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The Daily Dharma – February 20, 2022

Chokecherry Tree NM 15- Cherry Creek Silver City NM Photo by Bettina Arrigoni

For better and worse, Buddhism easily lends itself to morphing and adaptation because it is maximally flexible in form and doctrine. In fact, “pliancy of mind” is prominently mentioned in Buddhist lists as a desirable mental factor conducive to spiritual advancement. And Buddhism is famous for not insisting on belief, instead advancing a “try it and see if it works” attitude. Most contemporary Buddhists in the West, though enthusiastic about their practice, genuinely do not care whether someone becomes a Buddhist or not. They are completely open to the mixing and matching of religious practices and concepts wherever this would be beneficial. From a Western point of view, this may seem a refreshingly strange attitude for a religion to take. But actually I think it’s Western (that is, Greek and Judeo-Christian) culture that is strange in its assumption — insistence is perhaps a better word — that there be one truth and one truth only. In general, most people in most times and places, when left to their own devices, have not been bothered by living with lots of contradictions. 

Norman Fischer
from When You Greet Me I Bow