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Are You Spiritual But Not Religious?

Buddhism is about realization and experience, not institutions or divine authority.

Here are 7 reasons why Buddhism has something to offer everyone.


HH The Dalai Lama and his dog Apso

1. There is no Buddhist God. Different schools of Buddhism have different views about who the Buddha was. Some say he was an ordinary human being who discovered the path to awakening; others say he was already enlightened but followed the path to show us how it’s done. But one thing is certain: he was not a God, deity, or divine being.


2. Buddhism is not about salvation or original sin. It’s not about becoming somebody different or going somewhere else.


3. The way to overcome the suffering is by working with your mind. So, according to the Buddha, the problem is suffering, the cause is ignorance, the remedy is waking up, and the path is living mindfully, meditating, and cultivating our wisdom. There’s really only one place all that happens: in our minds.


4. All depend on you! In Buddhism, there is no savior. There’s no one who’s going to do it for us, no place we can hide out for safety.


5. There is no received wisdom in Buddhism, nothing we must accept purely on the basis of somebody else’s spiritual authority. We have to test the teachings of Buddhism against our direct life experience, not against our opinions.


6. Whatever works for you — no pressure. Today, people who want to explore Buddhism have many resources at their disposal. For the first time in history, all the schools and traditions of Buddhism are gathered in one place. You can practice meditation at home or go to a local center and practice with others. You can read a book, attend classes, or hear a lecture by a Buddhist teacher.

7. And it works. In our own time, hundreds of thousands people all over the world are reporting that even a modest Buddhist practice has made their life better — they’re calmer, happier, and not as carried away when strong emotions arise. They’re kinder to themselves and others.

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