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Sansho Shima


Trab

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Don't miss out on this masterful piece by Camy. It will leave you shaking your head in wonder. :lol:

I was going to post this earlier, but I had to be away today, and when I left, it started to snow, and while I was driving home, there was a huge accident, delaying me even more. Sansho Shima for sure.

Wonderfully done Camy story, as they all are.

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Intriguing story. By an amazing coincidence, I just started to read about Buddhism last month (so help me: Buddhism for Dummies), and am just starting to wrap my head around some of the concepts. I like the idea of a "non-religious religion," one that has nothing to do with God or prophets, one that still helps explain who the F we are and what our place is in the universe. So far, I'm amazed that Buddhism is so straightforward and logical; I thought it'd be some kind of weird mystical thing with a lot of chanting, which isn't the case at all.

It's been a fascinating journey so far. I hadn't encountered the term "Sansho Shima" yet, but it all makes sense.

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Intriguing story. By an amazing coincidence, I just started to read about Buddhism last month (so help me: Buddhism for Dummies), and am just starting to wrap my head around some of the concepts. I like the idea of a "non-religious religion," one that has nothing to do with God or prophets, one that still helps explain who the F we are and what our place is in the universe. So far, I'm amazed that Buddhism is so straightforward and logical; I thought it'd be some kind of weird mystical thing with a lot of chanting, which isn't the case at all.

It's been a fascinating journey so far. I hadn't encountered the term "Sansho Shima" yet, but it all makes sense.

Yes Pecman, your reaction to Buddhism is not unusual.

In the 1960s (and 70s) many books were discovered and written on comparative religion. (The Hippie era was amongst other things, a discovery of Eastern culture and religions, and Western rational philosophy that had been under investigation from the period of the Enlightenment and became a formal study under the name of Theosophy.)

Amongst these books, were many philosophical and psychological essays and discourses.

One of the most prominent occurrences that people found was, that unlike Judo-Cristian religions, the "ways of life" of the East encouraged the individual to accept responsibility for their own action; that life comes from within rather than being bestowed or given from external sources.

In balance, the chanting and meditation are all about achieving an awareness that every time you breath in, the rest of the universe breaths out. But it is wrong to reduce Buddhism to such a simplistic statement.

It is also true that eventually there is a realisation that it is not possible to state the answers to the mysteries of life, except in rather oblique terms of only saying what they are not.

"He who speaks, does not know, and he who knows, does not speak."

As infuriating as this is, it also a good example of the rational paradox that is so much part of Eastern thought and "mysticism".

Yet the West is not without its equivalents. If Aristotle represents the West's ordered and logical beginnings then Socrates/Plato represents our own bases of rational paradox. The balance is essentially that of the appreciation of the relative and the absolute, existing simultaneously.

Buddhism is regarded by many as the rational man's "way of life". It has many parallels in psychotherapy and there are number of studies that make fascinating reading.

Of course Buddhism also has many traditions just like Western religions do. The trick is to get past the dogma, past the ceremonies (beautiful as they may be), and find the truth behind the mysticism. For many people Buddhism makes that easier than Western religions. However, tradition in Buddhism also has a history of implying that the truth is for the few and not the many. Perhaps this is a taunt, a challenge?

Lest any good believer in a religion feels threatened by Buddhism, let me say I have known many Christians who have found Buddhist ideas an assistance in gaining a deeper understanding of their own religion. It is also true however that many people have adopted an agnostic standpoint as the most reasonable.

The agnostic mystic is a bit like a bisexual, -not popular with anyone. :lol:

Eddington, the physicist is nearest the mystics, not in his airier flights of fancy, but when he states quite simply, "Something unknown is doing we don't know what."

I rather like insight that comes from considering, "Man is the eye through which the universe sees itself."

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The agnostic mystic is a bit like a bisexual -- not popular with anyone.

But then there's Woody Allen, who pointed out, "at least Bisexuals double their chances of getting lucky on Saturday night." :icon_rabbit:

What surprised me about Buddhism was how several of its basic tenants were things I've been saying for years on my own. For example, when any of our friends run into computer problems or technical issues, I'm always glad to help. My partner bitches and whines about it, saying, "why do we have to get involved with these morons? what's in it for us?", and I generally reply, "because this is why we were put on the earth: to help our friends."

I read something very close to that in the Buddhism book, which floored me. Anyway, it's an interesting voyage through it, and maybe I'll learn something. I'm trying to learn to meditate right now, if only to minimize the stress and grief in my life. Wish me luck.!

All together now: Nam myoho renge kyo...

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I've found some of the books by Thich Nhat Hanh to be among the most helpful. They are anecdotal, oriented toward the Western reader, and without the Western writer's usual insistence upon rational explanation and footnotes. Hanh is a Vietnamese monk living in France who does not seem to promote any one of the specialist Buddhist doctrines or sects. His simple, succinct description of breath meditation in Touching Peace(Parallax Press, 1992 and many editions) worked for me.

James Merkin

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