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


    Lyle Cline

    @basket random I would think that being a Buddhist is now more simpler in the west. Many people have told me that they would pick Buddhism as their religion if they had to. One or two people in the church where I grew up were the only ones to discriminate against me.


    Hi Collie,

    I was reading a survey book on the beliefs of world religions; and was struck by the fact that this man, the buddha, who lived 2500 years ago, knew me better than I know myself. I broke down in tears. That was 32 years ago. Buddhism is my rudder and compass. It does not tell me how to live my life, but how to evaluaton my thoughts and actions. I think that one should understand (live by)  one’s beliefs; and never adopt anything anyone says unless they are convinced of it’s usefulness or truth. Aha, identity, something I try not to subscribe to. If certain practices work for you, bring you understanding or solace, they’re work exploring. Politics and the pandemic have little influence on my life, so can’t really comment on them. I have NO idea what being a buddhist was like during the buddha’s life. For me, following the path it’s not a choice, I could not do otherwise, doesn’t matter what happens to me. I think that anicca is the mark of existence which pretty much describes the human condition, why we suffer, etc. It is the way of all things. I hope this helps.

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