During the lifetime of Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha (the Enlightened), his simple, almost common-sense approach to things proved appealing to people of all classes and groups. Since 1844, when Henry David Thoreau made the first translation of a Buddhist text into English, Buddhism has been a constant presence in American culture. From Allen Ginsberg to Tina Turner, from the scholarly Robert Thurman (perhaps best known as father of actress Uma Thurman) to Steven Seagal, and don’t forget Tiger Woods, Buddhists are being seen throughout American culture. There are even two Buddhists in the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Hank Johnson of Georgia.
But the beauty of Buddhism – and the reason I (although I do not self-identify as a Buddhist) continue to read, write, and think about Buddhism – is that you do not have to be Buddhist, you do not have to give up your faith, philosophy, or culture, to draw on the riches of a tradition that many Buddhists themselves say is not a religion.
Of all spiritual traditions, Buddhism seems less concerned with demanding that others accept its teachings, although those teachings have much to offer, again, not to take the place of your teachings but to enrich your life and spirituality. So, feel free to read these articles of mine about Buddhism. You will not be pressured to change your beliefs, but you may find your path, your own path, enriched by treasures that I have enjoyed learning about from the spiritual riches of Buddhism.
An Afternoon at the Monastery – Just turn left at WalMart… and I’m not kidding.
Do Buddhists Believe in Ghosts? – For many in the West, Buddhism is appealing because it seems to be free of superstition and offers a rational approach to many of the problems of human life.
Grand Old Stories, Brand New Year – I do not feel bad or awkward to put the Buddha and Charles Schultz together in this article.
How Do You Become a Buddhist – Buddhism is not so much about “being Buddhist” as about doing right.
Is There a Buddhist Heaven or a Buddhist Hell? – In a sort of spiritual ecology, it would be a waste for someone to end up in Hell for all eternity.
Mahayana Buddhism: The Way of the Many – It is said that the Buddha showed us 84,000 “dharma doors,” that is 84,000 ways that we all can follow his teachings.
Meditation for Ordinary Life – There are no rules, no right way, no wrong way to meditate.
My Cold-Blooded Buddhist Teacher – The lizard got me in touch with my inner bodhisattva, a Buddha-to-be.
Pure Land Buddhism – Siddhartha Gautama is not the only Buddha, just the latest in a long line of Buddhas, and he is not the last.
Theravada: the Oldest Buddhism – This is as close to the teachings of the historical Buddha as we can get.
What Is a Bodhisattva? – Bodhisattvas lead others to the enlightenment that they themselves desire, that we may all become buddhas.
The Yoke – Nowadays, we might interpret the words of Jesus as “My interface is user-friendly.”
Issues in Buddhism Today
Gay Marriage: A Buddhist Perspective – Buddhism does not label acts as good as much as it labels them as “skillful.”
How to Find Buddhist Texts Online – With the Internet, it is possible to access quite a library of Buddhist texts without spending money or leaving your home.
Monks, Metta and the Myanmar Cyclone – Buddhist kindness meets cyclones and dictators.
Panties for Peace – Simply, send your panties to the generals.
Sharon Stone, Karma, and the Earthquake in China – A good old Buddhist term, karma, has hit the news with Buddhist actress Sharon Stone stirring up a religious controversy.
Buddhism and Motherhood
Buddhist Resources for Anyone’s Mother’s Day – A splitting headache and a thousand hands: that is a Buddhist image for Mother’s Day.
Mothers Day for Buddhists – The Buddha put a great emphasis on the importance of loyalty to one’s parents.
As Buddhists often say, May all beings be happy!
You can find another Buddhist resource page of mine here.