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Does Buddhism make one repressed and less human?

Discuss religion and spirituality topics.

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Does Buddhism make one repressed and less human?

Postby Winston » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:02 am

Coming from a devout Buddhist family, I've been exposed to Buddhism for many years. I've also studied it during my research into religions and search for truth. But after doing some reflecting, pondering and analyzing of Buddhism lately, I have some new observations and critical questions that I would like to share and elaborate on.

First, if you look at the most devout practitioners of Buddhism, such as lamas, monks, nuns and those who do solitary meditation retreats for months or years, they seem different from other people in that they seem to have repressed their desires and passions.

This is because Buddhism teaches that one should not cling to desires, since that causes suffering. So the devout practitioner's goal is to abandon and disassociate from their desires. Now I am not talking about the casual meditation practitioner. I'm talking about the serious devotee who has dedicated their life to Buddhism.

The problem with this is that it makes them seem less human and less alive. Our desires and passions are what drive us and make us alive. They are what make us human. To suppress them or disassociate from them the way devout Buddhists do seems unnatural. It's as if they've amputated part of their human nature, soul and personality. You know what I mean?

I just don't see how someone can live like that. Without desire and passion, one is not truly alive. One cannot live life to the fullest. And one cannot truly experience life in all its glory and tragedy. Emotions, feelings, passions, desires, etc. are what make us feel alive. How can you try to take that away?

So I am highly skeptical of the Buddhist claim that the answer to suffering is to abandon and disassociate from desires. That seems to go too far. You can't remove a fundamental part of human nature like that just to avoid suffering. It seems like the wrong way to go about it.

I mean, you don't eliminate pain by removing all sense of feeling and sensation right? To do that would defeat the purpose of our natural ability to feel and sense. Such things are there for a reason. Likewise, our desires and passions are there for a reason. It seems unwise and unnatural to try to remove them or abandon them. So to attempt to end suffering by suppressing, abandoning or denying our desires, passions, wants, needs, longings, wishes, cravings, etc. altogether seems too extreme.

Besides, I am not sure how realistic it is to try to suppress one's desires. It doesn't seem possible since desire is a part of us. Without it, we would have no motivation to do anything. What would be the point of living if one had no desires or passions? Wouldn't you become an unfeeling droid?

But even if it were possible to disassociate from desire in general, I'm not sure that would be a good thing. It would make you less human and less alive, as though you were half a person. You know what I mean? I just don't see how suppressing desires can possibly make one happy or fulfilled. It just doesn't make sense.

Now, I know that Buddhists do not use the term "suppress desires" to describe their aim. They will admit that removing desires is not possible. Instead, they prefer to say that they are "training their minds not to cling to desires". But I think this is a matter of semantics. You can spin it any way you want, but the result is the same either way: The most devout practitioners of Buddhism seem to have caged or repressed their desires and passions, or have disassociated from them, making them seem less human and less alive. They may have a peaceful tranquil smile on their faces, but they still seem less alive and human for some reason. Have any of you noticed that? It just seems very strange and unnatural to me.

Remember, I am not talking about the casual Buddhist practitioner who meditates occasionally to relive stress and studies Buddhism as a hobby. I am talking about the serious devotees who devote their life to Buddhism.

Moreover, being devoid of desire and passion makes one seem uninteresting and boring. The typical Buddhist devotees I've met (and I've met many) seem very quiet, solemn, repressed, and reclusive. They do not like to talk or socialize much. Instead, they limit such things and restrict conversation to polite formalities. They live a very orderly solemn lifestyle filled with rituals and strict schedules. And they seem somewhat repressed as well. I don't see how that brings joy, happiness or fulfillment.

But I guess that's the type of people who are attracted to Buddhism. I guess it takes a certain type of person to want to abandon their desire and passions, or disassociate from them. I can't imagine why though. So perhaps people with the kind of personality I describe above - solemn, quiet, passionless, repressed, reclusive, non-expressive - are the types drawn to Buddhism. Perhaps these types are "passionate" about subduing their "passions", and "desire" to repress their "desires", which is kind of an oxymoron. But oh well. To each his own I guess. Every religion must work for some people, otherwise they wouldn't exist.

I'm certainly not like that. As for me, I live for passion, romance, inspiration, intense feelings, adventure, etc. Those things are what make me tick. They are a part of my core being and soul. I live in a world of romanticism, so I do not even fit in strong materialistic societies. Plus as a writer, philosopher, truth seeker, and freethinker, my mind is highly overactive. I am constantly thinking deep thoughts, and abstracting about ideas and concepts. I can never silence my mind. So I don't think I would be cut out to take Buddhism too seriously. I would not be a good fit for it. I could take it in small doses, but not the extreme form of it that serious devotees do.

Rituals and reciting mantras - What's the point?

"Rehearsed routines lack the flexibility to adapt." - Bruce Lee

Here's another thing I don't get. In many Buddhist sects, practice does not just consist of learning about Buddhism or silent meditation. It consists of performing rituals and reciting mantras in scriptural texts over and over again too.

Now perhaps I'm missing something, but what is the point of that? Repeating orderly rituals (that someone else created) and reciting mantra texts (that someone else wrote) seems robotic and mindless, as well as tedious. It seems no different than taking notes at school and trying to memorize them for tests, which we all know does not result in real learning. There is no self-expression in it. It's more like following orders than being yourself.

So I don't see how reciting mantras and following rituals makes one more spiritual or brings them closer to enlightenment. Reciting mantras is not a form of creative self-expression. It's not something you create. It's just reading off a script that you did not even write. What is the point of that? How does that make you more spiritual or help you achieve enlightenment? I don't get it. Am I missing something?

I don't know. But my impression is that those who like to do rituals and recite mantras over and over again, find a sense of order in it which gives them a feeling of control in their life. That's my guess. If so, I'm not sure if that's a good thing though. It seems like a form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) to me. And it seems like something that someone who is left brain dominant would do.

Am I missing something? Perhaps those who do these things can comment or explain the purpose to me?

My conclusion and advice on Buddhism, religion and life

My conclusion and advice about Buddhism is that it is good in small doses, like most religions and spiritual practices are. But it does not seem like a good idea to take it to the extreme, or have it take over your whole life. This is a sensible view of life in general, not just religion.

You see, the major religions of the world, including New Age beliefs, contain nuggets of truth and wisdom. They have great lessons to learn from and symbolic motifs that contain deep truths and meanings about our human psyche. This is true of Christianity and the Bible too. But if you take these religions too literally or seriously, or follow them to the extreme, it warps your mind and life, which is not good for you. And it can make you delusional and fall out of touch with reality and others too.

Now, let me clarify, I am not advocating that one live a hedonistic lifestyle of following every desire and whim. Of course not. We all know that overindulging in alcohol, drugs, sex, eating, or any kind of carnal pleasure is bad for you. Buddhist philosophy is correct that desires cause suffering, especially if they are not fulfilled, or if one becomes addicted to them. So it is not good to be enslaved to your desires of course. But that doesn't mean that denying or abandoning desires altogether is the answer. Extremities in any form are never good. BALANCE is the key.

Balance, moderation and variety are the key

The key, I think, is to follow the age old wisdom of "everything in moderation". Taking anything to the extreme, including Buddhism or religion, is not a good thing. Ideally, you need a BALANCE in all healthy and good areas of life, having a little in each category. Examples: You need SOME spirituality, SOME desires, SOME discipline, SOME work, SOME play, SOME rest and relaxation, SOME vacation, SOME time off, SOME exercise, SOME money, SOME material things, SOME food and water, SOME fruits and vegetables in your diet, SOME protein in your diet, SOME time with friends and family, SOME time learning new things, SOME time meditating, SOME time out in nature, SOME time to yourself, etc. See what I mean?

So you see, BALANCE is the key. One needs a balance in all areas of life (including desires and spirituality) with nothing taken to the extreme or over-indulged. Doesn't that make the most sense? Isn't that the wisest and most sensible way to live?

So for example, we all know that meditation is very good for you. It helps you manage stress, become more self-aware, mindful and conscious. Thus it is very therapeutic and beneficial. It helps you become more efficient in your life and thoughts, and makes self-control come more easily. This is why Buddhism, Eastern spirituality and meditation have become so popular in the West. Even many Western therapists and psychiatrists recommend meditation to their patients, since its beneficial results are well documented, even in Western science.

However, that doesn't mean that you should do nothing but meditate all day for months or years, like Buddhist lamas, monks, nuns and long term retreatants do. It's beneficial to meditate between 10 minutes and one hour a day, whatever you can manage, but months and years would be taking it to the extreme. You don't want one thing taking over your whole life, or be doing only one thing everyday, and neglecting everything else. That's not healthy or balanced. You see what I mean?

Even Buddha himself said that all things should be in moderation. He advocated following "the middle way". If you read the story of Buddha, it says that at first, Buddha tried to crucify his flesh to attain enlightenment, by not eating anything for months, which nearly killed him. Then he realized that that was too extreme and not the best way of going about it. So he quit doing that, began eating, and parted from his group. Therefore, it's kind of ironic that he would have advocated that one abandon life to meditate all day everyday long-term, since that would have seemingly contradicted his own teachings.

(However, we cannot know for sure what the original Buddha really taught or said, since like Jesus, he did not write anything down, which is oddly suspicious. I mean, you would think that a spiritual guru who wanted to start a new religious faith or movement, would at least write down some of his core teachings and tenets, wouldn't you?)

Combining multiple religions to get a broader view on spiritual truth

Furthermore, why limit your spiritual study and practice to only Buddhism? There are many other religions and spiritual beliefs. They all contain golden nuggets of truth and wisdom and lessons for you to learn from. A truth seeker should not neglect them. He/she should try to learn from each one, and decide what to take from them and what is relevant to their lives. Doing so makes one well rounded, eclectic, and more interesting. It also gives one a bigger and broader picture of spirituality. Why limit yourself to only one religion or spiritual tradition? If you do that, you miss out on what the others have to offer. See what I mean?

In martial arts, there is a style called Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that combines multiple martial art styles, rather than sticking to one. By combining the strengths of various styles, a fighter becomes more versatile, fluid and adaptable. Why not do the same with religions and spiritual disciplines? Why stick only to only one and miss out on what the rest have to offer?

One of the greatest martial artists of all time, Bruce Lee, said that styles are restrictive and that their rehearsed routines lack the ability to adapt. I feel the same is true with religions and spiritual beliefs. Focusing on only one becomes restrictive and does not allow one to flow or adapt with truth and reality.

No religion has a monopoly on the truth. Just because a religion claims to be the one and only true religion, does not make it so. You gotta learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. Every religion contains different aspects that you can learn from. The late great mythologist Joseph Campbell, an eminent professor of world mythology who was featured on PBS with Bill Moyers, believed that all religions and mythologies of the world contain deep truths about the human collection psyche and consciousness, and therefore hold intrinsic value.

Also, the major religions on their own seem incomplete. But when you put them together, they can compensate for the other's lack. For example, Buddhism and Christianity both contain what the other lacks. Buddhism contains concepts such as karma, reincarnation, and insights into the nature and cause of suffering in life, which is lacking in Christianity. On the other hand, Christianity contains what Buddhism lacks, such as a creation story (or myth), and virtues such as faith in God, surrendering oneself to a higher power, the concept of spiritual rebirth and dying to your former self, having a purpose in life, etc. See how that works?

Of course, some people will find that one particular religion seems more relevant to them than the others, or that it somehow "feels right" for them. To each their own I guess. Ultimately, one has to follow one's heart and deep intuition to find their path, purpose and destiny.

Even the Dalai Lama says in his lectures that Buddhism is not right for everyone, and that it's ok to believe in other religions if you think it's best for you. This respect for other religions is what makes Buddhism stand out from others and gain respect among freethinkers.

From my years of studying various religions, I've found that: Religion does have value. It has helped many people and changed many lives. Every religion must work for someone, otherwise they would not exist. Some people need religion, it gives them purpose and a reason to live. You have to respect that. The problem comes when people become fanatical about it. Perhaps the late great comedian George Carlin put it best when he said, "Religion is like a pair of shoes. Find one that fits for you. But don't make me wear your shoes."

A final lesson on truth

My final lesson to you is this:

Truth does not come in a package, like fast food (which is how many religions present it). Truth is a search, a lifelong process. There are multiple layers to truth and to reality. Some layers are simple, some complex, and some beyond words. Some truth is objective at some level, and others are subjective.

It's tempting for our minds to try to find easy-to-understand answers and formulas for the nature of existence, which is what religions provide and what makes them appealing. Our minds like to keep it simple. But the universe and reality are a lot broader than you can think or imagine.

So embrace the mystery of life and the nature of reality. Revel in the magic of existence and the unknown. Remain open to all possibilities. Cultivate a mindset that is not resistant to change. Follow the truth wherever it may lead you. Do not be afraid to change or update your beliefs when truth reveals new layers to you. This, I believe, is the best approach to truth seeking. Thank you for reading.

See Also:
My Buddhism Critique
http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Buddhism_Critique.htm
Last edited by Winston on Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby starchild5 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:08 am

I agree.

Being from India, where Buddha was born and had the greatest influence, he destroyed all the rich musical, dance and art traditions of India by being quiet and meditative. During his 800 Years influence on India, India lacked any progress in Art..as where ever people went, there were only gigantic monasteries where you were only supposed to be silent, meditate and chant mantras all days. There weren't any places where one could discuss art or philosophy ..the influence of Buddhism was so high that everyone was a hardcore lamas.

Due to Indians during that time becoming sterile without any activity at all as you discussed, it was eventually wiped out of India by another Philosopher Sancaracharya who brought on even greater philosophy and eventually brought back vedic traditions as you can see now India has may be less than 3% Buddhist.

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However, this goes much much deeper ...Having spent considerable amount of time in Buddhism, Hinduism etc ....I'm 100% convinced that ...It was CREATED by the dark forces to manipulate humanity....Its all salt and pepper...Pinch of truth here and there and if you follow them..it leads exactly to the door of evil.

Meditation and feeling good is just a TRAP to suck you in....when you do it more and more....Your body will be perfectly purified by the dark forces to control you easily.

I have met the real good guys in India, who are on our side and never get the media attention like Buddha and Gandhi does because they are part of the cabal.

I was totally into Yoga, Meditation and all that stuff while growing up in India and I was warned by the good guys NOT TO DO IT....I later found out why....

As people here are already awakened enough, we don't need to explain it in details....Just DO NOT DO YOGA, Meditation, chant mantras etc ....They were not created by stupid minds...They knew exactly how to trap you by giving good feelings at the beginning to suck you in to the process. These guys are too smart, coordinated and millions of years old in the making.

They drop stuff like Buddha, Gandhi, Yoga on Humanity in certain points in time when ever Humanity is about to align with nature and progress further.

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If not, How do people explain this ?

India has all the religion, gods, yoga, Buddha, meditation in the world and yet it is one of the shittest places ever existed on planet earth :) ...I mean from 1.2 billion souls , even if 10% are vegetarians and meditate and chat mantras, we would have been saved. Its 100 million humans meditating on any given day in India and yet basically not progressing at all.

I mean, If meditation really saved humanity, then we were suppose to be the first ones to be saved :D and yet we are the most tensed, diabetic, High Blood Pressure people on the planet.

I will write about Turmeric - Cure Cancer Con in a separate thread with 100% proof that it does not work.


Have anyone been to India lately, if you did, you wouldn't touch anything coming out of India by a foot long pole.

India has gone backwards doing meditation, yoga. This is a trick like they have in the west called Rat Poison in conspiracy where in they give you 90% of truth and 10% poison which eventually kills you and leads you nowhere as many in conspiracy feel now a days. You will go in circles if you follow current conspiracy and you will go in circles if you do yoga and meditation.

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

They have divided east and the west perfectly. No spiritual guru is suppose to talk about Aliens. I mean how many chapters does Buddha had regarding Aliens...ZERO.

How many chapters does UFO' logiest, conspiracy guys who follow Aliens have on spirituality, I mean the real spirituality, Zero or close to zero.

The darkness knows the perfect combination is when you combine both the knowledge of EAST AND THE WEST. They do not want that. They want us to remain divided on Science Vs Spirituality debate when there is none...Aliens vs Buddha Philosophy debate when there is none.

They control both sides.

As I have said. There is only conspiracy in the world. Nothing Else. This Conspiracy is very ancient that helped create Buddha.
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Postby sea_dragon » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:22 pm

Buddhism, like Hinduism is an endless spiral into mediocrity. Just as most branches of Christian religion, especially Protestantism who constantly control you with the mind-numbing feelgood Judaizing bullshit.
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Postby starchild5 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:25 pm

sea_dragon wrote:Buddhism, like Hinduism is an endless spiral into mediocrity. Just as most branches of Christian religion, especially Protestantism who constantly control you with the mind-numbing feelgood Judaizing bullshit.



Very true...Its nothing but mass mind control...Just because its ancient, it has gotten more exotic, antique value attached to it as our present life is worse than before.


and also they have divided planet earth into East = Spiritual BS and West = Scientific BS..both feeding lies to humanity.

When western folks get depressed, they see all yogis and gurus talking peace and meditation and thinking...ok my bliss is half way across the world..

As I have been saying...Its far far worse than what we are being told even in conspiracy. Its a Gigantic Hoax of Universal proportions. People really have no clue what they are in right now.

Buddha , Yoga, Meditation, Karma are all Eastern BS to trap you. Except temporary relief aka trap to suck you in...I can guarantee doing yoga and mediation will never full fill your soul as Winston talks in his first post, you become sterile, life less being trapped.

I'm Indian, and the proof :lol: :lol: ..Most won't say the truth as they would be too proud of their culture aka "brainwashed" as many Americans are who believe America is the greatest country on earth. In India too we have these kinds who believe Yoga, Karma, Buddha can free humanity
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Postby Winston » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:01 am

Starchild, why do you think religion is so bad? I never said it was. It has nuggets of truth, wisdom and important lessons. It has value and has helped many people and changed many lives. Every religion works for someone, otherwise it wouldn't exist. Some people need religion too.

The problem is in taking it too far and becoming too fanatical about it. It's also extreme to abandon all desires, passions, cravings and longings, just to try to end suffering. Those things exist for a reason. To try to deny them or disassociate from them is too extreme and unnatural. Even if it were possible to do that, I'm not sure it would be a good thing. It would make you less human and less alive.

Have you met devout Buddhists? Don't they seem kind of inhuman in that they've suppressed a natural part of themselves to feel desire?
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Postby starchild5 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:38 pm

Winston wrote:Starchild, why do you think religion is so bad? I never said it was. It has nuggets of truth, wisdom and important lessons. It has value and has helped many people and changed many lives. Every religion works for someone, otherwise it wouldn't exist. Some people need religion too.

The problem is in taking it too far and becoming too fanatical about it. It's also extreme to abandon all desires, passions, cravings and longings, just to try to end suffering. Those things exist for a reason. To try to deny them or disassociate from them is too extreme and unnatural. Even if it were possible to do that, I'm not sure it would be a good thing. It would make you less human and less alive.

Have you met devout Buddhists? Don't they seem kind of inhuman in that they've suppressed a natural part of themselves to feel desire?


Religion basically acts as a gate keeper to realizing our true potential. Most religions comes from the east with sprinkles of truth to suck us in and then it makes us go in circle for ever.

The good feeling that religion gives is like Evil doing us a favor by giving us good time if only we join some sect...and follow certain norms of religion. :)

The thing is darkness does all the Evil and puts the blame on humanity and then it needs us to pray and join some religion so that he can change us and make us feel better. Its a Trick.

There is absolutely no need for religion when we completely totally understand what this darkness is and why we were created. Like Muslim and Hindus perfect opposite...One can eat pork, other can eat beef but they can't eat exactly what other is eating....You can eat everything else but not these two specific Animals...Clearly, someone wrote both the books. I mean the opposites in Islam and Hinduism is too incredible to not believe there were not written by the same person to divide humanity. What Hindus can do, Muslims cannot and vice versa...

Being born in India and lived here...I have lived among all religions and it was the hardest thing to get out of. The reason Religion exists is because Evil is letting it exist :) ..He wouldn't let anything go beyond a certain point if it threatens his empire...

The biggest problem I have with religion is...No religion on earth has a chapter dedicated to Aliens? Talk about manipulation and control. If there weren't any outside influence controlling what can be put into religion...how is that almost every tribe in all continent talk about Aliens in some form but major religion refuses to acknowledge it.


Being born in a third world country, the influence of religion is soo heavy...It has left scares in my mind too deep to heal...I had the most miserable moment in life because of religion....The reason I'm here is because I completely abandon the religion....I don't want to deal with them anymore..I don't want their few good moments of happiness followed by year long misery.

I understand your point of view..however, for me...It was so extreme that , I had no choice but to completely abandon religion. In poor countries, religion is extreme, there is no middle path..Either I had to be completely in it or outside of it...
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Postby Winston » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:06 am

Good point Starchild. And good analogy too.

Yes many religions do seem like they are making people run around in circles, and getting them to spend their whole lives trying to attain something they can't attain, and which is not realistic. And they are told to blame themselves if they don't attain it, like they are never good enough. The assumption is that the religious system is best and perfect and that only individuals fail. Seems like some kind of brainwashing.

Even New Age is like that. New Age philosophies make these huge promises that their fans or followers never experience, so they are told to keep trying and that they aren't at that level yet. But they never reach that level no matter how hard they try.

Even business schemes like Amway and multi-level-marketing companies do that too. They give you an unrealistic goal and then blame you if you don't achieve it, because the system is perfect and only individuals fail.

You see such a pattern everywhere. It seems to be all a distraction to pacify the public and keep them busy trying to do something so they don't get in the way of the ruling elite.

Fortunately, we are not like that though. HappierAbroad offers a real solution that is realistic, achievable, and measurable, and can be experienced NOW if one goes abroad.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:09 am

Here is what my dad, who is a Buddhist, said about my Buddhism article:

Dear Win,

This is one of the best Buddhism analysis articles I read recently. You ask a lot of good questions and they make great sense. It also shows that you have been pondering about the purpose of devoting in Buddhism while you were at that Buddhist center. These are questions many people are wondering about. Is it worth devoting so much time and effort on or does it make any sense at all?

I think that Buddhism is not for everyone and not all Buddhists are the same. Otherwise, if every Buddhist decides to be ordained and become a monk or nun, what kind of world would that be. There is a metaphor about the Buddhism belief. It said that there are 3 stages of that. The first stage is to see the mountain like a mountain, just like everyone sees it. The second stage is after you go up to the mountain and really investigate it, you find out the mountain is not the same mountain you saw before. After you stay and live on the mountain for a long period of time and come down. You then see the mountain as a mountain again but with completely different perspective and understanding. This is the third stage.

This applies to the Buddhists we know today. Most of the Buddhists are in the first stage. They heard about the Buddhism and appreciate it and have some interest in it. Those who devout whole effort and choose to spend all their time meditating and studying and practicing Buddha teachings are in the second stage. Eventually, they realize that what real devout Buddhists should do is to come back to the real world and live a real life. These third stage Buddhists live a normal daily life, like everybody does but with different perspective about life. They eat and sleep and do something to enjoy their life with more aware and more compassion and understanding about other people because they see other people are still blindly pursuing their unrealistic desires that will bring them sufferings eventually. They see more clearly what desires are worth pursuing and will not result in suffering. Even the result comes out not as ideal as they want, they know that is the nature of all things and they are disappointed but not that much suffering. In other words, they are less attached to them because they are aware that there are things that are out of their control.

Hope these make some sense to you. Let us elaborate more on this later

Love,
Dad


Dear Win,

I like the paragraph you wrote about live a balance way of life to have some desires, some fun, some exciting moment of life and also have some quiet time for meditation and spiritual practices. I think this is what Buddhism refer to as Middle Way. It means to do thing with the right amount of effort at the right time, not over or less. The key word here is Just Right.

I think the devout committed Buddhism practitioners are not trying to suppress or disassociate their desires. They may appear less emotion, more quiet, reserved and calm but I do not think they try to act that way. I believe they are more peaceful inside because they have less desires, they are more conscious and observing about each word they choose and every movement of their act, not to cause harm to others. They are more aware of the impermanent nature of all things that everything, good or bad, will change sooner or later that it is a waste of time and effort to pursue something that is not going to last long.

You ask what the point is of rituals and chanting mantras. The way I understand is they are just the tools they use to focus their attention to. Our mind can only pay attention to one thing at a time. When you chant the mantras and practice rituals, you surrender your pride and focus your attention to the movements of ritual and the sound of those mantras that you redirect your unwholesome deluded thought. It is another way of concentration meditation practice.

Love,
Dad


Allow me to elaborate More on Buddhism to answer your questions:

Many Buddhists see Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion. It is a way of life rather than a belief. Unlike Christen 10 commandments, Buddhism does not have that. Buddhism just have 5 precepts as guide line for Buddhists to follow.

Buddha is a real historic figure. You doubt about the truth of Buddha sutras or scriptures. At the time of Buddha, writing was not the usual practice of preaching, instead, the teacher preached and the students recited and passed on. It was 9 months after Buddha passed away, 500 of his top students decided to gather together and recited what Buddha main teachings line by line and wrote them down. Every line wrote down had to be agreed by other participants. There were other few gatherings to recollect Buddha preaching afterward, but the sutras of the first gathering was believed to be the most closed to Buddha own thoughts.

I remember some Buddhist teacher warned that once you commit to Buddhism practice, there is no way back, so beware. It is true to me. There will be a big change to your way of thinking and behaving when you start to study, meditate, and practice according to Buddha teachings - in a good way. It will sure benefit you. The more time you invest the more you will gain.
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Postby Winston » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:30 pm

I don't understand something about religion. How is it supposed to fulfill my needs and desires? How does it fulfill anyone's needs? How is it supposed to make me happy?

If my needs and desires are for romantic love, beautiful women, physical passion, intimacy and stimulation from romancing attractive women, how will any religion fulfill that? Spirituality may bring inner peace, sure, but it's not going to fulfill my desires and needs in those areas. I'm still going to suffer and be unhappy from the deprivation of such things, even if I devote myself seriously to a great spiritual religion.

So what's the point? How can having a religion make you happy? What does it fulfill? I don't get it.

Devotees of all religions will tell you that the material world can't bring happiness, but their religious practice can. They say that the world is too materialistic. I agree that materialism alone can't bring you complete fulfillment or happiness. But how does believing in something you can't see bring complete happiness and fulfillment?

Now I acknowledge that there is a spiritual component in life that is real and necessary. But that alone can't bring you happiness, satisfaction and contentment. You need more than that, well at least I do. I'm not talking about materialism of course. I'm talking about other things, which I will list below.

But religious devotees seem to imply that their religion alone will bring happiness, peace, joy and contentment. That is too far fetched. Don't you need a little of everything in life? How can one thing alone do it all? What is their basis for that? And why does that work for the devotees who claim this? Are some people happy with religion alone?

In my view, being able to do what you love, having quality friendships with quality people, having a great romantic love affair and relationship, having some adventures and new experiences in life, and having good health, are what bring the greatest happiness, at least for me.

I don't see how religion fits into that though. How is it that some people find happiness through religion only? Can anyone explain?
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Postby Falcon » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:29 pm

You grew up in a Buddhist family, and most of them tend to be more tolerant.

It's worse growing up in a Taiwanese Christian family, since most of them tend to be the fundamentalist, church-going, authoritarian Bible-thumping folks who will go to no end to shove whatever they think is right down other people's throats. The fundamentalist Christian black-and-white thinking and the East Asian strict, repressive black-and-white mentality combine to form a super dominating authoritarianism.

I was born into and raised by a devout Taiwanese Protestant Christian family in the US, and made to go to church for 18 years. If I wanted to read a book on another religion, I would have to smuggle it into the house and hide it. If I disagreed with whatever Christian teaching was being taught, I had to hide my true thoughts. Not only do these people shove things down your throat, you can't speak out against anyone. Anything contrary to what they say is attributed to the evil works of Satan. They will even bash other Christian denominations and claim Roman Catholics are not Christians.

When I was in college, the only people who would approach me on campus were Intervarsity and missionary-type college students who were trying to increase their fellowship membership. They were approaching me only because they had an agenda.

Christianity does change lives for the better, and I have great respect for Christians who devote themselves to making the world a better place to live. It's just that they often go too far to force-feed their beliefs to other people, including their own family members.
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Postby MrPeabody » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:55 pm

I actually think Buddhism has come the closest to understanding how reality works. The problem is that their technique meditation just takes so damn long. That is why the practice in the East in mainly limited to monks. As a monk, you may meditate 12 hours a day for several years before you even get a glimpse of something different than ordinary reality. Thus, the main layman's practice is to gain good merit and maybe in a few lifetimes you will be a monk. In Buddhism, only a small handful achieve salvation. In Christianity, everyone gets salvation without working for it. Buddhism is more realistic.
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Postby Winston » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:14 am

Here are some images of repressed Buddhist monks. They certainly don't look passionate. lol. I don't see how this kind of lifestyle fulfills a person or makes him/her happy. How do they satisfy their romantic and sexual desires?

Image

Image
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Re: Does Buddhism make one repressed and less human?

Postby tamdrin12 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:37 am

In the Buddhist world view, just satisfying your romantic desires doesn't make you happy. That is the problem, it gives you temporary enjoyment or rather distraction and then when it is over you are left back at the place you started. Pursuit of temporary pleasures consumes ones time and in an effort to become happy one doesn't really find true happiness. Thus a greater happiness is found by seeking liberation.

Whether you agree or not, In Buddhism desire and emotions have been likened to something like this: ((( If you have an itch it feels good to scratch it, but it is better not to have had the itch in the first place.)))

I disagree with your assessment that all Buddhists are soulless and without passion. You met the Lama Garchen Rinpoche. If you watch him he is always alive with good energy, smiles, and loving other people. Even though he went through some serious difficulties in his life (20 years in prison in China) he came out loving and not resentful. That certainly is a good result from Buddhist practice.

Buddhism recognizes that every single, not only human but animal and unseen being wants to be happy, yet we are not, so found within Buddhism are the teachings on how to attain relative worldly happiness, not just transcendental nirvana. We want happiness, but yet, we- human beings- do actions that bring misery (the opposite of what we want)- this Is a reason for compassion.

Buddhism should be a way to overcome adversity and the suffering that we will inevitably have in life.

Winston: Get real happier abroad does not offer a grand solution to lifes problems. The truth is that once the lonely men in America find companionship abroad they will be faced with a new reality of problems that were previously unseen. This is the reality of life in samsara... No matter who you are or what you get you cannot be totally content with it. Many very wealthy people in western countries are depressed and feel lonely for example. Plus just indulging your passions doesn't make you more human at all. LOok at the guys who run around and f**k anything walking on two legs. They are more like animals if anything. What makes you more human is your ability to love other people not indulge in your fantasies and desires. That said I am not against fulfilling your desires I just don't think people should make that their life's purpose with the expectation that it will bring true satisfaction.

Starchild: The reason that India is in such a sorry condition is not the presence of religion. It is because the Indians are not following the core ethical commandments of the religion which will bring happiness and harmony to a society. People are cheating, lying, scamming, etc.... We are actually more moralistic in the west , but that is not something that definitely has to come from religion.
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Re: Does Buddhism make one repressed and less human?

Postby tamdrin12 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:22 pm

Been living abroad for 4 years now. India, Nepal, Taiwan, and Thailand. Currently in Thailand teaching English as my bread and butter.

Check out my online store featuring cool jewelry and items at very reasonable prices from Thailand!

http://thailand-treasures.myshopify.com/collections/all
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Re: Does Buddhism make one repressed and less human?

Postby Winston » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:43 pm

Even though I don't see how Buddhism can solve your problems, bring you happiness or give you a purpose to live for, still, there is one popular Buddhist monk on YouTube that I do like, and whom I would like to recommend to you all. He gives good practical advice to help your problems, that is realistic and reasonable. His name is Ajahn Brahm, a popular Buddhist monk trained in Thailand Buddhism. My dad introduced me to his videos. I watched a lot of his lectures on YouTube and unlike delusional New Age gurus, he gives realistic solutions to solving your problems that make sense and are achievable. They often involve minimizing your life, and eliminating bad junk from both your home, lifestyle and mind. Plus he is a very likable guy and very humorous too. He makes people laugh while giving good sound advice that is nonjudgmental and without BS New Age claptrap. If you watch a few of his lectures, I'm sure you will like him too. See his videos at the links below.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ajahm+brahm

Ajahn Brahm's YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/BuddhistSocietyWA

He is also a best selling author on Amazon because he shares his wisdom and lessons in his books using many little stories and parables that we can all relate to, instead of pontificating abstract theories. His approach makes sense, because life is about a series of stories and events we go through. So people relate better to stories than to abstract theories. Here are his books on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Ajahn-Brahm/e/B001JSBNZI/
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