"Who are you?"
'Dharma Trek' is an online fellowship representing the members of the Buddhist community of STARFLEET, The International Star Trek Fan Club; as well as anyone who is interested in Buddhism and its teachings.
Being members in many aspects of the greater Star Trek fan community, we share a special bond. By incorporating the vision of Gene Roddenberry's idea of a positive future amongst all sentient beings and cultures; we have instilled aspects of the greater virtues within in ourselves and in our own lives.
As a group, we also examine and reflect on the teachings of the Dharma, and in the many ways it is related to concepts and philosophies expressed within Star Trek. (Trust us, there are a lot!)
In the future, we would eventually like to serve as an active Sangha (which collectively means the entire Buddhist community) of members. These members who would like to meet to discuss the Dharma and our personal practice, Buddhism in general, and to join together in mindfulness and compassion through practicing meditation in a spirit of oneness, friendship, and community.
Currently, members engage in general fellowship, traditional Buddhist study, and non-sectarian worship and meditation. Dharma Trek does perform formal ceremonies, but does not transmit any form of Dharma legacy.
We do not proselytize our beliefs... period.
We can offer those interested in further information on Buddhism to numerous reputable and highly informative sources where they may explore the Dharma for themselves, and find their own path to Enlightenment.
"What does non-sectarian mean?"
_ There are many schools, traditions, and sects in Buddhism, and the teachings of Shakayamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha) are very deep and profound.
There are three main traditions (schools) of Buddhism practiced throughout the world, with each having many sects (groups) within them. The main 'great vehicles' of Buddhism are the Theravadan, Mahayanan, and Vajrayāna (Tibetan).
These traditions and their various sects and focus their practice on many devotional practices, meditation, and other ritualistic and study practices.
The "Nichiren" sect of Japan for example, focuses its practice on the Lotus Sutra exclusively. There are many more sects than these.
All sects of Buddhism concentrate on the true teachings of Buddha, but each one approaches it differently.
We respect all true lineages, honorable sages and teachers, and traditions of the Three Vehicles. We welcome all our members to share their traditions with all, for the Enlightenment of all beings.
The Buddha instructed us to not believe the teachings just because he stated them, but to practice the teachings for ourselves. So that we may know the truth to our own Enlightenment.
We encourage you to find your own lineage, tradition, meditation, sensei, and course of practice to your goal of Enlightenment.
Most important is the respect, dignity, and compassion expressed for the virtue and merit of all the beings of the universe.
"Got any advise?"
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of teachers, elders or wise men.
Believe only after careful observations and analysis, and when you find that it agrees with reason and is conductive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
-- Lord Buddha
"Got any more advice..?"
_ “Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.”
-- Albert Einstien
'By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled.
By oneself is evil left undone, by oneself is one purified.
Purity and defilement depend on oneself; no one can purify another.'
The Kalama Sutra
"Do not believe a spiritual teaching just because:
Or, as the Buddha taught:
"My teaching is not a philosophy. It is the result of direct
My teaching is a means of practice, not something to hold onto or
My teaching is like a raft used to cross the river. Only a fool would carry the raft around after he had already reached the other shore of liberation."
To his favourite disciple, Ananda, the Buddha once said:
"If you were to follow the Dharma purely out of love for me or because you respect me, I would not accept you as a disciple. But if you follow the Dharma because you have yourself experienced its truth, because you understand and act accordingly - only under these conditions have you the right to call yourself a disciple of the Exalted One."
(Courtesy of the Buddhist Council of Queensland)
Do I have to be a Buddhist to belong to Dharma Trek?
NO, you do not have to be a formally professed Buddhist to join in any of the discussions, events, or activities of Dharma Trek. We welcome everyone!
"What do you believe?"
The members of Dharma Trek ascribe to the traditional teachings of the Dharma as taught by Lord Buddha. Regardless of tradition, vehicle, or sect we also have 'taken the precepts' strive to follow, incorporate, and practice in our daily lives the Six Paramitas and the Ten Precepts:
'Until I, and all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment;
I will take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.'
THE SIX PARAMITAS
The Six Paramitas occupy a prominent place in the Mahayana scriptures as a Buddhist’s way of life leading to Buddhahood. They are:
1. Generosity (Liberality)
2. Conduct (Morality)
3. Patience (Forbearance)
4. Energy (Diligence, Industrious, Hard Work)
This list of six is a shortened version of the ten qualities for which enlightened beings strive in their every day living.
Since they are concerned about the welfare of all beings and strive to end their suffering and unjust treatment, they (1) give alms to all beings so that they may be happy, without investigating whether they are worthy or not, (2) avoid doing them any harm by observing morality, (3) train themselves in renunciation in order to bring morality to perfection, (4) purify their wisdom in order to understand clearly what is beneficial and injurious, (5) constantly exert energy for the welfare and happiness of others, (6) practice patience towards the variety of human failings, (7) do not break their promise once pledging to give or do something, (8) resolve with determination to work for the welfare of all beings, (9) are always kind and helpful to all, and (10) expect nothing in return and constantly practice equanimity.
These qualities as expressed thus in the Ten Paramitas:
1. Perfection in Generosity, Giving (Liberality)
2. Perfection in Morality (Conduct)
3. Perfection in Renunciation
4. Perfection in Wisdom
5. Perfection in Diligence (Industrious)
6. Perfection in Patience (Forbearance)
7. Perfection in Truthfulness
8. Perfection in Resolution (Determination, Purpose)
9. Perfection in Loving-Kindness
10. Perfection in Equanimity
(Courtesy of the American Buddhist Congress)
THE TEN CARDINAL PRECEPTS
1. I resolve not to kill, but to cherish all live.
2. I resolve not to take what is not given, but to respect the things of others.
3. I resolve not to misuse sexuality, but to be caring and responsible.
4. I resolve not to lie, but to speak the truth.
5. I resolve not to cause others to abuse intoxicants, never to overindulgence, but to keep my mind clear.
6. I resolve not to speak of the faults of others, but to be sympathetic, empathetic, and compassionate.
7. I resolve not to praise myself and disparage others, but to overcome my own shortcomings.
8. I resolve not to withhold spiritual or material aid, but to give freely where truly needed.
9. I resolve not to indulge in anger, but to practice forbearance.
10. I resolve not to relive the Three treasures of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, but to cherish and uphold them.
What is the Eightfold Path?
The Buddha-Dharma is the realization within one’s deepest consciousness of the Oneness of all life. For the attainment of this purpose, Buddha showed us the Eightfold Path.
1. Right Views means to keep ourselves free from prejudice, superstition and delusion…and to see aright the true nature of life.
2. Right Thoughts means to turn away from the hypocrisies of this world and to direct our minds toward Truth and Positive Attitudes and Action.
3. Right Speech means to refrain from pointless and harmful talk…to speak kindly and courteously to all.
4. Right Conduct means to see that our deeds are peaceable, benevolent, compassionate and pure…and to live the teachings daily.
5. Right Livelihood means to earn our living in such a way as to entail no evil consequences. To seek that employment to which we can give our complete enthusiasm and devotion.
6. Right Effort means to direct our efforts continually to the overcoming of ignorance and craving desires.
7. Right Mindfulness means to cherish good and pure thoughts, for all that we say and do arises from our thoughts.
8. Right Meditation means to concentrate our will on the Buddha, his life and his Teachings.