A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Our past gave us preconceptions

Growing up as a person of Chinese & Ukrainian heritage in Western Canada, I had many influences, Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, and mass media. My parents never forced me to decide on which path was right, rather they encouraged me to look for the truth in each, and decide what spoke most truthfully to me. I didn’t realize at the time how much my family life was based on Buddhist teachings. My father was raised with a mixture of Taoism and Buddhist teachings, my mother grew up as a Greek Orthodox Christian. They raised me without a belief in any one path, rather encouraged me to study all and see which one was the most useful to me in living a moral life.  My father used to say, it is not the teacher, or what they teach, it is how you use what you learn. Having spent most of my life living as a practicing Christian, over the years I became dissatisfied with the state of organized Christianity. The first issue was, sex abuse scandals, where the church, would move the offender to another jurisdiction, to avoid prosecution, and protect the reputation of the clergy. The revelations of the practices of all churches in the perpetration of atrocities under the guise of residential schools, was another issue.  Watching a Pastor defend a drug dealer who ruined countless lives with his actions, as a changed man, and that God had forgiven the individual, who had just before, had made a “donation” to the church was the final issue that caused me to still accept Christ’s teachings but have no faith in organized churches.  A further problem was I had been raised with a scientific view of the world. I had been encouraged to learn all 3 sciences in school, chemistry, physics, and biology. Looking back at how certain systems of beliefs tried to bend the universe to their view, rather than be in harmony with the universe, was yet another issue. The destruction of the Library at Alexandria, the persecution of scientists who proclaimed that the earth was not the center of the universe, the denial of evolution or natural selection, and the denial of even the possibility of life on other planets, did not sit well with me. Please note that I do not proclaim to have the answers, nor do I even know all the questions, however I have chosen a path and the entries of this blog will document that journey. Yes my views will change as I study, learn and experience life. If the statements you read seems too simple to you, please accept that it is where I am on my path, when I wrote it. Also Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying “If you can’t explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.  If you see statements separated over time that diverge or even disagree, it is because as I expand the breadth and depth of my understanding so does the filter I view life through change its hue as well.

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