I find of particular interest in the Eastern Religions many threads that survive in other, later, belief systems. Not only do they survive in textual fact, but they seem to be super relevant to New Age and reformed movements. I speak especially of Right Action, Positive Thought, Positive Action, seeing only Good in all things and all people and believing in a Oneness.
And I think that a reason for the solid base of affinity to Eastern beliefs is that they represent a way of life more than they do a religion. I would have to say that Hinduism and Sikhism are exceptions, but I have maintained for years that Buddhism is a way of life and not a religion. Tao means: the way!
This is not to say that this thinking is not spiritual, it is, very given to meditation, petitioning and prayer, to the Cosmic, the One, God. But what is absent from much Eastern thought are the dogmas, perversions and threats that are so much a part of some organized religions. Instead, it is free thought, choice, love of beauty and Nature, love of others, respect for humankind and, in my opinion, a monumental hope for the future.
Buddhism has but one basic doctrine, which is taught by mostly all of the world’s religions: Avoid what is bad, do what is good. And purify the mind. Those who learn Buddhism learn kindness, detachment from the causes of suffering, meditation, relaxation, generosity, courtesy and helpfulness. Those who practice Buddhism are happy people.
Far more important than the person of Buddha is the idea of teaching. This is timeless and central to the faith. Buddha was a human being, Siddharta Gautama, who lived and taught the principle of freedom from greed, selfishness and ignorance.
Excerpts from a new book, “Looking for a Better World. " Read more at: http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/description.asp?ISBN=0-7414-2134-8
Dr. Malkin holds a B. Sc.in Business and a Masters and Ph. D.in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentorin programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.