Are you a religious or spiritual Buddhist?

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?

Buddhist stuff

Religious

Spiritual

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)

 

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