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Dealing with others

For the american buddist, even though you dont like to consider my self a full buddhism yet, how do you find it dealing with your pears when you tell them about your religion. What do they say/do?

Comments

  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I just explain to people what it is I do and what I believe. Nothing really special.
  • edited June 2005
    The few that I have told are somewhat intrigued. One at my school was fascinated by what I had to say. Some that I've told call me Buddha. Grr... Anyway, I am always happy to debate anyone when challenged or questioned.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2005
    When they call you Buddha.... respond... you know they're right..... :)
  • BrianBrian Detroit, MI Moderator
    edited June 2005
    I've experienced quite a range of reactions. Most have been indifferent, as in "meh, whatever, just a fruitcake trying to be cool". Some have been ridiculing, like, "oh please... how can you just 'pick' a religion", while others have been quite accepting: "wow, i wish I had the courage to tell people how I really feel".

    In the end, it doesn't really matter what others think. I'm just going to do what feels right.

    Welcome to our site :)
  • edited June 2005
    For the american buddist, even though you dont like to consider my self a full buddhism yet, how do you find it dealing with your pears when you tell them about your religion. What do they say/do?

    My peers (20-something college students) seem ok with it. They usually say, "Cool!" They also tend to be curious, but tend to have a lot of misconceptions. It's not that they are totally off base, they just tend to over-generalize based on the little they might have seen on tv or read in an encyclopedia for a class assignment. I think they focus too much on beliefs when Buddhism, at least to me, is less about beliefs and more about a way of thinking and living. Of course, most of my peers are either Christian or ex-Christians so their experiences with religion included a lot of talk about creeds, faith, beliefs, etc.

    From the older generations, I do get a sense that they think I'm just another college student going through a phase and that I'll come to my senses. It's patronizing, but no one's come out and called me a devil's spawn or anything. Still not telling the family, though.
  • emmakemmak Veteran
    edited June 2005
    Apparently my mum told my aunt I was involved with a buddhist cult. Yay.
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran
    edited June 2005
    A cult? That makes it sound so bad. LOL
  • edited June 2005
    When I have told people that I am interested in Buddhism the reaction that I get the most often is something along the lines of “When are you going to grow up and stop just doing things to be different?”
    Apparently I am the only “rebel” of a very typical Hispanic family, so when I moved across country for AmeriCorps (like the domestic Peace Corps) they were angry that I was rebelling, and when I decided to stop eating meat, I was just being spoiled and when started looking into Buddhism I was just doing it to be different. My uncles have actually taken a bet as to when I will go crawling back to the Catholic Church; imagine that!
    Hispanics do not understand Buddhism that well……………………………..
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I have been very lucky. When I was a teenager (17) I meditated all the time and I would do it in front of my dad and he thought I was being wierd. Now that he is older he desn't think anyting of it. It never stopped me though. My family is actually very supportive of my choices. So I am blessed in that respect.
  • edited June 2005
    Nobody has really said anything to me as of right now..Of coarse I never come out and say "hey!, I'm buddhist!" But I give hints, and I'm sure that the chinese symbol meaning buddha and the buddha keychain give it away. I really do not feel like I have to anounce to the world what I believe in. But in the same sense, if they ask I will tell them. A little hesitant, but I'm sure that will fade. :)
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran
    edited June 2005
    I always tell people. I always like to tell them what it's about. Well the basics anyway. They always tell me it's not what they think.
  • edited July 2005
    Question: In Chritianity, you are suppose to spread the word to others. Is Buddhism the same way?
  • comicallyinsanecomicallyinsane Veteran
    edited July 2005
    Yes and no.
  • edited July 2005
    I will be perfecly honest with you all...I do not understand this yes and no stuff...:confused: :(
  • edited July 2005
    Anita wrote:
    I will be perfecly honest with you all...I do not understand this yes and no stuff...:confused: :(

    I think Buddhists have a responsibility to help others. Sometimes that means talking about Buddhism to others, but it doesn't mean pressuring others to believe one way or the other or being obnoxious about one's one beliefs in other ways. I think there's a general sense that it's ok to share one's experiences if you think the other person is open to them, but respect people enough not to be rude to them. Personally, I find the idea of trying to "convert" someone to be pointless. People are either looking for answers, or they aren't. And it's not like I have any of the "answers". I can just share my experience. I guess that's the thing about Buddhism. It's more about questions than answers whereas Christianity and most other religions are all about having THE answer.
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