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  • Here is my understanding of Buddhism, based on my study and practice: I think that for many people who go into the study and practice of Buddhism, they are unhappy and they hope to find an answer as to what to do to have a better life. So Buddhism looks at what is causing the suffering, the "dukkha", in life. From the Pali Sutta, ancient text: (Quote) And they say that the suffering is due to clinging to unrealistic expectations...and then they say why do people cling? ...because they crave, and…
  • It is important here, that we all see that there are various views begin presented on this thread that are coming from individual opinions, some of which are not based on the deep study of Buddhism. When it came to my Buddhist understanding, I began to feel that either something was lost in time or lost in translation, or the Hindu religious understanding crept back into Buddhism (and which stamped out Buddhism in India after a certain number of years). In Buddhism there is the understanding of …
  • (Quote from Cassius) I think this generally makes sense for me, but yet there are times where I feel physical discomforts and then it becomes a matter of surviving the pain/discomfort. Which brings up the idea that Epicureanism may work best for people with a strong and healthy physical constitution. Unless there is some allowance for the pleasure of release from pain, some people will be left out. Also, sometimes pain or the fear of pain is a greater motivator, and if we can endure a little bit…
  • "Buddhism in America"...is very much eclectic. At the Zen Buddhist Temple I attended there were rituals which were "more" Japanese Zen than what most lineages in Japan practice, and so monks from Japan would occassionally come to the Temple to study and practice under the head priest to learn the forms. When people asked questions about "rebirth" the head priest's answer was very much in line with what Joshua wrote. But yet the head priest never forced or required anyone to hold to any one belie…
  • (Quote from Matt) I don't agree...Buddhism isn't just "doctrine" because it is also a daily practice and how you live your life..You can't just "think" your way to "enlightenment". Enlightenment is for this present life. What all Buddhist schools have in common is dealing with the problem of suffering and dissatisfaction that seem to be part of the human inner experience. A friend texted these words to me recently: "I think it’s safe to assume that most of us (meaning all humans) are not overly …
  • BuddhismEpicureanismpracticing meditation as a way to "deal" with negative emotions focusing on what is pleasureable and enjoyable in friendship as a way to "deal" with negative emotions impartiality to all experiences gratitude and savoring of all pleasant and pleasureable experiences nothing is inherently good or badpleasure is inherently good and pain is inherently bad solitude and quietude is a good way to live, and not seeking to add anything to a simple life pleasure in all forms is to be …
  • (Quote from Cassius) There could be several goals: 1) the goal is Buddhist practice/meditation of "letting go" and realizing "aimlessness, signlessness, and emptiness" as the path to "nirvana" 2) to become a "bodhisattva of compassion" to help others (a Buddhist teacher)
  • Buddhists when feeling a sense of "unsatisfactoriness" in oneself might cultivate indifference toward it. Where as Epicureans when feeling "unsatisfactoriness" might put more effort into cultivating friendship and sharing pleasant and pleasureable experiences with others. Which has me wondering...how often were festivals, celebrations, shared meal gatherings, etc. part of an ancient Epicurean lifestyle?
  • Nate ...thank you for the amazing chart you made comparing Epicureanism, Theravada, and Mahayana!!! Also, it is interesting to read your Epicurean goal, and appears you are synthesising several of the Principal Doctrines... (Quote from Nate)