While many believed Buddhism is a religion, freethinkers tend to think otherwise. For them, Buddhism is not about divine authority or following a religious institution. It is something more. Buddhism is more of an experience and a realization. It gives a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the world and the people.
But much like other religions, Buddhism can be theistic with numerous altitudes of subtlety. It also takes into consideration their pensive traditions. Differentiating Buddhism from other religions, so to speak, is by justifying it as the most meditative, introspective system of belief.
That is why Buddhism is specifically suited for people who consider or regard themselves as spiritual and not religious. How can you enrich your way to spiritual healing through the practice of Buddhism?
“In the midst of great turmoil, the Buddhist teachings encourage us that all is not lost. Our fundamental nature is not problematic. We can clean up our messes.” – Natalie Baker, LMHC
First, we have to establish the fact that Buddha is considered as an average being who has discovered his path to spiritual awakening. Though some might argue that Buddha was, he is a human being already enlightened and was just showing the people how it can be achieved. But the fact that he lived his life, not as a deity, a god or a divine presence will give followers of Buddhism a relatable connection to him. Because he is seen as entirely human, people have this comforting feeling that whatever Buddha has done can also be done by his followers.
It is not about saving someone from sin or obtaining salvation at the end of the road. Buddhism is about fundamental human goodness. It lets you see the world from a different perspective. Buddhism leads us to realizations about our environment and people. There is no need to struggle or to go against it. People’s real nature is considered pure. But this does not mean that we own this morality because it is not inside or outside, or beyond anywhere that the conventional mind can comprehend. Conceptualizing or solidifying this thought is fortuitous. All there is to do is let go and relax.
Jason Murphy, LMFT, says, “Often in Buddhism, we think of suffering as trauma or catastrophic loss. The teachings in Buddhist psychology also describe suffering as adverse life events, challenges we face in everyday life. Through the lenses of mental health and well-being, we may even use words like depression, stress, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem or the deep-seated belief that I am not good enough.”
Confronting your inner self
The existence of Buddhism is mainly focused on addressing people’s suffering. While Buddha considered suffering as something noble, it is in the recognition of one’s suffering that people will find their spiritual path.
Buddha pointed out that the cause of this suffering is ego. Ignorance of the truth and stubbornness to accept certain realities induce suffering. Though the word might seem trivial, it encompasses everything to a degree and influences the wrongs of the world. He believed that if we solidly and continuously used the word “I”, suffering occurs. Separating yourself from other people, creating a line between yourself and the world is what devours our humanity and sends us further into suffering.
For one to completely get rid of ego, one must wake up. Ceasing the suffering can only happen if people recognize the ignorance in constantly verbalizing this false belief in the words “I” or “me”.
“When our feelings depend on no one, we have attained a high state of realization–our love is our own, our happiness is our own; we are responsible for the way we feel and there is no longer any need to ask others to provide us with these states.” – Joan Fenold, LMFT
The path to spiritual healing is only possible if people will pursue the concrete way of getting there. This is essentially composed of effort, wisdom, discipline, and meditation. It is only then that you will gain insight into the path of truth.