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June 2019
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Practice of loving-kindness represents Buddhist doctrine

I keeping hearing about “Modern Buddhism.” I have never believed for a moment that the original Buddhist doctrine may have had an expiration date. The essence of Buddhism is loving-kindness, and this practice goes back approximately 2556 years. Even today, this same practice of loving-kindness represents Buddhist doctrine. It is we who need to transform as we progress along the journey to realization. Buddhist doctrine is vast and very deep, and we each have different capacities. We cannot view the different levels of practice as a single platform. This is where we may go wrong in terms of misunderstanding the true essence of Buddhist doctrine.
The variety of Buddhist rituals and beliefs may not suit everyone, but each plays its part in different stages along the path progressing toward the attainment of realization. If we pick and choose among the elements the Buddhist doctrine, rejecting some and adopting others, then simply hoping for a better and higher understanding is child's play. For instance, to cross a river we need a boat, and once we reach the other shore, then the boat is no longer necessary. However, when we are still in the middle of the lake, trying to leave the boat behind would be self-defeating, and is an act of pure of stupidity encouraged by ego.
Buddhist doctrine is like a staircase, and to reach the top level, we need to make every move with respect and with an attitude of inclusiveness with regard to all approaches and forms of practice. It is not about what fits into my way of thought and understanding, but how I can open my heart to fit into the framework of Buddhist doctrine, irrespective of the particular culture to which I belong. My understanding is that Buddhism does not have any color, race, or style, and therefore, I am not sure that it is right to say "American Buddhism," "European Buddhism," or "Asian Buddhism." Maybe I am wrong, but I prefer simply "Buddhism.