Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,
Kimberly
kimberly_a

  • Mood:

What Makes You Not a Buddhist

So, apparently, according to someone named Dzongsar Khyentse, I am not a Buddhist.

I got a book for Christmas called The Best Buddhist Writing 2007, the first essay in which is titled "What Makes You Not a Buddhist." According to its author, Dzongsar Khyentse:

If you cannot accept that all compounded or fabricated things are impermanent, if you believe that there is some essential substance or concept 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.


Now, I'm fine with numbers 1 and 4. Number 2 is iffy for me, but I'm willing to postulate that all happiness bears within it a fear of the loss of that happiness. But number 3, well, number 3 I have a problem with. I am quite certain that my body exists, for example. I'm quite certain that Shannon exists. I'm quite certain that this book exists.

So I guess I'm not a Buddhist. According to this guy, anyway. But I find the whole concept of the essay troubling, because it seems very un-Buddhist to be dividing the world into Buddhist and not-Buddhist, into us and them. I've never seen it before in the other Buddhist reading I've done.

So I think I'm writing this guy off. I may not be his kind of Buddhist, but I'm my own kind of Buddhist and it doesn't really matter if I fit his definition. Maybe I'll read some Thich Nhat Hanh to cleanse my brain. I like the way he looks at the world much more than this guy.
Tags: buddhism
Subscribe

  • Headache

    Sorry I haven't written in ages. The occipital neuralgia headaches are back. Or, rather, headache singular, because I've had the same headache…

  • Songs that remind me of Shannon

    Been wanting to make a list of songs that remind me of Shannon. I don't know how to do that Spotify thing, so I'll just link to YouTube videos: Ed…

  • Water heater

    Our water heater has died, leaving us with no hot water this morning. The old one (and it is old, more than 12 years at least) needs to be torn out…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 11 comments

  • Headache

    Sorry I haven't written in ages. The occipital neuralgia headaches are back. Or, rather, headache singular, because I've had the same headache…

  • Songs that remind me of Shannon

    Been wanting to make a list of songs that remind me of Shannon. I don't know how to do that Spotify thing, so I'll just link to YouTube videos: Ed…

  • Water heater

    Our water heater has died, leaving us with no hot water this morning. The old one (and it is old, more than 12 years at least) needs to be torn out…