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Customer Review

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and daring., July 29, 2008
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This review is from: Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution (Paperback)
I do not call myself a Buddhist, but that's certainly not because I haven't felt an almost life-long calling towards its teachings. I don't call myself a Buddhist because I am unsure of religion's place and legitimacy in the modern world. Religion, even dear Buddhism, seems divisive and small-minded, so I resist.

Money Sex War Karma, first and foremost, is an insightful, well-written and suprisingly critical look at Buddhism. I found the short book completely riveting and full of useful criticism. As a person who has always been interested in the teachings of the Buddha and never in the religion of Buddhism, this book articulated many vague notions that have been swirling around in my head for many, many years. How refreshing to see one of Buddhism's own teachers and practitioners offer such an insightful and well-reasonable approach to finding an authentic Buddhist path. Loy's analysis has the potential to make Buddhist teachings not only relevant to the 21st century, but indispensable.

These essays possess the wisdom to help transform not only one's day to day practice, but Buddhism as an institution. Buddhists are wise to pay attention to Loy's sage and sane words.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2008 3:03:16 PM PDT
Rick Brenner says:
"I don't call myself a Buddhist because I am unsure of religion's place and legitimacy in the modern world."

But is Buddhism really a religion since there is no god? Isn't it more a "science of the mind" as the Dali Lama calls it? That's what it feels like to me as I practice it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2009 11:57:14 AM PDT
C. D. Varn says:
Buddhism central premises may be empirical, but they are not scientific as they are not really falsifiable in either direction. I deeply respect the Dali Lama as a moral teacher, but I think he's "science of the mind" is more religious marketing than a statement of understanding of science. This is not to dismiss Buddhist mind trainings as invalid, they just aren't technically speaking, truly scientific by a strict standard.

Donald S. Lopez Jr goes into this in his "Buddhism and Science, a Guide for the Perplexed."

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 6:56:55 PM PDT
Lorraine says:
Actually, buddhism (or better yet, buddha-dharma, which takes the religious-sounding "ism" out of the picture) in its purest form contains none of the religious trappings of the cultures that have adapted it for their use, such as Tibetan or Zen. If you read Buddhism Plain and Simple, by Steve Hagen Buddhism Plain and Simple you'll see what I'm saying.

And buddhism doesn't NEED to be scientifically proven or disproven, because in its purest form, it makes no super-natural claims. It is a way of life.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 6:10:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2012 10:25:17 PM PDT
applewood says:
RFB, Buddhism (with a capital B) is clearly a religion - there are plenty of religions without a "God" - such as sects of Hinduism (which Hindu's consider Buddhism to be one of), Jainism, Taoism, Marxism, Scientism, Scientology, Fascism etc...

Sure buddhism can be practiced as something other than religion; a way of life (as Lorraine says above, but this is essentially the definition of religion!), or a general unified approach to philosophy, psychology, awakening (but again, this is the basic function of religion for an individual), but what has sustained it over the past 2500 years, so individuals like us can take this individualistic approach, has been the various religious forms it's developed. Yet what has given it LIFE is the realization of such individuals....

Being a buddhist has traditionally meant taking refuge in the "3 Jewels" - the Buddha (guide), Dharma (instructions) and Sangha (community of followers). This last jewel (the community of companions we actually interact with) may seem the most ordinary and mundane, but it is actually the most precious, since it is how we actually meet the teachings and see them embodied, and progress in our practice. This Buddhist notion of the sangha is also pretty much what the Christian traditions mean by "church" - and so like with Christianity, it's pretty hard to separate Buddhism from the religious aspect.
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