A patient of mine recently asked me, “What kind of Buddhist are you?”
Now, I don’t really like getting into religious or philosophical thought . It’s almost like bringing up religion or politics at the barber – you just might get your ear lopped off.
But he’s young and I sensed from him that this wouldn’t turn south – and I wouldn’t let it. Plus, he’s been coming to me for years.
“I’m not Buddhist,” I replied.
“Oh. I thought you were. You have a Buddha by your front door.”
“That thing? I bought that at Winners. It’s a garden ornament that I use for decoration. Why do you ask?”
“I started a meditation group called (incomprehensible),” he told me. “So, if you’re not Buddhist, what are you?”
“Well,” I tentatively replied, “if you wanted to call me anything, you could say that I’m Taoist. But not really… I like Sufi poetry, parts of Hinduism, too. I listen to Kirtan and Buddhist chanting. I read parts of the Bible.”
“Ultimately,” I left him with this final thought, “I’m just a human being.”