09 February, 2010

The most "Buddhist" Buddhist I've met.

The title to this post comes out of a prayer letter I read yesterday. The writer is a missionary in Japan. He's been there for more than 20 years. He goes on to say this:
"Almost all of the other "Buddhists" I have met have little or no clue what (classical) Buddhism actually teaches. Mr E, on the other hand, actually does! Not surprising I suppose for a Buddhist priest."
Occasionally I have people ask me about Japan's religion/s. It is often difficult to explain. The country claims a couple of religions as their own - Buddhism and Shintoism. But, as our missionary above explained, most Japanese cannot tell you what they believe. It is not like adhering to Islam or Christianity. It is more a way of life. A bit like Materialism. What Materialist can give you a creed that they live by? I sometimes feel quite at sea in Japan, feeling like I don't really know much about the Japnaese and how they think, especially in a religious way. And even more so when an Australian is trying to press me for a clear, concise answer. So I was encouraged to read this 'veteran' missionary's honest statement about a "Buddhist" Buddhist.

1 comment:

Ken Rolph said...

I think the vast majority of people in Australia would be hard pressed to outline what exactly they believe. Maybe it is a condition of most people around the world in today's supermarket world.

I don't even think it is a high priority among people to tidy up their beliefs or make them consistent within themselves or with the world.