David N. Snyder wrote:Dave The Seeker wrote:I was wondering about this.
Does one have to formally take Refuge to be considered a Buddhist?
Does one have to follow a school or sect if you prefer?
Opinions vary; imo, Refuge is not necessary, following a particular school is also not necessary. There are many who follow "Buddhayana" or some mixture of different traditions / general Buddhism. Just calling yourself a Buddhist, following the Path as best as possible is enough.
I must say, I have wondered about this myself. Trying to live a better life by following the Path is what I do - I don't always succeed, but I am trying - and I know I will never be perfect. That's ok, because now it is more about the journey than the end destination.
I was also wondering if being a Buddhist means one has to be able to both comprehend and join in all of the heavy duty discussions here, with all the philosophical speculations about life and everything else....because frankly, I can't follow most of you or understand what the heck you are talking about. Nor do I want to. I pick up a lot of books on Buddhism, and my eyes glaze over after one or two chapters. So for a while, I thought that my lack of understanding - or interest - in the discussions here on this site was a problem, that it meant that I didn't understand Buddhism. Now I am not so sure. I understand the basics, and I understand that I feel at "home" with Buddhism - and I do want to learn more, just not at the level that others seem to be at.
Bonsai Doug wrote:Old joke: What's the difference between a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist?
The non-Buddhist thinks there's a difference.