Thursday, November 18, 2010

Buddhism, heaven, others...

[Disclosure: I am not trying to get anywhere with anything I am about to write...]  

I grew up a Buddhist. Although not a very devout Buddhist, I believe in the core principles and teachings of Buddha. I have grown to believe in heaven, after life, and hell. If only I get to pick which one I want to go to...

 I am not critical or judgmental of any belief other people have, but the feelings are not reciprocated. People will tell me they are not preaching, as they go on about why I will never make to heaven if I am not a Christian. I mention Christian because I have had friends who follow Islam, Hindu, and other forms of Buddhism, but never been told I will never make it to heaven if I didn't follow any Islam, Hindu, or Buddhism. That is unless of course, I am talking to my dad, in which case he will say, this Christianity/Muslim/Others is not ...

I was accompanying an elderly lady at the Union Station in Washington D.C, a friend of my in-law, when we passed an art work display done by grade school students. The paintings/drawings depicted varying themes and talents by the young artists. One particular drawing intrigued me, that of Lord Buddha, sitting in meditation under a Bodhi Tree. As I stood there appreciating the young talent's work, the lady mentions a documentary she once saw on Discovery Channel, about how Buddhist monks selected a Lama, who was thought to be the reincarnation of a previous well known Lama. Her first questions was how a Lama was selected? My explanation was that the previous Lama would normally leave some clues as to where he might be reborn, and that a senior group of monks use a secret set of criteria to determine the reborn Lama, who in turn has to pass a set of tests to qualify reincarnation, which could take a few years. Her second question/comment was, "You don't believe in that crap, do you?" My response was to stare at her shortly and tell her that she didn't need to believe in any of it, but that I did. She went on to tell me that the only way to heaven was through Christ our Lord. I don't argue that or have any doubt about that, but is Christ the only way to heaven? If so, are over a billion Buddhist wrong on their way to heaven? Are close to 2 billion Islam followers wrong as well? This according to the lady.

My thought on this is that there has to be more than one way that leads us to heaven. The choice of path, however, is and should be a choice of freedom to any individual.

[If someone is judging you, that doesn't define you. It, however, definitely defines the person judging you._Dr.Wayne Dyer]

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