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Old 07-04-2017, 12:20 PM   #1
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Question Buddha in Bahai Faith

Hi there

I identify as Theravada/Soto Zen. Particularly influenced by the Ajahn Chah lineage and on the Mahayana Side places like Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in Arkansas and Antai-ji Buddhist Temple in Japan.

These are traditions which focus on the noble eight fold path and in particular meditation.

The meditation style of Theravada is normally focused around mindfulness and deep concentration states that are known as "Jhana".

In Jhana one gets absorbed into deep states of meditation were the body can disappear, the doer can disappear, even the knower can disappear and deep realizations of awareness and aspects of Self can be realized.

In Soto Zen with Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery the practice is Zazen. There is simply just sitting. One sits in an alert position and doesn't do anything. Simply "being" one becomes more aware and open in understanding their true nature. It is time spent with oneself in an open practice and the journey is becoming deeper and deeper equated with oneself and the multitude of things in existence. This path shares the same focus on awareness and at understanding a dimension of life that is non-spatial, non-identity based, timeless, and unconditioned.

I would love to hear how Bahai understands the Buddha and his message within their faith and how these standard practices are incorporated and viewed within your framework

Like Soto Zen we share an open inclusiveness to any individual, creed, ethnicity, religion, and other factors have no baring as ones journey to understand and awaken to oneself is something that is open to all individuals and viewed as the most central of rights

I look forward to being "enlightened" by your various understandings and knowledge.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CedarTree View Post
...meditation style of Theravada is normally focused around mindfulness... ...love to hear how Baha'i understands the Buddha and his message...
Thank you sooo much for raising these questions as they seem (atm) to be a much needed personal healing medicine.

Your mentioning "mindfulness" caught my eye as a buddy of mine moving here from China is a psychologist who stresses what he called 'mindfulness' as a therapeutic technique; and as it happens, just yesterday the wife & I were reading the Baha'i sacred text and we came across this quote:
...prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests....

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Bahá Section, p. 368)
My thinking here is that your use of the word has more significance as related to the teachings of Buddha; this I find compelling as not too long ago someone on the radio said that Buddhists don't believe in God, so I did a search on their texts using Ocean (download free from Baha'i Education | some resources & thoughts ) and saw that the word "God" (w/ a capital 'g') just ain't there. "Prayer is but not "God". Some would find this frustrating but I found it exhilarating --the fact that universal realities can transcend and completely overpower anyone's personal theology. This also sheds much light on the idea that an honest atheist has no disagreement w/ Baha'ullah's teachings --but I digress.

Bottom line: If you want to understand what the the Baha'i revelation says about Buddha then do a search on Ocean, but if you're interested in what a lot of individual Baha'is understand then we're here together at the right place
 
Old 07-06-2017, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete in Panama View Post
Thank you sooo much for raising these questions as they seem (atm) to be a much needed personal healing medicine.

Your mentioning "mindfulness" caught my eye as a buddy of mine moving here from China is a psychologist who stresses what he called 'mindfulness' as a therapeutic technique; and as it happens, just yesterday the wife & I were reading the Baha'i sacred text and we came across this quote:
...prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests....

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Bahá Section, p. 368)
My thinking here is that your use of the word has more significance as related to the teachings of Buddha; this I find compelling as not too long ago someone on the radio said that Buddhists don't believe in God, so I did a search on their texts using Ocean (download free from Baha'i Education | some resources & thoughts ) and saw that the word "God" (w/ a capital 'g') just ain't there. "Prayer is but not "God". Some would find this frustrating but I found it exhilarating --the fact that universal realities can transcend and completely overpower anyone's personal theology. This also sheds much light on the idea that an honest atheist has no disagreement w/ Baha'ullah's teachings --but I digress.

Bottom line: If you want to understand what the the Baha'i revelation says about Buddha then do a search on Ocean, but if you're interested in what a lot of individual Baha'is understand then we're here together at the right place
Hey Pete! Great Reply! I am so glad you found it of value.

I think you summed it up absolutely perfect.

Ohh and for everyone looking at this post today it's the Dalai Lama's birthday!!!!!

As I mentioned I am a Zen Buddhist in the tradition of Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery but I think most everyone loves the Dalai Lama

Hope everyone has a great day!
 
Old 07-06-2017, 01:09 PM   #4
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To me the greatest spiritual gift we got from The Buddha was the concept that attachment is the cause of suffering, and that there is a way to overcome it.

This message permeated dispensations that came after Him.
Christ repeated this, as well as Muhammad, in their own terms, and Bahá'u'llah made it very clear over and over again.
Perhaps, from what I've read, it is the most recurrent theme of our Central Figures, only second to the theme of God's Oneness and attributes.
Our true self, our divine self is discovered and developed only when we detach from what is transient and connect with each other and with The Eternal.

There are other beautiful connections between Buddhist and Baha'i practice and worldview.

The 95 repetitions of the "Allah'u'Abhá", sometimes with the help of beads, may resonate to Buddhist in their mantras, helping to induce a state of mind where the Light can shine.
Both Baha'is and Buddhist do not give importance to dogma, but to the sacred nature of daily life. There is no complex theology in Baha'i Faith. The nature of God, or the nature of the human soul, is not a matter of debate: the focus is more on the experience of God through prayer, meditation, work, service, and love to mankind.

Both The Buddha and Bahá'u'lláh rejected ascetic life and a hedonistic life, teaching the importance of living in the Middle Way.

Even those topics in which Buddhist and Baha'is differ, as in the belief in reincarnation, are not essential. We both believe in the eternal progress of the soul after death. Whether you do it in one of the many "spiritual worlds of God" as Baha'is believe, or in this world again, as Buddhist believe, is not really the point. It does not change the fact that we have to live this life in illumination, whatever happens next.

I'm not joking: Take any good Baha'i and any good Buddhist and observe their lives: they do not seem worried at all about how life after transition will look, or where it will take place. They are focused on their spiritual development now.

Certainly, our Buddhist friends have developed and transmitted meditation methodologies with much more detail and we could learn a lot from them. There is no prohibition in the Baha'i Faith to try any of those at a personal level.
As far as I know, there would be nothing in Buddhism to forbid accepting Baháulláh as a messenger of God... and Baha'is already revere The Buddha not just as a wise man, but as a true Manifestation of what we call the "Sun of Truth", "Source of Eternal Light", "Root of Knowledge"... this is, indeed, the highest station any human being can attain!

So the messages of these two Manifestations of God, in their essence, stress the same basic truths. Followers of Buddha and Bahá'u'lláh should learn from each other, grow together in love and work together for making this world a better place.

Last edited by camachoe; 07-06-2017 at 02:26 PM.
 
Old 07-06-2017, 02:09 PM   #5
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You may enjoy the book the Seven Valleys. It's essentially a guide on how one goes about obtaining what is known in Buddhist terminology as anatta.

The Baha'i Faith itself teaches that Siddhartha Buddha was a "Major Prophet" or "Manifestation", as we use the terms. It is likely, though not confirmed by any of our scriptures or writings, that other Buddhas would be what we consider "Lesser Prophets" in many cases (though potentially Major Prophets among the ranks as well... there are many, many Buddhas within the various sects of Buddhism).

Though anything else I would have to say on this subject seems to have been already elaborated on by others.
 
Old 07-07-2017, 10:22 AM   #6
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There is a talk of Abdu'l Baha on the mystery of sacrifice which I think closely
parallels the Buddhas' teaching on the four noble truths. Like the four noble
truths, He talks about four mysteries of sacrifice:

1) Christ realizes the inevitability of suffering which the proclamation of His
Message would entail (noble truth: the existence of suffering).

2) The Message of Christ is not related to the body (noble truth: the cause of suffering).

3) The suffering of the body is nothing compared to what will come of it (noble
truth: the elimination of suffering).

4) The same reality which suffered is the one which attains (noble truth: the
path to the elimination of suffering).

See the text of the talk at:
Bahá'í Reference Library - The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Pages 449-452
 
Old 07-10-2017, 12:20 PM   #7
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Some great responses here
 
Old 07-17-2017, 01:50 AM   #8
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Hi there!

I find Buddhism such a beautiful religion to learn from, with its focus on ethical teachings and personal cultivation. I have been on meditation retreats and have gained immensely from these practices, and it helps that the Baha'i Faith views the Buddha as a Manifestation and Buddhism as one of the great religions of humanity.

While contemporary Buddhism often focuses a lot on this ethical/development aspect, in my opinion, if you look at the Buddhist Pali canon there is also a lot of talk on the nature of the Buddha and more theological concerns. (I must admit I'm not familiar with non-Theravada forms of Buddhism). But from my personal experience most Buddhists I've encountered leave the reading of the Scripture to the monks and focus on just the meditation and ethical teachings. These are very good practices to devote oneself to, but I would say an understanding of the rest of the teachings/dhamma are important too, as the Buddha Himself stated too.

So, one key idea which stood out to me is the similarities between the idea of the 'Tathagata' in Buddhism and the Manifestation of God in the Baha'i Faith. They are almost identical and there is much that the Buddha teaches about the Tathagata, one similarity being that a Person comes every age to guide humanity, the then-contemporary one being Guatama Buddha, and the one at the end of the age being Maitreya Buddha, which we see Baha'u'llah as fulfilling. This notion of the Tathagata is often repeated in the Buddha's teachings, and I think it is worth reading through them, as well as the practical elements of Buddhism.

In my experience its always been a pleasure interacting with Buddhists and engaging in the Buddhist practices with them. One thing I truly am grateful for is the ability to go to Buddhist functions, and not be seen as an other when people come to know I am a Baha'i. In some other religious spaces not being a follower of the religion casts you as an other and people will treat you differently, but personally I've always found Buddhists treating people of different religions as one
 
Old 07-18-2017, 09:16 PM   #9
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Buddha's Teachings are awesome and they are a part of my life as a Baha'i. I especially love the Dammapada where it says in the Thousands...

"A man may conquer ten times ten thousand men in battle but he is the true conquerer who conquers his own self."

Such is the enormous wisdom of Buddha. This passage for me is engraved upon my heart. To conquer oneself makes one the greatest conquerer because it is the hardest thing to do in life. Even the greatest conquerers failed to conquer themselves!! How awesome to reflect on this wonderful passage.!!
 
Old 07-20-2017, 06:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldcitizen View Post
Buddha's Teachings are awesome and they are a part of my life as a Baha'i. I especially love the Dammapada where it says in the Thousands...

"A man may conquer ten times ten thousand men in battle but he is the true conquerer who conquers his own self."

Such is the enormous wisdom of Buddha. This passage for me is engraved upon my heart. To conquer oneself makes one the greatest conquerer because it is the hardest thing to do in life. Even the greatest conquerers failed to conquer themselves!! How awesome to reflect on this wonderful passage.!!

Purity of heart is the true measure of any being Love how you said this.
 
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