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The truth is I want to become a Buddhist, but I'm afraid of being judged.

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  • #78913
    Henry McLeod
    Participant

    So I have been studying Buddhism for about a week now, and I really seem to like it. It has taught me so much that I can use in my everyday life. But the only problem is that I come from a Christian family. My heart tells me to be a Buddhist, but haven’t told anyone because they might think I’m worshiping idols or something. The thing I learned is that Buddhism is more of a philosophy and we don’t actually worship our own gods. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that’s how it goes.

    How do I tell my family that I want to be this way. When I was a Christian nothing really made sense to me. I am not trying to put anyone down who is one, but I simply did not get it. I just did it because I felt I had to. But when I was a Buddhist, I got to make my own choices and I didn’t feel guilty of it. What should I do? Should I tell people the truth?

    #78918
    Valerie
    Participant

    I don’t know how strict your family is, but I’d definitely try to explain to them what buddhism is, even before telling that you WANT to become one.

    #78921
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi kinghenry95,

    Yes, I tell my family that Buddhism is a train of thought/philosophy/way of thinking. With Buddhism, you don’t have to pick and choose. There is no Either/Or. There are Protestant Buddhists, Jewish Buddhists and even Catholic Buddhists. It’s best if you come from a place of being an expert rather than asking for permission. In a few years when you’ve read and experienced a lot in this, hold a workshop in your church called (let’s say you’re Protestant) “Protestant Buddhists ~ Putting God into Buddhist Thought” or something like that. So when you “come out” and they start questioning/judging you can say, “You should really come to my workshop on this on the 27th/!” 😉

    There are books that show the similarities between what Jesus said and what Buddha says.

    Have Buddhist and Eastern coffee table books. Give to your parents because the images are so beautiful. If they open it up the book may explain the “Tao/Now” and Buddha’s history. But not what to believe!

    Good Luck!

    Inky

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Inky.
    #78923
    Inky
    Participant

    I just want to add ~ And I am not technically Buddhist! For twenty years, I, too, had my doubts about God/Jesus/Christianity. But here’s the thing ~ people like labels. When people ask me what I “am” I say “I’m a Congregationalist” more for THEM, not for ME. I was baptized there. My kids were baptized there. I’m on a committee. I even go to an occasional service.

    And YET, and yet… I can read Tarot cards, almost converted to Judaism, read Buddhist books, can chant Hindu mantras, went to a Buddhist temple and was baptized in the Spirit (quite suddenly!!) so now I am technically a Born Again Christian.

    Listen, it all comes down to your own personal relationship with The Creator and/or Jesus.

    Don’t worry about what “Man” thinks. Go to the Religion/Spirituality section of your bookstore, pick up any book that resonates with you, and read your heart out! Go to any place of worship that the Spirit moves you to. Practice spirituality on your own or with others and see what works and where it goes.

    #78930
    Matt
    Participant

    Kinghenry,

    Perhaps you could wait a year before telling them. What’s the rush? Buddhism is like a quiet internal revolution, deeply personal, an awareness of self. Don’t try to wear it like an armor with your family. Instead, consider using it to change the way you relate to them, seeing more clearly, loving more directly.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #78934
    Annie Lin
    Participant

    I, too, came from a Christian family and a Catholic school. When I first told my friends, my classmates and my teacher-who is a nun- they laughed at me. They took it as a joke but little did they know that I’m being serious. I am not completely a Buddhist yet because, like you, I fear of being judged. I do visit temples though. I have my own altar at home and I light incense every once in a while and it annoys my family. They called me “crazy” for even wanting to be a Buddhist. I tell them that about Buddha’s way of life and philosophies and they would just laugh at me.

    I wanted to educate them the beauty of Buddhism, if only they were open minded. I’m planning to attend mediation classes but again I was just laughed at. So, I have no confidence now. But I still continue to study and know more about Buddhism. 🙂

    #78941
    CScripter
    Participant

    As Alexis de Tocqueville put it: “General ideas are no proof of the strength, but rather of the insufficiency of the human intellect.”

    Common statement: “You believe in reincarnation! Yer a bood-hist!”

    I actually do not ‘believe’ in that at all. Nor do most Buddhists. That’s a misconception in the Western World due to exposure to Tibetan tradition and Mahayana Doctrine.

    “Huh?!”

    As there are sects in every religion, so there are sects in the Philosophies of Siddhartha Gautama, the first ‘Buddha’. The original Pali Canon, of which all present day teachings are based, Theravada is the closest, and has no dogma or doctrine to that effect concerning reincarnation. Mahayana is in fact ‘unorthodox’ Buddhism, as it split from the main branch some time ago, and as it spread, it became adapted to local traditions and religions.

    I prefer to call the ‘Buddha’ by his ‘real’ name of “Siddhartha” both from a personal preference, and to perhaps guide the others minds away from the preconceived notion. Siddhartha was a Hindu Prince turned Ascetic, he believed in multiple gods and some form of reincarnation.

    He never once preached or taught it. He is quoted as saying: ” I teach one thing only: the nature of suffering, and it’s cessation.”

    He is respected and venerated for showing us the Dharma, and there are sects that do take a religious function especially ‘New Earth’ buddhism, which is really a copy and paste of Christian Mythology.

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