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Buddhist Silence


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#1 Stephen Contrado B.A. Th.M

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 08:36 PM

Buddhist Silence.

Words are poor instruments to examine truth. They involve a duality that cannot comprehend the whole truth, but kill the living truth by dissecting it. Words don't capture changing processes. We should live in the present moment and experience what is real. (Pain is often illusory.) Words are pointers to what is real. Reality is more closely grasped through broader symbols. At one famous sermon in front of thousands of people, Buddha sat in silence and simply held up a flower. What do you think his action and the flower symbolized?

Edited by mrsspookypants, 27 June 2009 - 10:06 AM.


#2 MoonChild

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:39 PM

Hey Stephen. Welcome to GhostVillage.

As for the silence observed in Buddhism (and in various other Eastern traditions), silence (external) is merely a symbolism. We as humans find it hard not to talk and share ideas, and once we gain mastery over our mouth, that in turn helps in gaining mastery over the thoughts in our brains. The real silence has to happen in the inside world.

I hope people would be interested in discussing more on this topic, I find this a deep subject.

Edited by mrsspookypants, 27 June 2009 - 10:07 AM.

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#3 Redhead

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:59 AM

There are Catholic religious orders that members take a vow of silence when joining. Like you said, Moon, it is meant to help one focus on spiritual matters, prayer, and meditation. Otherwise one tends to get caught up in the mundane day to day things that seem to become so important in our lives. I think that is why I prefer silence when I meditate instead of playing any type of music - music is distracting and the mind will wander. It's also interesting how many people are so uncomfortable with silence. My husband and his whole family are like this - if there is a lull in conversation of even a moment or two, someone has to say something, even if it is a repitition of something that was just said! I'm not sure why that is with some people, but I like silence.
"Never wrestle with a pig. All you get is dirty and the pig has all the fun." ~ Anon.

#4 axlfoley

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 04:22 AM

I think the flower symbolizes peace or life and by holding it up and being the focus it shows how important the buddha wants us to realize it.

Whatever


#5 MoonChild

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:18 AM

Flower does not realize life nor peace, Flower represents the activated Chakra. Another possible aspect of a flower is a symbolism to be like a flower.
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#6 Redhead

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:36 AM

Flowers are simple, yet very complicated. They are lovely and they simply are.
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#7 Jaida

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:11 AM

I am very experienced in Buddhism so I this is what I am sure he believes. However, for you to understand what Buddha meant by it you first need to understand HIS Buddhism. There are many different types of Buddhism, the two main groups are mahayana and theravada. Theravada would be closest to the Buddha's exact teachings. So we will have to use this forum of Buddhism.

A flower is simple, it starts off as a seed and is blown to wherever it lands. It has no control over it nor does it want any control. It then grows and as it grows it sets it's roots. It never seeks anything, anything that it will "need" will come to it or it will die. It will not pick it's root up and walk around in search of water...no, it sits and the water comes to it. It has no desires at all. It then blooms and everything is beautiful, yet it still seeks nothing. Then it wilts and dies. Death is not a negative thing at all in this context. When it dies, a new seed is blown away and sprouts. This is what the Buddha had in mind when he held up a flower. No word needs to be spoken. It is all natural. To desire, is unnatural.

Edited by Jaida, 05 July 2009 - 06:12 AM.


#8 Shawn333

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:29 AM

I think the meaning was that he forgot to prepare a sermon that day.

Or maybe what Jaida said.

#9 traveller

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 08:43 PM

you csn see god if you look at a flower really look at it. god is in all things and in us too.

#10 Gabby

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:35 AM

I think it symbolized harmony. The need to let go and be like the flower.
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#11 duncan36

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:20 PM

I think it symbolized harmony. The need to let go and be like the flower.


Letting go is good one day a week. The rest of the week is for work, spiritual or otherwise.
I love Buddhism but people should know the NKT tradition which is all over the west is highly suspect aka similar to the money grubbing holy roller tv 'Christians'.




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