The Buddha teaches an attitude, not an affiliation

Belinda Siew Luan Khong*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Occasionally, I am asked, "Am I a Buddhist"? My reply is usually, "No, I am not a Buddhist, but I am informed by the Buddha's teachings." To me, this is not a question of semantics, since one of the popular misconceptions concerning the Buddha's teachings is that to understand and practice his teachings, one has to adopt the Buddhist religion. That is, one has to follow the beliefs, dogmas, traditional observances and rituals that belong identifiably to the religion of Buddhism as opposed to those followed by Christians, Moslems, or Hindus (see Batchelor, 1997; Rahula, 1987). One reason for this misconception is that most people understand the form of Buddhism better than its substance. I believe that the Buddha teaches an attitude rather than an affiliation, and that this state of mind can be acquired by any individual irrespective of his or her race, culture or religious orientation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEncountering Buddhism
    Subtitle of host publicationWestern psychology and Buddhist teachings
    EditorsSeth Robert Segall
    Place of PublicationAlbany
    PublisherState University of New York Press
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)0791457354, 0791457362
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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