In Buddhism, it pays to leave assumptions at the door
by Barbara O'Brien, The Guardian (UK), July 29, 2009http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,8398,0,0,1,0
The imperialist spirit lives on today in best-selling author and atheist Sam Harris, for example. Harris wrote in an essay titled Killing the Buddha that "The wisdom of the Buddha is currently trapped within the religion of Buddhism." Like the Victorian Buddhologists, Harris seems besotted with his own ideal of an authentic Buddhism that no saffron-robed Asian monk could possibly appreciate.
But the power of Buddhist practice comes from its ability to confound assumptions and break us out of limited, habitual thinking. If from the beginning we demand that Buddhism conform to our assumptions and habitual thinking, it hardly matters whether we wear jeans or robes. It won't be authentic.
And if you meet the Buddha on the road, really kill him – meaning, "kill" all ideas about him. Don't just replace one idea of Buddha with another idea you like better.