Believing in Buddhist teachings while still being a Christian

United States
January 28, 2009 6:34am CST
I often get a few looks for this one. Basically, I believe in the teachings of Buddha...you know, finding oneself, enlightenment, etc. I do meditation. At the same time, I am a Christian in that I believe in Jesus and the christian version of God. The only thing is, I'm not so into the stories that surround Christian religion. Basically, I guess I've come up with my own version of what to believe. I'm not into organized religion, really. Mostly, I believe religion was made to put order into a chaotic world. That is why there are so many rules to do this and not do that. In Buddhism, though, it's more about keeping peace with everyone including yourself, through meditation and self improvement. The reason I don't like organized religion is because it causes so many problems and you will never know which is the right one. For example, a little research showed three Baptist church's in my area having completely different views. And you know, that is just one town...what is it like all over the world? Basically, organized religion came from what everyone's philosphy is on the Good Book...various people believe various things and started various religions. In the end, almost all religions come to the same point of perspective as far as a higher, more powerful being...whether it's just the Universe as a whole or the almighty God. So maybe the Buddhist part is just that I believe we have control of our own bodies, and we can do such things as telapathy and self healing if we spend the time with ourselves in relaxed thought. I was just wondering if anyone else feels this way about religion, like maybe feeling that two religions are the right answer and not only following one, or believing the teachings of one and the foundation of the other.
6 people like this
18 responses
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
28 Jan 09
The one problem when you become too much of an eclectic when choosing your faith is that you will not be welcome in both places. This is more tru with exclusive religions like Christianity where division of "loyalty" is simply not tolerated. Then there are also social imperatives. If you are a decalred Christian attached to a church and you do nurture certain ideas of a different faith just because they appeal to you run the risk of reprimand in the orthodox church. Does it mean that you have given up attending the services of an orthodox Church? IOW, are you a Christian only by the Book as you know it and understand it and practice and yo are just not bound by the Chrch or its dscipline. In such a case how do you plan to relate to you r social mileu. One thing is certain, barring certain principles peculiar to Buddhist thought, this is one religion that really collects the good principles that are found in almost all religions.IOW any religion is Buddhism + (their particular tenets). In this sense you could practice all those principles like meditation and self-discovery that are characteristics of Buddhist thought.
• United States
28 Jan 09
Exactly what I'm saying...Buddha was not a God, he was a man who found enlightenment through practicing Yogi. He simply started to teach his values to others, to be good to one another (which all Religions state) and be good to thyself. His quotes are everywhere because it promotes self awareness. So basically, I don't consider Buddhism a religion, more like a spirtitual journey. Those who do believe Buddhism as a religion are usually actually practicing Hinduism.
2 people like this
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
28 Jan 09
I distinguish between Religion and Philosophy in the following manner. Religion is a set of established practices which have as their basis some form of dialectical reasoning which serves as the "Philosophical Basis" or Philosophy of that religion. For instance a Hindu who goes to a temple and offers a specific ritualistic form of worship is practicing Hindu Religion. If the same person is contemplating on why did he do that worship/ritual in the first place and then moves on to to look at the basis for temple worship itself, then he is making an effort to study Hindu Philosophy. Over a period of time he might progressively drop more and more of the "recommended practices" and dwell on the "essence". When this happens, he is graduating to Philosophy from Religion. Thus Buddhism could be a religion as well as a philosophy. Just as Hinduism is a Way of Life, a Religion, or a Philosophy, depending on which point of development one is at. I do not agree that one who holds Buddhism as a religion is practicing Hinduism. The similarity of beliefs or some of the practices like, say, idol worship may look similar but the basis is not the same. Yeah, there may or might have been some cross-fertilization due to their having been common-cradle religions. This is because concepts have become hopelessly mixed up as time rolled by and one or the other of the religions/philosophies had been in ascendancy, at different points of time.
3 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 09
wow thats sad..... go ahead make up as much stuff as you want i will be laughing my butt off when your burning in hell
2 people like this
@Khayam (346)
• Romania
28 Jan 09
Although many would say that it is impossible for a spiritual system of values and norms to be equally theocentric (as in Christianty) and egocentric (as in Buddhism), there is no clear dichotomy between these two aspects. I share a similar vision, as I consider that a part of norms and values instituted by the Christian Church (regardless of denomination) to be creations of the human mind and not divine requirements (see ordination of women, etc)
3 people like this
@become (89)
• United States
28 Jan 09
Wow. So it seems I have been following your path of comments and this one impressed me the most. Very well thought out and communicated. My opinion, religion by definition is a personalized set or institutionalized system of attitudes and beliefs. To be Christian or Buddhist is all about you and your beliefs. If you can find a group that you feel comfy with to practice and live your ideal life, doesn't matter what others say. Live your life, not someone else's.
3 people like this
@Khayam (346)
• Romania
28 Jan 09
Thank you... It is an honour to read such words from a remarcable person (I'm also familiar with your posts)
2 people like this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
28 Jan 09
There are interesting aspects of almost every religion or philosophy that can be incorporated into a person's everyday life without destroying their fundamental faith. I am Jewish and I find many of the oriental teachings to be facinating and full of common sense. Should I discount them just because I am Jewish? No, I don't feel that way, although a very orthodox Jew would I think. You don't have to follow two religions completely, just select the parts of the new philosophy that you truley like and carry on with your belief in monotheism. Shalom~Adoniah
@liquorice (3901)
28 Jan 09
Shalom Adoniah, I'm jewish too. At least I was boran jewish and I consider myself culturally jewish, but my spirituality is more aligned to taoism, buddhism and wicca. You are right that orthodox jews would think these paths incompatible, but my opinion is that everyone's path is unique and we each have to find the one that works, and just feels right for us.
1 person likes this
@liquorice (3901)
28 Jan 09
sorry, that was meant to be 'born', not boran.
1 person likes this
@sixclix (677)
• Philippines
28 Jan 09
I'm into taoism but I still consider myself a Christian. I'm into buddhism as well. I don't really think there should be an argument on which religion is true. So long as you follow their teachings on righteousness, you can't go wrong, regardless of which religion you belong. All major religions preach about love, respect and peace anyway so if you hate, disrespect, and advocate war and violence, you're not really following what your religion preaches. Anyway, have a good one.
2 people like this
@liquorice (3901)
28 Jan 09
hi sixclix, your post jumped out at me as I am into taoism too, (as well buddhism and wicca to some extent), despite having being born jewish. I think that they can be compatible and that it's possible to follow more than one path at once. A person's spirituality is very much a personal thing, and everyone's path is unique. We just have to find the one that works for us.
1 person likes this
@sixclix (677)
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
Right. What most religions preach is the same, which is love and respect for your fellow men. I follow what teaching is right regardless of religion. I was actually into wicca before and a lot of other pagan stuff but I always remained a Christian. Religion fascinates me. Taoism helps you in becoming one with yourself and the universe, that's why I'm heavily into it. Have a good one.
2 people like this
• Brazil
29 Jan 09
All religions take us to the same thing: God. I don´t understand why one is better or more right than other. I think we have to take the best of every teaching to our lives and follow this. This is my belief. I do believe in God but sometimes is so difficult I have to admit. The world is so crazy and chaotic and our lives so confusing. We are passing for a time that everybody is thinking to much about themselves and forgetting we are all one.
@bekosfc (235)
• India
28 Jan 09
I personally don't consider myself religious nor do I believe inbeing religious. I don't believe that we are made or created to become more and more religious. But I do believe in Relationship. I also believe that we are made to become more like our own Creator Himself or to put it simple to become a more complete human being, the one that He always intend us to become. I also believe in Christinity as a relationship but not as another religion. I definitely believe that meditation is important, especially in this fast changing world that we live in. But what is more important than meditation itself is what we Meditate Upon. An apple tree will only produce apple fruit. I believe we will only become what we mediatate. After all life is just not about mind,body and soul. But how we feed this three and with What Food. We are only the by-product of every single choice that we make and to meditate on something else, I would, involve a choice. Being a follower of Jesus Christ, I will not follow any other person's teaching. I would do that if only I find myself wanting after trying every single teaching of Jesus Himself and if that left me still wanting. But I also strongly believe that all other teachings have their source in the Person of Christ and therefore I don't see the need for me to go around looking for some other food. Christ Himself is the source of all Life and the source of all Truth and the only Way to Eternal Life. What else do you and I need? After all is said and done all of us will pass away one day like the grass and the flowers. Religion is simply man trying to find god. It is only in Christianity that we find God searching and reaching out this blind and helpless man. Howcan the finite know the infinite. It is only in and through my relationship with Jesus that I became aware and access to the knowledge ofthe Infinite and the Unknowable. This, I think, is profound and no man's accomplishment! It truns out to be an easy but I hope you enjoy going thru it. Take care.
2 people like this
• Dallas, Texas
28 Jan 09
The next evolution of the mind will be when we all realize that we are praising the same God - People may have different perception but it is a perception of the same God - When you look a all the religions together you would be amazed at the commonality within them. They may have different stories but the principals are usually the same. So much so that Horace, Jesus, Christna, Serapes, Buddha, ect... all seem like the same person - their stories and the principals that they teach are so strikingly similar that it is like they all came from the same source - but just differ slightly because of the culture where it is being followed. Like a spiritual type of natural selection and what is selected are the principle that fit the culture's ways of living.
@urbandekay (18312)
28 Jan 09
There are perhaps aspects of Buddhism that are appealing to one with what I might say, a true, Christian outlook in terms of compassion. Furthermore, we might reject a lot of 'churchiology.' Some aspects however run at odds. You seem particularly drawn to the ideas of meditation and while you may appreciate a benefit from this, the idea that the self can liberate itself runs contrary to the core teaching of Yeshua that it is not in our own power to liberate ourselves but only by surrender. all the best urban
2 people like this
@bhag570 (109)
• India
28 Jan 09
In actual practice, every religion Basics are same- ultimately the end-self realization. Buddhist are more on Inner self, meditation techniques, that are the most beautiful thing to realise your inner-self. with meditation and controlling your breath (Irrespective of religion), you will feel more peaceful and enlightened. This is what I like most. I am a Hindu, But I practice meditation on buddhist style for concentration. Each poster stimulates your inner parts, like acupressure. and you will be healthy with practice. forget about religion, that is your personal.
2 people like this
@kerriannc (4281)
• Jamaica
28 Jan 09
I believe that you have mixed up your christian beliefs. I would encourage you that God is not one of confusion and so please to read your bible so that you can see that whatever you are searching for is right in there. It comfort, peace, love and joy is in the bible but it is just waiting for you to find it.
2 people like this
@kholid78 (341)
• Indonesia
6 Feb 09
An attitude which is very dare to. And it is of course that pursuant to experience of your spiritual. I am a Moslem, but I do a meditation as well as my pray. I believe Budhist teaching too. I believe that S Gautama is one of God prophets who had teach budhism. Although, Budhist or Gautama was not exactly typed in Qur'an, but It was implicited as former religion which broadcast truth.
1 person likes this
@rsa101 (13336)
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
As far as I know Buddhism is a way of life and not really a religion itself. It is a concept on how to live your life accordingly. The practices like meditation and some other thing they do are also being adopted by some christian sect.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 09
Jesus was a very wise man. In my opinion, he was not to believed because he was acclaimed to be the son of God. In fact, he would be furious if you believed in him because of his status and not his teaching. Why should anyone think that noone else in our history has ever had a good idea?
1 person likes this
@liquorice (3901)
28 Jan 09
I can't see why christians (or people of any other religion) shouldn't meditate and be interested in healing, relaxation and knowing oneself etc.. There don't seem to be any inconsistencies there (to my simple mind anyway!) I understand that some people may have a problem with someone following a monotheistic religion (with one god), while at the same time following one that believes in many gods, but like you say, most buddhists don't see buddha as a god. And in many polytheistic religions (not sure if I made up that word , but I mean those that believe in more than one god, such as wicca and hinduism), the gods are interpreted by some as all part of the same whole, or just 'one bigger power', divine power or 'supreme ultimate'. I'm jewish by birth, spiritually I consider myself a taoist, and also relate to buddhist and wiccan teachings. I think that there are many paths to enlightenment, and just as each one of us is unique, each of our paths are unique as well - even amongst people who adhere very closely to the same organised religion; just like you mention when you talk about the difference between Baptist churches. And it's interesting that you say that you believe in the "christian version of God". Like other people have said, and you say yourself, all religions have the same basic teachings, and maybe they're all just different versions of the same thing. (Sorry for the waffly answer, lol!)
1 person likes this
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
1 Feb 09
deemazing, Did you just claimed that you are a Christian? I am sorry but I hate to point this blatantly out to you that I cannot agree and understand your statement that you can believe in the Buddhist teachings when you are and claimed that you are a Christian. So, how do you resolve the contradictions of both teachings? How do you come to terms of serving 2 masters at the same time? What is commitment and devotions to you? Are you really clear about your faith as a Christian? Sometimes, I just believe that all of us have choices and it would be better that we abide and obey what is laid out on the Word of God. Is yoga and meditation really the only alternative to your health? Really no other alternative that is contradictory and bringing controversial to yourself? As Christians, we must be ever vigilant that nothing breaches our spiritual defenses. Even the most mature believer can never afford to let down his/her guard. The apostle John warns us of enemies from three quarters. He identifies them as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). These enemies lure us away from God and His Word and leave a gap for the enemy to sneak in. I am not going to the moral judge for you here, but have a look at what you have posted and asked yourself here. Are you trying to compromise yourself here? Are you asking God to compromise with you? Have a nice day and wonder along my posers.
• United States
1 Feb 09
Buddha is not a God. What don't people understand about that? I am not serving any Buddhist master, I am meditating because that is what helps my stress level. Meditation has been proven scientifically that it is healthy for you, so how about you consider it more of a fitness thing than a Religion. How do we follow the word of God when every church deciphers it differently? As I pointed out, 3 Baptist church's in my area all had different views of what is morally right and wrong. How can I trust a Church to tell me what is right and wrong when they can't even come together in their OWN RELIGION to preach the same thing? What is wrong with Yoga and Meditation? Do you ever stretch your muscles, that is yoga. Do you ever go to sleep, that is Meditation. I am not a poser because I practice a healthy process of meditation. I am not a deep meditator, I do not go into the Chakras and all of that. I simply believe that the moral teachings of Buddha are correct, to be good to one another and thyself...which is the same in every religion. I can go to 6 churches today and find out by one that I'm not supposed to be married before 21 years old, and another will say that you are okay to marry as long as you are in love. I do not believe the religious philosophy that man on Earth passed on from one to another. And on another note, why are there so many forms of Christianity? Which one is right, which is wrong? In the end, we all believe in a higher power, GOD. We believe in an afterlife. That is what it is, believe what you want to believe is good or bad but why follow an organized cult? A cult doesn't have to be a place that teaches bad practices...you are told to follow specific rules or you will not be allowed in Heaven, but every one of those forms of Christianity has a different view, and again as I pointed out the 3 Baptists churches, all the same religion, have different views. The thing is I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in Afterlife. I also believe in staying healthy in my mind because confessing a sin isn't going to make me sane again from all the bad things that have happened in my life. I have anxiety, I was told by a professional that the way to overcome that is through Meditation....what is wrong with that? And I happen to agree with Buddha that we should be good to one another, Buddha, who isn't even a God.
1 person likes this
@kholid78 (341)
• Indonesia
6 Feb 09
as long as I know, that God more know about eveyrthing. Only God have right please people heartfelt worship. The Religion just facilitate the ways. Then people can choice what compatible for them. The difference created so that we can be wise and attensional each others.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
7 Feb 09
deemazing, I just wonder if you really know and understand what you are talking about. In your initial post - you had openly declared that you believe in the Buddhist teachings. Care to expound the term "Believe" in your very own words? Care to explain what you mean by saying about finding oneself, enlightenment and all that you "BELIEVE" in the Buddhist teachings? Is there any difference when you believe, that you may be serving? I am sorry that I do not agree with you that stretching calisthenics are anything to do with Yoga. Believe me they are miles apart. Furthermore, I just marvel how you can actually further associate sleep with meditation and in turn associate that with Yoga. I do not know about you but with what I have read I really ask that you try and sort out this confusion at your end. In the very words from the Psalmist, let me tell you about Christian meditation: "I will meditate on your precepts, And consider your ways. I will delight myself in your statutes. I will not forget your word." -- Psalm 119:15-16 Out of this, Christians do not get just get enlightenment BUT "If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you." -- John 15:7 Yes, a close and intimate relationship with our awesome God. To meditate on God's word, you think about it over and over, filling your mind and even your mouth with it. Not abandoning yourself and will as advocated in your form of meditation that you are practicing, for how can one find oneself when you are in total abandon and oblivion? I really would like to encourage you to look into or rather really have a look into what you are getting yourself into. In my previous, I have already seek that you seek alternatives to Yoga and yet your oblivion is really beyond me. Care to reread what you have posted so far? We have choices in our lives and I am sure that there are other ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle e.g. eating right, getting enough rest, sleep and moderate administration of appropriate exercises. Is there no joy and exercise in walking by the beach or park and meditating on God's words? Is there no joy, to share these moments with your love and/or child as you engage in these activities? Rather than going into a state of oblivion in your meditation? Who is going to share those moments with you? You are spot on when you say and reckon that Buddha is not God but do you know that Buddha taught that the question of God's existence is meaningless? Buddha believed in reincarnation. He taught that every evil thing we do ties us more tightly to the cycle of rebirth. Buddhist teachings include dedication to meditation. However, their form of meditation involves emptying one's mind of all content and learning to drift away from a consciousness of this world. Thus, it is part of the process by which a Buddhist frees oneself from ones attachments to this world and the cycle of reincarnation. Buddhism is indeed a religion and like all religions it stands against sin and immorality, but it ignores the issue of God's existence and our need for redemption as stressed by Christianity. To the classical Buddhist, to attain nirvana is simply to be out of existence. However, this process will have no answers about the ultimate meaning of existence and by denying the ultimate meaningfulness of life, Buddhism provides its followers with little motivation to conquer evil or to work for justice. I do not know what are the very contradictions that you had found in your previous encounters and experiences with the mentioned 3 Baptist churches but have you truly asked yourself if they are behaving and teaching against what you are familiar and devoted to - the Bible? Are they so wayward from the word of God? Or, there are some different perceptions on marriages for below legal age groups? Or some other para legal issues? I am not going to criticize anyone here, but I think you should be clear what is to God and what is to men and the legal system. You just need to be clear with the line, for churches are like any other establishments will need to conduct themselves within the implemented legal system. These systems do have fallacies and contradictions too. In conclusion, I just like to remind you that God confronts us with the need to become right with Him and to introduce a new order into the world, an order He called "the kingdom of God." Take care.
@nzalheart (2352)
• India
22 May 09
I thought to respond this discussion. But looked at your profile. You don't seem to be active for many days. If you are still here on mylot...plz comment or visit this discussion http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/2016880.aspx I would like to share some of the things...
@bird123 (10481)
• United States
29 Mar 09
I have found that no religion completely understands God. I have found a bit of God in all religions.If you really search for God and keep an open mind, you are on a good path.You are having a good journey to discovery.Know that God will always add up. If it doesn't add up, it's either man or you just do not understand God. God is unconditional love. The rest are just lessons to be learned.
@eksmith (64)
• United States
11 Feb 09
You are obviously a person who has sought out her own spiritual path in search of your truth. I believe that there is some truth to all religions. I believe that we all have the same God, with varying belief systems of our God. That path that you have chosen is admirable as it comes from your heart and your own truth.