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Sujato

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About Sujato

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  • Birthday 12/07/1962

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    Johannesburg, South Africa
  1. Christianity at its essence believes that THE ONLY WAY to salvation is through Christ. As the head of the Christian church, the Pope cannot say anything else. Any other religion or spiritual movement would therefore teach false doctrine (in the eyes of the Christian church) if they do not accept Christ as God, and the only way to achieve salvation. The idea that any human being can reach enlightenment, and indeed that any human being can be spiritually of similar (or GASP even higher) level of enlightenment is sacrilege. You cannot expect the pope to deny this. If he does, then he should not head the largest sect of the Christian church. We can only hope that through our actions, the restrictive interpretation by Christians and other religions will one day disappear; but to expect the pope to admit or believe that salvation is possible without Christ is impossible.
  2. I have learnt an incredible amount on this and another Buddhist forum since I have joined a few days ago. What I do find disconcerting is that at times some comments about Christianity to me seems to be made either to disprove certain Christian beliefs; or even comments that will be considered blasphemous by Christians. It might only be my perception, and I am terribly sorry if I am overly sensitive here; but do we gain anything by addressing issues from other religions. Should we not rather focus on the gems that can be found in other beliefs, and show non-Buddhists what true compassion and tolerance is.
  3. Any fellow human being poses a unique challenge to all of us who want to practice kindness, (AND of course accumulate positive karma). Dharma teaches us to give, but I think to fully understand the teachings we must have a look at the socio-cultural environment in which our teachers over the past few centuries have given I (or not). (AND it seems in many instances they did not give what people asked of them; out of their wisdom they knew when to say no). In my opinion, at all times whether we give or not, the intention must be to help. Whether the person really needs the money/ food, or whether he is just begging because it is an easy way of income should no affect our decision. In most western countries (As well as South Africa - though it is an African country), there is numerous organisations that will look after the people who beg. If you give to the beggars (whether they are children, adults, sick...); you then keep them away from these organisations (churches, social organisations, govt institutions etc) best equipped to help them. As long as you provide money/food/shelter, then they do not need to adress the terrible situation they are in; and in many instances giving just aggravates the situation. In such a situation it would be clearly be bad for the person who receives the money or food from you, and as such you are enabling them in perpetuating their negative actions. I would sugegst that if you want to help, become part of an organisation that adresses the problem holistically. You do more damage by giving a few cents, than what you would by simply ignoring the beggar.
  4. I am an avid reader (and researcher) and usually before I attempt anything new, I delve into whatever books and other sources I can find on the subject. Chenrezig Practice is something that I see as very important in my life as a Buddhist, and I hope to be initiated soon. Untill that happens I am using the undermentioned text as my practice as an unitiated. The book provides all the mantras (for initiated and uninitiated) as well as the methods to be used for visualisation. I know that a book can never replace a good teacher, but I think that a knowledgeable person like yourself, who has been initiated will benefit greatly from the book "CULTIVATING A COMPASSIONATE HEART: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig" by Thubten Chodron, foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama"
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