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Can A Person Raised As A Christian Learn To Live The Path Taught By Buddha? A Christain Can Maintain Their Religion And Still Learn Buddha's Philosophy.

2081 words - 8 pages

Can a person raised as a Christian learnto live the path taught by Buddha?When mentioned to some one that is uneducated about Buddhism that I'm taking a class on Buddhist philosophy there is always a particular question than comes up. Often times this question is worded differently, but primarily the wording follows the lines of: "Should you be doing that?" with emphasis that borderlines on blasphemy or sacrilege. Though the basic tenets of Buddha's teachings are straightforward and practical: nothing is permanent; all actions have consequences; change is always possible. Buddha's philosophy can be applied to anyone regardless of his or her background including culture, religion or gender.Christians often have many misconceptions regarding the teachings of Buddha. In comparing the two beliefs, I have found that many of these concepts are common in both teachings. Christianity and Buddhism simply explain their beliefs with different terms, but they both are in essence the same. These beliefs explain the path for life leading to the same final destination.One of the misconceptions Christians have about Buddhism is that they view Buddhism as a religion that worships a false God known as Buddha. Buddha never claimed to be a God, but simply a man. "The Buddha was not only a human being; he claimed no inspiration from any god or external power either. According to the Christian bible it is against the teaching of God to worship idols as it is written in Leviticus 26:1"Ye shall make you no idols, neither shall ye rear you up a graven image, or a pillar, neither shall ye place any figured stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am Jehovah your God."The best example of this false connotation would be when ever someone would eat at a restaurant that has on display a figurine or statue honoring the Buddha. Because of the limited exposure or understanding of the Buddhist philosophy these uninformed individuals quickly make an assumption that these displays of the Buddha are there for worshiping practices. Giving these figurines a connotation that they must be idols. This is not their purpose for being displayed. For Christians they will display either pictures of Jesus Christ or a cross both, which are symbols, become a focal point for prayer. Though Christians will actually pray to Jesus Christ, a Buddhist does not pray directly to the Buddha. Displaying images of the Buddha is first to pay homage to the Buddha for his teachings, and second to help bring mindful-awareness of the Buddha's teaching during meditation. Though meditation or pray does not require any tools as quoted by Hershock, 1999.Meditating does not require any special equipment or tools. While some encouragement and initial direction is helpful, it does not depend on expert instruction or special circumstances. It is a simple -and yet for most us of incredibly challenging-process of fully attending only what is present.So for both Christianity and Buddhism these symbols are there for...

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