Over time I have come to realize that people often associate Buddhism and Buddhists with peace, meditation, and nonviolence. In fact many seem to think that saffron or maroon robes and a peaceful smile are all it takes to be a Buddhist. As a fanatical Buddhist myself, I must take pride in this reputation, particularly the nonviolent aspect of it, which is so rare in this age of war and violence, and especially religious violence. Throughout the history of humankind, religion seems to beget brutality. Even today religious-extremist violence dominates the news. Yet I think I can say with confidence that so far we Buddhists have not disgraced ourselves. Violence has never played a part in propagating Buddhism. However, as a trained Buddhist, I also feel a little discontented when Buddhism is associated with nothing beyond vegetarianism, nonviolence, peace, and meditation. Prince Siddhartha, who sacrificed all the comforts and luxuries of palace life, must have been searching for more than passivity and shrubbery when he set out to discover enlightenment.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist
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Further quotes from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist:
- I don’t give a damn
- Appreciating the whole cycle of impermanence
- The cup that holds the teachings
- Bound by practicality
- Enlightened beings may seem insane
- Buddhist renunciation
- What is life?
- The Self
- The habit of self
- Pride and pity
- Emotionally not possible
- Change is inevitable
- Eventually we are disappointed
- Like a child at the cinema
- Four seals
- Enjoying the bliss of ignorance
- The impossible is possible
- The real source of fear is not knowing
- Happily ever after