Every so often at my meditation group we will have a discussion about how we came to be “here.” As in, what led us to meditation, Buddhism, etc. The first time this question came up I remember I was the last person to speak and the entire time I was hoping I would have something interesting to say, but nothing really bubbled up to the surface, so I was forced to tell the truth when my turn came. Here is what I said. Here is the story of how I came to be a Buddhist.
I started on this path by using Buddhism as a tool. It was a way to get evangelizing Christians off my back. It was the perfect plan, because people in our culture know nothing about Buddhism. So when a Christian in my life started talking to me about “the lord,” I would tell them that I was Buddhist and they didn’t know what to do with that answer. So they would move on to another topic.
I realize this is horrible. I know, I lied. At the time, I wasn’t Buddhist. I, like the people I was lying to, hadn’t a clue what Buddhism was about at all. But it sounded cool and it was a way of easily avoiding the conversation.
But as I perpetuated this lie I became interested in this mysterious religion I knew nothing about. So started to research it and it began to resonate with me. I liked what I heard. I still continue to learn.
As I’ve delved deeper into my meditation practice and my study of the Dharma I have replaced my intolerance with tolerance for, not just Christianity, but other religions as well. This way is the right way for me, but maybe it isn’t the right way for you. Christianity is the right way for some people and that’s fantastic. It wasn’t for me.
There are lots of different paths to the truth.