RE: Did the Buddha say/teach these things?

S M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/19/23 2:39 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/19/23 2:39 PM

Did the Buddha say/teach these things?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 12/30/22 Recent Posts
  • The Buddha taught to be constantly mindful of the breath at all times during all activities; apparently the wise of old practiced this as well
  • The Buddha said to never worship him or make a religion out of him or his teachings
  • The Buddha said that meditation is one of the few actions that will not influence kamma in a negative/harmful way
I've only heard the above things being stated by the Buddha, but have never verified them in suttas. Can anyone cofirm these, or list an equivalent teaching? I appreciate all the help as always.
Ben V, modified 4 Months ago at 1/19/23 7:19 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/19/23 7:19 PM

RE: Did the Buddha say/teach these things?

Posts: 413 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
For the first point, I don't think it is said anywhere in the suttas. The closest thing is in the satipatthana sutta where he talks about having mindfulness and clear comprehension (sati sampajana) in all activities. Whenever he talks of mindfulness of breathing specifically, he always recommend sitting in a quiet place.

For the second point, I don't think he said anything like that, at least so directly. He did say not long before passing to take the Dhamma as one's own refuge, when a monk was lamenting his impending passing (Parinibbana sutta). In the same sutta he also says that people in the future that would come to places of significance for the Buddha (birth place, enlightenment place, or, if I remember correctly, a stupa) and venerate it and feel ''spiritual feelings'' (don't rememeber exact wording), that person would get positive kamma. Such an activity would definitely go in the category of ''worshiping him'' and 'religion'.

I think in the West historically we've tended to project our own cultural sensitivities on Buddhism, such as our rebellion against organized religion. It seems the Buddha certainly approved of practices that would fall in the category of venerating awakened ones and religious activities. However, IMHO he did not see these things as core to what he taught, nor as fundamentally what leads to awakening. In my understanding, one can awaken with or without the accompaniment of religious-type activities. Worshiping or venerating the Buddha with offerings and bows can nourish the heart with positive feelings. But if such activities do not appeal to one, the Eightfold Path can still be practiced.

For your third point, I'm not sure I understand the question. From a very traditional Buddhist perspective, as long as we're not arahants, whatever we do, even meditation, can be influenced by egoic thinking to some degree. 

All best.
Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago at 1/20/23 1:32 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/20/23 1:31 AM

RE: Did the Buddha say/teach these things?

Posts: 1404 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
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