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Archive for the ‘B is for . . .’ Category

Bible

“The Bible is relevant because it is an unchanging message directed to a changing world. God does not change; the nature of mankind does not change; right and wrong do not change; sin and death do not change; the need for salvation does not change; our hope of eternal life does not change. Those who think the Bible is irrelevant today see it as the observations of the human writers who produced it. But when we see the Bible as originating from God as inspired by the Holy Spirit, we know that its perspective and application are unlimited. When God caused the Bible to be written (2 Peter 1:20, 21), he intended it to be used by all people in all times.” (Jack Cottrell, “Still Relevant?”, CCU 514 magazine, Summer 2011)

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Buddhization

This term was coined to describe the gradual infusion of Buddhist teaching into a culture, particularly Western society.  Related term: Buddhocracy.

“Hollywood actor Richard Gere was also convinced that the transformation of the world into a Buddhocracy would occur suddenly, like an atomic explosion, and that the ‘critical mass’ would soon be reached.” —Herald Tribune, 20 March 1997.
“In the West we are fond of portraying Buddhism as a tolerant, rational, non-dogmatic and open-minded tradition.  But how much is this the result of liberal Western(ized) intellectuals seeking to construct an image of Buddhism that simply confirms their own prejudices and desires? . . . Historically, Buddhists everywhere have tended not to exhibit the pluralist, postmodern values we might imagine them to possess.  All Buddhist traditions make claims to truth, and when those claims have contradicted one another . . . prolonged, even violent disputes have ensued.” (source)

Christianity’s contribution to Buddhization? “Today teachers of Christian contemplation practice are playing an important role in spreading Buddhist meditation.” (Buddhism: an Illustrated Guide, p 231).

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Buddha

BUDDHA (enlightened one)
1. One who reaches enlightenment, and ultimately, nirvana.

2. Siddhartha Gautauma, or Sakyamuni (of the Sakya clan, (~500 BC).  Sakyamuni rejected Hinduism. After trying extremes from indulgence to near starvation, he eventually found the “Middle Path.” The Buddha foretold that he would go into nirvana—non-existence—at his death and would no longer be available.  Disciples were to stay connected to him through his relics.  Though it’s generally accepted that Sakymuni was an atheist, in some texts he acknowledged the existence of celestial beings, such as Brahma and Mara: “Mara, the Evil One, on hearing the words of the Blessed Buddha, approached and said: ‘Be greeted, thou Holy One. Thou hast attained the highest bliss and it is time for thee to enter into the final Nirvana.’ Then Brahma Sahampati descended from the heavens and, having worshipped the Blessed One, said: ‘Alas! the world must perish, should the Holy One…decide not to teach the Dharma.’” (from the Pali Canon)

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Breath

In esoteric religion, BREATH is an essential part of manipulating forces to reach an altered state of consciousness, with the goal of realizing one’s own innate divinity, to access the universal mind, or to achieve union with the divine.

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The Tibetan Buddhists’ BOOK OF THE DEAD gives spiritual instructions on coaching a dead or dying person through the 49 days of “bardo” between death and the next reincarnation. Instructions include welcoming into oneself all beings encountered in the netherworld—whether good or terrifying. Severe consequences are promised if these instructions are not obeyed. Timothy Leary, guru of the hippie/LSD movement, made the Tibetan Book of the Dead the basis of his psychedelic experiments. (wikipedia)

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Bön

A central Asian religion of shamanism and demon-worship native to Tibet, BÖN (meaning law, truth) melded with Buddhism and tantrism (black magic/sex magic) to form Tibetan Buddhism.

“They sacrificed to demons, which are not God—gods they had not known, gods that had recently appeared” (Deuteronomy 32:17).

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Bodhisattva

Enlightenment-being. A Buddha-in-the-making; a demi-god; a being that delays entering nirvana to stay behind and help/save others. Some are worshipped or prayed to. The concept predates—and may have influenced—the Catholic practice of veneration/canonization/praying to saints.

See Ascended Masters.

“Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have not light of dawn” (Isaiah 8:19-20).

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