Thomas Merton, famous Catholic monk from the cloistered Trappist tradition (Order associated with Cistercians of the strict observance), once said that he wanted, “to turn out to be as good a Buddhist as I can. ”
Before he converted to Catholicism at age twenty-three, he read about Alfredia mysticism.
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He read works like Augustine’s “Confessions” and Thomas a Kempis’ “The Imitation of Christ, ” and other books that unconsciously embedded within him a flavor of directly experiencing God through the process of negation.
After ordaining as being a monk, Merton was interested only in Catholicism for many years and nothing else, but little by little, as he became old, and after reading such authors as St . John of the Cross plus Meister Eckhart, he began to become more and more interested in mysticism, or a direct connection with God.
Merton then began to be familiar with universal nature of mysticism, and that Buddhism, especially, addressed mysticism more clearly than Christianity did concerning how to understand it, and more significantly provided a non-religious method to make a fundamental change in one’s life. This attracted him to Zen, and eventually he co-authored “Zen as well as the Birds of Appetite” with D. T. Suzuki which uniquely spelled out the similarities of Buddhism and Christianity at deeper, mystical amounts. Merton began to explore universal religious truth within the structure of his Catholic faith.
For some, Buddhism has become an organized religion just like any religion, with beliefs, ceremonies plus rituals. However , the original Buddhism, as taught by the Buddha, was all about personal transformation, and not about religion at all.
This is what makes fundamental Buddhism compatible with other religions; that there are simply no requirements of belief involved. It really is completely experiential, and deals with lifetime and the problems of life directly. It addresses the reality that we all encounter stress, and answers all the questions around this stress. Buddhism also lays out a logical plan to end this particular stress forever.
So Buddhism might be called a philosophy of how to live one’s life day to day. It explains why just trying to be good doesn’t work without an understanding of good and bad, and of our fundamental selves. We scrunch up our determination to change, but it in no way quite works out as we meet our same old self time and again when the going gets rough.
Buddhism could also be known as a psychology because it delves straight into areas of the mind at deeper ranges than modern psychology that just dabbles in the surface irregularities, certainly not getting to the root.
Buddhism could also be known as a religion because it explains the experience after death, but in a natural way that doesn’t involve an originator God, or the necessity of any worship or belief. Everything gets self evident while practicing Buddhism, plus Buddhist practice itself is non- denominational as well, regarding the non-religious convictions it presents. The Buddha as soon as said, “Believe nothing unless you can be it true for yourself. “