Buddhism In My Life

I first learned about Buddhism in history class in 7th or 8th grade. I had always considered myself a Christian, and tried my best to be a good Christian by praying and studying Christianity, but I had beliefs that just didn't mesh with Christianity. I tried hard to reconile my conflicting views. Then, I learned about Buddhism. I remember sitting in class, stunned, because I was learning about a religion that proposed ideas I already held. I was fascinated to discover a religion whose ideas so matched my own.

It was after this discovery that I developed a passion for learning about other religions. I guess in retrospect one could say I was confused. I didn't want to renounce Christianity, because it was all I had ever know, but I was also made aware that there was a multtude of religions and belief systems out there to learn about. I spent hours online reading about different religions, not just about Buddhism and Christianity. I felt like before I could decide on any religion, or consider myself a certain religion, I needed to learn as much as I could about all the different relgions out there. I barely scratched the surface, as I still come across religions I've never heard of before, and of course, I'm not an expert on any relgion, not even my own. There's simply too much to learn.

I don't know exactly when I started considering myself Buddhist, but I know that it was some time around my junior year in high school and that in 10th grade I was still reluctant to turn completely away from Christianity.

I often wavered, not sure if Buddhism was right for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about and studying religion to eventually discover that Buddhism was right for me. The ideas of compassion and mindfullness that are essential to Buddhist philosophy are always with me, and I think about them everyday. Each day I work on using these principals as guidlines for how to live my life, and how I can make myself and the world better. Each day I feel like I'm more and more "Buddhist."

I still study and read about Buddhism, of course, as there is always more to learn and there is so much information, and many sutras, out there. I also continue to be interested in religion as a whole. I love learning about the various relgions in the world and talking to people about their religions. I'm also interested in how religion affects people, politics and the world as a whole and in comparing religons.
lotuslife lotuslife
22-25, F
3 Responses Jul 31, 2010

I'm well aware of Buddhism's adaptability with other cultures and how, historically, that adaptability allowed it to be adopted in so many different places. That and the fact that Buddhists generally find it acceptable to live by both Buddhist and Christian (or other religious) path are two things that really brought me to Buddhism. For a long time, I did consider myself both a Christian and a Buddhist, and I often tell my Christian friends about this Buddhist perspective when they confess an interest in Buddhism (because I don't want them to feel guilty for being interested in learning about Buddhism, not because I want them to be Buddhist). However, as I grew older, studied more, and developed my views more, I decided that I cannot truthfully or faithfully follow a Christian path as it does not feel true in my heart.<br />
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That said, Jikai, I very much respect and appreciate your comment. It's clear that you understand many Buddhist beliefs that others don't and are able to give an insightful comment to my post. Also, I appreciate the book recommendations and will check them out. This is definitely a topic I am interested in looking to further, as comparative religions is something I've been interested in for many years.

I never said anything was the same, That is not a statement I would of any religious or spiritual system generally nor a practice not my own. I am just saying that there are plenty of people who are Buddhist or Christian or BC or CB or unnamed who embrace both and plenty of teachers, books, and personal experience to show that and support it...should that be appealing to lotuslife.<br />
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Also, the "source" is not necessarily opposite, there are "other power" Schools too. <br />
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I was thinking more toward Lotuslife's practice than to a School or Church.<br />
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Anywho...<br />
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Jikai

My Friend, If you wish you needn't abandon Christ. From the Buddhist perspective, there is nothing wrong with embracing both systems. Now, of course some Christians cannot see both as part of their faith, but the same can be said of a few too attached to a Buddhist form. However, as you've been studying I'm sure you've noticed one of the things that makes Buddhism dynamic historically has been its general ability to play nice within native cultures and belief such as Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. There is no reason Christ or Christ-path can take part and many Teachers such as Thich Nhat Hahn and Robert E. Kennedy (Roshi)-who is also a Catholic priest, say as much. There are also many good books on this subject including: Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings Edited By M. Borg, Hahn's Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, and Kennedy Roshi's Zen gifts to Christians.<br />
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Hope that helps.<br />
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Palms together,<br />
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Jikai