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Are there any Polish buddhists?


muzyka  
24 Mar 2007 /  #1
just wondering whether buddhism (in any shape or form) has come to Poland.......
mlody  
24 Mar 2007 /  #2
Buddism isn't very popular in Poland.
bruno 2 | 48  
27 Mar 2007 /  #3
Sure, there are some buddhists in Poland. Although more of them just "practice" it, than really believe the principles. I'd say it is much easier to do the "eastern exercise", than to really convert (if at all possible for somebody from the "western culture", you know, Greece, Bible, enlightement and modern science all together).
OP muzyka  
28 Mar 2007 /  #4
Although more of them just "practice" it, than really believe the principles. I'd say it is much easier to do the "eastern exercise",

I'm not sure what you mean by this - can you please explain???
bruno 2 | 48  
28 Mar 2007 /  #5
Hi Muzyka,

I meant that they do practice zen or yoga as a breathing/physical exercise or try to meditate etc without really understanding or believing the "hard core" buddhist truths. I mean in general it is very hard to change your "western ways of thinking" to "eastern paths", especially the ego thing.
OP muzyka  
28 Mar 2007 /  #6
Thanks Bruno, that's what I thought you meant - yes, it's true you can meditate without any understanding of buddhist teaching - it's not essential, but very beneficial if you do practice the truths; and you are right westerners do have a hard time letting go of ego etc.....tell me, do you practice?
bruno 2 | 48  
28 Mar 2007 /  #7
Well, I don't. Should I try? I would have a problem to get motivated: because, if I tried in order to get healthier for example, than it would fall under the western thinking (egocentric taking care of myself): how would I be able to practice knowing the motives at the same time (is there a contradiction? is contradiction even valid in eastern thinking?): see, this is how it works, I mean, it doesn't work/make sense for us, "western guys".
OP muzyka  
29 Mar 2007 /  #8
I think you might be confusing things a bit.....there is nothing wrong with doing something to improve your health etc., in fact, it's essential for good practice to look after yourself; but if you're talking about looking "good", trendy etc., and having an "attachment" to these - that's different. I think westerners tend to complicate things because we don't really understand the nature of egolessness and because of this we struggle....but hey, I would encourage you to meditate - but learn how to do it properly (from a good teacher)........
bruno 2 | 48  
29 Mar 2007 /  #9
Right, Muzyka, I don't even get to the "trendy" things etc, just simply stating that the western mind cannot overcome its "western-ness" (cannot overcome these "confusions" which it is constantly producing itself).

So, although it seems you are suggesting that proper learning and practicing may be able to do just that, I'd rather say that these "confusions" are structurally impossible to overcome. In other words: "western meditation" is always going to be a different thing than the eastern one, because, I tend to think, there is more into this than just a repeatable technique.

So, because of the context (inside the mind and outside in the cultural environment) meditation is changing its sense/essence depending on who practice it (westerner or easterner).
OP muzyka  
29 Mar 2007 /  #10
"western meditation" is always going to be a different thing than the eastern one, because, I tend to think, there is more into this than just a repeatable technique

you are absolutely right re this comment; there is much more to meditation than repetition...but it is possible for a westerner to go deeper - it depends on many factors: attitude, knowledge, readiness in terms of one's own spiritual evolution etc., have you ever heard of Vipassana meditation? this technique is taught around the world (including PL) and from here westerners or anyone really, can learn to go deeper - if they choose.....
bruno 2 | 48  
29 Mar 2007 /  #11
Nope, haven't heard about Vipassana thing. I'm really not very interested in the eastern tradition. But I'm interested as how deep can you really get into that, isn't there like a line, where us westerners have to stop, which we simply cannot cross because of who we are and how we are?
OP muzyka  
29 Mar 2007 /  #12
If you're saying westerners are limited in their capacity to go deeper because they are too connnected to the material/consumer/individual style of perceiving and living their lives etc., that is valid - but there are many westerners who have gone deeper despite this - and buddhism is growing in the west.....in UK, Australia, France, USA, other parts of Europe.......no, I don't think there is a line where westerners have to stop....it's all in the mind......
bruno 2 | 48  
30 Mar 2007 /  #13
well, I didn't mean just the lifestyle, sure, the values are very important, but I'm also thinking about the logic: is our western logic valid in eastern thinking?
OP muzyka  
30 Mar 2007 /  #14
i'd like to answer this, but I'm not sure what you mean by western logic - it could refer to many things.....
bruno 2 | 48  
30 Mar 2007 /  #15
you are right, it is kind of general, but just as an example: the western logic is based on the law of non-contradiction (so is my thinking, dreams, plans, actions etc), than I remeber reading this Suzuki guy (and it was 10 years ago, so I had to look this following sentence up) writing about the eastern way of enlightenment: "which is at once above and in the process of reasoning. This is a contradiction, formally considered, but in truth, this contradiction is itself made possible because of Prajna"

I'm simply lost when somebody is "talking contradiction", in this example: is driving to Chiacago the same as already being there?
OP muzyka  
30 Mar 2007 /  #16
oh boy.....this statement is difficult to interpret because it's taken out of context....I can only say that "prajna" means "wisdom" which is one of the fundamentals of buddhist teaching and practice.

Your example (re driving to chicago) is actually a very good one to describe the experience of enlightenment - which begins from where you are; you don't actually go anywhere; you learn to be completely in the present moment and see reality for what it is - no longer wanting things to be different from how they are....does this make any sense??
bruno 2 | 48  
30 Mar 2007 /  #17
well, I don't think context would matter a lot here, it was just an illustration of letting contradiction play a role in the teaching.

as far as the sense of "no longer wanting things to be different from how they are": if it is a momentary event (illuminatio, orgasm, being lightly drunk before falling to sleep) than I guess it makes sense, but as a permanent state it does remind me - if you will, please - cows slowly chewing their grass somewhere by the rural road in eastern Poland.

seriously: what is life without wanting, acting (changing the order of things), achieving, growing, celebrating, communicating (making a difference as far as the others are concerned)?
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
31 Mar 2007 /  #18
Bruno 'explains:' 'I meant that they [Polish Buddhists] do practice zen or yoga as a breathing/physical exercise or try to meditate etc without really understanding or believing the "hard core" buddhist truths. I mean in general it is very hard to change your "western ways of thinking" to "eastern paths", especially the ego thing.' - Well, bruno, where did you take it from that the Buddhists (quite numerous, actually) in Poland 'do practice zen or yoga [sic] as breathing/physical exercises,' and the rest of the stuff? Would you give the source and specific examples? :) :) I remember reading an interview with the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, in which he says that Zen Buddhism in Poland is the strongest in the world, or something of this sort. Muzyka, have a look at the following website: dharmaweb.org/index.php/Poland
bruno 2 | 48  
31 Mar 2007 /  #19
Hi Puzzler, these statements are based on my experience/conversations with a lot of people more or less involved with "polish buddhism". They are admitting that the "practical side" of it is for everybody, but the "mind conversion" is very hard, if at all possible (so it is not mine assumption, just a conclusion of quite a few disscussions). Sure, if you go on the internet you are not likely to find people saying "I practice zen, but I'm not really a buddhist", we were talking with Muzyka on a little deeper level here. Ten people driving to Chicago can be in the same "driving mood", but their believes, values, plans etc is what makes them truly different.

I guess we can all agree that practicing, using buddhist technics does not make one a buddhist automatically, right?(unless this is again "western way" of seeing things, and it does not fit here)

EDIT: Re your [sic] comment next to word yoga: yes, it works the same way with practicing yoga without really paying attention to the Hindu philosophy, treating yoga as just a set of exercises without tinking of it as something "self-liberating".
OP muzyka  
31 Mar 2007 /  #20
what is life without wanting, acting (changing the order of things), achieving, growing, celebrating, communicating (making a difference as far as the others are concerned)?

hi bruno.....good to see you are still interested....what I can say in response to the above is simple this (which I hope sheds some light on your question). There are 2 states of mind in human beings 1. Craving and 2. Aversion - humans want something and don't want to lose it when they get it AND/OR they don't want something and when it happens or comes, they wish to push it away.....this is was causes suffering, pain or unhappiness.......the other big thing is ATTACHMENT to the things we crave and the things we are averse to......there is nothing wrong with celebrating, growing etc., as long as you are not ATTACHED to these - so that when good things end, or bad things come they do not DISTURB your peaceful state of mind.....does this explanation help any?
bruno 2 | 48  
1 Apr 2007 /  #21
Sure I'm interested, just need to sleep sometimes :)

We are getting into something here: so, what is "me" or "I" or whatever we may call it without these cravings/aversions? Seems like we'd loose our identities without the attachment to values that motivate us (even if it's just money for example) and we'd have to stop acting. Seems like you are presenting some kind of contemplative rather than active life.

That would be another difference between east and west: we've been told to "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
OP muzyka  
1 Apr 2007 /  #22
so, you think that identity is bound up with cravings, desires and other things that motivate you? .....The question is not that you want something, but that when you lose it, or don't get it the way you wanted - it makes you unhappy, miserable, even seriously depressed. The key is, when you have it enjoy it, but accept it when it's gone....nothing lasts forever, the nature of impermanence and the fact that people cannot come to terms with impermanence is what creates all the misery in the world.....we want to hold on, or we think we can hold on, but it's all an illusion......
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
1 Apr 2007 /  #23
Bruno, from what you scribble, oh so patronizingly, it appears that those alleged Polish folks you've spoken to (you've made them up, haven't you? :)) weren't advanced Buddhist, eg. Zen, practitioners. And from your babbling it also appears that so aren't you. You seem to refer rather disdainfully to my internet reference for Muzykaa (by the way, what an ill-mannered individual she seems to be - no thank you for my polite posting), but you seem to be ignorant of the fact that some of the Polish Buddhist groups listed there (it's just some names, addresses and phone numbers,not, as you seem to assume, chat sites, bruno!) date back to the mid 1970s. Numerous people in them are highly advanced in the Buddhist practice. What such a teeny overintelectualized overbearing chap like yourself may know about it? :) Take for instance the Venerable Zen Teacher Aleksandra Porter from Falenica n. Warszawa, a Dharma heir to the aforementioned late Great Zen Master Seung Sahn. Or folks from the Bodhidarma Zen group under the auspices of the late Great Zen Master Philip Kapleau and his Dharma heir Venerable Bodhin. There are scores of authentic devoted and advanced Buddhist practitioners in virtually every major city in Poland. And in many minor ones just as well. These folks don't have any problems with things that you seem to have a big problem with: a 'mind conversion,' and similar trash. :) Wow, so you insist that you babble with mubzyka on 'a little deeper level here'? Wow! Oi! Oopsy! Therefore please elucidate to me - a poor ignorant Polish feller - oh thou profound Buddhist expert, what exactly 'level' would that be and why exactly is the level allegedly, oh, so 'deep'? :)
bruno 2 | 48  
1 Apr 2007 /  #24
so, you think that identity is bound up with cravings, desires and other things that motivate you?

Yes, Muzyka, that is what I think about my identity: it is made up of these desires/awersions, and things attached to them, since one always desires/pushes away something (values, emotions, states, people, material things etc). And I agree, the problem is the "work of time", so the interested question you are trying to answer is how to deal with the vanishing. The acceptance seems like a good way, but how should we react, let's say, when there is a war? Should we be accepting it too, as just a neutral event?

Hola, Panie Puzzler, they'd say in Poland.

Since I'm a newbie here, I'm not sure what are the rules about dealing with comments like yours. I will answer it, but please, in the future, save your time: with this attitude (and manners, which you seem to care about), calling people "little, lying arrogant pricks" you simply don't deserve any answers.

I'm also not sure what are you trying to say in your comment, besides talking about me?
It looks like you are missing the point of this discussion: I've never said there was no "advanced buddhists" in Poland, or that I was in any way a specialist in this matter. Even a list of 1000 names of 'advanced buddhists' from Poland don't prove me wrong, since I simply wasn't talking about them.

The 'deeper level' you are asking about is just what you are missing here: we didn't talk with Muzyka about people who are declaring they are buddhists, we were discussing the possibility of real conversion for somebody brought up as a "westerner". And I was stating quite obvious thing that it is not easy.

Suggested reading (patronizing not intended, blame my poor english or your oversensitiveness, also, I don't believe this discussion is in any way overintelectualized(?):

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

if you know polish you can take a look at this as a fresh illustration of my opinions (this is an article from one of the biggest polish portals, talking about yoga as something better than "prozac, viagra, amphetamine": same attitude to buddhism I was trying to present and criticize here)

serwisy.gazeta.pl/logo/1,66913,3951710.html
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
1 Apr 2007 /  #25
Bruno, where did I call you: 'little lying arrogant prick'? Give the pertinent quote. Otherwise, shouldn't you be called a liar?

And oh yes, bruno, you didn't literally said: 'there are no advanced buddhists in Poland,' but have I ever said you did? And have I ever used the expression 'advanced Buddhists'?

On the other hand, you stated, for example: 'there are some buddhists in Poland. Although more of them just "practice" it, than really believe the principles. I'd say it is much easier to do the "eastern exercise", than to really convert.'

Can't one conclude from this that the majority of the not so numerous (according to you) Buddhists in Poland are just superficial adherents to the physical aspect of Buddhism, and not authentic, i.e. embrancing both the scriptural and physical aspects, Buddhist religionists?

Bruno, so your 'deeper level' of chatting with muzyka pertains to the 'quite obvious thing' that the 'real conversion' to Buddhism by 'somebody brought up as westerner' is not easy? If the thing is so obvious, why should it be so deep, Bruno? :)

And why would it be so hard to became Buddhist if one has been brought up as a 'Westerner'? What's the nature of the alleged obstacle?

Your obstacle, right?

Sorry, Burno, but wikipedia isn't an authoritative source for moi.

Of course, you may choose not to reply to my comments, but I reserve the right to comment on whatever you post here.

PS. I hope I haven't spoiled your fun of showing off to a gal? :)
OP muzyka  
1 Apr 2007 /  #26
to my internet reference for Muzyka (by the way, what an ill-mannered individual she seems to be - no thank you for my polite posting),

hello puzzler: boy, oh boy, your words are full of aggression and hostility - obviously, you don't practice the buddhist path.....on the positive side, you're attitude illustrates beautifully what ego is and how ego controls you - with that inside you there is no inner peace for you nor for the people around you....how about making comments in a balanced and level headed way....we are just having a discussion here, not a slanging match.......ok? by the way, I did appreciate your reference to above site, however, neglected to acknowledge it.....a human error on my part.....stay cool!!

but how should we react, let's say, when there is a war? Should we be accepting it too, as just a neutral event

the thing is, when we react it's because something in our ego has been stirred/wounded ..it doesn't take much to do that; a simple act of perceived rudeness and suddenly we get all hot and bothered because the "I" the "me" has been ruffled....(a la Puzzler) and this is also how wars are started- it's a simple premise that is often taken to extremes like war. If people realised (on a deep level) that we're all connected and if those same people found inner peace they would never start, or be part of a war. The other key point is to have compassion for others, including those who harm us. If we do take action towards anyone or anything, we do it calmly without anger or aggression......it's difficult to explain in this medium.......most of it is not intellectual understanding, not of the mind, but elsewhere.....
bruno 2 | 48  
1 Apr 2007 /  #27
Can't one conclude from this that the majority of the not so numerous (according to you) Buddhists in Poland are just superficial adherents to the physical aspect of Buddhism, and not authentic, i.e. embrancing both the scriptural and physical aspects, Buddhist religionists?

At least one thing you got right. This is exactly what I've meant.

Muzyka, where is elsewhere? Emotions? If it is not an intellectual understanding, can we really talk about it?
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
2 Apr 2007 /  #28
Well, bruno, if I 'got it right' that you meant that the majority of Buddhists in Poland are just superficial practitioners of the physical aspect of Buddhism, why did you deny having said it? And my postings have been exactly just a reaction to this untrue message of yours. The truth is that the numerous Buddhists in Poland are who they are - real Buddhists.

So you can't prove that I called you a 'little lying arrogant prick'?
:)

Hello, muzyka.

Did I ever say that you and bruno were having a 'slanging match' here? If not, why the explanation?

So you believe that if any one speaks in an aggressive and hostile manner he surely doesn't 'practice the buddhist path' (sic)?

Is the Buddhist path, according to you, exclusively for those who babble in a sugary way, hiding their aggression and hostility and pretending to be angels on Earth?

How about if somebody speaks in a condescending and contemptuous manner? Is the Buddhist path for him or for her? Is his or her contempt and insolence a symptom of aggression and hostility, even if it is expressed in a 'balanced and level headed' manner?

:)

You're alleging that my attitude 'illustrates beautifully what ego is' and how this alleged ego 'controls' me. You allege that there's no 'inner peace' for me 'nor for the people' around me. Now how would you prove that your allegations are true - of course, prove in a 'balanced and level headed' manner?

What about if my comments are actually being made in an ego-less way? Is it actually possible, or not?
:)

hello puzzler: boy, oh boy, your words are full of aggression and hostility - obviously, you don't practice the buddhist path.....on the positive side, you're attitude illustrates beautifully what ego is and how ego controls you - with that inside you there is no inner peace for you nor for the people around you....how about making comments in a balanced and level headed way....we are just having a discussion here, not a slanging match.......ok? by the way, I did appreciate your reference to above site, however, neglected to acknowledge it.....a human error on my part.....stay cool!!
OP muzyka  
2 Apr 2007 /  #29
you can talk about it all day and night and try to understand with your mind, but in the end you won't get there.....it has to be "experienced" it's all experiential, that's why it's called a "practice" not a belief. So, if you are seeking the truths of the Buddha, I recommend you start meditating - go and learn how at your nearest zen or other buddhist centre and read some well written texts on the subject.....from there be patient, very patient and allow yourself to open up to the possibilities....there is no blind faith here - the buddha himself said "test everything I tell you - find out for yourself".....but remember, the harder you try, the further away the truth will be )there's another one of the contradictions you mentioned earlier)....the reason there seem to be contradictions is because you are attempting to understand them with the mind.......just ponder, don't analyse.....contemplate in solitude and quiet.....:)

How about if somebody speaks in a condescending and contemptuous manner? Is the Buddhist path for him or for her? Is his or her contempt and insolence a symptom of aggression and hostility, even if it is expressed in a 'balanced and level headed' manner?

I think you just want to argue rather than understand and if that's the case, I won't be responding to your comments any further........(beyond this one)

in response to the above: the buddhist path is for anyone who is interested - even you..however, if you sincerely take up the practice you would not even consider speaking harshly towards others, let alone cover it up with falseness (sugary coating as you put it)......
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
2 Apr 2007 /  #30
Muzyka, it's untrue that I 'just want to argue rather than understand.' You've got an abundant evidence that I really want to understand. As for arguing, it's essential to any discussion, isn't it?

I am sorry you won't respond to me any more, but I won't die from the grief either. :)

Muzyka, if you were familiar, or better familiar, with certain Buddhist scriptures, e.g. Surangama (re: the horses parable), you'd know that Buddhism is also - if not first of all - for such rascals as myself.... :)

I won't interfere with your discussion (although I will keep on reading it ). Fine things you say at times, guys, I must admit.

And yes, bruno, the stuff about showing off was stupid on my part. Conversely, your condescending attitude towards Polish Buddhists... but it's your problem, not mine.

:)

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