TO ZEN OR NOT TO ZEN

Peace?

Is there such a thing as a religion of peace? Oh....I know what "they" say....."they" say Islam is a religion of peace. One look at the Middle East and it doesn't take a genius to know that's a lie. A religion of peace doesn't proclaim in its tenets to commit mayhem against non-believers. And then there is Christianity. Christ taught His followers to be peaceful. He taught forgiveness. He taught acceptance. What He didn't teach was Judaism. What He did teach was Buddhism,

Unfortunately, Christianity which should be a religion of peace has had so much inner fighting that one could hardly call it a "peaceful" religion. The history of the Christian Church has been anything but peaceful. I don't consider burning people at the stake a peaceful gesture.

Judaism which is the progenitor of the Muslim and Christian faiths has a long and arduous history of slaughter and stoning. Neither seems too peaceful to me.

There is one religion which does stand out as genuinely peaceful unless it is pushed to the wall, and that religion is Buddhism. Mostly, Buddhism is about contemplating the emptiness of space and the crux of nothingness. Whereas the other three religions teach "good" and "bad"...Buddhism teaches kindness and generosity.

If you aren't a Buddhist, there is no jihad to wipe you off the face of the earth. If you aren't a Buddhist, you won't fall into the depths of hell. If you aren't a Buddhist, you aren't considered an outsider. Buddhism combines inner reflection with outer contemplation. In the realm of enlightenment, one becomes a member of the Universe much like a wave is one with the sea.

Buddhists don't bother anyone. They live peacefully with peaceful neighbors. They don't proselytize. They don't hound you to join them. They don't tell you how to live your life. They don't condemn you. They meditate.

If Islam, Christianity and Judaism could learn one thing from the Buddhists, it would be how to live peacefully. Too bad they don't reassess their tenets and become what they say they are.

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