01 March 2012

Still a Buddhist

I have strayed away, in the last couple of years, from what had been a fairly intensive involvement in training in Tibetan-origin Buddhist doctrine and practice. The program I had been involved in just became too much for me to deal with; and, in truth, especially after the passage of some time; I've come to realize that I really wasn't accepting some of the truth claims being made. The practices, in the form of training the mind to correspond to Buddhist values, I still regard as wholly admirable and undoubtedly the most worthwhile of any possible human endeavor, but some of the more peripheral doctrine I never really quite accepted and still do not.

Looking back on one of the very earliest posts on this blog, however, Why I am a Buddhist (2004) [link], I find myself still in accord with all of it, and hoping to find the time and energy to put into practice the core Buddhist "Way of Life" to the best of my ability and capacity as I go through the rest of my life.
UPDATE, 2014. I find nothing in this 2012 post that I don't still hold to, except perhaps that I would not describe the parts of the Buddhist tradition I was studying (based on Gelugpa, or Kadampa, through Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's so-called "New Kadampa Tradition," which I now find to be both soteriological and supernatural, (and thus, to my hopelessly literalist mentality unbelievable), as "peripheral." Actually, they are quite important to that tradition, and to its sincere practitioners. And I certainly respect and wish nothing but success for them. But for me, the ethics, the mental practice, the discipline of developing the Brahma Viharas and of focusing your mind on the well-being of others; these things are innately good and supported by reason. This is Buddhism as philosophy, not religion, and there I hope to dwell and practice for the rest of my days.


  1. Yes, there is much to learn just in philosophy and no requirements to believe things that seem" peripheral" for the sake of belonging.

  2. Yes, there is much to learn in the philosophy without having to believe in what seems "peripheral" for the sake of belonging.

  3. Yes there is much to learn in the philosophy without having to believe in the peripheral just for the sake of belonging. How fortunate you are.


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