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#258356 - 05/30/06 07:52 PM Buddhism in everyday life in Asia?
aoishi Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Massachusetts
There are a lot of Buddhists in Japan and China, but are the philosophical underpinnings of Buddhism evident anywhere or do they just chant a lot?
In Japan, for example, Buddhist priest reside over funerals while Shinto priests do marriages, new buildings, etc. The Buddhist priests chant, chant and chant so more, but few of them will engage you in a conversation about no-ego, non-attachment, meditation. etc. They're usually just regular joes who fish, drink and do karaoke...
So what about it? Where is the Budhhist philosophy represented in these cultures?
Any thoughts? I sure have some, but I prefer to share later...after some other have stepped up to the plate

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#258357 - 05/30/06 11:43 PM Re: Buddhism in everyday life in Asia? [Re: aoishi]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I joined a chant buddhism group (you know, the 'nam-yo-ho-ren-ge-kyo' crowd) when I was living in Boston. only stayed with it briefly for a few months because I felt very subtle 'claws' digging in (using guilt trips to persuade commitment, etc) almost like how they warn of cults except this wasn't an extreme group...just people who were really into it getting together on a weekend day. plus there was a hot chick there I was trying to score...just kidding, but I kept an open mind talking with the people I met there I realized you don't have to be a buddhist to incorporate buddhist philosophy or vica versa for that matter, which (I think) is the coolest thing about it.

anyway, it's out there. but is there any buddhist philosophy influence...I would say yes. the whole vegitarian and vegan movement no doubt has genisis in buddhist thought...just to name one.

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#258358 - 05/30/06 11:59 PM Re: Buddhism in everyday life in Asia? [Re: Ed_Morris]
aoishi Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Massachusetts
So did you say enough namyohos to get into her pants?

But seriously, I was going to try to steer this towards the element of sumbersion of ego.
Here's an example: Why is it that when Americans meet each other for the first time, they are always eager to show what it is about them that makes them "special" or "different"?
In Japan, it is not like as in the US. When you first meet people, you want to show that you are normal and in a way predictable.

Here's another scenario: International flight to Japan:
American flight attendants tend to try to relax and comfort people by "getting to know them" or getting personal. They might ask how many kids you have or what your business is or that tehy love your dress or something.
On Japanese airlines, the flight attendants comfort their Japanese clients by maintaining an interchangeable sort of distance that makes it quite clear that it is NOT personal and THAT is precisely what makes them comfortable.
What is responsible for this paradox? I think the answer lies in Buddhist roots.

About the vegan thing, that is also true I'm sure or maybe it's just the lack of deep "meat roots".

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#258359 - 05/31/06 02:31 PM Re: Buddhism in everyday life in Asia? [Re: aoishi]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
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Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Me own thoughts;

Our East Asian Buddhist brethrens just chant too much and totally forgot what buddhism is about. I mean, do they even understand the meaning of Karma, nine wheel and re-incarnation?

Well, look at an average Japanese. Compare with a Thai, I can bet, the Thai knows a lot more about the philosophies of Buddhism than the Japanese. For the East Asians, it's more along the traditional lines than being religious. I mean, they aren't forced nor instilled to learn Buddhism, unlike in South East Asia where if you're born in a buddhist family, you're buddhist.

My 50 yen, they chant too much. No meaning actually, it's just chanting for the sake of chanting. I mean, how can you remove your bad karma by chanting? If they took up the 150 or so rules of Buddhist conduct and actually tried to find a way out of the cycle of re-incarnation, they maybe, but too much chanting. It's actually possible to get merit by showing others the way, not chanting.

-Taison out
_________________________
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

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#258360 - 05/31/06 03:12 PM Re: Buddhism in everyday life in Asia? [Re: Taison]
kusojiji Offline
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Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 648
Loc: kokokokokoko
Quote:

Me own thoughts;

Our East Asian Buddhist brethrens just chant too much and totally forgot what buddhism is about.




Holy generalizations, Batman!
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#258361 - 05/31/06 03:29 PM Re: Buddhism in everyday life in Asia? [Re: kusojiji]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Generalization, perhaps. But this topic isn't an academic one...it is based on personal observations. 'I think' and 'I feel' are okay here...within the bounds of civilized behaviour.

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#258362 - 05/31/06 03:46 PM Buddhism in Everyday life in Asia [Re: harlan]
kusojiji Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 648
Loc: kokokokokoko
Its not a matter of civilized behavior, its a matter of logic. Its simply irrational to make such a sweeping generalization about entire populations. Even with volumes of scientifically gathered data, such conclusions would be suspect at best. At some point such broad declarations flirt with the realm of prejudice.


Edited by harlan (05/31/06 03:54 PM)
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#258363 - 05/31/06 03:48 PM Buddhism in Everyday life in Asia [Re: kusojiji]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Thank you for your reply. Now, to steer this thread...do you have anything constructive to add regarding the topic?

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#258364 - 05/31/06 03:54 PM Re: of course an opinion is an opinion, but... [Re: harlan]
kusojiji Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 648
Loc: kokokokokoko
Ok, if we are not making unreasonable generalizations, what exactly is the topic?
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#258365 - 05/31/06 03:56 PM Buddhism in everyday life in Asia? [Re: kusojiji]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Well, if you took the time to read it, I believe it was:

"Where is the Budhhist philosophy represented in these cultures?"

By the way, historically your responses have been too 'succinct', and cryptic to further discussion. I would appreciate it if you would put some time into your responses...as well as 'take it easy'. There is no sense in derailing a thread...when you can just as easily put a constructive spin on one.

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