People sometimes ask me if I’m a Buddhist and I often struggle with the answer.
Sometimes I give the suitably paradoxical but largely useless answer “yes and no” but that hardly advances the debate unless the other person wants to get into a fairly in depth conversation about it, which of course, they usually don’t. Once in a more flippant mood I remember telling a friend that I was on a mission to convert them all to “Richism”.
There is a lot of misunderstanding out Buddhism out there and the term can come with a lot of cultural baggage attached with which I don’t identify, but I am basically happy to own up to being a Buddhist, aside from any other reason, because it is probably the best fit one word answer I can give to some questions.
I have become involved in Buddhism not because of cultural upbringing (raised a sort of Christian), nor because I’ve picked it off the shelf in the religious supermarket, but because it does very well reflect the way I think and feel about life, the universe and well, everything really (thank you Douglas Adams).
In other words it has come as a natural step in a path that I was already taking, and since the development of the individual is at the core of Buddhist practice, adding myself to the Buddhist massive needn’t detract in any way from my attempts to develop a meaningful personal identity.
So yes. Sort of.