Tex wrote:I make it a point not to advertise that "I am a Buddhist", though, mostly because most people here don't know any Buddhists, and I make a lot of mistakes, and I'd hate for someone's only experience of "a Buddhist" to be me on a bad day. Maybe when I'm further along the path and I feel like a better example of "a Buddhist" I'll make it a point to describe myself as a Buddhist to others. Or maybe not.
PeterB wrote:I am a reluctant ambassador, I dont want to put people off, and after many years I am still trying to get the hang of Buddhism.
nowheat wrote:I don't recognize the distinction that some do, that you have to have taken the precepts to be a Buddhist. To me, a Buddhist is someone who gives their best efforts to following the teachings of the Buddha and that is all it's about -- lineages and refuges are only peripherally relevant.
nowheat wrote:And then, I'm an evangelist for Buddhism. I don't hand out pamphlets, or knock on doors, and get in people's faces, but I see Buddhism as both extremely helpful for individuals and having huge potential for changing social attitudes and the history of the world if its message of tolerance spreads. If I don't stand up and say I'm a Buddhist, how will anyone know what a Buddhist might look like, act like? Who can someone interested come to privately to get past their discomfort about asking about Buddhism if there's not a tolerant Buddhist known to them, someone who labeled themselves a Buddhist?
If I don't agree with everything every Buddhist everywhere stands for, that makes it more important, not less, for me to stand up for the sort of Buddhism I do believe in. Any religion (any belief system) represents a range of people and ideologies; if I don't make my voice heard then those who get interested in Buddhism but can't accept its more fantastic beliefs may feel they are alone in worrying about those parts of Buddhism they can't take on faith, and they may turn away and lose the opportunity to find a practice that is both logical and very helpful in their lives.
Fede wrote:Informing people you're Buddhist is a way of communicating some of those things, and opening up avenues of dialogue which can only increase knowledge, and decrease ignorance.
Monkey Mind wrote:Depending on how I answer any of these questions, I often get the response, "Well, you're not really a Buddhist then, are you?"