500 B.C in India writing was Sanskrit, and few people were capable of reading much less writing. It is logical to conclude that all the Buddhist scriptures and texts and ceremonies were written long after the Buddha’s death. Many were passed down by oral history and eventually written and then revised possibly hundreds of times, with each writer adding his own interpretation.
Steve Hagen (Buddhism Plain and Simple) –is my favorite Buddhist writer.
“Buddhism is not about beliefs and practices… it is not a religion. It is about the teachings of awakening – about examining the world clearly.”
In his book How The World Can Be The Way It IS, Steve describes his time studying at a monastery in Japan where his mentor would beat him with a bamboo pole while he meditated to urge him into a deeper meditative state. What kind of bullshit Buddhism is that?
The basic Buddhist story goes that after searching for the meaning of life and being exhausted and near death, the Buddha became enlightened when he was given a bowl of rice and a refreshing drink of water by a beautiful young girl. To me that is the essence of Buddhism, and all the other bells and whistles and trappings and rituals are bullshit.
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”
Close your eyes and taste that cup of tea. Feel the texture of the chair you are sitting on. Study the faces of the people you love. That is Buddhism plain and simple.