Q. What is your take on the opinion that religion is a political system based on faith and that Buddhism is not a religion even if it shares religious status?

A. Considering religions historically, the idea that religion is a political system based on faith makes sense. However, saying that people made political use of religions is one thing and saying that religion is politics is another. The truth is the former, I think.

Whether Buddhism is a religion or not depends on the viewpoints of people. Whatever it may be called, its name is not the essence of Buddhism, nor does it change it. The core of Buddhism is to teach how not to be deluded by names, labels that are imaginary lines. To become able to see and hear things without names is to attain enlightenment. Whatever you’d love to call it, be free to call it as you please.


Student: “Is Buddhism religion or philosophy?”

Master: “It’s neither religion nor philosophy.”

Student: “What is it then?”

Master: “If people call a lion a dog, it becomes a dog.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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