mindyourmind wrote:Simply put : in the West we are all Buddhists in at least a nominal Christian society.
mindyourmind wrote:But let a Westerner practice Buddhism, Taoism or any so-called Eastern religion and the stupids descend - heavily. And this is where the pressure is brought to bear, and I believe that this will be the case also in the US, where we find a similar Christian society.
What triggered this discussion was a friend of mine who, after trying to practice Buddhism for a year, came to me in tears, telling me that she loves the Dharma but that it is just too difficult, and that she has doubts, and that she feels so alone in the practice.
mindyourmind wrote:My society has no real issue with say Muslims, or Jewish people, with a sort of tacit acceptance and a view akin to "well, they are just like that".
But let a Westerner practice Buddhism, Taoism or any so-called Eastern religion and the stupids descend - heavily.
KeithBC wrote:That is an important and probably accurate observation. There is a fundamental difference between western religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) and eastern religions. All three western religions share the view that the basis of morality is obedience. Basically, it doesn't matter what you are ordered to do, as long as you say "yes, sir", you've "done good". That is the substance of the myth of Abraham, which all three of those religions share. (recall: Abraham was ordered to kill his son. He was in the act of obeying when God told him, "Ha-ha, just kidding! I just wanted to see if you would do it." Abraham is considered a good guy because of this.)
This world view is the identifying characteristic of the western religions, and is not shared by eastern religions, such as Buddhism.
The thing to remember is that societies founded by Christians have political and social structures that, regardless of any ostensible separation of church and state, embody this model. They can accept people from any of the western religions because of this shared mythology. But having a different basis for deciding what is moral is not even considered by most people as being a possibility. It upsets their entire world view because it denies the very thing that that world view was based on.
....... I do not tell many people that I am Buddhist.
Sonam Wangchug wrote:It's kind of hard because if people ask 'what do buddhists believe' I feel.. buddhism is incredibly vast, and I have yet to even scratch the surface, however I suppose there are some Generic answers for that..
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