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Beyond buddhist Buddhism

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 19.00.23Buddhism is not from Tibet, it’s not from Japan. Although the Buddha was from India, its not from India either.

Yes, Tibetan Buddhism looks very Tibetan and its practiced in Tibetan by many, but thats because Buddhism, at the core, isn’t from any place at all and this allows it to flourish using any culture and language. Indeed as Nagarjuna said: “No Dharma whatsoever was ever taught by the Buddha to anyone.” And all that means it is this sacred teaching belongs to no one, it comes from nowhere and has no definitive form, so that it can be practiced by anyone, everywhere, anytime.

Aside from those realisations, if the Buddhadharma is as flexible as it is, then it can manifest in infinite ways. And it must do so. There aren’t enough Tibetan Masters to give enough empowerments to all those interested in Buddhism. Also, there are many that do not identify themselves with Tibetan culture.

Tibetanism shouldn’t be an obstacle for someone interested in the Dharma.

Since I wasn’t raised in a religious environment, I had no problem adapting to the Tibetan ways to learn and practice Buddhism. In Mexico, for instance, catholicism is the main religion and I have seen buddhists that are still strong believers of the Virgin Mary. Not that it is forbidden to believe in catholic saints, but the point is, Catholicism and Buddhism speak very different languages.

Moreover, I have atheist/agnostic friends that would make excellent buddhists, but since Buddhism is sometimes religious in its imagery and words, they simply do not see the benefits. One could argue this might be due to pre-conceived ideas, which is probably true in most cases, but beyond that, if the Dharma could be expressed in scientific or lay terms, more would see the benefits.

Furthermore, many more spiritual traditions can be “buddhified”, with a few adjustments. For example, if Tibetans have wrathful deities, could a goetic demon be dharmafied to serve as wrathful wisdom? Could a celtic path be expressed in terms of the Buddhist Middle Way (Madhyamaka)? Could the runes be expressed as buddha qualities? The sephira?

I believe all those traditions can be translated or at least equated with the Buddhadharma language. A hard task for sure, but worth exploring. Many would benefit if its expressed within their own semiotic system.