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February 27, 2011


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Hello, ZenHG. I pointed out a few things I disagree with in my post, sorry if that wasn't clear enough. Let me focus it down a bit: (1) “Buddhism is not a religion for...secular Buddhists” however, as I stated, it is a religion for me. (2) That the implication is that Secular Buddhists are uncomfortable with what the Buddha taught – and this secular buddhist is not. (3) That Secular Buddhists have a dumbed-down version of Buddhism (stated without detail). (4) That Secular Buddhists don't believe in karma (stated without detail).

I don't believe you know me well enough to know that you were “once like me” ZenHG, with your implication that I haven't studied enough of the Canon to know better.

But overall, I am interested in a conversation with the blog owner – Zenmar, you say? – if there's an interest in sharing a bit of public dining on ideas rather than just dumping on people, if you get my drift.

As I remarked in an earlier comment to your articles, you are operating in a world where point of view not peer review holds sway. The transition from Homo Sapiens to "Homo Luminus" is not an easy one. Having read the various comments on this blog, not a single commentator, however eloquently they express themselves, offers real proof of possessing the real garbha seed or even the Lotus flower/petal shaped bodhi awakening. Sure some of them agree with you and some other disagree yet all seem to fail to realize that a true awakening of the heart is more important than an opinion of the mind as a response to a thought provoking article about buddhism.Whom here can lay true witness on the real difference between secularized Buddhism and the Buddhadharma of the mystic that no brain can touch. That of course without giving referehce to words of spiritual giants but more on virtue and merit of their own genuine awakenings to the real principle working flawlessly behind every opinion, experience or image? Any takers?

I prefer the words and thoughts of an honest and humble lay buddhist not afraid to reckognize his ignorance while seeking an entrance to the way than a well speaking, smooth talking hypocrite, gorged on that intellectual food which so easily can be found in Buddhas teachings when read and translated with the mind rather than read and verified with the spiritual heart of Bodhidharma.

To those two 'Secular' Buddhists...

What is it, exactly, that you do not agree with in Zenmar's posting?
I was once like you, then I actually studied the Canon, had some talks with some people, including Zenmar - my views are more 'Gnostic' at this point.

Gnosis is not just a knowing, or a studying, it goes beyond even simple experience.
If that is not 'Zen' or 'Buddhism' then I do not think it worth having.
There is definitely something there, and these are not just about personal ideas. Those need to be set aside, facts should NEVER be made to fit an idea. It is the other way around.

Dude, do you actually know any Secular Buddhists and have you talked to them about their beliefs in karma? In case you don't have any in your neighborhood, please let me introduce myself.

I'm not dogmatic about the secularness of my Buddhism (I see my godless path as a religious path but that's got more to do with a general love of the flexibility of language and its in/accuracy in conveying experience than with bending what "secular" means in any way) but from the things you've been saying lately I think you'd categorize me as a quite radical Secular Buddhist. So...

While I don't believe the Buddha actually taught that there was anything that was transcendent in Wiki's sense of "transcendence (religion), the concept of being entirely above the universe" I am not in the least uncomfortable with the Buddha's discussion of giving up all acquisitions, craving, the development of dispassion, cessation and nibbana*; no problem with a domain in which there is no concern for the material realm, nor infinite realms, nor nothingness etc.; I'm completely comfortable with him pointing out the necessity of the unborn, uncompounded as an escape from that which is born and compounded. But that's because I understand what he is saying. I understand it in a way that is probably quite different from the way you understand it.

I'm interested in carrying on a conversation with you about this. Are you interested in a two-way exchange of thoughts? This article seems designed to provoke with phrases like "Buddhism is not a religion for...secular Buddhists" and "For the secular Buddhist who draws much of their Buddhism from the teats of dumbed down Buddhism" but I'm not sure it's thoughtful discussion you're aiming to provoke, so much as simply provoking a strong reaction. But I'm asking, in case I'm mistaken in my perception of what you're wanting to do here.

* pieces left out for the sake of brevity -- would not want to be accused of "forgetting because of" whatever you might imagine would be my motives for leaving bits out


I just realized that I actually DO like you. Tho' i'll probably never really agree with you, I think I still do.

Thanks! Keep up the studious good work!


A Secular Buddhist

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