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Buddhism in the News


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My New Camera and Gandhi on the Many Religions of the World

My lovely wife just bought me a new digital camera for my up-coming birthday and one of my favorite features available is the ability to take black and white pictures. This is a black and white picture that I took of my photo of Thay (as Thich Nhat Hanh is known by his students) on our altar. The beads wrapped around the picture are of my old 108 bead mala.

I thought I'd also add a great view on the different religions of the world by the Great Mahatma Gandhi:

Religions are different roads converging on the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads so long as we reach the same goal? I believe that all religions of the world are true more or less. I say "more or less" because I believe that everything the human hand touches, by reason of the very fact that human beings are imperfect, becomes imperfect.

-Mahatma Gandhi

This is great wisdom. No matter how much we believe in a religion they are all run by imperfect beings. The Buddha understood this problem with organized religion. This is why the Great Awakened One taught us to not believe what he said (or anyone says) unless we have come to that conclusion from our own internal investigation. Also the teaching that attachment to the trappings of a "religion" will not get us very far on the path to liberation. It just becomes another hobby. This is why I often refer to myself in writing as a "Buddhist." The quotes present because after all what is a "Buddhist?"

However, (as you know) it is inquiring within through grounding, personal practice is what sets us free.

Above is a picture of one of the cute little finches that visit our bird feeder on a daily basis (with a section of the yellow prayer flag in front). Late this morning as I was meditating they were really talking up a storm and it made me smile in many moments during my sitting practice today.

With my eyes closed all I could sense was their chirping and in that moment I was transported to all the different places that finches live. I was there in all those places at once. It was a beautiful experience of non-self, suchness, interconnectivity, inter-being or whatever feeble words one might use to explain the moment.

~Peace to all beings~

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Brittany Hogan said...

Nice picture! The ultimate is faith, isn't it? Otherwise, like you said, it's nothing more than a hobby... a subconscious habit isolated from spontaneous faith.
Happy birthday in advance!

Tim said...

Great Post & Pix! AND Happy Birthday!
Digital Cameras are too cool.
Good answers on the Tricycle link, don't you think?

"James" said...




Thanks Tim!! Yes, I thought those were great answers. I am going to post them tomorrow. :)

alison koh said...

i just emailed a friend, saying that all faith and religion teach the same value: love. it's simple yet so hard for humankind to practise fully.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear James
Happy birthday to you

great birthday gift!
oh yeah... read the answer from the Tricycle... good answer!
thank you for asking that question.

M.D. Shellhammer said...


I will now be expecting even better pics on your blog knowing that they were taken by you. I love the ones you find out on the web, but the personal touch warms me so! Happy Birthday my friend!

"James" said...


Love is all we need yep. And thanks for the birthday wish or continuation day wish as Thich Nhat Hanh calls it.


Thank-you...I enjoy taking pictures. It's another one of my artistic hobbies. :) I will have a happy birthday you can count on that.

Everyday is a birthday. Each moment precious in it's own right.

trinitystar said...

Yes James all religions are believedly are leading to the same root/route. All religions are based on Love and compassion and forgiveness. Quite simple ... yet made difficult. :o)

Good photograph of yourself James. You shall have lots of fun capturing moments.
May you have a wonderful Birthday.
hugs for you.

"James" said...


Thank-you and right back atchya on the hugs. :)

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