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Showing posts from December 6, 2013

Why I'm a Buddhist

Over the years I've frequently encountered the perception that referring to oneself as a Buddhist, or advocating any variation of “ist” or “ism,” is somehow unskillful, just another form of attachment or clinging. This idea proposes that proclaiming oneself a practitioner of a single spiritual path results in getting stuck in opinions and practices, leading inevitably to a denigration of other spiritual paths. Those who advocate the “Don't be a Buddhist or Any Other Ist” explain that compassion and harmlessness are universal qualities that don't fall under the exclusive domain of any spiritual practice, and this is certainly true. Additionally, it's often claimed that we should be encouraged to “take the best” from a variety of sacred traditions, creating a personal philosophy “cafeteria style.”

Certainly I have sympathy for those who seek to remain free of those 2,500 year old rituals and perspectives that make little sense today, and I feel every entitlement to impo…