The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Religion

The pursuit of self-realization

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Just Dharma Quotes

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The very purpose of religion ~ 14th Dalai Lama

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– 14th Dalai Lama

from the book “Kindness, Clarity, and Insight”
ISBN: 978-1559394031 – http://amzn.to/19LxGc1


Princeton Theological Seminary Digitizes 70,000+ Religious Texts, Letting You Immerse Yourself in the Curious Works of Great World Religions

Enter the online Princeton Theological Seminary Library here.

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It is maybe easy for those unfamiliar with the study of religion to reduce the academic discipline to a ponderous exercise—self-serious, obsessed with tradition, rendered suspect by histories of violence and highly implausible, contradictory claims. But this is a mistake. For one thing, as scholar of religion Wilfred Cantwell Smith once wrote, “the study of religion is the study of persons”—quite broadly, he suggests, to study religion is to study humanity: anthropology, sociology, history, art, literature, philosophy, mythology, psychology, etc. Studying religion can also be—contrary to certain stereotypes—a great deal of fun.

In what other scholarly pursuit, after all, can one read Reginald Scot, Esquire’s 1584 The Discoverie of Witchcraft, L. Austine Waddell’s 1805 The Buddhism of Tibet, and J.G. Frazer’s 1894 The Golden Bough, inspiration for T.S. Eliot’s poetry and spiritual ancestor to Joseph Campbell’s popular comparative work The Hero with a Thousand Faces?

But of course, not many an advanced scholar would find him or herself immersed in all of these texts, specializing, as they must, in one particular area. Those of us who are merely curious, however, or insatiably curious, can do as we please in the theology library, thumbing through whatever strikes our fancy.

We may do so from the comfort of wherever we can get wifi thanks to Princeton Theological Seminary’s Theological Commons‘ project with the Internet Archive, which has digitized over 70,000 texts from the Princeton Theological Seminary Library, spanning hundreds of years and nearly every conceivable religious subject. Yes, there are shelves of hymnals, hardly the kind of thing to generate much interest among any but the most devout or the most deeply-down-a-scholarly-rabbit-hole. But there are also many fascinating gems like Jacob Grimm’s 1882-88 Teutonic Mythology in four volumes (translated into English), like E.A. Wallis Budge’s beautifully illustrated 1911 Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, and like Wesleyan minister Charles Roberts’ 1899 The Zulu-Kafir Language Simplified for Beginners.

Like many texts written by colonial observers and Orientalist scholars, some of these books may tell us as much or more about their authors than about the purported subjects—we encounter in religious scholarship no more nor less bias than in any other field, though piety is given license to take more overt forms. Unfortunately, as Cantwell Smith wrote, “the traditional form of Western scholarship in the study of other men’s religion was that of an impersonal presentation of an ‘it.’” But these outdated views are themselves instructive—as part of a process towards a wider humanist understanding, “the gradual recognition of what was always true in principle, but was not always grasped.”

For students and professional scholars, the Princeton digital library is obviously, well… a godsend. For the merely—or insatiably—curious, it is an open invitation to explore strange new worlds, so to speak, and to realize, again and again, that they’re all the same world, seen in innumerably different ways. In this archive, you’ll find primary texts and commentaries on Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Greek and Egyptian religions, indigenous faiths of all kinds, and, of course, given the source, plenty of Christianity (like the 1606, pre-King James Bible at the top). “The next step,” writes Cantwell Smith, in moving the study of religion forward, “is a dialogue…. If there is listening and mutuality… the culmination of this progress is when ‘we all’ are talking with each other about ‘us.’”

Enter the online Princeton Theological Seminary Library here.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness


Having taken refuge in the Buddha, we should not take refuge in other teachers or gods

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Lama Jampa Thaye

Nowadays some people regard themselves as Buddhist but at the same time think that it is good to practice Christianity or another religion at the same time. Is this possible?

I am afraid that when people attempt to do this, they are actually ignoring a very basic Buddhist teaching. There are three different trainings we should follow in order to maintain and strengthen the sense of connection we develop with the Three Jewels in taking refuge. Having taken refuge in the Buddha, we should not take refuge in other teachers or gods. The reason for this is that taking refuge in the Buddha means to see him as the supremely skillful teacher, the one who has clearly discriminated the true nature of phenomena and the one who is able to lead us out of the cycle of suffering. Relating to the Buddha in this way implies that we regard his wisdom as unequaled by other religious teachers and figures. We cannot honestly say we are following Buddha, with his particular explanation of the nature of the universe, and simultaneously follow a teacher who has, for instance, a theistic vision of the universe, a view contradictory to the Buddha’s non theistic vision. By attempting to follow two ultimately contradictory systems, we will be split in half.

Having said that, there is of course much to admire in non-Buddhist religious systems. For instance, in some of the moral teachings and social services of modern religions we find a great deal of virtuous behaviour. We should appreciate those characteristics and praise them. When we have made the decision, based upon intelligent understanding of Buddha’s teachings, to practice Buddhism, we cannot then contradict the fundamental teachings by attempting to rely upon other religious systems. In this way, we uphold the distinctiveness of Buddhism, the very thing that attracted us to it in the first place, but we also show kindness and tolerance to the followers of other religious traditions.

by Lama Jampa Thaye

Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

Dalai Lama: There is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist

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“Buddhist terrorist. Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong,” he said. “Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim, because it is a Muslim teaching that once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam.”

“All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline – all religious traditions”.

Source: Dalai Lama: There is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist | The Independent


The Wisdom of Albert Einstein

“Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi have done more for humanity than science has done.”

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 “Religion and science go together. As I’ve said before, science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind. They are interdependent and have a common goal—the search for truth.

Hence it is absurd for religion to proscribe Galileo or Darwin or other scientists. And it is equally absurd when scientists say that there is no God. The real scientist has faith, which does not mean that he must subscribe to a creed.

Without religion there is no charity. The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.

The genuine scientist is not moved by praise or blame, nor does he preach. He unveils the universe and people come eagerly, without being pushed, to behold a new revelation: the order, the harmony, the magnificence of creation!

And as man becomes conscious of the stupendous laws that govern the universe in perfect harmony, he begins to realize how small he is. He sees the pettiness of human existence, with its ambitions and intrigues, its ‘I am better than thou’ creed.

This is the beginning of cosmic religion within him; fellowship and human service become his moral code. Without such moral foundations, we are hopelessly doomed.

If we want to improve the world we cannot do it with scientific knowledge but with ideals. Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi have done more for humanity than science has done.

We must begin with the heart of man—with his conscience—and the values of conscience can only be manifested by selfless service to mankind.

I believe that we don’t need to worry about what happens after this life, as long as we do our duty here—to love and to serve.

I have faith in the universe, for it is rational. Law underlies each happening. And I have faith in my purpose here on earth. I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell. I’m concerned with this time—here and now.

Many people think that the progress of the human race is based on experiences of an empirical, critical nature, but I say that true knowledge is to be had only through a philosophy of deduction. For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following a trodden path of thought.

Intuition makes us look at unrelated facts and then think about them until they can all be brought under one law. To look for related facts means holding onto what one has instead of searching for new facts.

Intuition is the father of new knowledge, while empiricism is nothing but an accumulation of old knowledge. Intuition, not intellect, is the ‘open sesame’ of yourself.

Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity. Intuition tells man his purpose in this life..”

~Albert Einstein

How Einstein Saw the World
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/how-einstein-saw-the-world/


Beyond religion

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Thich Nhat Hanh Quote Collective


What if our religion was each other?

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United Earth


Religion Vs Spirituality

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Meditation Masters


Dudjom Rinpoche on Climate Change 2012

Source: ECOBUDDHISM :: Dudjom Rinpoche 2012

http://www.ecobuddhism.org

Posted Dec 4, 2016

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Ecobuddhism:
Since the last time we spoke about this subject, five years ago Rinpoche, the gravity of the climate crisis is even better understood. The leading climate scientist, Dr James Hansen of NASA is publishing a large multiple-author study which makes it clear that there must be a great change in current policies if we are going to avert the danger of crossing a “tipping point” in the climate system–whereby the whole process will become self-generating and pass beyond human influence.  In essence, he says, we have ten more years to make fundamental changes in the way our society uses energy and treats the natural world.

The well-known Buddhist teacher, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who is now 86, is making a tour of the world to emphasize what he calls “falling in love with the Earth again.” He considers that by the end of this century, there may be no human beings on the Earth.  He asks for a deep change of values. Therefore there seems to be the need for people to dedicate their practice, whatever that may be, for the protection of the Earth.

Dudjom Rinpoche:
There are excellent prayers focusing on protecting the Earth and environment written by Chatral, Dzongsar Khyenste Chokyi Lodro and Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Rinpoches. They are quite extensive, beneficial to recite and will have positive effects.

From a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, we could say that Guru Rinpoche is the source of all our dharma traditions. Not only the lineage of the Nyingmapa,  but even the Sarma schools like the Geluk, have a special relationship with Guru Rinpoche. The lineage of the Great Perfection is unique to the Nyingmapa, but all Tibetan traditions of Buddhism are based upon a Nyingma template.

We consider Guru Rinpoche, Tara and Chenrezig to be the three primary protectors throughout the three times. They are united within a single wisdom intent, gazing upon all beings with compassion, continuously raining blessings on the outer universe and its inner contents—the world and all the living beings it contains. We make Dharma prayers to invoke these blessings.

Now from a worldly perspective, I agree completely with the scientific findings on climate change.  When we consider the direction in which the global economy is moving and the kind of activities humans are engaging in, it is certain the outcome will be great harm for the world system.  The general situation is most precarious: there will be no stability for the entire world and the beings in it.

From a religious perspective – and I’m not talking here about exalted teachings like the Great Perfection – even ordinary religious followers cannot feel happy in view of what is going on.  We Buddhists believe the twelve links of interdependence are undeceiving. From that perspective too, the situation is very serious. I am just one religious teacher, without anything special to say. Yet I would ask that all people in this world think in terms of the common good, rather than focusing solely on their own benefit.

We share this one world. In order to uplift and preserve our environment, it definitely matters how we conduct ourselves in the collective sphere.   We have to consider what will really benefit sentient beings, both short and long-term, with respect to environmental change. It is important to give careful consideration to the long term continuity of the human race and future generations.

We might feel a year is a long time, but the fact is that a whole decade goes by quickly.  So it is essential to change our way of thinking and go beyond the obsession with private gain. Taking the state of the whole world into account is our universal responsibility now.  It makes oneself happy and it accomplishes the welfare of others.  It is our duty to care for the global environment. Let us reflect carefully on this.

To Buddhist followers, I would ask you to please examine the evidence, and determine the causative factors concerned.  On the basis of what you find, please act accordingly and ethically.  Non-Buddhists who see validity in this approach can also choose to act appropriately, in light of their own enquiry and values.

When we reflect on the unfolding of recent history, it is clear how great the scale is of what has already occurred.  We used to have all these beautiful and pristine snow mountains. Now their glaciers are undeniably melting. Many places in the world are experiencing tremendous heat.  Other places are experiencing great floods. New diseases are coming up and are reducing life expectancy for some. Things have certainly changed, and they are continuing to do so.

Although we must disseminate this information, there is the difficulty that it has the potential to bring about fear.  Nonetheless, it is beneficial for the scientific community to spread the evidence they have gathered as extensively as possible. A religious leader who talks about these issues can influence only those persons with devotion—the advice is unlikely to spread far.  Out of 100 people, perhaps one will listen. Yet those who consider these topics deeply can make significant changes by taking their inner meaning to heart.

Ecobuddhism:
Another problem has arisen in that climate science is being actively undermined by the proponents of the industrial economy, and even certain governments and the media.   Scientists are feeling increasingly anxious that their advice is not being communicated to the general public. Some senior scientists now acknowledge this is primarily a moral issue and a question of values. It is beyond the scope of science.  That implies that the global ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis. Finally, there has historically been contention between religion and science. A meeting of minds between them is not easy to accomplish.

Dudjom Rinpoche:
Yes, a partial conflict between science and religion exists. As does a conflict between climate science and modern industrial society.

If we examine the opposition between science and religion from a Buddhist perspective, the law of cause and result (karma) is what underlies the Buddhist belief in past and future lives. Scientists generally address themselves only to this one life, in an individualistic manner.

The scientific focus on this single life could be associated with materialism and used to justify neglect of the common good. What appears to our senses or instruments comes to define truth. What is not perceived in that way becomes insignificant and has no value.  Only phenomena said to be “objective” are believed to truly exist.

The Buddhist view holds that virtuous causes bring happiness, and prepare the ground for full awakening.  A conventional scientific perspective would dismiss the phenomena of lower realms and of deity as non-existent. Nonetheless, I think it would be excellent to find common ground between the scientific and religious worldviews.  It might be difficult for them to become very close. But it is also not desirable for there to be a great divide.

I am not just speaking about the Buddhist religion.  When we consider the religious traditions of the world, such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and so forth, the followers of Buddhism are relatively small in number.  Most people follow one of the first three traditions.  All possess teachings on compassion, and in some way focus on a process of mental transformation. This is really what religion is about: developing the mind.

People unaligned with any spiritual tradition may find it easier simply to proceed on the basis of scientific evidence.  If this leads them to a clear sense of how to address collective and environmental issues, that will be excellent for themselves and others.

Some materialists assert this is the only life we have. This view could limit their understanding of the global environmental crisis. Buddhists believe that in future lifetimes we experience the karmic consequences of our present life’s actions. There is an added significance to the choices we make now. We ourselves are the ones who will experience the world we leave to future generations.

Dudjom Rinpoche, Sangye Pema Shepa, born in Tibet in 1990, is the head of the DudjomTersar lineage of Nyingma Buddhism. This interview took place in Pharping, Nepal in March 2012. Thanks to Christina Monson for her capable translation.