An interesting quote:
Generally speaking, it is better to keep one's own tradition. It is more suitable. But among some people—in the West they are usually Christians, Jews, and to some extent, Muslims—there is an interest in Buddhism. Sometimes, because of their individual mental dispositions, they do not find much in their own tradition that is effective, but they still want a spiritual practice. They feel a strong pull toward Buddhism, and then, of course, it is their right to follow Buddhism. After all, all religions belong to humanity. What's important is that once we make a decision to follow another religion, we must keep in our minds that we must avoid criticizing our own previous tradition. We must show respect for it.
–The 14th Dalai Lama, from "Ethics for a Secular Millennium: An Interview with the Dalai Lama,"Tricycle, Fall 2001
grumble, grumble. All right. I'll think about it.ReplyDelete
My opinion? I go with my religion (Catholicism) because I agree with lots of its tenants. At the same time, there are PLENTY I don't agree with. My guess, though, is that if I were to follow a different religious tradition, I'd find issues with that as well. Religion ain't perfect.ReplyDelete
I prefer to be religion-free. That way I don't have to pick and choose what I believe or don't believe within the context of the "rules." Plus, I get to criticize them all.ReplyDelete
It's a wonderful quote. I think the Dalai Lama is right that we should follow our own tradition. My own situation is that I was brought up in what's been called the secular humanist tradition, but then converted to the Anglican branch of Christianity. I still respect secular humanism, but I do have a problem with militant atheism, which too often has no respect for anything but atheism.ReplyDelete
I do not respect religions...only the people who do good things in their name. I prefer the word "honour". I "honour" my religion, as I honour my parents who brought me into this earth. If my parents abused me mercilessly throughout my childhood, however, it is my duty to keep my children away from them and to warn others to do the same, n'est-ce pas?ReplyDelete
so strange that as i was recently searching for a cargo bike (fossil-fuel-free and exercise for me) i came across this article in tricycle magazine; yet perhaps my circuitous route to the same message reflects the point...ReplyDelete
we each travel our own path, and if that leads us away from the traditions of our culture, so be it.
at the same time, i have been disturbed by rantings toward one's culture, that does not at the same time take responsibility for the baggage which an individual is still (perhaps unconsciously) carrying; those things woven into our own personalities which inform the way we move through the world.
as if we 'throw out the baby', and sit screaming as we float downstream in our dirty bathwater.
I read recently that Buddhism isn't a religion at all - but a practice. I wonder about that. I feel like my life is practice. Practice DOESN'T make perfect though. That's why I need Jesus in it :)ReplyDelete
I wish I knew more about Buddhism. It seems the one religion that is focused on understanding suffering. Or that doesn't see suffering as an unnatural state or one that divides one human being from another.ReplyDelete
Religion, religion, religion. I have made my own religion for lack of a better word. I believe in an undefined superior intelligence that my nanny used to call The Divine Equalizer. Neither male nor female, neither this nor that I believed TDE was a form of natural Karma, what you do for good may or may not come back to you to the twofold. Do it for evil, as in tampering with the road signs or poisoning the well, and you can be sure it will come back to you to the tenth fold. It wasn't fear, of that I am sure. It was a sense that one must pay a price for being alive, the idea that you must leave everything a bit better than you find it once you are aware of the need to do so.ReplyDelete
Any form of organized religion demands that one suppress the personal view of right and wrong and subscribe in toto to the tenets of that religion, in my opinion. Which to my way of looking at things is the equivalent of ignoring that with knowledge comes responsibility, and thus if we see wrong we must either make it right or as in my case, persevere to the point of annoyance until someone with more power than I rights the wrongs. I truly admire the Dalai Lama but while respecting every religion I must be free to criticize that which offends me or does not follow the basic principles of humanity, i.e: kill for the love of God? I don't think so.
What a wonderful dialogue! I admire Buddhism and Catholicism for different reasons, and all mysticism. I have felt free to criticize AND respect the tradition in which I was raised, after I left it (Christian Science).ReplyDelete
Now I am a Presbyterian, but since my local church "imploded," I don't attend, and am wondering where I belong. I still love God, and attempt to pray and listen daily, but I miss community.
I think many of us benefit from loving community and the opportunities for serving others that it provides.
Over a decade ago, I stumbled upon an essay by Thich Nhat Hanh's, "Hope as an Obstacle", and it spoke so clearly and powerfully to thoughts and yearnings that had been traveling within me for years. In it, I recognized a wisdom that had already taken root inside me. I remember after reading it, I sat there stunned, and thought, I have no idea who this man is, but this is my tribe. I have been a student of Buddhism ever since.ReplyDelete