I watched an interesting video piece on Buddhism from a scientific stand point by Cara Santa Maria who has a Huffington Post Science column called “Talk Nerdy to Me”. She interviewed Buddhist Monk Dr. Matthieu Ricard who has a PhD in cellular genetics and is also an Atheist.

An Atheist?

A Buddhist Atheist?

You know it is interesting. Most folks in the western world would consider Buddhism a religion. I have even caught myself making that same mistake when I discuss Buddhist teachings and how it has flavored the Responsive Universe I live in today. Contrary to popular belief there is no “One Supreme God” in Buddhism.  Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion.

You mean Buddha is not a God? Nope, he was just the son of a King that found enlightenment 600 years before Jesus was born.  Buddhism is about not suffering – from life to death we need to give and receive affection and compassion – it is an exchange of energy that connects us all.

According to Kusala Bhikshu, there are Buddhists that have faith in a God that created our Universe; there are Buddhists that are strictly atheist and there are those that just do not know. Buddhism is less about God and more about you. Buddhism teaches us to lead instead of to follow.

Kusala Bhikshu also said this: “When the Buddha was asked how the world started, he kept silent. In the religion of Buddhism we don’t have a first cause, instead we have a never ending circle of birth and death (Mandala). In this world and in all worlds, there are many beginnings and ends. The model of life used in Buddhism has no starting place… It just keeps going and going.

Buddhism is about transformation and evolution. Yes, there is room for spirituality when there is the potential for self-discovery and growth.

…and yes there are many paths – the question is how authentic is that path? Killing in the name of God is not authentic. Living through your ego and not practicing what you preach is not authentic.

The Dalai Lama said this and I paraphrase: If there was only one dish served at all the restaurants in the world, no one would go to eat after a while – we need variety  – we need our own path.

As for me? Well, my inner wisdom tells me there is an instinctual energy that is everything. When I shed my ego and connect to the sublime through mindfulness and meditation I connect to something that is authentic – a Responsive Universe…

….and that my friends is enough for me.

John C. Bader