Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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filthy shudra

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Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post16 Jul 2010

enlightened wrote:Dear Filthy Shudra,

Is there any particular type of Buddhism (as there are many branches) that the ex-BKs you know of find particularly useful please?

Dear Enlightened,

Of the ones I know - a couple have gotten into Tibetan Buddhism, others not 'committed" to any particular type. As you learn about Buddhism you'll see that makes sense.

Like any long standing tradition that spans centuries, different countries and millions of people, there are many kinds of Buddhism - as your question acknowledges. Like all other traditions, the interpretation of any of them is down to the individual. You do still get your intellectuals who'll talk and talk, or devotee types who do the rituals etc and never really examine the teachings - like many church going christians. There are mystics and scholars. Some even pray to the Buddha - which really means they've missed the point!

There is a lot of cultural baggage with long standing traditions. Buddhism is different though because, at its heart, it asks its practitioners to follow the tradition but to still see through the tradition (it makes a tradition of seeing through tradition! :D).

There are three main types

But to label oneself is to miss the point of the teachings.

What makes all types of Buddhism different to theistic religions, however, is emphasis on personal understanding, personal effort and insight based on personal experience. It doesn't devalue any human quality - sex, family life etc. In some countries, a person can be a monk for a while, leave, then come back again, leave again ... as they need.

I suggest you explore Buddhism to get a feel, and you can always move from one form to another as you see fit - they aren't like the BKs who try to "capture" you.

There are Buddhist libraries, meeting groups, etc.

There is a growing recognition of Buddhist psychology - they were ahead of their time (2500 years!!) and pioneers of modern psychologists like Freud and Jung studied and learnt a lot from there. There's tons on the internet, youtube etc.

There's also

    Chi Gong
    Tai Chi
    Zen practices like Zen Shiatsu, Zen macrobiotics (ex-l talked about macrobiotic diet earlier)
    Japanese Yoga (Ki Yoga, Oki, Ryoho Yoga, 5 elements Yoga)
    Zen Buddhist martial arts - Jiu Jitsu, Ai Ki Do etc
I've read a lot but my practical experience is through martial arts, where for me it has a nice harmony between physical exercise, philosophy, meditation and self-defence. I like how it puts practicality and 'in your face' reality at the forefront (but each martial arts discipline will reflect its teacher's biases). I do a kind of Kung Fu. I'd also suggest Jiu Jitsu and Ai Ki Do. if you decide to try it, I suggest you ask if they have a traditional Buddhist philosophy (which usually means a broader approach than just fighting skills) or if it is a sports form - grading and with colour belts etc.

Given what you described in your "spacey" topic, my suggestion is watch out for being drawn too much to the strictly meditative and look more at the physical practical stuff.

Some interesting quotes: Dogen

There's Alan Watts - one of the great Western educators in Buddhism


And one last favourite of mine - "Buddhism is the finger pointing at the moon. Do not mistake the finger for the moon".
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filthy shudra

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Re: Does BK Cult Strip You of Your Childhood, Manhood, Womanhood

Post20 Jul 2010

Dear ex-l

I agree with a lot of what you say. Especially that getting active and enjoying a group activity etc. But you said no one replied with personal experience. My contribution was personal experience - why do you say "theoretical"? I am not saying that people should do what I do - just that this is what I did and found helpful.

That meditation can contribute to spaciness is true if meditation is isolated from the rest of life, and treated only as a trasncedental practice rather than a deepening presence of being ...

Someone who has meditated for a large part of their life in "detachment - soul consciousness" meditation is like someone who has had bad diet for a long time. You don't say to that person do not eat. Maybe you stop for a short time, a fast, but then you learn to eat a healthy diet.

Singing or dancing is a wonderful thing - but if a person feels childhood, man or womanhood OR individuality that you speak of is lost, and they have a nature that is contemplative, to do a practice that part of a rebalancing e.g. mindfulness meditations as part of other mindful activity like movement or martial arts or singing or dancing or whatever - that is not a bad thing.

Buddhist meditations do not insist on early sleep deprived disciplines that must be adhered to for brownie points. they are usually done after long physical Yoga sessions so that the body is awakened and aligned first, and then the focus is not on detaching from body but from connecting to reality.

There was another person on BKSWU watch forum that dissed Buddhism the same way - I answered this and say it hear too. Reading about it or looking at others or even practicing it in a devotee way like those born in SE asian countries, who practice like you say in "conditioned" way, these are not really knowing or following the Buddha's teachings. It is like reading of or seeing others eat a banana but you cannot know the taste really.

Those who practice because they are born in that culture without studying or thinking about it are like eating unripe fruit. Dieties are understood by Buddhists to be symbolic, prayers are proof of misunderstood teaching because no one can do for you, only you can do for yourself. Most westerners who come to Buddhism come with cynical and skeptical mind and usually ignore the religious practices and go to the heart of the teachings.

Why I said Buddhism is 180 degrees opposite to BK is that BK Gyan is saying that you are eternal soul, that what you do or do not do in Confluence Age is fixed forever.

Buddhism says all things including the mind and the "self" are in a state of flux and change. Buddhist karma philosophy is not that you get reward for good and punishment for bad. It says that you experience the result of your choices and your actions. If you change what you do, and what you think etc then YOU will change. if you continue doing the same, thinking the same, you become more of the same.

I am sorry if I appear to be arguing. I felt that your post was a little disrespectful of what had been written by me and enlightened. I appreciate your points but felt I had to reply - based on my experience and not theoretically.

Peace.
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ex-l

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Re: Does BK Cult Strip You of Your Childhood, Manhood, Womanhood

Post20 Jul 2010

filthy Shudra wrote:My contribution was personal experience - why do you say "theoretical"? I am not saying that people should do what I do - just that this is what I did and found helpful. ... Buddhist meditations do not insist on early sleep deprived disciplines that must be adhered to for brownie points. ... Dieties are understood by Buddhists to be symbolic, prayers are proof of misunderstood teaching because no one can do for you, only you can do for yourself. Most westerners who come to Buddhism come with cynical and skeptical mind and usually ignore the religious practices and go to the heart of the teachings.

I felt that your post was a little disrespectful of what had been written by me and enlightened. I appreciate your points but felt I had to reply - based on my experience and not theoretically.

Argue away, please, this is not the BKWSU. My apologies in advance for stroking my ego in public here. The practical recommendations are at the bottom.

I think I react against any grand, sweeping, generalised statements. I think everyone should and ask others to be specific. If you had simply said, "I did this and got that ... I met this one and they led me to this" then I would a have accepted it. If someone told a Buddhist monk, "I have studied Theravada and Mahayana and Vajranaya and Zen!" I think the monk would think they had studied nothing. I would guess it takes years ... if not a theoretical 'lifestimes' to get anywhere with them.

In the UK, I would offer that Buddhist was initially colored very much by the English intellectualism of the Theosophical Society and occultic Golden Dawn, and individuals such as Allan Bennett and Christmas Humphreys, and then later adopted and infused by 60s counterculture/Beat society; commune, drugs, homosexuality ... I am talking, of course, of the early FWBO days ... and adoption and remarketing by the New Age and Post-New Age commercialism.

Since the Exodus of at first Tibetan monks and then the immigration of Thais, other more traditional forms of Buddhism have come to Britain. I think pretty much the same patterns have happened elsewhere in the West. Any influence that Martial Arts have brought in have been a little tickle to the side ... not so much outside of Karate Kids generation, and their nice middle class relatives, the Aikido players.

Therefore you have a widespread of Buddhist traditions to pick, from everyday Thai Bhakti culture (there is a great temple near Wimbledon) to esoterics influences such as Buddhistically influenced Dzongchen traditions.

Within the traditional schools, there is a bit of a divide between those who seek to 'pickle the tradition in aspic' the way it always was (even if it does not work or makes people crack up) ... the business of selling picturesque "bottled lamas" ... and those who seek to take the principles and teachings and apply them to the Western condition (far, far fewer). There are those that want to turn it into a business cult and screw their adherents (Chögyam Trungpa), there are those like the BKWSU who want to beat up smaller groups (Dalai Lama's Yellow Hards persecuting the Shugdens sect), there are individuals monks having affairs with both male and female followers (everyone in the West according to the Dalai Lama), there are homosexual activist inside and outside homosexualizing it ... then you make a statement like "Buddhists do not sleep deprive followers" and I offer you the so called “marathon monks” of the Tendai sect on Mount Hiei who take the body beyond its natural limits of food, water, sleep deprivation and exercise.

In short there is no such thing as Buddhism, there is only the person sitting in front of you and what their game is (for good or bad). Eastern Buddhists would equally accuse you of not getting the faith element. Of course, the gods are real.

Most of Buddhist practise in the UK and West is either mindful awareness ... little more than watching one's breath and thoughts ... and is pretty much utterly safe, although most teachers are beginners themselves. It could even be good for ex-BKs to see and watch if they get sucked into old Brahma Kumari practises. This is really just a preparatory practise. Usually the next level is called something like "expanding metta" which, against, is hard to criticise. It is just a practise of expanding one positive thoughts, love, forgiveness to others, all others, even people with whom you have had negative experiences. Off the back of this, there is now a Buddhist approach to psychotherapy that I think ex-BKs might warm to ... The Karuna Institute in the UK being one such school.

If I was to express my negative prejudices, I would skip many of the American teachers of which many come across as full of themselves and commercial to me. Sadly, I did not like the ambience of the FWBO because I felt it was too young a tradition, mixed with sexually and politically, and did not recognise older or other authorities ... Urgyen Sangharakshita strikes me as a corrupter of the Buddhist tradition who has broken his vows (having and encouraging sex with young boys, kept out of India for it too), refused to accept other authorities and, to some degrees, his followers do too.

My warmest experiences though was with Chán practise, though this might be down to the teacher Dr John Crook and the Western Chan Fellowship.org. I felt it lacked some of the austerity, obscurity and emptiness of Japanese Zen adherents. It is not so big business and so I feel it is quite simple and sincere.

I think that there is quite a lot of con going on with the way Japanese Buddhism/culture is sold and when they say it is empty ... it really is empty. There is nothing going on. It is all just external aesthetics and doing things that have always been done. Appealing aesthetics but nothing more. In Japan, 99% of Buddhism is just a family business passed down Father to son, a temple with an inn attached round the corner or over the road from a brothel. One services one end, the other services the other end ... death mostly. I think the whole koan thing sucks now. It has become an out of place, out of time ritual ... but that might be my prejudice talking.

I would avoid Vajranaya practise which is the quasi-mystical, ultra-symbolic stuff because it does not clear work on Westerns who have no idea what the symbolism and ritual is all about. Something that the priest and monks might not admit. That is, basically, most of the Tibetan stuff and Japanese schools like Shingon. Again, very pretty and visual ... but I find not even the followers know what it is all about, they are just so busy learning it all by rote and repetition and following unreasonable lifelong apprenticeships.  

On the other end though, there are the Dzogchen and if you are interested in the more weird, wonderful, spiritualistic and healing aspects of Buddhist, seek them out. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu is Italy is probably one of the best starting points in the West. I have no idea about any of his followers. They tend to have a more open, "you want it we got it" approach and many of them live by practising traditional medicine which can help too but their stuff is dynamic. Norbu Rinpoche is recognised as a tulku, catch him whilst you can and he is still alive. I would say he is probably one of the most real examples of his tradition and not so full of BS. But it is hard core not for simple, easy practises.

One of the key things I took from looking at Buddhism was the concept of ""transmission" .. the passing on of a something from teacher to student. Often it is called, for example in Chan as a ""transmission beyond the scriptures" which would appeal to ex-BK not wanting a head full of more crap to wade through. "Transmission" is also what is happening in the Brahma Kumaris ... but a transmission of what? That is the big question.

In my opinion, it is transmission of something not very clean and not very cool as its expansion proves. I might even go as far to say it is the transmission of something at a "darker" and lower spiritual level.
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post20 Jul 2010

"The muddied pool does not become clear by stirring it" ...

You are right to say that there is as much bullsh** in what is called Buddhism as in any other tradition - the bullsh** however does not come from the great teachers or the great teachings but from those who adopt the costume. Any teacher who asks you or wants you to be their follower is not a true Buddhist teacher. Any teacher who says, "I am enlightened" is obviously not.

    A monk told Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen "I've let go of everything"
    Chao-chou said "Let go of that!"
    The monk said back" but what do you mean? I've let go of everything?"
    Chao-chou said "then please, don't dump it here, pick it up and take it away".
In the same vein, Dogen said, “Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment" because it is one trap that Buddhists fall into - to think "I" have become enlightened". To think that, is to prove otherwise ...

Another Dogen quote, “Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things."

The Buddha himself warned against papanca - "prolix discursiveness" - the entanglements that happen when rationalisations and explanations proceed beyond "phasa", or direct contact.

That is why "heart-mind" is used in a lot of Buddhist thought - not just "mind". We tend to get more than two steps removed from our everyday experience and then pile conjecture on top of theory on top of prejudicial belief.
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post20 Jul 2010

I am sorry but you lost me in all that. What did you do and what did you feel? How did it compare or interface with your BK training/experiences?

What I notice is that people tend to talk about "Buddhism" as if it exists ... one single (or two or four) well regulated schools, paths or traditions. I suspect the Buddha, like Jesus, was not a real individual. And certainly not real as his story is told now. Another reason to doubt the god of the BKWSU.

Buddhism is very easy to quote or sell on the New Age circuit. it has cool. Old, profound sounding quotes are inspirational no doubt ... but what does it all mean and how was or is it practised? Shaved heads, no belongings, 7 years cleaning the monastery floor for starters, cold baths and 4 am starts are the norm. Who is ready for that these days and it is possible to buy enlightenment at a weekend retreat course? If you were to ask me what Buddhism was all about it would be akin to the sanyasis complete abnegation of the self. Perhaps you speak of a "consumer level" Buddhism ... which is not a bad thing but not what those guys went through nor their schools teach.

Coming out of a BK mould, one is conditioned to think that, on one hand, "all other religions are impure and degrade ... none lead to enlightenment ... there is no such thing as enlightenment" (and a whole load of other quotes from the god spirit of the BKWSU that we all remember); and, on the other hand, have pretty heavy weight conditioning/pull into the Brahma Kumari hypnotic/spiritualist/spacey trance thing. How does mindfulness cope against that? I found that the junior (read white) Buddhist teachers really did not have a clue.

One question thought, do folks think that there any such thing as "Enlightenment" now? Has anyone seen or experience anything profound in another practise or fixed their Brahma Kumarisms through doing it? Losing the self, and forgetting thoughts, into happy, joyous song with a choir might be a better option.

In my opinion, a lot of the white folk dressing up in robes or being "ordained" seems a little false to me. In the Orient, Buddhism is a business too. It is just for the most part an establishment business.
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Mr Green

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post20 Jul 2010

Of course, the reality in countries like Thailand is that everyone believes in Buddha as there are giant statues of him pretty much everywhere, so deeply is it ingrained in their sub conscious mind. The poor and uneducated still practise 'Buddhism' in their own little ways.

Like they will go to temples and offer food to Buddha that they know will be eaten by the monks. There will be chanting and incense, and someone will babble some waffle down the mike. There will be a feeling of religious reverence similar to how you feel in a church. But no one really cares what is said they just feel it is right and respectful to go. A bit like it used to be even in my childhood when sunday service was seen as something to be proud of attending.

Also they will go and rattle sticks in a cup until some fall out and are aligned with some chart, and meaning taken from that in a personal way.
It is very similar to Hinduism in that you just make up your practices and believe what you want about it, unless you are a scholar or intellectual then in becomes a whole different ball game, I reckon.

In Thailand (which mostly is Buddhist), there will be very few that would be interested or capable of discussing it intellectually. What I am saying is the essence of it, in my opinion, is the same essence at the heart of all religious practice or theory, be excellent to each other and party on dude!
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post21 Jul 2010

I have a neighbour, a Greek man, who is a radical socialist & atheist. But he had his son baptised in the Greek church. I asked him why and he said he wants his son to be part of the Greek culture.

Thailand is dominated by Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhism - more conservative, more similar to the Brahmanic society that Buddhism emerged from.

It was one reason for the big split - those who wanted it to stay as originally taught, i.e. believed that what the Buddha said and taught was "it" - not unlike the Muslim idea that Mohammed is the final prophet. They also mostly believe that Awakening/Enlightenment is an absolute goal that once attained is never lost.

The Mahayana (northern) schools of Buddhism took the indication from Buddha's teachings that, a) the clarification of the teachings was never complete - i.e. it wasn't something that words alone convey, and b) anyone has the potential for Awakening at any time, lay person or monk etc. They also hold that once "awake" does not mean it is never lost. One has to watch not to slip back into the 3 afflictions (love/lust, hate/anger, confusion/stupor).

Nagarjuna - one the great philosophers in history , not just Buddhism, said that you need to keep Nirvana in one eye, and Samsara in the other.

"Nirvana consists of the extinction of the false constructions of our productive imagination". - from: The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana" by Theodore Stcherbatsky. A brilliant history and explanation of the different kinds of Buddhism - similarities, differences and so on. Check it out on Google books. A lovely work to buy, or just bookmark it and jump in and out of when you feel like it.

But like Nagarjuna also said - all the words only hint at the reality of "awakening/enlightenment".

You are right mr green, all religion and traditions hint at "be excellent to each other and party on" - funny you mentioned it mr green - I only recently watched that movie again! Alan Watts said it too in that you tube video about "Is life serious?" ...
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post21 Jul 2010

So, do you know anyone that is enlightened ... or who is the most enlightened dude around at present? Practical rather than theory.

I guess post-BKWSU, I am just a little tired of religion but I did like one warning some Tibetan gave "of not dancing on books" or following those that did..

I kind of feel that all the philosophy we need is just some simple poetry and to forget all the rest.
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post22 Jul 2010

ex-l - you are right in your critique of Buddhism as religion. We should Kill The Buddha

" who is the most enlightened'?"


is that like "the most pregnant"? :D

Surely another's enlightenment is only recognised as per our own enlightenment?

If you knew, would you "follow" him or her?

The only place to find the enlightened one is in the "mirror" - then smash the mirror.
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post22 Jul 2010

I think "pregnant" is a very good metaphor. One is either pregnant or one is not. One cannot be "half-pregnant". Likewise, if I want to know about pregnancy, I'd rather ask a woman who is about to deliver a baby, or who just has, rather than a young male medical student who has read a book about it. Yes, it would be able to explain the technicalities and name all the parts but ...

So, if "Enlightenment" is the goal and what it is all about, can you recommend anyone that is Enlightened ... or is there really any such thing?

The Brahma Kumaris, of course, destroy all that. They claim there is not. The Buddha never made it, therefore no others did. According to them, it is completely impossible; only they hold the key to liberation. The whole of Buddhism, is just a small fragment of their teachings erroneously re-hashed by some failed BK in 2,500 years time. The Buddha was merely a spiritualistic channeler channeling another spirit as they claim their founder was.

The Brahma Kumaris even used to teach that their religion was the real "Buddhi Yoga" ... the Yoga of the Intellect ... which is a joke because it is just about the most anti-intellectual, anti-thinking, religion on the planet. In their desire to dominate the spiritual real estate market, their god spirit crushes all and any competing faiths as being "impure ... degraded ... stumbling in darkness ... and the paths of ignorance". The seed planted in your mind that there is no benefit to it.

There is twaddle in Buddhism (and a lot of different schools of twaddle too). The Buddha is portrayed as being rather obsessed with lists and lists of numbers of things and, traditionally, adherents are bound for years to learning them all via mindless rote; the 5 skandhas, the 6 paramitas, the 8 vidyadharas, the 84 Mahasiddhas, the 108 defilements and so on and on and on. Trust me, the old guys spent a long time sitting around making lists and list of everything. Some of which are good, others which are off the planet.

All that is separate from simply sorting yourself out. I am not sure Enlightenment is possible through sound bite sized, 'back of the cornflake packet' style aphorisms. I am not sure Enlightenment is possible at all. In this case, I am pretty sure our enlightenment is not seeking the Enlightenment. So what does it all boil down to?

Inside it all, there are a lot of psychological insights but I, like enlightenment, would just like a recommendation of a good teacher or safe center. Not theory. Yes, I agree what the world does to individuals who they think are Enlightened is awful too ... Lekhraj Kirpalani being one. You would have to be awfully unenlightened to want to go through that.
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post23 Jul 2010

Dear ex-l

You seem as disillusioned with Buddhism as you are with BK-ism ... I hope you took the time to read and understand that link "Kill the Buddha" which i think responds directly and in agreement with your criticisms of Buddhism as religion. It gives the nice example that it was the Muslims who invented algebra but we don't think of algebra as islamic. It was mainly the Europeans who developed Physics but we don't think of physics as european (though BapDada likes to call it yadavas - which is a clan/caste in India and mentioned in the Mahabharat. BTW Krisna is a descendant of the yadav clan - thats in wikipedia).

So too the valuable philosophies insights and discoveries in Buddhist thought and practice should not be identified with the religious culture from which it emerged or rather we should not think we have to weigh it down with the culture/rituals etc that it is wrapped in - they are only like ribbon and shiny paper.

You repeatedly mention theory only as if writing on this forum which is limited to text is proof that anyone who writes here is only being "theoretical". Theory is one side of the coin practice is the other. But my practice cannot be had or done by anyone else. All i can share is words and ideas here. And even if they are understood, thats usually not enough. You have to do.
if I want to know about pregnancy, I'd rather ask a woman who is about to deliver a baby, or who just has, rather than a young male medical student who has read a book about it.

All pregnancies are different in some way or other. One woman with her own experience is only that and she may inappropriately, even dangerously, insist to her pregnant friend to do what worked for her and what to expect. So maybe a young male medical student is not the ideal, but an experienced gynaecologist would have a better overview of different kinds of pregnancy experiences - especially if the gynaecologist is a mother herself?

But your questions imply "how do i become pregnant/enlightened?". My answer (based on my humble theoretical view, practice and experiences) is it too will come as naturally as a woman becomes pregnant, i.e given the right circumstances, situations and other prerequisites (eg maturity) are set up ... but can neither be garanteed and is often unexpected.

Who is enlightened? How do we recognise someone who is?

I think that depends on what you bring to such an evaluation. If you read something wise on the back of a cereal box (the food pyramid?) and recognise it as such, and if you read "twaddle" in a scripture or Murli and recognise it as such, then you are ahead of the one who mixes up packaging with content. i.e. the main thing is be clear within ourself of our own understandings, don't just accept according to reputation or "package". if it is "bite size" that is better because you cannot expect to digest everything all at once, or eat just one meal to save time so you never have to cook again.

As for Buddha's infatuation with numbers and lists - in a time before common literacy, these were mnemonic tools - simple really. But all of the wise teachers tell you, like any good chef knows that having the list of the ingredients and a recipe is very different to being able to cook. people have to start somewhere. We can now refer to the cookbook, we don't have to memorize the lists.... but still, whats cooking? :D

You ask about a recommendation - even if I could give you one it would be based on my stuff and may not be suitable for you.
In the Dhammapadda, in the chapter called "The Fool" - it says

    1. If a fool can see his own folly, then in this at least he is wise. But the fool who thinks he is wise is indeed a real fool.
    2. If on the great Journey of life a man cannot find one who is better or at least as good as himself, let him joyfully travel alone: a fool cannot help him on his journey"

Put those together - I might be a fool who thinks he is wise and surrounded by fools, and so travels alone - in which case you have nothing to gain from "travelling" with me ...

What I have done is to study and practice for myself - i travel alone mostly, but mix with others interested in similar destinations. i have tried a few different things, read different stuff and take what i feel is useful for me. i do certain practices regularly. Sometimes things that seemed useless earlier become clearer when revisited. e.g. when I listened to the Alan Watts youtube video talks a second time, it seemed to have a totally different theme to what i had heard the first time. I presume it was not the video that changed....
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post23 Jul 2010

back on topic - if you "unpack" Buddhism from its 'wrapping" there's incredible insights, psychological, ontological, philosophical, aesthetic, and so on.

if you "unpack" BK -ism you have something old, something new (age), something borrowed, and please repress the blues. Nothing original except what each person brings to it, and also the nonsensical counter-evidential Gyan. ironically, its an onion!
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post24 Jul 2010

Not at all. I just wanted an answer to the simple, sincere, straightforward, helpful question, "who is good ... who or where can you recommend from experience?". The second question, "Is there really such as thing as a Buddha or Enlightenment?" is poignant because if there is not, or no decent examples of it, there is not such a good purpose to invest one's life in yet another theory ... however beautiful and poetic it is.

One of the great things that I did take from a Buddhist point of view was the more refined translation of the Biblical Commandment "Thou shall not Steal". It was defined stealing as something far more subtle ... "not taking that which is not given" ... which, if one takes it, one could spent one's life refining oneself on it alone.

For example, one might apply the principle of "not taking that which is not given" as "not answering a question which was not asked", i.e. I offered you one opportunity (answering the one that was asked), you took a different one without permission.


An interesting comparison with Brahma Kumarism is that the Brahma Kumaris do not have a precept "Don't Steal" or even lie, cheat and steal. Is Brahma Kumarism not notable as a religion for NOT having such major precepts or commandments? ... All they have is the disclaimer:

    "Remember Baba whilst you do it".
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post24 Jul 2010

ex-l wrote: one might apply the principle of "not taking that which is not given" as "not answering a question which was not asked", i.e. I offered you one opportunity (answering the one that was asked), you took a different one without permission.


Mu ... a Zen response to many a question.

It usually means something like - your question is inadequate, the real answer is not found (is diverted from) by answering that particular question... or something like that. Sorry if my answer was inadequate. What is specific to me probably doesn't apply to you.
"Is there really such as thing as a Buddha or Enlightenment?" is poignant because if there is not, or no decent examples of it, there is not such a good purpose to invest one's life in yet another theory ... however beautiful and poetic it is

To invest one' s life in something beautiful and poetic is not a bad purpose is it?

i think we sometimes put "enlightenment" on too high a pedestal. A more literal translation is "awake". It fits because in olden times, people woke up in the light and were asleep when it became dark. The word "dyana" - meditation - prefixed with dy which means light - as does the de in devi and deva (the "devil" - from deva - is Lucifer - bearer of light...).

To be enlightened is to "wake up to yourself" - just like your parents might have said!

I also prefer the later teachings - Nagarjuna in particular - that you have to pay attention to keep 'awakening" - otherwise to fix the sense of "I" - what "I have awakened" to - is to presume everything else is also going to now stay fixed - but keeping Samsara (the world as always "becoming", impermanence, change) in one eye - I know that my enlightenment of a day ago is only that and everything has moved on and changed, today is a new day ... there is no fixed "I" or "atman" (anatta).

In the Buddhist teachings no matter how deep or complex it can seem, it can always simplified back to:

- "do good" - Buddha (allegedly) said in regards to 'do good" - eighty year old men struggle to do what any five year old understands.

- and to 'follow the middle way". Our sense of middle way may be different to that of a seeker in 500 BC. Buddha and his followers may seem ascetic to us, but he had done much more extreme practices before that.

He also re-established relationships with his family - his son Rahula becoming one of his students, and to who he famously explained when young, what is "doing good' :- if what you do is beneficial to you or the other person, then do it. if it is doing harm to you or the other, then don't.

I just wanted an answer to the simple, sincere, straightforward, helpful question, "who is good ... who or where can you recommend from experience?"

In previous posts i have covered what i have done that I have found beneficial for me. I cannot specifically recommend as you are I think in London i am not. If i recommended some "type" of practice and the people you found was "inadequate" to the task, you might consider all i offer in the same light. I cannot vouch for them. And you wrote about the wolves in Buddhist sheeps clothing yourself.

Mu also means "no words can answer" - there is no script to follow, no pre-scribed path.

In the end - to follow the Buddha is to do what he did - which was find his own path. To do that for yourself, learning from others but not trying to be them or expecting they offer 100% what you are. did not we all as ex-BK make that mistake already?
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filthy shudra

ex-BK

  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2010

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post24 Jul 2010

ex-l wrote: one might apply the principle of "not taking that which is not given" as "not answering a question which was not asked", i.e. I offered you one opportunity (answering the one that was asked), you took a different one without permission.

Mu - a Zen response to many a question.

It usually means something like - your question is inadequate, the real answer is not found (is diverted from) by answering that particular question ... or something like that. Sorry if my answer was inadequate. I was not evading ... but what is specific to me probably doesn't apply to you.
"Is there really such as thing as a Buddha or Enlightenment?" is poignant because if there is not, or no decent examples of it, there is not such a good purpose to invest one's life in yet another theory ... however beautiful and poetic it is

To invest one' s life in something beautiful and poetic is not a bad purpose is it?

Historical Buddha - I am sure that anyone who accesses this forum is capable of basic research and can make up their own mind ...
I think we sometimes put "Enlightenment" on too high a pedestal. A more literal translation of Buddha is "the awake one". It makes sense because in olden times, people woke up in the light or as the day became enlightened and sleep when it became dark. The word "dyana" - meditation - prefixed with dy which means light - as does the de in devi and deva (the "devil" - from deva - is Lucifer - bearer of light ...).

To be enlightened is to "wake up to yourself" - just like your parents might have said!

I also prefer the later teachings - Nagarjuna in particular - that you have to pay attention to keep 'awakening" - otherwise to fix the sense of "I" - what "I have awakened" to - is to presume everything else is also going to now stay fixed - but keeping Samsara (the world as always "becoming", impermanence, change) in one eye - I know that my enlightenment of a day ago is only that and everything has moved on and changed, today is a new day ... there is no fixed "I" or "atman" (anatta).

In the Buddhist teachings, no matter how deep or complex it can seem, it can always simplified back to:

- "Do good" - Buddha (allegedly) said, in regards to 'do good", "eighty year old men struggle to do what any five year old understands".

- and to 'follow the middle way". Our sense of middle way may be different to that of a seeker in 500 BC. Buddha and his followers may seem ascetic to us, but he had done much more extreme practices before that. He also re-established relationships with his family - his son Rahula becoming one of his students, and to who he famously explained when young, what is "doing good' was, "if what you do is beneficial to you or the other person, then do it. if it is doing harm to you or the other, then don't".
I just wanted an answer to the simple, sincere, straightforward, helpful question, "who is good ... who or where can you recommend from experience?"

In previous posts I have covered what I have done that I have found beneficial for me. I cannot specifically recommend as you are I think in London i am not. If I recommended some "type" of practice and the people you found was "inadequate" to the task, you might consider all I offer in the same light. I cannot vouch for them. And you wrote about the wolves in Buddhist sheeps clothing yourself.

Mu also means "no words can answer" - there is no script to follow, no pre-scribed path. In the end - to follow the Buddha is to do what he did - which was find his own path. To do that for yourself, learning from others but not trying to be them or expecting they offer 100% what you are.

Did not we all as ex-BK make that mistake already?
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