A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Daily Prompt: 300 words to justify

The Buddha doesn’t need justification to exist, nor does he need us to worship him to exist. The Buddha is not a deity that requires our faith, rather he taught us to question what we hear, and if worthwhile, and beneficial to ourselves and other beings to adopt it. A substantial portion of modern psychology is based on, or resembles what he taught us, about how to control our mind, which in turn allows us to control our thoughts, speech and actions. Buddhism is about accepting responsibility for our actions, making reparations where it will not cause further harm to others. We also learn to think about our actions as harmless or harmful, and to place the welfare of other beings equal to or above our own. Imagine a world without violence, without racism, and without greed. Think of the advances we could make if we all work cooperatively to make conditions here on earth, the best they could be for all beings.

The Buddha taught us that what is provable through scientific means, or through our unfiltered senses, must be accepted. He doesn’t require us to suspend our higher faculties, nor are we required to accept anything that can’t be proven. He didn’t tell us how the universe was formed, because knowing how it was formed, doesn’t help us reduce the suffering we face daily. His teachings were to help us eliminate the suffering we incur through faulty thoughts, such as cravings, and attachments. This doesn’t absolve us of commitment; rather it encourages it, because following the path he showed us, allows us to make a true commitment, based on mutual respect and concern for each other. Learning to love in the style Christians would term agape, requires us to learn the universe doesn’t revolve around us.



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4 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: 300 words to justify

  1. so well said, thank you Keith

  2. I keep an edited version of the following quote up on my wall in my classroom:

    Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

    -The Buddha

    The Buddha lays down a fairly clear set of ideas for reducing our own suffering in this life. We may accept it or not; it’s a grown-up religion that way. If we don’t, we ourselves deal with the consequences, and perhaps learn from them.

    • I have the same quote at my desk at home. Thank you for posting it as a reply, If your students adopt that, not only will they be happier in life, they may revolutionize the way we do things in the future.

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