Buddhism Is Experience

Q: I am not Buddhist, but it seems that a lot of your answers here are pretty Buddhist. How should I handle that?

A: If any of this is based in Buddhist beliefs, then it is just something someone said. If any of this is based in Christian, or Hindu, or Islamic beliefs, or in anything else that anyone believes, then it is just something someone said.

If any of this is my experience, then it is real.  If any of this is your experience, or your family's experience, or your friends' experience, or your enemy's experience, or anyone else's experience, then it is real.

Experience has residue. This residue is called beliefs. A belief isn't bad, and it is often useful, but it is not real. Buddhism is one kind of residue on our lives.  I use Buddhist terms and techniques more than others because it is explicitly set up not just to clean other kinds of residue off our lives, but also to clean itself off our lives. It's like soap. If you have dirt on your hands, and then you put soap on your hands, then you have more stuff you don't want on your hands.  But we don't usually notice that. We just scrub and rinse, and if it is good soap, everything comes off. In this metaphor, the dirt is beliefs, the soap is a good spiritual practice, and the water is your own honesty.  Without honesty, spiritual practice doesn't work.

What is honesty? Honesty is commitment to real experience.

Try to discover if anything I write is my real experience. If so, then pay attention to what I mean, not what I write.