Why study Buddhism?

The study of Buddhism has many benefits, whether you have an overall desire to explore methods of healing and cultivating inner peace or want to explore a new path on your earthly journey.  The first requirement for healing to be accomplished using the resources of a Tradition is that a link be maintained with the deep sources of vitality that can be found in these Traditions. If it happens instead that the contemplative aspect weakens, or if it becomes dissipated by too much intellectualization, or forced to the edges by a religion’s search for political power, then a tradition can stop working for people.

The second requirement for the healing values in traditions to continue to work in people’s lives is that we intelligently adapt the teachings as they have come to us. By ‘intelligently’ in this case I mean not changing them so much so that we’re just ‘winging it’, or ‘inspired by’ what has come before, but also not just repeating the way people from another culture and time thought and practiced. If we do that then teachings then can take on an archaic quality, and it can feel like they are not relevant to our lives as they are now. It’s clear to me that we can and should adapt traditional teachings so that they work for us.

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