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  #46  
Old Apr 18, '12, 2:37 am
PazzoGrande PazzoGrande is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by vera dicere View Post
My sister is dabbling with Buddhism, she loves the Dalai Lama, she paid good money to go see him at a visit he made here recently.

Frankly, listening to her speak about him and Buddism, it all comes across as that non-confrontational, do what you want, beleive what you want, just be "nice" and don't be "greedy" kind of wishy washy nonsense.

She tells me about how her "god" is open to all paths, there's no Hell, everyone goes to Heaven and sin is a man made concept designed to control the brainless masses.

Also she made amusing mention about Jesus didn't exist and that Peter stole Buddha's ideas. -_-'

On the other hand, she did a lot of dope, it sort of scrambled her brain, and I think doing this Buddist thing is her way of rebelling against our Catholic family that she thinks is plotting against her [paranoid from all that stupid dope - don't do drugs!]

So yeah, if anyone cares to, pray for my sister.
There are no serious, objective, real historians who really believe that Jesus, at least as a historical figure, did not exist. None. All of the people who insist that clearly have atheist agendas.

I'm sorry about your sister, and I will pray for her. I was recently doing the Divine Mercy Novena and I was reminded of how we need to pray for poor souls like that.
  #47  
Old Apr 18, '12, 10:19 am
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Sara Balzano Sara Balzano is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

Eh . . .

That's the impression the Dalai Lama leaves on me. He really means nothing to me.

I think its because Buddhism is seen as "exotic" for Westerners. Of course, those new age spiritualists will devour anything that comes from the East.
  #48  
Old Apr 18, '12, 10:25 am
PazzoGrande PazzoGrande is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by Sara Balzano View Post
Eh . . .

That's the impression the Dalai Lama leaves on me. He really means nothing to me.

I think its because Buddhism is seen as "exotic" for Westerners. Of course, those new age spiritualists will devour anything that comes from the East.
Yeah I hear that.

I had to take Buddhism classes in college and was bored to death, couldn't care less. Some might not think it's very Vatican II of me but if it doesn't help me spiritually.

Now I know, the Council did say that it rejects nothing holy in Buddhism. Still, Catholicism has so much more to offer in spirituality and time is better spent learning Teresa of Avila than Siddhartha Gautama.

I must say though, in those atmospheres, it does help when there is a good Catholic to stand up and remind the other Catholics of their faith. We went to Buddhist temples as part of those classes, the professor said when we pass the altar (or whatever it is), we should bow. I politely said that I can't do that. It can take the courage of one to remind the rest of what to do.
  #49  
Old Apr 18, '12, 10:30 am
GraceSofia GraceSofia is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by PazzoGrande View Post
Yeah I hear that.

I had to take Buddhism classes in college
Just curious.... if you don't mind. What was your major that you had to take them?
Quote:
We went to Buddhist temples as part of those classes, the professor said when we pass the altar (or whatever it is), we should bow. I politely said that I can't do that. It can take the courage of one to remind the rest of what to do.
Well done, and yes, you're right. It only takes one.
  #50  
Old Apr 18, '12, 11:13 am
PazzoGrande PazzoGrande is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by GraceSofia View Post
Just curious.... if you don't mind. What was your major that you had to take them?
I had a double major, Religious Studies concentration in Christian Studies (I just say Christian Studies) and Historical/Political Studies. I went to a Catholic university and the religious studies classes are required of everyone redgardless of major.

Anyway even though I took Christian Studies as a major, they made us take non-Christian religion classes. I hated it totally. I get that the point is for us to have tolerance of other religions, but I just plain didn't care.

I did however thoroughly enjoy going to a Coptic Orthodox parish.

The Dalai Lama visited here earlier this week, which is what got me wondering, why all the hype. The Coptic Pope visited here too some years ago and people barely paid attention. There was a story in the paper and that was it. And like a previous user mentioned, he was also persecuted in his homeland by the Islamic government. Ironically the Copts in our community were persecuted as well because people thought they were Muslim.

The Dalai Lama:
-persecuted
-speaks of peace

The Coptic Pope
-persecuted
-speaks of peace
-BUT is of our faith and heritage

You just wanna yell, forget the hype for a second and remember where your priorities are, folks.
  #51  
Old Apr 18, '12, 12:45 pm
GEddie GEddie is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by PazzoGrande View Post
I had a double major, Religious Studies concentration in Christian Studies (I just say Christian Studies) and Historical/Political Studies. I went to a Catholic university and the religious studies classes are required of everyone redgardless of major.

Anyway even though I took Christian Studies as a major, they made us take non-Christian religion classes. I hated it totally. I get that the point is for us to have tolerance of other religions, but I just plain didn't care.

I did however thoroughly enjoy going to a Coptic Orthodox parish.

The Dalai Lama visited here earlier this week, which is what got me wondering, why all the hype. The Coptic Pope visited here too some years ago and people barely paid attention. There was a story in the paper and that was it. And like a previous user mentioned, he was also persecuted in his homeland by the Islamic government. Ironically the Copts in our community were persecuted as well because people thought they were Muslim.

The Dalai Lama:
-persecuted
-speaks of peace

The Coptic Pope
-persecuted
-speaks of peace
-BUT is of our faith and heritage

You just wanna yell, forget the hype for a second and remember where your priorities are, folks.
I think, in addition to the chic/yuppie interest factors of Buddhism to this place and time, the difference between the DL and the Coptic Pope as to the public reception is in part due to Copticism being far more obscure than Tibetan Buddhism.

ICXC NIKA
  #52  
Old Apr 18, '12, 1:46 pm
ebonykawai ebonykawai is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

Why is it so impossible for many of you to believe that buddhism is a valid spiritual path that helps many people find peace and just makes sense ot them? My goodness, if you want to know why HH the Dalai Lama is so popular, you should have asked Pope John Paul II, he met with him more than he met with any other spiritual leader, something like 8 or 9 times. Google it.

Buddhism isn't something "exotic". It's a very basic, clear-cut way of living so as to harm as few living beings as possible. It's too bad that so many other religions aren't as concerned about being a steward to the earth and its inhabitants. The world would be a better place.
  #53  
Old Apr 18, '12, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by Hokomai View Post
Well, of course their Holinesses are at one on most moral issues. But if it is any comfort to you, a number of us unbelievers find it hard to maintain our usual cheerfulness and optimism when even hardened atheists go all gooey at the very mention of the Dalai Lama.
Hi Hokomai,
do you think that is because Buddhism is more about a view or philosophy of life than about a specific personal diety? That following Buddhism, one does not have to believe or profess in a personal God and his moral message and well as his refuge status is appealing even to those so called atheists?
  #54  
Old Apr 18, '12, 5:14 pm
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Kouyate42 Kouyate42 is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonykawai View Post
Why is it so impossible for many of you to believe that buddhism is a valid spiritual path that helps many people find peace and just makes sense ot them? My goodness, if you want to know why HH the Dalai Lama is so popular, you should have asked Pope John Paul II, he met with him more than he met with any other spiritual leader, something like 8 or 9 times. Google it.

Buddhism isn't something "exotic". It's a very basic, clear-cut way of living so as to harm as few living beings as possible. It's too bad that so many other religions aren't as concerned about being a steward to the earth and its inhabitants. The world would be a better place.

Because it's given some special status whilst most of its tenets can be found in pretty much any other religion, including Catholicism. Somehow, because it's Eastern and all 'mystical' with some mystical sounding words/rituals, it's somehow protected from this criticism.
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  #55  
Old Apr 18, '12, 5:45 pm
ebonykawai ebonykawai is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by Kouyate42 View Post
Because it's given some special status whilst most of its tenets can be found in pretty much any other religion, including Catholicism. Somehow, because it's Eastern and all 'mystical' with some mystical sounding words/rituals, it's somehow protected from this criticism.
LOL, the tenets of most religions can be found in most other religions. Have you ever noticed that? Special status? What exactly is the special status?

Mystical sounding words? Like....wow, a different language? I guess that never happens in the Latin mass, either. Nothing mystical about that, lol.

Do you even know anything about buddhism?
  #56  
Old Apr 18, '12, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by ebonykawai View Post
LOL, the tenets of most religions can be found in most other religions. Have you ever noticed that? Special status? What exactly is the special status?

Mystical sounding words? Like....wow, a different language? I guess that never happens in the Latin mass, either. Nothing mystical about that, lol.

Do you even know anything about buddhism?
The Latin Mass is different. And to be fair, not that many non-Catholics even know about the Latin Mass. I didn't until I got a Catholic priest for a Latin professor.

As to the tenets which can be found in other religions, then try these: pacificism/non-violence (Quakerism, Methodism, some forms of Baptist Christianity, Judaism), the idea of bad actions coming back on us in some way at a later time (this is a view held by many, including atheists), charity (pretty much every person on the planet will likely give to charity at some point in their lives), kind treatment of animals (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism).

And as to the mystical words, my point is this: people seem to chuck many Buddhist terms around simply because they sound 'cool' and not because they attach any meaning to them. It's like the craze there was for using Japanese words over in my city some time ago. They got chucked around with little consideration for their meaning or cultural significance. As a Japanese speaker, it hurt me to hear it.
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Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview - nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty.
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  #57  
Old Apr 18, '12, 5:56 pm
itullian itullian is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

I'm not.
  #58  
Old Apr 18, '12, 6:13 pm
ebonykawai ebonykawai is offline
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by Kouyate42 View Post
The Latin Mass is different. And to be fair, not that many non-Catholics even know about the Latin Mass. I didn't until I got a Catholic priest for a Latin professor.

As to the tenets which can be found in other religions, then try these: pacificism/non-violence (Quakerism, Methodism, some forms of Baptist Christianity, Judaism), the idea of bad actions coming back on us in some way at a later time (this is a view held by many, including atheists), charity (pretty much every person on the planet will likely give to charity at some point in their lives), kind treatment of animals (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism).

And as to the mystical words, my point is this: people seem to chuck many Buddhist terms around simply because they sound 'cool' and not because they attach any meaning to them. It's like the craze there was for using Japanese words over in my city some time ago. They got chucked around with little consideration for their meaning or cultural significance. As a Japanese speaker, it hurt me to hear it.
Yeah, that was my point. Pretty much all religions point to the same thing. Animosity to all spiritual paths other than ones own seems misguided, to say the least. We should all be striving to follow the tenets of whatever spiritual path we've chosen instead of bashing other people's choices.

I didn't understand what you meant when you said buddhism was given some special status.

As to another poster saying that people should be learning Teresa of Avila than Siddhartha Gautama, hey, you have to start somewhere. Teresa of Avila was a mystic. Do you have any idea how few mystics there are in the world? Real mystics are rare and mysicism is a deep experience that is impossible to learn, it's given by grace. That's why she's considered a saint. She's rare. Learning to meditate can help one go in that direction, and so can following the teachings of compassion, non-harming, non-stealing, and the like, in which case Siddhartha Gautama's relatively easy and clear-cut householder path just might come in handy.
  #59  
Old Apr 18, '12, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by ebonykawai View Post
Yeah, that was my point. Pretty much all religions point to the same thing. Animosity to all spiritual paths other than ones own seems misguided, to say the least. We should all be striving to follow the tenets of whatever spiritual path we've chosen instead of bashing other people's choices.

I didn't understand what you meant when you said buddhism was given some special status.
The same people who bash Christianity or indeed any other 'traditional' religion (Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, any other established religion) for its values are often the first people to squeal about how wonderful Buddhism's values are, even where they're the same as found in those other religions they're bashing.

Someone earlier in this thread was talking about how someone was going on about how mystical and spiritual Buddhism was, and yet when equally spiritual Catholic/Christian teachings (and even identical teachings) were given to this person, they were dismissed simply for coming from the Bible.


Quote:
As to another poster saying that people should be learning Teresa of Avila than Siddhartha Gautama, hey, you have to start somewhere. Teresa of Avila was a mystic. Do you have any idea how few mystics there are in the world? Real mystics are rare and mysicism is a deep experience that is impossible to learn, it's given by grace. That's why she's considered a saint. She's rare. Learning to meditate can help one go in that direction, and so can following the teachings of compassion, non-harming, non-stealing, and the like, in which case Siddhartha Gautama's relatively easy and clear-cut householder path just might come in handy.
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  #60  
Old Apr 18, '12, 8:42 pm
Curious Seed Curious Seed is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Why is the west so fascinated by the Dalai Lama?

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Originally Posted by PazzoGrande View Post
I don't get why he attracts crowds. The religion he leads isn't very big and it isn't compatible with the Christian standards of the West. I find it dangerous when people of weak faith and who weren't reared in Christianity open themselves too much to the Dalai Lama because then they start promiting things like reincarnation. I've seen it happen so many times, people dabble in other foods in the buffets of religion, and they ignore the great, rich, fulfilling food already in front of them (how do you like my metaphor?). They end up abandoning the truths of their religion for the sake of, well, paganism.

John Safran did an interesting segment on how people perceive the Pope versus the Dalai Lama. You can see it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kstH-8jwa80

Safran quotes teachings and has people guess if it comes from the Dalai Lama or the Pope. People always guessed incorrectly that the statement came from the Pope. Why? Because the Pope has the reputation of being a dinosaur and the Dalai Lama is considered hip. Hollywood would be more sympathetic to Dalai Lama than they would be to Benedict XVI, and often the media portrayals against the Holy Father are just downright dishonest (think of all the allegations of him being a Nazi). It's Pope No, Dalai Lama Yes.

The Dalai Lama is visiting where I am right now and he's getting a lot of good media attention and is attracting crowds, but really, would the people going to cheer him on even agree with what he teaches? I don't think so. And it's like this everywhere.

So it begs the question: why is the West so fascinated by the Dalai Lama? The only guess I can make is that some celebrities supported him, it got good media attention, so he won a lot of sympathy. But is that a good guess? Will the very short list of B and C actors really shoot Dalai Lama to celebrity status?

The Dalai Lama is a source of peace, respect, and goodwill in a desperate world.

He is not Christian, but does that make his good intentions superfluous to you?

This world is a massive sea of diversity poised continually for conflict.

His is a steadying and comforting voice to the madness.

We should all be grateful he is able to galvanize a healthy respect for the human condition, plight, and dignity of each of us, but especially the more disenfranchised among us.

Instead of complaining about the Dalai Lama's "celebrity" status with Hollywood, and worldwide influence, why not direct yourself to explaining, in your local influence, if you have any, how very much Jesus loves him.

The Dalai Lama would do that for you.
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