[Buddha-l] Watery dharma

Margaret Gouin Margaret.Gouin at bristol.ac.uk
Sun Dec 16 02:38:18 MST 2007

My difficulty with 'Jewish Buddhism' and 'Christian Buddhism' is simply
that I don't see how you can follow the Buddha's teachings of not-self,
co-dependent arising, etc. etc. and also believe in a creator god, sin and
damnation, salvation by blood sacrifice and all that. But that's just the
way I look at it for my own practice and other people undoubtedly see it
differently. That's fine.

It often seems to me that when people say they are "'something' +
Buddhist", it means that they practice a 'Buddhist' form of meditation,
but without concern for the dharma teachings; basically (philosophically?)
they are 'something' with meditation techniques which are labelled
(rightly or wrongly) Buddhist. Fine. Just get your backside on the cushion
(or chair...) and make your mind bright.

If you are concerned with living a good moral life, you don't need to 'be'
anything. Just live a good moral life, whoever your model may be. There
are lots of good models.

In all of the above, I should point out that these are simply my own
opinions and I don't think they have any normative value. I put them here
as a contribution to the discussion only. I'm at the point of thinking
that anyone who is working on leading a moral life, learning to quiet and
focus the mind, etc., is just fine without labels. As for those who feel
the need to criticise and judge and label other people's practices, well,
that's their problem.

Margaret Gouin
PhD Candidate
Centre for Buddhist Studies
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Bristol (UK)

More information about the buddha-l mailing list