I found this fascinating and enlightening discussion at Sweep the dust, Push the dirt: Open Forum: Can Christian and Buddhist Practices Mix?
Here are some excerpts I pulled out of the discussion:
- When we externalize, and in my opinion, “personalize” the god-concept, we begin that slippery slope into attachment, delusion, and self-deprecation.
- Christianity…is a religion based upon faith and belief, not practice or works.
- the purpose of Buddhism is not to create Buddhists, but to create Buddhas!
- I find sectarianism, fundamentalism and those who place literal reliance on ANY scriptures, using them as a means of creating disdain or intolerance toward any other spiritual tradition to be repugnant and illegitimate.
- the way I see it, the experience of ‘enlightenment’ and the experience of ‘knowing God’ (whether or not they’re the same thing!) are available to all, Christian, Buddhist, whatever. This implies to me it’s at least *possible* for the two to co-exist as ‘practice.’ Whether it’s likely to work for a particular individual? Karma, anyone?
- in practical terms, there’s not much difference between them and fundamentalist Christians, fundamentalist Muslims, fundamentalist Hindus, or fundamentalist yogis
- Do I believe In JC? Yeah. Do I believe that he performed all of those miracles? Yeah, but not in the literal sense that the Bible tells us. I believe he made blind men see in a spiritual sense not in the literal.
- My personal belief is that it IS a personal thing to wrestle out for oneself. I also believe that we are all individual, unique and spirit filled… and the potential for common ground is awe-inspiring.
- People are always happy to tell me why the two are incompatible, and their reasons always involve exactly the things I find repugnant and reject in any religious claims: exclusivity, superiority and dogma.
I’ve never been really a follower of any religion but until recently I pretty much considered myself to be a Christian although I’ve always had trouble reconciling the apparent divisiveness and contradictions I see in Christianity. In particular, I find Christianity’s apparent exclusiveness a bit troubling, not to mention the ecclesiastical hierarchy and bureaucracy.
I haven’t delved much into Buddhism but what I’ve studied so far is very appealing and it makes sense to me. I’ve also taken up yoga, first as a physical practice but I’ve found myself drawn to the spiritual and philosophical aspects of it as well. In adopting these ideas, I find myself more of a participant in divinity rather than a potential casualty.
To me, the divine is all inclusive and manifests itself in different ways and in different forms to each of us as we find appropriate.