Upon completion of the Master of Buddhism program, I have a better understanding of the religion of Buddhism and the teachings of the Buddha. However, I feel that that biggest impact the course had on me is that it actually made me more humble and less judgmental about other religions.
Before taking this course I was unaware that the Buddhist religion had different offshoots from the main title of Buddhism and that Buddhism falls victim to all the same issues that are seen in the other religion. Having recently taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, I wanted to see only the good portions of this new part of my life and was not aware that it was capable of being similar to the Christian religions that I did not find satisfaction in, I wanted it to be better and more true than the religions I was raised around.
As I learned that the religion had the same issues and problems, I began to realize that it was not a "better" religion than the others, it was the religion that called out to me when I was in need of a spiritual path. In this epiphany I was reminded of a comment Gandhi made about each individual person on earth has their own individual "religion" and that the chances of finding two people who follow any religion exactly the same is nearly impossible. Each of us picks the teachings or rules of the religion we chose to follow, the ones we choose to ignore and the ones we choose to argue. These differences do not make any religion or follower of a religion right or wrong, it shows the differences in each individual and what they need to
find and follow their spiritual path.
This simple discovery of the fact that Buddhism is not a better more holy or superior religion to any other has made me humble and brought me back down to earth and allowed me to focus more on the teachings of the Buddha and working towards finding a spiritual teacher to help me work towards the goals of enlightenment or having a positive reincarnation not spending time worrying about proving the Buddha and I are right and my Catholic Brother and Nazarene Wife are wrong. I spent too much of my time worrying about academic proving the validity of my beliefs and proving theirs to be flawed that I did not have the time I needed to create a relationship with MY religion. This course has caused me to realize that Buddhism is no more pure and unflawed than other religion and spending my time proving why it is better is a waste of my effort and that I need to focus on my spiritual growth and journey.
Rev. David Ellman
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