Deities & Buddhism

Buddhism is often erroneously described as atheistic, when in fact traditional Buddhist cosmology explicitly acknowledges the existence of countless gods or devas. (And yes, the devas are in fact considered to be deities, though not always in a way that monotheistic Westerners would recognize).

It would be more accurate to say that Buddhism is untheistic. It does not have deity-worship or the cultus of gods as its central focus for the most part, though there are important exceptions to this. Devotional activity does figure into Buddhism, and it actually has a larger part in Buddhist praxis than many Westerners would like to believe.

My Dharma

I’m a Buddhist in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. If you want an idea of what that means, the most famous Gelugpa is unquestionably His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Dalai_Lama_boy
HHDL as a boy, photographer unknown

I didn’t join the Gelug school because of His Holiness’s fame though. I joined because of the school’s long tradition of rigorous scholarship, and even better, the fact that a Gelug-affiliated Dharma center is about two miles from my apartment.

Early Rising

It’s early yet, and still dark outside. The predawn hours are my favorite time of day, especially if I’m the only human at home. I like to watch my cats and play computer games.

Another reason I enjoy this time though, is that in these still and quiet hours before the dawn comes, I can feel My Lady’s presence very clearly. No doubt my signal clarity is best when my mind is clearest, but I also like to think that She is an early riser…