Wanderings of a Taoist Viking

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Location: Beaumont, Texas

Texas nationalist, dog lover, gun nut, knife knut

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wandering again...

After a spur-of-the-moment trip to Port Arthur to visit the Buddhist Temple there, I've started doing some reading on it, so I can understand the basics. They encouraged us to tour the grounds and gardens, and visit the sanctuary.

We talked with "Brother K" (the Reverend or Bhante Kassapa), as I've been needing to see a chaplain of some sort for a while, due to worries about my aunt's approaching death from untreated breast cancer. He was very sympathetic and understanding, and spoke from his own experiences counseling after death (he's a former Franciscan monk) and the teaching of the Buddha. I need to accept that my aunt has chosen this path for herself, and that whatever time she has left on this earth is all she needs for this life. A lot of it seems to be, getting out of the old habits of thinking and acting. It seem to be helping some already, tho it looks to be a long road.

In a related thought, I've thought about why some (ok, most) Christians seem threatened by folks who've chosen to leave that church in search of another spiritual path. Is it that they feel someone who can refuse the salvation of "their God, their Lord" and still be happy, is an affront to the "courage" of their personal faith? Why does it seem that those who aren't Christian know more about the history of Jesus of Nazareth Himself and the developments of the church thru time, better than most Lay Christians, certainly most average Christians (who, instead, seem to rely on the "popular knowledge")? Is it because they've studied in depth the whole of different religions, and understand the differences? Granted, it seems like most "average" Christians were born and raised in their personal faith, and have never critically examined their own faith, or compared it to others. I find it funny that in their history, all the Abrahamic religions have had at one point or another, adopted a "convert or die" tactic against their enemies, while Buddhism hasn't (at least AFAIK, I could be wrong, I just started studying), instead relying on the good example of its followers to inspire conversion in others (which is how at least two of the three Abrahamic religions do now, gonna be a long wait for #3).

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