A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Buddhism is accepted because it is accommodative, it doesn’t assimilate new cultures

Buddhism as it has been practiced since it began has followed the guidelines he set out.  One of which was that the disciples regularly meet to discuss, practice, and educate each other. In some ways you might be able to state, that Buddhists have been practicing democracy for 2600 years. Unlike some religions that put all authority in one man’s hands, Buddhism has been about the group acting as checks and balances. This doesn’t mean a charismatic person can’t develop a following, however it means it is less likely that they will gain a large area of influence. The local Temple or Wat is a place where the people can turn to, for education, information and knowledge. The needs and questions of a village of rice farmers in Vietnam will not be the same as the members who attend a temple here in Vancouver Canada. Yet the basis for the answers will be the same ones, which the Buddha gave us 2600 years ago. For the roots of our problems remain the same, regardless of geography, education, economic status or any other artificial distinction we choose to apply. The wisdom is applicable to all of us in being better people in the here and now. If we ease someone’s suffering now, it may bring us a reward in the future, but it has already given a blessing to that person, which means that the world is a slightly better place. Imagine if we all tried to ensure that at the end of the day everyone we met today was if not better off, then no worse off today because of interacting with us. We as individuals can’t change the world, but we can change our own situation, if enough of us do it then our part of the world will change. If the idea is found by others to be of use, then it will spread far and wide.

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