Q. Should I go to temple in order to become a Buddhist?
A. Anyone who tries to attain enlightenment through Buddha’s teaching is Buddhist regardless of whether he goes to temple or not. Those who go to temple for any purpose other than enlightenment, the core of Buddhism, can’t be said to be a Buddhist, however often they may go to temple. It is not whether you go to temple or not, but whether you try to get enlightened through Buddha’s teaching that determines whether you are Buddhist or not.
If you try to attain enlightenment through Buddha’s teaching, where you are staying now is on other than a temple. If a temple doesn’t deliver Buddha’s teaching, it is not a temple anymore, no matter how many monks and no matter how big a congregation it may have. Buddhists make a place into a temple for the sake of convenience. A place never makes people Buddhist.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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