People wonder, what is Buddhism. I used to teach sculpture and when students didn’t know what to do I’d give them the test. We were always able to figure out what sculpture they wanted to make.
Here’s the “what is Buddhism” test.
All questions can be answered with binary answers.
- Is it something that existed from the beginning of time, or just with the time of Buddha’s enlightenment?
- Is it a religion?
- Does it have a god or gods?
- Does it preach non-violence?
- Will it save the world?
- Can you be a Buddhist and be part of another religion?
- Why meditate?
- Are mindfulness and Buddhism the same thing?
There is a concept of “skillful means” where you do what is needed to get the person to the next step. But even that is iffy. It seems sometimes as not being honest. My skillful means was to let the other people talk because they had answers.
Imagine the challenge: you have one minute to talk someone into doing something you like to do… like sitting. What do you say? Especially when drums are beating loudly in the background. I don’t know.