A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

If I contradict what I previously wrote

Just a quick reminder, this blog is about my thoughts, what I have learned recently, and the struggles I face as I attempt to control my inner mind, as I definitely can’t control the external world. Once again I wish to thank the authors of the books I have read, my friends, and all the other sentient beings that have helped me along the path to enlightenment. If something I say today disagrees with what I previously wrote, I hope the change is from growth in my ability to be compassionate; perhaps I have taken another step towards wisdom. Regardless, this blog is not here to convert anyone, it is a record of my journey along the path, any mistakes are mine, and now for the daily blog part.

Indian culture was more akin to European culture at the time, so spreading east to China, was a definite challenge. China historically has been an insular culture. The middle kingdom has had this trait since before Ghengis Khan, you only need to see the Great Wall of China to verify this concept. China had undergone a pendulum swing from the teachings of Lao Tsu to those of Confucius; However the pendulum had started to swing back towards Taoism, or Daoism as it is now more commonly referred to. Confucianism is an ethical system of rules and social conventions; however it left key questions unanswered. Lao Tsu had travelled west as Buddhism arrived heading east. As Buddhist monks translated Sanskrit words into their Chinese counterparts, the similarities between Taoism and Buddhism allowed for easy teaching of the concepts. It was accepted that these were the same teachings that Lao Tsu had taught, before he headed west to educate the barbarians. Buddhism was looked upon as the prodigal son returning to its homeland. Emperor Ming invited Buddhist teachers to China. This started the process that flourished for over 300 years after the Han Dynasty collapsed. Buddhism in China emphasised the practical aspects over the philosophical ones. It ended up with parts added from Confucianism, Taoist, folk cults and ancestor worship.

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