View Full Version : daoist vs buddhist enlightenment
bored at work, i'd like something to keep my mind from stagnating... soooooo:
well, i dont know much about daoism... so what are the differences, if any? (between daoist enlightenment, and buddhist enlightenment)
and what would you say each is?
01-07-2002, 10:34 AM
Unless you obtainted enlightenment twice, it would be quite difficult to tell.
but it seems to me that their ideas of "enlightenment" are rather different
i've heard daoism is more "living with the dao"
while buddhism is the elimination of suffering, and freedom from the cycle of rebirth
now, could these be one in the same?
and how far off are my ideas on them?
01-07-2002, 12:14 PM
If you're talking about enlightenment there there is only one ultimate enlightenment. It doesn't matter which discipline you take or learn from , ultimate enlightenment is ultimate enlightenment. The difference bewteen the two paths, Budhist and Taoist are too voluminous to describe here.
01-07-2002, 12:25 PM
Be patient TjD, you will get there.
01-07-2002, 01:12 PM
But was arguing between buddhist and taoism
but know I decided that Tao is right for me.
the could however be one in the same.
I do know from an article the kungfumagazine published mention taoist latter borrowing from buddhist beliefs and some buddhist borrowing from taoist
haha thanks! i sure hope so :) my tendancies to go down paths not conducive to enlightenment are pretty strong sometimes... ive been doing a decent job breaking them however
and on a side note i caught my first glimpse of the 1st jhana in the concentration meditation ive been working on... words cant describe
but anyways back to the thread
perhaps it would have been a better question to ask about the differences between the paths to enlightenment in those same schools - seeing as that is their goal
im still not sure that the daoists version of ultimate enlightenment is the same as the buddhists... it seems that the two goals are entirely different, as well as the paths
is one goal of daoist enlightment to bring about the elimination of suffering? does a daoist want to be reborn?
[edit - this sentance didnt make much sense on my 2nd read of it]
almost all the knowledge i have of daoism is from what ive read on this forum
and a little from what i've read about zen and how it differs from other types of buddhism and thinkin what it coulda picked up when buddhism met daoism :)
so what are the goals of a daoist monk?
how has daoist enlightenment been described?
(or since enlightenment cant really be described)
what steps does one take to reach this goal?
01-07-2002, 02:37 PM
I don't have the date for when the Tao Te Ching was written, which is considered the debut of Taoism as a philosophy . That in my estimation around 722 BCE? May be someone can help out on the date. Anyway, the second important work - Chong Tze came out between 369-286 BCE (?) still was a philosophy. After that in Han (206 BCE- 220 CE) Taoism became a religion. That is a span of 500 years! Not to mention the was some cultural exchange with India and other countries in the region.
Many of the Buddhist concepts (ie reincarnation, suffering, etc...)didn't seem to be there in the Tao Te Ching (TTC) nor in the Chong Tze. Now, I am sure there would be arguement that it is implied or inferred in them, otherwise how could those books be tools of enlightenment? On the other hand, Nirvana (blowout) seems to be the underpinning of TTC.
The truth is, my friends, the term or concept of enlightenment is Hindu in origin. In Lao Tze's and Chong Tze's time they were but "whinning" and were recorded by others who thought the whinning sounded true enough! Then came the "scholars" who became "enlighten" because of the whinning. I am not sure if "enlightenment" was on their mind when they were whinning. Like Chong Tze put it, speech (writing included) is but sounds of Heaven through it's instructment (our tongues). He also pointed out the there is no common perceptions when it come to our reality. So what we perceived and understood as "enlightenment" may be more Hindu or Buddhist or even Christan than Taoism, which is basically whinning. (seems to be what I am doing lol... :D ) Does Taoists really are enlightened?
BTW, Hinduism and Buddhism have systems of achieving enlightenment. Taoist on the other hand has a very unorganized approach.
Buddhists work with the four noble truthes and Taoists with WuWei.
01-07-2002, 09:06 PM
A taoist should answer your question by saying, "There is no difference between taoism and buddhism."
Wuwei means - feeling and doing what is natural - which depending on if you were a taoist philosopher, or a so-called 'neo-taoist, or some sort of religious flavor, would be interpreted in different ways.
Also don’t forget confucius. :D
If i were to sum up buddhism, in one word, i would probably say – buddha, but more realistically i would mention ‘attachment’.
This concept seems to be very prevalent also in taoism.
I don’t see how you can see ‘ultimate enlightenment’ by one path to be any different then the ‘ultimate enlightenment’ of another. I don’t know much about institutionalized buddhism, but at least in principle it would seem the concept of ‘goals’ would eventually dissolve just as in taoism.
Goals do not exist because they are not in the present. (The act of making goals and of thinking about goals; however, does exist.)
Or something along the lines of – Goals are important, but I will not attach my personal state of happiness and well being to them. (But, as we all know, goals may very well be attached to things like promotions at work, success in academics, or progress in martial arts.)
I personally am not sure if what i am saying is correct at all – maybe there should be a disclaimer at the top - but I also don’t think that taoism and buddhism are any different. But saying that something is exactly alike is just like saying they are exact opposites.
01-08-2002, 09:02 AM
.. is one single state that once achevied is kind of bereft of its attachment from whatever the original path was. All those who have not reached it (me included) seem to finitely squabble over unecessary details, which stunts our gravitation towards ultimat realisation. As long as one folows a path (as Carlos Castaneda's teacher Don Juan Matus would of said) that has a heart, then one will be able to reach the goal. It is described differently dependent upon what position and location (spiritually) one started off from, but the goal is the same once one is on the other side. I suspect that all the spiritually enlightened Buddhists, Zen and Chan Masters, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, Hindu etc all know this fact already. the fact being that they all reside in the same place.
01-08-2002, 05:49 PM
Enlightenment is like a child in the back seat of a car, waiting to get to Disney World.
"Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?"
If finally the kid stops asking, and relaxes into his seat, he will be comfortable "just" riding in the car.
(Metaphors for Enlightenment)
01-08-2002, 08:14 PM
"Taoist on the other hand has a very unorganized approach."
Well, it depends on what kind of daoism you are talking about.
01-08-2002, 10:53 PM
Enlightenment is a transcending of this world but within this world so to speak. That is why it does not differ from taoism to buddhism and so forth, keep in mind that things remain relative. For example:
One might say that time does not exist, the whole past, present, future argument, as we saw in another thread regarding time. Now one could also argue that time does exist because we have time obligations, such as "I will meet you at 6:00pm" or "I have 2 classes in the morning" or "my job starts at 8 and ends at 5".
One could say that people make no mistakes, because all people are perfect and all actions are as they should be. Another view though could be that people do make mistakes and that without making them people would never learn from eachother or the things that they do. An example would be that you are a manager and you want your employees to stop making so many errors and so you say to an employee: You need to lower the amount of mistakes (errors) that you make. The employee says to you, "But I have deadlines (times that things are due). and I have to get things done quickly" and you say "Well if thats the case, where do you find the time to fix the errors that you make in the first place?"
These paths, daoism, zen, buddhism are all teaching us to take our time, to pay particular attention to our surroundings, learning to feel our awareness and feel our way through life. They all take different approaches and will suggest different ways of interpreting life experiences, yet none of them prevent you from getting intoxicated if you drink enough!
01-09-2002, 01:30 PM
Good point taijiquan_student,talking taoism on the internet is almost absurd, I spent so long reading arcane knowledge poorly translated by Europeans who had no concept of the Oriental mind that it chased me right off the philosophy endof things for years.Try instead some of Eva Wong's translations,Cultivating Stillness,Cultivating the Energy of Life among others.Easy to read and comprehend compared to some of the more mind numbing passages of the Tao Te Ching . Peace Bob
01-09-2002, 02:21 PM
I'd love to learn which Taoism methodology is the back bone of the rest of Taoism factions. Is there really such a thing at all? We could clearly see that "to learn the teaching, one must first be taught how to learn" being addressed in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. I am a Chinese myself and have taken Chinese lessons in school. Admittedly, I am novice in Taoism but of all three main traditions of Taoism "Jing Yat" (Ritual Rites) "Chuen Jung" (Meditation similar to Dhyana) and "Mao Shan" (Paranormal/evoking spirits studies), I could not find a coherence link (expect disorganized methodologies) that suggests these stuff can be "learned" step by step. Even Ch'an which is orginally Dhyana has this disorganized mentality that is distinctively Chinese. This also was spilled over to Japanese's Zen - having no method as method. So, I am really interested to find out about it. Thanks. :)
01-09-2002, 06:27 PM
...does a daoist want to be reborn?
Speaking very generally, I think Taoists want to get it right THIS time. ;)
01-10-2002, 08:06 AM
The difference is in which side of the mountain the neophyte climbs up to enlightenment.
(mountain=buddhist/taoist belief systems)
The structure of the belief systems adhered to by Taoists or Buddhists depends on the factors of understanding of/and the path laid out in the framework of the sect they develop from.
(path= chosen rules to live by derived from innate logic, learned behaviours and perceived constants in ones environment.)
In the end, it begins with the phrase "...when we die..." :)
In the individual's chosen path of knowledge and understanding that one or the other or both belief systems offer, (or any belief system for that matter) the foundations are laid towards a perceived understanding of the meaning of life through the pursuit of religion or philosophy or any number of other activities which we "think" will bring us closer to understanding ourselves and the universe around us with implicitness and clarity.
We do this collectively as humans in all cultures.
Different paths, towards a similar end.
01-15-2002, 07:06 PM
Enlightenment isn't a destination. It isn't something you reach..presto your done.
Its a process of unburdening and disembittering yourself. Like relaxing in kung fu. You don't "reach relaxation" you learn from it and incorporate it into your daily life to live with increasing clarity and energy. This lend to wisdom, throw away the wisdom and you are less burdened.
Like building strength in MA, then letting go of it to let body structure and technique rule, but having it if you need it.
I think Nexus said it best,Enlightenment may be the destination but the ride is where it begins to manifest :)
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