"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Encounter with Buddhism

        I was influenced by Buddhism in my preteens since my grandparents were Buddhists.  After I caught a cold, I would pray to Buddha and actually got well a few days later.  I have never studied the religion seriously, so I'll just mention what I experienced in those early years. 
        It seems that the teachings of Buddhism today are no longer pure.  The concept of heaven and hell had been added.  I still remember vividly seeing a poster showing those who made it to heaven and those who ended up in hell.  There were eighteen floors of hell depicted, with tortures getting more severe each time you descend to a lower floor.  I remember that when I saw those scenes, I told myself to make sure that I don't end up on the bottom floor.  Looking back, I see that all this somewhat contradicts reincarnation.  Another book I saw lists the number of good or bad points attached to all the deeds.  As long as the good points outnumber the bad ones in the end, you are OK. 
        Anyway, a clear concept of God was absent.  And I didn't find Buddhism challenging me in any way.  In fact, belief in reincarnation bothered me.  If there is reincarnation, the number of living things in this world must be finite (a fixed number) ~ then how would you explain the multiplication of all kinds of creatures and forms of life going on?  Also, what's the point of it when you don't have any clue as to what you were and how you lived in your previous life?? 
        It also seemed that achieving nirvana through meditation is a rather nebulous process.  You could spend all your life attempting but never reaching the goal.  So Buddhism never took real hold of me.     

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