We think of the Buddha as this grand spiritual teacher, but what if he wasn’t? I picture the Buddha as a practical person. He was a lot more interested in what we can do in our lives than in complicated doctrines. That seems obvious.
He came up with this unique idea, the truth of suffering and how to overcome it. He was an innovator. He was followed by a series of teachers who turned his ideas into a religion and also a philosophy. The way he taught it was really neither.
He was just a guy who was encouraging people to find the freedom to experience life more fully by engaging with the present moment, but cultivating awareness and compassion.
The teachings of the Buddha weren’t always complicated, but they sure have become that way over the years. He just encourages us to face reality as it is.
It can be hard for us to accept how simple things really are. That’s why people have gone out of their way to try to make Buddhism more complicated.
I’ve taught a lot of people how to meditate over the years and there have been many times when people say, “That’s it?”
Because they expect more than the simple practice of being right here.
Daniel Scharpenburg is a meditation instructor and dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world. Find out more about Daniel on his website and connect with him on Facebook.
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