Over time I have come to realize that people often associate Buddhism and Buddhists with peace, meditation, and nonviolence. In fact many seem to think that saffron or maroon robes and a peaceful smile are all it takes to be a Buddhist. As a fanatical Buddhist myself, I must take pride in this reputation, particularly the nonviolent aspect of it, which is so rare in this age of war and violence, and especially religious violence. Throughout the history of humankind, religion seems to beget brutality. Even today religious-extremist violence dominates the news. Yet I think I can say with confidence that so far we Buddhists have not disgraced ourselves. Violence has never played a part in propagating Buddhism. However, as a trained Buddhist, I also feel a little discontented when Buddhism is associated with nothing beyond vegetarianism, nonviolence, peace, and meditation. Prince Siddhartha, who sacrificed all the comforts and luxuries of palace life, must have been searching for more than passivity and shrubbery when he set out to discover enlightenment.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist
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Further quotes from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist:
- Being a Buddhist
- Our true nature is like a wineglass
- What is in the mind of a Buddhist
- Buying into emotions
- Pride and pity
- Living fully
- Your own ignorance betrays you
- Shielding ourselves and others from the truth
- Not paranoid but prepared
- Not a buddha yet
- Like monkeys
- Appreciating the whole cycle of impermanence
- The spiritual path is a temporary solution
- Bound by practicality
- Enlightened beings may seem insane
- I don’t give a damn
- What is life?
- The habit of self
- Pride and pity