Originally posted on Buddhism now:

Buddha at Gochizan-Nyorai-ji Photo © @KyotoDailyPhoto‘Buddha’ As the years go by, this particular word has become increasingly meaningful and precious to me; it is something that reminds me of the way of mindfulness.

I came to Buddhism as an adult after being brought up in a Christian family where the word ‘buddha’ was never spoken. When I was twenty-one, I deliberately chose Buddhism because of the teachings. The word ‘buddha’ itself, however, still remained a kind of abstraction in my mind. I could be inspired by the idea of a buddha, but it is only after years of practise that the profound meaning has manifested.

I am not saying that I am a buddha because that doesn’t make sense. People have claimed to be buddhas, but that isn’t actually the way it works; it isn’t a question of becoming or personally identifying with the word ‘buddha’. To do that is a sure sign that…

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