Thursday, November 30, 2006

What Makes You Not a Buddhist?

This is from the article by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche in the current Shambhala Sun, "What Makes You a Buddhist?" The article focuses on the acceptance of the four seals as the defining characteristic of being a Buddhist, so this is how to not be a Buddhist:
If you cannot accept that all compounded or fabricated things are impermanent, if you believe that there is some essential substance or essence that is permanent, then you are not a Buddhist.

If you cannot accept that all emotions are pain, if you believe that actually some emotions are purely pleasurable, then you are not a Buddhist.

If you cannot accept that all phenomena are illusory and empty, if you believe that certain things do exist inherently, then you are not a Buddhist.

And if you think that enlightenment exists within the spheres of time, space, and power, then you are not a Buddhist.
It seems to me that he is speaking in terms of absolute reality, where all of this may be valid. But few of us live in that space and can hold those beliefs as we go about our daily lives.

I'm actually cool with 3 out of 4 on a daily basis. But from this body, right now, I know that the universe exists independent of my mind creating it. If I die at this moment, the universe does not cease to exist exactly as it is. So maybe I'm not a Buddhist.


Post a Comment