Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Way of the Buddha

Over and over I am reminded that the Buddha taught a path, a way. He didn’t build some edifice for us to stand in and marvel at. The heart of Buddhism is practice. Therefore, the right question is always, just as with Jesus Christ, “What would the Buddha do?”

And over and over I come to the conclusion that I am a good student of Buddhism, but not a very good practitioner.

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2 comments:

DoveTaler said...

Interesting distinction, student vs. practitioner. I wonder what will mark the passage of student to practitioner along the path, along the way. (As a Taoist, I am partial to "Ways"... and you know, in terms of WWJD, he did say 'I am the way, the truth, the light...').

How do YOU distinguish student and practitioner? A student is in a state of learning - seeks to know...

I suppose a student is once removed from the subject of the learning, studying it, where the practitioner is right there with it. My guess is that in time, the student becomes the practitioner, perhaps a seamless conversion, unlike the "enlightening" under the bodhi tree, the match struck, the flame bursting...

But then, Buddha did ponder for many years - growing skinny and puzzling over it... sounds like the queries/cries/searching of the student to me...

Larry Keiler said...

By way of reference to other postings, the kid in boot camp is a student. The kid in the jeep in Baghdad is a practitioner.

Not a complete, or very insightful answer, I know. Just a thought off the top of my head.

The top of my head is gradually becoming more and more visible. Increasingly, things will slide off it into the puddle of verbiage lying at my feet. I shall take root in the detritus of head-droppings, fertilized with mental mush and, by and by, produce a giant one-thousand petalled lotus composed entirely of first thoughts...

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