Interview for a Buddhist

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    I am a student in a World Religions college course hoping for some answers to a few questions from a Buddhist themselves. If possible of course, I will list the questions below and it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance:)

    -How did you become a Buddhist?
    -Do you view Buddhism as a religion, philosophy, or something else?
    -How much of your life and personal identity would you say Buddhism is for you?
    -A lot of Buddhist elements, mantras, eta are seen in our daily and mainstream life today; how much of this is misunderstood and/or incorrect to your views of Buddhism?
    -Do your religious beliefs affect your political views at all?
    -The pandemic has affected everyone differently, as well as divided the world as far an opinions go. Where do you stand as a Buddhist? How has Buddhism aided you through the pandemic?
    -Do you think being a Buddhist is more easy or difficult today than during the time of the Buddha?
    -What is your favorite philosophy of life you are willing to share with me today?


    Dear Collie

    I was sent to Sunday school until my early teens so like many I had a christian background, but struggled with aspects such as going to hell for eternity or that you could be mean & hurtful all your life and then do a deathbed conversion & end up in heaven for eternity plus you were told not to do things (10 commandments) but not how to overcome emotions & hormones etc.

    In my early 30’s I took stock of my life & wrote a note about how I would like to live my life ie may I walk gently upon this earth. If I have a choice between doing something positive or negative may I choose the positive action etc. May I treat all people like family.  A couple of years later I came across a book on Buddhism at our local library and as I read it things started to fall into place and I thought now I know what I am ( aspire to be).  many years later my family realised that it wasn’t a fad with me. My mum said that when I was small I met some tibetan monks and I was fascinated by them so she was not surprised at my interest. My youngest son completed a sentence for me “Now you are 18 I can “….. “go to the monastery”. In 2009 I formally took refuge in the buddha, dharma & sangha.

    I would say that buddhism pervades all aspects of my life, it is a frame work and support thru which I navigate the journey of this and hopefully all my future lives.

    I find  & look for the dharma in other philosophies , religions and people.

    I love Thich Nat Han’s Golden rules as they are so positive & thought provoking.

    May I keep sentient beings safe

    May I be mild of thought, speech & manner

    May everything I need be given to me freely

    May I have integrity in all my relationships

    May I keep my judgement clear.

    I would say here in the west it is much more easier to be buddhist now. Many people have said to me ” If I had to choose a religion then it would be buddhism” The only discrimination i have been subjected to is been by a couple of persons in the church of my childhood!

    Where I live we do not have party politics but if I lived elsewhere I would vote for the Green Party as I feel the environment is much sidelined in favour of short term financial gains.

    I think the pandemic gave many people the time to see a different way of living and the chance to rethink their priorities.

    Mindfullness/ Meditation is now mainstream, but without teachings, study & then  contemplating them & along with conscious ethical conduct it has little longterm value  ( here I am talking about future lives as much as the present one).

    i wish you all the best with your course


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