How to Practice Buddhism as a Humanist Spirituality: Part 3

How to practice Buddhism as a humanist spirituality and not a religion:

  1. There are no do’s and dont’s.
  2. Dharma, not dogma. Nothing about the dharma is settled, everything is open to debate and re-interpretation according to the times and circumstances.
  3. There are no absolutes; dharma is to be interpreted within the context of the human experience.
  4. The dharma and the practice should be completely barrier free; in no case should any person be denied education and training in the dharma because of lack of money, disability, language, race, gender, culture, education, geographic location or prior life experience.
  5. A person’s life experience and culture is the most important resource they bring to the practice of Buddhism. No one’s life experience or culture should be denied or erased by teaching the dharma.
  6. No one should have to give up other beliefs and practices that are sacred to them in order to practice Buddhism, including belief in a god or gods, and other faith practices.
  7. Question everything: doubt is a vital motivation for investigation and insight into the dharma. Without questions and doubts, there is no way to discover for yourself if the dharma really works for you.
  8. Teach the dharma as one way of understanding the truth of reality and existence, not the only way or the only right way.
  9. Science explains the ultimate nature of reality and the universe; Buddhism is only an interpretation of the human experience of reality.
  10. Human Rights: Treat people like people, with valid feelings and needs for connection, care and support; respect and uphold human rights for everyone.
  11. Being human is being spiritual—loving our humanness, our human bodies, our human feelings and our human lives as real, meaningful and sacred. (pratityasamutpada)
  12. There is nothing to strive for and nothing to attain; we are already awake and enlightened beings; we are already buddha.

3 thoughts on “How to Practice Buddhism as a Humanist Spirituality: Part 3

  1. Sir, Your 6 th point ( to keep old faith belief including belief in God while practcing Buddhism) in article is against Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s interpretation of Buddism. I am suggesting you to read his 22 commandments to practice Buddhism.(equivalent to Moses 10 Commandments )

  2. I am very much aware that Dr. Ambedkar required Dalit converts to Buddhism to renounce any Hindu practices, even to destroy Hindu images in one’s household. This is the one facet of Ambedkar’s program that I disagree with. Not surprisingly, it’s also the one facet that many contemporary followers of Ambedkar also refuse to follow. The argument of the Dalits is that one of their historic oppressions is that they were not allowed to enter Hindu temples. Many of them feel that now that they are Buddhists, and free of the caste system, that they should enter a Hindu temple when they wish to.

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