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Re: [SanghaOnline] From Christ to Buddha

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  • Sayadaw Nanda Siddhi
    Dear Dave, Welcome to Buddhism, there are a lot of resources to help one in the teaching of the Buddha. For the first question, yes, there are many teachings
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 21, 2003
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      Dear Dave,
      Welcome to Buddhism, there are a lot of resources to help one in the
      teaching of the Buddha.
      For the first question, yes, there are many teachings of the Buddha to
      practise to structure one's behavior according to the Dhamma. Basic
      teachings are not to do evil, to conduct meritorious deed, and to purify one's
      mind. That means they are very wide. You can get much more Buddhist
      Teachings on our web site, please visit � http://www.nibbana.com For a layman, you need to observe the five precepts, which are to refrain from killing,
      stealing, committing sexual misconduct, telling lies, and taking
      intoxicants.

      For No.2 and 3, written below are my suggestions for deprogramming your
      fear. We are very sure that having confidence is not wrong. With your strong
      confidence, fear can be conquered, overcoming the "wrong". To get the
      energy of mental support you should take the refuge in the Triple Gems with
      strong confidence, observe the good morality, radiate the loving-kindness,
      and learn some more about the Buddhism.

      Here is a motto for you to remember and practise.
      Stay alone with mindfulness, stay together with loving-kindness.

      Please do visit the Nibbana.com website. You can get a lot more confidence in the Dhamma and find the path to peace and happiness.

      May you be well happy and peaceful.

      Nandasiddhi.




      >From: "dwlemen" <dwlemen@...>
      >Reply-To: SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com
      >To: SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [SanghaOnline] From Christ to Buddha
      >Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 14:38:42 -0000
      >
      >Dear Venerable Monks.
      >
      >I am relatively new to Buddhism but currently I find myself
      >struggling. My main hurdle seems to be transitioning my Western,
      >Christian upbringing into the Eastern, Buddhist mindset. Are there
      >resources to help one? Here are a few of my specific woes:
      >
      >1. The "rules." Christianity has scripture to find clear (or
      >relatively clear) absolute rules. One can structure one's behavior
      >according to these "commandments". Is there a similar idea in
      >Buddhism? This may be the same question as message 210 ("Buddhist
      >concept of good vs. evil") but the answer never got posted.
      >
      >2. Giving up God. This one is harder for me than I thought.
      >Christianity has some pretty clear punishments for violating the
      >rules. So, while on one level, I have confidence in the non-
      >existence of the Christian God, I have this fear of being "wrong."
      >Are there any suggestions for "deprogramming" this fear?
      >
      >3. The Sangha. I live in a small town in Indiana. As such, there is
      >no temple or group to help with my journey or to become a part of.
      >Are there recommendations for isolated people to follow the correct
      >path?
      >
      >Hopefully this isn't too much for one message. It is very difficult
      >to move from one faith to another. Even though I do truly want to, I
      >just don't know how or where to start.
      >
      >Peace,
      >
      >
      >Dave
      >
      >
      >


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    • mmlwin
      1. Rules to Live By The five precepts or training rules form the moral code of conduct for lay Buddhists to live by. We call them training rules rather than
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 29, 2003
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        1. Rules to Live By

        The five precepts or training rules form the moral code of conduct
        for lay Buddhists to live by. We call them training rules rather than
        commandmants to avoid the negative effect of guilt if one should
        break them. If we break precepts we have to suffer the consequences,
        there is no need to punish ourselves further with guilt. What we must
        do is renew our determination to observe the training as well as we
        can. As we progress spiritually we will naturally become more
        scrupulous in our observance of these rules.

        The Five Precepts

        a) I undertake the precept to abstain from killing and injuring
        living beings.
        b) I undertake the precept to abstain from taking what is not given.
        c) I undertake the precept to abstain from sexual (and sensual)
        misconduct that harms myself and others.
        d) I undertake the precept to abstain from wrong speech (lying,
        abusing, slander, and idle chatter that has no benefit for this world
        or the next).
        e) I undertake the precept to abstain from intoxicating drugs and
        drinks that
        cause heedlessness.

        Absolutism and Fundamentalism are idealistic. If we can fully and
        perfectly observe the five, eight, ten, or 227 monks' precepts at all
        times we will progress quickly on the path, but understanding is more
        important. Clinging to moral rules is still clinging, which is
        unwholesome. One should, of course, keep the precepts as far as one
        can, but one should also study Dhamma and meditate to let go of
        attachment.

        2. Giving up God

        Buddhism encourages one to think for oneself. One should examine the
        nature of belief itself. What do you perceive God to be? Is that
        perception not just an idea of your own making? When you understand
        Dhamma fully, then you will automatically let go of all your beliefs.

        "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a
        child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up
        childish ways." (Roman, Corinthians II)

        Many people think that we Buddhists are atheists. It may be true if
        one takes the word literally. However, we are not non-believers or
        materialists. We do believe in something transcendent that cannot be
        perceived by ignorant, uncultured minds.

        "There is, monks, the unborn, unbecome, uncreated, and
        unconditioned. If there were not the unborn, unbecome, uncreated, and
        uncondtioned, it would not be possible to point out the born, become,
        created, and conditioned. Because, monks, there is the unborn,
        unbecome, unmade, and unconditioned, therefore the refuge from the
        born, become, created, and conditioned can be pointed out."
        (Udana)

        If you still have the fear of being wrong, that is wonderful. Do not
        lose that precious gift. It is called humility. A man who cannot make
        a mistake cannot make anything.

        3. The Sangha.

        Community or Sangha is very important. The Buddha said that good
        friendship is the whole of the holy life.

        For you the only way to find a strong Sangha might be to visit some
        monasteries and meditation centres for a retreat at least once a
        year. When you have more maturity in your meditation practice you can
        start a local meditation group and try to build up a local Sangha,
        but it might take ten years, depending on your committment and
        ability.

        Bhikkhu Pesala

        --------------

        --- In SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com, "dwlemen" <dwlemen@y...> wrote:
        > Dear Venerable Monks.
        >
        > I am relatively new to Buddhism but currently I find myself
        > struggling. My main hurdle seems to be transitioning my Western,
        > Christian upbringing into the Eastern, Buddhist mindset. Are there
        > resources to help one? Here are a few of my specific woes:
        >
        > 1. The "rules." Christianity has scripture to find clear (or
        > relatively clear) absolute rules. One can structure one's behavior
        > according to these "commandments". Is there a similar idea in
        > Buddhism? This may be the same question as message 210 ("Buddhist
        > concept of good vs. evil") but the answer never got posted.
        >
        > 2. Giving up God. This one is harder for me than I thought.
        > Christianity has some pretty clear punishments for violating the
        > rules. So, while on one level, I have confidence in the non-
        > existence of the Christian God, I have this fear of being "wrong."
        > Are there any suggestions for "deprogramming" this fear?
        >
        > 3. The Sangha. I live in a small town in Indiana. As such, there
        is
        > no temple or group to help with my journey or to become a part of.
        > Are there recommendations for isolated people to follow the correct
        > path?
        >
        > Hopefully this isn't too much for one message. It is very
        difficult
        > to move from one faith to another. Even though I do truly want to,
        I
        > just don't know how or where to start.
        >
        > Peace,
        >
        >
        > Dave
      • bpesala
        Just checking to see if I can now post a reply. Thank you to Maung Maung Lwin for posting my previous reply to: From Christ to Buddha
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 29, 2003
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          Just checking to see if I can now post a reply.
          Thank you to Maung Maung Lwin for posting my previous reply to:

          From Christ to Buddha
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