Purity through Grace and Enlightenment
When you come onto our
property in Coombs, you will notice a large Tibetan shrine to the left of the
driveway. If you are a practicing Christian, you might wonder about that.
In my experience, Buddhism and Christianity are quite similar in that they both espouse many of the same values. Old Testament values of correct behavior are much the same as correct behavior in Hinayana Buddhism. New Testament values of love and compassion are the same as love and compassion in Mahayana Buddhism. All streams lead to the ocean, and because most Buddhists understand this, most are not interested in proselytizing or competitiveness.
My own practice of Buddhism began in the early '70s, but I am by no means qualified as any sort of Buddhist teacher. The Tibetan lamas who are often in residence at the temple have been practicing for many lifetimes, and are recognized as authentic teachers both here and in Tibet.
I believe that a committed practitioner, whether they be Christian, Buddhist, First Nations, or another version of Truth, makes a better therapist because they have a broader, deeper, and higher view of things that gives meaning and value when life seems unfair.
There is one subtle difference between Buddhism and Christianity that does impact on my practice of psychology. The Christian view of basic human nature is that of Original Sin, which can be redeemed through Grace. The Buddhist view of basic human nature is that of Original Purity, which can be remembered through Enlightenment. As a result of being Buddhist, I am always expecting to see the best in people. I think that's why I enjoy my practice of therapy so much, and why I am so happy when people do well.
I do believe that ultimately the outcome for each of us is a good one - but then, Buddhists can take a very long view of things. My job as a therapist is to help that good outcome arrive sooner rather than later, which is partly why I am so interested in brief and effective treatment.