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Julia Sweeney - Letting Go of God excerpt

then I decided I was a Buddhist. I tried to visit all the places the Buddha was, and then I investigated and felt like it was just as much crap as Christianity.

There's one of the problems with a number of Westerners concept of Buddhism. Visiting the sites where Sidhartha visited won't do you much good because you aren't him. You shouldn't be seeking Buddha or to follow in his footsteps you have to find your own path.

A number of Westerners think that Buddhism is essentially Christianity with a different spiritual leader. They think of Buddha as a replacement for Jesus as if he's some sort of divine being. They believe that you're supposed to pray to Buddha or that he grants answers to your questions. They believe there are sins that you have to avoid just like in Christianity and there are heavenly, or even earthly, rewards for avoiding sin. And that is so antithetical to the Buddhist teachings.

Buddhism is about personal growth and responsibilities for your actions. For example, if you have done something bad, you have to ask yourself why you did it, discover how not to do it again, and make it right with the wronged party. There is no withdrawl of love from the Buddha, there's no threat of hell. Essentially, the feeling of forgiveness comes not in saying your sins to a neutral third party and asking forgiveness from them, it's in making things right.

Via some huge search engine rabbit hole I ended up at this thread and just thought  the whole thing is on youtube now so check it out! (although prrobably not legitimately)  It's a very cool little story, although easy to dismiss by some because she slides in there a few details about a succession of family tragedy around the same time so people can say "Well, she's just mad at The Plan".

Watch before it gets taken down or something.


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