I’m agnostic, but hopeful of rebirth.

Interestingly, I shared a long ride to a retreat once with a woman who had some past live memories. Having those memories didn’t make her happier. I found that fascinating, as I believe that if I ever get a sense of conviction about rebirth my expectation is that many of my psychological hobgoblins would be chased away.

Yet my friend was seriously scared of her next rebirth(s) not being good.

Nope :slight_smile:

I find the descriptions of nibanna to be quite disturbing. I’m taking it on faith from the writings that it is a joyous thing :).

I’ve seen that thought elsewhere and never understood why some people focus on it. Thanisarro Bhikkhu, as an example likes to use the word “blameless” before a number of things.

In real life I am a fairly nice guy, and if I can do something to avoid hurting others I do without thinking about it much. Just by my natural disposition I’m not going around much doing harm ( aside from driving my car and generating trash like many other Americans ).


If the conversation is relevant in some way, I just make an offer and leave it to the individual to choose. Typically I say something like “if you have any interest, I’d be happy to tell you about my experience with Buddhism” or similar. I view it as letting them know / making an offer / or pointing to a resource. It is their imperative to take it up. Unlike proselytizing - where one is forced to hear something even if they don’t want to.

Just as an aside, this is the same approach I use for most things… in western psychological terms it’s called ‘empowerment’, placing the decision in the other persons hands.


From the Dhammapada:

Nothing about becoming inured to reality (above)?

:slight_smile: I think i understand this; may suffering cease.

May suffering cease.

imo there is nothing to fear in that.

i think the word “blameless” is problematic. (who is to blame or not blame?) intentional harmlessness seems to me at this time maybe the only thing worth one’s attention, energy, etc. Lol may i get better at that, as time goes on, for the benefit of whatever can benefit… until suffering ceases.

edit: :smiley: i have MUCH potential for improvement in harmlessness in this life. “Yay!” seems the best response of which i am currently capable!



Some thing interesting.
HHDL proposing a merger between Mahayana and Theravada.
He lay the foundation by accepting Theravadin as the seniors.


I didn’t quite understand him to be proposing a merger of traditions in this video, but instead took him to suggest that it is important to carry out research, share understanding and texts and have healthy, mutually enriching dialogue between traditions.

It surely is very inspiring to see such humility, it was just as gladdening to see the senior Theravadin monk continuously offer HHDL gestures of reverence throughout his talk.

Thanks so much for sharing this video; it really cheered me up.


Some would say that this is not a “Buddhist view”, because some would say that a proper Buddhist view of rebirth would prefer that we all die and nothing happens. It would be “nicer”.

Some would say that, not everyone, obviously.

He isn’t actually proposing that.

Part of his usual joke about sectarian relations is that the Southern School is the eldest disciple of the Buddha, to be revered and respected, but the Tibetan School, the youngest school, is of a very sharp mind amongst the Buddha’s schools.

It is a joke, to remove the tension in the room. The non-sectarians can be glad that HHDL said something good about the Southern School and the Tibetan tradition. The sectarians can be glad that HHDL perhaps-implied the younger school has a sharper mind than the respected elders’ school. Everyone is happy and everyone agrees with HHDL.

He is just respecting the śrāvakāḥ in a politically savy way, something all too rare in Mahāyāna sometimes.

On a related note:

Mahāyānikāḥ (Mahayanists), particularly those coming from extensive Abhidharma-based backgrounds, often think that they know X and Y “śrāvaka” position on Z.

Dr. Rupert Gethin engaged HHDL along with an audience of monks in a lecture on Theravāda Abhidhamma. The video can be viewed here: YouTube

If you are so inclined, observe HHDL and his words at 3:50.

Now at approximately 16:06 Dr Gethin is going to say:

In the Pāli tradition, sati, or smṛti, is exclusively kusala, or wholesome.

Look at the long reaction.

I laughed aloud while watching! :joy:

I don’t mean this as mean or negative. Indeed it isn’t even a prideful or conceitful reaction on the part of the Tibetans. It was just how sure they seemed when started out they nothing would surprise them.

Perhaps silly things amuse me.


Skilfully promoting concord in this all too often divisive world gets a lot more than ‘just’ in my book. :wink:

Besides, with his talk about shared research, it does sound as though he is putting forward an even more substantive suggestion than a show of respect.


[quote=“Coemgenu, post:36, topic:9420”]

It doesn’t matter to me what it is called. It is who I am right now. I’m a truth seeker first and a Buddhist second.

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Really, quite inspiring, to see kindness, compassion, an asute mind, all together that way, with evident effect… :slight_smile: This occurs at an opportune moment; but, doesn’t it always, isn’t it always?



11 posts were split to a new topic: Metta & Tonglen

Taking things back to the original inquiry about the appropriateness of ‘proselytizing’, I guess the details I’d draw out of these recent strands is the importance of caution both with regards to arrogance in connection to ones own tradition or ideas, and likewise in being too quick to recommend particular practices for people without a good understanding of what might be suitable.


7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Mindfulness, right mindfulness and attention in Abhidhamma

Good idea1

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By happy coincidence I happened to come across AN 4.193 on ‘conversion magic’, and to my mind offers a lovely perspective on the subject at hand.

By my estimation, the whole sutta has relevance here, but I’ll just draw out the following detail:

When [the Buddha had given a discourse], Bhaddiya the Licchavi said to the Buddha: “Excellent, sir! … From this day forth, may the Buddha remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

“Well, Bhaddiya, did I say to you: ‘Please, Bhaddiya, be my disciple, and I will be your teacher’?” “No, sir.” “Though I speak and explain like this, certain ascetics and brahmins misrepresent me with the false, baseless, lying, untruthful claim: ‘The ascetic Gotama is a magician. He knows a conversion magic, and uses it to convert the disciples of those who follow other paths.’”


Well he does use ‘magic’ or superpowers to instruct his followers- hence his word is good in the beginning, middle and end’.

There likely isn’t any harm in sharing your story. The fact that Buddhism has helped you is a fact of your life (my story is similar). Usually, you can sense when it’s appropriate to divulge such details, like a hint of curiosity to know more. When those moments arise for me, I briefly mention the benefits that meditation has had—without referring to “Buddhism.” And if they’d like to know more beyond that, I’ll share it.

As far as volunteering information to people, I take a similar approach. If I know someone who’s struggling with stress, burdened by their emotions or duties, I’ll recommend some simple mindfulness or breath meditation—again without referring to “Buddhism.” And if they’d like to know more beyond that, I’ll share it.


Yesterday in one of my classes I mentioned to students that I had a bit of a panic attack the night before because I realized I hadn’t yet asked them their preferences for when they want to sign up for their oral presentations at the end of the semester. I was speaking colloquially when I mentioned “panic attack,” but one of my students cheerfully inquired, “Were you running around your house yelling and breaking things?” (he was just being cheeky). I paused for a second to ask myself if I should reply, and then decided it was O.K. to say the following: “I practice mindfulness meditation, so yelling and breaking things wouldn’t be consistent with that.” The students all thought that was funny. The Chaplain’s Office on campus sponsors weekly non-sectarian mindfulness meditation sessions, so nothing I said necessarily suggested Buddhism. But if I piqued the curiosity of any of the students in class they can always pursue it further.