Buddhism Is a Practice, Not A Religion
I hate Buddhism as a religion, and I refuse to practice it that way. By “religion”, I mean in the usual Western sense, being one’s main system of belief and spiritual practice, one’s main source of spiritual connection with others, to the exclusion of other beliefs, practices and associations. There’s too much pressure from other people to be a certain kind of person of a certain class; to be a “buddhist”, whatever that means. Too much emphasis on courses and retreats as a lifestyle. As a spiritual practice, it’s wonderful; it solves all my problems. But I don’t think Buddhism was ever meant to be practiced as a religion in the western sense, joining a church and practicing together every week.
Michael Jerryson, in his recent article in Buddhadharma magazine, described the differences between Asian and Western approaches to Buddhist practice:
For many Buddhists in Asia, the buddhadharma is not a “religion”. This extinction is…
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