This article concerning peoples dislike of religious and spiritual groups. Peoples viewpoint of religion is important and we need to study it and ask ourselves - does our group come across like this and if so can anything be done?
Normally we do not look at negative comments because we fear we will develop deluded doubts. We only read material that confirms what we believe. When we do read something that contradicts us we quickly conclude it is damaging our faith and stop.
We need to move forward from this weak position. It a position where we cannot listen to others. We have to leave a room when someone disagrees with us with this type of position. If we believe this position is correct, the following reasons disprove it:
1) In Tibet and India all all the great monasteries there was a great deal of open debate. People with many different viewpoints listened to each other and banged heads for hours or days at a time. The purpose of this was to deepen their understanding of reality and experience of logic/reasoning. Buddhists debated Hindus over Ishvara for example. We can see a summary in Meaningful to Behold.
2) Buddha defeated all the Maras. He did not run away from them. When he was under the Bodhi tree they tried every line of reasoning, but Buddha was so strong in logic that noone could destroy his faith. We need to follow this example and deepen our understanding of all topics. If we have true faith in Buddha we will not hold to the view that if we look at reality too closely we will see something that disproves Buddhas teachings and our bubble will be burst.
3) With clairvoyance we will see what everyone is thinking and we will hear everyones voice. If the sound of one voice we have to run away how are we going to strive for Buddhahood? We need to deal with this so the sound of others voices is teaching us Dharma. Every voice is explaining one thing, how samsara functions (the 12 dependant related links) or how nirvana functions. Therefore if we understand this we can see that everything confirms Buddhas teachings and deepens our faith. For example if we are surrounded by immoral people we see their karma and we also see our own superiority complex. Both teach Dharma.
So now we understand this we need to care for our kind mothers and try to look to see what is blocking them from religion so we can help them. We need to consider that they will have many valid points. Not everything people say is invalid. Its self cherishing that places us on the mountain of pride looking down at all other people, telling them to be quiet. Everything we know we have learned from others. Others led us to Buddhism by showing us love, patience, ettiquette, generosity. They gave us the taste for these things that made us seek more detailed instructions. The only reason others words dont sound like Dharma is because of our own spiritual weakness. Buddha hears Dharma teachings from every sound.
So by studying what has put people off religion we can ensure that we do not repeat these patterns. For example pushing people to convert. Therefore I recommend studying the following website.
Yahoo answers - all latest questions on hating religion
Yahoo answers - all the latest questions on problems with religion
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