Why “Dharma” and not “Buddhism?”

I just (6/20/2013) realized that i am using the term ‘dharma’ more than the term ‘Buddhism’ when talking about ideas that come from my Buddhist studies and experience.

mgs: check this out for accuracy.

Dharma means something like “the ways things are” or “the truth.” I like ‘the way things are’ better, since it points towards what we experience directly rather than towards some ‘truth’ that has been handed down to us.

Buddhism refers to the teachings of the Buddha, and Buddha is a term that refers to S.G.and comes from the word “bodhi” which means “awake.”  While we often think of Buddhism as a religion, that is open to debate.The Dali Lama, who is about as “Buddhist” as you can get, says;

  • “From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.”

Since most of us think of Buddhism as a religion–a set of teachings similar to the Christian creeds, or Jewish faith–when you see the word “Buddhism” you might think “well, this is just something Sanger believes.”  But hopefully, if you understand what Dharma means, when you see that word you think, “that is something I might check out, to see if it is true.”

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