Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Master of Buddhism Course by Rev. Judith Wolf
Master of Buddhism
Dr. Judith G. Wolf
One wonders whether Eastern spiritualism, dominated by Buddhism, has been a calming influence during the trauma of the recent earthquake and tsunami. I can only wonder at the apparent calm of the general reaction. Contrast that to the hysteria of those in the United States who denounce the birthright of our president or shout falsehoods to the general public usurping their exalted places as congressmen and senators.
The lessons of the Buddhists are to be extoled. If everyone in the world followed their basic tenets, we would have a world of peace. It might be relatively easy to wish only good for all people, or hope that all humans are free from suffering. It is not so easy to be generous to ones' enemies, to be forgiving, to hope that a person is free of suffering no matter what he or she has done to you. It is also not easy to rejoice in and feel proud of those we do not know. And finally, it is particularly difficult for many to see all beings as equal. The latter is demonstrated by the degree of racial discrimination that exists in the world; by the suffering imposed on people by those who perceive themselves as different and better.
But if at least some of us try to cultivate Buddhist virtues, it is a start. By practicing generosity, ethical behavior, patience, joyous effort and concentration, we can perhaps generate the wisdom of emptiness; the wisdom to know that the reality as we see it is a function of our projections and misunderstanding it is empty of these falsehoods. On the other hand, is trying to cultivate Buddhist virtues so different from trying our best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, sometimes described as the heights of virtue that God desires of all his children?
I believe that there are many paths to God and to living the life that God desires us to live. Buddhism is one of them.