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Messages - Snow Leopard

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31
Religio / Re: Haiku & Buddhism
« on: May 02, 2012, 09:37:53 PM »
Hi All,

A fascinating and thought-provoking topic. It's a long time since anything has been posted here so I hope it's okay to respond to the question raised in the introduction: Is Buddhism a religion?


Speaking from the point of view of an ordinary Buddhist I would say it is a way of life. There are texts (ritual, philosophy, hagiography, eschatology,  instructions for religious adepts - monks, nuns, initiates) which are used in particular contexts usually rites performed in temples, monasteries or even private homes. There is no single organized central church which ordains adherence such as compulsory attendance in temples or monasteries. Most of the rituals and ceremonies are organized by donors/benefactors, who come from all kinds of background.

The ordinary household too sponsors rituals and ceremonies according to the calendar for the year on auspicious days like the birth, death or enlightenment anniversaries of the historical Buddha and other religious-historical figures particular to the country or society.

The concept of karma - that one's actions of merit or demerit determine one's rebirth and also that one alone is responsible for the course one's life takes is the defining principle which drives much of the observances of rituals and decision one makes like joining the monasteries or nunneries for a life of meditation and learning. A monk and nun can opt out of the religious life and training and become a lay person, often performing rites in the villages as trained adepts.

In case I give the impression that Buddhists are ritual-orientated I must qualify that this again is down to how much one can afford to do devote time, effort and money and how one perceives that such acts will work towards good or bad karma.


Compassion for all sentient beings is again linked to the principle of inter-relatedness of things.  That all beings share a common existential suffering as shown in the Four Noble Truths. Also, humans can be reborn as animals, insects etc depending on one's karma. We often say, we never know if a fly is one's grandmother.

The greatest goal is to go beyond this cycle of karmic rebirth where all experiences as we know cease and we see the Clear Light. This goal is not only for a chosen few but for anyone who wants to devote their life and efforts to achieve this.

I don't know if any of this makes any sense at all.






32


roller coaster
the screeching voice
of an icy wind

Adelaide

wind blown hair
my favorite photo
of her and her horse

marty

horses exercise
round and round the paddock-
neither first nor last

Adelaide

last minute deals...
I buy a ticket
for Ascension Day

Vida


day
lingers into the night -
red glow in the moon


Snow Leopard

33
My apologies, Alan. I misunderstood the rules of this Haiku Train. I wrongly assumed that Thursday was a cue for a weekday reference not specifically Thursday itself  :-[


Vida - very thoughtful of you to change your final line to day:)

I will try again.


34

roller coaster
the screeching voice
of an icy wind

Adelaide

wind blown hair
my favorite photo
of her and her horse

marty

horses exercise
round and round the paddock-
neither first nor last

Adelaide

last minute deals...
I buy a ticket
for Ascension Thursday

Vida

Sunday prayers --
stain glass-sun lights up
empty pews

Snow Leopard

35
Hi,

I've just realized that this topic and another about username (which I found quite engaging and pertinent to writing) are old posts. I hope it's okay to reply to these old posts.

In answer to the question : Where does your inspiration come from? I would have to say people. On the road, at work, in the market/shops, everywhere. Observing people helps me to tune into and appreciate the unexpected turns and links that nature provides almost as a parallel but different experience. Most of my so-called 'moment' in haiku come from this people/nature interplay. Often nature seems to mirror, contrast with, even contradict and put into context human experiences  with our prejudice, ignorance, insecurities and also aspirations of beauty and contentment.


Snow leopard

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