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#1 2007-07-26 07:24:33

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
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Jesus/ Buddha.

Is there any parralell to be drawn between the old zen advice: "If you meet the Buddha, kill him" and the fact that we killed Jesus Christ?

For Jesus' mission of self-sacrifice to be completed, his card was marked and the situation was going to play out as he foresaw it (if we accept the texts). From Jesus' point of view, I wonder how Judas' role seemed? I think this is approached in some of the gnostic Christian texts as in the Gospel of Judas which is not generally accepted by many Christians; it has a decidedly non-dual feel to it.

Judas is traditionally seen as a damned figure who commited suicide in contempt of himself and of his actions... if Jesus had told him, in more detail, that he would come to this end might he have acted differently? Might this simple act of will have changed the history of the world for the better? Judas made the betrayal with free will, but Jesus was free to reveal to Judas how the situation was going to play out was he not?

If the emphasis had been on Jesus' living for us, as opposed to his dying for us (i.e. if he had lived a full, natural life term), how different Christianity would be, or maybe we would never have heard of it: but I wonder if the world would have developed with a different attitude towards sacrificing lives.

The Zen saying 'kill the Buddha' is not taken literally, but what is our opinion on allowing a Buddha to have himself killed in a world that needed his/her help?

N.B: After thinking all of this, the world still as it is, it is turning, I'm aware that things just are as they are etc. etc.: so no invitations to 'Zen' braindeadedness please, the universe likes a think.

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#2 2007-07-26 09:23:02

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

What a pity that thinking about Zen is not seen as a "formal Zen practice"... becase we are inclined, and designed, to do a lot of thinking. Religions in the West, of course, have quite a history of wishing that people didn't think so much.

From an interview with writer Peter Matthiessen on www.tricycle.com

Shainberg: Can we talk about the relationship between Zen practice and writing? Has the practice ever interfered with your work?

Matthiessen: No, but the writing's interfered with the practice. In sesshin, for example, when your mind is emptying day after day, resolutions of plots or characters may rush in to fill the void, especially in the early morning sittings. Sometimes I felt inundated with ideas. Finally, I went to Eido Roshi and told him about it, and he said, Look, if you're really thinking about it, that's zazen too. If you're not just daydreaming and vaporizing, that's fine. So think about it. That is your zazen. And in the rest period go up and write it down and then you're clear of it. I took his advice and it worked. I'd be scribbling away right after breakfast to get those ideas down.

Gudo Nishijima Roshi on the practice of Zen:

"...First, the very nature of Zazen is not a matter in the least of awareness regarding whether thoughts are appearing or are not appearing... It is a matter of our root of non-awareness, of our own, original non awareness. 'Non-awareness' is not 'awareness,' nor is 'non-awareness' the 'absence of awareness'... not 'no awareness,' and not 'awareness.'

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#3 2007-07-26 09:27:47

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Harry wrote:

What a pity that thinking about Zen is not seen as a "formal Zen practice"... becase we are inclined, and designed, to do a lot of thinking. Religions in the West, of course, have quite a history of wishing that people didn't think so much.

Don't get so worried about terminology. It's really just a way of having a moderated and an unmoderated forum. Also this is a shakuhachi forum so I'd like to keep the shakuhachi related zen talk in one place. If you can think of better labels for the two forums let me know and I'll consider it.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#4 2007-07-26 09:33:13

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

No, Tairaku, I appreciated your reasons. Just prodding at that silly thing we have in the west where we 'think' to have no brain, or another more Buddhisty one, is preferable to the one that GOD gave us... (just kidding on the 'God' thing...  ;-)

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#5 2007-07-27 08:22:15

Harazda
Member
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 126

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Okay Harry, I'm going to take a stab at this, and share some of my thoughts:

I think the Jesus of popular myth (and I don't mean that as something necessarily untrue) was acting according to prophecy, linking his mission with certain references in the Old Testament (Isaiah?) that related to the "sacrificial lamb"... of course, Jesus being that lamb and playing that role.  The lamb had to be offered as ransom in the great Judeo-Christian equation of Middle Eastern salvific sensibilities.

Now, I understand that the word Messiah, through an Arabic derivation, actually comes from the Buddhist Maitreya.  To cut to the chase here - and this is just my opinion - Jesus thought of himself in a way that combined the idea of the dying/resurrecting savior with the world-liberating Maitreya arriving at the end of a world cycle.  Only thing is, I think Jesus, if seen as a budding Bodhisattva, shows that he had not attained high enough realization, thereby not understanding the overall outcome of his mission.  Look at all the pain and suffering his mission has brought to the world.  This is the evidence of his immaturity. 

Now, that being said... if he did ascend at the end ("Rainbow Body?"), then realization may have finally arrived, because that is recognized in the East as a sign of deep realization... which leads us to only once again end up scratching our heads and wondering why a realized being would cause so much pain.  Personally, I do not buy into the whole Zoroastrian Light vs. Dark, God vs. Devil cosmology that would have to be at the core of such a scenario.

The only Light vs. Dark question that arises in my mind has to do with which beer I'm going to choose down at the local pub.  My universe is simply bright and clear, and I don't see the big cosmic war that a lot of other people are apparently so concerned about.  The ignorance of people with guns and "God on their side?"  Now, that's a different story.

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#6 2007-08-01 17:27:11

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

hi Harry,
have you seen this show "Jesus: The Guantanamo Years"? Its by a irish comedian Abie Philbin Bowman.

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#7 2007-08-01 19:05:51

Harry
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From: Dublin, Ireland.
Registered: 2006-04-24
Posts: 221
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Geni,

I havn't seen that, but have heard of it. I know the guy... is it worth a look?

http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/a … dy/?page=1

Regards,

Harry.


"As God once said, and I think rightly..." (Margaret Thatcher)

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#8 2007-08-01 19:54:11

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Thanks Harry, for the link. That's great guys! 'Atheists for Jesus', stranger things have happened. Sounds like a very pertinent, funny show. I would buy a ticket! -kerry


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#9 2007-08-01 22:20:01

geni
Performer & Teacher
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2005-12-21
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

its close to my house..5 min walk.
I will see it this weekend!!

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#10 2008-07-14 14:32:44

brooster
Member
Registered: 2008-07-14
Posts: 9

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Buddha rejected the Religion of the world he lived in. He searched for TRUTH.
He walked this Earth several hundred years before Jesus.

Jesus is, according to Christian Scripture, The Way, The TRUTH and The Life.

The Christian texts refer to an interesting place called “Abraham’s Bosom”.



And They lived happily ever after.

Selah

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#11 2008-07-14 16:09:54

lowonthetotem
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From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
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Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Now, I understand that the word Messiah, through an Arabic derivation, actually comes from the Buddhist Maitreya.

That is pretty off the cuff etymology.  Any source for this?  According to OED, messiah comes from the old Hebrew masah, meaning "annointed."

Personally, I do not buy into the whole Zoroastrian Light vs. Dark, God vs. Devil cosmology that would have to be at the core of such a scenario.

There is some evidence to show that both the Messiah and Maitreya are related to the god Mithra.  The two words may have a common root, but I think it is a stretch to say that "messiah" comes from "Maitreya."  It is not supported by anything that I can find.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#12 2008-07-14 19:51:38

jdanza
Moderator
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2008-06-19
Posts: 85
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

I tend to agree with Harazda that Jesus is, at this point, a wonderful mythology. His existence is completely unsupported by historic evidence of any kind, and if he did exist, the records are of much later age and have been manipulated extensively to fit personal and political agendas. I also agree that the Buddha was a much more skillful teacher... you may kill the Buddha, but you can't get away with killing in his name. And... as Buddha well said... ultimately we must a lamp unto ourselves... ie... find our own answers... maybe that's why "God" gave us a brain... and a heart (the heart "thinks" too).
Namaste

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#13 2008-07-15 01:13:32

madoherty
Moderator
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 366

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Buddhism is a practice, one of which attempts to have you focus on your own experience- seeing the Buddha outside of yourself has little practical value and can serve as a distraction (an ideal to attempt to live up to, emulate, etc.)- THEREFORE, if you see him, kill him.  Also, the Indian idea of sunyata (sanskrit) (the Japanese equivalent is "mu" I believe), of emptying concepts (or emptiness).  This could also be a way of evaluating the phrase.

Jesus is a different STORY.

My two cents.

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#14 2008-07-15 04:39:43

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

"Just don't say I'm damned for all time"

                                     Judas, in Jesus Christ Superstar

Yes, Harry,  I'd agree with you that it would seem that Jesus would have been free to tell Judas what was going to happen; if not for the betrayal then the whole Christian story wouldn't have played itself out as it did.  But Judas doesn't get a lot of sympathy, does he?  All the gospels were written down a good number of years after Jesus's death and were composed with a certain agenda in mind so it's difficult to know how much of the message we've received in scripture is the message that Jesus intended to give.  Did he link his 'mission' to that of the sacrificial lamb or was that attributed to him by his followers after his death?  Maybe he was an enlightened figure like the Buddha who was misunderstood during his lifetime.  Or if you take Christian scripture as literal truth then maybe he was a lunatic; theologican C.S. Lewis said that Jesus was either a madman - "on a level with the man who says he's a poached egg" - or something worse, or the Son of God, that there is no choice open to us of calling him a great moral teacher.  But if he was the Son of God then perhaps we might ask why did God limit himself to one son?  And why no daughters?  Were the Elohim getting out of hand?  And how did some local shepherds' god from the Sinai desert end up becoming more influential than Greek favorites such as Apollo, the god of music, or Aprodite, the goddess of love and beauty?  Would things have worked out better under other gods?  Should Zeus have had fewer children? Rather than worrying too much about these questions, perhaps we should take madoherty's advice and focus on our own experience; just as long as we remember that ours is not the only experience.  In my experience the man who says he is a poached egg is not likely to be encountered in Japan.  I have had the experience of meeting a drunk who said "I am a pen."  At least he didn't claim to be the Buddha.  In Shikoku you're more likely to meet Kobo Daishi.

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#15 2008-07-15 08:54:51

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Daniel Ryudo wrote:

And how did some local shepherds' god from the Sinai desert end up becoming more influential than Greek favorites such as Apollo, the god of music, or Aprodite, the goddess of love and beauty?  Would things have worked out better under other gods?

The Roman Senate and military!!!!! Then the Empire starts crumbling economically, so to keep control of the citizens, you impose a new state sponsored religion "Christianity", make the new god a common carpenter from the region that's imperative you keep under military and economic control because of it's vast mercantile resources. Start creating a long list of "evil-doer" bogeymen so you can easily recruit and control your populace to crusade to a foreign land to kill and occupy for the sake of liberation and freedom - sound familiar?! And for all the principle shareholders, things wouldn't have worked out better under other gods....My two cents.wink


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#16 2008-07-15 16:17:24

lowonthetotem
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From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Jdanza wrote
His existence is completely unsupported by historic evidence of any kind, and if he did exist, the records are of much later age and have been manipulated extensively to fit personal and political agendas.

I would not go so far as to say his existence was unsupported.  He appears in Roman records, although I imagine there was more than one "Jesus" living in Nazareth at the time.  However you bring up a good point.

Daniel wrote
But Judas doesn't get a lot of sympathy, does he?  All the gospels were written down a good number of years after Jesus's death and were composed with a certain agenda in mind so it's difficult to know how much of the message we've received in scripture is the message that Jesus intended to give.

Indeed.  In fact there are many other gospels that were written earlier (although none during the actual time of Jesus) and were quite popular but were purged from the canon during the Council Nycea.  There is actually a Gospel of Judas.  Ethiopean Christianity is the only church that still recognizes some of these Gnostic Gospels as part of the their sacred writings.  It is interesting that Islam also maintains some of these Gnostic writings in the Koran.  Furthermore, the story of Jesus follows a similar theme as many stories of more ancient religions from the same area.  Considering that the Jews came out of Egypt it is hard not to see similarities between Jesus and Osiris.  There is a goddess in the ancient Hitite religion that corresponds with a Jesus type figure.

Personally, I don't find much value in comparing Jesus and Buddha.  Not much good comes from looking at two things/concepts and saying "This one is better."  At the heart of their teachings, both have powerful wisdom to offer.  Just as we should not think that we will be able to simply read the teachings of the Buddha (we need to encorporate them into our lives in order to understand their truth), we should not resign ourselves to the Biblical view of Jesus just because that is what is handed to us on a plate.  He has been homogenized for the masses.  Buddhism is often reduced to this or that in the name of a tradition or school.  Let's not accept that either.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#17 2008-07-15 17:34:56

jdanza
Moderator
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2008-06-19
Posts: 85
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Iowonthetotem wrote
Personally, I don't find much value in comparing Jesus and Buddha.  Not much good comes from looking at two things/concepts and saying "This one is better."   (sorry I'm not sure yet how to use the quote thing).

I totally agree with you form a personal spiritual perspective. But from a social and political perspective it's very interesting to see the results of a teaching, and unfortunately Christianity has been one of the most destructive and disastrous religions to happen to Humanity. If Jesus teachings are liable to be manipulated to such an extent, I think it's fair to question the skillfulness of the teaching. However, ultimately, whatever works for us individually is what counts.

Last edited by jdanza (2008-07-15 17:38:25)

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#18 2008-07-15 19:27:27

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

let he who is without sin blow the first Ro....

We are talking apples v.s. oranges here.  No system is innocent that is subject to the vagaries of human ambition and desire, including Buddhism.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

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#19 2008-07-15 19:58:55

Horst Xenmeister
Shiham
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-05-26
Posts: 69
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

I am Horst. I am Zen Master. Thus Horst Xenmeister.

Fact that Christianity, Islam and Judentum are bad for shakuhachi, because desert religions and crack in the flutes of a desert. Therefore you must use PVC shakuhachi. Even cast form in quality of beter crack. Not best way. Zen beter. Jesus does not blow flute through, because they play Shofar in the Jews. Buddhismus invent shakuhachi. End of history.

Last edited by Horst Xenmeister (2008-07-15 20:20:49)


i am horst

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#20 2008-07-15 20:04:03

Seth
Member
From: Scarsdale, NY
Registered: 2005-10-24
Posts: 270

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

jdanza wrote:

Iowonthetotem wrote
Personally, I don't find much value in comparing Jesus and Buddha.  Not much good comes from looking at two things/concepts and saying "This one is better."   (sorry I'm not sure yet how to use the quote thing).

I totally agree with you form a personal spiritual perspective. But from a social and political perspective it's very interesting to see the results of a teaching, and unfortunately Christianity has been one of the most destructive and disastrous religions to happen to Humanity. If Jesus teachings are liable to be manipulated to such an extent, I think it's fair to question the skillfulness of the teaching. However, ultimately, whatever works for us individually is what counts.

Yeah, terrible stuff was done in the name of Jesus.   But a lot of good stuff too.    But people are the problem, not Jesus.   People have a great capacity for twisting religion to suit their immediate needs.  A great read on this is Karen Armstrong's Biography of God.  It's all about how people have re-invented the idea of God at various times for distinct purposes.

And sadly the Buddha's word can be twisted just as well.  The Buddhists in Japan were very cooperative with Japan's invasion and brutal occupation of China.  (Interestingly enough, I have never really heard any discussion on this forum of Japan's war crimes.   Yeah, I love Watazumi's sound, but is it an issue ever that he trained WWII Japanese soldiers in martial arts? )

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#21 2008-07-15 23:30:34

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Of course good things have been done in the name of Christianity too.  Look at the lifestyle of groups such as the Amish today; in some ways very admirable in their  lifestyle and relationship to the land they farm, the tradition of pacificism and their more discriminating use of technology.  In Japan, Christians founded hospitals and universities and started up the country's first hospice program.  For an eye opening look at how the Zen Buddhists were for the most part gung ho supporters of WWII read the book Zen at War.  Yes, must keep up with my Roman history; Peter Heather's The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History (2005) is one the books on my soon to read list (by the way, congratulations on the radio show Kerry; great idea)  Horst may have something there with his idea of desert religions not being suitable for shakuhachi, at least not for bamboo...maybe Yucca plant flutes...

Last edited by Daniel Ryudo (2008-07-15 23:32:13)

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#22 2008-07-16 00:00:17

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Seth wrote:

(Interestingly enough, I have never really heard any discussion on this forum of Japan's war crimes.   Yeah, I love Watazumi's sound, but is it an issue ever that he trained WWII Japanese soldiers in martial arts? )

http://shakuhachiforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=1476


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#23 2008-07-16 07:39:51

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Thanks Daniel. Send me some music and I'll spin it for ya'!
About this Jesus/Buddha thing, no one has mentioned anything about the Axial Age. Wiki or google it, some fascinating stuff. Here's a good read, a book titled 'Reality' by Peter Kingsley. It's a discourse on stillness with the pre-Socratics Parminedes and Empedocles. Since there were pre-Socratics, I think it's safe to assume that there were pre-pre Socratics and so on. All these early Indian and Greek ideas, were meshing way before Buddha entered the scene. I think Buddha reset the clock and was more of a counterpoint to Plato than anything else, simply for comparison's sake. So, there's some fodder to shread fellas;) -kerry

Last edited by Kerry (2008-07-16 07:42:51)


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#24 2008-07-17 21:38:10

Lance
Member
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 74

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Wow, lots of study by many of you...  and in the end the answer is? Found within.


“The firefly is a good lesson in light, and darkness”

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#25 2008-07-18 08:12:40

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: Jesus/ Buddha.

Lance wrote:

and in the end the answer is? Found within.

No truer words....


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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