Inquiry: It is better to not filter Buddhism through New Age and Christianity.

It is better to not filter Buddhism through New Age and Christianity. (Distorting it.)

  1. True?
    Well, no. It feels true, since my body and emotions react to it. I can easily find stories telling me it is true. I can find others who agree. But none of that makes it really true.
  2. Sure?
    No, not at all. It is just an opinion. I don’t have the big picture.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • It depends, sometimes it is just a mild reactions, but I am mostly OK with it. Other times, I feel disgusted by folks who make Buddhism into some version of New Age or (conventional) Christian views and attitudes, especially if they don’t acknowledge what they are doing.
    • I get restless, want to be somewhere else.
    • If I speak up, it comes from reactivity, and I am mortified by that aspect of it.
    • I experience separation, to them, myself, the topic of conversation, life.
    • When did I first have that belief? Probably when I first got into Buddhism, in my early twenties.
    • What am I not able to appreciate when I hold onto that belief? How it means something to them. They are getting something out of it. It is the right philosophy for them. It is OK to filter Buddhism in that way, especially if that is acknowledged but probably even if not. (Although haven’t explored that one yet.)
  4. Who would I be without that belief?
    • Relaxed. Sense of intimacy. Of us. Curious. Curiosity about where they are coming from. What they get out of it. How it benefits them. Free to speak up, without coming from reactivity, about it. Letting people know that this is Buddhism filtered in this way, as a piece of practical information.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • It is better to filter Buddhism.
      • Well, it works for them. They get something out of it. It is right for them.
      • It invites people to investigate what is going on, to differentiate Buddhism from these others views. It may invite folks to investigate Buddhism on its own terms, as much as it is possible.
      • It helps me see my beliefs and fixed views around it. It encourages me to take a closer look at it, finding what is already more true for me. (As I do here.)
      • It sheds some new light on different things. It gives some new, different perspectives. It offers unique insights. There is something of value there, and it is something we can explore and find for ourselves.
    • It is better for me to not filter Buddhism
      • Yes, I feel more comfortable exploring Buddhism on its own terms, as far as possible.
      • I am the one the story came up in, so the advice is for me.
      • I can speak up for a more “unfiltered” view, since that is where my interest is. It may be my role to offer that particular perspective right now.
    • It is better for me to filter Buddhism.
      • Well, I do, so it is good to acknowledge that. We all do.
      • It helps me explore things from new angles when I filter Buddhism in different ways. I filter it through headless experiments, The Work, the Big Mind process, and whatever other pointers and practices I engage with. There is a beautiful richness in this.
      • I may  have something to contribute in the understanding of what Buddhism is about, due to how I filter it, how I explore it. That too may be my role, right now.

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