For most of us born in the Western world, remote from Buddhism of any institutional kind, knowledge of the dhamma has come entirely from books and, occasionally, spoken words, some quite excellent and informative, certainly. But this kind of learning still retains a somewhat ethereal air in the absence of actions, traditions, and spiritual observances in which we can participate. That the Buddhist religion has survived so long in the world is a result not so much of the durability of manuscripts as of the power of ideas embodied in custom; and custom, for all our abundant sources of information, is what we lack and cannot in the long run do without. Books crumble easily enough; thought crumbles faster, if not made firm by some sort of concrete practice that holds together believers and sees to the transmission of the teaching to the young.It’s not every day you see me linking to the Tricycle Editors’ blog! Tricycle has made available the full text of the article too—I sincerely appreciate them including it.
October 19, 2009
A Customized Buddhism
The Tricycle Editors’ blog features a quote from Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano’s Summer 2007 article.