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“...secular Buddhists who, in my opinion, have a nihilistic outlook (there is no atman, no pure Mind, Buddha-nature, and no transmigrant such as consciousness). Whenever you die, that’s it. There is no more. This is secular nirvana.” You’re most likely correct on this point, as those of us who have tried to practice Buddhism while at the same time living the secular life of jobs, bills, kids, existential angst, etc. do, in my opinion as well, have a nihilistic outlook because, really, isn’t death the ultimate release from, and realization of, the suffering taught by Gautama Siddhartha? Without a teacher — and frankly, who can you trust these days who isn’t trying to make a buck off the “Zen” of this or that — we secular Buddhists do the best we can: we read the recommended books, we look to websites for direction and support, and we read blogs like yours. We work long hours to provide for our families and after all the noise of the day has died down a bit we read and meditate and practice mindfulness as best we can while navigating public transport, pointless meetings, solving family problems — and wondering if this is all there is. So, yeah, I guess you could say that while we try and learn/follow the teachings of Siddhartha — knowing that he was one of many enlightened beings — we do tend to feel the coldness of nihilism nipping at our ears. Few of us have the luxury of living a monastic life, with a real teacher and plenty of time to solve our koan. Instead we do our best.
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Dec 26, 2017