The Brahma Net Sutra Project

I seem to like forums.
Like a moth to candles, I keep getting involved. But the flame wars, heated discussions, and polite but pointless discussions… there is no way that that is helping anyone. So maybe I should create a new forum.

Blogs should be single topic, or nearly so.
This particular blog is my “everything else blog”, but I think I now have enough Buddhist content that it should be branched off into a separate blog. Sorry to everyone who’s been bored by this burst of religious content.

Forums are cheap, so maybe instead of comments (which just get overrun by spam) I’ll instead set up a forum for commenting.

The Brahma Net Sutra Project
The Brahma Net Sutra is a Chinese sutra written shortly after Buddhism arrived in China and needed to adapt to local conditions. It is one of the few formulations of Buddhism that

* Takes vegetarianism and animal liberation seriously
* Takes the ideal of gun control seriously (and weapon control in general)
* Takes precepts as a means to liberation seriously.
* Specifically mentions independent Buddhism (i.e. Buddhism practiced outside of an institution, without monks, priests, without a temple, meditation class and driving to Sunday service)

It also has rules that are incoherent outside of an institutional monestary, outside of China, or in a world that has learned a lot since this sutra was written.  We are now pretty sure that onions are not aphrodisiacs, but viagra, testosterone, estrogen are aphrodisiacs and things like alcohol and bad-social skills do lead to unskillful interactions with the opposite sex.

In the book, “A Year of Living Biblically” The author makes the point that mindlessly following all the rules is more comedy gold than liberation. But there are 84,000 gates to the Dharma, some include following recipe-like precepts. For those people for whom the Brahma Net Sutra speaks to them, there isn’t really a place to discuss it without getting bogged down in angry and irrational arguments against vegetarianism, in favor of widespread ownership and use of deadly force and against the very idea of using precepts as a means to liberation.

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