"Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are."
This is so profound on so many levels. As an author, motivational speaker, and teacher over many years, it always has been most significant for me when a student uses what I offer to improve, expand, or accelerate his or her alreadyness (my newly coined word of the day).
There are many who teach others to become almost clones of themselves, as there are institutions that teach participants and devotees to become regimented followers. Many organized religions would be appalled by the Dalai Lama's advice, having as their main focus the idea of worshippers becoming good whatever-the-church-wants-and-expects-you-to-be. One of the spiritual teachers I most admired was Jiddu Krishnamurti, who had some two million "followers" or disciples worldwide as a young man, but disavowed them and disbanded the organization he led to become what he termed a "simple teacher".
It can be very heady stuff having followers or even fans. When Moneylove first gained major recognition, I was approached by a number of people who wanted to become apprentices or disciples of my prosperity teachings, little Jerry Gillies mini-mes. I discouraged them all. One went on to become one of the leading lights of the prosperity teaching movement with a bestselling book, even appearing in the movie, The Secret, so I evidently was right in turning him down at the time. He found his own way, as we all ultimately must do.
When I taught meditation and was running the Biofeedback Institute in New York with two partners, I always was careful to teach that meditation is not going off in a corner or a cave and putting all your attention on your breathing or your mantra. That's just the preparation for meditation. A true meditator has learned to absorb those skills into his or her everyday life, so that everything becomes a meditation, so that meditation is an enhancement to what they are already doing, to what-they-already-are.
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