1. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    Do any brothers practice buddhism, or research it?
    I have been lazily practicing for 4 years visiting temples on and off. I just recently started becoming more involved with it after being raised as a MM.
     
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The brother who obligated me on my third degree is a practicing Buddhist. I've read the Dama Phada, the legendary stories of the Buddha (would they be the Tripitaka?) plus a number of modern books on the topic. I've practiced some eyes open Zazen among the types of meditation I've tried.

    I'm not a Buddhist but I do have a high opinion of the religion and I have drawn practices of value from their lessons. I'm interested in most religions roughly in correlation to their world population and Buddhism is 3rd or 4th in size.
     
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  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    One of the first Masons I met, who in turn was SD for my Degrees, is a Buddhist. We've had a number of discussions over the years, but it's not the root of my Path.
     
  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't consider myself a Buddhist but I've always intended to learn more about it as I have a great respect and interest in the philosophies it teaches.
     
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  5. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    I believe those to be the two different things if I am not mistaken. I like to study the various different types of Buddhism such as Theravada and Mahayana trying to figure out which one fits my true beliefs I have been fortunate to visit tibetan and zen temples! It's almost like a lodge trying to find which group of people I feel closer too.
     
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  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    A knife and fork Buddhist may want to attend a Thai Buddhist temple. The food at the one in Sunland/Tujunga near Los Angeles is so good I used to go there Sunday mornings just for brunch!
     
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  7. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    I do have access to one! I have a coworker who is Laotian and goes to a thai temple. I really want to attended
     
  8. Perry

    Perry Registered User

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    Does a person who takes his obligation as a Christian, but later becomes a Buddhist, have to retake his obligation as a Buddhist? Just curious .


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  9. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    I don't believe Buddhism is a religion, it's just awareness. I once read that buddhist teachings can only assist you, you will not come to truth with them. Everything is on your own and that you can't find truth or light by giving up your authority. I found myself to really be able to take refuge in this.


    As for the obligation there is no one book for Buddhists
     
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  10. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Is it an external supernatural power who enforces the Obligation on a man or the man who enforces the Obligation upon himself?
     
  11. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    If you're a man of his word, what does it matter which book you were obligated on? If you're NOT a man of his word, what does it matter which book you were obligated on? If changing the book brings up questions to you this matching pair of rhetorical questions should resolve the issue in your heart.

    If you want to retake it, attend some degrees and repeat the oath under your breath as it is conferred. We all memorize them and a number of us do recite our oaths during each conferral. That does more than just practice the words; it makes the oath more recent as we renew it each time. If you wish to renew your oaths on a VSL not normally used on the altar you don't need to be in a lodge to do so. Like all of us you know how to renew yourself.

    One of the finest features of Masonry is that we are a secular body of religious men not a religious body of secular men. If one or all of us should convert today to a different faith none of practices would need to change.

    I suggest that if you don't think Buddhism is a religion the issue lies with your definition of the word religion not with the lessons of Buddhism. Buddhism teaches lessons that are deeply valuable to the soul, whether we agree with those lessons or not, and as such I expand my definition for it to fit.

    There's a signpost on the road ahead. You are about the enter ... The Nirvana Zone ... (violin riff) ...

    Apologies to folks who want religion to be all somber.

    GLofCA has a list of pre-authorized VSLs and a method for expanding the list. For Buddhism it lists the Tripitaka. I would have chosen the Dhama Padha based on my reading as a non-member. As the book I was obligated on contains both the Old Testament and New Testament I'm okay with there being more than one choice for any one faith.
     
  12. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    No, and I don't understand why there would even be a question. Neither the obligation nor the questions asked of a candidate to determine if he is qualified ask anything about his religion.
     
  13. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    To hear far too many Masons tell it, there is magical power in the book, but as one lawyer Brother so aptly put it, "There is no magic in the bible. In court rooms every day, people will tell the most astounding lies immediately after having taken an oath with their hands upon a bible." The man's willingness to place his hands upon his VoSL when making promises during his obligation is a way for him to convey to those assembled the gravity he attaches to said promises. It is not his submission to some magical binding.

    No. It is the man who keeps his promise, or not. Nobody else.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  14. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    I use to be involved in several forms of Buddhism... And spent a number of years in study. A buddy of mine is a zen monk and I use to sit with him on Sundays for an evening of chanting and zazen. For a while I practiced zazen and vipassana at home. I still highly revere the heart, kalama, and metta sutras. And the one person in history I wished to sit and chat with would be the 14th Dalai Lama.

    However, I couldn't buy into the idea that the height of practice was to abandon all attachments and become a monk (as a Theravadan monk explained it to me)... And eventually my own path took me in the direction of philosophical taoism. But taoism comes with its own set of problems (wei wu wei being that one should not try and become overly involved and let the natural order of things run its course).

    This is why I have felt a tugging toward freemasonry. I believe I can trace the hand of the great architect upon my life and urging me beyond just self realization to a practice that positively influences the world around me. Personally it's a path where science and reason has preeminence, but is guided by compassion.

    As the Dalai Lama once said, "my religion is kindness."


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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
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  15. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    I have always felt that becoming unattached was a misunderstood theme. I still feel that way, I just haven't reached the level to explain what it really is. I just know it for myself. The Buddah In his teachings stressed that all the different buddhist practices was just the religion not the teachings.


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  16. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    Seattle,

    I agree... Buddhism contains some very deep philosophical musings, such as those found in the teachings of shunyata as well as those found in Dzogchen.

    I just was turned off by the Theravadan monk telling to abandon my wife and daughter and become a monk if I wanted to reach "full enlightenment".

    As the buddha said about his teachings... They are like a raft... Once you reach the other shore, there is no need to continue to carry the raft.


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  17. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    Yes I disagree with allot of what the spiritual leaders say when it pertains to taking up a master or becoming a monk. The Buddha in fewer or more words said you don't need that crap, my teachings are just a guide, the only way to reach enlightenment is in yourself.


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  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    My translation of the Tao Te Ching says something like - The evolved man accomplishes much but does not appear to put much effort into achieving those accomplishments.

    When I read that I envisioned Archimedes "Give me a lever long enough and a firm place to stance and I will move the Earth". I saw that paragraph (stanza?) saying we should symbolically work closer to the fulcrum to use greater leverage in our efforts.

    I don't get why folks would want to be unattached, either. If love is the goal in all things, isn't love attachment of some sort?
     
  19. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    The word attachment is loosely used when discussing buddhist practices. When they say to rid yourself of attachments they mean the impermanent ones. So far as the other attachments such as love for example, the idea is not to dispose of it but to become enlightened about it. Impossible is living with out attachments, it simply can't be done but you can come to understand them.


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  20. rfuller

    rfuller Premium Member

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    I'm a Christian who also practices Vipassana.

    Let me qualify that. When I say I'm a Christian, I don't mean a Bible-Thumping Baptist. I'm an Un-Fudamentalist, Progressive, Postmodern Christian. I see a lot of value in other religions. I lean Unitarian/Universalist.

    I get a lot out of Buddhist writings and philosophy. The Tibetan school of thought resounds with me far more than, say Zen. I studied it quite a bit over the past year. I tried several meditation techniques along the way and the stillness of Vipassana had a greater impact on me than any of the other methods. In fact, I meditate for 10-20 minutes before prayer. I feel like my prayer time is much clearer if I tame the monkey mind first. As a Progressive Christian, the Buddhist ideas of Compassion and how to interact with people who are suffering absolutely goes hand in hand with my beliefs. They build one another up. And the awareness I achieve during meditation, being able to hear my mind as separate than myself, and something I can change and whose patterns I can observe...I gives me experiential understanding of my soul as a separate entity from my mind...something I had struggled with before.

    Living in a medium sized city in Texas, that's not something I make widely known. But I can honestly say Buddhism has helped my Christian faith.

    As far as converting to Buddhism and having to rethink you're obligation as a Buddhist, I'm with JohnnyFlotsam. One thing that would be interesting to rethink is the meaning of some of the working tools from a Buddhist perspective. I think a Buddhist would find a much deeper meaning than, say a christian, in some of the working tools. If you're looking to rethink Masonry from a Buddhist perspective, I'd start there. I don't see the obligation as something that changes with a change in faith.
     
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