I have never considered Buddhism a religion. If you don’t practice it as a religion, but as a journey to explore the infinite complexity of self and the universe, then it and you are vibrantly alive. The dharma is nothing more, and nothing less, than a set of instructions that empowers one to unveil and observe the universe in the process of its unfolding. It’s a map, a book of clues to treasures that are hidden in the cosmos of our self. It’s a code that points you to other places in the world. Buddhism rarely points to itself. It is always pointing to something else beyond itself. If you don’t learn to go beyond Buddhism, you get stuck performing a stock character in a play I call the Dead Buddhist Society.
Much of traditional dharma teaches us to seek the experience of emptiness, which is well and good in world that we are over consuming. But the Buddha also taught that we should go beyond emptiness and forward into nirvana. So empty yourself of silly thoughts about what was or will be and embrace living a life that is far from empty. Fill your days with love, with laughter with grace and understanding. Find those values, share them openly and without reserve.
Let the dharma launch you into a vast space that is not void of phenomena, but filled with an infinite array of phenomena that can be experienced in surprising and fantastic ways. Let go of traditional doctrine and let the dharma show you how to experience life as the process of creation in its moment-by-moment unfolding. Learn to fly with the Buddhas, gone, gone, gone beyond.
Peace and Love, Jim