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KissMeImIrish!
November 23rd, 2005, 07:21 PM
Hi there,
I was lurking around the new eastern paths board and I looked in on the thread about buddhism. I've been a practicing wiccan for 6 years and have never felt any other spiritual urge to wander anywhere else. Suddenly a funny thing happened to me. I was at a large bookstore looking for a book significantly more advanced than the usual fare, and for some strange reason I popped over to the eastern spirituality section. At the very bottom shelf was Lama Surya Das's book "awakening the buddha within". Although I have NEVER had any experience with buddhism I picked it up and bought it. I devoured the whole thing in a week. The only way i can describe how i felt after reading it is to liken it to when I found wicca. A profound sense of 'coming home' spiritually. It was deeper than the wicca that we are shown day in and day out. It was like i had finally gotten my hands on something more 'advanced' than any spiritual book I had ever read. Now my whole dilemma is: how can i practice both witchcraft and Buddhism? I know theres a whole discussion on witches vs. wiccans blah blah but i consider myself a witch before wiccan. I am not one of those fluffies. I use wiccan because it is less 'scary' and doesn't send people into induced seizures when i say it. I don't intend to offend anybody but the whole wicca/witch thing is very murky! Anyways, I guess the point of my large rambling message is I am in a bit of a pickle here. I love my pagan path, although i did feel like I had hit a very large wall regarding my growth in it. Now I have found this new wonderful path, but I don't necessarily want to give up the parts of my old one that i adore. Is there anyone here who has successfully worked with both Witchcraft and Buddhism either merged together, or seperately? Will I have to totally renounce my witchy ways to make room for Buddhism? I know there are some things that clash, like the worship of deities (as Buddhists don't worship gods). But is there maybe a way I could continue working with the goddess and following maybe a modified Buddhist path without pissing anyone off? I'm a little confused, and I'm desperately hoping someone has some suggestions or insight.
_inabox_

Tigerlily
November 23rd, 2005, 07:24 PM
I don't know, but I'm wondering the same thing too.

KissMeImIrish!
November 23rd, 2005, 07:26 PM
tigerlily,
We can wonder together then!:achug:

Tigerlily
November 23rd, 2005, 07:41 PM
I haven't read up on Buddhism yet since I'm busy with school work but in a few weeks, once break rolls around, I'm going read up on all sorts of the different religions.

Mithrea
November 23rd, 2005, 07:41 PM
While it is certainly possible to blend from both paths, a straight "Buddhist Wiccan" really isn't possible (IMO) for one reason. One of the primary goals of Buddhism is a complete denial of all things physical because they are temporary and therefore false. Wicca is pretty much exactly the opposite. While there is obviously more to life than the physical for a Wiccan, acceptance, participation and enjoyment of the physical world is a core belief of the Wiccan religion, so far as I know.

That being said, I do recall that Psyche Ague claims to be a "BuddiWiccan" so you might want to look her up. :)

Sage Rainsong
November 23rd, 2005, 07:46 PM
I suppose that depends upon the kind of Buddhist you would like to be. Tibet Buddhism has a rich occult history you may want to look into that also if you get your hands on a book called Modern Pagans there is an interview with a woman named Diane Di prima who combines the two in her own way. Its worth looking at even though I personally find parts of it very annoying but it has some good info. I hope this helps.

KissMeImIrish!
November 23rd, 2005, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the replies :)

Tibet Buddhism has a rich occult history you may want to look into that
So far I am in the infant stages of learning about Buddhism, just the basics, so I haven't even looked into the different schools yet. However, the books by Lama Surya Das which I have been reading every spare moment I get (even in class lol :shhhh: ) I believe are about the Tibetan tradition. He does mention spirits, fortune telling, etc. albeit very briefly. I know I should probably look at some books by other authors though, and if anyone has any good suggestions (there are just waaay too many out there and i don't have the $$ to buy them all hehe) I would be very grateful.

While there is obviously more to life than the physical for a Wiccan, acceptance, participation and enjoyment of the physical world is a core belief of the Wiccan religion, so far as I know.
I suppose I should say I haven't quite fully understood exactly what Buddhist do if the physical is just temporary and therefore they don't cling to it. If one were to not be attached to the physical at all then a buddhist doesn't have fun like regular people? I mean, go to the movies, have fun with your husband/wife? In my opinion it is a little bit depressing to not be able to enjoy those things in life that make it so enjoyable! I mean I do spend more than most people I know in contemplation, meditation, etc. But I still go out and have fun on the weekends, go see movies, go for dinner, etc. On the other hand, a big part of wiccan faith is summed up in the saying "all acts of pleasure are my rituals" (a crude summation, i don't know the exact wording). I have never really subscribed to that tenet, i have always been more of a solitary. In my 6 years i've never even talked to a wiccan face to face, let alone attend circles. Not to say that all wiccans go out partying every night of the week or anything, but I have never felt I belong to that part of the faith. As I say to my few friends, i'm an anti-social b**ch, and I know it lol. I know that Buddhism is called "the middle path" because it stresses balance. Is it not possible to balance your social life with spiritual in a way that meshes well with Buddhist belief? Or do I have to go cold turkey, drop all attachments to the world with no exceptions?

BenSt
November 24th, 2005, 06:56 PM
You make an incorrect assumption that amny peaopl seem to make about Buddhism...but it is excusable as you are new. buddhism does not strictly tell you to become a recluse, one of the core teachings common among all schools is that indeed this world is an illusion. However it does noit strictly tell you not to enjoy in the worldly pleasures, merely to be mindful that these pleasures take away from the ultimate goal of Nirvana. Imagine, umm, smoking. We know that smoking is not healthy that it is linked to cancer...now imagine the pleasures of the world as a cigarette. From a Buddhist sense, the pleasures of the world can be used as a social thing, they can be used for advancement but when it all coems down to it...these pleasure distract the mind from awakening. Now the span of time depends upon the tradiution...but the basic ideal is that all Buddhists will one day attain enlightenment, it's just a matter of time. In another way also, you think...the pleaures of life are symptoms and catalysts for suffering. You can engage as a Monk or Nun would and cloister yourself in a monastery, which may work for soem people...but others choose to live life, but always thinking. :)

Namaste

Tobias

P.S. I know there have been several topics based on this, why not take a look :).

Philosophia
November 24th, 2005, 07:09 PM
I've been thinking of incorporating the "eight fold path" because it's code (I don't know whether to call it that) seems to be something I'm interested in.

KissMeImIrish!
November 24th, 2005, 07:11 PM
Galadraal,
Thank you for the reply you really put it into perspective for me :) Ok so that doesn't really pose as a problem when it comes to following both paths, but there is one last problem I've had. Worshipping of deities. From what I have read so far, buddhist don't worship deities, yet they have several gods and goddesses like Tara and the Buddha that help one on the path to enlightenment. I come from a path where I have worshipped the goddess and I want to continue doing so. Yet I am told that Buddhists don't worship in the sense that I do. If not, then how can i work with both systems without them clashing? I think it is a pretty major point between the two. Any suggestions from anyone who is on a similiar path?
Excuse my ignorance on any topics I bring up, like I said im pretty new to this and Like in the last post sometimes all you need is for someone to put it in a way that you can relate to. :graduate:
Nenya

BenSt
November 25th, 2005, 01:38 AM
Hehehe oh don't worry about sounding ignorant, everyone who is knew feels that...I can't tell you how many times I felt that when starting out.

Now, personally when it comes to the gods aspect of Buddhism, there are several things to make clear. You know of the two main schools (Or Vehicles, yanas) known as the therevada and the Mahayana. The Therevada is from predominantly the southern part of South east Asia, such as Thailand, Cambodia, Southern India, Sri lanka, and so on. The Mahayana, is northern parts such as Mongolia, China, Tibet, Nepal, North India, Bhutan, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The two schools differ entirelky on the role of 'God' in Buddhism.

In Therevada it is almost entirely atheistic, that is there are no Gods what so ever. Nopw the mahayana, which mos are undoubtedly more fmailiar with there are still several smaller schools such as Cha'an, Zen (some say this is just another form of Cha'an), Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism, pure Land, and others. Tibetan Buddhism, or the Vajrayana uis what i will talk about as I know more about it haha. In Vajrayana, and this is the big distinction, Shakyamuni Buddha (Siddartha Gautama the historical teacher) is NOT a God. he is a very high form of a Bodhisattva, loosely translated that means enlightened saint...or similar as Boddhi means enlightenment. A boddhisattva is distinct froma god as it was once either a Human being or god who has attained enlightenment and chooses to remian a distinct personality to guide the way for others. There are hundreds or so Bodhisattvas just as there hundreds moe incarnations. In vajrayana Buddhism and other forms of Buddhism there are Gods, however these are seen as either too simplistic or too ignorant from the pleasures that theye xperiance to attain enlightenment. In essence these spirits are lower than Bodhisattvas but higher than Humans.

Now, towards your question about goddess worship. Well, I have always seen Buddhism as merely having different metaphors for the same basic thing that other religions strive for. Where as Hinduism which I am firmly based in right now believes Moksha with GOD is the ultimate Goal, and Buddhists see enlightenment as seperate individual Buddhas...I think that the words God and Budha are synonymous. in a way the act of attaining enlightenment in a Vajryana sense is to drop all bonds and attachments with this world and remian distinct. is Not God distinct from this world? If he/she/it was attachd we would see it all over, we would KNOW what it was. I believe strongly that when a Budhist attains enlightenment it is in fact awakening up to the truth of the universe, and when we worship a God, or in your case a Goddess...a Godess represents the ultimate truth that we are activly seeking. that is why i can believe strongly in a Buddhist enlightenment but still worship my Shiva or my Kali.

Also, in another way, the Goddess is an embodiment of the universe, or a significant part of this universe. if indeed we follow a Buddhist approach, worshipping the feminine Goddess is in part ignorant but also in part wise as we are worshipping a form of Ultimute truth that we connect with. See that is another idea in soem forms of Budhism, and that is the fact that our minds cannot grasp a lot so that is why we have so many different religions and traditions and Gods and forms and so on, becasue each mind is different need that difference. So, to me...you and indeed us all worshipping a form of the Goddess is not sacreligious when it coems to buddhism, as long as you acknowledge that the Godess is not the entire embodiment...despite us wanting her to be, (Sorry Kali ma :( )

Namaste

Tobias

KissMeImIrish!
November 25th, 2005, 06:38 PM
Galadraal,
wow! thank you much, I really feel much better now. The last couple weeks I have had a sense of overwhelming happiness at finding this new path, but also anxiety because I felt lost. I didn't want to seemingly 'abandon' the goddess who is extremely important in my life. And honestly, I couldn't imagine following a path that didn't worship something! I would feel so alone! regardless, I am much relieved that I can worship now without feeling this nagging in my heart that I am in a sense trying to put the square block in the circular hole _inabox_
I only have one more thing to ask and then I promise to leave you alone ;)
Celebrations. Esbats, Sabbats. Do you think that I could continue to celebrate both these things within a Buddhist path without making a big 'ol mess? Are there perhaps buddhist celebrations that coincide in a way? I know that there is a full moon celebration. Do you think it's possible to celebrate both, or just choose one?
humbly,
nenya

BenSt
November 28th, 2005, 01:43 AM
Celebrations. Esbats, Sabbats. Do you think that I could continue to celebrate both these things within a Buddhist path without making a big 'ol mess? Are there perhaps buddhist celebrations that coincide in a way? I know that there is a full moon celebration. Do you think it's possible to celebrate both, or just choose one?

I dont necessarily think a celebration is as important as the mind set really...and Im sure people are sitting there thinking I am a complete hypocrite lol. A celebration really is a community and social event than a spiritual one I think. I mean a pilgramage is well very personal, but a yearly celebration is really a social event. I think of it also from the mind set that a celebration is a physical manifestation of whats in your head and to take part in one would be showing the diversity...I know of a girl who is Hindu in my class who LOVES Christmas so this year she is celebrating christmas hehe. So I think you should celebrate both, I mean more days off work right? hehe. Go for it and see where it leads you :D

Namaste

Tobias

edrie
December 9th, 2005, 12:32 AM
I am quite new to the pagan world and I grew up in the mainstream christian world. Though now I no longer hold the tenants of that faith, however I was always an outsider because I also was quite interested in the Budhist path. Now I would not call myself a Budhist but I have studied Budhist teaching from a scholarly prespective. It can be tough to combine two different belief systems but it can be done, and getting there is half the fun.

Edrie

Rin Daemoko
December 9th, 2005, 12:55 AM
I consider myself to be a "Buddhist Witch" in that I practice the Dharma, and I also follow the path of unification with naturalness. In the Vajrayana there exist powerful meditations in which one visualizes a buddha, bodhisattva, dharma protector, or some other enlightened being and you chant a mantra related to that being.

The Vajrasattva Meditation Practice purifies defilements of body, speech, and mind. The Medicine Buddha Practice brings health and well-being to all sentient beings. I also really enjoy the figure of Tara, the female Buddha who attained perfect enlightenment, and who is so immense that the Buddha Amitabha (the focus of Pure Land Buddhism) is an ornament in her hair-knot.

In the 21 Praises to Tara there is a line which speaks of Tara destroying "external" wheels of magic. I think what this may be saying is that unnatural magic, or magic that seeks to unskillfully destroy - to perpetuate the defilements of samsara as well as suffering and the causes of suffering - are what are destroyed. Methods of magic that lead one further into delusion and further from penetrating insight. This could mean pre-occupations with the astral at the expense of the physical, or it could mean an unhealthy fixation on vampirism.

This would leave a sort of natural magic, where there is less "doing" and more "being." Rather than one "working" magic, one "becomes" it. This is an idea explored in-depth by the Ch'an (Zen) schools of Buddhism, and of course of Taoism.

As Witches, we typically deal with people, spirits, and aspects of ourselves which could easily trap us in cyclic existence. As Buddhists, I think that the practices of vipassana and shamatha meditation can help immeasurably to uproot mental obscurations, and to prevent further delusive roots from sprouting in our minds. If you're of a Mahayana or Vajrayana persuasion, you're going to have a very altruistic motivation to guide your practice not just as a Buddhist or a Witch, but as a whole person.

Dharma does not stop and start when you feel like being a Buddhist, because the dharma is ever-present. Similarly, magic does not stop and start when you feel like being a Witch, because magic happens all the time - whether we're aware of it or not. I think it's very natural for Witches to incline toward the Vajrayana practices of Tantric Buddhism, due to their mystical nature. Thankfully, these practices seem more widely available in the West, whereas they were once closely guarded secrets in the East. Even the very secretive Shingon sect of Tantric Buddhism in Japan has begun to loosen its tight lips.

I'm glad that there are others out there who are willing to explore the potential of what one can accomplish for the benefit of self and others, as both a Buddhist and a Witch!

Metta,
Rin

Rin Daemoko
December 10th, 2005, 01:43 PM
So in Buddhism it is taught that the first thing the Buddha disseminated to his first disciples was the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. The first of which seems pretty obvious to us, but to state it openly and discuss it lays the groundwork for the following truths. It is a logical progression.

So the First Noble Truth states that there exists suffering in the world, and in our lives. Witches acknowledge this, but don't think too much about it, saying that it's simply part of nature. It's just the way things are. Buddhism agrees with this - suffering is a natural part of samsara.

The Second Noble Truth identifies the causes of that suffering. Typically people will say that there is only one cause of suffering, and that is desire. I feel this is both incomplete and a misinterpretation of the word "duhkha." (I'll talk more on what, exactly, "duhkha" is and what it means in a bit.) A clearer statement of the Second Noble Truth would be to say that the cause of suffering is threefold: Attachment (which is different from desire), Aversion, and Ignorance.

Attachment is different from desire because attachment is typically formed in response to having a desire. As an example, say you enjoy the taste of cheesecake. You eat cheesecake and you fulfill your desire. The attachment is formed to the pleasure that is derived from having your desire fulfilled. You like getting your way. The attachment has nothing to do with the cheesecake itself, and it has everything to do with the pleasure you derive from the pleasure of eating it.

An example of how attachment causes suffering is thus: You have a desire to eat cheesecake. Now two situations could unfold - you don't get your cheesecake, and since you are attached to this desire, you are not able to get your attachment's fix. The source of the pleasure is cut off, and like someone addicted to a drug like heroin, you suffer because you can't get your "happy" from eating the cake. On the other hand, if you do get your cake, you end up re-enforcing your attachment, making it even stronger - which can end up being even more painful when you eventually don't get your fill.

Aversion is the opposite of attachment, and is just as bad. It happens when something you don't like happens, and you form a dislike of that thing. You become so pre-occupied by the dislike or hatred of that thing, that the actual thing is no longer important. The source of your anger, hatred, sorrow, or general dislike becomes secondary to your experience of those emotions or those mind-states. It is like the stinging sensation you experience after being cut by something, you don't like the feeling so you form an aversion to it. You become so engrossed by the dislike of the feeling that you do everything in your power to avoid situations in which you could possibly feel that sensation. Your attention becomes narrowed to the dislike of the feeling, rather than the feeling itself, or the cause of that feeling.

Ignorance in this case is not meant as "not knowing something," since what most of us don't know could fill a mountain. As Witches we accept that there is a lot that we not only don't know, but that we can't know. The Mysteries are mysterious because they exist outside of direct perception and understanding - they can only by experienced. So ignorance in this instance mainly implies a self-imposed sort of ignorance, where you ignore something because it doesn't fit your perceptions, or your likes or dislikes. You pretend something doesn't exist, or that it doesn't affect you, when it really does. Ignorance is running away, and hiding out.

These three causes of suffering, attachment, aversion, and ignorance are known as duhkha. The word duhkha is usually translated as suffering, or alienation. A literal translation would be the wheel of a cart that is stuck. People who drive or have driven with someone whose wheels became stuck will know that it's not permanent at all. The wheels become stuck, then they become unstuck. Sometimes it requires creative driving, sometimes you have to get out and push. In any case, it is only a temporary stickiness - always with a solution of some kind.

Witchcraft doesn't typically address the causes of suffering, or their natures. Since most Witches accept that suffering is a part of life, we don't see it necessarily to analyze or dissect it. In fact, that could end up doing more harm than good because if we are suffering and we try to dissect our own suffering, we could end up thinking too much about our suffering and become totally self-absorbed in our pain. This is why we rely on deity to help us with our suffering, since our gods and/or goddesses are usually seen as being wise and compassionate third-parties with an objective mind that can see into our pain and help us to overcome it by revealing our own strenghts and resources.

The Third Noble Truth states simply that there is a way to end this suffering. Since we know from the meaning of duhkha that suffering is not at all permanent, we can begin to think, "well, if it's not permanent and since it arises because of other factors, then there should be a way to end suffering before it happens or as it happens." If we can identify our suffering as having some form of one (or more) of the three causes (the "three poisons"), then we can begin to understand why we are suffering in that particular instance. This can afford us great relief, since we're not running around unsure of why we're feeling so bad.

Sooner or later, as Witches, we learn that suffering builds character. We become wiser, more patient, courageous, and kind with every difficulty we come up against and triumph over. We know that when we are met by pain, that the pain will pass, and it will leave us stronger for having survived it. The important thing is that we know that it will pass. There is an end to it.

The Fourth Noble Truth is like the prescription that the doctor writes us after he has diagnosed our illness. After identifying that, first, we are sick and, secondly, what is causing our sickness, we see that there is a way to end this sickness - with the fourth being the actual way to do that. There are two parts to this truth, the first being called the Middle Path and the second being the Eightfold Path.

The Buddha discovered the Middle Path while he was meditating in the jungle in accordance with extreme asceticism. Growing up in a palace, surrounded by luxury, he had learned that all the pleasures of the world would not bring the end of suffering - it would only exacerbate it. He learned the path of the ascetic monk from the Jains and practiced that, living on as little as a grain of rice every day. He eventually realized that if he starved himself, he would simply die, having attained nothing. The analogy that is given is that of a string instrument - if the strings are too tight, they will snap. If they are too slack, they will not produce any sound. Only by being in between the two can they produce music.

So the Middle Path is a balance between deprication and indulgence. It's a path of moderation. Too much or too little of anything can be harmful, depending on what it is.

The second part of this truth is that of the Eightfold Path, which is:

1. Right Understanding
To understand the Law of Cause and Effect and the Four Noble Truths.

2. Right Attitude
Not harbouring thoughts of greed and anger.

3. Right Speech
Avoid lying, gossip, harsh speech and tale-telling.

4. Right Action
Not to destroy any life, not to steal or commit adultery.

5. Right Livelihood
Avoiding occupations that bring harm to oneself and others.

6. Right Effort
Earnestly doing one's best in the right direction.

7. Right Mindfulness
Always being aware and attentive.

8. Right Concentration
To making the mind steady and calm in order to realise the true nature of things.

Easier said than done, right? Like the Middle Path, I don't believe that people are expected to just drop what they're doing and live out the Eightfold Path to perfection. I think people try too hard to hold themselves to moral standards in some religions, and as Witches we understand the vital necessity of "naturalness." Nature progresses from one state to the next. Seasons flow into one another gradually, not abruptly.

So to travel the Eightfold Path realistically, one needs to slowly integrate these ethical standards into one's life, keeping in mind the causes of suffering, and the teaching on the Middle Path. Not too much, and not too little. After all, if you slip up, then there isn't some all-powerful and vengeful deity that will punish you, or some New-Age Karma Monster that will spit all your mistakes at you with three times the force that you gave them.

Like the Moon, we travel the path of our lives alone, a lamp unto ourselves in the darkness. By our own efforts we can be liberated from samsara. If we slip up, then we only have ourselves to answer to. There is nothing but time, so we can afford to take the time. We also understand that the final goal of liberation is not our focus. As Buddhists, we ust the motivation of attaining liberation for the sake of others. Not only for ourselves, but for those we care about, those we don't know, and those we may not even like. With the wisdom and compassion of a fully enlightened Buddha, we would have the skills and the knowledge to be of the greatest possible benefit to ourselves and to others. Focusing less on the self isn't about self-deprication, because we try to focus on everyone, and everyone is a word that includes ourselves. We must have compassion for ourselves, too.

Rin Daemoko
December 10th, 2005, 04:47 PM
I was asked by someone recently about the feasibility of a chant from a movie. The chant used at the beginning of the movie The Craft which goes:

Now is the time,
This is the hour
Ours is the magic
Ours is the power

The first two lines are very powerful. Chanting them gets one to focus on the present moment. In meditation, we are taught that nothing is more precious than the present moment. To abide consciously in the here and now is to be "grounded" and "centered," it's to have access to all the past and all the future. The past is only remembered from the present, and the future is only anticipated from the present. We overpower our ego by anchoring our thoughts in the present.

The second two lines ... I proposed a change to them. Replaces "ours" with "we are." Rather than "having" your power, you "are" your power. Saying that you have power creates a disparity that does not exist. The ego likes to separate and dissect. When you separate yourself from your power by believing you "own" it, or you "generate" it, you let your ego control you. It sets the rules and it determines your behavior. Don't let it.

Now is the time,
This is the hour
We are the magic
We are the power

Or if you're alone, you could say that "I am the magic, I am the power." Wiccan literature expounds the idea of inner divinity, of the God and Goddess being aspects of ourselves, or being present in ourselves. Not all of us are Wiccan Witches, but as Buddhists this can have meaning. The buddhas and bodhisattvas are believed to be aspects of our own buddha-natures. As being expressions of enlightened qualities such as generosity, effort, concentration, et cetera.

Rin Daemoko
December 12th, 2005, 01:36 PM
Going for Refuge

In Buddha-dharma, the defining moment in a buddhist's life may be when they first go for refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. This means to say that one takes a vow of sorts, that one will rely on the Buddha (the historical, celestial, and/or inner), the teachings, and the spiritual community to aid in one's practice and study of the buddha-dharma, until one is fully enlightened.

One also usually goes for refuge before any buddhist ceremony (or toward the end). There is also a "Refuge Ceremony" in which one receives a "dharma name."

As Witches, what could we go for Refuge in (in addition to the Three Jewels of Buddhism?). Well, we have divinity (if you believe in the divine). You could give it a name in accordance with whichever deity you connect with best (or which connects with you best). Or you could simply call it "God" or "Goddess" or "God and Goddess" or "the Divine."

We also have magic, which happens all the time, all around us. Whether or not we were the conscious cause of that magic. We are the magic.

Thirdly, we also have the community of Witches, pagans, and spiritual seekers. Some of us have a Coven, or a Grove, or something of that nature. Some of us have Mystic Wicks, or other groups of people through correspondence.

So we could go for Refuge in the Divine, the Magic, and the Coven. Until we are fully unified with the Mysteries (or something).

I go for Refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha
Until I am fully enlightened, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

I go for Refuge in the Divine, the Magic, and the Coven
Until I am fully unified with the Mysteries, for the benefit of all.

farm girl
December 29th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Blending Eastern Thought with European Paganism is something I have done for years. At first, I blended with Hinduism. Although I still have much respect for Hinduism, my path now contains Buddhism.

My current path is "Theistic Buddhist who takes part in the wheel of the year"

There are a lot of people who blend their path with Buddhism. Even "opposite" faith systems. One has to remember that Buddhism is NOT a religion, but a philosophy/path and one that can adapt easily to most lifestyles. Buddhist Pagans, Buddhist Christans, and Buddhist Jews are all over. Many well known Buddhist authors have written about such a thing. :)

Cerulean_damselfly
March 20th, 2006, 10:26 PM
Wheel of the year might be a good way to assess the type of Buddhism system that you are considering. Does the type you want to study have the flexibility to incorporate a lunar almanac and has it already been able to incorporate local gods as you know them? Does it strengthen what you have in place?

I had a love for living and celebrating the seasonal year and it's drawn me closer to researching and studying older civilizations and those who like incorporating wisdom from older cultures in a more gentle and flexible way of being.
I've discovered that there's a harmony in western wicca and pagan paths in the way I like to live.

I've been searching my own heritage and other aspects to get at the 'seasonal year' aspect of living...looking through poetry, gardens, almanacs and recipe books and the ones that felt 'Japanese' or 'home' to me were the ones that followed a cycle of the seasons.

Given the rice farmers and gardeners followed a planting season and in community centers, seasonal festivals or events
seemed to be oriented around a natural calendar cycle worked best for me...and so if you can find aspects of your belief systems that incorporate the lunar calendar, the celebration of
planting, fertility, growth, abundance, harvest and the cyclical natures of seasons--there's a parallel and perhaps a deeper earthly correspondence that might harmonize.

In harmony with me, family and folk shinto...there are many blended elements of Buddhism, of course, as I research the shrines and regional aspects of my heritage...and origins of the fertile, laughing aspects of Uzume and Benten came over time also from Hindu Sarasvati / Sarawati...

I came across a neat resource that had the old names of the months in a seasonal year:

EXPLANATION: JAPANESE NAMES FOR MONTHS
ENGLISH-MODERN JAPANESE-OLD NAME MEANING
January - IchiGatsu -MuTsuki - Harmony, Happy Spring
February - NiGatsu -KisaRagi -Seasonal Change of Dress
March -SanGatsu - YaYohi -Grass Grows Dense
April -ShiGatsu -UTzuki -Summer, Plant Rice
May -GoGatsu -SaTsuki -Rice Sprouts
June -RokuGatsu -MiNaTzuki -Watering Month
(put water in the field)
July -ShichiGatsu -FuTzuki -Month of Letters
August -HachiGatsu -HaTzuki -Month of Leaves
September -KuGatsu -NagaTsuki -Autumn Long Month
October -JuuGatsu -KaNaTzuki -Month of Gods*
November -JuuIchiGatsu -ShimoTsuki -Month of Falling Frost
December -JuuNiGatsu -ShiHasu -"Poor Looking" Winter

...and it seems to me, to make sense with studying Western wicca and goddess aspects of living. Outside my home, then, the group that I have had a natural commonality seem to be pagan and Western wicca groups...

Sorry if this is a jumble...seem to be agreeing in my own way with Bella Gaia's observations.

Regards,

Cerulean_damselfly

ParanormalPriest
December 18th, 2009, 11:47 PM
Hello. As a former Buddhist Monk of the Pure Land tradition, Ordained Anagarika in the Theravada tradition, I have quite a bit of experience on this topic.

I can tell you from EXPERIENCE and ACCEPTANCE of the Buddhist Sangha that it is VERY possible to combine both practices. It is stated by the Buddha that there are 84000 (Meaning Countless) Dharma Doors. The Dharma is much like an apple. I can bite the apple and say its nasty tasting. You can then bite the very same apple and say its great tasting. Who's correct? Our direct experiences impact the truths in our lives. The same is true for the paths that we each have chosen to walk. Buddhism mixed with our magical practices are just one interpretation of the truths that we hold. One of the 84000 doors.

Magical practices are NOT foreign to Buddhism. We have Oracles who speak and consult the spirits, various deities in some traditions, Levitation has been witnessed, Herbal use for Puja (Ceremony) and for medicinal use. Amulets and Mantras to induce a positive result to a specific need, tattoos as markings, astral travel, divination, and so much more. We even have a cauldron that we call a Kapala, a vessel of transformation.

In fact, what we would now call Buddhist Witchcraft was known as Celtic Buddhism in Pre Christian Celtic Britain. Even Saint Origen wrote about it. Buddhists and Druids coexisted in pre-Christian Celtic Britain and the two paths were often combined to form an amazing system. Saint Origen is quoted as saying that " The island has long been pre disposed to it (Christianity) through the doctrines of the Druids and Buddhists, who had already inculcated the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead"...Just one point.

Archeology points to this as well. The Gundestrup bowl, a beautiful piece of pre-Christian Celtic craftsmanship, shows a meditating Buddha.

We must also realize that Buddhism is NOT a religion. It is a Path that when followed, leads to enlightenment. It is possible for 2 PATHS to merge.

I would be happy to answer any questions to the best of my knowledge. I hope this has helped.

BenSt
December 26th, 2009, 12:35 AM
This is quite the old thread! I've just gotten back into posting after a little pause... so I thought I'd reply.

I think one has to becareful about this, especially when one thinks about the interpretation of the Canon and sutras etc,. I'm currently taking a class at Uni about eastern faiths and orientalism, and one of the questions the professor (who did her thesis dissertation for a year in Burma) was: How can magical tattoos exist in Buddhism in Burma? Basically, Burmese Shan people believe that certain tattoos can have power and it's looked at as being magical. But, the rationale there is that the power isn't the individuals but is found in the image it's self and from the idea. It also fits into Buddhism because it ultimatly does not interfere with the idea of the noble truths and 8 fold path.

I did see something that I wanted to address though and ask a few questions about:


In fact, what we would now call Buddhist Witchcraft was known as Celtic Buddhism in Pre Christian Celtic Britain. Even Saint Origen wrote about it. Buddhists and Druids coexisted in pre-Christian Celtic Britain and the two paths were often combined to form an amazing system. Saint Origen is quoted as saying that " The island has long been pre disposed to it (Christianity) through the doctrines of the Druids and Buddhists, who had already inculcated the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead"...Just one point.

Archeology points to this as well. The Gundestrup bowl, a beautiful piece of pre-Christian Celtic craftsmanship, shows a meditating Buddha.
'

I'd be interested to see what evidence you have of this claim. a Quick internet search reveals that this thesis is not really based in fact and that the figure on the Gungestrap Couldran has little to do with Buddhism since Buddha has never been shown holding a torque, or a snake and never has had antlers. Likewise, there's really no information to back up the claim of what Saint Origen wrote, especially if one tracks down Origen's works (which isn't a lot).

David19
December 26th, 2009, 08:50 PM
This is quite the old thread! I've just gotten back into posting after a little pause... so I thought I'd reply.

I think one has to becareful about this, especially when one thinks about the interpretation of the Canon and sutras etc,. I'm currently taking a class at Uni about eastern faiths and orientalism, and one of the questions the professor (who did her thesis dissertation for a year in Burma) was: How can magical tattoos exist in Buddhism in Burma? Basically, Burmese Shan people believe that certain tattoos can have power and it's looked at as being magical. But, the rationale there is that the power isn't the individuals but is found in the image it's self and from the idea. It also fits into Buddhism because it ultimatly does not interfere with the idea of the noble truths and 8 fold path.

Thanks for that bit about magical tattoos, I've also read some things which have to do with Buddhism and magic, and, basically, magical powers aren't unusual in Buddhism, they're just not the main focus, depending on the tradition (some traditions might see them as negative, as distracting you from reaching Nirvana, others see them as signs of progress on the path to Nirvana), many Buddhist Masters demonstrated quite amazing powers, one of the most famous being Padmasambhava, but, there are many others, some things I've read is that the path to become a Bodhisattva is a path that can lead to, virtually, unlimited powers.

Here are some interesting articles:

Buddhism and the Fantastic Four (http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=12,1415,0,0,1,0):


Now, imagine the Buddha's psychic abilities - they are many times greater than Mogallana's or the Fantastic Four's! If the Fantastic Four are "fantastic", the Buddha is simply "supreme"!

Psychic powers in Buddhism are summed up in six categories. First, Divyacaksus - the divine eye, which can instantaneously view anything material anywhere. Second, Divyasrotra - the divine ear, which can hear any sound anywhere. Third, Paracitta-jnana - the ability to know the thoughts of other minds. Fourth, Purvanivasanusmrti-jnana - the ability to know former lives of oneself and others. Fifth, Raddi-saksatkriya - the ability to be anywhere (teleportation, multiplication of forms) or do anything at will (shapeshifting, "defy" natural physics - such as walking on water, through walls and levitating). Sixth, Asravaksaya-jnana - the ability to eliminate all defilements (the extinction of spiritual "outflows"). The first five abilities are considered mundane, while only the last is supramundane, realised only when enlightened. It is its attainment that clearly differentiates the liberated from the mere "wizard"!

The first five abilites are natural "bonus side effects" of deepened mental cultivation, possible since "mind over matter". In the case of the Fantastic Four, their abilities were biological side effects, though similar to the fifth psychic power in category. The Buddha warned that one's ability to wield miraculous powers do not equate to the level of their spiritual power. An "entertaining" magician is seldom the wisest one. Be warned! Even misguided evil practitioners and maras can attain psychic powers!

The Buddha remarked that to use miracles to win converts is as lowly as using dancing girls to tempt others. (Johnny was guilty of that!) Himself the greatest master of all psychic powers, the Buddha forbade monks to openly display powers to impress and win converts - unless their usage is truly crucial, for instance, to save lives or the subdue the extremely stubborn

Then, there's Buddhism and X-Men (http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=12,2763,0,0,1,0):


The Buddha, of course, being the greatest grandmaster of the mind, also has immeasurable psychic powers, probably inclusive of all the mutants'. But even so, he downplays the importance of acquiring these powers, as they are naturally attained when the mind is mastered. To train the mind solely for these powers is to miss the point of acquiring insight into the nature of the mind. It is the wisdom realised that liberates one, not the liberating of psychic powers. Whether a special power is a blessing or a curse is up to how the individual uses it.

Personally, I like articles like these, they explain Buddhist concepts in an easily-understandable manner.

So, if you define Witchcraft as way to develop magical powers, then, yes, Buddhism is compatiable with that, if you define it in a more religious way, it can be, IMO, as long as it's realised the Goddess and God, or whoever you worship, can't lead you to Enlightenment, and, in fact, are part of the cycle of Samsara, from what I've read, it seems, in Buddhism, Buddhas (i.e. humans who've become Buddhas) and Bodhisattva's are actually greater than the Gods, as they're out of the Cycle of Samsara, but, Gods are still part of it.




I'd be interested to see what evidence you have of this claim. a Quick internet search reveals that this thesis is not really based in fact and that the figure on the Gungestrap Couldran has little to do with Buddhism since Buddha has never been shown holding a torque, or a snake and never has had antlers. Likewise, there's really no information to back up the claim of what Saint Origen wrote, especially if one tracks down Origen's works (which isn't a lot).

I'd be interested too, as I wasn't aware Buddhism was established in Britain or or Druids and Buddhists studied together (the Druids seemed to have got around, I mean, first they help train Jesus, then Joseph of Arimathea came to them, now, the Buddhists are with them, etc.

BenSt
December 26th, 2009, 09:04 PM
Thanks for that bit about magical tattoos,

Your welcome David! If you have access to your Uni's Jstor or UBESCO, look up 'Shan Buddhism" and you'll find more. It's pretty interesting



I'd be interested too, as I wasn't aware Buddhism was established in Britain or or Druids and Buddhists studied together (the Druids seemed to have got around, I mean, first they help train Jesus, then Joseph of Arimathea came to them, now, the Buddhists are with them, etc.

The Druids were everywhere (jks)... no, there were no Buddhists in Great Britain. I tracked down the quote as first coming from a single source, a book written in 1884. Saint Origen wasn't even that big of a saint, because searching his name only brought up 3 entries about his comments on unrelated subjects.

The furthest that Buddhism ever got was Greece and Macedonia, but that was mostly through emissaries who did not set up the community. and as the primary texts were recited orally at that time, it's unlikely there was enough time if a Buddhist monk happened to come into contact with a Celtic Druid. And certainly if there was any contact at all... it would have been dramatically changed by the time it reached Great Britain.

Cassie
December 27th, 2009, 07:08 AM
Interesting thread resurrection!
I remember Origen from my Uni days; an interesting character. I think his views were strongly influenced by Neo-Platonism which does have some parallels with eastern traditions including Buddhism. I think that for that reason his ideas were considered radical and even heretical at the time that Christian dogma was hardened around the sixth century. I don't remember all the details but I did a quick google and found quite a lot of references (which I haven't got round to reading yet).

Personally I am not totally Buddhist or Taoist but I do find a lot in those philosophies which rings true to me. In my personal path I have never had any problems integrating those philosophies with my practices as a witch.

David19
December 27th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Your welcome David! If you have access to your Uni's Jstor or UBESCO, look up 'Shan Buddhism" and you'll find more. It's pretty interesting

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I'll be able to access JSTOR anymore, as my uni username has expired now, as I've just recently graduated :( :sadman:, still, I'll try.




The Druids were everywhere (jks)... no, there were no Buddhists in Great Britain. I tracked down the quote as first coming from a single source, a book written in 1884. Saint Origen wasn't even that big of a saint, because searching his name only brought up 3 entries about his comments on unrelated subjects.

The furthest that Buddhism ever got was Greece and Macedonia, but that was mostly through emissaries who did not set up the community. and as the primary texts were recited orally at that time, it's unlikely there was enough time if a Buddhist monk happened to come into contact with a Celtic Druid. And certainly if there was any contact at all... it would have been dramatically changed by the time it reached Great Britain.

I think the Buddhists also established themselves in Egypt, didn't they?.


Interesting thread resurrection!
I remember Origen from my Uni days; an interesting character. I think his views were strongly influenced by Neo-Platonism which does have some parallels with eastern traditions including Buddhism. I think that for that reason his ideas were considered radical and even heretical at the time that Christian dogma was hardened around the sixth century. I don't remember all the details but I did a quick google and found quite a lot of references (which I haven't got round to reading yet).

Personally I am not totally Buddhist or Taoist but I do find a lot in those philosophies which rings true to me. In my personal path I have never had any problems integrating those philosophies with my practices as a witch.

Origen did seem to have interesting views, like I've read he believed in reincarnation, that, eventually, even demons would return to God, and, that, I think, demons could be reborn as humans, which is very similar to Buddhist views, it's a shame his ideas weren't fully accepted by the Church.

Also, like you, I find Buddhism and Taoism/Daoism really interesting, especially Tibetan Buddhism (so much so, that in 2010, I want to visit this Tibetan Buddhist center near me, and, maybe, see what happens from there).

Ken Ra
April 20th, 2010, 03:23 PM
Zen Buddhism has several gods they are not worshiped but they are respected. One of them is the God of the Bath. I am a Wiccan initiate (Third Degree) I am also a follower of the third Patriarch Hui Neng by way of Lin Chi ( Rinzii Zen ) I studied at the Berkley Soto Zen priory in California many years ago. There are no inherent contradictions between Buddhism and Wicca however this does not mean that they cant arise for some individuals.:spinnysmi