Buddhism Thought Questions

Buddhism Thought Questions

Buddhism Thought Questions

1. Buddhists "trace suffering 'ignorant craving'to our tendency to mistake things that are changing as unchanging and then to cling desperately to their supposedly unchanging forms." How has holding on to something in your life, after you're aware of it changing, created suffering in your life?

2. Buddhism is considered the most psychological of the great religions." How have religions of your present or past helped you psychologically?

3. Buddhism is not a religion of speculation, but of practicality. So, metaphysical questions such as: Is there a God? Where did we come from? Will our consciousness survive our bodily death? etc., are of little interest. Do you like to speculate on such topics? If so, which ones? Or are you satisfied with the practical/useful ideas of life?

4. "Buddhism is growing rapidly in the U.S....."the enticement of a spirituality that doesn't hinge on the God proposition and Buddhism's apparent compatibility with science" has helped it's growth. What other reasons can you see that might have increase Buddhism's growth in the U.S.?

5. "Buddhists are best known for the practice of meditation, even though it is not a common activity among lay people. There are various types of meditation, e.g. simply following your breath, mindfulness (following your thoughts or feelings), Metta (loving kindness/unconditional love). \have you ever practiced meditation? Which type? What are you trying to achieve by meditating?

6. According to the second noble truth "suffering arises when "we pretend we are independent when we are really interdependent." \how has forgetting about your interdependence with people/world created suffering in your life?

7. The false belief that 'I' am some unchanging, independent essence unleashes all sorts of untold suffering. It gives rise to the ego...so we are dragged through the day....obsessing over satiating the ego's insatiable cravings". How have you seen ego create suffering for either your or others?

8. "There is some questions about whether Buddhism is a religion", but this may "reveal more about our assumptions about religion." "...if religion is about 'belief in spiritual beings (classic definition by anthropologist E.B.Taylor)...Buddhism is not in the religion family." How would you define "religion"?

9. According to Prothero, the main distinction "between Theravada and Mahayana...is that Theravada Buddhism believes we awaken on our own, while Mahayana Buddhism think we awaken in relation with others." Describe sometime that you gained insight about this world/yourself on your own and/or in relation to another.

10. Karma refers to the principle ofcausalitywhere intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual.Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Do you think karma is the same as destiny, in the sense that everything that happens to you is predetermined? Do you believe that “what goes around comes around” and if so, is this the same as karma? Does everyone get what they deserve in the end?

11. Like Hindus, Buddhists trace the human problem to the karma-fueled cycle of life, death and rebirth known as samsara. What difference would it make to you now, if you believed you would be reborn and live again?

12. Hindus hold that consciousness, wherever it is found, is considered a symptom of the soul. Mormons say our soul existed before we were born and almost all religions promise to preserve our souls after death. Buddhists reject the soul. Do you believe people have a soul, and if so, what is it like? If not, what is it that makes you who you are, and how do you remain the same person if—as science tells us—the material basis of your being changes continuously? If your memories changed, would you be someone else?