I received a short article from one of my spiritual brothers recently and thought about it from a Buddhist perspective.
If you think you are Buddhist, have you ever pondered whether you are a Religious Buddhist or a Spiritual Buddhist?
What’s the difference? Here’s the definition out there.
Religion refers to a belief in a mightier being or group of beings that we have to worship. Often, there are prescribed rituals and ceremonies to gain their favour. There may also be code of ethics to follow so that we please them with our daily actions and way of living. All these are in belief that the mightier beings will protect us from harm, grant our wishes and make our life a happy one when they are pleased.
Spirituality refers to an inner awareness that transcends our physical world. It is a system of gaining maturity and making improvements to our non-physical experience of life and/or existence.
Here’s a checklist that I created on whims. I believe it is not all conclusive…
So, are you more religious or spiritual? or swings back and forth?
|Taking Refuge||So that the Triple Gem will watch over you and make your life happy||So that you become part of the Triple Gem in times to come|
|Buddha||Is an external and mightier being for worshipping||It is a state that we aspire to be.|
|Observing precepts||So that one behaves according to Buddha’s expectation||So that one can become enlightened|
|Chanting||To please Buddha or develop devotion in Buddha||To improve our concentration and be mindful of Dharma|
|Buddhist scriptures||Blind faith without questioning, thinking and analysis||Understand, analyze and reasoned before acceptance|
|Karma (also known as action, speech and thought)||Constant fear of bad karma causing miseries in current or future life. Creates fear.||Constant awareness and endeavors to benefit ourselves and others. Creates happiness|
|Meditation||To communicate with an external Buddha||To become a Buddha|
|After-life||Believe in an external Paradise that you can enter because you are Buddhist||Believe that Paradise is inseparable from you in the first place.|
|Rituals, ceremonies and other practices||Is an external exercise that we perform to please Buddha or some other beings||Is an exercise that leads to inner experience and awakening|
|Buddhist identity||You build a strong identity (Egoistic)||You break free from any identity (Egoless)|