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windwhistle 24-01-2011 04:27 AM

Taoism and Buddhism
 
What is the main philosophical difference between these two paths?

I know Buddhism acknowledges pain and how to extinguish it...where Taoism is more about opposites follow each other...you can't have one without the other...and everything that is light has a bit of darkness in it and vice versa.

Taoism is going with the flow and Buddhism is acceptance of pain to get rid of it.

They both talk of letting go. I can't understand Buddhism when I read about it. It seems way too intellectual for me to grasp. And I'm tired of trying so hard.
But does Taoism have enough meat on its bones to use as practical every day wisdom to live by?

What's the Western equivalent to Taoism, I wonder...maybe I'll try that! Especially if women are important too. How come all the great saints, saviors, enlightened beings are always men?

Lamby 24-01-2011 05:26 AM

Hi Windwhistle,

Good questions. Have you read from the site religioustolerance.org? On this page, they have links to the major world religions. Click on Taoism/Daoism, Buddhism, and you may also wish to read up on Confucianism.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/var_rel.htm

From what I understand, there often wasn't a distinct line drawn for natives - meaning they didn't refer to themselves strictly as Buddhist, Taoist, or what-have-you. Locals often crossed, mixed and matched, between their local religious traditions and other teachings. In Japan, for example, one person may practice all three: Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto. So don't feel too bad if you can't quite sort your own feelings out. It isn't easy - and may not be entirely necessary. Sometimes these aren't referred to as "religions" but more a way of life.



------------------

Also, within Buddhism, there are as many differences between the types of Buddhists as there are differences between the types of Christians. These buddhists share the same core, but the differences can still be surprising.

If I remember correctly, there are three main divisions: (quoting another source - not my opinions here)

Theravada Buddhism
Quote:

this is the first and the southern Buddhism that the word comes from pali language which means that “the Doctrine of the Elders”. Their biggest aim is to use the meditation to train mind, and to encourage freedom of the mind from suffering. This kind or freedom suffering will allow you to reach the greatest spiritual goal the Nirvana. Theravada Buddhism is the only surviving school from the earliest years of Buddhism.

Mahayana Buddhism
Quote:

This is Buddhism in eastern Buddhism. This section only teaches the Pali Canon, this is the religious text in Theravada Buddhism but it also includes additional texts beliefs. This type of Buddhism believes that the person must practice universal compassion, and that is the altruistic quest of the Bodhisattva to attain the “Awakened Mind” of Buddha hood. This has also the level of mysticism involved.

Tibetan Buddhism
Quote:

This is the third type of Buddhism that was located in the Northern. This type of Buddhism is also considered to be a type of Mahayana Buddhism, but this was also embraces other teachings, texts, and practices that some are not seen in the eastern type. This is also sometimes called Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana and this was uses both Mahayana and Theraveda scriptures.

---------
Quote:

How come all the great saints, saviors, enlightened beings are always men?

At risk of upsetting some, I believe it isn't that there were no women of importance who were spiritually significant, but that possibly (depending upon which religion you're looking at) there may have been info "left out" about important women by various human authorities who did the editing and disseminating of information. I sure hope this doesn't get me flamed, but I believe women were and are just as vital spiritually as men. By the way, google about Archangel Gabriel - you may find Gabriel has been sometimes thought to be female, but more often interpreted and referred to as male.

Hope this is of some help.

windwhistle 24-01-2011 03:28 PM

Lamby wrote, "So don't feel too bad if you can't quite sort your own feelings out. It isn't easy - and may not be entirely necessary."

This is the same conclusion I came up with his morning. I always try to fit into the safety of a particular path, yet they all come up lacking at some point. This leaves me feeling adrift. If I can accept the independence, or aloneness of being adrift and borrow parts from all paths that seem truthful to me I think I could feel contentment. It's letting go again...always it seems to be discarding beliefs, opinions, theories, other's truths and experiences, books of wisdom, knowledge...all these things are blocks yet they seem to be part of the journey.

My husband says I should start a church and be a minister there...he says it would be called,"The Church of The Confused!"

Hologram8 15-05-2021 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by windwhistle
What is the main philosophical difference between these two paths?



I don't really get caught up in a lot of details ~

I am eclectic ~ I take what I find useful and discard the rest ~

I steer clear of cults and dogma ~

django 27-05-2021 09:54 PM

I find Buddhism way to intellectual as well, my mind turns off whenever I start to read what I should do. I don’t agree with the Buddha’s concept anyway, I don’t agree that emotions are illusory, and that the solution to emotional pain is to distance oneself from it. I accidentally came across the fire sermon the other day, where the Buddha preaches about achieving liberation from suffering through detachment from the five senses and mind. Way too much detachment for my liking in Buddhism, for me I am my mind, and my emotions, and my higher self, I’m all of it, and don’t have to detach from any of myself.

Taoism seems to like detachment as well, “sit and forget”, don’t get emotional about anything, emotions are poison, calm them and calm the mind, it’s all so restrictive.

Sometimes I think imagine teaching these methods to kids, tell them their joy is a poison, and to calm down, it’s so obviously wrong, yet as an adult we’re meant to do this.

They’re both approaches that can’t entertain the reality of emotions, that devalue them, and seek to detach from them, as well as the mental. Bonkers :)

lostsoul13 01-06-2021 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by django
I find Buddhism way to intellectual as well, my mind turns off whenever I start to read what I should do. I don’t agree with the Buddha’s concept anyway, I don’t agree that emotions are illusory, and that the solution to emotional pain is to distance oneself from it. I accidentally came across the fire sermon the other day, where the Buddha preaches about achieving liberation from suffering through detachment from the five senses and mind. Way too much detachment for my liking in Buddhism, for me I am my mind, and my emotions, and my higher self, I’m all of it, and don’t have to detach from any of myself.

Taoism seems to like detachment as well, “sit and forget”, don’t get emotional about anything, emotions are poison, calm them and calm the mind, it’s all so restrictive.

Sometimes I think imagine teaching these methods to kids, tell them their joy is a poison, and to calm down, it’s so obviously wrong, yet as an adult we’re meant to do this.

They’re both approaches that can’t entertain the reality of emotions, that devalue them, and seek to detach from them, as well as the mental. Bonkers :)


Really enjoyed your post —- detachment is hard to ‘stone and gather’ I wonder how detachment is just “sweeping it under -the -rug... but I agree some detachment is needed to use this valuable tool where it gives you eyes...belief is similar—-

ayar415 02-06-2021 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lostsoul13
Really enjoyed your post —- detachment is hard to ‘stone and gather’ I wonder how detachment is just “sweeping it under -the -rug... but I agree some detachment is needed to use this valuable tool where it gives you eyes...belief is similar—-


Django may be correct about Buddhism being too intellectual.

According to scholars in western academia, nobody really knows what the Buddha taught. Archaeological findings have uncovered no scriptural records of the direct teachings of the Buddha. Apparently, the Noble Eight-fold path was the work of monks.

AbodhiSky 25-06-2021 07:59 AM

Zen Buddhism seems the closest to Taoism to me. Both don't focus on scripture so much to me.

ayar415 25-06-2021 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AbodhiSky
Zen Buddhism seems the closest to Taoism to me. Both don't focus on scripture so much to me.


Without scripture, there would be nothing to think about. It all boils down to living a life we have issues with. Why don't we grapple with those issues instead of looking for a way out?

AbodhiSky 08-10-2021 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ayar415
Without scripture, there would be nothing to think about. Why don't we grapple with those issues instead of looking for a way out?


The philosophical questions that led to scripture have been around as long as we have. They just come naturally when you have an awareness and experience. The first living thing that looked up at the stars and thought, "what is this all about?" the first time one being saw another one die... "what is that? where did he go? why? am I this body? do I go on after I die?"

One does not need books or scripture or a organized belief system or a religion to have something to think about, to ponder, to contemplate.

Who am I? What am I? Why do I exist? What is my purpose? These questions are inherent to the human experience.

The issues we have do lead to more awareness of them. More attention on them. More pondering on how to deal with them and relate to them. What to do or not do about them. A "problem" leads to a search for a solution.

Imagine a marriage that has become full of fighting. One wants to be free of the constant conflict. One wants a way out of a conflict filled life. How does one find a way out? One may leave, get divorced, find a new partner. One may instead go to counseling, work out the issues, change and remain married.

Everyone is looking for happiness and pleasure. We just get more refined in how we look for it. Is the solution what we have or what we want? Is the solution neither? In things like Taoism the answer is letting what is be. Be like grass in the wind, moving with it, or a leaf in a river. Let it flow, move change, move with it without resistance, don't grasp. Be one with whatever is.

Be present, but not present as something or somebody, just aware of whatever is.


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