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Lions Roar : July 2018
Funny you should ask. I was just reading this morning about the four dharma seals. Having these seals as an understanding of the truth of the dharma, as well as listening, contemplating, and meditating upon the dharma as much as possible, are what makes me a Buddhist. —Brian Powell, Columbia, Missouri A belief in the Buddha’s teachings. A constant fishing of my mind back to here and now. Most importantly, as I practice, compassion infuses all of my actions, reactions, and my place in the universe. I sit with awareness and count each breath. —Paul Devlin, Polson, Montana My sitting and standing practice of notic- ing and coming back, over and over, cutting through thought occurrence, coming back to naked awareness, seeing/seeking what is really there—oneness in compassionate mind—no matter what changes happen. —Sharon G. Solloway, Pennsylvania If you want to identify as Buddhist, you’re Buddhist. Still, if one is to call oneself Buddhist and be able to talk with other Buddhists about the way of the world, share ideas, bond with common experience and offer insightful comment, then there needs to exist some common language and some com- mon understanding. Unless you understand that all sentient creatures suffer and that impermanence is pervasive, then you may have difficulty defining yourself as Buddhist. —Edward Horne, Toronto, Ontario The simple desire and abject need to navi- gate what feels like an over-sampling of grief in my life. The Buddhist acknowledg- ment and acceptance of suffering, and a path of wisdom to cope with this inevitable experience. And... I’ve always preferred sitting on the floor. —Beth Hanson, Glen Ellen, California SHARE YOUR WISDOM What makes you a Buddhist? How do you express your Buddhist practice through art or creativity? Send your answer, location, and a photo of your work to email@example.com I have asked myself that question many times. The best answer I have come up with is that I am a practicing Buddhist because I keep practicing, and practicing. Some days I come close and others, I don’t. I am human, after all. —Vicki Crane Block, San Anselmo, California Honestly, the basic belief that humans are inherently good. —Adrienne Watts, North Carolina One day a new acquaintance asked me if I was a practicing Catholic and my natural response without thinking was, “No, Buddhist.” The teachings/ practices/ concepts had infiltrated my heart without notice. —Mindy Taylor, Port Orange, Florida More than anything, living by the five precepts makes me feel like a Buddhist because I am acting on Buddhist principles in my everyday life. Supporting the monastics in my tradition and taking refuge in the Buddha, dharma, and sangha makes me a Buddhist because I am committed to help the teachings flourish and to use them every day. —Jessica Swanson, Portland, Oregon I think that the only thing that makes me a Buddhist is my desire to look at myself and hopefully better myself. I doubt many people would consider me a “good” Buddhist. I have plenty of weak- nesses that I need to work on, but it is this self-recognition of my weaknesses that gives me hope that I will be able to use them as lessons in the future. —Chris Rudd, Thailand LION’S ROAR | JULY 2018 25