“….religion isn’t about believing things….”

In “Sit Down and Shut Up”, a book on his experience with Buddhism, by the punk rock guitar-playing Zen priest, Brad Warner, we read that “The first principle is the practice….itself. Buddhism….is a philosophy you do.”

In a conversation with Powells Books, Karen Armstrong makes the point, which is a constant theme in her writings, that “religion isn’t about believing things. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you.” It is a way of living (“The Spiral Staircase”)  that “dethrones the ego from the center of our lives and puts others there.”

We listen to Swami Vivekananda (“The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”, Volume 6) in one of his Talks: “Religion comes with intense self-sacrifice….Do all for others.” It is the cultivation of selflessness, living in accordance with the fact that “you and your brother are one.”

Elsewhere, explaining Karma Yoga (“The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”, Volume 1), he is characteristically direct. “Unselfishness is God.”

Peace 😊

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