I was reading an article this morning by someone who had tried Buddhism and found it to simply be the flip side of Christianity. The way he sees it, Christians believe in achieving Heaven once they die and Buddhist think they reach Nibbana while they are alive. Christians pray to Jesus, Buddhists pray to Buddha. Two sides of the same coin.
Well, first of all, I don’t believe there is any competition between Buddhism and any other religion. In fact many of the members of my Sangha are Christians and Catholics. One is even a church Pastor!
You see Buddhism does not teach that you have to believe in anything. The dhamma simply teaches a way to ease and eliminate suffering. A path to happiness and peace in your life.
In fact the Buddha even taught us to question everything with your own intellect, then decide for yourself.
Also, Buddhists do not pray to Buddha or worship him. Not at all.
Now I know that the act of bowing before a statue of Buddha could be misconstrued as worshiping, but it is actually just a form of respect and acknowledgment for the Buddha’s teachings (dhamma). That’s all.
Another thing that Buddha taught was that peace lies within us. I think this is the most important part of the teachings.
So many of us spend most of our lives searching for happiness from outside sources. Yet still we are restless, dissatisfied and unhappy. Continually reaching for that better relationship, nicer car, better job, bigger house, always ending in dissatisfaction (suffering).
Last night I watched a TV show about a 25.7 million dollar Yacht. And at the end of the show they told the viewers that it’s also for sale. Why? The owner is not happy with it and wants a bigger one!
So the bottom line is, if you would like to let go of your suffering and find more peace and happiness in your life, then give the Buddhist practice a try.
It’s not a competition, it’s just love and acceptance.
May you be well, happy and peaceful