Andrew Furst

There’s Nothing You Can Do to Change the World, So Don’t Ever Stop Trying

Posted by in Buddha, Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

At a retreat I was helping to lead some time ago, I made a comment during the Dharma talk that rustled a few feathers. It went something like this, “There’s nothing you can do to change the world.” At the end of the retreat one of the participants followed up for clarification. He asked with a friendly but incredulous look on his face, “Did you really mean that?”I admit, it sounds harsh. But, let me explain. It’s Not Just a Good Idea, It’s the Law I’ve just finished reading a…read more

What Does Pure Land Buddhism Teach? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Question: What does Pure Land Buddhism teach? Response: The Pure Land Sutra is the enlightenment story of the Bodhisattva Dharmakāra. The story is set in the impossibly distant past. Upon fulfillment of 48 vows Dharmakāra became the Buddha Amitabha. Two of those vows are the central focus of the Pure Land school. 18. If I would become a Buddha, then any sentient being in any one of the ten directions who would earnestly believe and willingly wish to be born in my Pure Land, even if for only the duration of…read more

An Angry God – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Question: Is Allah an angry God compared to the all-loving, all-good Christian God? Response: Do you mean the all loving, all good Christian God who massacred the first born sons of Egypt. The God who wiped out the entire populations of Sodom and Gomorrah and promised to destroy the enemies of Israel? The same God who tormented Job and sent his only son to the cross? If there is a God and that God is the creator and architect of this world, as well as the author of holy scripture,…read more

Why Do We Choose To Suffer? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Question: Why do we choose to suffer? Response: We don’t. It sounds fairly ridiculous that someone would choose suffering. We suffer because of our choices. The choices that lead to suffering are made on faulty expectations. It’s indirect. We choose things to make us happy. We choose to go on a diet to lose weight. We choose marriage to make love last. We choose a religion to reconnect with the divine. Our suffering comes because we discover that achieving happiness, healthiness, and good relationships isn’t as simple as choosing and…read more

Why Are Christians the Most Persecuted Minority in The World? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

The image displayed shows the results of an Open Doors 2016 study of the top 50 nations where Christian’s face persecution. It should be noted that the study is in the context of an organization whose goal is to evangelize. Evangelism takes as its foundation the idea the Christianity is a superior religion to the local majority religion. To begin, I want to call out what facts I consider to be solid. Christianity is the largest religion. A larger population is subject to a larger variety of phenomena; including acceptance,…read more

Nobody Has All the Answers – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

If you enjoyed this post,  please like and share. Dialectic Two-Step  is an ongoing series of my thoughts on questions that come my way. Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. – Octavio Dialectic Two Step, Modern Koans, Verse Us, Say What?, and Minute Meditations all copyright Andrew Furst Subscribe to My NewsletterJoin me for a little peace through reflection, art, video, sound, and poetry Leave this field empty if you’re human:

Remembering Past Lives? – Dialectic Two Step

Posted by in Dialectic Two-Step, Writings

Question: How is the remembrance of past lives compatible with anatta? Rebirth makes sense in the context of dependent arising and conditionality. We humans exist dependent on conditions. Everything had to come together to shape us. But Buddha remembered past lives instead of the conditions that made us born human (water, sun, soil, food, …). Does this make sense? Response: My opinion is that remembering past lives doesn’t make sense. Memory is a function of the brain. The brain stores data and synthesizes consciousness in remarkably complex and rich ways….read more

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