimal. Like all other topics, we will apply systematic analysis, coupled with facts, to provide a historical, cultural and scriptural perspective for the basis of Buddhist concepts and practices.