Religion Magazine

How Buddha Can Help Us Be Better Christians

By Ldsapologetics
I'm There are many misconceptions about Buddhism in church culture. One is highlighted in a recent lds.org segment on temple garments in which Buddhists are said to be wearing certain clothing to worship God when in fact they are non-theists.
What Buddhism defines it's followers by is a little different depending on which school or denomination of Buddhism one looks into but generally what defines a follower is adherence to the 8 fold path. 
Here is the eight gold path from buddhanet.net:

1. * Samma-Ditthi — Complete or Perfect Vision, also translated as right view or understanding. Vision of the nature of reality and the path of transformation.

2. Samma-Sankappa — Perfected Emotion or Aspiration, also translated as right thought or attitude. Liberating emotional intelligence in your life and acting from love and compassion. An informed heart and feeling mind that are free to practice letting go. 

3. Samma-Vaca — Perfected or whole Speech. Also called right speech. Clear, truthful, uplifting and non-harmful communication.

4. Samma-Kammanta — Integral Action. Also called right action. An ethical foundation for life based on the principle of non-exploitation of oneself and others. The five precepts.

5. Samma-Ajiva — Proper Livelihood. Also called right livelihood. This is a livelihood based on correct action the ethical principal of non-exploitation. The basis of an Ideal society.

6. Samma-Vayama — Complete or Full Effort, Energy or Vitality. Also called right effort or diligence. Consciously directing our life energy to the transformative path of creative and healing action that fosters wholeness. Conscious evolution.

7. Samma-Sati — Complete or Thorough Awareness. Also called "right mindfulness". Developing awareness, "if you hold yourself dear watch yourself well". Levels of Awareness and mindfulness - of things, oneself, feelings, thought, people and Reality. 

8. Samma-Samadhi — Full, Integral or Holistic Samadhi. This is often translated as concentration, meditation, absorption or one-pointedness of mind. None of these translations is adequate. Samadhi literally means to be fixed, absorbed in or established at one point, thus the first level of meaning is concentration when the mind is fixed on a single object. The second level of meaning goes further and represents the establishment, not just of the mind, but also of the whole being in various levels or modes of consciousness and awareness. This is Samadhi in the sense of enlightenment or Buddhahood.

None of these points seems to me to conflict with the basic tennants of Christianity or specifically Mormonism.

And what Buddha said about life was this; Only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived and how easily you let go of things not meant for you.

That seems to me to enhance Christ-like behavior and modes of thought. It has helped me control my emotions and reactions rather than letting them control me. I have gone from the embodiment of road rage to driving as peaceful as a monk in prayer. 

I have become a better husband and stepdad as a result of regular meditation as well as prayer. It has helped me cut ties with abusive and manipulative people. It doesn't trump my faith in Christ instead it helps me be more at peace even when a storm rages outside of me. These teachings have enhanced my ability to be Christ like by just putting truth in a different light.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to have the same effects and benefits as prayer they are two sides of the same coin and I practice both to aid in my own personal journey.

I feel Buddhism contains many truths and that since it is often seen as more philosophical than theological one can be both Christian and Buddhist.

Buddhism teaches a respect for all living things. From insects to animals to people, in Buddhism all life is equal and deserving of much respect.

I believe that philosophy bolsters Christ-like behavior and sensibilities. Buddhist on the whole are very much non violent much as Christ was who taught that we are to love not only those who are good to us but also those who hate us, our enemies.

I believe that the 8 fold path and the quote from Buddha about the three most important things in life reflect Christs views on the commandments which was as follows:

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-40

So according to Christ the foundation of all the commandments is love of God and all His children. In Buddhism the goal is enlightenment which can be defined as understanding reality as it truly is and understanding oneself and others as well.

For me Buddhism has strengthened my ability to be more Christlike more often. It has enhanced my understanding and ability to control myself, it has enhanced my understanding of myself and of others.

I understand that everyone wants to be happy but everyone has a different view of what happiness involves. That doesn't mean that others are wrong in how they chose to live. I don't need others to be wrong for me to be right. Or to feel sure in how I live my life. All any of us can do is what we feel is right as best we can and as best we understand what that is.

Paramahansa Yogananda used the term Christ-consciousness to describe a oneness with Christ. It means seeing others as Christ sees us, speaking to and about others as Christ did in His life, it means loving God and all His children as Christ does and to love others as He loved us which was the one great commandment Christ gave.

Buddhism has helped me achieve Christconsciousness through meditation and prayer on a regular basis. I just wanted to share incase Buddhism may also help others.

How Buddha Can Help Us Be Better Christians


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