WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT by Walpola Rahula


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Walpola Rahula, a Theravada bhikkhu, penned a true Classic in his short but surprisingly well rounded book What the Buddha Taught. I have used this book for many years in teaching the basics of Dharma to my students. Many besides myself regard in rightly as a Classic. Nearly all schools of Buddhist thought (excluding Shin, Sukkhavati, and Nichiren) hold these truths and insights in common and Rahula bases his teachings squarely on the Pali Canon. Many quotes, especially in his very clear chapter on Anatta/Anatman, may surprise you.
The book is available online as a free PDF:

http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documents/What%20the%20Buddha%20Taught_Rahula.pdf

Namaste,
Venerable Lantian Xinshen
                   Blue-Sky Mind

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2 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

Walpola Rahula, a Theravada bhikkhu, penned a true Classic in his short but surprisingly well rounded book What the Buddha Taught. I have used this book for many years in teaching the basics of Dharma to my students. Many besides myself regard in rightly as a Classic. Nearly all schools of Buddhist thought (excluding Shin, Sukkhavati, and Nichiren) hold these truths and insights in common and Rahula bases his teachings squarely on the Pali Canon. Many quotes, especially in his very clear chapter on Anatta/Anatman, may surprise you.
The book is available online as a free PDF:

http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documents/What%20the%20Buddha%20Taught_Rahula.pdf

Namaste,
Venerable Lantian Xinshen
                   Blue-Sky Mind

 

 

 

I encountered the Nichiren Shoshu back in the early 1970's.     :birgits_giggle:  :D   :lol:

 

 

 

 

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I knew a woman in Indio, California, named Socorro Henijosa who was into Nichiren. I read several of her books and decided the man was utterly self-deceived (believing himself to be the reincarnation of Gautama) or a deceiver. Unlike Gautama he taught that a Father God exists, that tanha is good, and enlightenment is basically getting whatever goodies you want out of life. After 30 + years the remainder escapes me.

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15 minutes ago, Nathaniel said:

I knew a woman in Indio, California, named Socorro Henijosa who was into Nichiren. I read several of her books and decided the man was utterly self-deceived (believing himself to be the reincarnation of Gautama) or a deceiver. Unlike Gautama he taught that a Father God exists, that tanha is good, and enlightenment is basically getting whatever goodies you want out of life. After 30 + years the remainder escapes me.

 

 

I was 19 when an attractive young woman walked up, and invited me to a Buddhist meeting.  I took a good look at her, and decided.  Yes.  I was interested in Buddhism.  Her name was Greta.  Over the next few years, she brought in a lot of young men.

 

It's largely a system of magical chanting.  They literally chant for specific wishes to come true.  They want a new job -- they chant.  They want their team to win -- they chant.  They want a new boyfriend -- they chant.  The spiritual mechanism behind this process, is cause and effect.  The cause is sincere chanting.  What ever it is they are chanting for -- is the effect.

 

When I was a member, I had this fantasy.  Buddha would walk in, and take in what they were doing.  In the name of Buddhism.  He would then pick up a big stick and beat the crap out of them.

 

When I had all the foolishness I could stand from them -- I left.  I gave my altar scroll back to the organization.  I didn't have to, but it seemed honorable.

 

:sigh2:

 

 

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LOL reminds me of my involvement, as a teen, with the Jehovahs' Witnesses. I was lured into the group by a gal I had a crush on named Toni Taylor. Anyway, did any of those Nichiren "Buddhists" ever get what they were chanting for?  It surely does sound like foolishness. Gotta go. The Buddha is at my door with a big stick. 😎

Namaste,
BN

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25 minutes ago, Nathaniel said:

LOL reminds me of my involvement, as a teen, with the Jehovahs' Witnesses. I was lured into the group by a gal I had a crush on named Toni Taylor. Anyway, did any of those Nichiren "Buddhists" ever get what they were chanting for?  It surely does sound like foolishness. Gotta go. The Buddha is at my door with a big stick. 😎

Namaste,
BN

 

 

There were plenty of testimonials.  They reminded me of the stories out of China, during the "Cultural Revolution".

 

Perhaps you remember some of them?  There was the group of people that were in danger.  They all shouted -- "Long live Chairman Mao!"  Then, there would be a miracle and everybody was saved.

 

People would get a job, because they chanted.  They would get fired, and were able to collect unemployment insurance, because they chanted.  A lot of it was interpretation of events.  Much like Evangelicals, talking about how Jesus had blessed them.  They believed.  They interpreted.  They did mental gymnastics, to make the facts fit the narrative.

 

:birgits_giggle:

 

Sometimes, the group leaders would insist that I give a testimonial.  I would think of something good that had happened to me -- and attribute my good fortune to the chanting.  Nobody questioned it.  Much of it was on that level.

 

:sigh2:

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl
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2 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

LOL reminds me of my involvement, as a teen, with the Jehovahs' Witnesses. I was lured into the group by a gal I had a crush on named Toni Taylor. Anyway, did any of those Nichiren "Buddhists" ever get what they were chanting for?  It surely does sound like foolishness. Gotta go. The Buddha is at my door with a big stick. 😎

Namaste,
BN

 

 

"When you come to a fork in the road, pick it up."     :birgits_giggle:

 

Japan does give birth to some interesting movements.  Have you encountered Mahikari or Johrei?

 

😎

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl
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That's great! "Today I prayed for money and I found a quarter on the sidewalk! Jesus rules!" 😂 No, I have never heard of Mahikari or Johrei. but I just now Googled them. America is even crazier in its ability to spawn the absurd. The rest of the world seems to think so. 😉 I always get a kick out of the snake handlers/strychnine drinkers in Appalachia. "Poor brother Boob. He just didn't have enough faith." It's sad, but its so hard not to be amused. When I was 19 I was shunned by the Witnesses and I ended up briefly involved in the COG -the Children of God. A sex-and-Jesus cult that began in the Jesus Movement of the late sixties and early seventies. They would use their pretty "sisters" as bait to have sex with prospective converts to lure them into the cult. That's not how I was lured (I was drawn to their total commitment plus it seemed like a good way to avoid growing up.) But my time with them was mercifully short, less then a month. I was living in Detroit at the time, in the former Black Panther headquarters that had been turned into The House of Prayer. It was a "ministry" run by pastor George W. Bogle, a fundamentalist radio preacher with delusions of grandeur. He would send out his cult members to work for cash under the table at extremely low wages and was building for himself and his family a very nice place to live. I had had enough when the COG came along. Religion. Gods. Funny clothes. Silly hats. Silly rules. "God hates Tootsie Pops almost as much as he hates sideburns." Sorry. I'm rambling. 🙄

BN

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America has produced the Mormons, Christian Science and the Spiritualist Movement.  Of lesser note, I think, the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists.  Yes.  The Snake Handlers.

 

I was a member of Mahikari for a few years.  Nice people.  When I couldn't take it any more, I sent my Divine Pendant (Omitama) back to Japan.

 

The Johrei people were much milder.  I thought about Joining.  Then I decided that I was done with Divine Pendants.  And prayer.

 

In hindsight, I can see parallels between these movements and Reiki.  A separate  conversation.

 

My development was not linear.  

 

:mellow:

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

[...] I ended up briefly involved in the COG -the Children of God. A sex-and-Jesus cult that began in the Jesus Movement of the late sixties and early seventies. They would use their pretty "sisters" as bait to have sex with prospective converts to lure them into the cult. That's not how I was lured [...]

 

Sure... :secret:

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Hello Jonathan. Revgobovac is a troll. The Internet is crawling with them. You have certainly gotten around, religiously speaking. There is nothing negative about that as one learns what works for one and what does not. My own development was not linear either. As for prayer, you've probably already read this: Nothing fails like prayer. I went through Reiki instruction and became a "reiki master." Probably 22 years ago. I didn't use it much. 

Namaste,
BN

 

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3 minutes ago, Nathaniel said:

Hello Jonathan. Revgobovac is a troll. The Internet is crawling with them. You have certainly gotten around, religiously speaking. There is nothing negative about that as one learns what works for one and what does not. My own development was not linear either. As for prayer, you've probably already read this: Nothing fails like prayer. I went through Reiki instruction and became a "reiki master." Probably 22 years ago. I didn't use it much. 

Namaste,
BN

 

 

 

 

I have had good conversations with Revgovobak.  I don't know what happened here.  He is a good person.  I'll vouch for him.

 

From what I can tell, the Reiki attunements are derived from Buddhist empowerment initiations.

 

The "power" symbol is mostly a spiral.  It makes sense as a mental focus aide.

 

The other symbols are Japanese Kanji.  Meaningful, perhaps, if you have a connection to Japanese culture.  Of dubious value, if you don't.

 

In the Reiki Attunement, the symbols are "drawn" onto the chakras.  Contrast this with the "divine pendant" worn by Mahikari and Johrei people.  Or the scrolls used by these groups.  Or the Nichiren Shoshu altar scrolls.  It's all Kanji.

 

I trained in different lineages.  The politics between the different groups are poisonous.

 

Of course, there are all manner of new Reiki systems.  Each with their own attunements.  And new symbols.  And fees.

 

Therapeutic Touch went bad in different ways.  It's an energetic healing system with it's roots in Theosophy.  The system is elegant in it's simplicity.  The Nursing establishment got their claws into it.  Now, their are credentials.  It's not so simple any more.

 

 

:sigh2:

 

 

 

I had workshops with Dolores Krieger (co-founder) and Janet Macrae -- before the credentials were an issue.

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44 minutes ago, Nathaniel said:

Hello Jonathan. Revgobovac is a troll. The Internet is crawling with them. You have certainly gotten around, religiously speaking. There is nothing negative about that as one learns what works for one and what does not. My own development was not linear either. As for prayer, you've probably already read this: Nothing fails like prayer. I went through Reiki instruction and became a "reiki master." Probably 22 years ago. I didn't use it much. 

Namaste,
BN

 

 

 

Yes.  I frequently use that line myself.

 

There are different labels that apply to me.  You will note -- labels.  The actual state of my non-beliefs is more difficult to quantify.

 

I am an Atheist, because there is no good reason to believe in God.  Or even take the God idea seriously.

 

I am an Agnostic, because there is no objective, verifiable information or facts about God.  Nothing at all.  It follows that I can not claim knowledge of God.  There is none.

 

Mostly, I am an Apatheist.  A God that can not be detected, or discerned, or demonstrated to exist -- is irrelevant and meaningless.  Even if that God exists -- it doesn't matter.

 

Of course, the Fundamentalists on this board have told me that I have no spirituality -- and believe in nothing.

 

:birgits_giggle:     :sigh2:

 

      :mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Jonathan. I will think about Revgovobak. It's been 26 years that I have been online and I am exhausted with snarky trolls.

First, I had no idea that Reiki, under the name Therapeutic Touch, went mainstream with the nursing establishment. Happily there are other systems not under their control. As for fees, I had a friend who was a Reiki master who attuned me for free. 

This section of the Forum (Eastern Religions) is not very active but I have no interest in the other sections. I keep forgetting that being a ULC minister does not mean any of these ordained people actually comport themselves as clergy, as professionals, therefore the behavior sometimes displayed and the crudeness and vitriol sometimes expressed is a bit much. I have been seriously considering setting up an arrangement whereby these seeking ordination as a Sensei, then a Priest, can study with me and be ordained when studies and interviews are complete. All study materials would be those I have collected online. I need to first discuss it with my spiritual master, Venerable Koshu Dari. If I receive approval, would this be something you would be interested in? Or anyone here that you know of? I do not think interest in Buddhism is as deep or widespread in the USA as many people suppose. 

Namaste,
BN

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10 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

Yes.  I frequently use that line myself. 

 

There are different labels that apply to me.  You will note -- labels.  The actual state of my non-beliefs is more difficult to quantify.

 

I am an Atheist, because there is no good reason to believe in God.  Or even take the God idea seriously.

 

I am an Agnostic, because there is no objective, verifiable information or facts about God.  Nothing at all.  It follows that I can not claim knowledge of God.  There is none.

 

Mostly, I am an Apatheist.  A God that can not be detected, or discerned, or demonstrated to exist -- is irrelevant and meaningless.  Even if that God exists -- it doesn't matter.

 

Of course, the Fundamentalists on this board have told me that I have no spirituality -- and believe in nothing.

 

:birgits_giggle:     :sigh2:

 

      :mellow:

 

 

I do not believe in God in a theistic (personal) sense either. I like what you have written and I agree. I used to type to people that "God is not a religion. God is not a member of your church." 😎

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nathaniel said:

Hello Jonathan. I will think about Revgovobak. It's been 26 years that I have been online and I am exhausted with snarky trolls.

First, I had no idea that Reiki, under the name Therapeutic Touch, went mainstream with the nursing establishment. Happily there are other systems not under their control. As for fees, I had a friend who was a Reiki master who attuned me for free. 

This section of the Forum (Eastern Religions) is not very active but I have no interest in the other sections. I keep forgetting that being a ULC minister does not mean any of these ordained people actually comport themselves as clergy, as professionals, therefore the behavior sometimes displayed and the crudeness and vitriol sometimes expressed is a bit much. I have been seriously considering setting up an arrangement whereby these seeking ordination as a Sensei, then a Priest, can study with me and be ordained when studies and interviews are complete. All study materials would be those I have collected online. I need to first discuss it with my spiritual master, Venerable Koshu Dari. If I receive approval, would this be something you would be interested in? Or anyone here that you know of? I do not think interest in Buddhism is as deep or widespread in the USA as many people suppose. 

Namaste,
BN

 

 

 

Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are two different systems, from different origins.

 

First, Reiki.  What I'm going to say next is only my sense of things.  I'm not in a position to document what happened.  Much of the truth, at least in the West, is lost in Reiki Mythology.

 

Usui Sensei was a practicing Shingon Buddhist.  As such, he had pity for the West, which lacked the light of Dharma.  He understood, well enough, that Christians would not be open to Buddhist ideas.  Even less so, after World War II.  Out of Buddhist Mercy, he broke off bits and pieces of Medicine Buddha teachings, and packaged it as healing technique.  In this manner, the West would have a small piece of Dharma.  They would not be in total darkness.

 

One of Usui Sensei's students was a Doctor Hayashi.  Doctor Hayashi was the person who broke down Usui sensei's teachings into three levels/degrees.  One of the Doctor's students was Hawayo Takata.  An American/Hawaiian woman of Japanese descent.  She was the one who initiated the $10,000 rule.  The rank of Reiki Master should cost $10,000.  Mrs. Takata also went on to train 22 Reiki Masters.  These are the lineages best known in the West.

 

Barbara Webber Ray, the 22nd such "Master" founded the American International Reiki Society.  She taught that she was the only one, that Takata fully trained in the Seven Level complete system.  In 1978, I found her group.  They trained me to second level.  At the time, I bought into much of her BS.

 

I also trained with John Gray -- one of the 22 -- to second level.

 

There were other trainings.  I went to Reiki Master through a different lineage.  Along the way, I went through a period of discovery, about the actual history, the politics and other crap.

 

Takata's grand daughter -- Phyllis Furomoto founder her own group -- I forget what they call themselves -- and continues to reign.

 

One of the 22 was Ethel Lombardi.  She trained me to 1st degree in her new system.  MariEl.  A long story.  I've rambled enough.  She's dead.  So is her system.

 

Which brings us to Therapeutic Touch.  It comes out of the Theosophical tradition.  The co-founder of system was Dolores Krieger.  Her doctoral thesis was on Therapeutic Touch.  She went on to become a big wheel at the NYU graduate School of Nursing.  By the time I met her, she was Distinguished Professor Emerita -- Ph.D., R.N.  One of the first teachers she turned loose on the world, was Janet Macray, Ph.D., R.N.

 

I had three workshops with Janet Macray and one with Dolores Krieger.  There were no credentials at the time.  This has changed.

 

Oh, the memories.  I was obsessed.  Since then, I have gained perspective.  Now, much of it tastes like dust.

 

:mellow:

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

I do not believe in God in a theistic (personal) sense either. I like what you have written and I agree. I used to type to people that "God is not a religion. God is not a member of your church." 😎

 

 

Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken in my facts.

 

As recorded in the Dhampada.  A young man comes to Buddha.

 

"Master, tell me about God."

 

"God's existence might not be the case.

 

"What?  You mean there's no God?"

 

"The non-existence of God might not be the case."

 

"The gods?"

 

"The existence of gods might not be the case."

 

"You mean the gods don't exist?"

 

"The non-existence of gods might not be the case."

 

The conversation continued.  The soul, Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, etc. etc.  Buddha was not interested in meta physics.  He considered such things as mere distractions on the path.  Buddha only cared about real questions.  What is the cause of suffering?  What can we do about it?

 

His wisdom continues to irritate and baffle the pious.

 

:birgits_giggle:

 

I am not a Buddhist.  Still, the Buddha's wisdom has been of great help to me.

 

:mellow:

 

 

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18 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

RevBogovac, are you a teenager? Or just a jerk? RevBogovac on ignore.

 

 

17 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I have had good conversations with Revgovobak.  I don't know what happened here.  He is a good person.  I'll vouch for him. [...]

 

Thank you Jonathan! What happened? Nothing much... tried a bit of humour... invain.

 

17 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

Hello Jonathan. I will think about Revgovobak. It's been 26 years that I have been online and I am exhausted with snarky trolls. [...]

 

Please don't (think about it), just keep that ignore on... I'm pretty sure the Buddha also taught not to take everything that seriously... 

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