November 09, 2010

Rebel Buddha—Spirituality vs. Religion

During the month of November, the Tricycle Book Club is discussing Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's Rebel Buddha! Look for daily excerpts from the book on the Tricycle Blog to inspire the conversation, which is happening here.

From Rebel Buddha:

"We often mix together spirituality and religion as if they were one thing. But this doesn't quite work. A spiritual path can exist within or outside a religious context. Religion and spirituality can be complementary or separate practices and experiences. A spiritual path is an inner journey that begins with questions about who we are, and about the nature and meaning of our existence. It's naturally a process of introspection and contemplation.

Religion, as conventionally defined, refers to a set of beliefs about the cause and nature of the universe, our relationship to the creation and creator, and the source of spiritual authority. We can accept those beliefs at face value or explore and examine our own experience of them. Some religions embrace such questioning, while others discourage it, either openly or implicitly. The point is, we need to be clear about what we're really doing in our spiritual or religious life.

Although Buddhism can be practiced "religiously," in many respects, it isn't really a religion. Because of its emphasis on questioning and working with the mind, it is spiritual in nature. But because it relies on logical analysis and reasoning, as well as on meditation, many Buddhist teachers regard Buddhism as a science of the mind rather than a religion. In each meditation session, we gather knowledge about the mind through observation, questioning, and testing. We do this over and over, until we gradually develop a meaningful understanding of our own mind. Some people may even become weary of Buddhism because it gives them so much work to do—they have to ask all the questions and find all their own answers."

Have something to say? Visit the Tricycle Community Book Club to discuss Rebel Buddha!

and Shambhala Publications have joined together to offer Ponlop Rinpoche’s new book, Rebel Buddha, to all Tricycle Community members during the month of November at a 20% discount with free shipping, plus free e-book for instant download.

Here’s how:

  • Join the Tricycle Community at any member level. If you are already a Tricycle Community Member, you are pre-qualified for this special offer.
  • Purchase Rebel Buddha online via the Tricycle site, and receive a 20% discount plus free shipping.
  • Download your free e-book and start reading immediately.

Already a member?

Click here to take advantage of this special offer.

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