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For me, Buddhism is a psychology and a philosophy that provides a means, upayas, for working with the mind.
It just seemed like Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism - because that's mainly what I've been exposed to - was a real solid organization of teachings to point someone in the right direction. Some real well thought out stuff. But I don't know, like, every last detail about Buddhism.
For me, in Buddhism there is a plethora of specific teachings that one can seek out and find for the individual dilemmas you may have.
Buddhism has a very beautiful teaching that says the worst thing you can do to your soul is to tell someone their faith is wrong.
I'd gotten away from my Buddhism. And I quit meditating.
I feel a lot more secure about the directions I take, than I might have, had I not practiced Buddhism.
Buddhism teaches us not to try to run away from suffering. You have to confront suffering. You have to look deeply into the nature of suffering in order to recognize its cause, the making of the suffering.
Buddhism has turned me on to my humanness, and is challenging my humanness so that I can become more human.
And as I stumbled onto Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, it was the first time I had ever read any sort of philosophy that really made a tremendous amount of sense. What I liked that was missing from my experience of Christianity growing up was a sort of acceptance, a sort of being OK with being imperfect and not focusing on the sin.
In Buddhism there are words you can say... as you say the words with rhythm the conscious tells the subconscious.
I was raised Catholic, but then I discovered Buddhism, and I used to have a boyfriend who was a Scientologist, and they are all good religions that help people. As far as I'm concerned, you can have all three religions at once and it's okay!
Scientology, Buddhism, the Kabbalah... if it makes people's lives better, and easier, then I'll do it. Why not? People scoffed at Christianity 2,000 years ago, didn't they?
Protection, as we use the word in Buddhism, is actually wisdom, it's insight. Protection is seeing and knowing deeply that all things in our experience arise due to causes, due to conditions coming together in a certain way.
I've been practising Buddhism for forty years, and that's what has led me to this path of discovering my own humanity and recognizing the humanity in others.
In Buddhism, they say attachment to anything only leads to suffering. So when we laugh, it's our way of saying, 'I'm unattached to that.' You're tickled by it, it makes your lobes do something on their own. So humor is very important to me. I always take that to the stage first.
I do understand that America is a predominantly Christian country. A lot of morals and values are based in Christianity as opposed to Buddhism, which it's not, or Judaism, which it's not, or Islam, which it's definitely not. So I'm not going to lie to myself and just be like, 'Well you know, everybody's equal.' Because we're not.
One of the happier ironies of recent history is that even as Tibet is being wiped off the map in Tibet itself, here it is in California, in Switzerland, in Japan. All over the world, Tibetan Buddhism is now part of the neighborhood. In 1968, there were two Tibetan Buddhist centers in the West. By 2000, there were 40 in New York alone.
I started the Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979. The idea of bringing Buddhist meditation without the Buddhism into the mainstream of medicine was tantamount to the Visigoths being at the gates about to tear down the citadel of Western civilization.
I have always worked with energy. Everything is energy. Buddhism. Christ teachings. These are foundation stones for a spiritual life.
I turned into a monk when my mother went to learn Buddhism in Burma. While she learnt at the monastery, I used to roam around with a begging bowl and ask for food.
Buddhism talks about the possibility of transforming greed, hatred, and delusion. But sometimes need turns into greed.
Buddhism has become a socially recognized religious philosophy for Americans, whereas it used to be considered an exotic religion.
My work has been in the field of engaged Buddhism. That is my own practice, which began in 1965 that formed the base for the work I was doing in the civil rights and anti-war movement.
As Buddhism moved to the West, one of the big characteristics was the strong place of women. That didn't exist in the countries of origin. It's just a sign of our culture.
There are things that I value now that I didn't when I first went over there, like Zen Buddhism, which has become part of my life over the last couple years.
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