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I think Buddhism should open the door of psychology and healing to penetrate more easily into the Western world.
Many scientists have been drawn to Buddhism out of a sense that the Western tradition has delivered an impoverished conception of basic, human sanity. In the West, if you speak to yourself out loud all day long, you are considered crazy. But speaking to yourself silently - thinking incessantly - is considered perfectly normal.
The idea of interdependence is central to Buddhism, which holds that all things come into being through the mutual interactions of various causes and conditions.
My faith foundation works to bring about a greater respect and understanding between different faiths. We basically work with six popular religions in the world which are the three Abrahamic religions, Hinduism and Buddhism and Sikhism.
Mindfulness is so powerful that the fact that it comes out of Buddhism is irrelevant.
There is no reason whatsoever to think that Buddhism can compete successfully with the relentless evangelizing of Christianity and Islam. Nor should it try to.
The first of the four noble truths of Buddhism, that there is suffering in life, was enormously important to me. No one had ever said it out loud. That had been my experience, of course, but no one had ever talked about it. I didn't know what to do with all the fear and emotions within, and here was the Buddha saying this truth right out loud.
The reason Buddhism can be so naturalised is because, stripped of its supernatural elements, its core teachings can be giving a sound, secular philosophical interpretation. In other words, it becomes a religion acceptable to the contemporary, naturalistic mind only when it ceases to be a religion.
I think you can't really escape any kind of spiritual education as a child, whether it's New Age or Judaism or Buddhism or whatever it is. You can't escape it, even if you completely disagree with it, you still have it as a foundation that you base things off of.
The notion that Western religions are more rigid than those of Asia is overdrawn. Ours is the most permissive society history has ever known - almost the only thing that is forbidden now is to forbid - and Asian teachers and their progeny play up to this propensity by soft-pedaling Hinduism's, Buddhism's, Sufism's rules.
I like to read about different religions - Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
All of the religions - with the exception of Tibetan Buddhism, which doesn't believe in a heaven - teach that heaven is a better place. At the end of the program, I say that heaven is a place where you are happy. All of the religions have that in common.
Buddhism has had a major effect on who I am and how I think about the world. What I have learned is that I like all religions, but only parts of them.
Zen Buddhism is a discipline where belief isn't necessary.
I think the reason Buddhism and Western psychology are so compatible is that Western psychology helps to identify the stories and the patterns in our personal lives, but what Buddhist awareness training does is it actually allows the person to develop skills to stay in what's going on.
When I was first introduced to Buddhism in a high school World Studies class, I dismissed it out of hand. This was during the hedonistic days of the late '60s, and this spiritual path seemed so grim with its concern about attachment and, apparently, anti-pleasure.
In private, I'm a hippie who follows Buddhism, does yoga, meditates and loves to dance wildly.
As an individual, I think you have to find your own path. I like the simplicity and purity of Hinduism and many elements of Buddhism. These are all means of accessing spiritual energy.
When I first was exposed to Buddhism in the mid-1960s, I said it was so practical and utterly pragmatic. That's what attracted me to Buddhism.
A friend of mine told me a bunch of stuff on Buddhism and about Avicii being the lowest level of Buddhist hell, and it just sort of got stuck in my head. Later on when I went to setup a MySpace, I tried a bunch of names and they were all taken so I just kind of ended up with Avicii and then I got really attached to it.
There's something uniquely interesting about Buddhism and mathematics, particularly about quantum physics, and where they meet. That has fascinated us for a long time.
I think Christianity is the same as Buddhism and Hinduism - whenever a religion begins to say that these are the things you have to do to be loved by God, you have a religion.
I believe that dialogue is the key to breaking through our tendency to separate and isolate. Dialogue changes isolation and loneliness into connection and interdependence. This, I believe, is the essence of Buddhism.
I've worked in the prison system, on death row and maximum security. I did that work for six years. I've worked with some of the most difficult people in our society. Buddhism was accessible and helpful for these individuals.
For me, Buddhism is a psychology and a philosophy that provides a means, upayas, for working with the mind.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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