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Lions Roar : January 2016
SHARE YOUR WISDOM Do you think of Buddhism as religion, philosophy, or psychology? It’s a way of life, with a very rich intellectual tradition—including profound psychological and philosophical insights. It is also clearly a religion—with rituals, ceremonies and symbols to help people deal with all of life’s transitions—birth, death, marriage, and all the joy and suffering in between. —Daniel Diffin, Westerly, Rhode Island Q: Do you think of Buddhism as religion, philosophy, or psychology? A: Yes. —Marc Ringel, Greeley, Colorado Next issue: What is your favorite music lyric that reminds you of a Buddhist teaching? Send your answer and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org Although Buddhism includes both philosophy and contemplative psychology, I believe it is fundamentally a religion because it addresses what happens to us after we die and asserts there is a nonmaterial spiritual reality. Only religion does these two things. —Angie McDonald, Charleston, South Carolina I see Buddhism as a philosophy and a form of psychology. I was drawn to it following two long periods of mental illness. As I started to read Buddhist books, I found them to be very healing. They taught me how to change my thinking, to live in a more simple and compassionate manner. —Darren Ruffles, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam None of the above! It’s a moment-to-moment practice of awareness, striving to be impeccable in body, speech and mind— for the benefit of all beings. —Katie Hess, Phoenix, Arizona Buddhism’s flexibility allows us to practice it as a religion, a philosophy, psychology, or any combination of the three. —Victoria Barber-Emery, Cincinnati, Ohio SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 29 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE