Buddhism Is More ‘Western’ Than You Think, but Is It ‘Liberal’?

This started out at my other blog, but it sure fits here as well.

Truly Open Minds and Hearts

By Mel Harkrader Pine

My religion, Unitarian Universalism, fits neatly into the theme of this blog, but does my spiritual practice, Buddhism? If you need a reminder, our theme is, “Helping liberal religion live up to its its promise.” Is Buddhism a liberal religion? It depends.

As with UUism, some see Buddhism as an approach to life, or a philosophy, but not a religion, liberal or otherwise. My answer to that is easy. Both UUism and Buddhism are what you want them to be. If you look at them as aides to life (Remember to meditate today. Make sure to recycle…and vote.) then that’s what they are.

The Buddha's eyes on Swayambhunath Stupa.

But Buddhism and UUism become religions when you turn to them for help with the big questions about the intangibles in life: Why am I here? What’s my purpose? How can I lead a fulfilling life and suffer less? How can I…

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