16 Nov. Killing the Buddha. Part 2.

I was very uncomfortable preparing this post. It felt like slandering my own parents. But here are the main reasons why I have decided to practice meditation only and to detach myself from all forms of Buddhism.  In short – my thinking mind just can’t handle the complexity, information overload and conflicting statements of Buddhism. Yes, I am aware that the problem lies not in Buddhism, but in my self-centred, ego-driven, shallow mind.

  • Buddhism has become an attachment for such a nerdy person as myself. I feel that I need to let go of it in order to move forward, i.e. remain grounded in here and now and so I never want to move forward.
  • The positive impact meditation has had on my life shouldn’t validate other – supernatural – claims of Buddhism. (Just like the usefulness of rivers and trees shouldn’t validate the ancient beliefs in tree and river spirits.)
  • The unattainable goal of Enlightenment/Nirvana is unattainable.
  • I don’t even know what Buddhism really is:
    • What did the Buddha really teach? I have major difficulties believing that even the Theravadian sutras are completely faithful to what the Buddha taught. In the sutras:
      • There is Dharma concerned with letting go, with wise and joyful indifference to ever-changing affairs of life, with compassion, kindness, generosity and wisdom of impermanence, with pain and finality of life, conveyed in a very simple and direct way;
      • There is Dharma concerned with gaining merit, prosperity in future lives, full of supernatural beings and miracles, codified within never-ending lists, bragging about attainments and size of the Sangha.
    • In other words, who can say what the Buddha really taught and what was later added? It confuses me:
      • Buddha taught a single meditation technique: Samatha-Vipassana, and yet countless other techniques were later developed and called “Buddhist meditation”.
      • Buddha said not to cling to rites and rituals, but we come up with the whole host of things to say, sing (especially in foreign languages we can’t understand) or do in front of other people.
      • Why do we constantly accommodate and appropriate Dharma? You can be a Buddhist atheist or call yourself a secular Buddhist. You can associate yourself with those schools that don’t require reading sutras and instead put emphasis on meditation, or those that don’t require meditation or reading sutras at all. In each case, you can call yourself a Buddhist.
    • How many interpretations are there of re-birth, karma and dependent origination? Aren’t those the most fundamental teachings of the Buddha? Why can we not finally agree on what they mean?
    • Everyone can become an expert in Buddhism and gain a following and teach the Dharma relying only on translations (between incompatible languages) of translations of translations (that are always to some extent interpretations) of the sutras.
  • Contradictions within the Dharma that in my opinion come from later additions and accommodations:
    • If there is no self, then what gets re-born?
    • Sometimes Buddha gives a depiction of Buddhist cosmology and eschatology and sometimes dismisses any questions that are not concerned with the ending of the suffering.
    • What is the point of the practice and what is the right practice? Is nirvana the goal or is it prosperity in next life? Is a full-blown monastic life or is dropping of the ego the path? Is meditation or merely faith required?
    • The previous three points concern just Theravada. If I included Mahayana, Vajrayana and countless other schools, lineages, the core teachings of the Buddha would have become completely indecipherable.

4 thoughts on “16 Nov. Killing the Buddha. Part 2.

  1. Adrian,

    Buddhist or not I wish you every good blessing and much peace. If you need to leave the Dhamma aside to do that then so be it. I have a friend who was a devout Buddhist for years and then became Muslim. Strangely enough, I found myself helping him to figure out how to do so.

    The life and teachings of the Lord Buddha have shown me that compassion and mettā have no equal and are true Dhaka themselves. May you never abandon them.

    With loving-kindness,

    Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mike,

      thank you for your kind words! I am not leaving Dharma. I continue to practice meditation wholeheartedly. I am merely putting Buddhism aside (for now) because I don’t know how to handle it. I found myself a bit obsessed with trying to grasp the teachings with my ego-driven thinking mind. I am very confused by the variety of approaches to the Dharma, variety of schools, sects, opinions, interpretations, views etc. Which one is correct? What if I pick the wrong one? It is beyond my comprehension.

      So I simply want to sit holding in mind the most basic of the Buddha’s teachings, those that I can verify myself. Nothing else. I am putting Buddhism aside not because I lost interest in Dharma, but because I value it above everything else. I hope this makes sense.
      I want to see where it will take me. Will this benefit or harm my practice? I don’t know. I can only hope that wisdom and compassion will come to me from my practice, rather than from books and words of wise people who have already done their work!

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My suspicion, or perhaps my wish, is that as you continue to meditate and practise, a word of the dharma will come in from somewhere and land ‘just right’. In the meantime, enjoy your sitting!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s