A little more on Buddhism and atheism for your readers

I post on Buddhist-themed things, specifically awareness or mindfulness meditation. There’s a totally secular application of it in physical and mental health circles, and then there’s the more “religious” - both Asian and Western flavor. I’m somewhere in between. The Buddha’s words (which you’ve quoted I see!) on not believing anything unless it has been personally tested and proven are essential to understanding Buddhism.

If you or your wise readers are interested, here’s a place to start:

http://sharanam.tumblr.com/tagged/secular%20religion

I also highly recommend this article in the Washington Post.

Note on sharanam’s background: I was raised in a very secular, though Christian family. Although my grandfather was an Episcopal priest and Divinity School professor, he was also a radical theologian. I got interested in Buddhism as a young teen (now 20 years ago). I studied it in school, and really only theorized it until the past few years. And then I went to Burma for seven months to practice meditation. I am a deeply religious person, but not in the traditional sense of the word. Those teachers and thinkers that influence me tend to be rebels and radicals, deeply inquiring types. My brother is a total non-believer, my sister is a Jewish convert, and there’s me. Go figure.

Absolutely no problem if you choose not to submit. This is in no way intended to be an advertisement or proselytization. I just happen to care a lot about this, have some knowledge of it, and am sharing info with those who might be interested.

Thank you!

Submitted by sharanam

Anonymous asked:

Hi, I enjoy reading your blog quite often. I am an atheist and am quite firm in my beliefs but I am drawn, and often comforted by some buddhist philosophies and practices, such as yoga or meditation. Do you think some parts of buddhism are synonymous with atheism? Or not so much?

Thanks

My knowledge of Buddhism is pretty limited. I do like this quote by the Dalai Lama:

“If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.”

I’m sure nobody expects to hear anything similar from Christianity, Islam or Judaism.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha)
If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.
Dalai Lama