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Scared to become a Buddhist?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #44947
    Elle
    Participant

    I know this may sound silly, but recently (over about 4 months) I have really been feeling drawn to Buddhism and it’s teachings. I wasn’t raised ‘in’ the church but I was raised in a religious family. After my father died, I remember telling people I hated God and that I didn’t believe in God. But I knew it was because I was angry. I don’t think I ever meant it.
    As an adult I was baptized and became a Catholic by my own choice. But now it doesn’t seem to help me deal with my questions and feelings and confusion about my past and dealing with life as a whole. Recently, I have been reading some books on Buddhist teachings etc. and I feel drawn to the idea of dealing with life internally and by how you process it. I like the idea that you control how you are impacted vs. asking someone or God for help to deal. However, I am terrified of saying I don’t believe in God. I am terrified that if I even think about finding out more information about Buddhsim that I’ll go to hell. How is it possible to feel that way when I’ve never been into church much anyway? Has anyone else dealt with this crisis?

    #44948
    Elle
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing in advance.

    #44950
    LaReason
    Participant

    Hi Elle,
    I am in a similar boat…sort of.

    I am a child of God and worship Him. I do not attend church because I am fed up with fake people shoving rules and religion down my throat when I wholeheartedly believe Jesus wants us to love Him and love each other. I don’t believe they are showing love in any way shape or form (they only seem to “love” and accept me when I do exactly what they believe I should do). Anyways…I have found Buddhist teachings to resonate VERY well with my heart. I find a lot of parallels between Buddhist principals and what I believe to be the heart of Christianity. It’s all about LOVE.

    I did my first guided meditation this week and left feeling very confused. Is this against what I believe about God? How do I co-exist in both Buddhist teachings and teachings of Christ?

    Not quite the same question you asked but you’re not completely alone in that feeling!

    #44951
    Elle
    Participant

    Hi Ry. Thanks for your response. In many ways it is the same question, but you just phrased it better. I know I can’t expect an answer to something as significant as spirituality to come quickly. I just needed to express out loud that I was concerned. I know I don’t have to be a Buddhist and can just simply follow the principles. I am glad to hear I’m not the only one who hesitates at times. I do know it’s all about love. Perhaps we should just find solace in that for now and see how it goes. Hope you have a great day!

    #44953
    John
    Participant

    “Don’t use Buddhism to become a Buddhist. Use Buddhism to become better at whatever else in your life you are doing already.” – Dalai Lama

    If you believe in God, then believe in God. I don’t think there’s anything in the Dharma that says you can’t or shouldn’t.

    Sit, meditate, become familiar with how you mind works, and let go one breath at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    #44954
    Elle
    Participant

    Oh my John. I really like that quote. Thank you for that. It helps to take a little of the stress off and decrease the panic. You’re right. I clearly need to relax and take one breath at a time.

    #44955
    LaReason
    Participant

    John, that quote really helped me as well!

    Elle, I hope you have a great day as well! If you ever want to talk more about this just let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

    #44957
    linda davis
    Participant

    I Love Jesus and He’s heard me! He gave me peace, and I love 2 chant nam myoho renge kyo. It relaxes me. I received my gohonzon sunday but, I feel Jesus is still in my heart. I can feel it! He said e will never leave us or forsake us! I just think it’s all about love. I think you can have both God knows your heart!<3 That’s all He looks at!<3

    #44959
    linda davis
    Participant

    I meant 2 say Jesus said He will never leave us or forsake us!<3

    #44980
    Lindsay
    Participant

    Thich Nhant Hanh (an amazing Buddhist monk) wrote a book called Living Buddha, Living Christ. It is on my “need to read” list, so I can’t personally vouch for it. But, I love everything TNH has written so I figure it’s amazing. While TNH is devoutly Buddhist, I have seen talks he has given about how Jesus is one of his greatest teachers and inspirations. On his alter that he uses every day, he has a statue of Buddha and an image of Jesus because he so highly respects the teachings. Obviously, two very religions, but I think you might find some relief in seeing how both hold similar values sacred. And that one does not necessarily negate the other.

    #44983
    Lori Anderson
    Participant

    I want to share my story about releasing traditional beliefs about God. I became a quote “Christian” at age 16 and held traditional beliefs about God before that as well. At age 18, I married a man who became a Baptist preacher and we were married for almost 23 years. I believed people were going to hell if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their savior and I believed God was an entity that I had to supplicate for things and my status in eternity was dependent upon how good of a Christian life that I lived. Church services were about preaching us in to feeling guilty and unworthy. We judged ourselves and everyone else.
    About five years ago, I discovered “New Thought” and Buddhist beliefs, which felt very good. I began to embrace my own power as a creator and see that we are all one, as God. Judgement was replaced by love and understanding for myself and others and the separation that I felt from others began to dissolve. But, letting go of the belief in hell was the hardest thing to release. It meant that I had been wrong for all those years. Later, I realized there is no right and wrong or good and evil. After about a year of maintaining my new beliefs, I was still holding on to the belief in hell and Jesus being a Savior for our sins.
    Then, one day I had a break-through and I have never had a moment of doubt since then. I was out of work at the time and was going to food banks for free food. The food was usually distributed by churches. As I was waiting this particular day to receive my food donation, one of the church workers put on a demonstration for myself and another person who was waiting. She cut out figures of the the crosses from folded up paper, as she told the story of the crucifixion and how Jesus died for “our sins” and that if we didn’t accept his as our savior, we would go to hell. Then, she asked us if we went to hell, whose fault would it be. The woman with me said, “Our fault”. I had an amazing moment of clarity as I saw so clearly how the gospel message is one of fear. I could see that the woman sharing the message was sharing it because she was afraid we would go to hell and that if she didn’t tell us, it would be her “fault”.
    I am so glad I am free from the fearful and guilt-based beliefs of traditional Christianity. I do believe Christ came to humanity for reasons other than Christianity proposes. I believe he came to teach us about the abundant life and that we are light and powerful creators. The Bible says, “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God”. He was crucified because he said he was God. There it is, as crystal clear as it can be. We are One with God. We are all equal to God. All of us together make up God. And, we have the power to do miracles just like Christ did.
    The Bible has some great truths in it that were written from inspired authors. And, some of it is written from the ego nature that is fearful. We get to choose love or a God who punishes people in a burning hell. My choice has brought me the fruits of the spirit that the bible talks about, “love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, allowing, faith, and self-control.

    #44984
    Lori Anderson
    Participant

    I want to share my story about releasing traditional beliefs about God. I became a quote “Christian” at age 16 and held traditional beliefs about God before that as well. At age 18, I married a man who became a Baptist preacher and we were married for almost 23 years. I believed people were going to hell if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their savior and I believed God was an entity that I had to supplicate for things and my status in eternity was dependent upon how good of a Christian life that I lived. Church services were about preaching us in to feeling guilty and unworthy. We judged ourselves and everyone else.
    About five years ago, I discovered “New Thought” and Buddhist beliefs, which felt very good. I began to embrace my own power as a creator and see that we are all one, as God. Judgement was replaced by love and understanding for myself and others and the separation that I felt from others began to dissolve. But, letting go of the belief in hell was the hardest thing to release. It meant that I had been wrong for all those years. Later, I realized there is no right and wrong or good and evil. After about a year of maintaining my new beliefs, I was still holding on to the belief in hell and Jesus being a Savior for our sins.
    Then, one day I had a break-through and I have never had a moment of doubt since then. I was out of work at the time and was going to food banks for free food. The food was usually distributed by churches. As I was waiting this particular day to receive my food donation, one of the church workers put on a demonstration for myself and another person who was waiting. She cut out figures of the the crosses from folded up paper, as she told the story of the crucifixion and how Jesus died for “our sins” and that if we didn’t accept his as our savior, we would go to hell. Then, she asked us if we went to hell, whose fault would it be. The woman with me said, “Our fault”. I had an amazing moment of clarity as I saw so clearly how the gospel message is one of fear. I could see that the woman sharing the message was sharing it because she was afraid we would go to hell and that if she didn’t tell us, it would be her “fault”.
    I am so glad I am free from the fearful and guilt-based beliefs of traditional Christianity. I do believe Christ came to humanity for reasons other than Christianity proposes. I believe he came to teach us about the abundant life and that we are light and powerful creators. The Bible says, “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God”. He was crucified because he said he was God. There it is, as crystal clear as it can be. We are One with God. We are all equal to God. All of us together make up God. And, we have the power to do miracles just like Christ did.
    The Bible has some great truths in it that were written from inspired authors. And, some of it is written from the ego nature that is fearful. We get to choose love or a God who punishes people in a burning hell. My choice has brought me the fruits of the spirit that the bible talks about, “love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, allowing, faith, and self-control.

    #44985
    Matt
    Participant

    Elle,

    I’m glad John’s words brought comfort, they are wise indeed! It often saddens me to see people afraid of God’s judgement, especially when they are looking to develop skillful wisdom. Consider that perhaps god doesn’t judge children at all… its more like our pain blinds us to beauty, but the beauty is always there. This picture we have of a little man on a throne with a hat and a magic wand deciding who gets joy and who gets damnation? Rediculous! I have children, and when they make mistakes I grieve along side their pain… there is no judgment for children learning how to find love and joy. Said differently, when we make unskillful choices, we feel pain as a way to help us to grow. Our wisdom, our connection to the divine, our concentration, our wings. It is old baggage from mideval europe and earlier that says “grace is in this book and not that book”, “grace is from the church” and so forth. You are seeking to become a better person, and there is no grace stronger than that, dear sister. I hope your days are full of love and light.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #44986
    Kara Gott Warner
    Participant

    What first attracted me to Dharma was meditation. I just wanted to reduce my stress and train my mind, but then I started diving deeper and *I thought* I had to make a choice between God or Buddha. After soul-searching and the advice of my wise teachers, I realized that I didn’t have to choose anything. It became clear to me that there was room for practicing Dharma, and no reason to give up anything. From a Buddhist perspective names are simply labels. I impute God = Buddha/Buddha = God. From my personal perspective, the names are interchangeable and are one in the same.

    #45004
    Karin
    Participant

    Hi Elle,

    I was brought up very religiously and was always taught i would go to hell if i didn’t believe in Jesus. I used to love to play outside and I wasn’t allowed to do so on Sundays. I remember being 12, lying on my bed, hearing children play outside and thinking: what if I die now and nothing happens… what if there is no God who says: ‘well done, Karin, you haven’t played outside on Sundays, you’ll be going to heaven.’ So I started doubting when i was 12, but even when i was 21 i was too afraid to actually say i didn’t believe in God, just for the fear of hell.
    My story is very much like Lori’s, our church wasn’t about love, it was about judgment. One day i had the guts to just say: ‘I don’t believe in God, or in hell’… and nothing happened. Sounds weird, but from that point on I felt free. I started reading about mindfulness, Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoga and found there was something for me in all those things. Even some things that Jesus has said are right for me, like this:’…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)

    I believe in love. And I believe in being responsible for my own happiness. I also believe in not being afraid of tomorrow (also in the bible by the way: โ€œTherefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34) ).

    I wish you lots of strength and love,
    Karin

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)

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