So apparently without any great deal of ceremony one can be a Buddhist without knowing it, so long as one identifies with the 4 marks of Buddhism: https://www.lionsroar.com/what-makes-you-a-buddhist/
But for the past few months I’ve been going to a Buddhist centre, and I’m really happy to be there when I’m there and happy to be around the people I’ve met there.
I spent a weekend listening to teachings, and it was the first time in my life I felt that I had no reason to feel preteternaturally guilty for everything and part of a broken and fallen world, but rather something good because everything is basically good. I had a glimpse of this one day when I was in a Zen garden in Japan looking at lotus flowers, which inspired my first tattoo which I got a bit on impulse though I’d been thinking about it forever.
I still love the teachings of Jesus though, and I”m not 100% sure he didn’t rise from the dead, or that there’s not something to the whole Catholicism thing. Like Buddhism, it absorbed the rituals and traditions of the pagan religions that came before it, and there are som ereally great and specifically Catholic Christian things in this world. And the Dalai Lama, while nothing like th ePope and not speaking for all Buddhism let alone all Tibetan Buddhist schools, says one should be left alone in the faith tradition they were raised if not they risked great confusion. My Buddhist center definitely didn’t proselytize, and it was me who came to them and they accepted me without question, even when I acted a bit weird on purpose and scoured the internet to find reasons to think they were maybe not so great as they seemed.
I also decided I really want to go to Buddhist Northern India this summer, and I’m already reading travelogues about it. True, I could change my mind in a few weeks but I think whatever happens with my personal relationship to Buddhism it would be an amazing trip and I would learn a lot about myself.
Buddhism makes me so happy and fills me with a lot of calm but also a lot of questions. It’s just such an exciting thing to explore. I think I probably will go all the way with it, unless something in my heart speaks to stop me. Now I can feel it is mostly my mind, and fear of Hell, that causes me ot resist. Yet I am sure that Jesus is good.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”