For a number of years now, whenever asked if I’m religious and which side I favour, I’ve proudly told people I’m a buddhist.
Now from some this has received vacant stares and a great deal of head scratching, from others “Oh that’s nice” and one particularly pious gentleman, informed me I was evil, following the wrong religion, and “he desperately wanted to convert me and would I make him happy”. I don’t know how I managed to refuse such a charming offer but I did nonetheless.
I admit that there are parts of the buddhist teaching that I can’t wrap my head around.
One been the idea that animals don’t have souls.
(I ask you, as I’m sat on my bed with my beautiful cat, washing her paws and happily purring away beside me, how such a beautiful creature, can’t have a soul, she’s not even a mouser).
But I may be wrong, I may have read it wrong I hope I have because me and buddha, will have to agree to disagree on that one.
When poppy goes, she’s going straight to cat heaven even if I have to take her there myself.
But these slight doubt’s over time have grown bigger, its made me question my conviction’s.
Question what I know?
Because really what do I know?
I know the history of buddha, I’ve studied the joyful path of good-fortune and read many books and enjoyed many conversations.
I meditate on loving kindness, yet though I still know very little, I still feel qualified to call myself a buddhist.
I would never have had my first driving lesson, learnt how to turn on the ignition and be able to call myself a driver.
Because I know how to write, I would never call myself a writer I’d feel like a fraud.
And yet still I call myself a buddhist, even though I don’t feel I know that much and haven’t until now questioned my belief system.
Maybe its age or just maybe those doubts, those questions that have got bigger and bigger over time can no longer be left un-answered.
I’ll never have all the answers and buddha and I may have to agree to dis-agree on some points.
I know that if I hope to find the answers to my questions, regardless of were those answers take me in the future.
I’ve just given myself a whole lifetime of study.
Love & light.