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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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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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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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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.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 01:00 AM   #11
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Greetings CedarTree,

There are some publications that address this question. However, if the author was not a former Buddhist, then their work might not be entirely suitable for you. Naturally there are Japanese Bahá'ís and some of these will be former Buddhists. Such people will be better placed to explain your question with the integrity it deserves.

As strange as it might appear, you can write to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Japan to see if they might be of assistance to you. The official website can be found here バハイ共同体 【Japan Baha'i Network】 You will need some elementary Japanese to navigate the site, but in today's age this should not be too surmountable for an intelligent person. Naturally you can write in English. Indeed the Tokyo Bahá'í Community is very well versed in English as you can witness here Tokyo Bahá'à Community Better still, you can pay them a visit next time you are in Japan. You will be more than welcome.

Like yourself I enjoy Japanese culture. I have been learning how to keep bonsai trees, practising martial arts, using Japanese tools and playing Go for a few decades now. Indeed Buddhists have certainly assisted me to develop within my spiritual life as a Bahá'í. Indeed it was a Buddhist martial arts sensei that taught me the value of the Bahá'í long obligatory prayer. This is because the prayer is also a kata - a series of bodily movements. Therefore the sensei quickly identified it as a martial arts technique similar to tai chi. As a prayer it is applied with words too, so it also requires the development of breathing techniques. Since this time I have learnt to appreciate that undertaking these series of movements within this prayer along with using the breathing techniques I was taught is central to my entire spiritual wellbeing. So be assured that Bahá'ís can learn many valuable things from sincere Buddhists.

Both 'Abdul-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, two key figures within the Bahá'í Faith, spoke very highly of the Japanese people and of their culture. A video about the history of the Bahá'í Community in Japan has been produced in the English language. Despite the fact that it has a homemade feel to it, you might find it interesting to look at even though it does not directly address your question. This is because it will allow you to see how the Bahá'í Faith began and has progressed within Japan. Do not concern yourself over any Bahá'í terminology that is used. Instead just learn to appreciate how the Bahá'í Faith was introduced and grew in Japan. This will allow you to better appreciate why some Buddhists monks have been directly involved in translating the Bahá'í Writings into the Japanese language. The point I am seeking to make with you here is that the Bahá'í Writings take into account the cultural framework of the language and the belief systems in use where they are translated. This is why English translations appear to be Christian-centric. So the Buddhist influence within Japan is likely to yield a spiritual perspective about the Bahá'í Faith that you might find more welcoming. It is not about misleading people about the Bahá'í Faith. Rather it is about recognising the limitations of conveying spiritual values through the mechanism of language. You can find the link here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G70BDNCoxZ4

In the Bahá'í Faith it has been explained that the Buddha was a genuine Manifestation of God. This means that He ranks as a religious equal to Bahá'u'lláh. However it has also been explained that all His primary works are lost. This might help to explain its more philosophical nature held today. However, spiritual qualities brought into being by a Manifestation of God do not dissipate. They naturally assist humanity to evolve. Therefore you can be assured that the Buddha has significantly contributed towards the spiritual evolution of mankind.

While Bahá'ís believe in the Buddha, they practise their beliefs through the Bahá'í teachings. This is because the Bahá'í Writings are viewed as a more modern incarnation. However, as all Bahá'ís are free to adopt their own personal beliefs. Some do employ Buddhist techniques. Most notably in prayer, meditation, detachment and with applying the Bahá'í diet. So there is nothing to prevent a Bahá'í from applying spiritual techniques taught by Buddhists. This is why it is welcoming to find a person like yourself venturing to become a participant of this forum. Do be aware that some Bahá'ís will naturally have encountered Buddhism on their path towards becoming Bahá'ís. From what I have witnessed their experiences are usually positive.

Hopefully you might now appreciate that you have as much value to offer as any other user here. So do not allow the fact that you are a practising Buddhist put you off from sharing your insights. Indeed as you can see some users here will very much welcome your input.

Earth

Last edited by Earth; 07-29-2017 at 01:02 AM.
 
Old 07-29-2017, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Earth View Post
Greetings CedarTree,

There are some publications that address this question. However, if the author was not a former Buddhist, then their work might not be entirely suitable for you. Naturally there are Japanese Bahá'ís and some of these will be former Buddhists. Such people will be better placed to explain your question with the integrity it deserves.

As strange as it might appear, you can write to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Japan to see if they might be of assistance to you. The official website can be found here バハイ共同体 【Japan Baha'i Network】 You will need some elementary Japanese to navigate the site, but in today's age this should not be too surmountable for an intelligent person. Naturally you can write in English. Indeed the Tokyo Bahá'í Community is very well versed in English as you can witness here Tokyo Bahá'à Community Better still, you can pay them a visit next time you are in Japan. You will be more than welcome.

Like yourself I enjoy Japanese culture. I have been learning how to keep bonsai trees, practising martial arts, using Japanese tools and playing Go for a few decades now. Indeed Buddhists have certainly assisted me to develop within my spiritual life as a Bahá'í. Indeed it was a Buddhist martial arts sensei that taught me the value of the Bahá'í long obligatory prayer. This is because the prayer is also a kata - a series of bodily movements. Therefore the sensei quickly identified it as a martial arts technique similar to tai chi. As a prayer it is applied with words too, so it also requires the development of breathing techniques. Since this time I have learnt to appreciate that undertaking these series of movements within this prayer along with using the breathing techniques I was taught is central to my entire spiritual wellbeing. So be assured that Bahá'ís can learn many valuable things from sincere Buddhists.

Both 'Abdul-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, two key figures within the Bahá'í Faith, spoke very highly of the Japanese people and of their culture. A video about the history of the Bahá'í Community in Japan has been produced in the English language. Despite the fact that it has a homemade feel to it, you might find it interesting to look at even though it does not directly address your question. This is because it will allow you to see how the Bahá'í Faith began and has progressed within Japan. Do not concern yourself over any Bahá'í terminology that is used. Instead just learn to appreciate how the Bahá'í Faith was introduced and grew in Japan. This will allow you to better appreciate why some Buddhists monks have been directly involved in translating the Bahá'í Writings into the Japanese language. The point I am seeking to make with you here is that the Bahá'í Writings take into account the cultural framework of the language and the belief systems in use where they are translated. This is why English translations appear to be Christian-centric. So the Buddhist influence within Japan is likely to yield a spiritual perspective about the Bahá'í Faith that you might find more welcoming. It is not about misleading people about the Bahá'í Faith. Rather it is about recognising the limitations of conveying spiritual values through the mechanism of language. You can find the link here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G70BDNCoxZ4

In the Bahá'í Faith it has been explained that the Buddha was a genuine Manifestation of God. This means that He ranks as a religious equal to Bahá'u'lláh. However it has also been explained that all His primary works are lost. This might help to explain its more philosophical nature held today. However, spiritual qualities brought into being by a Manifestation of God do not dissipate. They naturally assist humanity to evolve. Therefore you can be assured that the Buddha has significantly contributed towards the spiritual evolution of mankind.

While Bahá'ís believe in the Buddha, they practise their beliefs through the Bahá'í teachings. This is because the Bahá'í Writings are viewed as a more modern incarnation. However, as all Bahá'ís are free to adopt their own personal beliefs. Some do employ Buddhist techniques. Most notably in prayer, meditation, detachment and with applying the Bahá'í diet. So there is nothing to prevent a Bahá'í from applying spiritual techniques taught by Buddhists. This is why it is welcoming to find a person like yourself venturing to become a participant of this forum. Do be aware that some Bahá'ís will naturally have encountered Buddhism on their path towards becoming Bahá'ís. From what I have witnessed their experiences are usually positive.

Hopefully you might now appreciate that you have as much value to offer as any other user here. So do not allow the fact that you are a practising Buddhist put you off from sharing your insights. Indeed as you can see some users here will very much welcome your input.

Earth

Earth I have found the Bahai community incredibly welcoming and warm Also it seems a few have some deep interests in the more meaningful and deep aspects of meditation and practice.

I also have had only positive interactions with those following the faith in person. In fact a special experience were one Bahai family actually helped me to a monastery to practice.

I think your post sums up well Great info.
 
Old 07-30-2017, 01:20 PM   #13
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Some things to consider regarding religious practice, for Buddists, Baha'is and all religions:

Practice must have a particular goal or purpose. For all religions the goal of practice is to fulfill our life's purpose. For Buddhism, fulfillment is to reach Buddhahood, or in other words to show all the spiritual qualities of Buddha. For Baha'is we practice to develop spiritual qualities, which are needed to make this world better, but also are needed in the spiritual world after death. For Baha's that involves both prayer and meditation. Through continual practice we draw ever nearer to God. The Buddhist concept is Enlightenment. It is said that because God is infinite there can be no logical proof for the existence of God. There is no way to prove Enlightenment either, it must be experienced through practice.

For both Baha'i and Buddhist, we must sacrifice our material selves and lower nature, and the ultimate reality is to achieve a state of utter nothingness in terms of self. This is seen in the Seven Valleys by Baha'u'llah
The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys | Bahá’à Reference Library

Also, with regard to mindfulness, right thought and right actions, that is also a Baha'i teaching. It may be mentioned in different terms, but the excercise of free will requires cultivation of the mind, and requires restraint of selfish thoughts and actions.

All things are impermanent except the Ultimate Reality, which never changes. Therefore, religions are impermanent, they must go through cycles and change. The wisdom of the ancient religions is eternal, but religion as an institution is impermanent and subject to change.

Last edited by Jcc; 07-30-2017 at 02:16 PM.
 
Old 08-04-2017, 10:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
Some things to consider regarding religious practice, for Buddists, Baha'is and all religions:

Practice must have a particular goal or purpose. For all religions the goal of practice is to fulfill our life's purpose. For Buddhism, fulfillment is to reach Buddhahood, or in other words to show all the spiritual qualities of Buddha. For Baha'is we practice to develop spiritual qualities, which are needed to make this world better, but also are needed in the spiritual world after death. For Baha's that involves both prayer and meditation. Through continual practice we draw ever nearer to God. The Buddhist concept is Enlightenment. It is said that because God is infinite there can be no logical proof for the existence of God. There is no way to prove Enlightenment either, it must be experienced through practice.

For both Baha'i and Buddhist, we must sacrifice our material selves and lower nature, and the ultimate reality is to achieve a state of utter nothingness in terms of self. This is seen in the Seven Valleys by Baha'u'llah
The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys | Bahá’à Reference Library

Also, with regard to mindfulness, right thought and right actions, that is also a Baha'i teaching. It may be mentioned in different terms, but the excercise of free will requires cultivation of the mind, and requires restraint of selfish thoughts and actions.

All things are impermanent except the Ultimate Reality, which never changes. Therefore, religions are impermanent, they must go through cycles and change. The wisdom of the ancient religions is eternal, but religion as an institution is impermanent and subject to change.
Some good wisdom in that post
 
Old 08-14-2017, 11:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CedarTree View Post
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!
Hello CedarTree, nice to meet you!

Others have answered most of your questions already... like that Baha'is consider Buddha a Manifestation of God, even though Baha'u'llah is the most recent Manifestation... and that Baha'i must not make any difference between the Divine Manifestations. So you cannot be Baha'i without at the same time embracing Buddha.

My personal relation to Buddha, as a Baha'i, is that His teachings in many ways helped me to understand Baha'u'llah's teachings better:

Baha'u'llah, for example, emphasizes the importance of "detachment" from the material world, and we're asked to pray *and* meditate daily.

Thanks to Buddha's teachings, I understood better what's meant by that: Detachment is described in great detail by Buddha, and He gives a lot of most helpful advice about how to approach this in practize!

A while ago, I started with mindfulness meditation (after reading quite a bit about Theravada Buddhism), and do it daily for at least 15 to 20 minutes -- and the effect has been striking! After a couple of days already, I was so much more relaxed, calmer and in control of myself -- even my environment noticed that and asked me about it. Thanks to Buddha, I can be more of the person I would like to be, and work better on the path of getting closer to God.

I found it also fascinating that Buddha taught "salvation" without reference to God. But thinking about that appeared only logical to me: Baha'u'llah too teaches that we can never know God at all, save through His Manifestations, and making any image of God -- which people who directly pray to God necessarily have to do, to some extent or another -- is an auxiliary means for our limited mind at best. It's a tradition in monotheism (and the Baha'i Faith stands in the tradition of monotheism) to attach some kind of personality to God, even when the teaching explicitly says God is beyond such attributes. Buddha gave me some food for thought when He showed you don't even need this auxiliary means of personalizing God at all.

Regards,
Sebastian

Last edited by Sebastian; 08-15-2017 at 12:55 AM.
 
Old 08-16-2017, 04:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post
Hello CedarTree, nice to meet you!

Others have answered most of your questions already... like that Baha'is consider Buddha a Manifestation of God, even though Baha'u'llah is the most recent Manifestation... and that Baha'i must not make any difference between the Divine Manifestations. So you cannot be Baha'i without at the same time embracing Buddha.

My personal relation to Buddha, as a Baha'i, is that His teachings in many ways helped me to understand Baha'u'llah's teachings better:

Baha'u'llah, for example, emphasizes the importance of "detachment" from the material world, and we're asked to pray *and* meditate daily.

Thanks to Buddha's teachings, I understood better what's meant by that: Detachment is described in great detail by Buddha, and He gives a lot of most helpful advice about how to approach this in practize!

A while ago, I started with mindfulness meditation (after reading quite a bit about Theravada Buddhism), and do it daily for at least 15 to 20 minutes -- and the effect has been striking! After a couple of days already, I was so much more relaxed, calmer and in control of myself -- even my environment noticed that and asked me about it. Thanks to Buddha, I can be more of the person I would like to be, and work better on the path of getting closer to God.

I found it also fascinating that Buddha taught "salvation" without reference to God. But thinking about that appeared only logical to me: Baha'u'llah too teaches that we can never know God at all, save through His Manifestations, and making any image of God -- which people who directly pray to God necessarily have to do, to some extent or another -- is an auxiliary means for our limited mind at best. It's a tradition in monotheism (and the Baha'i Faith stands in the tradition of monotheism) to attach some kind of personality to God, even when the teaching explicitly says God is beyond such attributes. Buddha gave me some food for thought when He showed you don't even need this auxiliary means of personalizing God at all.

Regards,
Sebastian
Sebastian I am glad the teachings of the Buddha have helped in your practice Your reply was very on point and I think you hit on two really big teachings within Buddhism (Non/Not-self and Salvation/Liberation conceived differently than most commonly presented). Great to hear that your mindfulness practice has been going well.

You mentioned Theravada, did you ever learn about Jhana?
 
Old 08-17-2017, 08:32 AM   #17
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Sebastian I am glad the teachings of the Buddha have helped in your practice Your reply was very on point and I think you hit on two really big teachings within Buddhism (Non/Not-self and Salvation/Liberation conceived differently than most commonly presented). Great to hear that your mindfulness practice has been going well.

You mentioned Theravada, did you ever learn about Jhana?
Hello CedarTree!

As for Jhana, I can't say I have progressed deep into advanced states of meditation... but on better days, I already manage to more or less directly "switch on" the merely receptive mode when I need it (you know, the state where you take a step back from the world, you observe your urges/the movements of the khandas without directly feeling involved) -- that is most helpful. I notice then how my mind gets clear, my breath involuntarily slows down (pulse too, I guess) and I feel a kind of "glowing" in the mind. View and sounds are more "crisp". The periods when I can keep up this state become increasingly longer.

I have two little girls, and sometimes it's really stressful with them -- this skill has already helped me a *huge* lot in these situations. I can "switch off" the anger whenever it comes up, without the need of acting on it. The first step, of course, is being able to clearly see these movements in myself, which works pretty well already. I've gained the insight already that it's true that stress has by far not as much to do with outside influences, but (almost?) exclusively with the own attitude towards it.

I'm sorry that I can't use the Buddhist terminology for all these phenomena -- I'm not familiar enough to give it the proper names. But I'm aware they exist.

Besides a couple of introduction books to Buddhism which I read, I found the most detailed description in a book about Satipatthana by a German Buddhist pioneer named Nyanaponika. I recognized some of the states I experienced in his description. But my understanding is naturally limited, as I practized meditation without a guide or teacher.

What can you tell me about Jhana?


As for the Baha'i faith, naturally, Baha'u'llah's words have priority for me, as He is the most recent Manifestation of God. But just like Christians don't exclusively focus on the New Testament, but take wisdom from the Old Testament too, I try to view Buddha's teachings through the glasses of Baha'u'llah's revelation.

As Baha'u'llah described practizing "detachment", giving up the "self" and allowing the own will becoming one with God's will -- I assume much of what Buddha taught is the same kind of thing, just with different words.

Best wishes!
Sebastian

Last edited by Sebastian; 08-17-2017 at 08:38 AM.
 
Old 08-20-2017, 11:12 PM   #18
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I think I will soon maybe do a new post about certain intro and advanced meditation methods within different traditions of Buddhism
 
Old 08-21-2017, 10:38 AM   #19
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Cedar Tree,

I would love it if you would describe Buddhist meditation. I could learn from it. I meditate each day.
 
Old 08-22-2017, 10:12 AM   #20
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Cedar Tree,

I would love it if you would describe Buddhist meditation. I could learn from it. I meditate each day.
Seems a few on the forum practice in some way or another

What kind of meditation style do you like to use?
 
Old 08-22-2017, 01:01 PM   #21
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Seems a few on the forum practice in some way or another

What kind of meditation style do you like to use?
I just try to connect with God. I pray before I meditate and if I get "high" on the prayer, I concentrate on that feeling of connection with God. I also use some Hidden Words (a writing of Baha'u'llah of short sayings) to use them to connect with God. I could use some help with my concentration at times. I see nirvana and feeling close to God as the same thing.
 
Old 08-22-2017, 01:27 PM   #22
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Seems a few on the forum practice in some way or another

What kind of meditation style do you like to use?
I originally learned meditation practices from a Taoist perspective. I find Bagua Circle Walking is a nice method to attain a good focus and detachment. I have a bad back, and thus most sitting meditation is difficult for me, as I need a something to sit against to avoid screwing up my spine. Walking meditations are thus easier for me, as there is (for whatever reason) no stress on my spine when standing, only when sitting without back support.

I also took a two-credit meditation class in college because, well, it was two credits for a subject I already had knowledge of, so I have some additional knowledge and practices coming from that teacher, who learned from Theravada Buddhist traditions. Those techniques were mostly sitting and breath-focused meditations, with a couple different walking techniques, which were similar to Bagua, but with a focus on the edge of the circle instead of the center.

And then on top of that there's some Baha'i chanting practices and some Baha'i meditative practices (using the view of oneself as a mirror to reflect divine radiance as a focus for the meditation) mixed in with the above. That practice based on the following quote from 'Abdu'l-Baha: "The meditative faculty is akin to the mirror; if you put it before earthly objects it will reflect them. Therefore if the spirit of man is contemplating earthly subjects he will be informed of these. But if you turn the mirror of your spirits heavenwards, the heavenly constellations and the rays of the Sun of Reality will be reflected in your hearts, and the virtues of the Kingdom will be obtained."

So an eclectic Bagua/Therevada/Baha'i mix of meditative practices.

Last edited by Walrus; 08-22-2017 at 01:31 PM.
 
Old 08-24-2017, 11:14 AM   #23
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I originally learned meditation practices from a Taoist perspective. I find Bagua Circle Walking is a nice method to attain a good focus and detachment. I have a bad back, and thus most sitting meditation is difficult for me, as I need a something to sit against to avoid screwing up my spine. Walking meditations are thus easier for me, as there is (for whatever reason) no stress on my spine when standing, only when sitting without back support.

I also took a two-credit meditation class in college because, well, it was two credits for a subject I already had knowledge of, so I have some additional knowledge and practices coming from that teacher, who learned from Theravada Buddhist traditions. Those techniques were mostly sitting and breath-focused meditations, with a couple different walking techniques, which were similar to Bagua, but with a focus on the edge of the circle instead of the center.

And then on top of that there's some Baha'i chanting practices and some Baha'i meditative practices (using the view of oneself as a mirror to reflect divine radiance as a focus for the meditation) mixed in with the above. That practice based on the following quote from 'Abdu'l-Baha: "The meditative faculty is akin to the mirror; if you put it before earthly objects it will reflect them. Therefore if the spirit of man is contemplating earthly subjects he will be informed of these. But if you turn the mirror of your spirits heavenwards, the heavenly constellations and the rays of the Sun of Reality will be reflected in your hearts, and the virtues of the Kingdom will be obtained."

So an eclectic Bagua/Therevada/Baha'i mix of meditative practices.
Very neat, thanks for sharing your practice

You mentioned back problems have you ever tried any of the standard meditation cushion/set-ups?
 
Old 08-24-2017, 12:53 PM   #24
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Very neat, thanks for sharing your practice

You mentioned back problems have you ever tried any of the standard meditation cushion/set-ups?
Oh yes!! They help greatly but it seems my back cannot hold itself for great amounts of time, unless I am standing, without proper back support.
 
Old 08-27-2017, 11:05 AM   #25
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Oh yes!! They help greatly but it seems my back cannot hold itself for great amounts of time, unless I am standing, without proper back support.
When I was staying at a Theravada Monastery there was a really nice older gentlemen. I think (If I remember correctly) he had been a marketing executive.

He was retiring with a pretty vast fortune and was looking for the meaning of life as he felt something massive was missing.

I had saw him in the main meditation hall and he had this incredible set-up!

I tried looking google for it so I could send you a link but I couldn't find it. It had this amazing back support and cushion system. It looked like meditating in that thing would be a breeze lol!
 
Old 09-03-2017, 01:48 PM   #26
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For those that were interested the "Meditation" thread can be found at:

The Promised Meditation Thread!
 
Old 09-04-2017, 05:08 AM   #27
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Oh yes!! They help greatly but it seems my back cannot hold itself for great amounts of time, unless I am standing, without proper back support.
What I find useful is to stack a couple of meditation cushions or pillows, so you are raised about 10" off the floor and straddle the cushions in a kneeling position rather than legs crossed. That helps with folks like me who are not so flexible in the legs, and the main thing is to get in a position where your spine is straight, so your back muscles don't have exert any force to keep you upright.

I learned this from my wife who was a practicing Buddhist, until she became a Baha'i last year. Now she is a Baha'i who practices meditation, prayer, spirituality and community volunteer work. We do sitting mediation every day prior to saying Baha'i prayers.
 
Old 09-04-2017, 12:06 PM   #28
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What I find useful is to stack a couple of meditation cushions or pillows, so you are raised about 10" off the floor and straddle the cushions in a kneeling position rather than legs crossed. That helps with folks like me who are not so flexible in the legs, and the main thing is to get in a position where your spine is straight, so your back muscles don't have exert any force to keep you upright.

I learned this from my wife who was a practicing Buddhist, until she became a Baha'i last year. Now she is a Baha'i who practices meditation, prayer, spirituality and community volunteer work. We do sitting mediation every day prior to saying Baha'i prayers.
Great advice Jcc
 
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