Sweet and sour cabbage rolls (About me)
I’m of Chinese and Ukrainian heitage, born and raised in Canada. I was raised with a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism and Taoist influences. My parents thought it important, I had a wide range of moral education, while allowing me to choose what worked. Over the years, I noticed that Buddhism played a larger part in the household I grew up in, than I had been aware of. Reflecting back, I noticed that I am my father’s son, well i respect all teachers, faiths, religions, the one that I walk even when I am not actively thinking about it, is the Middle Path. Hence my decision to actively follow it, and to learn more about the teachings contained within.
This blog is not meant to convert anyone. Rather it is a living record of issues that I encounter, and how I apply solutions based on my knowledge at the time. Many of the Buddha‘s teaching can be used by people of any religion, and even those who are agnostic may find benefits. Over time as I hopefully gain wisdom, my answers to life’s issues will become more compassionate. Just by recording issues here, I find that what I have learned, is more easily applied to future issues. So may all beings enjoy peace and harmony. I renamed my blog to A Western Buddhist’s travels, as life is a journey, and this is my chronicle.
Although I follow The Pure Land branch of Mahayana Buddhism, this blog will cover teachings from all schools. Also teachers from other religions may be included, as well as secular individuals, for as the Buddha has taught us, all beings are just trying to be happier and suffer less. Also the truth is universal.
The Buddha told us not to follow him blindly or on faith. Rather he instructed us to test everything and if we find it agreeable to adopt it. In my writings here, please understand that these are my views now. As I gain wisdom, I hope that my attitudes, answers and behaviors will be more compassionate and loving. If something I write intrigues you, please use it as a stepping stone to learning more. Gain knowledge and discern if it makes sense and is useful. Lastly any mistakes contained within the blog, are mine. May my words cause you to think, seek out wisdom and become a happier more loving individual, regardless of which path or teacher you follow.
As to personal quirks and quarks. Growing up using chopsticks and sharing food Chinese family style, even at restaurants has helped when travelling in other countries. Not being of a homogeneous culture, I accept and adapt to what is around me, so the old saying “When in Rome do as the Romans do!” is a piece of baklava to me. I find that if you want to know a new culture, start with the food, and I don’t mean the westernized versions of it. Go to a Heritage Days in Edmonton, Canada on the first weekend of August. Heritage Days celebrates over 70 different cultures with ethnic costumes, food and entertainment, all provided by members of the represented community. You can see that Russians are similar to Ukrainians, but not identical. That Chinese stir fry is not the same as Padthai.
(19 July 2012) About 18 months after I started this blog, I realize that writing it, has changed my perspective on life. By regularly reviewing my beliefs and how I put them into practice has strengthened my practices. My search to find happiness, has caused my view to turn from finding it, to passing it along. Surprisingly the more I give, the more I receive in return. There is an old saying: A pain shared is halved, while a joy shared is doubled.
If something I post something here, that you would spend a lifetime arguing against, politely let me know what you disagree with and why. The only provision is keep to the topic, no profane language, and no attacking other people who post comments here. Also if you post comments that are meant to cause suffering to others, they will be deleted.
Finally I occasionally post links to articles from around the world, that promote peace, and healthy living that don’t seem to make it to mainstream media here in the west.