I’m not Buddhist but have thoroughly enjoyed learning about it, practicing it and expanding my mind. It’s teachings even a child could understand but in practice can be difficult even for an adult to do. Even though I have delved into it, am near a year in practice, continuously feel “enlightened”, I am always finding a deeper mental state that I did not know existed.

In comparison of religions and worldviews, Buddhism is experience based as opposed to faith based. The Buddha made observations on life and suffering (Four Noble Truths) but it is up to you to use your mind to put an end to your suffering. I always quip “Buddha…the original self help guru” but that’s spot on to what Buddhism is, self help. In fact, look at some of the great self help books, sounds like they all take a page from Buddhism.

Meditation is a wonderful practice and I am amazed at all the varying meditation techniques. I have done standard seated meditation (good, positive clean air in- negative air out), have done walking meditation and chanting, I’ve listened to meditation music while in the car, or on line, or while waiting. There really no excuse why you can’t spend time meditating throughout the day, heck, even writing these blogs sometimes is like a meditation for me, I have to stop, clear my mind, think of something positive to write about. I have just scratched the surface on meditation and over the next few weeks will likely visit a few meditation centers in the area to get a bigger picture on meditating.

In Buddhism, there are plenty of things you can set aside for review later. I don’t believe in spiritual “heaven realms” and “hell realms” so I equate them to being levels of consciousness. I have a notepad of “Terms” that when I started, I didn’t understand but as I learned of the teachings, slowly I began to understand all those key words.

My biggest take on Buddhism is that there is no dogma and you don’t need to abandon what you believe (religiously) for it to help you. If you are having some struggles in life, Buddhism is a path of self discovery. I would actually say that if you are a religious person but that religion is not helping you with your issues of “self”, why not expand your horizons with a Buddhist class or dharma talk? You have nothing to lose.