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Comparative Religion discourse6

#1 User is offline   Rev. Kelley 

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 02:45 PM

Comparative religions
Buddhism is a prime example of esoteric born faith practice. It is a life journey, a philosophy that instructs all practitioners to question Buddhism. All of the material; the dharma the sangha, stories, histories, legendary tales, and commentaries; is available at all times for all to research and study. Tibetan monks, who have been exiled from Tibet, travel many hundreds of miles, taking months, most of them getting shot and killed, or dying on frozen nights, flooded rivers, or starvation; to get to a monastery in India, where they then study for nearly 30 years to become an official Buddhist monk. According to the training it is not an actual religion to those who are not officially ordained as a Buddhist, until then it is a study. (And we complain about how difficult it is to get into college and how long it takes to earn a title in America). Every day these students have a class called debate that lasts several hours, sometimes far into the night. The purpose is to lead the students into questioning the teachings and then to defend why they believe they should follow or disprove those teachings. On occasion a student will prove a point, that then changes the teachings they were taught. So they are taught to be esoteric, from proving rebirth, reincarnation, prophesy, to life lessons about sentience and compassion, to math and science from astronomy to physics. The first man to have been known by the title as a Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama, or Shakyamuni Buddha. He was born in an area of India and raise under Brahmanism as an esthetic. The spiritualists were heavy on human and animal sacrifice. The caste system allowed inequality and superiority depending on birth and not, as Buddhism instilled, on merit, skill, or ability. So people never had an opportunity to gain a better life. Or to become responsible for their own lives. Shakyamuni had questions his raised in faith had no answers for, there was no philosophy, only legends, myths and stories. He was of royalty, and surrounded by beauty and wealth, but realized that even with everything, people were suffering. His quest was to find a way to end the suffering of all living things. A practice of living lives of compassion, wisdom, and kindness evolved. Both Hinduism and Buddhism have had periods of near extinction, and returned stronger and fuller as more people were introduced to outside cultures and practices with education, innovation and technology. Regardless of where ones religion lies, I think it’s beneficial to always question why we believe what we believe. To ask what the greatest benefit is of our practice. To know that all of us could learn to be kinder, to refuse to remain ignorant when there are so many opportunities to learn. Now that education is pretty standard, especially in our country. We have absolutely no excuse to follow blind. We have no reason to remain silent in fear that we don’t deserve to ask questions, or that we are being disrespectful by asking such things. Trust me, we are all in these studies, gaining a wealth of knowledge to handle these questions even to encourage it. We are all here gaining the knowledge to become secure in our faith, but tolerant of other’s. If you have a priest, a minister, a Buddhist monk. They have been trained and questioned and educated to answer our question to the best of their research and training as well. So be more esoteric, look for the miracles, and ask the questions. Anything that brings you closer to your faith, or closer to understanding you faith, is the right path to step onto.

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