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Improving Buddhism

Is it Possible?

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Nichiren Shoshu and Suffering

While Siddhartha Gotama, called Buddha, did not experience much involuntary suffering, in fact almost none at all, and so was not able to perceive how his methods of meditation would affect real people with real suffering, Zennichimaro, called Nichiren Shoshu, one of the founders of Japanese Buddhis…

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Buddha and Suffering

In the stories about the life of the Siddhartha Gotama, before he became the Buddha, he lived as a prince. There were many princes in India at that time, but Siddhartha's life had a unique twist to it. His father, the king, decided to make his son's life free from suffering, in total. He did not onl…

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Governments and Religions

The relationship between a government and a religion needs to be clarified. There are many questions that can be raised. One is for governments which have coherent leadership, either a monarch or a group of oligarchs or some leader of a group which has the support of the population and rules with th…

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Meditation and its Uses

It is an oversimplification to ask what purpose or use meditation has. Meditation is a generic tool, like physical exercise or some object like a car. What is the purpose of exercise? It could have many, depending on the person and their circumstances. It could be part of a means of losing weight, i…

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The Celebrity Process

Who starts up a religion? It can only be done by someone who achieves fame and notoriety via some means other than simply preaching his message. In modern parlance, the founder has to become a celebrity. Exactly how does this happen? Perhaps if we start to understand by examining how celebrities cam…

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Pavlov's Dog Loved the Bell

Ivan Pavlov won the Nobel Prize in 1904 for work on the digestion of dogs, and is singularly remembered for a series of experiments done in which he gave the dogs food at the same time as a buzzer or bell was sounded or a light was shown. He had developed ways to determine when the dogs salivated, a…

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Eras of Thinking

One of the tenets of Improved Buddhism will be that everyone should be provided with the means to think for themselves. This is a very modern idea, as thinking was something typically reserved to those of importance in influence and power. Thinking does not mean being iconoclastic, and only holding …

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Ancestor Appreciation in Improved Buddhism

Ancestor veneration is so common in virtually every society that has arisen on Earth that it would be beyond contemplation to not have it as part of any improved religion. But just exactly how should it be incorporated? 

 

This is connected to the beliefs of a society in an afterlife, in sev…

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Sources of Joy in a Religion

A new religion, or an improved variant of a very old one, must bring joy to the members if it wants to remain popular and be supported. With joy, there is no token membership, where a member is a member in name only, and does not want to participate in the activities of the religion, nor serve in an…

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Child-rearing and Advice

Child-rearing has many goals, as the result of it is the preparation of the next generation of humans to take over human society and continue to direct it and maintain it toward a long and prosperous future. Without properly raised children, society can turn to many dead-ends and leave the trail to …

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Phases of Religion-Building

In an earlier post, the term architheology was coined to represent the study of how religions are formed. There seem to be four distinct stages that must happen for a successful religion to achieve prominence. This might be called phases of religion-building, as in each of the four phases different …

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Relations between Religions

Any new religion will have few members and each will be surrounded by members of other religions, as well as non-religious people. There needs to be some thought given as advice as to how a member of the new religion, such as Improved Buddhism, should interact with all these non-members.

 

A …

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The Middle Way was Middle to What?

Buddha's most highly condensed rules for living are sometimes called the Middle Way. In ancient Greece and Rome, there were two opposite poles of thought about how to behave and what to direct one's life towards. One pole was the Epicureans, who believed that life was a search for pleasure. In other…

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Learning from the Founders

Is the key to founding a new religion secret? It could be that the founder of the religion is actually, in terms of what choices they made to secure the religion's future, secondary to what the first or second and tenth generation of leadership does. The leader is the one whose biography is memorize…

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Buddha's Environment

One of the things that Buddha taught is that cause and effect are universal. Every effect has a cause. Following this prescription, we can ask what was the cause for Buddha living the life he did and creating the teaching he did, which later became one of the world’s leading religions. Perhaps the b…

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Parenting in Improved Buddhism

If the overarching goal of a new religion, such as Improved Buddhism, is the preservation of the religion through generations, then the most important goal for those working to preserve the religion is the education of parents for the task of training their children. Since it is the most important a…

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Giving Purpose to Members in Improved Buddhism

It is quite easy to say to someone what they should do. Just say whatever comes into your mind. It is much harder to come up with a method for figuring out what to tell someone to do, or to assist them in determining for themselves what direction to follow in their life, their career, their health c…

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Ancestor Worship and Improved Buddhism

The words 'ancestor worship' bring to mind some oriental practices that involve some formal methods of venerating ancestors, mostly recently deceased ones. This post is about the general concept of venerating or honoring ancestors, which seems to be a very universal phenomena. The exact words themse…

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Other Religions are Good Precursors to Improved Buddhism

Improved Buddhism has a great appeal intellectually, as it dispenses with mysticism, supernatural phenomena or creatures, spirituality and spirits in general, as well as all non-scientific concepts. As knowledge of science becomes more and more widespread, and deeper and deeper on an individual basi…

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Counseling About Motivation

One of the important roles of a higher level individual in a modern religion can be counseling. As noted elsewhere, counseling can be done by professionals in the field, but this type of counseling is done without knowledge or involvement in the religious aspects of life. Is that an important aspect…

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