In reality there is no such thing as ’Buddhism.’
We should keep in mind that at least from the Christian perspective, we are not called only to be good people. We are called to be new people.
Religion, unfortunately, has been used and is still largely used, as a means to control people, not to empower them to become who God intended them (or us) all to be.
It is the values which constitute the core of spiritual teachings.
I try to be a “good human being,” as the Dalai Lama endorses. But I know how far short I would fall were it not for my Judaism.
Religious practice, especially ritual, can all too easily turn into mindless, rote performance, whether its the five daily prayers of Islam, or the before dinner grace so common in Christian American households, or even Buddhist meditative practices.
The benefits of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and self-realization are open source, not encoded behind secret passwords, where the username is a certain ‘religion.’
When we cannot define the direction of the spiritual journey, or the content of spiritual activities, these phrases become just a collection of empty words -- spiritual just in the sense that there is no content in them.
The right tools—logic, prayer, meditation—require a good plan. Fortunately none of us has to develop a plan alone. For thousands of years billions of humans have gathered to work out their spiritual salvation. None of us can be arrogant about our particular answers, because the universe is so vast. It is for this reason we draw together in a community called the church.
Originally, Buddhism was not a religion; and the Dalai Lama, in saying “religion is something we can perhaps do without,” is returning to square one.
Religion aides the spiritual journey when it teachers acceptance, justice and love.
Absolutism not only hinders, it shuts down the spiritual journey.
The wisdom to sometimes transcend religion is the product of a long religious journey, not its beginning.
Practicing parts of Buddhism certainly doesn’t make me a Buddhist.
‘Religion’ as understood as a set of creeds and criteria that draw circles to shut others out, is too often misused, even while I will admit that it is helpful to have a particular practice with which to experience the Divine.
Man’s measure of ’goodness’ falls far short of God’s standard.
Buddhists disagree on whether or not a Buddhist needs to engage/accept to aspects of Buddhism such a rebirth in a dogmatic way.