Buddhism has its positive and negative factors. Here is a list though there are genuine exceptions in both lists.
10 Positive Factors about Buddhism
- Develops ethics, mindfulness, dedication to dana (donations, generosity, support for teachings and practices) calm and insight meditation and a liberating wisdom
- Endorses widespread inquiry through knowledge, discourses, ancient texts, dialogue, diverse methods and environments, such as support for seekers/practitioners in monasteries and centres. Recognition of solitary practice in a monastery, cave or forest in a forest following training in depths of mindfulness and meditation.
- Ends rebirth (rebecoming, renewal) of the ego, of personality issues.
- Explores relative/ultimate truth.
- Knows the importance of abiding in the divine, namely love, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity. Abiding in the Divine is a Western translation of Brahma Vihara. Literally translation: Abiding in God. The Buddha used regularly the religious language of God as feature of his teachings – to know deep love/friendship/kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity means to abide in God. He does not use, nor believe in God the Creator.
- Points to awakening and liberation through seeing the emptiness of self-existence of ‘I’ and ‘my’ and inquiry into dependent arising.
- Recognises a human being has the potential to abide as a god (brahma vihara) through love, compassion, etc.
- Recognises mara (the power of temptation, the power to deceive, shadows) and karma (unsatisfactory or harmful influence of the past on unfolding processes). Karma is also about the potency of wholesome action with blind spots.
- Recognition of the five domains for consciousness – heaven, human, animal, hungry ghost and hell – dependently arising on causes and conditions.
- The essential teachings and practices (the Dharma) stands free from limitations of Western categories such as theism, atheism, agnosticism dogmatism, philosophy, theology, psychology and any kind of scientific view of materialism/matter.
10 Negative Factors about Buddhism
- A Patriarchal religion. Barely any application of change to the status quo.
- Acceptance or ignoring of repressive political/military regimes running a country.
- Beliefs in physical miracles, power of sacred objects, relics, oracles, prophecy, magical powers, fortune telling and other superstitions.
- Various Buddhist monks make claims for a better rebirth for lay people. Monks tell people to make merit, offer rituals but give little Dharma practice to end rebirth of “I” and “my.”
- Chanting, rituals and identification with tradition can overshadow acts of wisdom and compassion.
- General lack of application of Dharma to social, political and global issues.
- Confusion of Buddha-Dharma with Buddhism, such as mediaeval beliefs and simplistic judgemental views about karma including groups and nations.
- Lack of effective communication for creative action to resolve 21st century suffering due to issues facing humanity, animals and the environment.
- Unquestioning devotion to lineages, Lamas, Ajahns and Zen masters. instead of listening, discernment and wise application.
- Worship of the Buddha rather than application of the Buddha-Dharma.
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE WITH WISDOM