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Featured Where Christianity and Buddhism Agree?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Buddha Dharma, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I remember when I was watching a documentary on the life of DT Suzuki, who was not only a Buddhist, but an ecumenist.

    A Catholic priest who had been a friend of Suzuki's made the statement on camera that Christianity and Buddhism agree on there being something awry in human nature. Obviously, he means original sin, as Christians are concerned.

    What he's referring to about Buddhism is our view that ignorance misleads humanity. In Mahayana, this is ignorance to the fact of everything having one essential nature- an ignorance produced by the skandhas and false house of ego. This ignorance in turn produces the defilements of the base nature- like greed, anger, and hatred.

    Buddhists practice virtues in order to purify the faculties of these poisons.

    I did find it an interesting statement on that priest's part though, and it got me to thinking. Because I think Buddhists and Christians probably also agree that no person is capable of being perfect, because we all have the potential to do bad things. Christians should also ideally agree I think- that no one person or group of people can truly be blamed for evil in the world, which Buddhists tend to emphasize in our view of human nature.

    What do you think friends? Is this an area where Christians and Buddhists agree, at least to some degree?
     
    #1 Buddha Dharma, Jan 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  2. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    A friend posted an interesting excerpt from a discussion between the Dalai Lama and a Catholic priest.

    The Dalai Lama Reflects on Faith in Buddhism and Christianity | Wisdom Publications

    The two religions seem to have a great deal in common.

    My experience with pure land Buddhism (part of the Mahayana tradition) is that its easy for a Westerner such as myself from a Christian background to grasp the more metaphysical teachings.

    Pure Land Buddhism - Wikipedia
     
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  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    No, Buddhism and Christianity are diametrically opposed.

    While Christianity may perceive there is something awry or wrong with human nature, a mistake, or imperfection per se' Buddhism employs engaged practices designed to penetrate opaqueness caused by a strong ego.

    A view of imperfection or flawed nature that needs some sort of "fixing" is a very good example of that opaqueness.

    Basically Christianity attempts to "fix something" whereas Buddhism simply blows the dust off.......
     
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  4. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Buddha's are not perfect? Arent people capable of attaining Buddhahood? Then, in Buddhism, perfection is achievable even if difficult.
     
  5. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    Since we are talking about human religious systems, there usually are things in all religions that agree with others.

    I am not an expert on Buddhism, so the areas of overlap I cannot say specifically.
     
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  6. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Also I have read both the Bible and the Suttas. They are very different. How much of the similarity comes from similarity between characters of certain individuals than the paths themselves?
     
  7. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Also would you interested in reviving the thread below?
    Comparing the words of Buddha vs Christ:- Core Teachings
     
  8. Srivijaya

    Srivijaya Active Member

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    I think any perceived compatibility or similarity depends on the Christian you are talking to. If you are swapping notes with a well-read spiritual Christian, then there is space for a meeting of minds. If you are debating with a legalistic Christian, then forget it, there's zilch.

    Also, it's surprising how many Christians know nothing at all about Buddhism. Two acquaintances of mine are Church ministers. Both thoroughly nice blokes but clueless about any other religion. Most western Buddhists have grown up in a broadly Christian culture, undergone a spiritual quest, rejected Christianity and found Buddhism.

    This automatically makes them more informed than someone who was raised Christian and has never looked elsewhere or questioned it, so it's a lop-sided conversation most times.
     
    #8 Srivijaya, Jan 30, 2018
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  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    The eightfold noble path is central to Buddhism.

    Most of the principles are at the core of any religion, including Christianity.


    The eightfold path, although referred to as steps on a path, is not meant as a sequential learning process, but as eight aspects of life, all of which are to be integrated in every day life. Thus the environment is created to move closer to the Buddhist path.


    The eightfold path is at the heart of the middle way, which turns from extremes, and encourages us to seek the simple approach.


    The eightfold path is Right Understanding, Right Intent, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.



    Buddhism - The Eightfold Path
     
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  10. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I oftentimes like to put the words "leads to" between the spokes. :0)
     
  11. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thats very Zen of you to say that.:)
     
  12. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Oh certainly I agree about where the differences are. I am not sure I'd say the two are absolutely opposed.
     
  13. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    It feels more like Kwai Chang in a flashback with Master Po.

    Thing is, the Eightfold Path isn't just a bunch of words in a (circle), it's an experience as well, even if you decide to break all the "rules".
     
  14. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I suspect if Dogen were alive, he would agree and tell you that you're completely wrong.
     
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  15. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Yes Buddhas are perfect, but it's very difficult to attain Buddhahood. It takes several good lifetimes. The Buddha says such a one as a Buddha is not born everywhere. Of the Buddha's Dharma it is said it is rarely encountered, not even in hundreds of millions of kalpas. You're right perfection is attainable, but I'm speaking in general human terms. Most of us are not perfect. Buddhism often emphasizes that we not judge one another too harshly for that reason.

    They are different yes. I thought I'd draw attention to an arguable similarity. I'd also agree with you, this is probably due to similarities of personality- though I believe Jesus taught non-violence. He may have even taught vegetarianism, if the Ebionites are any indication.

    I'll have a look :)
     
  16. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    This may or may not relate to the thread. However, I have been invited to a Buddhist temple to eat twice in Japan, and also visited one in Africa many years ago, forgot what kind of temple the African one was, though it was run by either Chinese or Japanese, I think it was Japanese. So, these ones were friendly and hospitable.
     
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  17. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    @Srivijaya interesting too how such individuals think Christianity is the sole source of good morality or modern morality. Like they act as though no one else in the world ever thought seriously about morals.

    I'm one of those that grew up in a western framework :D

    Sometimes I envy (I don't mean in a negative context) those that grew up in a Dharmic culture, because they wouldn't have a lot of the tendencies growing up in a western culture gives one.
     
  18. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Bodhisattva Vow:

    Sentient Beings are without number--I vow to save them
    Delusive desires are inexhaustible--I vow to break them
    Dharma-gates are beyond measure--I vow to learn them all
    The Buddha Way is unsurpassable--I vow to accomplish it.
    Sentient beings have a subjective mind. (pretty much the definition of sentience.) {I identify this as Buddha Nature--the capacity for awakening, but your mileage may vary}
    Delusion is mistaking the subjective for the objective (pretty much the definition of delusion)
    Therefore, all sentient beings are subject to delusion. I Identify this as original sin...again, your mileage may vary.

    Jesus came to save all beings--just like a Bodhisattva.

    You might also want to read Buddha's Fire Sermon and compare it to Matt 18:8-9 and Mark 9:43-48
     
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  19. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Heh, I like good old Master Dogen. He appreciated mystery. Don't know how much a divide my being Tendai places between myself and Soto. Dogen thought Tendai is mediocre to the utmost degree, as you probably know.
     
  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    OK grasshopper....

    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

     
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