jenw wrote: Yes, I am a Buddhist! Hard to find us in Maine. I truly believe in the teachings of the Buddha. I don't see it as a religion as much as a spiritual journey.
I do have one question, though. Can one believe in a creator when Buddhist? If there is none, how did we get here?
The Dalai Llama speaks of 7 heavens and 7 hells. Who/what created these?
Perhaps these questions are too heavy...but have been wondering others' opinions on this.
Thanks, and have a healthy and happy start to the new year!
There is no creator God in Buddhism. There are "gods", but these remain as "beings" within samsara. They are not "almighty", and belong firmly beneath the status of a Buddha - or "awakened one".......awakened to reality as it is.
Yet according to the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism - the expression of Buddhism found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, and mainly known in the West via Vipassana meditation centres - there is " a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. If there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned." (Udana)
There is, at least to my understanding, correspondences between this form of expression and the writings of various Christian mystics such as St John of the Cross and Meister Eckhart. Eckhart has spoken of God..............."Nothing that knowledge can grasp or desire can want, is God. When knowledge and desire end, there is darkness. And there God shines." Such expressions and understanding have led to some Buddhists seeing Eckhart -and many like him - as a "dharma brother" (See the works of D.T.Suzuki) Yet there is a lot more study and understanding to be developed with all this................who knows how the "spirit that blows where it will" will eventually lead Christianity? Or for that matter, Buddhism....the Dharma?
Yet Buddhism remains with its own "strategies of perception". Not to speculate on "beginnings" or whatever, but only upon "suffering and the ending of suffering". It seeks to concentrate not on how the arrow of suffering struck us - who fired it or whatever - but on how to pull it out!