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> Some Buddhism criticism(from a former Buddhist), My practice and withdrawl story + criticism.
zhenka11230
post Dec 20, 2007, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE(Cassox @ Dec 20, 2007, 07:48 PM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Dec 20, 2007, 04:37 PM) *

Well i am specifically fighting the Buddhist notion of Enlightenment. There are probably a lot more definitions of enlightenment as there are of God. I just do not believe we can know everything about universe in a glimpse of realization but then again i admit i do not know but i saw no evidence of it being true - ever.



Ah. So then do you acknowledge that Buddhism can bring about personal growth? Ok, I knew a man who was initially quite racist. He used his ignorant rage as a focal point to workout, train etc. When he was older and had grown past his racism, he rescued a black man who was being beaten by a few young whites.

Now was his initial thought process ignorant? yes. But one can achieve growth THROUGH ignorance. It gave him the strength to stop a number of people trying to hurt someone. Afterwards, he actually spoke to these guys and tried to make them be more compassionate. He got through (somewhat) because he came from a similar background. You've probably grown through these experiances regardless of the fact that they are "superstition."


How you deduced that from what i said puzzles me... And what it has to do with anything i said puzzles me even more.
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Cassox
post Dec 20, 2007, 05:07 PM
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lol.

What I'm trying to say is that while your not "saved" by Jesus, or "enlightened" by Buddha, you've probably gained something out of your seeking.
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zhenka11230
post Dec 20, 2007, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE(Cassox @ Dec 20, 2007, 08:07 PM) *

lol.

What I'm trying to say is that while your not "saved" by Jesus, or "enlightened" by Buddha, you've probably gained something out of your seeking.


That is defiantly true : )
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tony
post Apr 17, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Hi All,

I don't know if you guys still watching this topic. It seems already inactive for quite some time.
I'm a Buddhist from Indonesia. To all of you, especially zhenka11230, I would like to say that I'm here to help you understand Buddhism. But that if you still interested in. You may raise a question and we could discuss here. All of your confusion are due to lack of study and a little bit rush in practice (meditation). I wish we could talk in this forum.

Best wishes
Tony
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aniccha
post Jan 05, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Hi Zhenka, besides Zen meditation, have you tried other forms of meditation like Samatha or Vipassana?

In Buddhism, Ive learnt that pure intellectual concepts and philosophical debates arent sufficient to fully understand the Dharma. We have always been taught to experience the truth of reality ourselves and meditation is the main approach in doing so. There are many forms of meditation presented in Buddhism, each catered to suit the capabilities of different individuals.

Just curious, what were your experiences like in meditation and what have you gained? If there is anyone who likes to share their experiences, please do so. thanks smile.gif
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Phi
post Jan 06, 2009, 01:22 AM
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Teach me...
http://www.starterupsteve.com/swf/teachme.html
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trojan_libido
post Jan 07, 2009, 12:04 AM
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I'd like to know more about the Buddhism you practice, and its rituals.
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Phi
post Jan 07, 2009, 06:28 PM
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I'm glad you asked! We'll meet up sometime and I'll teach you
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trojan_libido
post Jan 08, 2009, 12:05 AM
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I actually want to go to Vegas to do some poker playing, maybe I can look you up? smile.gif
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Phi
post Jan 08, 2009, 04:41 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Jan 08, 2009, 12:05 AM) *

I actually want to go to Vegas to do some poker playing, maybe I can look you up? smile.gif


I'm poor, but in any other circumstance...sure
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trojan_libido
post Jan 08, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Haha, I meant I want to make the trip over to the US of A just to play poker in the casinos all day. You living there is simply a bonus to philosophical musings between games. You really shouldn't play poker all day long, your attention span goes south then your chips follow. smile.gif

Do you live far from the main strip? Oh and don't worry, I've no plans to come to the USA and this isn't an official 'I'm coming to tea at your house' or anything biggrin.gif
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Phi
post Jan 08, 2009, 06:02 PM
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I'm far but it takes 10 minutes for me to get there. I honestly can't spend more than 2 hrs at a casino, otherwise I literally feel dirty and converted to another sheep. Most of us who live here tend to stay away from the lifestyle, although if we have cash we pawn the local areas. Tea wouldn't be a problem, as long as its papaver derived. Only 5 more months to go...
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trojan_libido
post Jan 09, 2009, 12:28 AM
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Feeling dirty is a state of mind, maybe bathing in the infinite light whilst sitting cross legged on a straw mat might clean your spirit smile.gif

Whats happening for you in 5 months?
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Phi
post Jan 09, 2009, 04:47 AM
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leaving las vegas because im free from the injustice system
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code buttons
post Jan 09, 2009, 05:37 AM
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QUOTE(Phi @ Jan 09, 2009, 04:47 AM) *

leaving las vegas because im free from the injustice system

I hate gambling myself. But I'm planning on going to Vegas hopefully sometime soon to see "LOVE", the Cirque DuSoleil's Beatles rendition at the Mirage: http://www.mirage.com/entertainment/love.aspx
Have you seen it and what was your impression?
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jhonny
post Aug 08, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Zhenka, I think you are ready to start to practice Buddhism now.

I enjoy reading this conversation, and specially your replies Zhenka, because you speak words similar to my own thoughts and feelings.

I have done a similar journey. Specific in my case, I realize I was attracted to Buddhism much because of personal distress caused long before I found Buddhism. I finally resolved my actual problems by other means and at the same time rejected Buddhism and all other religions.

I learned one good lesson after I rejected my engagement in Buddhism: to not believe in anything blindly. You rejected Christianity, then Buddhism, but do you believe blindly in something else right now? How do you know?
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Lindsay
post Aug 09, 2009, 04:16 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Nov 14, 2007, 02:46 PM) *
... I was supposed to be a Protestant (born into it), but I never believed the unbelievable, so I went my own way too.
Rick, I had a similar experience and went my own way. Good for you! It is called being a Protestant!--one who witnesses for (pro) what he really believes (testant--one who witnesses for his belifes.) smile.gif

In Scotland, Protestants were called Presbyterians--we are our own priests (presbyters).

BTW, the great inventor, Nicola Tesla, was a Christian. He said that the ideals of Christianity and Buddhism could be combined and this could form the basis of a good and useful spiritual philosophy of service to humanity.

Book on: HOW CHRISTIANITY CHANGED THE WORLD--including science. Find the contents and scroll down to the link on science and Christianity.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=qf9nq9lFwy...page&q=&f=false

Rick, how do you feel about spirituality?
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Rick
post Aug 10, 2009, 01:01 PM
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What's it good for?
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Joesus
post Aug 10, 2009, 02:21 PM
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It was good for me....
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Rick
post Aug 10, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Good feelings can be useful or deceptive.
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Joesus
post Aug 10, 2009, 05:18 PM
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That's true. It's been gooder sometimes than that, so maybe it wasn't so Good..
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Lindsay
post Aug 11, 2009, 11:42 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Aug 10, 2009, 03:58 PM) *
Good feelings can be useful or deceptive.
IMO, same with spirituality!
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Rick
post Aug 11, 2009, 03:06 PM
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Janice Joplin sang:

Feeling good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues.
Feeling good was good enough for me.
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Joesus
post Aug 11, 2009, 10:43 PM
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And now she's dead. Guess that was good enough for her too.
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Rick
post Aug 12, 2009, 09:00 AM
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Everyone dies. So it's good enough for everyone.
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Joesus
post Aug 12, 2009, 09:36 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Aug 12, 2009, 05:00 PM) *

Everyone dies. So it's good enough for everyone.

That's what most believe is the extent of life. You're born, you grab what you can get that feels good...and then you die. Finis, kaput, end of story... And for some the idea, any idea that is assumed, is good enough for everyone.
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GodConsciousness
post Aug 13, 2009, 04:51 AM
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I have taught classes in eastern philosophy and about to teach a course in world religions this upcoming fall. So this discussion has been very interesting on a personal and professional level. My students often echo one of the sentiments of the OP- namely that Buddhism seems to rob a person of desire and goal-seeking. If we don't have desires and goals, will that lead us into depression as the OP seems to indicate? How can non-attachment be combined with a lack of desires?

I try to explain that Buddhism is attempting to curtail our selfish and sensual desires based primarily in the individual ego, but is Ayn Rand's philosophy perhaps more appropriate in asserting the strength of the individual to pursue and achieve greatness? A level of strong desire and personal motivation to achieve well-defined goals may be necessary in the accomplishment of anything worthwhile.
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Joesus
post Aug 13, 2009, 08:58 AM
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Both Jesus and Buddha taught the same. Jesus spent several years in the East with the Eastern Masters both studying and teaching before his historical baptism and subsequent Journey with his collection of disciples.

The idea of non-attachment has come to mean celibacy and seclusion, to become a monk or a nun in most circles of religion that are tied by belief to the origins of Buddha and Jesus.
Non-attachment and the reality of being desire-less in this context means to be in the world and not of it.

Both Jesus and Buddha spoke of spirit. Jesus stated his Union with spirit which he called the Father (the un-manifest) also called the Budhi in Buddhism. But to understand the Father or the Budhi one has to understand the nature of ones Self and in doing so one realizes they are the Same as the Father or the Budhi as was mentioned by Jesus when he said, "I and my Father are ONE". This statement is from immersion of awareness in Spirit, and in a constant conscious state.

Any adult can observe the actions of a child when it becomes attached to an object such as a toy. When the object is taken away or if it breaks while the child is playing with it the child cries. In Eastern teachings this is called suffering. When the mind is conditioned to attach itself and its idea of happiness to an object or objects it suffers when the object or objects are taken or broken. As an adult we think to ourselves the child will get over the toy and it will be replaced with another one. But what the adult doesn't often realize is that he/she still retains this behavior even as he/she observes it in the tantrums and emotional reactions of a child that has attached itself to an object. We buy a new car and fear for its shine and appeal as we drive it to the grocery store and park it between two cars whose owners may open their door and ding the new paint. We apply this kind of thinking and attachment to everything when we think that these things are what give us happiness. Shopping addicts seek the thrill of buying something new and owning more stuff. Addicts of every kind abound in the need to satisfy the senses with drugs, sex, television, movies, gambling, ownership of objects and people in relationships.

Non-attachment has come to mean to some people who call themselves Christian or Buddhist that one become a celibate in isolation, or to become a monk or a nun, but that is not at all what either Jesus or Buddha taught. They taught that fulfillment does not come from something or from anything that is temporary. There is no relative object or relationship that can last forever and so all relationships with the world are temporary. Happiness then is temporary, and contentment a measure of happiness weighed against known alternatives in a temporary world.

Both Eastern masters (Jesus and Buddha) spoke of "being in the world but not of it". Meaning, when the mind is immersed in the awareness of spirit it observes the world of the senses but in observation witness all thought feeling and action.
People like to ride on a rollercoaster because it stimulates the senses and one knows it is temporary. People do not like riding a rollercoaster if it is their life and it goes up and down. Up in successful attainment of pleasures and then down when those achievements are lost and pleasure wanes into sadness. When the ego (which is a mechanism that translates the outer world into sense oriented realities) becomes the master to awareness it locks ones self into the illusions of conditioning, which is attaching memories to objects of perception.
If you fear snakes and mistake a rope for a snake and have a heart attack and die then you died from an illusion of attachment to something that isn't what you thought it was. The older one gets in attachments to thoughts and ideas the less innocence there is to perceive the potential in anything as the past is heavily applied to the object of sense orientation.
There is a saying,"You can't teach an old dog new tricks". This can be applied to the individual who has attached themselves to an identity of self and the world around themselves. The world is never really experienced new, it is always experienced from the memories of the past. The mind is never present in the moment or in the "Now" as it has been coined in the "New age".
Unlike the child who before its conditioning experienced the world with new-ness, wonder and bliss, the average octogenarian has accumulated an identification with his/her past experiences and never sees the world as they did before all of that conditioning. Memories of what is pleasureable and painful haunt every experience, the subconscious driving every experience with the attachment to the past.
Desire then becomes a need to protect the mind and body by seeking to avoid anything and everything that is painful and to draw forth only that which is pleasurable. Nothing is seen or experienced with any innocence or with full cognitive awareness. Every rope is a potential snake and death comes of the stress associated to past impressions.

To walk the pathless path one needs to remove themselves from the road traveled as subconscious conditioning. To become unattached to the world and not of it one needs to remove the awareness from its addictions to conditioning and identification with the past.
Both of the Eastern Masters taught their disciples to take their awareness from the outer world inward to the Self or spirit which is immortal. When the awareness is firmly seated in spirit the world unfolds itself and is witnessed as the reflection of thought and identification.

We can easily observe another who identifies with their thoughts in low self esteem or with their pride, or with their accumulation of experience as the product of experiences. We can also see in the newborn a potential and we often say to them, "You can be whatever you wish to be." By the time that child is 30 that potential has been squashed by the beliefs of ones abilities as they were measured and graded and compared to others in schools and in social interactions. When we teach our own children the meaning of success and believe ourselves in the limitations of our actions and abilities we deny ourselves that potential of which we spoke when we said to the newborn, "You can be whatever you want to be." Because we are attached to the world around us in the way we believe it exists and we exist in it.

The Eastern Masters taught that all potential lay in innocence (potential of the Now) and not in conditioning and identification with the body and its collection of thoughts beliefs and experiences which are always changing and vary from one individual to another.

Those that have become disgruntled by what they have been taught by their teachers who call themselves Christian or Buddhist either have been taught by someone who does not know of what they speak, or have not themselves understood of what someone who knows speaks of. Generally speaking the ego which has locked itself into the meanings of pleasure, or happiness or even enlightenment without having known of what they speak of, find themselves frustrated by the determination to try and make the world fit into the quart jar of personal belief.

Desire without conditioning is rarely experienced or witnessed by one who is attached to the relative world. Only the desire of conditions and belief are experienced by those who know nothing other than the relative world and it's temporary appearances.
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Rick
post Aug 13, 2009, 10:05 AM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ Aug 13, 2009, 05:51 AM) *
... is Ayn Rand's philosophy perhaps more appropriate in asserting the strength of the individual to pursue and achieve greatness?

No. One can achieve much, even greatness, without being an asshole about it. Barack Obama, for example. He and other great Democrats understand that it's not all about the "I got mine, screw you" philosophy. We are all in this together, and together we can achieve greatness.
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msmother
post Nov 03, 2009, 03:50 AM
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QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM) *

Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Rebirth.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.

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