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Tell me about Buddhism....

Tell me about Buddhism....

Old Jan 14th 2011, 1:52 am
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Default Tell me about Buddhism....

For those going off-topic elsewhere here's a place you can discuss any aspects of Buddhism.

I'm not Buddhist and a bit "on the fence" with the philosophy, so I'll leave it for others to enlighten <sic> me.
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Old Jan 15th 2011, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

What type? There are many and it differs between Asian countries.

My gf was raised protestant christian which is unusual in Japan but unsurprisingly I think quite a few of her mates are shinto.
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Old Jan 15th 2011, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
For those going off-topic elsewhere here's a place you can discuss any aspects of Buddhism.

I'm not Buddhist and a bit "on the fence" with the philosophy, so I'll leave it for others to enlighten <sic> me.
I'd be interested to know more, also. I've read a fair bit around it, but the few experiences I've had of it as practised have been far more interesting.

I particularly like the multifarious Boddhisvatas - they seem to be the embodiment of different aspects of material existence.
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Old Jan 16th 2011, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

I only know of two: Theravada and Mahayana.

Theravada and the Mahayana: different expressions of the same teaching. Both agree upon and practice the core teachings of the Buddha’s Dharma.

The disagreement is largely over the monastic rules and academic points such as whether an enlightened person could lapse or not. Time, culture and customs in the countries in Asia which adopted the Buddha-dharma have more to do with the apparent differences, .............no animosity between the two major schools, other than that created by healthy debate on the expression of and the implementation of the Buddha's Teachings.
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Okay, here we go. This is my take on Buddhism. Firstly I will say that I have lived in Thailand for many years so my observations on Buddhism are purely based on what I have seen in Thailand and no where else so it might be better to say that this is my take on Buddhism in Thailand. I have also been married for the past six years to a Thai who is what I would call quite religous ,so I feel that that gives me a bit of an insight as to how a buddhist would live their life on an everyday basis. I also have two children that are being brought up as buddhists. They wont get much of a catholic upbringing from me so any religion is better than none in my opinion ,and buddhism and catholicism do have similar things going on, like the idea that if you are good you go to heaven and if you are bad you will go to hell etc.

The first place to start would have to be "The Five Precepts ". These are the rules ( similar to the ten commandments ) that a layperson should live there life by. They are in no particular order :

1 : Do not kill any living thing.
2 : Do not steal.
3 : Do not lie.
4 : Do not intoxicate yourself.
5 : Do not covet anothers' wife or husband.

Now out of these five I would say that my wife, who is a good buddhist, will follow five most of the time, and four all of the time. Stealing, lieing, someone else's partner, these are all quite easy to follow. As far as alcohol goes I think my wife will have about three or four drinks a year on average so that's not too bad. Where it gets tricky though is the killing of any living thing. MY wife like to say that she will only kill a mosquito and that is it. Not even ants or cockroaches and I can certainly vouch for the cockroaches because we have them in our house and we do not kill them. But you get used to them. My wife does not eat beef on religous grounds but she will eat other meat. Her excuse being that someone else killed it and sometimes I have had to kill the fish when she has brought them back from the market. Many people in Thailand are becoming vegetarian on religous grounds now though and there is a quite famous monk who advocates this. Once a year in October my wife will be vegetarian for a week as a token to this.

So four out of five is pretty good, and as Buddha himself said, follow the middle way. You don't have to beat yourself up because you can't do everything but try to do what you can when you can.

The problems I have with Buddhism in Thailand though are many. In fact I would say that most Thai people are Buddhist by birth only. When a Thai goes to a temple it is normally a non practising temple and they will not be going there to " nang samartee " , to sit down and meditate as a way towards enlightenment. It is more a case of a quick twenty baht in the box, light some incense and a candle, a quick " satoo " to the Buddha and that's it. Religion done for the day. A real temple is not like that. I have been a few times to Wat Dhammakai in Pathum Thani which is famous the world over and it has to be the largest temple in Thailand. Don't expect too much in the way of beautiful buddha imagery and amazing buildings though because it resembles a giant aircraft hanger. When it's full you could probably get 100,000 people there. But people go there to listen to the monks' sermons and to meditate. It is a real working temple where people actually practice their religion.

But Buddhism is supposed to be about more than that, it's supposed to be about being "mindful " of others and trying to help others. I don't like to say this really but in in my opinion the vast majority of Thai people blatantly are not mindful of others and it is a very selfish society.

Not many Thai actually follow the five precepts, you only have to look at the alcohol consumption in this country to see that. Telling the truth is another one. I know this applies in other countries as well but Thais can't try and sell themselves as these peaceful buddhist people because it's just not true. Actual real Buddhism has got absolutely nothing to do with the vast majority of Thais.

They like to decorate their cars with amulets and other buddhist imagery as if this will protect them. Well it might do but that doesn't mean you can then go around driving like an absolute idiot endangering passengers and other road users.

The monkhood. One of the biggest problems in my opinion is the monkhood. Absolute any male in Thailand can become a monk !! Doesn't matter what you have done in the past and you will still be respected as a monk. I just don't get this. For sure, every Thai male is expected at some point in his life to become a monk ( normally after high school for a week or a month ) and the parents will gain a lot of merit for that. But that is a bit different to a murderer becoming a monk which is apparently perfectly okay.

It's not all bad though. One of the nicest things about buddhism is " tamboon ", or making merit. A Thai should at any time always be trying to make merit by doing good things to help others. A good example would be how my wife was in the market the other day. On seeing an old woman looking at a some food for sale for a long time she asked her if she was hungry and then bought lunch for her. The old woman had no money so this was definitely a good deed. When we recently travelled in Cambodia we gave a lot of money to beggars ( they are everywhere so that wasn't hard ) , this was in my wife's head a way of making merit that was to give us a safe passage through Cambodia.

That's about it for now, there's many more things I could mention though so I might do another post sometime.
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 8:05 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Originally Posted by redbean View Post
I only know of two: Theravada and Mahayana.

Theravada and the Mahayana: different expressions of the same teaching. Both agree upon and practice the core teachings of the Buddha’s Dharma.

The disagreement is largely over the monastic rules and academic points such as whether an enlightened person could lapse or not. Time, culture and customs in the countries in Asia which adopted the Buddha-dharma have more to do with the apparent differences, .............no animosity between the two major schools, other than that created by healthy debate on the expression of and the implementation of the Buddha's Teachings.
Blimey.
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Originally Posted by nonthaburi View Post

Not many Thai actually follow the five precepts, you only have to look at the alcohol consumption in this country to see that. Telling the truth is another one. I know this applies in other countries as well but Thais can't try and sell themselves as these peaceful buddhist people because it's just not true. Actual real Buddhism has got absolutely nothing to do with the vast majority of Thais.
Yes that's what I found in Phuket - but is Phuket typical of Thailand? And we know the answer to that one, don't we.

Middle Way sounds good. I never knew what that meant - thanks for that
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Old May 30th 2011, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Life Existence - How it begins and continues to begin?

All existence contain with basic elements - Energy, Matter and Space.

Basic elements would subject to conditional balance and imbalance phenomena.

Under balance phenomena, 3 basic elements start to integrate with each other to create aggregate activities.

Under imbalance phenomena, 3 basic elements start to disintegrate from each other to create segregate activities.

The principle in effect: -

A stream of balance phenomena would conjure up aggregate activity;
A stream of aggregate activities would conjure up information;
A stream of information would conjure up memory;
A stream of memories would conjure up ignorance;
A stream of ignorance would conjure up volitional impulse;
A stream of volitional impulses would conjure up consciousness;
A stream of consciousness would conjure up body and mind;
A stream of body and mind would conjure up six sense bases;
A stream of six sense bases would conjure up contact;
A stream of contacts would conjure up feeling;
A stream of feelings would conjure up craving;
A stream of cravings would conjure up clinging;
A stream of clinging would conjure up becoming;
A stream of becoming would conjure up birth;
A stream of births would conjure up aging;
A stream of aging would conjure up death;
A stream of deaths would conjure up segregate activity;
A stream of segregate activities would conjure up imbalance phenomenon;
A stream of imbalance phenomena would conjure up new balance phenomenon.


Energy and Matter

Energy or Matter is actually the same thing; both reflected in a different form. Just like, Cause or Effect is the same thing; both reflected in a different time of event.

Matter is simply something that contains mass and takes up space as a solid, liquid, gas or plasma. The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense, central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons. In other words, matter is also known as concerted, aggregated or concentrated or wrapped energy.

As scientists have discovered, energy cannot be created or destroyed – it only transforms itself based on any subjected conditions. Therefore, we could summarise that all activities would evolve around the orientation of energy or matter in a plane of space at all times.

Law of Nature & the Buddha’s teachings

If one was to observe one’s surroundings intently, everything that exists would always try to achieve the state of balance. All things would only exist in perpetual conditions when there is a balance circumstance.

Thus, when things run off-balance or when one stirs up in any phenomena of existence (volitional or non-volitional term), the law of nature would take its course to balance it in another way across time and plane of existence. This law of nature is also known as law of balancing.

In the Buddhist context, the law of balancing can also be classified as the law of Karma in the nature across time and plane of existence. Karmic Law is a natural phenomenon law that is not shaped by someone else; no one owns it; neither Buddhism. It is merely a law of balancing for all things in order to achieve the circumstance of equilibrium in the nature.

Also, we need to understand that long before the rising of Buddha Dhamma 2,600 years ago, the realm of existence already running its course as according to the natural bounding laws. And the wise Buddha has seen through the reality of it, recommended with permanent remedies to liberate one from these natural bounding laws.

Wisely, the Buddha recommended 'Middle Path' (path of balancing) in facing the realm of Karmic Law (law of balancing) as the fundamental route to taste enlightenment.

'Middle' means neutral, upright, and centered. It means to investigate and penetrate the core of life and all things with an upright, unbiased attitude. In order to solve a problem, we should position ourselves on neutral, upright and unbiased ground. We investigate the problem from various angles, analyze the findings, understand the truth thoroughly, and find a reasonable conclusion.

The Middle Path in Buddhism does not mean having a biased view or superficial understanding only. The 'Middle Path' represents a distinct theory and way of Buddhist practice that is not common to other religions. Buddhism is a religion with high moral values. It lays great emphasis on human thought and action in dealing with the natural environment, society or individual problems. It is concerned with the relationship between thoughts and behavior, and the relationship between behavior and its consequences.

In short, the Buddha recognised all thoughts and actions as wholesome or unwholesome only. The meaning of wholesome would be in totality of perspective and unwholesome would be in non-totality of perspective. There is no holy or sinful act or thought in the eyes of the Buddha except for skillful or unskillful one.

Basic elements & Conditional phenomena

When the 3 basic elements (energy, matter and space) interacted together, the very first dot of becoming process (integration process) begins under balance phenomena. When billions and trillions of dots come together, it would manifest into some sort of beings or things.

Respectively, each dot contains a sort of genetic information that is unique and aggregation of dots would subsequently develop into a pool of behaviour. Such unique behaviour would be enclosed within the same being or thing until the next unbecoming process (disintegration process) begins upon a specific time of maturity.

During the disintegration process, the basic elements encompassed in the same billions and trillions of dots would liberate from each other and sustain freedom of sorts under imbalance phenomena. When more different beings when through the same disintegration processes, more different billions and trillions of dots would sustain freedom and thus assimilate among each other in the realm of existence before waiting for another new balance phenomena to arise again.

For instance, when a being is lying dead, the energy, matter and space elements would separate of each other. Both conscious and subconscious (energy) aggregates would depart the body (matter). It is the same case scenario for plants, insects or any material things – but only subconscious aggregates exist and would depart from the body. Kindly refers to the attachments for more detailed illustration on integration and disintegration process of beings or things.

Law of Dependent Origination (Profound Version)

The principle in effect: -

A stream of balance phenomena would conjure up aggregate activity;
A stream of aggregate activities would conjure up information;
A stream of information would conjure up memory;
A stream of memories would conjure up ignorance;
………………………


So far, all the available texts or sutras on the Buddha’s teachings have pointed out ignorance as the first link or cause in the wheel of life.

However, if one was to observe this aspect of ignorance intently, it simply could not arise out of nowhere or out of thin air. Definitely, it has to arise out of 'memorised' events that have taken place beforehand.

In psychology, memory is defined as an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. So, when aggregate activities began, some sort of information would be produced, stored and recalled in the integrated elements. In a layman term, this process is called creation and pro-creation within beings or things. If memory aggregate is absent, the process of replication could not arise in all beings or things at all.

Let us illustrate in the learning of speeches among young children. If a child has no memory ability, then whatever lessons that were taught on would instantly be forgotten or erased and progression to the next advance level would be deemed impossible.

Similarly, it was the Buddha’s recommendation for one to always see and lives in the present, neither in the past nor in the future. When one lives well in the present, one would lead to the cessation of memories of the past and this would subsequently lead to the cessation of ignorance in the future.

The principle in effect: -

The seeing of Ultimate Truth leads to the cessation of balance phenomenon;
The cessation of balance phenomenon leads to the cessation of aggregate activity;
The cessation of aggregate activity leads to cessation of information;
The cessation of information leads to cessation of memory;
The cessation of memory leads to the cessation of ignorance;
The cessation of ignorance leads to the cessation of volitional impulse;
The cessation of volitional impulse leads to the cessation of consciousness;
The cessation of consciousness leads to the cessation of body and mind;
The cessation of body and mind lead to the cessation of six sense bases;
The cessation of six sense bases lead to the cessation of contact;
The cessation of contact leads to the cessation of feeling;
The cessation of feeling leads to the cessation of craving;
The cessation of craving leads to the cessation of clinging;
The cessation of clinging leads to the cessation of becoming;
The cessation of becoming leads to the cessation of birth;
The cessation of birth leads to the cessation of aging;
The cessation of aging leads to the cessation of death;
The cessation of death leads to the cessation of segregate activity;
The cessation of segregate activity leads to the cessation of imbalance phenomenon;
The cessation of imbalance phenomenon leads to the cessation of conditional phenomenon;
The cessation of conditional phenomenon leads to the cessation of time;
The cessation of time leads to unconditional freedom of basic elements - Energy, Matter and Space.

Ultimately, pure Energy, Matter and Space elements would sustain in permanency with absence of time – that is Nibbana.


Balance condition & Sentient beings

Balance is generally defined as a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc; a condition of being steady; a state of equilibrium or parity characterized by cancellation of all forces by equal opposing forces; a harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements, as in a design.

Whereas, Sentient is defined as responsive to or conscious of sense impressions; finely sensitive in perception or feeling. Sentient beings are denoted as beings with consciousness or sentience or specifically it denotes the presence of the 5 aggregates and are characteristically not enlightened and are thus confined to the death, rebirth and suffering characteristic of Samsara.

When we describe the characteristics of sentient beings, we are actually referring to the energy enclosed within it that is subject to the rising and falling events.

The conscious aggregates within the sentient beings would initiate thoughts or acts that are devoid of inherent existence. For every rising force of thoughts or acts, a new equal opposing force would arise as well across time (past, present & future) and plane of existence. Continuous rising and falling of thoughts or acts would shape the wheel of life.

As mentioned before, energy or matter is actually the same thing; both reflected in a different form. Just like, cause or effect is the same thing; both reflected in a different time of event.

Let us look at the following illustrations: -

Cause = Effect

Cause 1 conjures up Effect 1;
Effect 1 conjures up Cause 1-1;
Cause 1-1 conjures up Effect 1-1;
Effect 1-1 conjures up Cause 1-1-1;
…….., etc.

Action = Reaction

Action 1 conjures up Reaction 1;
Reaction 1 conjures up Action 1-1;
Action 1-1 conjures up Reaction 1-1;
……., etc.

If present,
Cause 1 > Effect 1;
Action 1 > Reaction 1

future will be,
Effect 1 > Cause 1-1;
Reaction 1 > Action 1-1*

*This is the scenario of a good person having to face with unfortunate events; a bad person having to enjoy fortunate events in a life time.

For e.g.

Loan $100 = Repayment $100

If today,
Loan $100 > Repayment $100

tomorrow will be,
Repayment > new Loan $100

In another scenario, balance condition could be depicted in the acts of giving and taking i.e.

The rise of free taking (reward) leads to the rise of accountable giving (sacrifice);
The rise of free giving (sacrifice) leads to the rise of unaccountable taking (reward)


A cessation of conditional phenomena (balance & imbalance) would lead to cessation of cyclical influences i.e. when action ceased; reaction ceased, when cause ceased; effect ceased. And the antidote to the cessation of it would be radiating loving-kindness and compassion that act for weakening the link of suffering in the wheel of life.

The principle in effect: -

A stream of loving-kindness and compassion would conjure up empathy;
A stream of empathy would conjure up boundless;
A stream of boundless would conjure up voidness;
A stream of voidness would conjure up stillness;
A stream of stillness would conjure up peacefulness;
A stream of peacefulness would conjure up Enlightenment.


As a summary, every existence (sentient, non-sentient, or any material things) consist of energy oriented towards the balance condition as according to the equilibrium law of nature.

Let oneself be awakened and not be hampered by belief boundaries. Liberate oneself from any hindrances and be enlightened.

“One has to see the things as they are; to liberate oneself from it and be enlightened. Have boundless compassion and loving kindness along the way.” This would be a permanent remedy to all the dukkhas that was recommended by the Buddha.

In short, the essence of Buddha Dhamma can be simplified as follows: -

1. Step 1 : To see the things as they are. (It includes all things; not just Dukkha.)

2. Step 2 : To liberate oneself from it.

3. Step 3 : To be enlightened.



“Bend your faith to fit the Truth; not bend the Truth to fit your faith” – that is Buddhism.

“Taste the food; not eat the Menu” – that is the true practice of Buddhism.
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Old May 31st 2011, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

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Old Jun 1st 2011, 12:29 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

INTRIGUING QUESTIONS?

Question 1 Which one comes first – chicken or egg?

Answer 1 The true answer is neither of both. This question in itself is incomplete in a practical point of view. Both chicken and egg could not pop out from thin air in a sudden phenomenon. Scientifically, we need to view this process in an entirety perspective rather than a limited view scope.

To start of with, we need to look at basic elements – Energy, Matter and Space.

These 3 elements would interact together to begin the very first dot of becoming process (integration process). The same elements would disintegrate from each other in any time of maturity to begin the unbecoming process (disintegration process). The whole process of becoming and unbecoming would create myriad of activities in a fully occupied realm of existence.

So to answer correctly on this question, one would need to look at the evolution and mutation processes. It is inevitable that everything that exists would need to go through some kind of evolution and mutation processes. There is no permanency in any realm of existence due to conditional law of circumstances that dictate natural processes.

If one was to work in goods manufacturing environment, it would be clearly understood that before the process of initiating any new items, one would need to engage with research and development. The outcome of it would be formation of a near perfect sample. However, samples are not permanent and would subject to various trial modifications until perfection is achieved. Only then could the next process of mass production commence (duplicating process - like producing chicken and egg).

So, here is the answer - it is neither the chicken nor the egg that comes first. It is some kind of life form sample that becomes the predecessor of both chicken and egg.

In addition, we could view it from another perspective i.e. the category of perpetual and non-perpetual. Sample belongs to non-perpetual category and chicken or egg belongs to perpetual category. At the end of the day, only perpetual process would last for some period of time (not permanently) and non-perpetual process would dissolve over short period of time.

As a summary, it is the evolution and mutation processes that dictate all the rising and falling activities in the realm of existence.


Question 2 Perhaps, you have heard of destiny; you are my other half; we are destined to meet with each other; we seemed to share with common chemistry; why I happened to meet and love you - not your neighbour? What are all these about?

Answer 2 The explanation lies in the wonders of nature again. When the 3 basic elements interacted together, the very first dot of becoming process (integration process) begins. When billions and trillions of dots come together, it would manifest into some sort of beings - let say human beings.

Respectively, each dot would contain a sort of genetic information that is unique and aggregation of dots would subsequently develop into a pool of behaviour. Such unique behaviour would be enclosed within the same being until the next unbecoming process (disintegration process) begins upon a specific time of maturity.

During the disintegration process, the same basic elements within billions and trillions of dots would liberate from each other and sustain freedom of sorts. When more different beings when through the same integration processes, more different basic elements within billions and trillions of dots would sustain freedom and thus assimilate among each other in the realm of existence.

So now, let say there are 3 different beings i.e. Person H, Person O and Person R. Within Person H, let say there are element-dot of h1, h2, h3, h4 and respectively the same manner goes for the other two persons.

When H, O, R went through the disintegration processes all of their respective element-dot i.e. h1…h4, o1….o4, r1…..r4 would liberate and assimilate among each other. When comes a specific conducive time period, the same fragmented and assimilated element-dot would go through integration process again and through the copulation process of living Person S and Person E (father and mother), thus forming a new being, let say Person HORSE.

As such, HORSE would carry the genetic information deriving not only from S and E but also H, O, R. Supposedly, HORSE would carry fragmented and assimilated element-dot of h1, o2, r1, s3, e2.

In a second scenario, the remaining of fragmented and assimilated element-dot that derived from H, O and R would go through integration process again and through the copulation process of living Person N and Person Y, thus forming a new being, let say Person HORNY. Supposedly, HORNY would carry fragmented and assimilated element-dot of h2, o1, r2, n2, y2.

Now, in a third scenario, the other remaining of fragmented and assimilated element-dot that derived from H, O and R would go through integration process again and through the copulation process of living Person T and Person I, thus forming a new being, let say Person HORTI. Supposedly, HORTI would carry fragmented and assimilated element-dot of h3, o3, r3, t2, i3.

Inevitably, under the natural law of attraction, anything that belongs to the same ancestry would somehow tend to attract with each other no matter how far or near distance; how long or short time period, etc.

Supposedly, HORSE live in England, HORTI in Australia and HORNY in New Zealand. In their present lifetime, HORSE is good friend of HORTI; while HORTI and HORNY are husband and wife. If you view their relationships in a complete scope, all of them are inter-related somehow and somewhere before time. Thus, in their present lifetime they tend to have the 'chances' to meet and know with each other and not other 'non-relevant' beings.

So by now, one would know what 'Destiny is made in Heaven'; 'Man looks for his other half'; 'We shared with a common chemistry' would mean in general context. Finally, according to Christianity, it is believed that all human beings derived from 'Adam and Eve' and this statement may hold its truth literally.


Question 3 Christians believe that we live only once. However, Buddhists believe in continuous rebirth. Who is to believe then?

Answer 3 Who is correct? The right answer is both are correct in their respective point of views.

Now, let us return to the same illustration i.e. Person HORSE, HORTI and HORNY. These persons are unique respectively and no individuals would be the same even though they do share some sort of same genes, before time, etc. For instance, twins are similar but never the same individuals. So, Christians are correct about we living 'once' because we don’t find another 'same we' elsewhere, anywhere, any other time.

But by living once, it does not mean there is no continuity. The element-dot of Person H, Person O and Person R did inherit into new beings of Person HORSE, HORTI and HORNY. This is what Buddhists mean by continuous condition of rebirth.

For general understanding, rebirth does not mean trans-migration. An individual soul does not migrate from one physical body into another body. No, it just won’t fit at all. Every individual or thing that exists would not be the same - it could only be in similar condition.

That is why you have heard in various stories whereby free spirit or ghost has the ability to possess into the body of an individual but it never absolutely overtakes the soul of that individual. This is because one cannot simply exchange soul with each other at one’s whim and fancy. Even, individuals with the most powerful magic charm could not perform this feat. In another instance, you have heard of organ transplant cases, whereby the recipients need to take immunosuppressive drugs to treat transplant rejection – live long.

So, ultimately, it is the wonders of nature again that everyone would not be totally the same or different from each other.


Question 4 Are books, rocks, shirts, tables, chairs, buildings, minerals, water, earth, plants - all living things or only humans, animals, insects are entitled to be called living beings? What constitutes a living thing or being?

Answer 4 Under our common understanding, living would mean having certain characteristics such as heartbeats, self-motions, self-cultivates, self-assimilates, etc. and non-living would have characteristics of motionless, no heartbeats, decays, etc. In another perspective, we classify that living beings would have souls and non-living things would have no-souls.

However, if one was to view it correctly, everything that exists in the realm of existence is alive in their respective senses. Motion-less does not mean dead and non-growing does not mean non-living.

As mentioned before, all happenings or activities started with 3 basic elements i.e. energy, matter and space. When these elements interacted with each other, living condition starts from this first dot - regardless whether a thing or being would be self kicking, expanding, contracting, etc. or vice versa.

We simply could not draw a line for living vs. non-living thing or being without truly understand the law of nature in a complete perspective. Nature in itself is wonderful that allows all things to assimilate among each other and making it becomes too complex for any separation in clean cut manner.

For instance, we like to classify that human as living being and other material things such as air, water, minerals are otherwise. If this statement is true, then we would fool ourselves with incorrect perception. From an article pulled out from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the composition of human body is as follows: -

“The human body's chemical composition consists of a variety of elements and compounds. By mass, human cells consist of 65–90% water (H2O), and a significant portion is composed of carbon-containing organic molecules. Oxygen therefore contributes a majority of a human body's mass, followed by carbon. 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of the six elements oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.”

If water, air and minerals are non-living things, how come we are termed as living beings when over 90% of our bodies comprise these non-living substances?

Likewise, we like to portray that when a person is lying dead, only his or her soul would depart from the motionless body, but how true is this? If this statement is acceptable, then the next question would be 'Has anyone ever seen pure naked spirits or ghosts?'

So it is appropriate to quote that everything appears in the realm of existence is very much alive. In fact, those so-called non-living things could well communicate and interact with living beings; like we used to term that our Mother Earth reacted to our wrong doings and raging at times.


Question 5 Birth & Rebirth – Past, Present & Future life, how does it derived? What is the purpose of life?

Answer 5 'Why am I here?' This is a million dollar worth of question that no one could provide with proper and absolute answer to it. In order to analyse properly on this question, we need to segregate it into two categories i.e. creation by nature and creation by mankind.

It is easier to define the creation by mankind but the definition for creation by nature would require one’s in-depth knowledge on the orientation of nature in general terms.

As explained earlier, all activities started with the integration of 3 basic elements i.e. energy, matter and space under balance phenomena. These elements would interact together to begin the very first dot of becoming process or 'Birth' as we usually named it.

The same elements would disintegrate from each other at any time of maturity to begin the unbecoming process under imbalance phenomena. The whole process of becoming and unbecoming would create myriad of activities in a fully occupied realm of existence or Birth, Un-birth and Re-birth.

On the same pretext, one would question that if 'Birth and Re-birth' condition exist, why don’t most of humans have clear memories of their respective past lives or even future lives? Well, it is amusing to mention that most of us couldn’t even recall clearly on all the happenings in the past weeks and what more on our past lives. But in some cases, this statement may not turn out to be factual.

Some individuals did remember vividly on their past lives and could relate it well in their present lives. Some individuals did even see their future lives and relate it in their present lives (with reference to some revered monks). Nevertheless, there is a clear-cut explanation on these exceptional incidences.

Now, let us return to the same illustration i.e. Person HORSE, HORTI and HORNY. These persons are unique respectively and each one does inherit the element-dot of Person H, Person O and Person R.

But now, let us explore further on the density of element-dot that Person HORSE, HORTI and HORNY inherited from Person H, Person O and Person R. Higher density of any particular element-dot inheritance would mean higher retention of genetic information that determines particular pool of behaviour of a predecessor.

In other words, if Person HORSE inherited higher density of element-dot from Person H as compared with dots from Person O and Person R, then the pool of behaviour for Person HORSE would somehow share similar characteristics of Person H. Supposedly, Person H is an ardent pianist then Person HORSE would somehow be naturally talented towards the play of piano or something with similarities.

This is how we explain the naturally 'talented' skills we always uncovered from young children. The same case scenario applies for those 'phobias' in any particular individuals.

So, we could conclude that some individuals could remember their past lives because they do inherit higher density of element-dot derived from predecessors with ardent characters or talents. But most people can’t recall their past lives because they only inherited much assimilated element-dot derived from myriad of predecessors.

Right now, with all the happenings or activities of Birth and Re-birth, do we really have any reasons, meanings or purposes for living? So, what is the rightful purpose of life?

Well, the ultimate purpose of life is to attain the opportunity to learn to live wholesomely. It is regardless whether one would live a good life, luxurious life, poor life or pathetic life. By being alive as humans, we have all liberties or choices of path to begin with. So, one should not mention that 'I have no purpose in my life' because this phrase per se already determines his or her life route.


Question 6 Why are some people born with plenty of blessings? Why some people are lacking of it? Is it due to law of Karma or law of natural random selection or simply God’s favouritism?

Answer 6 It is commonly established in the society that people have tendencies of searching, fighting or defending for justice or fairness but for most of the time, circumstances are on the opposite phenomena.

The circumstance of inequality can be seen everywhere and anywhere one moves about. And there is a saying that it is due to the world is round and not square - therefore 'fair and square' slogan cannot apply in this mundane world.

Well, one may say that the foremost reason for all these happenings is that God would like to test our patience, endurance, etc. But how true is it? Can this statement be taken in literally? Then, others may say that all these happenings are due to the working of Karma.

So, is it due to the working of Karma or God? Let us analyse this.

Frankly speaking, there are many definitions of God. God is referred as deity or superhuman power for someone who is Hindu or Taoist; and according to Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. God is creator and ruler of the universe. Well, the attributes of God can be never ending and it coincides with the proverb 'Beauty is in the Eyes of a Beholder'. In other words, God is a subject of reverence for most faiths found in this world.

Now, what about Karma? As according to Buddhism, everything that happens in this world or universe is subject to the law of Karma.

Well, for general understanding, Karmic law is a natural phenomenon law – it is not shaped by someone else; no one owns it; neither Buddhism. It is merely a law of balancing – to achieve the circumstances of equilibrium in nature.

If one was to observe one’s surroundings intently, everything that exists would always try to achieve the state of balance. Things would only exist in perpetual condition when there is a balance circumstance. In other words, one should not waste time propagating the idea of justice or fairness. Instead, all efforts would be worth channeled to propagate the act of balancing in one’s life.

When everything is in balance (both Yin and Yang) – peace and harmony would arise and there would no longer be jealousy, hatred and no more uproar in the society.


Question 7 Why anything? Why existence? Why karma? Why rebirth? Why any of it at all? Why something, why not nothing?

Answer 7 If we could analyse and unwind to basic condition on all happenings and activities in the fully occupied realm of existence, we could see the appearance of 3 basic elements i.e. Energy, Matter and Space.

To answer these questions, perhaps, we need to look into 'balance vs. imbalance' circumstances.

We could mention that all happenings and activities in the realm of existence arised from the cyclical influence of balance and imbalance phenomena. The 3 basic elements interacted and un-interacted with each other because of these duality circumstances.

And absolute emptying of all these basic elements and duality phenomena would mean Nibbana, as what Buddha taught. An act of emptying = an act of extinguishing = an act of neutralising ≠ an act of annihilating.

Now, let us take an illustration on cancer cell in human body system. Supposedly, there are cancer elements in human body system and when circumstance is in balance condition (conducive) the same elements would interact with each other to form active cancer cells. Subsequently, the human body system would be overwhelmed and succumbed to suffering in both mental and physical senses.

On the other hands, when the same human body system underwent treatment such as chemotherapy and meditation, the cancer cells would be broken down and thus the same elements would disintegrate from each other under imbalance phenomena (non-conducive). In other words, the cycle of cancer occurrence would prolong until the entire cancer elements have been fully extinguished or neutralised from human body system.
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Old Jun 1st 2011, 12:52 am
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The Concept of Emptiness in Buddhism

The concept of Śūnyatā (emptiness) in Buddhism has always been the main subject of confusion among the followers. Now, let us analyse this.

We need to understand that long before the rising of Buddha Dhamma 2,600 years ago, the realm of existence already running its course as according to the natural bounding laws. The wise Buddha has seen through the reality of it, recommended with permanent remedies to liberate one from these natural bounding laws.

So, what are these so-called natural bounding laws? It is the law of balancing that dictates the circumstances of equilibrium in nature. Nature in itself is full with wonders and has already reached a saturated level of complexity that encompassed all sorts of activities or processes such as aggregation, segregation, evolution, mutation, assimilation, etc. In other words, all of these activities or processes have had happened in a manner long before we could have the slightest opportunity to realise it. This scenario is the rising aspect of ignorance in the realm of existence.

As a consequence, we always tend to make observation or take view on events in the context of ‘result’ perspective or the ‘ignorant’ point of view. There are plenty of examples for observation or view on events derived from this conventional perspective i.e. formation, suffering, disease, sickness, terrorism, calamity, existence, etc.

Nevertheless, the wise Buddha has realised these circumstances and recommended with a paradigm shift to it i.e. for one to make observation or take view on events from the context of ‘cause’ perspective or the ‘awakened’ point of view instead. And it is from this new perspective that one could liberate from the cyclic influence of conditional phenomena. One of the good examples is the introduction of the cardinal doctrine of dependent origination.

As mentioned earlier, nature has already reached a saturated level of complexity and this circumstance has created difficulties for one to observe events free from defilements. If we could unwind all events that have taken place in the nature, we could realise the origin of it i.e. all activities, events or processes would evolve around the orientation of energy or matter in a plane called space at all times.

At the end of the day, we could see and know that every existence (sentient, non-sentient, or any material things) is nothing but merely basic elements (energy, matter and space) that would orientate as according to the conditional phenomena. This is the correct understanding about the concept of emptiness in Buddhism.

In other words, we could mention that ‘form’ entity in itself is delusive in nature that is generated out of the ‘ignorant’ point of view or from the context of ‘result’ perspective. We could not view form as an entity because it is an appearance, though not illusive, but devoid of inherent existence and varies under the influence of phenomenal conditions.

Rightly, the Buddha recommended one to see all things as they truly are (not as they delusively are). And it is through the philosophy of emptiness could one begin to experience the cleansing of ignorant aspect. Once the ignorant aspect has been extinguished or neutralised, the awaken aspect would arise concurrently.

An act of emptying = an act of extinguishing = an act of neutralising ≠ an act of annihilating.

The principle in effect: -

Seeing Dhamma is seeing Buddha;
Seeing Buddha is seeing Dhamma.

Seeing Buddha is seeing Nibbana;
Seeing Nibbana is seeing Buddha.

Seeing Emptiness is seeing Form;
Seeing Form is seeing Emptiness.

Seeing Energy is seeing Matter;
Seeing Matter is seeing Energy.

Seeing Cause is seeing Effect;
Seeing Effect is seeing Cause.

Seeing Action is seeing Reaction;
Seeing Reaction is seeing Action.
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Old Jun 1st 2011, 1:12 am
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The Concept of Non-self in Buddhism

The concept of Anattā (non-self or absence of separate self) in Buddhism has always been the main subject of confusion among the followers. Simply, it means ‘Now you see it; now you don't’. This is what the concept of emptiness in Buddhism is all about - absence of static entity.

Nothing stays unchanged even for the slightest moment at all times. By the time you think who you are, you are already not the same you seconds ago. So, where are you to find the originally 'static of you' as you assume along every passing moment?

In the end, you could only see a 'stream of you' constantly passing by on every slightest moment. So, I repeat, you could only see a 'stream of you'; not the 'one stop entity of you'. Just like, you could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.

The 'stream of you' would mean you are part of the becoming processes that arised in the nature. All different shapes and forms that exist in the nature or the so-called 'you' as being are merely momentary outcomes of the constant and continuous becoming processes in the realm of existence.

Under a balance phenomenon, one could witness shapes or forms arised; under an imbalance phenomenon, one could see no shapes or forms arised - and the cycle of conditional phenomena continues.

Finally, the 'stream of you' is devoid of inherent existence. It means that you do not exist independently by the definition of physical 'container' that you always assumed to be. You are merely the results of energy or matter orientation that evolve constantly and continuously in a plane of space at all times.

In other words, you are just like part of the 'Lego' pieces or bricks that can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots - anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects.

When one is fully awakened on the principle of emptiness or non-self, the state of egolessness in oneself would arise concurrently. This realisation is part of the fundamental routes to enlightenment as prescribed by the Buddha.

Last edited by takso; Jun 1st 2011 at 1:17 am.
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Old Jun 1st 2011, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Law of Cause & Effect in Motion

Generally speaking, there are 2 categories of motion – constant & variable motion.

When we mentioned that the rising force of something would generate a new equal opposing force (law of balancing), we are actually referring to action (cause) and reaction (effect) processes under constant motion phenomena.

But under variable motion phenomena, the law of balancing would orientate in a unique harmonising mechanism. Let us look at the following illustrations: -

Constant Motion

Under constant motion circumstance, 'come' factor equals to 'become' factor: -

Come factor = Become factor


Variable Motion

Acceleration
When 'come' factor accelerates, the relative 'become factor' would decelerate: -

Come factor ↑, Become factor ↓

(End results: Mental & physical progresses slow down, for e.g. time dilation circumstance in Einstein’s special theory of relativity).

Deceleration
When 'come' factor decelerates, the relative 'become' factor would accelerate: -

Come factor ↓, Become factor ↑

(End results: Mental & physical progresses speed up, for e.g. ambience of meditation.)

More examples: -

When a car stops suddenly in a quick action; the reaction process becomes slow down in relative to the action and that is a basis for greater inertia effects – serious injuries on the passenger.

When a car stops steadily in a slow action; the reaction process becomes faster in relative to the action and that is a basis for lesser inertia effects – mild injuries on the passenger.

When one launches a bullet towards a target – too fast an action would take the target longer time to react relatively. If compared with launching a throw of baseball – slower an action would give relatively longer time for the target to react.

When one runs water on a piece of paper in slow velocity; the atoms or molecules within the paper have sufficient time to react relatively quicker to hold tight as a scale unit and vice versa.


In reality, we always exist in motion that varies as according to conditioned phenomena and this scenario coincides with the Buddha’s saying that the working result of Kamma was one of the four unconjecturables and to speculate about it would bring madness and vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.


Space and Time

Some people may say that time is an illusion and does not exist after all. So, what actually is time?

Frankly speaking, time is something that is created; not born (a non-natural existence). Time is an indicator for event; whereas length, width & height are indicators for size and volume. All these indicators belong to a category named as dimension. In other words, dimension is created for the task of measurement per se and therefore, not something that arises out naturally.

Also, time is a scalar factor. A scalar refers to a quantity or phenomenon that exhibits magnitude only, with no specific direction. Example of scalars include speed, mass, electrical resistance, and hard-drive storage capacity. Any interval of time is also scalar - it has magnitude only.

On the other hand, space is a natural element in the realm of existence; just like energy and matter elements as well. Space is merely a plane for all existence to arise and to fall i.e. the orientation of energy or matter elements under balance and imbalance conditional phenomena.

Presently, scientists have discovered that space has three spatial dimensions (length, width & height) and one temporal dimension; that is time. In cosmology, the concept of spacetime combines space and time to a single abstract universe. In fact, there is another X-factor dimension exists to accommodate for non-discerning circumstances.

As a summary, we could mention that the 3-spatial dimensions were created for expressing all existence under static phenomena and the combination of 3+1+X-factor dimensions were created for expressing all existence under dynamic phenomena.

What actually happens to an object under accelerating motion?

When an object is set under accelerating motion, the becoming process of the object would be stretched as compared with a relative object that is set under constant or decelerating motion. In other words, the becoming process of the object has been comparatively slowed down; not the time has been dilated or slowed down. Time would only assume the expression that the becoming process has slowed down and not the other way round.

The principle in effect: -

Time is an expression that becoming process exists;
Becoming process is not an expression that time exists.

Length, width & height are expressions that size & volume exist;
Size & volume are not expressions that length, width & height exist.

Shadow is an expression that object & light exist;
Object & light are not expressions that shadow exists.

Effect A is an expression that Cause A exists;
Cause A is not an expression that Effect A exists;
Cause A is an expression that Effect pre-A exists.

In other words,

When no cause arises, no effect would arise;
When no object & light arise, no shadow would arise;
When no becoming process arises, no time would arise.


Similarly, the word of time has been used frequently for expressing different scenario of becoming processes, such as follows: -

NO TIME = an expression of no opportunity for a new becoming process to begin.
TIME TO TIME = an expression of moving from past to present process; present to future process.
TIME PASSED SLOWLY = an expression of hoping for a faster becoming process.
TIME DILATION = an expression that becoming process slows down.


Once again, time is a dimension because it is a scale of measurement created for gauging event of changes. Therefore, time could not be self-sustainable and has no entity. For one to reflect time as an entity is a point of view based on delusion, just like the misconception of 'self' entity in beings.
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 7:52 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Originally Posted by takso View Post


Question 3 Christians believe that we live only once.
Errr, excuse me, have you ever heard of Jesus Christ and Easter?
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Old Jun 3rd 2011, 8:18 am
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Default Re: Tell me about Buddhism....

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
Errr, excuse me, have you ever heard of Jesus Christ and Easter?
Sure, resurrection right? But Jesus is the son of God and christian believers are not - they are waiting to be saved.
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