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camerata

Why Buddhism is True

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18 hours ago, camerata said:

But what if you are run over by a bus tomorrow and become a paraplegic?

I would then have the time to read all the e-books on my Kindle. :smile:

 

Anyway, isn't it a major Buddhist principle that only the present moment exists. Worrying about what might happen in the future is ridiculous. Trying to be mindful all the time is good advice and should reduce the risk of accidents occurring. That's all one can do, and avoid taking unnecessary risks of course.

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18 hours ago, superglue said:

I was in Fang for 2 days when I was hit by a pickup. I am now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of this life.

I must adjust to what is - I have no choice in the matter.

Sorry to hear that. Is this why you are now interested in Buddhism, or were you also interested before the accident occurred?

 

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7 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

Sorry to hear that. Is this why you are now interested in Buddhism, or were you also interested before the accident occurred?

 

My interest in Buddhism commenced in 1984 (the year I got sober via AA).

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17 hours ago, superglue said:

My interest in Buddhism commenced in 1984 (the year I got sober via AA).

Was that before or after the accident?

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9 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

Was that before or after the accident?

I had the accident 2 years ago.

Buddhism - AA - 1984

Edited by superglue

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1 hour ago, superglue said:

I was in Fang for 2 days when I was hit by a pickup. I am now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of this life.

I must adjust to what is - I have no choice in the matter.

That was 2 years ago.

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As the Lord Buddha taught, we should distance ourselves from our feelings.

Beeing kind, thoughfull and caring, leads the way to self realisation.

 

And for me, it works.

 

In any discussion about the teachings of the Lord Buddha,

I will be kind, humble and not reffering to anybody personaly

 

as this was the teaching.

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19 hours ago, VincentRJ said:

I would then have the time to read all the e-books on my Kindle. :smile:

 

Anyway, isn't it a major Buddhist principle that only the present moment exists. Worrying about what might happen in the future is ridiculous. Trying to be mindful all the time is good advice and should reduce the risk of accidents occurring. That's all one can do, and avoid taking unnecessary risks of course.

 

What the Buddha said was that good intentions/actions in the present result in a better future. This doesn't mean that doing good now will enable you to dodge future disasters, but it will prepare you to deal with them and suffer less as a result.

 

What I was getting at - based on my own experience - is that practising the dhamma has a slow, but cumulative effect on one's mental states. If one has been practising for a decade and then gets hit by a bus, the preparation has already been done and the suffering will be less. Taking up the dhamma after the accident would be less effective. This is quite different from, say, being converted to Christianity by some Billy Graham style evangelist, where there is a radical transformation of mental orientation in a very short time.

 

To anyone who says "I don't suffer" I would say, "But you will in the future," if not from an accident, then from health problems in old age. So the dhamma is a form of insurance. You have home insurance, right? But your home isn't on fire right this minute, is it?

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There are different ways to take Buddhism, and I just ran across one way that's probably hard for most to relate to, and for me, in the form of Jim Carrey claiming that he no longer exists.

 

Of course the point is that no one does, or ever actually did, in some limited sense, the Buddhist no-self idea.  It seems to me that one has to work past that a bit to retain some degree of common sense.  Or then again maybe he does have a balanced, insightful, functional take on the limitations of the assumption of a permanent self and he just comes across like some sort of nut-job, which spins even more negatively because he also looks like a meth user now.

 

 

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21 hours ago, camerata said:

To anyone who says "I don't suffer" I would say, "But you will in the future," if not from an accident, then from health problems in old age. So the dhamma is a form of insurance. You have home insurance, right? But your home isn't on fire right this minute, is it?

When I implied that I wasn't suffering, I was describing my normal or usual state of affairs of having no worries, no uncontrollable desires, no depression, no agitation, no anger, no regrets, no financial debts, no health problems, and so on.

 

I'm not overweight. I keep myself in good health by eating wholesome food, exercising regularly, and fasting now and again for a few days at a time.

 

I have a belief in natural medicines and natural remedies. If I were ever diagnosed with cancer, I'd attempt to cure myself through fasting. I know that I can fast without suffering for at least for 4 or 5 days, the maximum I've tried so far.
If I were to start thinking that I shall suffer at some time in the future, then such a thought, in the present, would actually be itself a form of suffering.

 

Not only is my home insured against fire, I've also protected my home from the consequences of a bush fire by removing all the natural trees that were growing close to the house.
Likewise, I not only have free (or very low cost) health insurance as an Australian pensioner, I take personal care of my own health in order to reduce the risk of future health problems.

 

Of course, it's undeniable that we're all going to die at some point in the future. However, the purpose of modern palliative care is to reduce suffering.
 

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I agree. But some are pedantic.

We are aware of the general philosophy of Buddhism that life is suffering.

It is a matter of degree.

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17 hours ago, VincentRJ said:


If I were to start thinking that I shall suffer at some time in the future, then such a thought, in the present, would actually be itself a form of suffering.

 

 

Accepting the fact that unexpected accidents can happen at any time and planning for them does not mean you worry about them all the time. You have home insurance but I'm sure you don't worry about the possibility of a fire all the time.

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18 hours ago, camerata said:

 

Accepting the fact that unexpected accidents can happen at any time and planning for them does not mean you worry about them all the time. You have home insurance but I'm sure you don't worry about the possibility of a fire all the time.

Accepting that unexpected accidents can happen is merely accepting reality, just as one should accept that one will eventually die. However, planning for every possible accident that one can imagine might happen, could send one crazy.

 

It's true one wouldn't worry about the possibility of a fire all the time, and one wouldn't worry about a car accident or plane crash all the time. However, if one is worrying just a small part of the time about a hundred different adverse events that could happen, and planning for them, that represents a lot of worry.

 

Better to live in the present, always be mindful in accordance with Buddhist principles, and take the automatic and sensible precautions that are obvious, such as wearing a seat belt when driving a car, or insuring one's house for riverine flooding if one lives in a flood plain near a river, or automatically including travel insurance when one buys a plane ticket, and so on.

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In Buddhism the "seatbelt" is the cultivation of the mind. It isn't a different plan for every possible contingency, it's a readjustment of the mind to handle all contingencies.

 

As Ajahn Chah once said, if your feet hurt because of rocky ground, you don't attempt to cover the entire world surface with rubber, you put on a pair of rubber sandals.

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15 minutes ago, camerata said:

In Buddhism the "seatbelt" is the cultivation of the mind. It isn't a different plan for every possible contingency, it's a readjustment of the mind to handle all contingencies.

 

As Ajahn Chah once said, if your feet hurt because of rocky ground, you don't attempt to cover the entire world surface with rubber, you put on a pair of rubber sandals.

The rubber sandals analogy illustrates both the strength and the weakness of both western and  buddhist thinking:  of course there is no point in covering the world with rubber (= western thinking), but as long as my feet don't hurt, I don't care about other people's feet (= buddhist thinking).

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BANGKOK 14 December 2017 03:48
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