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    Virgin hotrocks's Avatar
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    Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Which tradition/school do you study/practice/have an interest in? Favourite books? What's your practice like? Do you think I'd look better if I was tan?

    My tradition of choice: Tibetan. School: Gelug, though I have a growing interest in Dzogchen to be honest. And just to be a bastard, my favourite book is a Zen book called Sit Down & Shut Up by Brad Warner. My practice consists of not nearly enough sitting, more walking and practicing mindfulness in my daily life. I also do some pretty gay prayer wheel and yidam practices (deity meditation).

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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    I don't have any religious affiliation, though I'm one of the (often) friendly-to-religion posters hereabouts. If you read some of the other threads in this sub you'll find there's lots of discussion about contemporary American christianity and atheism. Not too much representation from other quarters. (Kallipolis, the notable exception. ).

    Are there any official type Buddhists around here these days?

    When I was a young man I spent a couple months at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives taking classes. No current practice.

    One thing that might provoke some discussion here vis-a-vis the ongoing theism/atheism debate is the character of the deity meditation practices you do. I think most people will likely imagine/caricature these as a kind of Western prayer to Buddhist Gods.
    Vaquita
    The worst thing...is not energy depletion, economic collapse, conventional war, or the expansion of totalitarian governments. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired in a few generations. The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.--e.o. wilson

  3. #3
    Virtus in medio stat JUB Admin opinterph's Avatar
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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoltanspawn View Post
    Buddhist Gods
    Perhaps someone should explain the meaning of this expression.

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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Sure! Well, within the framework of what I practice, the meditation deities (yidam) are more of archetypes than actual beings that exist somewhere "out there." There is the figure of Chenresig, for example, who is called the Buddha of Compassion. At least in the West, he is viewed more as if the notion of wisdom and compassion were personified and given a name - he's a symbol rather than a spiritual "person" like, say, Poseidon is in the Grecian Mythos. What is the purpose of personifiying such figures, then?

    Well, it's for practice, of course. In such practices you visualize one or more such beings radiating virtuous essence, often filling yourself and/or others. At one point during this practice you visualize your complete unification with that being. This has the effect of really bringing home the idea that compassion and wisdom are you. Sometimes it's hard to see that for ourselves, so these yidam practices are kind of like proxies. It's easy for people to conceive of another being with great compassion and wisdom, but it's hard for them to see it in themselves. So by first externalizing it, they can really invest in those qualities. Then, by fully absorbing that being they have a chance to recognize that those virtues are already part of the practitioner.

    You do it enough times and eventually it's not so unbelievable that you're a generous, wise, kind person.

    There's other contexts for Buddhist gods, however. They're largely due to the religious language of south Asia at the time of Buddhism's development and flourishing. For example, when Buddhism entered China it borrowed ideas from Taoism to kind of "translate" its concepts over. Buddhism's early religious language was dominated by references to Brahmanist deities and concepts; deities and concepts that the Chinese knew of but weren't necessarily intimately familiar with. In Buddhism you could say that something was like Indra's Net, and people would know what you were talking about (Indra being a Brahman/Hindu deity). That kind of language survived into today. It's not that Buddhists believe in Indra or Agnu, of course.

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    Virgin hotrocks's Avatar
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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoltanspawn View Post
    One thing that might provoke some discussion here vis-a-vis the ongoing theism/atheism debate is the character of the deity meditation practices you do. I think most people will likely imagine/caricature these as a kind of Western prayer to Buddhist Gods.
    That is an interesting idea to discuss. I've found that most people who aren't familiar with Buddhism don't really care much about the Buddhist perspective of deities-as-symbols or archetypes. Those discussions almost always get derailed into "Don't Buddhists believe in reincarnation? What if you come back as a bug?" Still, I don't have much else to do with my time, so why not try, ya?

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    FEAR THE LIBERAL DETENTE! TX-Beau's Avatar
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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Don't Buddhists believe in reincarnation? What if you come back as a bug?

    - - - Updated - - -

    (...must. not. be. contrary. just. because...)
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    FEAR THE LIBERAL DETENTE! TX-Beau's Avatar
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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    I think probably that people who don't have a religion don't bother much with Buddhism, because it doesn't bother much with us. Most of my opposition to Christianity is opposition to the repressive nature of a bunch of it's followers.

    Whether or not Buddhists believe in "Gods" is just an intellectual exercise since y'all aren't trying to teach it in high school science classes.
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    I think probably that people who don't have a religion don't bother much with Buddhism, because it doesn't bother much with us. Most of my opposition to Christianity is opposition to the repressive nature of a bunch of it's followers.

    Whether or not Buddhists believe in "Gods" is just an intellectual exercise since y'all aren't trying to teach it in high school science classes.
    If there were a way to "infect" 'evangelicals' with Buddhism.....

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    Perhaps someone should explain the meaning of this expression.
    In short, these are devices that we invented. I think. It is my understanding that Buddha did not believe in a "Creator."
    I hold you in my heart and hope to feel you completely.

  10. #10
    On the Prowl marqau's Avatar
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    Re: Where my gay Buddhists at?

    I think it is important when a Buddhist uses the word "god", they are talking about something very different to what is meant in Western culture.

    Buddhism is ultimately a phenomenological monist ontology (from a Western perspective). That is, only experiences/mental phenomena, are real. What we experience here and now in this moment is reality. "Gods" or "Deities" are useful symbols for various aspects of mind.

    Western culture is predominantly a dualistic ontology. A dualist ontology is inevitably, logically, a monotheistic one. The "god" of the West isn't just a symbol or a mythological being. It is the ultimate reality and the intelligence that intends or intended of all that exists.

    That kind of god is rejected by Buddhism.

    Western culture is propagated in language. What I find most strange is that many if not most Western "atheists" continue to speak using theistic language. They speak as if a theory of science is a "discovery" of reality. They speak as if truth can be derived using reason based on facts, when surely only facts are truth. They speak as if things in nature were engineered, designed, or have a purpose.

    Of course, it is reasonable to reject the attempts of the self appointed representatives of some god, using an ancient text as their authority, to tell us how to live out lives. But that isn't atheism.
    Last edited by marqau; March 8th, 2015 at 07:08 AM.

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